“I don’t see love in her eyes any more. I don’t hear love in her words any more. All I see is guilt these days.”, told Varun to his mother.

Filled with sudden fear, his mother retorted, “How can you say this now? Your marriage ceremony is within a week. Why don’t you say this to your father?”

“Please help me. I cannot say anything to that husband of yours. He never listens to me. All he worries about is his reputation and his feelings. I know for sure that it is of no use talking to him.”, said Varun.

“How do you think I can help you now? You always do something like this in the last minute. Why didn’t you tell us that you did not want this marriage when your father asked you? You had so much time to talk to Shilpa and decide. You were so happy then.”, said his mother.

“I had no issues with her then. She was very friendly to me then. Our conversations used to be refreshing. I could feel her smile whenever I called her up on her phone. I don’t see that any more. Now, it appears as though she wants me to disconnect the call. Or, she is guilty of something. I can see the guilt in her eyes and her expressions.”, explained Varun.

“You are trying to find reasons to get out of this wedding thing. I think you are getting some jitters. Let me talk to Mihir. He is married happily. You will definitely listen to him.”, said his mother.

“It’s not about me, mother. I still want to marry Shilpa. But, she does not want to marry me. Though she hasn’t told me directly, I can sense. You know how much I trust my gut instincts. I’m ready for responsibility if the other person is also ready for it. But, she does not want to get married to me.”, said Varun.

“I cannot refute that. You were always right with your guesses because of your intuition. But, how are we going to deal with this? The only solution is for you to meet Shilpa in person and discuss with her. Tell her how you feel about this. It can be very risky if there is nothing fishy with her. You might be blamed for wanting to cancel the marriage in the last minute. But, it is better to try talking to her than worrying about the consequences if you get married to her.”, explained his mother.

After discussing on this topic with his mother and his best friend Mihir, Varun decided to clarify this ordeal by discussing with Shilpa.

Varun planned for a dinner with Shilpa. Though, she did not accept initially citing shopping reasons, she had to budge as he was very vehement.

Varun wanted to observe her for one last time during the dinner. He would talk to her after the dinner about his gut instincts.

To add to his intuition, Shilpa made some gestures that obviously depicted her disinterest towards the marriage. She would often look at the phone as though she was expecting a call from someone. She would send text messages to someone almost every five minutes. Though Varun wanted to doubt if another person was the reason behind her disinterest, he wanted to respect her privacy by not asking about it. Whenever he talked about wedding and future plans, she did not evince any interest. However, when he talked about movies or sports, she put forward her opinions without any delay.

Finally, he decided to broach the topic of marriage once again.

“I wanted to ask you something. Are you really sure about this marriage? With me?”, asked Varun.

Shilpa was silent for a few seconds. She, then, answered, “Why? What happened? Did you find anything odd? Why are you asking this now? Within a week, we both will be married. Are you sure about this?”

Varun did not answer her. Instead, he explained her the concept of his intuition.

“Let me tell you something. During my college days, I felt something odd about one of the professors. It turned out that he was a fake professor within a span of three months. Likewise, I sensed something wrong with one of the drivers my father appointed. Later, we found out that he was stealing money from the house. There are many instances like this when my gut instinct would tell me if something is odd or wrong. Now, it tells me that you are not happy with the marriage.”, said Varun.

Varun added, “It is an important decision. Let us not make this marriage a loveless attempt. That is what it is going to become if you you are not interested.”

Shilpa was surprised at his explanation. She tried to defend for some more time.

After a couple of hours, they both left for their homes.

As soon as he reached home, Varun’s father shouted at him, “Why do you do this every time? If you are not interested, you should have told so in the first place when I asked you. What is wrong with you? You are always unhappy and dissatisfied with my choices. Why did you have to go and tell the girl that she is not ready for the marriage. Now, they are very angry. They are making fun of your intuition abilities and gut instincts. It took me a couple of hours to convince them that everything is fine.”

Varun and his father had a loud discussion for the next few hours. Finally, Varun had to accept and apologize for his mistake. He had to call her parents and apologize to them.

Two days later, Varun called up Shilpa and brought up the same topic. He did not know that Shilpa was talking to him on speaker phone. Her mother listened to the entire conversation.

“Hey Shilpa. Do something. Tell me the truth. You still have time left. If you are not interested in the wedding, tell me now. Or, talk to your parents. Many lives are dependent on your decision. If you love someone else, tell me.”, said Varun.

Shilpa’s mother was furious and started shouting, “How can you doubt my daughter? How can you use such words? If you do not want to get married, be man enough to admit it.”

Varun realized that Shilpa’s phone on speaker mode. He apologized to both of them and disconnected the call.

Just two days before the wedding, Varun’s father got a call from Shilpa’s father with some surprisingly bad news.

After disconnecting the call, Varun’s father called his wife and started shouting at Varun, “Look at what your son did. The girl ran away from her home saying that she cannot marry this coward who is not willing to admit that he does not want to get married. Shilpa’s father read the entire letter and it is such an insult to Varun and us. Your son is a hopeless. He is born to ruin the family’s name and reputation.”

Varun’s father continued with his angry sermon for nearly two hours.

Varun’s mother looked amusingly at Varun after this sermon and asked him, “Why are you not angry or sad? Whenever your father shouts at you like this, you are either very angry or you get very depressed. I got terribly frightened the last few hours. But, you were calm and silent. It was as though, you knew this was bound to happen. What is happening? Is everything alright? Please tell me.”

“I asked her to elope with her boy friend. She had a misunderstanding with her boy friend. She agreed to this wedding when they were not on talking terms. Later, the misconceptions faded away and she started hating this marriage. She told me all the details on the day I took her to dinner. She wanted to marry him. But, she did not want to tell her parents about him. That’s when we decided that I should play spoilsport”, explained Varun.

Varun’s mother heaved a sigh of relief and said, “Don’t worry. I have three girls in the pipeline. We can meet them this week or later.”

Varun did not want to meet anyone for some time, though.