Sunday, 17 December 2017

Arsh one shot : Runway Bride

"Woohoooooo!" She stood up in the passenger seat of the convertible and screamed at the top of her lungs. "I'm finally free!"

The open air felt amazing as it brushed against her smooth face.  She reached to the back seat and grabbed a brand new bottle of the finest whiskey. The cork was blown off by her delicate fingers and shot into the air. She gulped down some of it and then handed it over to the man driving. "Woooo!"
Her happiness knew no bounds. She pulled away the numerous pins that had constrained her hair into a tight bun and let the loose curls cover her bare shoulders. The lacey, white veil that was attached slightly above the bun was taken away and thrown straight up into the air. Adjusting her huge, ballroom style wedding gown she seated herself onto the headrest of the passenger seat, enjoying the cool breeze that caressed her face and then her locks of curled hair.

Her laughter rang through his ears making him all the more thrilled. He took another gulp of the whiskey before handing the bottle back to her and continuing to speed down the open, single-lane highway. He felt her hand grasp his chin and turn it toward her. With his eyes still on the road, he felt her lips upon his and her hands placed on each of his cheeks. She pulled away and threw her hands into the air, "I love you Armaan Mallik!" Armaan ran his free hand through his hair with the widest grin anyone could possibly ever have. He couldn't believe that the beauty in white next to him had just run away from her wedding.

"You will never be happy with this." She turned to see Armaan leaning on the doorframe with his arms crossed. She stood up from the stool she was told to remain seated on. Her hands fisted onto the beaded dress as she lifted it to walk over to him. "Happy with what?"

She saw his hand point and move up and down the length of her body. "This. The whole married life you're going to have with that loaded deadbeat down the hall." Her eyes became smaller as anger began to take hold of her. "Don't be mad at me. You know very well why you're doing all this." Her head dropped hearing him. She knew she wouldn't be happy. In fact, she would be the complete opposite of happy.

"But I have to." Her gentle voice resonated. "My parents want me to." She continued, still not able to look up at him. She suddenly felt two hands clutch onto her upper arms. "Your parents don't care about you, Shilpa. When will you understand that? They're sending you away with that guy because he's filthy rich. All they care about is the money, damn it!" He watched her shut her eyes as his voice tone changed from one of calmness to vehemence. Getting no response from her he let go of her slightly pushing her back. "Fine, do what you want. But remember this, you will regret it. The whole thing. You will never get over it." He stepped back a few steps before fully turning around and retreating from the room.

She stood there still watching the door even after he had left the room. Her eyes were moist but no tears fell. She slowly paced back over to the stool and fell down onto it. Her thoughts were in a whirlwind that wasn't going to rest anytime soon. Armaan's words rang through her ears every time she reasoned that it would make her parents happy. She had to figure out what she needed to do. And soon.
An hour later the place was filled; every seat was occupied by the wealthiest people in the country. The music began to play and the door at one end of the aisle flew open to reveal Shilpa and her father. Her father forwarded his arm and she placed her hand through it. The lace of the veil covered her beautiful features from the world. Only the pink lips were to be seen by the crowd until she reached the altar. Her gaze was at the end of the aisle. There stood her to-be husband with his hands joined, smiling at her. Siddhanth Modi. Her gaze drifted to the other side of him though. There stood Armaan. The best man of her soon-to-be husband. His face was blank; silently watching her move down the flower petal covered aisle and toward the altar.

She saw the steps of the altar in front of her. She felt her father move forward and put her hand into Sid's hand. She lifted the gown with her free hand and stepped up face him with her head still lowered. He lifted the white covering in front of her face and placed it onto the top of her head. Shilpa slowly brought her eyes up to see him smiling. She looked over his shoulder and saw Armaan still watching her with those blank eyes. She had to make her decision now. If she didn't, it would be too late. She had to pick: my parent's happiness or hers?

She heard the priest beginning the opening ceremony. Shilpa deliberately began to move her hand out of Sid's and slowly backed away from him. The priest's voice drifted away and Sid looked at the bride with questioning eyes. Shilpa heard the gasps and murmurs of the crowd behind her. Her eyes just shifted to Armaan, who still stood there silently. It was too late to turn back now. She had already made her decision. Without any second thoughts, she walked up to Armaan with her eyes locked with his. She slowly coupled her hand with his and pulled him behind her as she ran back down the aisle and through the door carrying the large gown bunched up in her hand.

Armaan's emotionless face slowly showed happiness as his lips curved into a smile as she ran through the doors and down the short hallway. The exited the building with her gasping for air. The weight of her heavy dress along with the jewelry wore her down quicker than usual. She stood there at the entrance shocked. "What did I just do?" She questioned unbelievably.

"You chose your happiness, sweetheart." Armaan cheekily answered. It was now his turn to pull her away. He ran toward his convertible BMW M3 and pulled out his keys. He unlocked it and opened the door for Shilpa. He turned to her and saw her lips slightly curled up. "Shilpa, get in!" He watched as her 32 pearly white teeth beamed expressing her happiness. "I'm free Armaan!" She squealed as she jumped into the seat and clapped her hands in excitement. Armaan jogged around and got into the driver side. As he started the car and began to back up he saw an enthusiastic Shilpa jumping in her seat. Armaan drove down the streets and finally turned onto the highway. He pushed a button and the roof to the car retracted back letting the gusts of wind into the car.


            Armaan pulled over at a worn down gas station to fill up his tank. He took out the keys and jumped out from the side of the car. Shilpa sat in her seat drinking the last of the whiskey that was meant for her reception. She couldn't believe that she had done what she did. She left behind everyone. She couldn't return back to them now.

            "What are you thinking about?" Armaan asked after he saw her curled up in her seat with a lost expression. "Armaan! I freaking just left everything behind!" Armaan laughed as he heard her. "And the freak out session begins." She sprung up on the seat resting on her knees. She saw Armaan pumping the gas into his car laughing. "Armaan, where are we going?" He put the pump back and then put the lid onto the tank. He dusted off his hands and walked up to the passenger side of the car. He placed his hand on the back of her head and drew it toward him capturing her lips with his in a gentle, but passionate kiss. Shilpa pushed him away still wanting to know the answer to her question. "Seriously! Where are we going?"

Armaan stood up straight and placed his hands on the sides of his waist. "Home." Her emerald eyes widened. "We're going back?" She watched Armaan smile and nod to her as he walked around to the driver's side and got in. "But... but I can't go back! Can you imagine the things going through everyone's head? Think about tomorrow's headlines! 'Bride Runs Away with Best Man' and 'Siddhanth Left at Altar!' and who knows what else they will come up with!" Armaan laughed and started the car. "You're going to have to face them eventually, but how about we enjoy for now?" He steered back onto the highway. "I guess you're right." The smile that had left her face returned as quickly as Armaan picked up speed on the road. She turned around and pulled out another bottle of whiskey. "Another round?" Armaan looked at her holding up another bottle and chuckled. "Bring it on."

She flicked the cork off and chugged down some of it and then passed the bottle to Armaan. He put the opening of the bottle to his mouth and gulped down the liquid flowing into his mouth. Shilpa leaned over to Armaan moved the bottle away from his mouth and gave him another kiss as a means of distraction to snatch the bottle away from him. She backed herself into her seat and continued to guzzle down the whiskey as the sound of her laughter along with Armaan's filled the open atmosphere around them.


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