Joined: 09 April 2010
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Joined: 09 April 2010
Prem smiled rather proudly at himself as he looked down at the breakfast tray. There were two eggs fried over medium, potatoes, turkey bacon, an English muffin, a small bowl of fruit, orange juice, and coffee. He had made it all and without waking her up. The weekend seemed to have flow by. After Friday's night date Heer started sleeping in his room. It was nice curling up in bed with each other and cuddling underneath the covers. There was a comforting factor in sharing the space with someone you cared about. Now, it was Sunday morning and Heer would be leaving him to go back home. He sighed wondering when the next time they would see each other again. He lived on the West coast and she lived on the East coast. He knew they would continue to talk but the thought of not being in physical proximity to each other was beginning weigh heavily on his mind.
He carefully held the tray in his hands and silently crept up the stairs to his bedroom. Ginger walked in front of him and pushed the door that had been slightly left ajar open. Heer was still snuggled underneath the covers fast asleep. Prem placed the tray of food on the dresser and headed towards the bed to wake his sleeping beauty. He laid on top of the covers and started to call her name, "Heer...Heer..." Ginger hopped on the bed and started to nuzzle Prem's forearm. "Let's wake her up together. What do you say?" Ginger barked in agreement and started to walk on top Heer's legs.
"What?" Heer whined. "Ginger, why are you barking?"
The dog barked back in response happy that she had awoken. "Good girl Ginger," Prem patted and then instructed, "Off." Ginger hopped off the bed and laid down at the foot of the bed.
Heer groaned as she turned over and faced Prem. "What is going on?"
"Stay there," Prem pleaded and got the breakfast tray and brought it over to the bed. Heer sat up and blinked a few times before she looked at him in awe. "Breakfast in bed my lady," Prem said as he did a slight bow. "Made the eggs just like you like them...over medium...fried on both sides but the yolk is still a little runny...we also have some potatoes, turkey bacon, English muffin, fresh fruit, orange juice, and coffee."
Heer tucked her hair behind her ear and grinned, "You made this?"
"Of course I did," Prem nodded. "Eat up before it gets cold."
Heer took a knife and spread some jam on the English muffin and took a bite. She then leaned over and gave Prem a soft peck. "Didn't want to scare you with my bad morning breath," she explained and continued chewing. She ate some of her eggs and let out a pleasing moan. "Thank you. It's really good. Here...have some...you didn't have breakfast yet did you? There is so much food we can share."
"You eat first Heer, I'll be okay," Prem stated and took a sip of her orange juice.
"Where are you going?" Heer inquired.
"I made myself some scrambled eggs. I'm just going to the kitchen to get that. I'll be back," Prem replied.
Prem lifted Heer's suitcase up and placed it into the trunk of his metallic gray Acura TL. "Ready?" he inquired as he closed the trunk.
"I think I got everything," Heer replied thoughtfully pondering.
"If not I can always mail it to you," Prem stated.
Prem walked to the driver seat while Heer went to the passenger side and they both climbed into the car. The drive over to the airport was pleasant as it could be despite the lingering question in the air about their relationship. Strangely, it seemed less pressing to discuss. Perhaps it was thought that there was implicit understanding that things were good between them and there really wasn't a need to discuss anything. They could just let this take its natural course.
Prem rolled his window down to take the ticket for the short term parking garage and drove cautiously around the lot looking for a space. Eventually he found one not too far away from the entrance. They both walked silently up the ramp to the entrance of the airport and entered through the automatic doors. Because of the security restrictions at the airport Prem knew he wouldn't be able to walk Heer to her terminal so he stood in line with her as she waited to check herself into her flight. He sighed missing those days when they allowed such privileges to walk friends and family to their terminal and send them off.
After Heer's luggage was taken away and her tickets marked with her boarding terminal they walked towards the security checkpoint. It wasn't very far from the airline check in. Heer turned towards Prem and looked at him wondering what she should say. Prem gave a warm grin and placed his hands on her shoulders, "You have a safe flight. Call me when you make it back home?" Heer remained silent and nodded her head. Prem glanced at the line at the security check point and sighed, "It looks like it's getting longer. You should probably get in line. You don't want to miss your flight."
