Arranged Marriage (To A Complete Stranger)

Arranged Marriage (To A Complete Stranger) Episode 24

🔥Arranged Marriage👰‍♀️
To
a
💃complete 👰

👰 stranger👰‍♀️💙

By: worthy stories

Chapter 24

Hailey’s pov 🔥

Today I had an appointment with my therapist for the second time in a span of a few weeks. The previous time it was my ex fiance that brought me here and this time it was my husband.

It has been a couple of days since Nathan and I had that argument in his office about Hannah going to the press about her relationship with Nathan, and we haven’t spoken since. Story of our lives.

We seem to be getting along just for a moment than we argue and go back to ignoring each other.

This was getting exhausting.
As I ran over all the things that I had experienced since my marriage I realised how fuc**ked up this was.

I had accepted the proposal to make my grandparents happy, but in doing so I was living a fake and toxic life.

That could never make them happy. This wasn’t in any of our best interest.

My husband was sleeping around with women and was in a serious relationship with someone who wasn’t me while I turned a blind eye to his infidelity.

But was I truly ok with it? The answer was no. And yet I was too proud to get him to stop and show him that his cheating was affecting me.

I’m a workaholic, ambitious woman who has not been in a serious relationship since my previous engagement went sour about five years ago, and has pushed away everyone who has showed romantic interest in me.

I’ve dedicated my life to my work and my dreams but yet in a way I crave love, even if I don’t admit it.

I crave to have a happy and healthy relationship with a partner who truly cares for me and makes me happy.

As I explained Nathan’s strange behaviour towards my professional relationship with my male associates, I realised that this began only after we returned from London.

About the same time when I started to develop feelings other than indifference towards him.

“It’s possible that he’s possessive of you,” dr Sinclair said. “Jealousy is not uncommon in a relationship.”

“A real relationship,” I corrected. “Where people actually love and care about their partner, something we lack and our relationship is anything but real. I think it’s more of a manly ego thing.”

“Why do you think that you’re relationship lacks love and care?” She asked and I stared at her dumbstruck. Was she not listening?

“Besides the fact that he has a girlfriend and couldn’t care less about me?” I asked her.+

“Yes your relationship isn’t in anyway normal or healthy, but I wouldn’t say it lacks love and care. It’s obvious that you both care about each other.”

“No…we don’t!” I denied almost immediately. She gave me the look as if to say, ‘oh really?’

“You cook for him, he always wants you to live in his house where he can see you, he is observant to who you roam around with, you remember all the little details about him as you were very precise in your account of all the things that went down between you.

You even quoted all his exact statements,” she pointed out.

“I have a good memory,” I defended but it looked like she didn’t believe me. “Ok but that doesn’t prove that there is love and care among us.”

“Maybe not in a romantic sense, but there definitely is warmth in your relationship,” she said. “Fighting is not uncommon in a relationship, every healthy one has it.”

“But what’s the point?” I asked. “How do I feel ok, how do I not be affected by this mess, how do I cope with it all, with the stress and everything?”

“I can’t tell you that, I have no direct answer for you Hailey,” she admitted. “But I’ll advise you to open up a little bit. Come out of your shell a little, be honest with yourself about what you really want. You can’t keep lying to yourself. Free yourself from what’s holding you back if you really want to feel ok.”

I let out a heavy sigh. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be more open and free, it is just that I’m too scared of getting hurt again if I came out of the shell I built around myself. I couldn’t handle that sort of pain again. I couldn’t bear another failed relationship, another failed attempt at love.

“I know this is hard on you Hailey,” she said sympathetically. “But you won’t achieve anything without trying. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be ‘no'”

“Do you love your husband?” She asked me suddenly after a few minutes of silence.

I thought about it. Was what I am feeling love? Is it possible I was feeling something I promised myself I would never feel again?

“I wouldn’t call it love,” I said sincerely after some time. “Not with him. I’m in love with the idea of a husband and he happens to be my husband. I’m in love with the idea of a real relationship. Not the whole gifts and roses, or knights in shining armour type of love, no I want the real one, the one where there are ups and downs, where I have a support system, someone who loves and cares about me.

“I am not asking for romance or the declaration of everlasting love and forever ever after, just warmth and home. A partner to share my life. I…I want…”

I shut my eyes and sighed as I trailed off. I was trying to express myself, open up about my true desire. There was a temporary silence as I gathered myself.

