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   Chapter 4 NO.4

MAFIA INDEBTED (Mafia Series 1) By NSH_SHAHEEN Characters: 13917

Updated: 2018-05-18 21:53


Image of Anissa (uh-nee-sa) above :)

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She hurried inside her house and closed the door behind her, closing her umbrella. It had started to rain a while back and thankfully, she was free from work in the nick of time and went running for home.

"Ainnie, is that you?" she heard a voice call her from the kitchen.

"Yes ammi, it's me." She called out loudly and threw her umbrella by the coat stand and proceeded with removing her shoes and wet dupatta. She went straight to the kitchen and was delighted to smell the fresh delicious aroma of curry. "Hmm, smells great." She said and leaned down to kiss her mother's cheek. The old woman in her late forties smiled warmly at her young doctor, her eyes twinkling with pride when she saw her daughter donned in her white coat.

Technically, she was her maternal aunt—her khaala but still, Anissa referred to her as her ammi since her khaala and khaalu (uncle) took care of her like their own since they had no children of their own. Her real parents were lawyers and had three sons. They didn't appreciate when they had a daughter since they were proud and male oriented and decided to give up their only daughter to their childless relatives. Anissa was told about this bitter truth on her thirteenth birthday and she was hurt but she got over it because of the love her parents showed her. She was grateful to them for taking such good care of her yet sometimes, she felt dejected as to why would give up their own flesh and blood so willingly. But alas, this society was male oriented and everyone desired sons more than daughters. This made Anissa incredibly insecure—she didn't understand why people treated daughters unequally. Whether son or daughter, both where capable of the same potential and could accomplish anything on an equal level—this whole issue had made her very sensitive towards gender inequality.

But her parents loved her unconditionally. Her real parents would visit her every now and then but she was very formal with them.

"How was the night duty?" her mother asked her. She groaned and collapsed on one of the seats near the small three person dining table a the corner of the small kitchen.

"So tiring. Sir Farooq is driving me crazy." She whined. And an arrogant obnoxious guy just ruined my day. She wanted to badly disclose this to her mother but she knew better; she was deeply indebted to her uncle and aunt and she had decided long ago that she would no longer burden then with the problems of her life—all that she aimed at now was paying them back for all that they had done for her till now: took her in, cared for and helped her pursue her dreams of medical college. Her uncle was an architect and though his earning was modest, they were very down to earth and lived humbly. Their house was small but comfortable for three people.

Her parents had raised her well—she had a smart and strong character and she valued that most of all—her parents had induced a strong moral sense in her that made her choose her career in medicine. However, people only saw her for her beauty—they didn't appreciate her brains. She was a genius with photographic memory and the uncanny ability to memorize anything and everything. However, it also came with a negative side that she wasn't able to easily forget anything. Anything good or bad would etch itself in her mind and her logic would always override things.

And how could she forget? Especially after her traumatizing incident from two years ago, she couldn't forget anything. But of course, that wasn't what she wanted to think about now and dampen her mood further.

"I'm so proud of you Ainnie, I hope you know that." Her mother said and she gave her a sweet small smile. "I'm going to go and change now. Please call me down once lunch is ready. I want to sleep in." she said and went up stairs to her small bedroom. She sighed and proceeded to remove her coat and throw it in the laundry basket. She glanced at herself in her dresser mirror didn't even flinch when she saw herself—dark circles marring her skin under her eyes, eyes almost soulless now that she didn't have to put up with the world anymore. Her light brown hair was damp from the rain and became unruly. She removed the clip holding her thick heavy locks in place and let them fall on her shoulders.

Indeed, she was beautiful and she knew it; but to her, her beauty was a curse which brought nothing but misery for her. However she wasn't vain or conceited. She knew that people mostly liked her for her beauty and never saw passed her. Maybe that's the reason why she didn't have any close friends except for Haris who was more like a brother to her and his sister, Ramsha, who was close to a sister for her.

Sighing to herself, she went to the washroom and took a quick shower. After changing into comfortable clothes of a light cotton shirt and sweatpants, she flopped on her bed and tried her best to stay awake and wait for her mother to call her for lunch. She didn't want to eat anything but she didn't want to miss out on her only family time that she gets to have from her strenuous medical training.

After half an hour, her mother came to fetch her. "Abu won't be joining us for lunch?" she asked when she saw the table laid out for two people.

"No, unfortunately he had to attend a meeting this afternoon so he'll be back home by the evening." She told and sat down. They both enjoyed a silent meal and when they were done, Anissa helped her mother with clearing the table and washing the dishes.

"So, "

"Gee, ammi?" she asked and continued washing the dishes. Her mother stood by the counter and looked at her. "Aiman came today with a marriage proposal for you." She announced. Anissa cringed and the dish that she was holding fell into the water filled sink and the water splashed on her.

"Damn!" she mumbled, clicking her tongue as she tried to clear away the soapy water from her shirt with the cloth that her mother passed her.

"What's with that reaction Anissa?" she probed. Anissa sighed and continued washing the dishes. For her, marriage wasn't exactly a hot topic. If it were up to her, she would never marry—she was appalled by the opposite sex. For her, all men wanted was sex and nothing else. And especially after her incident from two years, she had decided to never marry.

"Nothing Ammi, but you know that it's just the start of my career and I cant waste this time in marriage. You know that I've worked so hard for this." She said flatly and avoided eye contact with her mother.

Suddenly, a pair of smoldering grey eyes flashed in her mind and she immediately shook her head to get rid of the image. Why the hell am I thinking about that insufferable man?

"Anissa, you're already twenty four. You need to settle down now. It's not appropriate for a young woman stay unmarried."