Heer looked at the line and then turned back towards him. "Prem..."
"I know what you are going to say. When I get a break from work I'll come and visit you," he smirked. He raised his right hand and continued, "I, Prem Juenja swear in this crowded airport on this Sunday the 14th of March will come and visit you soon."
"Prem..." Heer replied rolling her eyes at him and gave him a playful push on the chest.
"You smiled didn't you? I want to see you leaving with a smile on your face," Prem simply stated. Heer widen her lips and showed her teeth giving him a cheesy smile making them both break out in laughter. "See...a lot better. You know I don't do well with goodbyes. So, phir milenge chalte chalte."
Heer chortled at his comment and nodded, "Haan. I'll talk to you soon."
Prem gave a satisfied grin and then gave her a tight hug. Heer smiled at the bear hug she was receiving from him. When they broke apart she felt him place a tender kiss on her forehead. "Go..."
Heer nodded and got in line for the security check point. She shuffled along with the crowd as everyone waited for their turn in line to place their shoes and things on the conveyer belt to be x-rayed and walk through the metal detectors. Just as her turn came she heard her cell phone go off. "Hello?"
"You there yet?"
"Yea, just made it." She could feel everyone staring at her wondering what she was doing talking on her cell phone. She was holding up the line. "I have to go Prem. I'll call you when I get home."
"Okay. I was wondering how much longer I had to wait here."
"You're still here in the airport?" Heer inquired.
"Well yeah...I'm seeing you off aren't I? Have to make sure you walk through security and are on your way to the terminal."
Heer smiled and felt a happiness in her heart. "Hey lady are you done chit-chatting?" She looked up in alarm and gave an apologetic look. "Sorry," returning to the phone, "I have to go."
"You got yelled at didn't you?"
"Talk to you later, Prem," Heer answered.
"Later then," he replied and hung up.
Prem looked about him seeing the happy faces of friends and family watching Heer as she enter the wedding ceremony from the grand staircase. It was a blessed and joyous occasion. There wasn't any room for doubt or worry. It was a time of celebration. His eyes suddenly dimmed as a cloud of thoughts rushed through his head. This was it. From this moment onward their relationship would be different. She was going to be someone's wife. He wouldn't be able to call her up at 2am when he felt lonely or ask advice on what color couch he should get to match his living room. She wouldn't be there to bug him to eat his vegetables and make sure he wasn't spending his entire weekend in front of the TV playing video games. He knew she wouldn't stop caring about him but it would be different. She would have new responsibilities and issues to deal with. Her time would be spent with her husband and his family. He felt his hand gently clench as he knew he was to blame for all of this. He was guilty and regretful for his actions.
Prem was broken from his thoughts when he saw a flask being thrust in front of his face. His eyebrows furrowed as he turned to look at the person. "You looked like you needed some."
"Preet, put that away. You want us to get in trouble?" Prem hissed as he pulled his cousin's hand down trying to hide the liquor. "We're at a wedding."
"They drink at weddings," Preet replied.
"After the ceremony...during the reception...don't get wasted before hand," Prem warned.
"I wouldn't do that. I brought this for you," Preet stated. "If anyone needs a drink right now it's you. How can you just stand here like this?"
"First you convinced me that I needed to come and now that I am here you want to taunt me like this? What do you want from me?" muttering, "I should have just stayed in London."
"You know you would have regretted it even more if you had stayed away," Preet simply replied. He then opened the flask and took a quick sip.
"Preet!" Prem whispered fiercely.
"Ahhh..." he sighed in pleasure. "Talking to you is really tiring sometimes you know that? I needed that one for all I had to deal with since the news."
"Don't remind me," Prem said in a low tone. Preet suddenly grabbed his arm making him look at him with alarm. "What are you doing now?"
"It's Meher...she's a strict one...here hide it," Preet said as he handed the flask over to him. "If she catches me with it I'm dead. She's a feisty one."
"I thought you liked feisty woman," Prem teased.
Preet narrowed his eyes, "Don't even go there. She's not my type."
"I thought you said you didn't have a type," Prem replied.
