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Her coy eyes failed to look up. The sari wrapped around her slender waist, draped over her lustrous hair and bared her midriff. The embroidery on the border altered from gold to dark magenta silk streaks. The border laid gracefully above her soft black hair, a pinned gold chain hung down her middle parting. The pendant attached to the chain rested at the edge of her scalp near her forehead, barely an inch away from the crimson powder flawlessly dotted between her shapely eyebrows. A golden and ruby loop pierced through her attractive nose. Her thin arms hung from her petite shoulders elegantly and her slim hands intertwined together tightly. Her fair skin glowed. An unblemished flesh color covered her tender body. Long eyelashes surrounded her deep almond shaped eyes. Her fearing eyes stared downwards; her forceful palpitations could be seen through her thin blouse. Her lips, tinted with ruby lipstick, remained pursed closed, expressionless. She bent her knees, curved her long back and positioned herself on the chair parallel to me.
I stared at her. She sat there, uncomfortably, her eyes fixated on her sari. I looked at her radiant skin, her right cheek shined in the sun. The soft skin only contained tension, not a wrinkle or blemish on her entire visage. Her skin seemed to tighten into one position and remain anxious and motionless. I continued to inspect her elegance. Suddenly, my eye caught hers and we glanced at one another. She looked away with subtle suspense. I needed to comfort her, a gentle smile, a simple “hello”, and a casual nod. My mind forced my body to ease her but my body wouldn’t listen. I remained seated in front of her, watching her pain. I fixated my eyes on the ground for a while. Then, I wanted to see what she was doing. I shifted my eyes to the right and looked up. A tinted brown birthmark grew on her right cheek. Shaped perfectly in a circle as the crimson powder, it forcefully began to bulge out. The dark tan birthmark pierced through her flawless skin. I blinked several times waiting for the blemish to disappear. It radiantly and stubbornly remained. She began to shift away, tears filling her eyes. I shifted over to my father, and whispered into his ear. Negotiations stopped. The families parted. She rose from her chair and left gracefully. I stared intently at her right cheek as she went away, watching the birthmark, paying close attention. I blinked. It vanished.
Light coats of haze darkened into charcoal colored clouds. The dense gas separated the golden light reflected off of the burning sun and the pink vapors sitting on the surface of the earth. The smoldering sun gradually fought through the darkened haze, slowing altering the shadowy sky into daylight.
Her coy eyes failed to look up again. I stared at her. Negotiations began. The tinted tan birthmark on her cheek, vaguely shaped, grew back. My heart began to palpitate. I leaned towards my father. Then, I blinked. It disappeared again.
The astrologer sat in the center. His glasses rested on his nose, his turban altered from gold to magenta. He placed my horoscope next to hers. My father and mother held their breaths. My heart almost stopped beating. My eyes glanced to the stars, I prayed for our horoscopes to tally. Her eyes began to fill with deep apprehension, but if she blinked, her emotions would drip out. She looked up at me, gasped quietly and started to look away. I caught her eye and creased my lip upward for an instant. We both stared downwards at our horoscopes. The astrologer, lining the stars, and coordinating our signs, glanced upwards. The astrologer’s wrinkles grew into upward creases. We were ready, the stars couldn’t stop us, and fate was in our favor. Our families rose and exchanged bows to one another. We sat there, only facing each other. I sensed she was relieved. Looking downwards, she shyly loosened her lips, gently showing her pearly teeth. I searched once more, for the birthmark. Vaguely the hues were dying out, her skin restored. But, a small dark brown prick still pierced through her skin. My mother brought out the box. She placed it on my bride’s lap, asked her calmly to open it. My bride nodded. She carefully unwrapped the box, and removed the top. Inside, a light yellow and red chiffon sari laid. My bride, with her fingertips, touched the chiffon sari. She ran her fingers along the borders. Her finger stopped near the golden stripe and a streak in the sari shredded in half. She quickly released the sari from her hands and rested it on her lap. She seemed scared; I bowed to my mother, and smiled slightly to my bride. She gracefully bowed down to my mother and her family left. My eyes followed her to the door. She looked straight and glanced back, Her eyes softened. The dark brown prick remained. I blinked. I saw the golden streak, the binding thread, scratched.
The hues of the sky clashed and the night gradually transformed into the day. Forming clouds blocked the sun on the horizon, and the moon in the sky slowly faded out of the landscape. The lifeless gray clouds and haze sitting on the surface of the earth began to thicken. The crimson gleams created by the sun disturbed the dreary picture. The sun stung my eyes. I woke up. I left for my wedding.
My bride in her dwelling was situated at a core point; she peered out of her window and rotated to see each angle of the overwhelming sky. Dressed in a dazzling magenta blouse and a colorless underskirt, my bride began to carefully wear her nine- yard chiffon sari. She cautiously wrapped it around her waist, trying hard not to pull too tight. She departed form her home, and reached our wedding.
I saw the alter divided in half by a blanket of thick and lush flowers woven together. The bright orange and red flowers burnt my eyes as I searched for my bride. I tried hard not to look my bride in the eye. If I shifted too close to her, I would tear the delicate sari even more. I could see the vague petite shape of my bride through the flowers. She looked at her sisters nodding, she looked at her brothers smiling, and she looked at me lovingly. I felt rice and flowers being thrown at my back. The hard rice touched my head and the flowers fell off of my shoulders. The guests chanted “Peace and Plenty.” I began to laugh, for my bride, for the guests and for myself. On the count of three, the blanket of red and orange released and draped on the floor. I looked my bride into her eyes. She looked down at her feet with henna designs. I waited until she looked up. Tears welled up in her eyes, and began to stream down her face. It touched the brown prick, and it began to absorb the dark color. The darkness streamed downwards through her fairness. The birthmark began to grow, forcefully, palpitating. I blinked. The birthmark was gone. I stood there helpless, watching my bride’s pain.
The chiffon sari tightly went around her body. My bride felt me touch her chiffon sari, she jumped to see who was touching it, anxious to see if there was any damage in her sari, she was uncomfortable when she saw me tying her sari and my shawl together. We were now united.
We fixed our eyes on the growing fire; the burning red flames intimidated me. Anxious for my future, I led my bride around the fire for the first time. We started walking carefully around the fire; I looked behind to make sure my bride followed me. I slowed down for her to catch up. The first circle began, we chanted in our minds, and prayed to the gods, asking for nourishment and respect. The bride’s eyes began to well with tears. Holding in her sadness she looked to her feet and saw her red henna. Suddenly she felt the heat of the fire on her chiffon sari, quickly jumped to make sure no harm had come to the paper-like material. It was purely her imagination, I looked at her carefully, and she fixated her glance onto her feet with crimson designs. We had almost completed the first circle around the fire, and the knot began to loosen. I looked behind and the bride hesitated to tighten it. I stood there motionless. She looked at her feet. My father came. He double knotted the fabrics. She just nodded, giving thanks. We continued around the circle; I reached my hand out for hers. She was shocked. She gently placed her cold and dry hand on top of mine. Immediately, she removed it, and looked into the growing yellow and red flames. I remained united with her, for a total of seven rounds about the fire. She looked straight at the back of my head. I stared straight into my future, with no one to follow.
We bowed to our guests, and our families parted. My bride sat on the chair, looking with sorrow at her feet. My mind forced me to console her. I sat on the chair beside her. The chiffon sari loosened, and rested gracefully on her torso, shielding her. I admired her flawless fair skin. The brown prick simply remained there, her beauty mark. I blinked. It still remained. I gently looked at her and she glanced over to me. Our eyes met. The radiating sun conquered the lifeless gray haze, the crimson and golden blazes clashed.