Link to the previous part: Chapter 3
Naira skipped through her garden steps with innocence and ecstasy. She couldn’t wait to tell her parents about her day at school. She hurried through the stairs to tell her mom that Naina and Neil were in the park, waiting for her.
A shiver went through her spine as she saw trails of blood in the front door. She ran swiftly towards the living room to see pools of blood near her dead mother while her father gasped for air. A deep fear rose in the pit of her stomach as she fell on her knees which couldn’t carry any more of the weight.
Upon seeing her, he stuttered with desperation, “Leave, Niara, leave.”
He gave her a tight smile as his head fell onto the ground beside her mother, who showed no sign of movement. Niara gasped with her eyes drowning in horror as she saw her parents lay lifelessly on the ground. She sucked in a breath before breaking into a sprint to alert Neil and Naina.
Relax. Just Relax.
She alerted herself as she splashed water on her face, cooling her down from the deadly memories haunting her since years. She gulped hard, calming down her racing heart as she traced the stains of her parent’s blood. She came here whenever she was confused or restless, she found solace and guidance in this abandoned house. Once the fog in her brain started to clear, she examined her surroundings, the paint on the walls was fading away, spiders webs occupied the corners while murder lingered in the air.
She gave him the answer. She said a YES. She couldn’t get herself to believe the fact that she was going to marry the person whose existence she hated within the next 20 hours. Hatred was an understatement regarding her feelings towards the tyrant, how was she going to live under the same roof as him?
Her gaze strolled towards the clock which read 2 o’clock, throwing her off guard. Crap, Neil would be back by now and she completely forgot to inform him about the news. She rushed out of the house and pulled her car off the driveway, driving insanely to the other end of the city.
Naira thrusted towards the couch where she saw Neil seated with a grim look on his face, raising an eyebrow at her and gazing at her intensely with displeasure.
“With your anger, millions of death glares and stern face, I am assuming you heard the news,” Naira sheepishly said as she paused for a breath.
Neil curtly nodded and said agitated, “You already gave your consent so there is basically nothing I can do about this.”
“Neil,” Naira pleaded, “He gave me the offer in the morning, I thought about this for a very long time and I think I made the right decision.”
Neil was the idea overprotective big brother and there was absolutely no doubt that he was pissed at her sudden declaration about her marriage without his consent. It was true that Naira was mostly emotionless but the opinions of her siblings mattered the world to her.
“By staying in the same room as the man you are trying to escape? Very wise of you Naira,” Neil commented sarcastically while Naira bit her lower lip to halt herself from passing out a rude remark.
“Come on, you are making it sound like I am going through a death trap,” she snickered in the same, deep sarcastic voice, sagging back in the couch knowing that this conversation was going to take a while.
“Sounds like one to me,” he deadpanned back sourly. A bitter tension swirled in the atmosphere as both of the Shah siblings stuck to their respective points.
Naira sighed inwardly as she saw Neil’s poker face before her and explained it, trying to be as patient as possible, “We both know that he would marry me either way. If I didn’t agree to this, then he will most likely drag me there or take off my position. He is the tyrant, he will do anything to get what he wants. And currently that ‘want’ is me and I know he will not rest until he finds out every single detail about me and get me, either by hook or crook. Wouldn’t it be better that I agree to this and come up with a new plan before he finds out about my motives and tortures me for the rest of my life? I mean I do want freedom but from this country not the entire world.”
“I suppose you are right but I still am not happy with your decision,” Neil finally gave in, after a fierce staring competition between the siblings, while Naira sighed with relief.
“Neither am I,” Naira agreed with a tight smile covering her face as she fiddled with her fingers aimlessly.
“Let’s get started with the planning then,” Neil declared exuberantly while Naira gawked at him with perplexity at his mood swings.
She watched with interest as Neil walked towards the drawer under the TV stand and pulled open a huge, shabby book out.
“Don’t tell me we are actually going to go through all that,” Naira warned him with her eyes widening at the big book.
