chapter 12 - homesick

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If I had expected anything different when I got downstairs, I was sadly deluded.

The broken cutlery had been cleaned up and everything had been set right but as soon as i descended the stairs, Leena stormed off in a huff and pushed past Stanford who was opening the door open for her.

My father in law, on the other hand, looked tired. It was obvious that he wasn't impressed with his wife's behaviour and it was written all over his face.

' Safe travels Sasur.' I said as I bowed and touched his feet.

' Bless you Bahuu, take care of my Phillip.' He winked at Phillip.' The necklace suits you.'

And with that he was gone.

Dinner that night was quiet, Phillip and I sat eating , not saying a word, we didn't really have anything in common to talk about, but as I got up to clear the dishes away be grabbed my arm and made me sit down again.

' Leave it, Stanford can get these.' He said and took his phone out of his pocket, punching in the code to unlock it before handing it to me.

'"Call them."

" Who?"

"Your parents, who else, call them. But keep it on speaker."

My hands shook as I took his phone, and dialled the numbers for the landline.

The line rang, and rang and rang, the time between each ring felt like an eternity and with reach ring my heart beat a little harder, but it went to voicemail and if felt like my heart had shattered into a million pieces.

I just needed to talk to them, to hear their voices, just to know that they were ok and to let then know that I was ok.

It took all my strength not to hit the redial button, as strong as my need to talk to my parents was but I handed the phone back to Phillip. It was strange, he was just sitting back in his chair, his fingers laced in front of him and he watched my actions.

'"Try again.' He said simply.

This time I tried my fathers mobile number, bit it too went to voicemail and once again I handed the phone back to Phillip.

" One more time."

' Can I call someone else? If papas not answering he's probably busy with Mumma somewhere." I heard my voice break as I said the words, my eyes damp with fresh tears.

Phillip nodded and I carefully dialled the number to the only other person I had desperately wanted to talk to.

The number rang, and rang and just when I gave up hope, she answered.

' Hello Simron speaking."

' Simmi its me"

' Tori you kuttiya Saali bajaru, I go off on holiday and come back to find our you've gotten married..'

' Simmi wait...'

' You didn't even let be your maid of honour...'

' Simmi stop...'

' I didn't even get to sneak you out to get you drunk on a hens night'

"Simmi!'

' Have you done IT yet, does he have a big co....."

' Oh God Simmi your on speaker!"

she paused for a moment.

' oh fuck...did he hear all that?'

' what do you think you idiot?"

'oh shit, sucks to be you right now, so what's up? Are you ok?'

' yep, I'm ok, you starting back at uni this semester?

' Yah for sure, one more semester left! Its the only excuse I have or my father would start talking marriage! What about you? Your married to Mr Money Bags now so why would you bother?"

I felt slightly irritated when she said that, is that what people thought of this marriage? Was I going to be compared to a gold digger?

' Well I'm back as well, meet you at the library at 9 for orientation?

'Sure, and you need to fill me in on all the details, promise?"

' Promise!"

' Oi and where is your phone? I swear your number keeps going to voicemail.'

' yeah, umm..it broke, see you Monday?'

' ok sure, Monday!"

I hung up and handed the phone back to Phillip, avoiding his gaze, hoping desperately that he wouldn't say anything about what Simmi had said.

It had been great to talk to her, to hear her crazy, but my heart ached, my chest felt like it was going to explode and the sadness that consumed me was almost overwhelming.

All I could do was curl up on my couch, pull my blanket over my head and let my tears fall freely. I didn't care if Phillip saw or heard.

I missed them so much.

I missed my home, my parents, even the stupid hotel. I missed it all.

And yet, because of a deal , I couldn't go back.

I felt Phillip kneel down beside me and placed his hand on my shoulder.

" Go away Phillip." I said through my sobs.

But he didn't. Instead he pulled my blanket away and pulled me into his arms and held me tight as I sobbed onto his chest.

I had missed this, the warmth of human touch.

I had started each day with a hug from Mumma and Papa, kissed them before I left the house and hugged them before I went to bed.

When it rained and stormed I would still jump into thier bed to sleep, snuggled in between the both of then.

When I came back exhausted afterabn exam I would lie on the couch next to Mumma, my head in her lap while she massaged my hair and for the past week I had been starved of human touch and affection.

' I miss them!" I cried, ' I miss them so much! Why didn't they answer the phone? Where are they? Papa! Is my Papa ok?"

He didn't say anything as I cried onto his shoulder, my tears leaving a big wet patch on his shirt.

He just sat there and held me, stroking my hair and when I calmed down a bit, he picked me up, as if I didn't weigh anything at all and carried me to his bed, pulled the sheets around us and held me until my crying wore me out and I fell asleep.

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