Preet grimaced but then glanced towards the doorway. "I think she's coming over here. Um, I'll be back. You watch that okay? She won't suspect you of sneaking in boozes."
"Preet...Preet..." Prem called but it was too late he had wandered off into the crowd. Prem sighed and looked down staring at the silver flask in his hand. It felt cold and he could hear the liquid splashing around inside. His eyes lifted upward and saw Heer make her way down to the final step of the stairs. She looked so beautiful. So beautiful that it was making his heart ache.
Prem opened the front door of his townhouse and smiled as he was greeted by his dog. He slipped off his shoes and made his way to the couch where he could sit down and pet his dog to his heart's content. It had only been a few minutes when the house phone started to ring. He picked up the cordless phone and arched his eyebrows wondering why Heer was calling him on the main houseline. She usually called on his cell phone as that was the best way to get in touch with him.
"Hey, what's up?" Prem greeted with a grin.
"Did you turn off your cell phone?" Heer inquired.
"No..." then realizing, "Oh, I had it turned on silent cause of the meetings today. We had a lot of meetings," Prem replied. "Sorry about that."
"No, it's okay."
He could hear something in her voice and knew she wasn't her usual cheerful self. "What's the matter Heer? Everything okay?"
There was a moment of silence before he heard her say, "My parents have accepted an engagement proposal from Viren's parents."
His eyes widened in surprise by her announcement. He knew that Heer and Viren had been talking again but she never let on that things had gotten to this point. In fact he thought they were just being nothing more than friends. She spent most of her time hanging out with her good friend Meher or with her cousins and brother. "Oh..." He was left relatively speechless and didn't know how or what he should say to such news. "Um, congrats."
"Well yeah, isn't that the customary thing to say when someone tells them that they have gotten engaged?" Prem replied. "Your parents must be happy. They like Viren."
There was another moment of silence on the phone making Prem break out in a cold sweat. He knew Heer's family well. If they accepted the proposal that meant they thought highly of Viren and wanted him to be a part of the family. Balraaj Maan was a man of great principal and he thought things out thoroughly before making his decisions. Heer respected her parents and their wishes. She generally followed what they wanted her to do. Not that they controlled every aspect in her life, but when it came down to the bigger decisions Heer always sought her parent's advice. Marriage was a huge step and he knew Heer would follow her parent's wishes.
"So, when's the engagement?"
"I don't know yet. They just sent the proposal yesterday," Heer answered.
"So, you'll probably go to India to get things for the wedding, huh?" Prem inquired.
He heard her sigh and then softly reply, "Are we really going to do this?"
"What do you mean?"
"You know very well what I mean." And he knew what she was alluding to but he found himself unable to say anything. He felt it was somehow beyond his control now. The things he wanted to say just wouldn't form on his lips. He had never directly heard from her that she was ever interested in starting something with him. She was still talking to Viren, which meant there was still something there. He didn't want to put her in a position in which she would have to choose. He didn't want to cause her any pain. He wanted her to be happy because she deserved it. The one thing that scared him the most was to have their friendship break. He would never allow that to happen. It was something he would fight till the end for.
"Don't worry I won't give you a shopping list when you go. I know everyone will be asking you to bring them back something," Prem replied.
"Seriously?" getting frustrated, "I-I can't do this..."
"Heer? Heer?" His eyes dulled when he thought he heard her sniffle. "Are you crying?"
"No...just something got in my eye...I'll-I'll talk to you later. My Mom is calling..."
"Heer?" Prem repeated with concern.
Prem held the cordless phone in his hand listening to the silence. It wasn't long before the dial tone went busy. The sound snapped him from his trance and without thinking twice he flung the phone onto the ground. It bounced over itself a few times before the battery cover flew off and left seam of the phone cracked open. Her reaction had confirmed what he thought; she was crying. And he had been the cause of her distress. He lowered his head into his hands and cursed, "Sh*t..."
