Bella stood in front of the mirror staring at her reflection. She looked beautiful she thought. But that beauty was not of any use. Last few hours were very hectic for her. The wedding day is hectic for any bride on this earth, but it was extra hectic for her. That morning when she woke up, she did not expect to have a wedding where so many things went wrong. She always knew of her fianc's... sorry ex fianc's womanizing ways but she never thought he would run away with his ex girlfriend Ravi Saluja on their wedding day.
It was not as though she had forced him to marry her. Yuvi Sehgal had himself sent a rishta for her. He wanted to marry her, he claimed to love her, it was he who had followed her around to convince her to marry him, then it was he who had refused to give up his womanizing ways even after the engagement, he had invited his ex girlfriend to their wedding, he had continued to flirt with every beautiful girl he came across and finally it was he who had run away from the wedding leaving her alone in the mandap to face the taunts of the society.
She had never wanted to marry her, she had reluctantly agreed to marry her as he claimed to love her truly and deeply, she had ignored all of his mistakes, she had tried to overlook the fact that Yuvi was still meeting different girls at night, she had tried to gel with his family while he was away sleeping with beautiful girls and now finally it was she who stuck with the label that her fianc ran away on the day of the wedding. She had nearly lost her father that day. When Mr. Sharma found out that Yuvi had ran away from the venue, he had tried to commit suicide. She had barely been able to prevent him from burning himself in the fire that was supposed to witness her wedding. Now he was sleeping in the room as his BP had shot up and a doctor had to be summoned and the doctor had given him a sleeping pill to ease him a little.
She gazed at her sleeping father. He looked restless even in his sleep. She could hear panditji chanting the wedding mantras downstairs. Her best friend Suhani and Yuvi's half brother Pratham were getting married. They both had offered to postpone the wedding in the light of that day's events. But Bella had refused this offer. So they both were getting married. But it had been too much for her to see the wedding happening in front of her eyes. She had apologised to Suhani and Pratham and retired to her room. Now she was in the middle of taking off all her jewellery and dress. She planned to return it to Sumitra, Yuvi's mother and then leave the city and go.
She knew that her father was in a drug induced sleep and would not be waking up any time soon. So had begun changing in that room itself. She had just unhooked her blouse and was in the middle of taking it off when her door banged open. She turned around in surprise, her blouse barely covering her chest. Her brother-in-law... no sorry would have been' brother-in-law Mahir stood there, a worried expression on his face. When Mahir saw that Bella was half undressed he turned around quickly.
Mahir: Sorry, I have been knocking for the last ten minutes. When you didn't open the door, I got worried and so I entered the room.
Bella had quickly thrown on her dupatta at the sight of Mahir standing there. She had been so engrossed in her musings that she had not heard the knocks. But the dupatta was a net dupatta and did not really cover her up. Now she was stuck with her blouse unhooked and a flimsy net dupatta that was barely covering her. She had a flashback of her entering Mahir's room to find him in nothing but a towel around his waist. Had that really happened just yesterday? That seemed like a life time ago now.
Mahir was still waiting for her to tell him to turn around. When that didn't happen, he said,
Mahir: I know you are angry, and rightly so. But please, I just want to speak with you. If not anything at least hear me out for the sake of our friendship.
How could she refuse him anything? He was the guy who had stood by her whenever she needed him. In the last twenty days that she had been staying with the Sehgals, Mahir and Sumitra had been her support systems. Even before that, when she had been a mere employee at the Sehgal Industries, it was Mahir Sir as she called him even today who had always helped her. And when she came to live with the Sehgals a few days before her wedding, it was Mahir and Sumitra who had made her feel at home in their big house. She came from a middle class family and was new to the ways of rich families. Sumitra had supported her throughout, sometimes even against her own daughter Kuhu. Whenever Yuvi behaved in an insensitive manner, Mahir would scold him and comfort her. He had promised to lookout for her no matter what. But she couldn't help but feel a little disappointed in Mahir as well.
He had failed to recognise his own brother. Last night when she had seen a shirtless and drunk Yuvi come out of their investor Vish Khanna's room she had rushed to Mahir's room to tell him that she couldn't marry his brother. That was when she had seen him in nothing but a towel. Mahir had thrown on a bathrobe and rushed with her to Vish's room. He had given a sound scolding to Yuvi and had dragged him to their room and put him to sleep. Then he had comforted Bella by saying that Yuvi was still a child and that he would change after marriage. He promised that he would have a talk with Yuvi the next morning when he was sober and that nothing of that sort would ever happen after their wedding. Bella had trusted Mahir to keep his word and now she had been thrown in this situation.
She knew that it was not Mahir's fault, Yuvi rarely listened to anyone and did whatever he pleased, but still she blamed Mahir for giving her a false sense of security. But even then she couldn't refuse Mahir the opportunity to speak. He deserved that chance. But how could she let him turn around given her current condition? Mahir was still waiting for her response.
Bella: Mahir Sir, I am ready to hear you out but...
Bella: But I can't. How can I let you turn when I am in this condition?
Mahir: Bella, I will go and wait outside. You change and then let me in. Okay?
As went Mahir went out of the room she let her blouse that she had been holding in place with her hands, fall to the ground. She quickly got out rest of her clothes and changed into her regular clothes. She bundled her wedding trousseau and her jewellery and then let Mahir in.
Bella: Mahir Sir, here is the wedding dress and the jewellery that Sumi ma had gifted me. I am returning this to you. I have no use for this. Once baba wakes up, we will leave.
Mahir: Where will you go Bella?
Bella: I don't know, but somewhere far from here. I can't stay here and face the humiliation any longer.