Her parents had written the book before their death, with questions for each occasion to guide them in life. In a letter which was given to Neil in their funeral read that he should always read through that book in every single important in life as it will always have some sort of an idea or tip for them to use. Naira found that extremely odd as the book contained every single incident in a person’s life from graduation to grandchildren but it seemed as if they knew that they were going to die which is why they wrote so many letters and such a big book for them.
The fact that she still doesn’t know her parents murders bites Naira every single day, she attempted to reopen the case when she was 18 but it was way too old for the court to look back. That left her with no choice but to let go of the matter as she was the sole eye witness of the case and as it occurred almost 11 years ago, they stated that she might be hallucinating as the case neither any backup evidence nor any supports.
“I need to prepare for Naina, so you can be my test subject,” Neil snapped her out of her dreaded thoughts and grinned back at her.
She groaned but nodded her head either way, clamping herself on the seat while Neil dusted the book off. Naira hated answering questions, she was a rebel from childhood, she did everything as per her choice which is why she hated to give reasons to her choices.
Neil cleared his throat dramatically before commencing the questionnaire, “So Naira, are you entirely sure about this decision?”
“I guess so, considering that I have no other choice besides agreeing,” Naira answered with lassitude.
“What do you know about your future spouse that you think will keep you happy?” Neil continued in a professional and courteous manner.
“I can’t answer that!” Naira exclaimed at the irrelevancy and the depth of the questions. The questions were meant for people who were in love and people like her who were forced into this whole idea of marriage.
“Naira, you already crushed my dreams of getting you married to the guy who makes you cry, the least you could do is answer my questions,” Neil hissed at her whimsically.
“Who makes me cry?” Naira shrieked for a proper explanation.
“Everyone knows that you are the heartless queen, you didn’t even cry after the death of our parents, so I decided to get you married to the guy who could evoke those feelings in you,” Neil unlocked his thoughts disdainfully at the topic.
“Well, glad that is out of the way as there is no man born to do such an impossible task,” Naira stated with her chest swelling in pride.
“What do you know about your future spouse that you think will keep you happy?” Neil pressed on the previous question, completely ignoring her words and arrogance.
“I know that he has control over the entire country which means I can get access to all the places in the palace that I couldn’t before,” Naira responded in a monotous voice with the first thing that came to her mind.
“So, his control will keep you happy?” Neil repeated her words, making sure he understood what she was thinking.
“Yes! After all in his control lies my freedom,” Naira said in a harsh, tough voice with a smirk penetrating her face.
“Ignoring the fact that something crazy is floating in your brain, marriage is a big commitment with more responsibilities, relations and expectations, are you ready for all of this?” Neil asked her in a more serious and persistent tone.
“Sure,” Naira replied casually with a shrug, not caring about any of the relations, expectations or commitments.
“Now, it asks me to explain you the responsibilities associated with this commitment but noticing your face that is ready to fall asleep any minute, I am going to skip all that part,” Neil grinned sheepishly and tossed the book back into the drawer.
Naira smirked at her brother as she stretched her muscles around when he declared profusely, “But, I have one condition.”
Ansh signed the last agreement papers for the new necklace he was supposed to gift to the Heartless Queen. He was going to hide the grm in her necklace which meant that the trade officers wouldn’t bother coming into the room with a new bride. He smirked at his sly moves while he heard his phone fall down due to the intense vibrations. He scowled fiercely and opened the group chat.
Tara: I need to get my dress for the wedding. Help me!
Tanya: You know that I am right across the hall -_-
Tara: But I have a crisis here.
Rey: You both should create your own private chat and not invade our work.
Tara: Shut up! Don’t you get it? I’m the leader’s SISTER and I don’t have a dress.
Tanya: Rey, go away. You won’t understand, after all you guys wear black uniform all day.
Rey: Adi, where the hell are you? Help me deal with these devils.
Adi: What’s up bro?
Rey: They think that we were black uniforms all day.
Adi: Hey, that’s not true. We wear grey and navy blue too.
Rey: Not helping you know -_-
Adi: My dear sisters, we cannot do anything about the dress code. Contact Ansh Nirag for a change.
Divit: You both were supposed to be finishing the decorations.
Rey: Tara, please leave.
Tara: As if! This conversation just got interesting.
Tanya: You are still not finished decorating?!
