I looked at her, my face forming a surprised expression at her sudden, very unexpected question. "Yes Mom. I am! How many times will you confirm it-"
"But it's the first time I asked you this question though."
I sighed loudly, placing the cutlet piece back on the plate. "Mom. Look at me and tell me! Do you really think I am not happy with this marriage!?"
"Emily, I am your mother and I know very well when my daughter is hurting."
"Mom, it's a futile argument. Really!
And you know already how much I love Edward and how much this marriage means to me!?"
"Right? Isn't it the problem, Emily? That this marriage means so much to you when it isn't the same for Edward?"
I placed my hands on her shoulders. "Trust me Mom. He's very much happy with this marriage and he's the one who proposed me-"
"What's the evidence, Emily!?"
"I love him-"
"But he doesn't love you back, Emily!"
She yelled at me, making me stagger back in shock. My eyes widened at her words, and I just coudn't comprehend how did she know about it when I was very much careful with my every words and things, even at those moments when I wanted to share my pain with her.
"Mom... How...did you..." I trailed off, not finding any words to answer her when I knew my any sentence would just fuel her suspicions even more.
Mom glared at me with anger before she pulled out a black file from her purse and shoved it roughly over my hands. I stared at the piece of paper, my mind going frenzy just by looking at it.
Signed by Edward!
Oh God, I shouldn't have asked her to open my closet!
I shouldn't have kept that file in my closet! That was a bad idea from the start! I already told Edward that keeping the divorce agreement at our own house wasn't really safe for our marriage but he didn't listen to me!
"Mom. Where did you find it?"
"Oh so you were really hiding it from me all this time!?"
"There is a big reason behind it mom-"
"Then tell me your stupidiest excuse to cover up for your dirty lies, Emily!"
I bit my lips in frustration, flipping the pages of the file in nervousness, my mind searching for better excuses to bury this naked truth alive in front of my mom.
She snatched the file from my hand and raised her eyebrows, looking at the paper. "It's dated just two weeks after your marriage!?"
"It's not that-"
"Means you two were getting divorced just after some days of your marriage!? Why? Did something happen!?" She looked at me, waving the divorce papers on my face.
"Actually something happened-"
"You lied to me, Emily! You lied to everyone around you! Even to your dad!"
"Mom. Listen to me for a minute-"
"You two never actually married for real, did you!?" She gauged my reaction and I looked down at the floor, guilt and remorse crawling slowly on my face. "Why would you do it, Emily! I don't understand all this facade! And here I thought you finally settled with Edward after crushing on him all this time!" She looked at me, her eyes filled with pity and mild rage.
"For a moment I was so happy, Emily seeing you living your life with the person you wanted to share all your moments and dreams with and any mother couldn't want anything else but to see her daughter living happily ever after but.." Her eyes shone with tears and she sat on the sofa, unable to complete her sentence.
I rushed towards her and took her hands. "Mom. Edward needed me for the first time that day and you know I coudn't deny him anything!"
"So you went there like a nightingale and helped him!? Not even caring what your parents would go through, once they discover the truth!? Emily.." She took a deep breath. "You didn't even think of your own feelings for him!? You didn't even think of your own heart, of how you would be able to cope up with all this fake marriage thing!? You weren't that hopeless, Emily!? What happened to your optimistic nature!?"
"I am sorry Mom!"
"Does Edward know that you love him!?"
I remained silent for a minute, deciding whether to tell her more or to remain silent for the better consequences.
But the biggest truth of our marriage was already out!
"No. He doesn't know it, mom"
She narrowed her eyebrows. "Then why didn't you tell him!?"
"Mom, you know I can't just confess to him after hiding it from him all these years!?"
"Is it because of that Lara Girl!?"
I gulped in nervousness. "Edward's girlfriend?"
"Yes! Isn't she that same girl whom he wanted to marry but his parents didn't approve of his relationship with her?"
I nodded briefly. "Yes, but-"
"Now don't tell me that he proposed a marriage to you just because he wanted to keep his relationship with his girlfriend!?"
I stood up abruptly from my side and started to stuff myself with cold cutlets. Drinking cold water from the water bottle, I looked at mom who was staring at me without any emotions, her eyes narrowed at me, asking for the answer of her question.
"Why don't you eat some of these cutlets , Mom! They're really tasty and here I thought that I actually put more flour in it!" Taking one piece, I lifted my hand to her face. "Here! Eat it mom! You didn't even eat your lunch so you must be hungry!"
"I lost all my appetite after hearing that my daughter is sacrificing all her happiness for someone who doesn't even know he is the reason for all her pain and suffering."
