Scandalous Ever After | Episode 1


When rivals are forced into an arranged marriage…

Sanam Sajid and Zahid Ahmad were classmates in their final year of college. Zahid was the topper, while Sanam was not even on the radar until the seventh semester.

And then, one class test put her on the map. And that led to a rivalry between the top two students. That was just the beginning of a cold war between Sanam and Zahid.

Zahid would occasionally take a jab at Sanam, but Sanam never responded. Little did they know that one casual bickering about who’s the best would end up in a forced marriage.

This is a sweet and clean romantic short story.


Sanam Sajid

The sweet no non-sense heroine

Zahid Ahmad

The slightly brat hero

Zubaida Ahmad

Zahid’s mother, an entrepreneur


Sanam’s father


Sanam’s mother


Zahid’s friend

Chapter 1 – The Subtle Rivalry


Sanam entered the class, ignored everyone else and walked straight to her seat—the seat that she had chosen on the first day of her final year. She had never sat anywhere else, and nobody ever tried to take her seat.

Sanam was a tall, lean girl with beautiful big brown eyes and a kind, gentle face. She had long, dark hair that she usually kept covered with a hijab, in accordance with her religious beliefs. She was a devout Muslim, and she took her faith very seriously.

Despite her religious beliefs, Sanam was not shy or reserved. She was confident and outgoing, and she loved engaging with people from all walks of life. She was always eager to learn and discover new things, and she had a curious and open-minded approach to the world around her.

Sanam was known for her modest and conservative dress sense. She preferred to dress in long, flowing dresses and skirts that covered her body from head to toe. She believed that it was important to respect her own modesty and the modesty of others, and she always tried to present herself in a way that reflected her values and beliefs.

Despite her modest appearance, Sanam was a beautiful and attractive girl. She had a natural charm and grace that drew people to her, and she was known for her warm and welcoming personality. She had a lot of friends, and she was always eager to make new connections and learn from others. Sanam was a wonderful and inspiring person, full of kindness, compassion, and intelligence. She was a true role model for others, and she was admired and respected by everyone who knew her.

Except for Zahid and Shehla.

Shehla and Zahid entered the classroom together. Shehla walked to the second bench in the girls’ aisle while Zahid took the first bench in the middle aisle as usual. Shehla could not tear her eyes away from Zahid’s handsome face.

Zahid was a tall, lean, and handsome guy, with unruly thick hair that always seemed to defy any attempts to tame it. Despite his dishevelled appearance, he had a charismatic smile and an air of confidence that drew people to him.

He was known for his impeccable dressing sense, always impeccably dressed in the latest fashions and trends. Whether he was wearing a tailored shirt or a t-shirt with a casual pair of jeans, he always managed to look sharp and put together.

Zahid was famous for his good looks and charm, but he was more than just a pretty face. He was intelligent and driven, with a strong work ethic and a desire to succeed. He was always striving to be the best at whatever he did, and his hard work and determination had paid off in spades.

Whether he was studying for a class or working on a project, Zahid was always focused and dedicated, putting in the time and effort to ensure that he was always at the top of his game. He was respected and admired by his peers, and he had a bright future ahead of him. Zahid was a dynamic and charismatic person, with a winning combination of intelligence, charm, and good looks. He was a true force to be reckoned with, and he always managed to stand out in any crowd. And, he topped every subject for the six semesters of the Computer Science class of 2021.

Except for Database Concepts, the one subject that he failed to ace and conceded to Sanam.


Sanam and Zahid had been classmates since the first year of college, but they had never really interacted much beyond a look of recognition when they passed each other in the corridor. Zahid was the topper of the class, always at the top of the grades, while Sanam was barely on the radar. She was a quiet and studious girl, but she never seemed to stand out in any particular way. She was always in the middle order—the place where she was forgettable.

That all changed in the final year of college, the first sessional tests in the seventh semester proved to be the game-changer for Sanam and Zahid, both. They had enrolled in the same Database Concepts course. It was a tough class, with a reputation for weeding out the weaker students, and both Sanam and Zahid knew they had their work cut out for them. Professor Deshpande was a tough nut to crack, and he was very strict.

The first few weeks of the class went by in a blur of lectures and homework assignments, and Sanam found herself struggling to keep up with the pace. She was used to working hard, but this class was on another level entirely. She spent long hours poring over her textbooks and trying to understand the complex concepts, but no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t seem to get a handle on the material.

Zahid, on the other hand, seemed to be cruising through the class with ease. He always had the right answers and seemed to understand the material intuitively. Sanam couldn’t help but feel a twinge of envy as she watched him breeze through the assignments, wondering how he managed to make it all look so easy.

Despite her struggles, Sanam refused to give up. She knew that this was her last chance to make a good impression in college, and she was determined to do whatever it took to succeed. She spent long hours studying and practising problems, and slowly but surely, she began to make progress.

It all came to a head one day when they had a surprise class test. Sanam had spent the previous night cramming, and she was exhausted and anxious as she sat down to take the exam. She looked around the room and saw that most of her classmates were just as nervous as she was, but Zahid seemed calm and collected as always.

