The silvery beaches of Mauritius were a sight to behold. But instead of enjoying her honeymoon, she was feeling anxious.
Her parents had arranged her marriage to a well to do businessman much against her wishes. He only wanted a trophy wife who would accompany him to his meets and bear his children. But, she had her own ambitions and wasn’t ready to settle yet.
Aakash was calling out to her from the turquoise waters.
“Ananya… come in the water sweetheart…”
She was looking forward for some water sports and not just frolicking in the sea. Besides, Aakash didn’t even know swimming.
“Baby, let’s go for parasailing and that sub-scooter ride. I’m so excited for it!” She cajoled him.
An hour later, they were on a speedboat along with a few others headed towards the site for parasailing. Ananya was giddy with anticipation. She wanted to fly high in the sky and watch the world beneath her.
“You guys want dips?” The guide asked.
“No, I want to remain aloft for the entire duration.” Ananya said, whereas Aakash agreed to three dips in the sea.
All those aboard were given lifejackets. The excitement was infectious and everyone awaited their respective turns.
Aakash suddenly came in front of Ananya blocking her view. She was irritated.
“I don’t like the way that man is staring at you.” He whispered.
Ananya shrugged, “Don’t bother Aakash. Let’s just enjoy.”
Finally it was her turn. With a whoosh the parachute got her into the sky and she let out a whoop. She enjoyed her time in the sky and the magnificent view of the island.
Back on board, the man who was staring at her gave her a wink. She ignored him.
Aakash went next. He was dipped into the sea twice and just before the last dip, she screamed. The harness along with the lifejacket that was holding him got separated from the parachute and he went right into the sea with tremendous speed. The entire boat rocked at the impact of the parachute that came raging towards the deck.
And before the guide could dive and get him out, he was deep under.
Everyone was shocked. Suddenly, a tap on her shoulder made her turn around. The same man who was staring at her smiled. “Our plan worked,” he said sotto voce.
Ananya grasped the edge of the boat and collapsed on the seat.
“What? Aren’t you happy with the choice you made?” He said.
“Sometimes there is no happy choice, Siddharth, only one less grievous than the others. I’m definitely relieved, because I couldn’t bring myself to live with him for the rest of my life. I would have been miserable, but dad just wouldn’t listen.”
Siddharth gave her a sideways hug and Ananya started crying seeing the commotion around her.
“Time to play the grieving wife.” She told Siddharth, before pretending to jump into the sea for her beloved husband and yelling, “Aakash……!!”
The above story is an entry into #TheChoice a Five00 entry.
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Photo by lewa Swanson