"Mom, you're just exaggerating it-"
"Then why don't you tell me the reason you agreed to this marriage!?"
If I told her that Edward married me for Lara then she would never be able to live the rest of her life without feeling remorse at the thought that she wasn't able to understand her own daughter all this time.
And I couldn't let her blame herself for all those mistakes which I committed in my haste!
"Actually, Edward urgently needed a wife to sign off some important deal for his company and so, he told me about his problem" I looked at her "And I swear Mom he doesn't force me into anything! It was my own free will to help him-"
"Is he still in relationship with his girlfriend?"
"No mom! He isn't! He broke up with her weeks ago even before marrying me-" I tried to fill in quickly.
"So why don't you go and confess to him already!?"
"I... I will. I will do it once all of this settles-"
"Then you aren't staying with him anymore, Emily!?"
"Why!? Why does me confessing to him have anything to do with us staying together, Mom!?"
"It matters Emily, it always does! My daughter will not stay with a man who doesn't respect his own best friend and her feelings!"
"But he doesn't even know about it!"
"Then tell him quickly, will you!? What're you waiting for!? For him to fall in love with someone, which isn't you!?"
But he already did it, Mom. It's not that I had done anything to stop him but people say it right, after all.
Love is indeed inevitable.
And will eat you alive unless you give it what it wants!
"I am waiting for the right time to come."
"The right time is any time one is still so lucky to have, Emily!"
"But that time never seems to come for me, Mom! You know I am born unlucky and whoever stays with me gets caught up with my bad luck-"
"Have some courage Emily! It's just Edward, your best friend! All you have to do is to tell him that you're in love with him and this fake marriage will turn real all by itself!"
If only my Mom knew how complicated it actually was!
Fake doesn't turn into real that easily!
Just as first loves doesn't always get reciprocated that easily!
"Yeah but still-"
"Does Edward already love someone else!?"
I opened my lips to speak but words died down my throat when I found myself out of every excuses. "I don't know anything actually. He never shares anyhing about his love life to me."
I stood silent for a long time, nervously biting my lips. I expected some kind of rude response from her side but Instead, Mom took out her phone and started to dial some number.
"What are you doing, Mom!?"
"Calling Edward. He needs to know about all this!"
Quickly I ran towards her and tried to snatch the phone from her hand. "No! Mom! Don't do this! Please! You're ruining everything by doing this-"
"It's not like you have anything to lose, Emily!"
"Why're you doing this!? I am happy living my life just as his friend-"
"But I am not happy seeing you living your life like this! I can't see you getting this miserable each time you see him with someone else-"
"Mom, try to understand!"
"Either confess to him right now or come with me back to your home, Emily!"
I stopped struggling, removing my hand from her grip on her phone and stared at the floor in deep thought. I blinked back the tears which were threatning to fall and looked at her with determination. "I'll go with you then." I told her finally, wiping my tears from the napkin.
Mom gazed intently at me. "He didn't really break up with her, right!?"
I looked at her, blinking twice. She sighed after gauging my reaction. "Lara? Edward still loves her, right? The reason you're not willing to tell him your feelings!?"
"Yes. It's true, Mom but I assure you that he didn't do it all intentionally-"
"Will you please stop taking his side already!?"
"But, Mom, you coudn't help who you fall in love with so it isn't actually Edward's fault-"
"That's it! You're coming with me right now, Emily! You'll not stay in this house for a single second, you understand that!"
"Atleast wait for him to come back home-"
"No! I am not waiting for anyone! Emily, for God's sake, have some self-respect and stop embarassing yourself further already!"
She took my hands and squeezed them gently. "Look at me, Emily!" She tilted my chin to her side. "I'll marry you off to someone better than Edward, the one who'll see you for what you are! The one who'll think of your happiness before his, one who'll do anything in this whole wide world to bring just a smile on your pretty face dear. And you know why" She carssesed my hairs softly "Because you deserve all this. You deserve every man in this world, Emily but it's bad luck for Edward though."
I stopped crying and looked at her, just as she wiped my tears gently from her hands.
"He doesn't deserve you, Emily. He never did."
I tried to believe in her words but my tears said it all otherwise. The heavy feeling in my chest engulfed my heart in a much larger storm, the deep abyss of tears and pain loosened strings of my hope for ever loving someone again in my life and for the first time in my life I realised that I kept on loving someone unconditionally with every heartbeat and passing second of my life, the very reason I forgot my own happiness and existence along the way and before I could realise it soon, I ended up doing everything...
For his sake...