A light gush of evening breeze fused with instrumental notes blew open the wide balcony glass doors, the breeze floated into the colossal square room; large and stately.
A mahogany bed centred the room, filling a sizeable portion of the room. Countless pillows piled high spread like snowy top on the mountain across the bed pressed against a high head-board with an intricately designed gold trim. Red and white muslin sheets draped around the bed dressed in threads of matching red and white roses concealed the young bride. With splashes of petals scattered around, her exquisite crimson red dress encircled her, every inch of her dress decorated with gold and red threaded embroidery. Her bridal hands and petite feet adorned with complex mehndi patterns; she raised her bowed head taking in the majestic room. The floor to ceiling windows dressed in deep red damask curtains tied by their midriff with a gold braid.
A velvety red wine, ornately carved, chaise lounge adorned the end of the bed, finished in a silver leaf edge, the walls were a soft fawn with a blush of pink. A large canvas marvelled the wall, her wings white as snow stretching from one end of the canvas to the other, soft, feathery and mighty. The bird soared above the little towns, dark, insignificant and flew into the large orange ball of red sun. A divine view, and scrawled in the far left corner an inscription- difficult to read. But more prominent was the cushioned wine red chair, matching the chaise lounge, it boasted of a velvet cushioned high rise back with a gold leaf edge; like a throne waiting for the king.
After an evening of being put on display in front of nosey guests, finally, Inayah retired to the privacy of her bedroom. The whispers around filled with spite and prejudice about her sudden alliance with a wealthy widower, cut into her. They poked and prodded her with intrusive questions, but she remained reserved; tight-lipped, bowed eyes and tense body, just like a typical Pakistani Bride.
Inayah's wide eyes scanned the room in awe.
Hadi didn't come.
Inayah sat patiently; recalling the old man she had caught a glimpse at in the courtyard. A fear seeped in her; how could she love such a ghastly man? She screamed from inside, recalling the youthful features of Hadi's face and his muscular arms.
I'll never love anyone as much as I loved my Hadi. Never!
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Havoc ensues when young soft-hearted belle, Inayah, is forced by her step-mother to marry a wealthy widower she has never met and then plied to surrender her dowry to her stepsister. In a land where death is preferable to dishonour, Inayah must figh...