Fatima is the heiress of one of the biggest electronics firms of the country. She met Zaviyar at a business party. But she had lost her heart to him two years ago.
A tale of love in young age. A tale where Fatima transforms herself from a spoilt brat to a lafy of steel nerves.
A tale of sweet and cute couple in love.
This is the second book in ‘Happily Ever After’ series.
This series consists of unrelated cute love stories and novellas that can be read standalone. This is for all the helplessly romantic souls who don’t mind reading about how love can be found in most unexpected circumstances.
Of course, these aren’t just a mushy love stories. These characters also have a bit of my cynic self.
The length of these novellas are generally around 20K words mark, and it makes for a quick one hour read.
When I entered the room, I saw her sitting in his father’s chair. Mr Kasim placed documents before her, one after the other. She signed all the documents blindly, without even bothering to look at the content.
“We could just as easily have her sign the papers to transfer her father’s business to us.”
I mumbled to Ali and he struggled to suppress his smile. After ten minutes, all the documents were signed. She looked up at Mr Kasim.
“Is that all? Can I go home now?”
Her face showed an irritated expression. She was every bit of the spoilt brat I had remembered from the first time I met her. She had lost some weight but was still on the chubbier side. She was, as my mother would term it, ‘still carrying the baby fat’. She was still the princess that she was. She got tired, by signing the documents.
“We have plenty of meetings through the day. It will be better if you attend those. It will give you some idea about the current situations we are dealing with and help you understand the business.”
I interrupted and she looked up at me for the first time. When she spoke, her tone had softened.
“Oh, it’s you.”
She remembered me. I had not expected that. It would have been better if she had not remembered anything. I recalled how our previous meeting had ended.
I met her at the business party. Business parties are not my thing, but I had no option of skipping it as I was the host. Well, part of the hosting team. The party was thrown by my boss, Mr Ziya, the mastermind behind ZMobile. Being the general manager of the manufacturing department, it was inevitable for me to attend. Mr Ziya was busy with an elite group of industrialists and I was mingling with my contemporaries.
To be honest, it could hardly be called mingling. Contrary to the popular trend, I did not consider business parties as a means of making contacts and socializing with the hotshots of the business world. The three of us – Ali, I and Abbas were talking in a relatively quiet corner. We were in the top five of our BBA batch. Ali and I had joined ZMobile two years ago. Abbas was with a steel firm. Ali was working in the marketing department and I was part of the manufacturing team. These business parties gave us a chance to hang out. Instead of socializing with other big shots and building contacts, we preferred to make our own little group and catch-up. We were chatting, discussing our current positions and planning about the future. I also kept an eye toward Mr Ziya. If he needed me, I would be at his service within a moment.
Just then, I noticed a slightly plump girl walking towards Mr Ziya. She was dressed in torn jeans and an oversized black shirt. She interrupted their discussion without bothering to excuse.
“Daddy, I’m bored. I want to go home.”
Ali followed my gaze, looked at the object of my interest and informed, “That’s the heiress, Fatima Ziya.”
I took a closer look at her. My boss’s daughter Fatima Ziya was popularly referred to as ‘deadly spoilt brat’. From the looks, she looked like a simple, harmless and casual young woman. She had a fair complexion. Her dark brown hair was neatly tied in a pigtail. Really neatly. There was not even one loose strand. That surprised me, as the latest trend among girls was to have a haircut that gives them a chance to flick hair off their face again and again. At five feet four, she had a pleasant personality. She would qualify for ‘pretty’ if she lost a little weight, and wore better clothes. I hated the new generation’s fashion sense of torn jeans. I liked to dress for the occasion. Fatima Ziya obviously had a different style.
“Sweetie, the party has just started and guests are still coming. I can’t leave. Why don’t you look around? I am sure you will find someone to give you company.”
Mr Ziya lovingly said. His guests were looking at her with interest. She didn’t bat an eyelid before demanding.
“I know. You can attend to your guests. I can’t stay here another moment. Ask someone to drop me. Where is the driver?”
“The driver… Hameed isn’t here. He’s off to pick somebody.”
“That is not my problem, dad.”
She was insistent. One of the guests, Abbas’s boss, chimed in and offered. “I can ask my driver. He will drop you wherever you want to go.”
“I am not going with your driver.” She refused sternly. Mr Tahir gave a nervous laugh. She really was a brat. It was time for me to interrupt and save them from further embarrassment.
“I will go and rescue our bosses,” I told my friends and strode towards Mr Ziya.
“Umm. Excuse me, sir. If you don’t mind, I can drop her. I think Ali also brought his car.” I offered.
Mr Tahir smiled at me. “Hello, Zaviyar. It has been a long time. Where have you been these days?”
I extended my arm for a handshake. “Hello, sir. How are you?”
Mr Tahir knew one of our professors. We had met him during our final year of college. After finishing the masters, Mr Tahir wanted me to join his firm but I was more interested in doing something in the electronics business. He occasionally teased me about it. He was a nice person, very friendly and helping. Owing to his helping nature, he had offered to drop Fatima – an offer she impolitely refused. I turned towards Mr Ziya. He seemed relaxed by my offer and his daughter… She was staring at me with narrowed eyes. Whether she was contemplating to accept my offer or was thinking of insults to throw at me; it was difficult to tell from her expression. And then she spoke.
“I am seeing you for the first time. You seem new here. Are you trying to get brownie points with the boss?” She turned to me. “I will tell you an easy way. Impress me if you want to impress my father.” She snapped.
I was trying to save others from an embarrassing situation, and the humiliation was targeted on me. I was not going to swallow it so easily. I wasn’t feeling any fatherly affection for her, like the other two gentlemen standing there. I responded with an equally rude tone. “That’s uncalled for, whatever the hell that meant.”
