Married To A Stranger
By Midhuna
Date: September 20, 2022
Ch. 11

Sreesha Pov:
Getting married is not strange!
Getting married is not strange at all!
I started chanting in my head looking at the stranger who is tying a knot with me.
The stranger who I met once, and without a word he agreed to marry me.
Sure, he is handsome outside but what about inside?
What if he is just like my father after all same natured people get along well. How will I survive if he treats me just like my father treated my mother all these years?
I peeked at him through my eyelashes when he applied Sindhoor on my forehead completing the marriage ritual. He smiled in content when he was doing that like he had been waiting for this moment all his life.
After conducting a few more rituals, they sent me with him. I did not cry before leaving my parents’ house like all those girls. They hurt me too much to feel pain for leaving them. My brother Tej was looking at me with pure happiness in his eyes. He was the only one who loved me in that family, but he betrayed me. He left me all alone when I needed him the most.
It was a simple marriage with just our families. Tej insisted on registering my marriage then and there. As if I could leave my husband now.
God! That stranger is my husband now.
And His name is Karthik.
I know nothing about him except his name.
After reaching his home, I was rushed to a guest room. For a manager in an MNC, he sure maintains his house well. It was a two-story individual house with three bedrooms and comfortable furniture.
‘He must be earning a lot’ I thought, nodding to myself.
I belonged to a middle-class family.
I glanced around the room, but it doesn't have anyone's personal touch. It is like this room belongs to no one in particular.
"Can I talk to my daughter for a few minutes? " I heard my mother asking his mother "alone" she added immediately to which my mother in law nodded leaving us alone.
I felt a hard grip on my wrist, I hissed in pain "Never say No to your husband, Sreesha. You should do as he says. For us women, husband's words should be like a Law. Respect him. Accept his every wish whether you like it or not" My mother said grinding her teeth.
"Never disrespect him. Never raise your voice at him or you will have to face the consequences all alone. Never utter words like higher studies or job, see where they had landed you. Even your brother, who used to support you in everything denied your wish to work. As your father always say, work is for men, women belong to the kitchen" My fists tightened hearing her words.
Yes, my brother denied my wishes for the first time in my life, but she doesn't have to rub it in my face.
"Your wedding night is only a few hours away, Sreesha. If I heard one word against you from your husband I will not stop your father from teaching you a thing or two this time" reminding the days he slapped me one too many times every time I refused to get married. If it isn't for Tej, I don't know what would have happened to me. He saved me one too many times and asked me to trust him and do as my father orders.
'Everything will be fine di, do as father says and I'll deal with the rest. Just trust me ' were his exact words.
So, I gave in. I trust my brother, but I couldn't just forgive him for not stopping this marriage.
And my mother said wedding night! What am I going to say if he finds out that I'm not a virgin?
What will I do, if he blames my family for betraying him?
What will my father do?
Would he kill me? Or torture me to until I die slowly and painfully.
I wasn't physically abused, sure my mother or father would slap me here and there for denying them or if I mess up with work but thanks to Tej, he always had my back.
Even though he is a couple of years younger to me. He was my savior. My parents loves him to death and grants his every wish, excluding one thing that I should never call them mom and dad. So, Tej did what no sibling would do, he called them father and mother because they didn't allow me to call them mom and dad.
What are you planning this time, Tej?
"Answer me" my mother hissed bringing me back from my memories.
Right, Wedding night. I nodded my head like a polite pet.
I'm not ready for that step with him. I barely know him. Will he give me time to adjust, if I tell him I wasn't ready for this step yet?
The answer will be a big NO! I know it, everyone knows it. But there is this tiny bit of hope fluttering in my heart saying he is not what he looks like. And there must be a heart behind those cold and calculative eyes.
But what if he wouldn't agree to give me time?
What if he forces himself on me?
What if he finds out that I was not a virgin and throws a fit?
What if he becomes abusive? Can I survive one more dominant person in my life?
What if he is indeed a male chauvinist and treats me like his slave?
His mother came with a plate full of food and asked me to eat. I ate without complaining because I was so hungry as I've been fasting from the morning and it is like 4 in the evening now.
His mother doesn't look like those evil mothers-in-law in daily soaps. She looks nice and took care of her appearance well. She is like those women who doesn't have to try to be beautiful because they will look gorgeous even in some rugged clothes. And she smiles all the time, it's one of her traits to attract everyone. Beauty must be running in their family. Karthik's father is just like him, calm, straight, cold and did I mention handsome? He did not look like an old dude at all.
Hours later, Karthik's mother came with a few boxes in her hands. I was handed a beautiful red color sari to change into. They made me sit before a vanity mirror and started working on my skin. His mother experimented on my skin like I was a Barbie and she was a kid to do makeup and hair. I've been in the same position for hours, stiff like a statue, not complaining about anything because I know they would do what they think is good. I don't have to strain my vocal system to complain about a losing battle.

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