Rey: Jealous that we are having all the fun?
Tanya: Please, you are jealous that I get to taste all the food in my room while you do manual labor.
Divit: I thought we passed the stage of jealousy.
Adi: We did but seems like we left Tanya behind.
Tanya: What? You idiots, Rey started the whole jealousy chapter and this is discrimination.
Tara: Yeah, not fair that this group has only 2 girls and 4 boys.
Rey: Forget that, I was thinking to add a programmed splash gun in the wedding cake.
Before he could realize what he was doing, his fingers roamed on the keyboard typing away a death threat.
Ansh: Don’t you dare do that or else I am going to wring your neck right this instant.
Divit: Why would you even say that when you know that he’ll read the message?
Rey: To get Mr. I-don’t-care-about-my-wedding-preparations to participate
Tara: BRO, I HATE YOU
Ansh sighed at the lunatics he was dealing with.
Ansh: Tara, I didn’t pick a dress for you as I know that you HATE my choice.
Tara: Forget about my dress.
Rey: Finally you understand.
Tara: Screw you! Bro, how come you never told me about your wedding?
Tara: I AM SO GOING TO PUNISH YOU.
Ansh: Tara, not now.
Tara: YES NOW or else I am going to talk to you.
Ansh sighed with defeat. Tara was the kind of a person who rubs in your face that she is angry and does everything in her control to embarrass you infront of people. With the entire Nirag coming for the wedding and the trade officers entering the city, he couldn’t risk her tantrums and crazy plans.
Ansh: Anything that doesn’t embarrass me.
Tara: You are going to participate in the wedding and we are going to add the Heartless Queen to the chat.
Ansh: What? No!
Divit: For which one?
Ansh: For adding her to the group.
Tanya: That’s part of your punishment.
Rey: Don’t worry, I’ll be your knight in shining armour and defend your respect.
Ansh groaned loudly as he threw his phone on the bed while Rey continued to defend him. That Heartless Queen was already destroying his life. Something about all this told him that he was in for a long ride.
“What is it?” Niara titled her head and asked curiously while Neil mirroring her smirk.
“I am going to send a bodyguard with you.”
Naira glared at him for a long minute before bursting out chuckling at the lame joke, “Nice joke.”
She calmed down when she didn’t hear neil joining her, “Wait, you are not laughing. Are you serious about this?”
Naira narrowed her gaze, a crease forming on her eyebrows as she examined her brother who still had the poker face on his face which made her snap,“What? The entire Nirag is afraid of the Heartless Queen and you are telling me that I need a bodyguard. Very funny.”
“This is not for your safety, this is just to keep me updated and sure that you are not upto to trouble or something stupid in the palace. As in, it is to poke some sense in your brain when needed as I won’t be there,” Neil innocently said with his hand crossed over his chest.
“Then get a teacher or something, why a bodyguard?” Naira argued in a firm, merciless tone.
“2 in 1, more profit.”
“Whatever.” Naira brushed off his words, as if she was going to let a bodyguard follow her around.
“You are getting married? I thought you would be the last one of us to get married but you sly girl, you ended up being the first! Did he propose you after I left? You said yes right? I am so happy for you,” they heard a loud squeal with Naina’s appearance and her nonstop talks.
“Naina, chill,” Neil calmed her down as he saw his sister drown in the world of excitement, to the extent that she lost her breath.
“Finally, now you can discard your thoughts about escaping from this perfect society,” Naina said with a dreamy haze.
“Not yet and possibly never. If I met with a dead end, doesn’t mean that I am not going to turn around and go in a detour. I am going to keep riding until I reach my destination and nobody, not even the tyrant will be able to stop me from escaping the country,” Naira countered in a determined voice as an idea was born in her brain, slowly transforming into a vicious plan.
She heard the clouds clatter outside, merge together before pouring down rapidly. She gazed at them worriedly, it seemed as if they were alerting the entire Nirag about their union.
I am not getting much response here so I am going to discontinue this story. For people extremely interested in the story, the story is available on WATTPAD. Just search the name up and you should be able to see the story and wattpad is a free site for reading stories too.
I might change the decision only if I receive more support or do check the story on wattpad.