“Yes Hailey,” Dr Sinclair encouraged. “What is it you want? Say it, honey.”

“I want a family.” I finally said it out loud. “Like the one I lost. I want that home again, that warmth and happiness, that life of coming home to a house filled with joy and.. and love. A family of my own, to have a partner who looks out for me and encourages me… and maybe someday I can have kids…”

“And all I have is a mess,” I finished. “A husband who doesn’t bother about me, and a house filled with cold and emptiness.”

“Have you tried to build this family you desire?” She asked me after a while.

“What will I achieve anyway?” I asked confused at her question. “My husband is in love with another woman and wants nothing to do with me,” I said bitterly.

“It doesn’t sound like he wants nothing to do with you when he keeps coming back to you, finding reasons to have a conversation even if it ends in fights most of the time,” she pointed out.

“I doubt that he’s deliberately trying to talk to me or finding reasons to be around me,” I said skeptically.

“I’m not saying that he’s doing it deliberately, or is aware that he’s even doing it,” she replied. “But its more of a subconscious behaviour.”

“You still missed the part of him having a girlfriend,” I told her.

“See I don’t know about Nathan’s relationship with Ms Williams but that is beside the point,” she said. “Even if he truly wants to be with her there is no legal way he can marry her while married to you and as you explained, your chances for divorce are slim to none.”

“Sooner or later he will be aware that he can’t divorce you as he currently seems to believe,” she continues, “and then he will have to make a choice between an unlawful relationship with another woman or to devote himself to be a faithful husband to you with a healthy relationship.”

“Yeah… well,” I heaved.
“Hailey, you say that he doesn’t want a relationship with you, that he doesn’t want to be with you, but what have you done to make this marriage work, what are your contributions?” She asked.

“What do you mean?” I asked her.

“Your husband told you he’s in love with another woman,that you mean nothing to him and you just accepted it,” she explained. “You want a relationship, you want a husband, you want a real marriage but what work have you put in to achieve it? What have you done to make it work?

“You say that Nathan doesn’t acknowledge you as his wife, but have you tried to be a wife to him? From what I understand, all this time the two of you are playing a game to see who can ignore the other the best.

Have you tried to show him the possibility of a relationship with you? How can you expect a happy marriage without putting work into it?”
I just sat there like a child being reprimanded. As I processed what she was saying, I realised that I too had contributed to my failing marriage.

I was always taught to work hard for what I wanted, and yet I was never worked to achieve the family I always wanted, just complained about never getting it and complained about losing it in the first place.

————————————-

I got back to Nathan’s house from my therapist appointment at around 5. I still hadn’t accepted it to be my house too.

When I walked into the small waiting room of sorts close to the stairs, I didn’t expect to find Nathan sitting there as it was still early and he didn’t usually get home until later in the evening.

It was awkward as we stared at each other. This was the first time we had come face to face alone since our last fight. Does he usually hang around here?

Was I to simply ignore him and climb up to my room or do I say hi? Oh god save me! I didn’t know what to do or say. And as if God was listening, I was saved by Nathan initiating the conversation.

“Hey your home early,” he said putting down his phone.

“I could say the same about you,” I replied as I walked towards the couch close to him.

“Yeah, I decided I kind of needed a little break and not drown myself in work,” he went on.

“That’s good,” I said. “You do seem to have a busy lifestyle, spending so much time in the office.”

“One thing we both have in common,” he pointed out. “Two workaholics, who are married to the office.”

We both chuckled. But then he grew serious.

“I’m really sorry for what happened with the interview and Hannah…” He apologized.

“She was really just upset,” he continued. “But I promise you nothing like this will ever happen again.”

“Alright,” I said.

“So we’re good?” He asked.

“I don’t know,” I laughed sarcastically, “were we ever good?”+

He let out a small laugh and said, “We were certainly getting better, I had hoped.”

“Are you free tonight?” He asked me suddenly.

“That depends, why are you asking?”

“I have two tickets for the Knicks game tonight,” he said. “Would enjoy some company.”

“I don’t know,” I replied unsure. “Isn’t Hannah there to keep you company?”

Nathan flinched and I realised that it came out the wrong way.

“Hannah doesn’t really enjoy sports,” he admitted. “Well not as much as you do. The time we went to that soccer match in London, it was the first time I enjoyed watching a match in the stadium with someone, in a long time, even though I don’t really like soccer.

