“Did anyone see you?”, asked Satish nervously.

Shanti smiled as she approached him and told him that no one watched her. It was 5 am in the morning and most of the city is still asleep.

“We need to start immediately. We can reach the outskirts of the city within an hour as there will be no heavy traffic at this time of the day.”, said Satish while walking along with his bike. He did not want to start the bike already as the engine sound might wake up someone.

Both Satish and Shanti are well known in these streets and this area. They have become very famous in the past few weeks, thanks to the ongoing war between their parents.

Satish and Shanti were friends since childhood. They studied in the same school and college. Their fathers worked as colleagues in the same government office. However, the fathers always hated each other due to the competition and politics at the workplace.

As they grew up, Satish and Shanti started liking each other. Even before they knew it, they fell in love with each other. Slowly and steadily, they started spending more time with each other clandestinely. It was all good for them until Shanti’s uncle once saw them while they were whiling away their time in a vacant bus in the bus station. It turned into a big fight between their parents and they both were told not to meet each other. Such events occurred twice despite the warnings from their parents.

They endured it for some time. After a great amount of thought and discussion, they decided to run away. They were fascinated with the idea of eloping even though they had no money with them. They both are students who are in the second year of their engineering degree.

So, on this fateful day, they decided to revolt and run away from their houses to a distant city and live together happily away from all these parental prejudices.

“Can we eat something before we cross the outskirts of the city? I had very little food last night as I very anxious.”, said Shanti.

“We do not have the luxury to sit at some place and have breakfast. In the next thirty minutes, people will already get on the road searching for us. Your father has a criminal bent of mind. He will surely be able to figure us out if we are in the city. It would be easier for us after we cross this city.”, answered Satish.

“Why do you say such things about my father? The last time he found us in the picnic spot because it was such an easy place. And, you considered yourself to be super intelligent. My father was just being protective. You will know it once you have a beautiful daughter.”, said Shanti.

Satish got infuriated and said, “Then, why did he have to insult my father at the office when the caught us. It was my mistake. He should not have blamed my father and fought with him. He should have been man enough to fight with me directly.”

Shanti laughed and said, “So true. That would have been better. You should have run away like the first time you were trying to talk to him. You were so frightened. My Dad was considerate enough to ignore you at that time. If he had realized then, our story would not have come this far.”

“Will you stop praising your father already?”, shouted Satish and stopped the bike.

“Why should I not praise him? I miss him so badly already.”, said Shanti.

She continued, “You did not have the patience to wait for two years and prove yourselves. You just wanted to run away immediately. Think about me. Think about our future. How are we going to survive?”

“What happened to all this wisdom when I proposed this plan? You were all enthusiastic and did not want to spend even a moment away from me. Is that true love? If so, what happened to it right now. Don’t you love me any more?”, asked Satish.

“This is going great. Now, you have the guts to question my love. I came this far with you and you dare to question my love. Why did I not listen to my father? How did I misconstrue his advice?”, repented Shanti.

They argued and fought for some time. They did not realize that it took them more than an hour fighting. Fortunately for Shanti, they stopped near a small restaurant. In between the fights, they both had their breakfast and continued their fight within the restaurant.

“My father has been considerate enough not to suspend your father despite his insults.”, said Satish.

“You can only think of such illegal things. My father never insulted your father. He asked him to stop you from roaming around with me. You will never understand my father. Forget it. I’m glad we did not cross the city already. I want to go home to my parents. You do not deserve my love. I’m going home.”, said Shanti.

They fought louder and louder over the course of the next hour. They had only topic to fight for – their fathers. Each one fought ardently supporting his or her father.

During their arguments, both of them failed to notice that there was an array of vehicles outside the restaurant and both their parents already reached there.

As soon as she stepped out of the restaurant, Shanti saw father and started sobbing, “I’m sorry. Please take me home.” Shanti’s father was more than happy to take her home.

To everybody’s surprise, Shanti’s father walked to Satish’s father, smiled and said, “I think they are truly in love. They are already fighting for us. This would ideally happen after marriage. Their fight reminded of my early marriage years.”

Satish’s father replied, “You are right. We cannot let our competition hurt their love. For a moment, it appeared to me also as though they both are married and that we have come here to unite them.”

Both the father’s shook hands without talking any further and took the kids away.

It took nearly three months for Shanti and Satish to talk normally.

Six months after this episode, Satish’s father overheard Satish talking on the phone with Shanti, “Didn’t I tell you? They cannot let us go. If we are ready to fight for them, they will be ready to stop fighting for uniting us. It worked in everybody’s favor, my plan.”

Though Satish’s father was angry for a moment, he realized the maturity of his son and acted normally as if he never heard this phone call.

Three years after their elope episode, Shanti and Satish were married in a grand function.