Book Promotion | Sample Chapter | Once Upon a Crush | Chapter 2

 

Chapter 2 – Dealing with a Scandal

 

3rd July 2018

He’s only twenty-two but look at the ruckus he has caused.

Ayesha Khan tried to commit suicide, leaving a note that blamed Ubaid. Ahmad and Saira Sayyed were as devastated as could be. Thankfully, the suicide attempt had failed, and Ayesha’s life was saved.

Her father Mr Khan was affiliated with a strong political party, and he has used his resources to shut the suicide case.

It was time to deal with the situation more politically and logically. Mr Ahmad came home that night furious and frantic, worrying Saira.

“What’s the matter?”  Saira asked. “You look worried.”

“If you hear it, you would be worried, too.” Ahmad sighed. Something in his tone was worrying, even for Ubaid who was watching the game.

“What happened, dad?” Ubaid asked.

Ahmad snorted and glared at his son. “Ayesha’s father came to the shop to talk about your marriage with Ayesha.”

“No way!” Ubaid screamed.

“He said they know about your affair and they have spent a good fortune to stop the police lest it becomes a police case. You must marry her lest her family creates a scene or files a complaint with the police.”

“I have never promised to marry her,” Ubaid said exasperatedly.

“Who would believe you?” Ahmad lost her temper and yelled.

“You must believe me,” Ubaid insisted. “Who do you trust more – your only son or some stranger?”

“If some stranger is threatening to give you to police, I have no option. Do I?” Ahmad confessed resignedly.

“Abbu!”

“I’ve said already. My hands are tied.”

“Mine is not!” Ubaid vowed. “I will fix her once and forever.”

He spoke to Ayesha. Despite his charming and demure looks, he was a resourceful man. He not only knew of Ayesha’s previous affairs but also had proof that she had been with other men before.

“I will keep these with me if you tell your parents that you don’t want to marry me.”

“Ubaid help me. I’m pregnant and I must marry someone before my family finds out.” Ayesha spilt the beans. Thankfully for Ubaid, he was recording the conversation.

“I can’t help you. You talk to your parents or I meet them with these photos. What’s your choice?”

Reluctantly, Ayesha nodded. “Fine, I will talk to them.”

***

Next day, Ahmad was relieved that the marriage is called off.

“But we cannot take a risk. We should marry him off as soon as possible,” Saira suggested. “I think my niece will be a good choice.”

“I will marry a girl of my choice, just like you did,” Ubaid said.

Saira and Ahmad exchanged a look. They had revolted against the society for an inter-caste love marriage. Ahmad was from Sayyed cast, Saira was not. A Sayyed boy marrying non-Sayyed girl had caused quite a fervour. Saira was an Ahmad wasn’t the potbellied businessman that one associated with hardware stores. He was fit and fine, jolly and generous. Saira had put on weight but was still the reigning beauty.

“Do you have a girl in mind, Ubaid?” Ahmad asked.

“No, Abbu. I have just finished my MBA. I have plans to build a career of my choice. Why would I want to settle down at the age of twenty-two?”

“Because we want you to.”

“Do you want another incident like this?”

“Ammi, you’re being unreasonable,” Ubaid said exasperatedly.

“Be that as it may!”

“I’m going to Nasir’s house for some time.”

***

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