Prem recalled the weeks after that conversation. He had felt ashamed and guilty for the way he had acted. But he was too weak willed to stop anything because he was afraid to make things worse. His relationship with Heer was at an odd place. They talked but not as often and very short. So he threw himself into his work and buried his attention on projects. And before he knew it six months had passed. Preet tried his best to persuade him to actually talk to Heer and sort things out but he was too stubborn to listen. Prem consoled himself thinking she would be happier with Viren. He didn't want to bring unnecessary strife to her family. They were happy with their future son-in-law. And if they were happy, Heer would be happy too because he knew how important her family was to her. In the end that was all that mattered.
He didn't know what possessed him to finally agree to Preet's request to attend the wedding. Perhaps it was his personal plead as he had flown to London to strictly talk to him about the issue. Or the fact that he had hounded him day and night and refused to leave him alone until he agreed to fly back to the States. Now that he was here he felt so strange and out of place. He was trying so hard to play his part as a friend but he was finding it hard to keep himself together.
Prem's eyes watched the groom's elder cousin walked towards Heer and her parents. Viren's father soon approached them and pulled Heer's father to the side to talk. Soft whispers and murmurs began to fill the room as guest wondered what was taking so long. Why hadn't the ceremony started yet? Prem started to slowly make his way forward curious to what was going on. His ears perked when he heard his name being called. Preet was soon by his side with a look of great urgency. "They can't find him."
"What do you mean?" Prem replied his eyes were narrowed in complete focus of what he was trying to tell him.
Preet could see the fire in his cousin's eyes and he placed his hand on his shoulder to try to calm him. "You worry about her. Let me take care of tracking him down."
Their conversation was soon interrupted when Meher came bounding up. "Prem..." she simply stated. The look on her face confirmed what he thought Preet was telling him. Viren had run away.
Without a word he left them and made his way towards the staircase. He didn't care who was watching or what people were going to think because it didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was making things right. He was met by surprised eyes when he walked in on the conversation going on between Heer's mother, Teji and Viren's cousin. "Prem?" Teji uttered unsure why he was there. He ignored her words and reached out and grabbed a hold of Heer's hand. Heer's eyes widened in alarm at his actions, "Prem..." she said nervously as she tried to pull her hand away, "What are..."
"What?" Heer asked. Her eyes looked at him in disbelief that he had seriously just said that to her. And of all the times to ask that question he had to do that now in front of guests at her own wedding.
"Marry me," Prem repeated.
"You're crazy," she replied as she forcefully twisted her hand away from his grip.
"Everyone is talking...he isn't here...I won't let your honor to be questioned..."
"Now, what a minute," Viren's cousin angrily interrupted.
"Are you saying he is here? Then where is he? Bring him out...it is his wedding. We all know the truth. What kind of man walks out of his own wedding?" Prem snarled.
"Prem!" Heer snapped.
Teji looked on in horror as she saw her daughter drag Prem away from the stairs towards the study. "Heer, what are you doing?"
"I can't have this conversation out here. Things are already messed up enough," she replied.
Teji placed her hand on the side of her face bewildered beyond belief. Her husband Balraaj had stopped arguing with Viren's father and gave his wife a look. "Teji?"
"I don't know," she replied shaking her head.
Soon their friends Lalit and Gayatri Juneja were walking towards them with concern looks. "What is going on here?" Lalit inquired. "Where is Prem going?"
"I should ask that same question," Viren's father replied with annoyance.
"I don't think you are in any position to speak," Balraaj reprimanded causing Viren's father to lower his eyes.
Prem was dragged into the study room and had barely had the chance to close the door when Heer turned around and started in on him. "What was that? Marry you? So you can save my honor and respect? What old fashion values you have kind sir to take pity on me...an innocent and naive girl that I am. Thank you for trying to salvage my reputation and the reputation of my family," bowing down in a mocking manner, "I owe you so much. How can I ever repay your kindness?"
Prem's jaw tightened as he felt her anger. It wasn't unjustified. She had ever right to be upset with him but a part of him was starting to feel upset with her. "Heer..."
