A Pleasant Surprise

Daily Prompt: Brilliant Disguise
Tell about a time when someone had you completely fooled, where the wool was pulled right over your eyes and you got hoodwinked, but good. Was it a humorous experience or one you’d rather forget? What was the outcome?

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Engagements and marriages take place with the consent of parents in my part of the world. This is one such fictional story.

In family get togethers Neelofer had often seen Rehan. His parents were family friends. Being a shy girl she never joined the set where he would be smiling and joking with her brothers and cousins. Occasionally, they would come face to face, but with eyes cast down she would quickly pass.

Lately she could feel his eyes on her, but when she looked, he would be looking the other way. It did strange things to Neelofer’s heart when he was looking at her and she would feign she hadn’t noticed. She had a painful jolt to her heart when her cousin Sara told her that Rehan’s engagement would be announced soon. She couldn’t fathom her own feelings.

Her graduation was due next month. Her mother had asked her about anyone particular she liked but Neelofer had kept quiet. This meant that her parents were free to decide on her behalf.

Her final exam was over when she reached home that day. Mother told her about guests coming to dinner in the evening. Neelofer was tired. A load was off her mind because of the exams. She wanted to be excused from meeting the guests, but mother said she would have to be present.

Neelofer resented the guests’ coming that day. Why couldn’t they come another day? She couldn’t do anything about it. She helped her mother with the preparations in the kitchen. When everything was done, both mother and daughter went to get ready for the guests.

The guests had arrived by the time she came downstairs. She was feeling undecided whether she should go in and greet the guests, when mother came out. She went with mother inside the room. With surprise she saw Rehan’s parents and sister. She said Salams to the guests.

Rehan’s mother Fauzia hugged and kissed her on both cheeks and made her sit by her side. Neelofer’s eyes widened, when Fauzia took out a beautiful diamond ring, and slid it on her ring finger. There were sounds of Mubarik from everyone. With a joyful flutter to her heart, she met Rehan’s eyes (who was smilingly looking at her) and then shyly looked down.

A Pleasant Surprise

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