Mahir: Bella, please I want to say something to you.
Bella: Go ahead. I promised I would hear you out.
Mahir: I swear that I did not know Yuvi was planning something of this sort when I spoke to him this morning. If I had known, I would have locked him up in his room till the mahurat.
Bella: And then what? He would have married me, but then do you really think that I would have had a happy life with him? No. I would have led a miserable life. It is better this way. Now at least I am not his trophy wife.
Mahir: I want to place a proposal in front of you. Think about it before you reject it. I will like to take up your responsibility if you will let me.
Bella: As what? Your mistress?
Mahir: NO Bella. How can you even think of it that way? I am proposing marriage to you. I will expect nothing from you in return. Just give it a thought okay? Marry me and...
Bella: Be your trophy wife instead of your brothers?
Mahir: Hardly Bella. If anything I am offering to be your trophy husband. You can do whatever you want in life. I had planned on making you the Chairman after your wedding to Yuvi. I see a lot of potential in you. I have seen your work, and I feel you will make a great business head. Dad is thinking of retiring and is planning to hand over the business to me. Yuvi had never really shown any interest in business, but you? Even dad sees tremendous potential in you. You don't know, I know how difficult it is to impress dad. Listen, I am not trying to buy you over by offering you a post of power. This is what I genuinely feel. I will nominate your name and make sure you get the post.
Bella: But what about you? You are supposed to inherit that post.
Mahir: The Chairman's chair is not a throne to be passed on from a father to his son. You have worked hard in the Sehgal Industries for the last seven years. You deserve the post. And if I am being honest with you, you are far more capable than me. I would not have gotten out of a lot of sticky situations without you.
Bella: And what happens if I refuse your offer? Will I get thrown out the Sehgal Industries?
Mahir: No. You will still get a higher post when I become the Chairman. I will appoint you as the Vice-President, the second highest post our company has to offer. Dad will not agree to make a non family member a Chairman and hence this arrangement. Please consider. I really do think of you as my friend. I have known you for the last seven years. We were colleagues then, but these past few months after your engagement to Yuvi we have come closer as friends.
That was true, Mahir and she had known each other as colleagues for nearly seven years. But they had become friends after her engagement to Yuvi. And she began to frequent the Sehgal House, her relationships with everyone changed. Andy Sir had become dad and Sumitra ma'am had become Sumi ma on their insistence. But she could never bring herself to call Mahir, Mahir Bhai as Yuvi would call him. It would seem really weird even when she thought about it. So she had continued to call him Mahir Sir.
Bella: Mahir Sir, I need some time. I will give an answer to you soon.
Mahir nodded his head and went out. Bella sat there and thought for a long time. It was true that whatever arrangement Mahir was offering, was beneficial to her. But then it would be a marriage of convenience. Then what was her marriage to Yuvi going to be? Exactly that, a marriage of convenience. The society, people would talk about how swiftly and quickly she agreed to marry the older brother when the younger one left her. But then they were gossiping about her even now. She looked at her father, fast asleep on the bed. If she married Mahir, her would be saved from a lot of embarrassment. She nodded her head. She would marry Mahir.
If she was being honest with herself, she had always had feelings for Mahir. Initially when she had joined the Sehgal Industries, fresh out of college as Mahir Sehgal's secretary, she had had a small crush on him. He was about six years older than her. Tall with fair skin, dark hair and warm brown eyes, he looked like the perfect Prince Charming to a twenty-one year old Bella. His was polite and kind, and helped her whenever she needed his help. As she continued to work under him, he became her mentor, and guide and her respect for him began to grow. Slowly she began to climb up the hierarchy on her own merit. Mahir encouraged her progress and at the twenty eight, she was the CEO of the Sehgal Industries, one of the youngest in the country.
As she grew old, her silly infatuation developed into healthy respect for him. But even then, deep down, she had always hoped for a life partner life Mahir. When Yuvi sent his proposal to her, she was disappointed. He was the exact opposite of his brother. But then he promised to change his ways and she agreed to marry him. She was someone who knew that changes don't happen overnight and so she had waited for Yuvi to change his ways. But he never did. Mahir strived hard to convince her and each time she would believe him. Not because she trusted Yuvi to change his ways but because she trusted Mahir to keep his promise of looking out for her. His proposal to marry was his attempt of looking out for her.
Mahir on his part had always loved Bella. Right from the time she joined Sehgal Industries as his secretary. He felt proud to see Bella grow as a person under him. He knew that one day this girl would surpass even him and he was eagerly waiting for that day to come. Mahir was a shy guy, not very expressive when it came to his emotions. He kept pushing aside his emotions for Bella for years as he did not want to come across as a sleazy boss. He encouraged her to excel in her work and put in extra efforts whenever required. He was aware that Bella thought of him as a mentor and respected him tremendously.
He loved her tremendously and he saw in her everything he ever wanted in his life partner. But he did not know how to approach her. And then suddenly it was too late. His younger brother had declared that he loved Bella and he wanted to marry her. Before he knew it, a rishta had been sent to her home. He had helped Yuvi in convincing her for marriage as he wanted his brother to be happy. It would hurt him like physical injury whenever he would see Bella cry because of Yuvi. He spent good many hours trying to explain Yuvi the meaning of loyalty, but to no avail. And now finally Yuvi had ditched her on their wedding and had run away with his ex girlfriend.
He had been shattered to see Bella standing alone in the mandap crying her eyes out. It was heart breaking to see her trying to stop her father from burning himself alive. He had decided there and then that if she would have him, he would marry her and cherish her for all his life. Even if that meant being her trophy husband, he would do it. For her.
Topic started by The.Wanderer
Last replied by TenderCoconut