“I am telling you what everybody seems to be doing these days. To lure the father, lure the daughter.” She lifted her shoulders nonchalantly.
I was shocked at her choice of words, her arrogant demeanour and her harsh tone. I tried to calm myself but a retort came out of my mouth before I knew it. “I was trying to help my boss from this situation. I was trying to save Mr Ziya and Mr Tahir from this embarrassment that your reckless ways are causing them. But you wouldn’t understand because you can’t think of others. Can you? What sort of language are you using? You might be getting treated unfairly because of the empire that you would inherit, but it is not fair to generalize all the same. This is not that way to talk to people; especially the person you are meeting for the first time; somebody who’s offering to help. I regret my decision. I retract my offer. You should have to stay in the party and get bored to death. What have I got to lose? Why did I have to intervene?”
I never spoke loudly. I was still speaking in a soft tone but I knew my words were harsh. She turned crimson with embarrassment and her big eyes were full of tears instantly. I started to leave.
“Behave yourself, Fatima! Zaviyar will drop you. You can go with him. Thanks, Zaviyar!”
Mr Ziya whispered.
“Okay. Get your car,” she said. To our collective surprise, she had agreed. Damn it. After this bitter conversation, I would have to drive her to her place. It was going to be a tough ride. The only saving grace was that Ali would be with me.
“Please wait outside,” I said politely and padded towards my table where my friends were waiting.
Ali and Abbas were eyeing the commotion with interest. They may not have heard a thing, but surely sensed the tension. I smiled at them and signalled that all is well.
“We will have to leave now, buddy. The princess needs a ride home. Abbas, catch you later.”
Abbas nodded his understanding. We shook hands. Ali and I walked toward the parking lot. He pulled out the keys from his jacket. I snatched the keys from Ali before he could react. “I am going to drive and you entertain her,” I told him.
“What’s the big deal?” Ali was surprised.
“The big deal is that you told me people call her spoiled princess. If that wasn’t enough, I have just experienced it first-hand. I almost had a fight with her a few minutes ago. Didn’t you notice? I’m not going to pretend to be courteous to her. You start with a clean slate. You are meeting her for the first time. You can talk to her.”
Ali got nervous. Who wants to talk to a person with every chance of humiliation coming your way? I unlocked the car and slid into the driver’s seat. Ali reluctantly opened the passenger seat and said in a voice full of hope. “Maybe we wouldn’t need to talk. She’ll perhaps be busy with her iPhone.”
“How do you know she has an iPhone?” I asked suspiciously.
“I am only guessing.”
“Let’s hope for the best.”
I offered him hope. I reversed the car and drove to the front of the banquet hall. She was waiting there impatiently. Ali rolled down the glasses and gestured to her. She stomped to the car and plopped herself on the back seat, more like thrown herself in. The car shook slightly. Apart from being overweight, she was probably manifesting her anger and her physical anxiety on the car. I pressed the accelerator and drove quietly for a few minutes.
Ali broke the awkward silence. “I am Ali. I work with your father.”
She uttered those two words and went back to her phone. Ali and I exchanged the ‘I told you’ look and smiled to ourselves. I couldn’t see if it was the iPhone, but was glad that she was busy. We had nothing to worry about. But the next moment proved us wrong.
“I think I know you guys. Were you visiting DU a few months back?”
I quickly looked at her through the rearview mirror, threw one glance at Ali and continued to drive.
“Did you graduate from Delhi University?” asked Ali.
“Yes. Don’t skip the question. Did you guys visit DU during summer?”
“As a matter of fact, we were there. Why do you ask?”
Ali has perfected that question with a British accent, just for fun. He unknowingly did the accent. I smiled to myself. I was thoroughly enjoying the situation. Fatima on the attack, Ali for the defence and I happily carried out the responsibility of a chauffeur – driving without interfering.
“I saw you guys there. I think you were meeting somebody. I instantly liked Zaviyar. Very handsome and charming!”
“Ahnn. I can see Zaviyar made an impression on you. You remember a lot about him. Did you notice anybody else?” Ali was quite talkative and he had just gotten an opportunity.
“Of course, you were there as well. You sported a different hairstyle back then if I remember correctly. And this corporate look is much different from the ‘fresh out of college’ look. You guys look remarkably different now.”
“You have an impressive memory, miss Fatima.” Ali complimented. I couldn’t agree more. We had gone to DU about a year ago, to meet some friends. She had seen us from some corner and she recalled quite a lot.
“When you remember so much about us, why did you do the drama at the party? Oh… You seem new here.” I said mimicking her.
“What’s your deal, Zaviyar? Do you like to play the angry young man?” She addressed me. She had conveniently ignored my question.
“That’s no way to talk to strangers,” I spoke through clenched teeth. That mannerless brat.
“Don’t be my grandpa.” she dismissed me.
“Yes. Zaviyar. Don’t be a jerk.” Ali agreed wholeheartedly.
The situation was reversed. It was Ali’s turn to enjoy. He just casually changed his loyalties. He literally crossed his arms around his chest; all set for enjoying what was to come. I feared if I said a word her ramblings would continue endlessly. But my precaution did no good. She continued.
“When I saw you guys, I actually wanted to come by and say ‘hello’ but I had to rush. Sundus was calling me again and again. I had promised to meet her at the mall. So I couldn’t talk to you. Do you know Sundus? She is my best friend. We are childhood friends, since our pre-school days. She …”
She went on rambling and I thanked my stars. Her focus was not on me anymore. She had a small attention span. It was the best thing I could ask for.
That’s 10% of the book. You can buy the book here. And, read the Urdu Edition here.