Chapter 8

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While clutching the letter in my hand, I looked around the room to see Mom sitting on the bed crying hysterically while Aarav tried to console her. Dad was standing at the window gazing outside while worry marred his face making him look ten years older. Sanjay uncle was trying to calm his son down while he was pacing the room in anger and anxiety with a heartbroken look on his face, though his was trying to hide it but failed miserably. I stood in the corner wishing  for everything to go back the way it was a few hours ago before all this happened.

I was searching for my mom as dad was calling her to discuss something important. The wedding was in full festive mode, people laughing, dancing, talking and having delicious food. Everything was so colourful and beautiful. I found her talking to a relative of ours looking splendid in her deep maroon saree, she still appeared not a day older than 30.

After greeting our relative I told mom that dad was looking for her and wants to talk. She excused herself and I too went to meet my friends Maya and Aditya. Maya as usual looked pretty in her pink Lehenga while Aditya was adorned in a Sherwani.

While talking to them, I heard someone saying the 'groom' has arrived. Everyone moved to the entrance to welcome Siddharth and the rituals were performed. When I finally got a good look at him my heart skipped a beat. He was looking breathtaking in his Royal Blue Sherwani with golden work on it. His hair was styled to perfection. He looked like royalty. The ways his eyes twinkled, they showed his happiness and love for Antara Di.

I felt a pang in my heart.

Soon the bride was called and Mom asked me to escort her down. As the function was being held in the back garden I entered the house and lifted my heavy golden and mint Lehenga to climb the stairs. My hair was in a bun and I was wearing Mom's jewellery. I looked good if I do say so myself. After I reached the top of stories, I moved towards Di's room while calling her "Di, let's go. You're being called. Your price awaits you"

When I heard nothing I went inside and saw the room was empty. I checked the bathroom she wasn't there as well. I started getting worried and frantically shouted "Di .. Di" and looked around the house but nothing. In a trance I went back to her room and sat on the bed not knowing what to do, when suddenly I saw a paper lying on the side table and I picked it up. I read it and was at a loss of words. I hurriedly went down and called my dad aside and told everything.

Now here we are after reading her letter and still thinking about it contents.

Hi everyone and Siddharth

I know you all are gonna be very disheartened and disappointed by this action of mine. But please understand that I did it for a reason. I did it for my dream. I have got this huge offer from a well known designer to come to New York and model for him. I love you Siddharth I really do but this is what I have always wanted in my life. This is my dream I have been chasing for. I want to marry you but not now, maybe in a few years but right now, I'm choosing my career first.
Mom, Dad Anika and Aarav I love you all and I'm really sorry for taking this step but I hope you guys will understand. I wanted to tell you guys and discuss it but I know what you would have said. I'm moving to New York to live my dream. I know you'll be angry but please forgive your daughter. Be happy for me.

I'm sorry Siddharth. I know you'll wait for me.

Yours
Antara

I can't believe she left. Just like that!? Leaving us behind for her dream. I suddenly understood the meaning of her words which she said that day "Sometimes your heart needs more time to accept what your mind already knows"

What have you done Di? I was feeling so sad for Siddharth. He looked so broken.

"What will we do Sanjay? The media is here, all our relatives are here. How will we tell them that the bride has run away? I'm so sorry Sanjay on behalf of my daughter" my dad said to Sanjay uncle while folding his hands in front of him and with tears in his eyes, he was apologising for someone else's fault.

"Prithvi Please. Don't do all this. You're not at fault. And I have a solution to our problem" Uncle said while hugging my father.

"What?" My mom asked finally looking up at them with tears in her eyes.

"I was thinking Siddharth can marry Anika instead" Uncle said while everyone looked at him with wide eyes.

"What???" Siddharth and I asked in unison and that's when he finally noticed my presence in the room. I quickly averted my eyes.

"Hear me out. As Prithvi pointed out all the media is present and we can't get humiliated like this in front of everyone. Also our business will get affected bringing us a bad reputation in the market. So please I beg both of you to do this for us. Do this for your parents." He added and I looked at our parents pleading faces and then at Siddharth who stood expressionless. I thought about what uncle said and then nodded my head in yes. Siddharth left with no other option but to say yes glared at me while agreeing.

He went out while everyone looked at me with smiles. Aarav looked at me as if he wanted to protest. Mom started gushing over me and told me to to get changed. Everyone left and I wore my Di's wedding Lehenga which Siddharth had personally selected for her.

I came outside and saw my brother waited for me in the room. "You wanna say something Aarav?" I asked him when he didn't say anything for a few minutes.

"Anika Di are you sure you wanna do this?" You don't have to pay with your life to compensate for someone else's mistake" Aarav told me in a serious voice, speaking so maturely for his age.

"Aarav I have to do this. I can't let them put their heads down in shame. You know our society, all their reputation and business will be frowned upon. I can't let that happen. Our parents have done so much for us. I will do this for them." I justified my decision though I still wanted to back out of this.

"I'm proud of you Di. I love you" Aarav hugged me with glassy eyes. I kissed him on his cheek and said "I love you too" and he left giving me time to get ready.

After fixing my makeup I went downstairs while hearing the hushed whispers. Mayank looked at me in shock with wide eyes and Nisha glared at me with hate. Everyone was thinking the same thing.

Why is Anika getting married to Siddharth? Where was Antara?

Ignoring all their murmurs, I finally reached Siddharth who was looking at me with a stoic face. He then glanced at the Lehenga I was wearing and I saw anger in his eyes but he masked it as quickly as it came. After the rituals were done, I was now his wife. My mangalsutra adorned in my neck and sindoor on my forehead was for him.

I was his. Mrs. Anika Siddharth Rathore

I know we'll not be like the usual married couples but I hoped we can at least be friends.

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A/N:

Anika's Lehenga and Siddharth's Sherwani pics above 🔝

The real story will now begin!!

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