"Don't," she replied interrupting him. "Where were you when I needed you? Where were you? And now, you finally decided to show up...the friend I needed left me six months ago...hiding in his work...the big project in London. I didn't think you were going to come. Part of me wishes now that you didn't. You should have just stayed away...stayed away from---"
"I can't stay away from you," Prem firmly stated as he looked into her moistened hazel eyes. "I could never stay away from you. And believe me...I've tried...I've tried really hard to not think about you...to not wonder if you were doing all right," sighing, "I know it was my fault. I should have said something that week. We should have talked but I didn't want to ruin it. I was afraid because I didn't want to ruin our friendship. Our friendship means everything to me. And you could have said something too. It wasn't like you didn't have a say in all of this. When you told me and didn't say anything I thought okay...she's made her choice. And at the time I knew Viren to be a decent guy...sure you guys had problems but what relationship doesn't have problems? Your parents accepted the proposal and I know you respect your parents' decisions...and you would never do anything to hurt them. If they were happy then you were happy. And if you are happy then I was happy," turning his head slightly to the side, "Your happiness means everything to me. I tried to console myself to that fact that he would take good care of you...someone you could trust and build a life with. I could be happy with that." Heer's eyes softened at his words, but were taken aback when they met his gaze again. She could hear her heart beating in her ears. There was a sudden change in his demeanor. "But the truth is I can't be happy," walking steadily towards her, "I can't be happy knowing you're with someone else...building a life together...because it should be me..." grabbing a hold of her hand and holding to his chest, "You should be with me." Heer stared speechlessly into his eyes as he began to confess his feelings for her, "During middle school I had the biggest crush on you...then in high school I fell in love...and in college...I wanted to be with you but I knew you only thought of me as a friend. So I just hid my feelings...pushed them away...and that night..." softening his voice, "that week...it was like a dream...I didn't want to ruin it...it was perfect...and then you left and then a few days later you told me you were talking to Viren again," giving a sad smirk, "Destiny is quite cruel. And when you told me over the phone about the proposal...I couldn't face the fact that I could have had a chance...that I almost had you...it torn me up inside," letting go of her hand, "Anyways, it doesn't matter...if you don't feel this way about me..." stepping back but then suddenly rising his voice again, "But I won't allow anyone who isn't worthy of your love to come near you. When I find him and I will...he's going to wished he had died. I won't let anyone hurt you..." Prem was silenced as Heer suddenly cupped his face and placed a tender kiss on his lips.
She had seen the fire burning in his eyes and the anger in his voice that he had hurt her. He was shouldering all the burden on himself for things that she was just as equally responsible for. She was shocked and awed at the fact that he had been in love with her for so long. She felt stupid for her blindness and hated that she had caused him so much pain. But deep down inside she had always known that their relationship was special. She had suspected something but never had the guts to speak with him directly about it. Now that his feelings were out in the open she felt as if a weight had been lifted and it was time to take their relationship to the next level. Prem opened his eyes and saw to his amazement Heer looking at him with such warmth. "Ask me properly," she simply stated.
Understanding her meaning he took her hands into his and went down on one knee, "Mai tumse pyar karta hu and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. And I know there are going to be tests in this road of life, but I promise you Heer I will never give up on us. You are everything to me and I will do my best to provide for you and our family...give you all the love and happiness you deserve...because you deserve so much. Will you marry me?"
Heer gave a teary nod and hugged him tightly. "Yes Prem I will. I love you too." He grinned brightly and closed his eyes relishing the moment they were sharing. There was a part of him that couldn't believe this was actually happening. He pulled back and began to slowly caress her cheek. His eyes sadden at the tears that were trickling down. He shook his head and tenderly wiped her tears away with the pads of his thumbs before he gave her a sweet but passionate kiss. Heer felt herself swoon and her knees go weak. When they broke apart she gently pushed her fist against his chest, "Why couldn't you have told me this sooner instead of having all this drama now?"
"It makes it more exciting doesn't it? So Hindi film like or serial like don't you think? The hero comes in at the last second to declare his undying love for his girl...stop the wedding and take her away...Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge." Heer chortled at his joke. "So, we should probably tell them of our decision? The priest is probably getting a little impatient he was booked to perform a wedding."
"No, a year from now," Prem replied. "Of course right now...your family is here and at least my immediate family is here...Kulraj and Kiran just flew in with the kids yesterday. They can be here in no time."
"But Prem, we don't have a mangalsutra," Heer stated with worry.