I thought we could both enjoy the game since you mentioned you loved basketball.”

“Well, that’s right, I do love basketball,” I agreed while contemplating my answer. “You know what, why don’t I go change into something more comfortable for the match?”

“Yeah sure,” he said happily. “Thanks.”

“What time is it at?”

“At 7,” he grinned widely.
“Popcorn is on you,” I told him as I headed to my room.

——————————-

There was a lot of screaming and cheering going on in the packed stadium of Madison square garden. The Knicks vs clippers game was in full swing.

“Oh come on!” Nathan groaned as the Clippers were awarded a free throw.

“You guys suck man, you suck!” I screamed at the clippers player, and the Knicks fans around me all mumbled in agreement.

The clippers player took the shot and missed and all of us Knicks fans roared in happiness.

“What was that Taj?” One of us yelled as the game went on. We were both lost in our love for the game, everything else forgotten.

When the Knicks scored a basket and we all jumped up from our seats and onto each other.+

“Come on Knicks,” I yelled in excitement yet again. “Kick their ass!”

Nathan seemed amused by my behaviour and yelled along with me, and after that we were laughing to our hearts content.

During the break I was sipping a coke as we were both chatting about the stats of the game while laughing at the kiss camera, where a dude was trying to kiss a girl who was obviously not into it.

Then that couple was gone and the camera was on me and Nathan. He excitedly pointed at the camera for me to see and then leaned in and kissed me on the cheek, really close to the side of my lips, as his hands wrapped around my shoulders.

This left me stunned. In a quick second, we had gone from enjoying the game to kissing on the cheek. Was that ok, what do I make of it? But as I recovered, I dismissed it as just Nathan being hyped by the game. I was overthinking a little thing and it was all in the game spirit, right?

When the game resumed, all was forgotten as we were sucked into the game once again.

—————-

“Wow, that was an awesome game,” Nathan said after the game had ended.
We were in his car at a drive in, eating fries and burgers after the game where the Knicks defeated the Clippers.

“Agreed,” I said putting down my soda. “The Knicks were just amazing tonight.”

“I’m not going to forget this game, ever,” Nathan announced.

“Well it was pretty memorable,” I chuckled.

“Yeah, the game was good,” he said, “but I enjoyed the company too, and the extra game spirit,” he winked at me.

“Hm, of course you did,” I said. “It was me after all.”

“Cocky much now are we,” he said laughing. “But no kidding, I love watching game with you, haven’t had a sports buddy in a while now.”

“Having a good group of friends who understand the sport and share your enthusiasm about it, is vital to properly enjoy your time on the stands,” I told him.

“True,” he said. “Maybe we could both be sports buddies.”

“Wouldn’t that be nice now,” I said playfully, but I was eager to have someone to watch the games with.

I am a huge fan of different sports, but I’ve hardly had anyone whom I could watch the game and it has pretty much been just me, unless Ace or Ethan joined me.

Harry was someone who used to watch the games with me and my sports buddy, but after he left for London I had been all alone and somehow my spirit had been dampened. I have been really lonely these past years, I realised.

“After all today’s game proved we make a good Knicks fan pair,” he continued.

“Yup, and seeing the clippers being beaten was an extra treat,” I chuckled.

“You really hate the Clippers don’t you?” He asked. “You were trolling them the whole game.”

“Well yeah, I’m a Lakers fan after all,” I replied while stuffing a fry in my mouth.

“You’re a Lakers fan?” Nathan asked in disbelief. “Not Knicks?”

“Knicks is my second team, I love them but Lakers is my first, ever since I watched my first basketball game,” I told him.

“When did you watch your first basketball game?”

“I was in college then,” I told him. “Roman and I took a trip to LA during vacation one year when we were dating. He introduced me to basketball, I wasn’t a fan before. He took me to the Staples centre to watch the Lakers play, that was my first game.”

“Oh,” Nathan mumbled.

“Yeah, we used to watch every Lakers game together after that,” I informed him. “It was sort of our tradition.”

“Well then,” Nathan said after a pause, “watching the Knicks game together could be our little tradition.” He said this casually as he bit into his burger.

Perhaps there was a chance for the two of us after all.
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.TBC 🔥
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How are you guys enjoying the story so far? Please let me know what you think of it in the comments section.

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