As she began to work on the problems, Sanam found herself getting into a rhythm. She had studied the material carefully, and she was starting to feel more confident about her chances. She worked quickly and accurately, focusing all of her attention on the task at hand.

When the time was up, Sanam handed in her exam and walked out of the classroom, feeling a sense of accomplishment wash over her. She had done her best, and now it was just a matter of waiting to see how she had done.

Two days later, the marks were posted and Sanam couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw a full score at the top of the list. She had scored full marks on the exam, beating everyone else in the class, including Zahid.

Sanam was in shock as she walked over to the notice board and saw her name at the top of the list. She couldn’t believe that she had managed to beat everyone else, including Zahid. She had always known that she was a good student, but she had never imagined that she could be at the top of the class.

As she stood there, staring at her name in disbelief, she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned around and saw Professor Deshpande standing there, a smile on his face.

“Congratulations, Sanam,” he said, his voice sincere. “You really deserve this. You worked hard and it paid off.”

Sanam felt a lump form in her throat as she looked at Professor Deshpande. She had always admired him and his intelligence, and she had never imagined that she would be able to score full marks in his subject on a class test.

“Thank you, Sir,” she said, her voice filled with emotion. “I couldn’t have done it without your help. You really helped me understand the material and made me believe in myself. I can’t thank you enough.”

Professor Deshpande smiled and shrugged.

“It was nothing, Sanam,” he said, his voice humble. “You did all the hard work. You deserve all the credit.”

Sanam felt a surge of gratitude towards Professor Deshpande. She knew that he was being sincere, and she couldn’t help but feel touched by his kindness. She smiled at him, feeling a sense of warmth and appreciation envelop her.

“Thank you, Sir,” she said, her voice filled with emotion. “I really appreciate your help and your support. I hope to maintain my performance in the semester exams as well.”

Professor Deshpande smiled back at Sanam with happiness and pride. He had always known that Sanam had the potential to succeed, and he was glad that he had been able to help her reach her full potential.

“You’re welcome, Sanam,” he said, his voice filled with warmth. “I’m glad I could help. You’re a talented and hardworking student, and I have no doubt that you’ll go far… Just keep focussed and don’t lose track of your priorities. Well done…” Professor Deshpande said again. He turned and walked straight to his office.

Sanam watched Professor Deshpande walk away, feeling a sense of happiness and appreciation wash over her. She knew that she had a long road ahead of her, but with Professor Deshpande’s encouraging words by her side, she felt confident and ready to face any challenge that came her way. She knew that they would always be there for each other, supporting and encouraging each other along the way.

Sanam had topped the Database Concepts class at semester-end becoming Professor Deshpande’s favourite student. She was also the second topper. She had almost magically moved from middle-order to the top-order, all thanks to a surprise test. Sanam was resolute to make this success long-lasting.


It was late January, and the class of 2021 was in the eighth and final semester, only a couple of months away from their final exams and graduation. Professor Deshpande taught them Data Warehousing, and Sanam was still topping the class in the subject.

Professor Deshpande entered the class and the atmosphere changed. Some students greeted the professor. Professor Deshpande went to his desk, looked around and smiled.

That was new, and the students were surprised.

“Good morning, class!” he said. “I see you are in a good mood.”

Some students chuckled, and some muttered incoherently under their breaths.

“Let’s make it better, shall we?” Professor Deshpande asked with an amused smile.

Everyone sat straight. Professor Deshpande was never so cheerful unless he had some shocking news. Sanam looked at Zahid, she just knew what was coming. To her surprise, Zahid looked at her and smiled.

They both knew what was coming, and they were both ready for it.

“Let’s have a surprise test,” Professor Deshpande said. “It will be only ten questions, and I will correct the papers in the class itself,” he said. As if on cue, the peon appeared at the door; he had brought a stack of papers. Professor Deshpande distributed it into three small piles. “Take one and pass on.”

Around forty minutes later, Professor Deshpande announced the results.

“Sanam Sajid, 9… Zahid Ahmad, 10…” he looked at Sanam and then Zahid. Zahid smiled victoriously while Sanam lowered her head like a defeated colonel.

The siren went off dismissing the class. Sanam was the first one to walk out of the class after the professor. Zahid and Shehla exchanged a look and burst into a peal of laughter.

“Congratulations!” Shehla said and extended her hand. Zahid shook excitedly.


“So, you beat her finally!” Shehla beamed as if she was the one with full marks.

“I don’t care about beating her,” Zahid said. “All I wanted was to top Professor Deshpande’s class, and I have done it, even if it is just a class test,” he added with a content smile. “How much did you get?” he asked.

“We should celebrate,” Shehla said; she conveniently skipped Zahid’s question. “Bring me a large chocolate and your notes.”

“Sure!” Zahid said half-heartedly.

“Promise me…” Shehla said. “I scored only four marks while my best friend scored ten… You should not only tutor me but also bring chocolate to celebrate this…”

“Okay!” Zahid said.

“Come by the girls’ hostel after dinner,” Shehla said.

“See you then,” Zahid said. “I’m heading out to meet Kabeer and Ali…”



You can read the complete story here

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Shabana Mukhtar