"Don't worry we'll figure that out. I'm sure Ma will know what to do." He reached out his hand and gave a reassuring nod. Heer looked at his out stretched hand and then up at him. She could see the conviction on his face making her feel more confident. She slipped her hand into his and they both gave each other giddy grins. "Ready?"
When they emerged from the room they were met with their parents' anxious eyes. Lalit was the first to speak to try and understand what was going on. He along with the rest of the parental group had seen their intertwined hands, "Prem?"
"We want to get married Bauji," then looking at the Maans, "Forgive me for asking in this manner," letting go of Heer's hand so he could claps his hands together in forgiveness, "I love your daughter and I promise to take care good care of her. I will never walk away or give up. Her happiness means the most to me and I will do my up most best to keep her happy. May I have permission to make Heer my wife?"
Heer bite her lower lip waiting for her parents' response. She was slightly startled when her father started to speak to her. "Heer? You want to marry Prem?"
She nodded her head, "Yes Papa. I want to marry Prem. I love him."
Balraaj's eyes widened at his daughter's confession. "Then why didn't you tell me? Why did you agree to marry Viren?"
"So she was playing with my son's heart?" Viren's father barked. "No wonder he left...he must have found out her sultry past. I never thought she was that kind of girl. But now I see her true colors..."
"Mr.Vikram Singhania my daughter is not type of girl. How dare you insinuate such a thing," Teji fumed. "Just a few weeks ago you were singing her praises and looking forward to having her as your daughter-in-law."
"Obviously something made Viren leave," Vikram argued.
"If I may," Prem interrupted. "Heer had no idea how I felt about her...she was going to marry Viren. She wasn't going to let her parents' word mean nothing. Your son left on his own accord."
"My Viren would never do that."
"Heer? You were marrying Viren because of us?" Balraaj questioned.
Heer gently lowered her gaze. "I know you give your word. And I didn't want to disappoint you or Mama...you both looked so happy. I never knew how Prem felt about me...honest. I'm sorry Papa."
Balraaj and Teji both looked at each other and frowned that their daughter had forgo her happiness to make them happy. "If you didn't want to get married you should have told us," Balraaj said. "I'm sorry if we put this much pressure on you."
"A very likely story...all of this is...how do I know you didn't plan this...this some trick?" Vikram inquired looking at Prem.
"What exactly are you suggesting?" Lalit asked trying to defend his son. "I think it is very clear what the two young people are saying."
"Is it? They played this drama and in the end my Viren got hurt. This was suppose to be his wedding day," Vikram angrily said.
"No Dad. They did nothing wrong." Everyone turned their heads to see Viren standing behind them with an apologetic face. Preet and Heer's brother Nihaal were standing behind him like guards preventing him from running away. It was clear they had found him and dragged him back to the wedding to face the consequences and straighten things out between the families.
"I left. I didn't know how to tell anyone...especially since you and Mom wanted this wedding to happen so badly. I'm really sorry," looking at Heer, "I'm really sorry Heer. I should have said something to you...things were happening so fast...we hardly talked about this decision. I think you and I can both agree that it was something made without our consent."
"What are you saying?" Vikram inquired confusedly at his son.
"I know you and Mom really wanted Heer as the daughter-in-law of the family, but we weren't there yet in our relationship in fact we had broken up and decided it was best to be just friends. I know you did this to try to save our relationship but there isn't anything to save. We just don't love each other like that." He looked over at Heer and saw how close she was standing next to Prem. He nodded his head in understanding and addressed Prem, "You take care of her the way I never could."
Prem acknowledged his words with a look. "I will."
on Dad we should probably leave," Viren said putting his hand on his shoulder. Virkam
was at a loss for words and just silently followed his son out of the wedding
venue; the rest of Singhania family and guests soon followed suit.
"So then?" Balraaj inquired looking at his friend Lalit Juneja.
"Once neighbors now in-laws?" Lalit replied. The two men broke out into smiles and laughter. Lalit looked at his wife and simply said, "Gayatri?"
"Do you even have to ask?" she grinned. "Of course we would be delighted to have Heer as the daughter-in-law in our family." Teji warmly clasped hands with her and smiled.
