Format: Kindle Edition
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Sush is a 30 plus single woman. She’s dealing with negative body image after her last boyfriend dumped her for gaining weight. Single and not ready to mingle, her parents put her in a tough spot when they ask her to come to a cousin’s wedding with a romantic partner – even if it’s a fake romantic partner. Sush is sick of relatives asking her intrusive questions about her singlehood since she’s past ‘marriageable age’ so she decides to make her parents happy and get the nosy relatives off her back this once.
Sush hasn’t spent any time with men after the fat shaming ex left her, so she can only think of the last man she interacted with – Arjun Chatterjee.
When she asks Arjun to be her fake boyfriend for a few days, he agrees immediately. They spend quality time together, making Sush wonder why she was stupid enough to let this amazing man get away earlier.
After some family drama, Sush and Arjun find themselves on a two-day getaway near the city. At The Village, Sush is apprehensive about being close to Arjun because she is constantly worried about her dimpled thighs and bulging stomach. And Arjun Chatterjee is smart, handsome and perfect in every way so she doesn’t feel confident enough when she’s with him.
And then there’s a nasty surprise waiting for them.
Even in the midst of craziness, Sush realises that her fake boyfriend is too good to be true. So now what?
Oh my god. Arjun looked scrumptious. His pink sherwani and beige churidaar had me ogling at the bulging muscles that I suddenly wanted to touch. Our pinks matched. Perfect. My parents would be ecstatic. He was carrying a present, wrapped in shiny gold paper. I told him that he didn’t need to go to the trouble.
He joined me at the back of the car, keeping a couple of inches between us.
“Sush, it was no trouble at all. Plus, don’t you think they’d call me a bad boyfriend and a bad guest if I came empty handed?”
Maybe he was right. Everybody liked getting gifts anyway. And we couldn’t give a joint gift because there would be talk about that. We were just boyfriend and girlfriend according to the wedding hosts and not an official couple. As in, we weren’t legally bound.
I stupidly blurted out my next thought. “I’m so glad that my parents didn’t want me to find a fake fiancé instead. That would be hard to find.”
Cheeks as pink as his sherwani and my saree, I zipped my mouth shut. Arjun was smiling. Then he asked, “So what are the differences between a boyfriend and a fiancé.”
The car rolled along while I chewed on my lip.
“Sush? Tell me what you think.”
I told him that being fiancé was not just about a diamond ring on the finger.
“I think it means that two people are ready to love each other and stand by each other through thick and thin. Forever.”
I was astonished at that point because my sweet and handsome wedding date, or wedding boyfriend, was giving me an intense look. It wasn’t easy to read. But then he reached out to touch my hand softly. So gentle yet full of warmth. Removing his hand, he told me that he agreed, ending the serious tone of conversation with a question.
“So do you think I’ll find my future wife at this wedding we’re attending? My friend Gautam met his wife at a relative’s wedding and it was love at first sight.”
The truth was that Indian weddings were a great place to meet your future spouse. In fact, the elders tried their best to push the singletons to each other. Like at the last family wedding, my Aunt Bela insisted that I take the snacks platter to an eligible bachelor and even said, “You children are both single. Go show him around the city tomorrow, Sush.”
Today, nobody would bother me. No matchmaking here. I was already going to be with a great looking, kind, eligible bachelor.
When the car pulled up at the hotel, doors were opened for us. Arjun took my hand as soon as security was done scanning my bag. Clasped together like it was something we were used to, we entered the hall where my mother came rushing toward us. Our hands separated as she gushed about Arjun’s outfit and he touched her feet to show respect. Score. The aunts were standing behind Ma, ready for their turn to inspect the new guy.
My family members ignored me, except for my cousin Reena who was 25 and single but very ready to mingle. “So where did you find this man who’s making me wish he was my boyfriend instead of yours?”
About the Author
Sudesna (Sue) Ghosh is an author based in Kolkata, India. She is a graduate of University of Rochester (USA) and an ex-featured journalist. When Sue isn’t reading a book or writing one, she is busy making sure that her rescue cats are happy. Find her on Twitter @sudesna_ghosh.