She entered the room. A heady smell of incense wafted towards her. The bed hung heavy with rows of jasmine and rose. Her eyes scanned the room for a glimpse of her husband. He was not there and the moment of solitude made her strangely happy. She walked to the bed and sat down with a deep sigh. Her feet ached with all the standing and her jaw hurt from all the smiling. She rubbed her feet and neck tiredly.
Theirs was an arranged marriage and she had met him just once before the wedding. She was nervous and apprehensive at what to expect on her first night. Mother had been vague and evasive to her questions. The only other married girl amongst her friends had rolled her eyes and told her not to think too much but to just grin and bear it.
“Whatever that means” she thought as she stretched out her hand and plumped the pillow. It beckoned to her to test it out. She laid down her heavily ornamented head into its softness and let herself sink blissfully into its folds. Her eyes drifted close without the slightest hesitation…
She sat up with a start, disoriented and forcing her eyes to adjust to the darkness. Her eyes scanned the room and finally landed on the figure lying next to her. It felt so strange to share a bed with a man! As her eyes adjusted to the lack of light, she saw his eyes on her.
“Why did you not wake me up?” she asked.
“And miss the chance to see you sleep so sweetly?” he said.
That was the start of a conversation filled night she would never forget.