"Well then I guess you have our answers," Balraaj said as he looked at Prem and Heer. "Welcome to the family son-in-law." Prem beamed as he received a hug from his future father-in-law.
"Thank you. I promise I'll take good care of her."
"I have full faith you will," Balraaj said. He then looked at his son, "Nihaal, make arrangements with the hotel...we need to fix the sign outside. This is the Juneja and Maan wedding now. And make sure the suite is properly taken care of."
"Yes Papa," Nihaal answered and hurried left to complete his task.
"Ma, we don't have a mangalsutra," Prem said voicing his concern.
"Don't worry," Gayatri replied as she held her cell phone to her ear. "I'll tell Kulraj to bring it here. I have one that I picked out for when you were to get married. I purchased it about a month ago."
"Ma? You were looking for me?"
"Actually no I wasn't. I had faith you would find someone without our assistance. I just thought I be prepared. And it always pays to be prepared...as you can see. I think it's going to look gorgeous on Heer," smiling warmly at her future daughter-in-law. "Hello Kulraj? Where are you and Kiran?"
While Gayatri worked on getting the mangalsutra, Balraaj and Lalit went to speak to the Priest to discuss the wedding ceremony and the new situation that had arisen. Prem glance over to his future wife to be and grinned. "See, things are working out. And by the end of the night you will be Mrs. Heer Juneja," moving closer so he could whisper softly into her ear, "By the way you look really beautiful today. I'm d*mn glad you are coming home with me tonight."
Heer opened her mouth slightly in shock at his last words. She gave him a playful push on the shoulder, "Prem..."
"What? I'm just saying you'll be my wife and the only person you should be going home with is me."
"So, you're saying I belong to you?" Heer said lifting her eyes seductively at him.
"Of course," Prem matter-of-factly stated. "But I belong to you as well. Unless you're telling me I can go home with other people."
"Prem Juneja," Heer fumed as she grabbed his collar.
His eyes widened in surprise by her possessiveness. "Just joking...just joking..."
"You better be," she added before she let go.
"Wow," Prem uttered with a smirk as he straightened his outfit. "I have a jealous wife."
"I'm not. You're suppose to be faithful to me," Heer defended.
"This is up there like the time you thought Ginger was my girlfriend...streaming coming from the ears...ahhh---w-why are you hitting me?" Prem complained while he hunched his shoulders.
"Because you deserve it," Heer said as she slapped her hand on his shoulder.
"You're not suppose to beat the groom," Prem protested.
"Only when he's being stupid," Heer snapped.
"Hey lovebirds!" Prem and Heer both stopped what they were doing and turned to see Preet and Meher smiling at both of them.
"So who do you need to thank?" Preet inquired looking at Prem. "Don't play dumb. Who's the one who dragged you back to the States, huh?"
"He was dragged?" Heer asked arching her eyebrow looking at Prem.
"I wasn't dragged. I came on my own accord..."
"Ha!" Preet said crossing his arms.
"I did. Heer is the most important person in the world to me," Prem defended.
"Ah so sweet," Meher gushed and pinched his cheek, "You'll take good care of Heer won't you?" Prem winced when he realized how hard she was pinching his cheek. "Won't you?" her voice sounding increasingly demanding.
He nodded and replied, "Of course...of course...top priority."
"Good," Meher smiled and let go. Prem backed away and rubbed his sore skin. He was feeling uneasy and slightly frighten by her protectiveness.
"Meher..." Heer voiced with concern.
"Oh, he'll live. Just a little reminder considering things that have happened recently," she defended.
"Well, if you will excuse us ladies," Preet said and signaled with his eyes to Meher. She nodded and held Heer's arm.
"Wh-what are you doing?" Prem complained as Preet started to drag him away from Heer. "Let me go."
"You can't be chit-chatting with her."
"Why not? She's going to be my wife," Prem exclaimed. He tried turning around only to have Preet grab him by the back of his suit preventing him from walking forward.
Heer looked on helplessly as Meher started directing her to go back to the study. "Meher..."
"We need to get you ready."
"I am ready. I'm wearing my wedding sari," Heer replied. "What else do I need to do?"
