Chapter 3

It was late in the night when Ray came back home. I was already very sleepy, so I dozed off on the couch watching TV and woke up when I heard the door rattle. He walked in and got a scare when he saw me.

"What are you doing here?" He asked. "Where are the others?"

"They are all asleep," I replied yawning.

"You look tired. Go upstairs and sleep."

"They occupied both the rooms," I sighed. "They wanted me to sleep with you, tonight. Even all my clothes are in your drawers." He looked at me horrified and I sighed. "Don't worry, I wasn't planning on sleeping with you anyway. The couch will do just fine. Also, I'll shift all of the clothes once they leave. You go ahead and sleep."

"Um, it is cold," he frowned.

"Ah, you realized!" I chuckled. "That's okay. Go on and sleep."

He just nodded and went into his room and shut the door behind him. A cold breeze blew in and I shivered a little. Ah, those people thought that I'd sleep with Ray anyway and didn't even give me a blanket! I was gonna freeze to death. I curled up into a fetal position and tried to warm myself when a click of the door was heard and a huge cloth was dumped on my face. Gasping, when I came out, I saw a warm blanket and a pillow on me and heard Ray's door being shut.

Well, praise the lord! I'm not gonna die just yet.

The next day was the day when I was officially going to join the university. All the documents were submitted and my late admission was accepted under special circumstances. Mr. Kingsley had a way of persuading people with his money. I was given a student ID and when I entered the actual campus, it was easily 50 times bigger than my previous college. After walking around the campus and gaping at the infrastructure and the student body, Mr. Kingsley bought me a phone which was way more expensive than the one I had earlier. We spent most of the time outside and with my grandparents. When the evening came, my heart hammered as they all packed their clothing and got into a car. They were going to leave today and I was going to be all alone with Ray. I would no longer have my old friends, old college and my old house. Things took a U turn and left me stranded in a different country with a total stranger because of a whirlpool of incidents.

The airport arrived and unexpectedly, holding in tears became a very difficult task for me. And for the first time in my life, I saw my grandmother giving me a knowing look and shedding tears for me. And also for the first time, my Grandfather looked stronger than my Grandmother. My in laws kissed us both on the cheeks and bade us goodbye.

"Remember, if anything happens and you need any help, call me," Grandma said and I nodded in silence, not trusting my own voice. I didn't want to cry while sending them off. It wasn't as if I was going to be here forever. As Ray said, we would find some loophole to this deal and we would get out of it. And when I do, I would be free again and back with my old things.

They soon left and Ray and I drove back home in absolute silence. I just kept looking out of the window, trying to figure out what my game plan would be starting now. The car stopped in front of the villa which loomed over us like something dark and scary. For the first time, fear kicked in and I realized that it was a scary world once we were all alone.

"What are you waiting for? Come on in,"Ray said and opened the door. When we got in, he shut the door behind us and sat on the couch. "We need to have a talk."

"About freaking time," I mumbled and sat across him.

"First, I am not accepting you as my wife," he said strongly.

"Neither am I," I shrugged.

"Second is that you will be called my relative who is staying at my house for studying if anyone gets to know that we are living together. Otherwise, don't contact me at all while we are in the university. Only in extreme emergency, give me a call. We will basically live our lives as strangers in the university. Okay?"

I nodded. Perfect.

"Also, I have a girlfriend and we've been dating for the past three years and I intend to marry her. So in case you come across her, behave. I might also bring her home, so I hope that you wouldn't mind," he said with a straight face and somehow that kind of hurt. Maybe this marriage thing was getting to me.

"I also have something to say," I said and he listened keenly. "Now that you are open to me regarding your relationship, I want to clarify something to you. I wouldn't want you to mind if I like some guy who is attractive and date him. After all, we should be treated equals," I managed a poker face and he nodded after a while.

"You won't find a guy," he mumbled.

"What did you say?" I huffed.

"With that face, you won't find a guy," he smirked. "I have nothing to mind but to feel sorry for that poor sod or whoever the hell that likes you."

"Thank you for your unnecessary concern. I appreciate it," I forced and smiled and walked into his room.

"Where are you going?" He yelled coming after me.

"Well, my clothes will start to rot if they are kept in your room with yours any longer. So I am going to remove them from there. You mind?" I shoved past him, not waiting for an answer.

"Better make it quick," he rolled his eyes and walked out of the room and went into the kitchen.

"Quick, my ass," I deliberately moved them dress by dress, just to see him get pissed. And boy, oh boy, pissed was an understatement. When, even after half an hour he still saw me pacing about leisurely, he barked a few cuss words and dumped all my belongings into the room across his.