Of course, culture and customs had a strong hold on them; her parents were of no

exception. Even if they were open-minded, they were still deeply traditional.

"After all, this boy is very nice. He has his own business and earns a lot. He's only two years older then you. He's not exactly bad looking but baita, he's very accomplished and educated. That's all that matters."

Of course, she wanted a settled and well suited man to marry her daughter—which mother didn't want that and Anissa understood that her marriage would be an arranged one as it was the norm in their society; but what her mother didn't know about was her feelings regarding the issue.

Oh ammi, you just don't get it. No doubt he's very accomplished but he deserves someone better. He doesn't deserve someone like me. She thought ruefully and didn't respond when her mother went on to tell her about the potential suitor. She had no interest and she knew that her parents would never force anything on her—all they wanted was to fulfill their last responsibility towards her and marry her off to a suitable man who would be able to take good care of her but she just wasn't interested. Her life was already so bleak and complicated that she didn't feel like allowing anyone near her or on her life.

"Of course I will have to discuss this with your parents as well. Their opinion counts." Her mother went on.

"Why tell them ammi? You and abu are my parents and whatever decision you make, I'm good with it." She said bitterly and finished her chores. What she didn't approve about her parents was that they always tried to involve her biological parents into matters that concerned her life and those people never truly showed any interest in her life and always told her parents to go with whatever they thought was right for Anissa. It used to hurt her but then she stopped caring and it hurt less—but it still hurt.

Without any more talk, she went up stairs and retired to bed.

When she woke up the next morning, she decided to sleep in since it was her day off. All that she wanted was to stay in bed but she knew that this day was the only free time she'll get this week and there were so many things that she needed to do—calling Ramsha was once of these things especially since she hadn't spoken with her best friend in three weeks.

Taking her phone from the night stand, she dialed Ramsha's number.

"Hello? Asalam alaikum, so you finally remembered that someone names Ramsha exists in your life?" she drawled and Anissa rolled her eyes and rubbed the sleepiness off of her face.

"Good morning to you too." She croaked.

"Whoa, what happened? Did a frog actually went down your throat and died or did you just sleep in?" she laughed at the expense of her own joke.

"Ha ha very funny." Anissa deadpanned.

"So, how's your job been treating you?"

She groaned and sat upright. "Can we not talk about it? I want an actual break from that hell."

"Oh come on don't be so dramatic. I know how much you love your job. It's your boss that you really hate isn't it?"

"It's not like I hate him, he's just a mean slave driver. Yesterday I was supposed to be done early but he made me check up on two patients which took me three more hours. He knew that I was on night duty yet he deliberately made me do it." She whined and rubbed her forehead.

"It's okay. You know even Haris bhai was in such a bad mood when he came home last night. Apparently his boss made him work over time too." She informd and Anissa chuckled in delight. "Looks like I'm not the pnly one who's in this crap."

"Yup."

"Anyways, I wanted to tell you something."

"Yeah?"

Sighing, she scratched her temple. "Ammi got a proposal for me." She said, sounding solemn.

"Oh, " Ramsha exclaimed in understanding. She was the only one whom Anissa trusted with her problems and always consulted with her when things would get too complicated for her.

"I told her that I want to focus more on my career."

"Yeah, but Ainnie, this is your first ever marriage proposal. I think you should give it a chance."

"Ramsha, you know fully well why I'm so apprehensive about it."

"I know but Ainnie, if you always let your past haunt you the you won't even be able to move forward."

"I can't Ramsha. It's too difficult for me. And besides, that guy deserves better. I shouldn't deceive him. If I evr consider marrying anyone in the future, then I will be honest with him about my past."

"Don't do that Ainnie. Your chances at marriage would not ony be minimized but no man would except you if he knew the truth." She spoke the bitter truth and Anissa's insecurities and dejectedness took over.

"Then I guess, marriage isn't in my destiny if a guy can't accept me for what I am." She exclaimed sullenly.

"Don't say that Ainnie. You will surely find a great man who would love you and marry you for who you are."

"Yeah right." She scoffed and they continued to share light conversation until Anissa's mother came to her room, catching her off guard when she saw her mother in a nervous state.

"Oh, good you're up." She said when Anissa put away her phone and got off the bed.

"What's wrong ammi?" she inquired and went to her. She gave her a soft smile and went to Anissa's closet and pulled out her beautiful dusty blue dress. "Quickly get dressed into this and wear some makeup. Someone is here to see you." She informed.

"Who?"

"Just come down quickly, okay?" her mother said and quickly left. Anissa was confused but she obeyed. After a quick shower, she got dressed into her dress. Letting her hair hand loosely on her shoulders, she carefully covered her head with her dupatta and wore light pink lip gloss. She wasn't really in the mood to put on any sort of makeup.

Maybe they came to visit from Lahore. She thought about her biological parents because her mother only made her get dressed up whenever they visited. She felt her heart fall when she thought about meeting the people who abandoned her. She didn't want to waste her day off with them so she decided that she won't stick around much and make an excuse to escape their company.

As she descended the stairs, she was met with silence from the living room where she thought the guests would be—she would usually hear laughter and loud talk from there whenever they would visit bit today, there was mostly silence. Maybe they left. She felt relief at that thought.

However, as she approached the living room, her breathed got caught in her throat and her eyes widened with shock. Her heart thundered in her chest and cold shivers ran down her spine as she saw the tall and muscular frame of the man standing near her father in the middle of the living room.

Shehryaar Ghulari was in her house.

What the hell is he doing at my house? She mentally shouted while at the outside she was frozen stiff in her place.

He smirked when he saw her shocked form standing at the entrance.

"Asalam alaikum, " he greeted only to be met with silence.

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