"We need to touch up your makeup. Come on," Meher said dragging her friend backwards.
"Preet, let me go," Prem ordered.
"No. We have to get you ready. The ceremony is about to start and we need you to go to the other side," Preet explained. "If you want to get married to her..."
Prem immediately stopped fussing and turned around. "Well, why didn't you say so?" straightening out his sherwani so he looked proper, "Come on...let's go," walking quickly past Preet. His cousin just smirked shaking his head in complete amusement.
The wedding ceremony went off without a hitch despite the unorthodox way things had started. Family members and friends smiled in happiness and gave hearty congratulatory wishes to the bride and groom. It was unfortunate that Prem's side of the family was not fully present to enjoy the festivities, but Preet had secured a video camera. He recorded the wedding and some of the ritual games that proceeded afterwards.
The music was rowdy in a good head bopping and foot stomping manner at the reception hall. The DJ played all the latest Bollywood hits. The buffet food was delicious and the liquor flowed freely as guest enjoyed themselves. Prem grinned as he and Heer danced and grooved with everyone else on the dance floor to Chammak Challo.
"Surely I'm gonna get you? You know I'm gonna get you," Prem sang as he pulled Heer close to him. She laughed and pushed him away. He smirked and continued dancing in front of her, "Maybe I'll even let you be my chammak chammak challo. Kaisa sharmaana aaja nach ke dikha [Let's see you move.] Aa meri hove aaja parda gira de [Don't be shy.] Aa meri akhiyon se akhiyan mila le [Look me in the eyes.] Ab tu na nakhre dikhaa [Don't say no.]
"Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o... Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o...Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o... Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o.." Preet sang as he twisted his hips and bumped shoulders with Meher.
She smiled and started singing along, "Unnai thottal unnullathai norukka maattiyo. Ennai pola pennai parthu mayanga maattiyo. Kannil kannai pootti vittaal sirikka maattiyo. Ennai unnil serththu vittaal ottikka maattiyo." Prem, Heer, and Preet all looked at her in surprise when she belted out the line making her suddenly turn self conscious like she had done something wrong. They all shook their heads and broke out into bright grins.
Heer turned towards her husband and tugged at his collar, "Kasisa sharmaana tujhe nach ke dikha doon [Let me show you how to dance.] Mera ho jaaye jo main pardah gira doon [You'll be mine if I say so.] Aa tujhe akhiyon mein apne basa loon [Look in my eyes]. Aa tu na nakjre dikha [I won't say no.]"
Prem simply replied, "Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o... Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o... Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o... Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o..."
"Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o... Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o... Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o... Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o..." Preet .
The two men exchanged glances at each other and then started chasing after the girls making them squeal in laughter as they continued to sing, "Wanna be my chammak challo... Wanna be my chammak challo... Wanna be my chammak challo... Wanna be my chammak challo, o o o..."
The dance party in the reception hall continued to rage on until 1am. If it wasn't for the time limit on the hall booking the party would have kept going and going. Heer laughed as Prem showed the inside of his empty wallet to a few of her younger cousins who were demanding cash before they would let them enter the elevator to go to their room. "Sorry kids. Out of luck. Gave all the cash I had away," Prem said. They all groaned in disappointment and moved to the side.
"Didi, next time we see you...you'll have a baby, right?" Heer's eyes grew wide at such a statement from the eight year old boy. The rest of the kids giggled at his question. "Mommy says after you get married you have babies." Heer was left relatively speechless at his words.
"Rohan, I think you're Mom's calling you," Prem said.
"No she isn't," he replied.
"Um, what I meant to say was...I think Uncle Preet has chocolates and," hitting his hand to his forehead, "I forgot he was holding some of my money for me. Why don't you guys go find him? I think he's..." smiling as he saw Preet walking through the hotel lobby, "right there," waving his hands so that Preet would see and wave back. The kids became excited and started running across the lobby screaming, "Uncle Preet...Preet Uncle...Preet Uncle!"
Prem smirked that his trick worked. "That was wrong."
"Was it?" Prem inquired as he arched his eyebrows. "Babies?"
Heer sighed, "Okay, I guess you're right," and hit the elevator button.
To Be Continued in Part Four
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