"And by the way," he glared at me as he stood in front of his room, "stay away from my things." With that, the door slammed shut and he was gone. Once again I was alone, this time in an empty house and a whirlwind of thoughts. I busied myself in sorting my clothes which he oh so neatly dumped on my bed. Please note the sarcasm. As I tidied my room, which was almost equal to making it not look like a dumpster, all the things which he had said to me came into my mind.

He was not going to accept me as his wife.

Very well, I didn't have any intentions of becoming his wife as well.

He wanted us to be strangers in the college.

That was better than me being known as acquainted to that rich snob.

He had a girlfriend and he would bring her home.

This was weird. I mean, yeah, I don't have anything against couples or something like that, but knowing that they were going to do the deed and still staying in the same place as them was a little too disturbing. And on top of that, having the title of a wife and still seeing your husband do things like this was even more weird. But then, we considered this marriage to be a farce and the titles of husband and wife don't really stand. I should just suck it up and deal with it.

I would date whomever I would want and he shouldn't be having a problem.

Now this was new. I don't really have the needed charm and feminine qualities to lure a guy or for him to like me. But then, just because I was pissed that he would get his girlfriend home, I blurted out something like that. But then, it didn't necessarily mean that I was going to date a guy. This was a big university, meaning, better opportunities. I could rather focus on studying and aiming high than impress a boy.

"With that face, you won't find a guy," he smirked. "I have nothing to mind but to feel sorry for that poor sod or whoever the hell that likes you."

This particular comment kept repeating in my head. He commented on my face and was pretty confident that I wouldn't find a guy. I walked up to the huge dressing mirror and studied myself in it. Hair so messy and frizzy that things could be lost in the jungle called my hair. Glasses so big that they could be compared to windshields. A button nose and a small mouth and eyes so dark that they almost looked black behind those thick glasses. Tanned skin due to all the trips I had taken back then on my bike. A loose shirt which hid my feminine parts and baggy pants which didn't do much good either. And to top it all off, flip flops were on my feet which completed my hobo look and made me feel worse in my current situation. Cringing at my own appearance, I walked to my clothes and rummaged for things which could be considered a little bit feminine. But my efforts were to no avail as almost all the clothes that I owned were similar to the things I wore.

I sighed. Maybe I should really concentrate on studying, rather than having stupid thoughts and trying to change myself. All my patience wore thin and I finally snapped as I threw my pillow to the wall and slammed my door open. This was so suffocating. Was I going to spend the rest of my life alone with no one to talk to?

I put on my coat and grabbed my purse and walked out of the house in search of something which can give me relief by filling my stomach. I walked a little and found a supermarket and I immediately spotted a tub of chocolate ice cream. Grinning to myself, I picked it up and went to the cashier. All my happiness went down the drain when I realized that I had my old money and didn't convert it to the present currency. Feeling like absolute shit, but yet not breaking down in midst of the supermarket, I left the alluring tub of chocolate ice cream with the cashier and picked myself up and trudged down the same path from where I came from before.

I slowly opened the door and found Ray sitting in the hall and watching TV with a beer in his hand. If I had money, it could be me, sitting on the couch and watching TV with not a care in the world. Cursing a little, and then cursing a little more when he didn't even turn to look who it was who was standing at his door, I walked inside and straight into the kitchen.

There was a great stock of beers and other alcoholic beverages, junk food which were either too spicy or too sweet, food which was edible and could be sure to give the necessary vitamins, but then there was no trace of chocolate, or ice cream or chocolate ice cream. What could possibly be better than ice cream to soothe your mind? There was only one answer. Music in my ears and a book for my eyes. Happily I hopped into my room to see that I didn't bring even one book from back home and as this was a new phone, I didn't even have one book downloaded. Almost feeling like screaming and hitting my head to something or hitting a particular head which was in the hall to something, I walked out again. No, don't worry, I just sat on the couch across him who was watching the boring soccer match which was playing on TV.

Don't get me wrong, soccer was not boring, nor was I judging it, but for a girl who was always interested in studying rather than trying a sport, soccer was an alien thing. I never understood the rules, and when I tried hitting the ball when I was in middle school, I tripped over my own leg and fell onto my back, which resulted in me not trusting my own two feet and especially the ball. I left all the dreams of playing sports right there and took up books which were a lot more easy to handle and only required the brain stamina, which I seemed to have a lot.

During all this train of thought, I fell asleep on the couch and woke up when I felt something cover my body. I slowly opened my eyes to see Ray covering my body with a blanket. Smiling to myself, I thought, At least he won't let me die of cold and snuggled closer and made myself comfortable in that little cocoon he made for me.

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