Chapter 13

She was shown in by Mr. Wayne and waiting in the dining room were the future Mr. and Mrs. Westland. Even the mere thought of it made her shudder. She began to pull out a chair for herself, “Allow me”, said Daniel. They sat down to eat and well, though Louise did most of the talking, it was probably enough for the both of them. “I hope I am not straining your attention”. “Oh of course not” said Mira. “I have been meaning to ask you a question”, said Louise.  “Oh please do ask”, said Mira. “I want you to be my maid of honour,  Mira?”. She felt the food choking her food pipe. “Me, but why, I mean I’d definitely enjoy doing it but still”. “I just think that you are a great woman with lots of brains and apparently great persuasive powers, so you’d help me if I’d get cold feet”. “I don’t quite follow you ma’am” . “Oh come on, I was joking, but it is actually the way you handled Daniel through his tough times,  I think he’d really want you to be there,  won’t you Daniel?”, she said looking at Daniel. “Yes, sure, just excuse me for a minute ladies”. When he left, “Moreover, I’d like you to see, up and close, that man being taken away from someone to whom he never belonged to me, if I were you lady I’d keep off the grass”, and she and suddenly the soft smile vanished to give way to and expression that could just mean ‘Back off’ . “Oh Daniel please persuade, Ms. Pirzada to stay a bit longer, she is asking for her leave”, Louise became her original self in seconds as Daniel came in. All Mira could do was stare in horror and just say “Oh please ma’am I really need to go, good night”.

Finally the day came, the day she had been dreading of . But some part of her still believed in him, he’d say no to the wedding and come back to her. She dressed in a beautiful gown,  though Louise was surely a bitch but she had a great taste in clothes. All accumulated at this huge church in South Wales, Daniel had taken her around a lot but this place was completely unknown to her.
Rook came into her room, “They are going to begin any minute, come on”. It had taken a huge effort to ensure that Rook came, he had refused to be a part of the wedding and Daniel had asked him to be his best man. But Mira asked him once and he agreed to be a groomsman,  that was the most he was going to do.

They all came into the waiting room, she went to Daniel one last time and just said “Congratulations and you look really handsome today, and thank you for going for a straight fit, any other style makes you look like, like someone who belongs to me”, she smiled. “What, he caught her roughly by the arm, I always have and will belong to you, you get that”, she smiled again. “Hey, hey big brother, congoz”, he hugged his elder brother, then he saw Mira, beautiful as the sunrise, “And hello madam, Christopher Westland”, he took Mira’s hand and kissed it, “Have we met before?”, he asked rather innocently while walking her to another side of the room. “Oh I think I’d remember”, said Mira, “Big brother you say, how come I never saw you before”, asked Mira. ” Oh I always have been overseas and well board meetings always have bored me. I am the Best Man and I take it that you are the Maid of Honour”. The music inviting the groom played and Christopher said ” You ready”, and they left.

They now stood at the altar saying their vows, finally the priest asked, “Do you, Louise Anne Armston take Daniel Seymour Westland as your lawfully wedded husband in sickness and in health? “, “I do” said Louise rather impatiently, “Do you Daniel Seymour Westland take Louise Anne Armston to be your lawfully wedded wife in sickness and in health?”. Both Mira and Louise hung on the words that were about to be uttered by Daniel. He carefully weighed in balance the things that were at stake.




She was shocked and frankly wanted to just die but before kill Daniel for betraying her. Moreover he thought she wouldn’t come to know, dropping off like this from the network. She just once wanted an explanation, she knew he was not that kind. He loved and dammit she loved him, it was a little difficult for her to put it out there every now and then but that did not mean that she could be kicked away like a rag doll. She had stood by him in all his tough times and had shared all his joys and this is what she gets. Knowing her temper, the entire Rook family was maintaining  a safe distance from her yet had not left her alone mulling over her despair. She got up, “I am going to London”, no questions were asked and no propositions were made for her to stay and think with a clear mind. She was in an unspeakable agony.

She arrived there early in the morning, first stop, Westland Mansion. The sprawling lawns, colossal fountains and lawn ornaments and the castle like stand alone mansion could be spotted from a mile beyond it’s approach alley. All these had welcomed her into a plethora of happy and overwhelming memories but today, she was seething with anger. Her facial expressions expressing her anger and pain. She got off the taxi and composed herself. She knocked on the door. Mr. Wayne, opened the door, “Welcome Ms. Pirzada, I’d inform Mr. Daniel, that you are here”. “I’d rather go where Sir is, Mr. Wayne”. “Yes, Ma’am”. She was taken to the palatial living room where what she saw broke the last shred of hope. Daniel was sitting in a chair and Louise was on the arm, both were looking at wedding gowns and most shockingly, Daniel was seemingly happy. “Sir, Ma’am, Ms. Pirzada”. “Hey, how are you?”, Louise asked first. Daniel on the other hand froze. “I am perfectly alright ma’am”, said Mira lying in her face. “I just wanted to show some papers to Mr Westland, Sir could I see you in the study”, said Mira a bit authoritatively, and immediately realised her mistake, “If Ma’am has no problem”, “Of course, please I know Daniel, business always first, but don’t be too long”.

They headed off to the study. Mr. Wayne asked both if they wanted something, Daniel asked for cold water. After water was kept on his table,”Please close the door behind you Mr. Wayne”, “Yes, Mr. Westland”, and closed the door. When Daniel heard the definitive click, he took Mira in his arms and kissed her deep and hard. Mira pulled away and slapped him, “You are the worst man on this earth, Danial Westland. On one hand you are going to marry this woman, without giving a thought about me and now when you see me suddenly you feel all your feelings searing back”. “You have all the right to say all of it, I know I am a wretch, but just listen to me once why I did this, please you know how much I love you, please”. She nodded her head in silent agreement, “I am bleeding money and I needed a loan, the only bank willing to give me a loan is owned by Alfred Armston”, “The British Bank”, said Mira, and then it all made sense “But in return you have to marry his daughter”. “Exactly, I knew you’d understand”. “Understand, UNDERSTAND, you know what, I think Louise Armston does know you better than me , it really is business first for you Mr. Daniel Westland”, she took out her necklace that she had never taken out even once and threw it at Daniel and almost stormed out of the library. She saw, Louise was standing close. Daniel came behind her running and saw Louise and stopped in his tracks. “I forgot something, Mira, you see, I am not really happy with the last part of it, will you revise it and get it tonight and join us for dinner”. “That is a great idea”, said Louise before, Mira could refute the invitation, “We’d be waiting, we’d be delighted by the company”.

She unwilling accepted and waited uncomfortably for the night to fall so that she could just end with probably what was going to be the most difficult meal of her life.

(Catch the story from the start on the ONCE UPON A FAIRY TALE page)