So it had been a week since the wonderful-dreamy proposal and Veronica was still on cloud 9. She was back in India and couldn’t stop narrating the dreamy proposal to her friends. She was cheerful and full of zeal all the time. She would talk to Fawad everyday on Skype or Voice calls and eagerly waited for him to return to India.
Months passed by and everything was going great between the two lovers, and Fawad was returning to Mumbai that week. Veronica was ecstatic as the same week, her book was set to be launched. When Veronica returned from Paris, the famous XYZ publishers had approached her with the offer. The book was going to be a compilation of the wonderful stories and blogs written by Veronica. She hadn’t revealed that to Fawad yet as she had planned to surprise him.
Soon, the day came and Fawad was back to Mumbai, and Veronica was super excited. She couldn’t go to the airport to receive him, as she was occupied with the book launch work but she did send a bouquet and chocolates.
She spoke to him over the phone that night and asked him to meet her on Friday ( the book launch day) and that she had a surprise for him. He hesitated and said that he has to go to Delhi for some urgent work and he will be back next week; after which he will meet her and spend time with her.
Veronica was hurt, but she understood his priorities and chose not to tell him about the book launch. It wasn’t like Fawad to do this to her and she wondered if things had changed, but soon she let go of those thoughts and began preparing for the big day.
THE DAY !
The day was here and Veronica was a rollercoaster of emotions. She was nervous yet excited. She spent the entire day preparing for the evening, re-reading her speech, choosing her outfit, etc. She missed Fawad and wanted to talk to him, they hadn’t spoken ever since he returned to Mumbai, she assumed he would be busy and chose to not disturb him. She believed he would call her once he would be free and then she could have all of his time.
Evening rolled in, and the party began. All the glitterati from around the city were attending the party, including Zara Khan, the owner of XYZ publishing house. Veronica was accompanied by Sonia ( Zara Khan’s PA) at the party who introduced her to all the guests. Veronica enjoyed the attention but secretly wished Fawad would be by her side and share her joy.
Sonia spotted Zara and told Veronica ” Come, lets meet the Boss Lady” and escorted her towards Zara. Sonia introduced the two, ” Ma’am, this is Veronica, the star author and Veronica this is Zara, the founder of XYZ publications, this is Fawad, her husband and this little angel is Saud, their son.”
Veronica was bewildered to what she just saw. Fawad the love of her life, standing right there next to this woman who happens to be his wife. She went numb and blank, her heart almost stopped and she thought she was going to crash. She couldn’t believe that the man she was madly in love with was a cheat, he was already married to another woman and had a child. She felt stupid to have not known this and for having trusted him blindly.
As she stood there expressionless, unable to reciprocate Zara’s handshake, Sonia poked her gesturing to her to reciprocate. Veronica managed to do so, she smiled and said ” It’s great to finally meet you, and you have a lovely child, have a great evening.” having said this she excused herself and bolted towards the restrooms.
The most special day of her life had turned into a disaster. She couldn’t control her tears anymore and let them flow, her head was spinning, her throat went dry and she had a blackout. She splashed water on her face hoping that she’d wake up and this is all just a nightmare, but sadly it was the bitter truth. She wanted to run home, hide her face in thr bed and cry out the pain, but she had to keep up appearances at the party.
She wiped her tears, fixed her make-up and walked out with a smile cloaking her pain. She tried to behave normal and prayed for the party to end at its earliest. She stood there wondering why did he do this to her and what was his motive as her eyes fell upon him. She walked up to him and said ” Hello Mr. Fawad Khan” to which he smiled and replied ” Hello Veronica, Congratulations on the book launch, my wife speaks very highly of your work”, he pretended as though he did not know her. She understood that this was it, she had been cheated on and everything that she believed to be true love was just a charade.
The End !
© Manali Jobanputra, All Rights Reserved.