'You looked like a racoon the day I met you'

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I decided to still pretend. "Aniket? Tell them to let me out of here. They locked the door from the outside."

I could see him coming toward me, shaking his hands in front of my face to check if I could see. He smirked. "You'd make a terrible actress, sweetheart."

"Dude, I can't see! Seriously, let me out."

Instead of letting me out, the guy sandwiched me between him and the walls. He came in, like he was kissing me, and I shrieked, turning my face away. He tricked me!

When I turned my face towards his, his smirking, overconfident face came into view. I pushed him away, ducked underneath his arms, took hold of his hands, cranked it up enough to make it hurt, and pushed him roughly into the wall, making him kiss the walls instead.

"Listen to me, I am a TaeKwonDo blackbelt, if you try and take advantage of me like that, I will do more than hurt you. If you so much as look at me the wrong way, I will break your bones one by one and surgically remove it and hand it to my neighbors dog to chew on. Do you understand?"

He chuckles at my threat, then groans as I push him further into the wall. "You're taking this too seriously! I didn't take advantage of you. I only wanted to see if you could see."

I laughed. My prank worked. I decided to let his arms go, when the door opened suddenly, my mother and his mother coming in like superheroes.

The two mothers stood there, shocked. Then they laughed. "Maykala, I thought your son could handle my daughter. Otherwise, I wouldn't have pulled this stunt."

"I thought so too." She walked towards her son, and said: "did you misbehave? What kind of a monster have I raised."

I let go of his arm immediately. "Oh no Aunty, I just wanted to prank him. He came in too close to check if I could see."

"Oh god, you had me scared there." She chuckled.

"Could you remove my blindfold? It's cutting off circulation." I asked innocently.

"I got it." Aniket took time removing the pink shawl around my head. I turned around to glare at him, and pulled the shawl out of his hands. Then I dramatically exited. The trio started to laugh once I left.

It had me wondering, were they in this together?
By the evening, everyone knew about the stunt I pulled. My father was patting my back, proud of me, while my mother looked like a she lost a lottery.

I was proud of myself too, but I slightly wondered what it would have been like if I let Aniket come closer. For one second, like a normal bride, I fantasized. Then I pulled the reigns of my brain, and told it to put its thoughts somewhere else.

We were sitting in our living room, everyone has ate, made preparations for my wedding, checked and rechecked everything that had been packed and were finally content. Some of my female cousins were doing Hanna on my feet. I was practically stretched so that they could work faster. I fell asleep after a while, tired from the long day of dealing with Aniket, the spa, organizing everything for tomorrow and cooking for everyone in my house with my mother.

Everyone's eyes were on me constantly, as if I was the star of a movie. I kind of liked the attention but regretted that my relatives will never understand my feminist actions and see it as betraying my tradition and culture.

It's Thursday and tomorrow is the big day for me. The day I leave my parents. Apparently, the house we are going to be building for the union of our families is going to take at least six months. Until then, I will have stay at my in-laws. My mother is happy, because she thinks I'll be bearing children by the time I move in to the new house. The money that I saved up over my residency, has all gone to building the new house. Apart from the money I gave my mother, that money was set aside for my expenses. Now it's gone, but I feel no remorse. It's for a good cause.

When I woke up, I was sprawled across the couch, and someone was waking me.
They patted my cheeks, and then called my name. I jerked out of the comfortable spot on the couch, and brushed my eyes. I remembered that I had my Hanna on, so I instantly regretted it. I then noticed that it has dried, so I sigh in relief. My cousins would have killed me if I ruined the beautiful drawing on my hand.

My eyes zoom in on Anikets' face, and I hear giggling in the background. Suddenly, I am alert, ready for any kind of pranks they decided to pull on me.

Acknowledging my panic, Aniket assures me. "It's alright." I get up on my feet, but Aniket shakes his head. "You have Altha on you feet. You'll get it on the floor."

"I'll just sleep here."

"You know, you don't sleep like a girl. More like a hibernating bear. It's cute and weird at the same time."

"Just let me sleep, if you're nervous about the wedding, go to your parents." Suddenly, I wanted to go to my parents. I would have to be separated from them for six months.

"I'm not nervous, I'm actually excited."

"For what?"

"The wedding night."

"You're kidding."

"Not in the least. I am well prepared. You were right. Google helps with the general idea of what to do."

I am suddenly blushing. I hadn't thought about tomorrow night. I've only been focused on how I'm going to leave my parents and the preparation regarding the wedding.

"You wish."

"We both know, that you do too."

"Yeah, right," I say sarcastically. "Don't be too cocky. It's not good for you."

"Don't be overconfident, you'll fall for me one day."

"So that means you've already fallen for me."

He stays quiet. "You looked like a raccoon the day I met you."

"Yeah, but I've clearly upgraded. You, the same old face, the same old hairstyle, you look the same everyday."

He chokes on air, laughing. "That's is the lamest retort given by anyone. You're awful at comebacks."

"Then retort something back. Don't blame my comebacks."

"You know this conversation is pointless."

"You're trying to distract me."

He suddenly bends down, scoops me up in his arms and carries me up the stairs. "Boy, what the heck do you eat? You weigh like a ton."

"Firstly, never say that to a woman. You ain't gonna get laid, saying that. And secondly, I eat chocolate; the most luxurious and delicious thing on planet earth that will make any problems a girl can face vanish away. Thirdly, if I didn't have altha on my feet, I would kick your butt."

"Good to know," he gasps, out of breath.

"Dude, you're out of shape."

"It's not me, it's you. You weigh more than a treadmill."

I snort. "As if you've lifted a treadmill."

"Actually, I was the one to set it up in my house, so yes, I have lifted a treadmill."

"Aren't you supposed be like a spoiled rich brat? It makes it harder for me to hate you." I voice my thoughts.

"Why do you need to hate me?"

"You know, in order to win the bet I have with my mother."

"I will annoy you all night, if you don't tell me."

"Like I'll tell you. It's a secret. This secret, not even a blabbermouth like me can blabber. It's under lock and key, labeled 'Top secret Information you must not tell' in my brain. So no."

"So you don't hate me?"

"I don't know. It depends on how much you bribe me."

"And I thought you weren't a gold digger."

"No, I am a chocolate lover. I don't mine."

"Well, I'll buy you chocolate factory if you tell me your secret."

"I can't tell you. I've embarrassed myself enough. And plus, I've already told you. You just won't remember it."

"I remember everything about you."


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