A knock on the door pulled me out of my reverie, as I sat on the balcony floor, tears dripping down my face as I came to the realization that this place, this expansive mansion, the beautiful room, they all came with a price.
They were nothing but a golden glint prison cage.
" Mrs Malholtra? May I come in? I need to collect the breakfast trays as well as take you on your tour." Stanford called from behind the door.
"You can come in." I called, unsure if I should even be saying anything. "and please dont call me Mrs Malholtra, it makes me feel so old." and I got up and went to the bathroom to freshen up.
' He's really not such a bad person once you get to know him. Just keep your head down and follow the rules and you will be fine." Stanford said as he collected the dishes.
" He threw my phone over the balcony. He went through my personal messages and he ..." my voice trailed off, he hadn't hurt me this morning, but he had scared me.
"How do I follow the rules when i don't even know what the rules are!"
"Well never you mind about that, I am sure he will make up for things eventually. He has a soft heart, the master does, but he has a strong mind and a strong personality. But I supposed you will have to learn to endure those. Come now, we must get on with the tour, the senior Malholtras will be here about 1 and I need to help Martha prepare lunch. Well rather, set up the lunch area, its such a nice day I think it would be nice to have lunch outside today." He picked up the trays and started walking, leaving me to either follow him or be left behind.
To say the massive was enormous was an understatement, it sat on 13 hectares of land, had 10 guest rooms as well as a separate family wing, there was a pool ,a tennis court, a theatre room, a pool house, a huge entertainment hall, dining room, a state of the art kitchen and a rather impressive study.
I followed Stanford around for about an hour trying to take in everything, the architecture, the decorations, the classic beauty of the mansion, one thing i could not ignore was the lack of personalization.
There were no family portraits, trophies, pictures, ethnic figurines or portraits of the gods or anything else that would hint at the mansions owner. It was beautiful but cold, like anyone could be living there , anyone who was worth millions.
The place that I liked the most was the study, it was more like a library than a study, with hundreds upon hundreds of books lining one wall, a fireplace surrounded by comfortable looking seats and couches on the other, and in the middle, just in front of the ,large glass stained windows, was a very impressive office desk with a shiny computer. Stanford helped me create a log in and granted me access to the internet and I thanked him as he bid me goodbye to attend to other work.
I was happy to get back onto the internet, I no longer had a phone, but there were still other ways to contact people, but every site I tried seemed to be blocked from my access, I should have known. My every movement even on the world wide web would be monitored and restricted, so I checked my e mails and found the e mail from my university and processed my confirmation for my last semester classes, uni was to start in a weeks time, and I couldn't help feel relieved.
Even so, my mind kept taking me back to this morning, back to Phillip, the way the water ran off his body and how so damn attractive he was, he looked like a clevin klein model, the ones that were plastered all over magazines, and those eyes, they were such an odd colour. The fresh memory of how he was so menacing played back in my head, he had scared me, made me feel threatened but at the same time I felt something else, and I wasn't sure how to explain it to myself.
My best friend Simmi would love this, she would never let me hear the end of it if she know I was crushing on my arranged husband on day one.
The portraits on the walls were of a beautiful blond European girl with striking blue eyes and waves of thick blond hair, she was stunning, but she seemed so out of place - or was it I that was out of place?
I wondered who she was and why her portraits were on the walls, they were everywhere in the study - just her and no one else.
I sighed and tried to find out what else I could access, not much, I checked out the news headlines and my internet banking, I still had a student loan to pay off, and books to buy. I frowned at the balance, there wasn't much left but I could make it stretch and I wondered if Phillip would let me get a job.
The time in the huge clock above the fireplace was only past 11.30.
Time passed so slowly in this place, and my stomach growled reminding me that I hadn't had anything substantial that morning, logging off the computer I left the study, only to realize that as well as I had tried to remember my way, I couldn't remember if the kitchen was left or right.
I choose right and started walking, down the hall led to a gym and then the stairs down led to the pergola and pool, the water was clear and sparkled in the sunlight, and I opened the huge glass doors, relishing in the burst of fresh air that hit me, releasing me from the stuffiness of the study and the mansion.
The water looked so cool and inviting, I could just walk in ..... and by the time anyone found me it would be too late, I couldn't swim so it wouldn't be that hard..... and I mentally slapped myself hard. Would I really give up that easily? Sure, my life right now was not what I wanted and what would my parents think? It would kill Papa... and then what would happen to Mumma? Alone with the hotel and so much debt to repay?
I had a ray of hope, my studies and I was hell bent on completing my degree.
My stomach growled again.
Well if I was going to survive the next three years, I would need to feed myself, and I wandered around again trying to find the kitchen.
YOU ARE READING
An Arranged AffairRomance
To repay the debt owed by her parents, Victoria, a young Indian girl born to immigrant parents, is forced into an arranged marriage to the only son of the weathy Malholtra family. Unable to see past her familys betrayal she makes a plan to make her...