This is JessXTony friendship love ;)

Let's pretend that at the end of the movie, Jess did accept to marry Tony, and he went to a university in California to be with Jess, who was doing her soccer stuff in the US.

Disclaimer* If I owned the movie, then Joe would have not been in it. (Seeing that he would be locked in my closet...)

Anyway.


I don't want to marry you, he had said. But then, only days later, he had grabbed her hand and announced their engagement. She had opened her mouth to tell her parents the truth, but fear choked her voice and she could only smile dumbly. He squeezed her hand as if they were doing the right thing.

But she knew it would fall apart. She loved him, he loved her – but not as lovers. His eyes would wander, she would make mistakes. Why did she accept the proposal if they would both be restricted by the marriage?

She got what she wanted at the time; football and her parent's pride. "My daughter is at a top university in California," her father told the neighbor. "Yes, on a scholarship."

She would have never done anything to make them displeased with her again. They had given her football, and she wanted to give them back a good daughter. No more secrets.

Or so she said.


There had been a tremendous ceremony. Dancing, color, music, laughter, and Jules had been there too. She had been awkwardly standing by the front windows as if waiting for someone from outside to whisk her away.

"Be happy!" Jess had said. "It's my wedding!"

Jules gave a small smile but it melted away. "You have to tell your parents the truth."

But why should she have told them when she was so happy and they were so proud? Let them think that she and Tony were a normal married couple.

But time would tell for her.


She wrote home and told them she was on the Santa Clara Broncos, right wing forward. Football was her life. When she slipped on her boots she was putting on Hermes' winged sandals. Watch her fly, sparkling like a dart.

And then she was out of university, playing professionally. How lucky was she to go from making Alu Gobi to playing on the greens of California with her best friend? She was so proud; she promised herself that she would never let anything barricade her from her dreams again.

But that was before her mistake.


Tony loved her with all his heart. Just not in that way. But she knew. At the end of a game, he was always waiting for her with a wide smile, whether loss or win it didn't differ. He was the anchor that held her. Sometimes she would fall asleep at the kitchen table, still in her dirty uniform, and when she next opened her eyes she would be cradled in his arms as he carried her to the bedroom of their tiny apartment.

The night after he had told everyone they were getting engaged, she and Tony had sat down in the park under the silver light and made some plans, made some rules, made some clarifications. "What were you thinking?" she had said. "You've given up everything."

They ate dinner together and held hands as they walked by the ocean. He came to every game of hers and cheered in the stands. Sometimes she would wake up feeling sore and he would give her some hot milk, with honey.

"He is a good Indian husband," said her parents, and she could feel their pride buzzing over the phone lines, all the way from England. Jess told them how happy she was in America with him.

But she didn't tell them everything.


I don't want to marry you, he had said. So why had he? He was selfless. Why had she married him? She was selfish. Her dreams had swept over her, like waves, and she had been drowning in the lies, over her head. She had seen his outstretched hand, and taken it. Maybe she loved him because he had pulled her from the water.

What she didn't tell her parents was the way Tony looked when he came home at 3:00am, disheveled, laughing and drunk. She didn't tell them about the times when he didn't come home at all, when she sat in her pink bathrobe in her armchair watching the clock and knowing that tonight he was sleeping in another man's bed.

But she didn't mind so much. They allowed each other liberties. That's why she didn't feel guilty when her football tours took her away for days on end. That's why she didn't feel guilty when she dreamt of those blue eyes.


"I knew it would come to this!" screamed Jules. "You couldn't stay away from him! Does Tony know?"

"He's known from the beginning."

"What about your parents?"

"Oh, Jules, no! Don't tell them. You can't tell them. Please."

Jules took a deep breath. "Okay." And Jess was ashamed, because if her parents knew she wouldn't be their daughter anymore. But how would she hide the dirty lies? How could she and Tony possibly keep the twistedness of their marriage secret, a hanging skeleton in the closet?

She prayed to Babaji for brown eyes and dark skin.


"Are you really willing to give up football for this?" Tony asked her. "Football is everything for you. There's an easy way out; you know it." His dark eyes told the story of someone who knew sacrifice well, warning her. But she needed to keep the baby. She felt the life inside and knew that she had to protect it.

"You're finally coming to your senses!" said her mother over the phone. "Acting like a proper woman! Come home and we will celebrate, and you can have it here."

A few days before their flight home, Jess walked up the metal steps of the empty stadium, stumbling a bit. The heat of the sun scraped her back and pushed her down. Putting his hand on her arm, Tony steadied her. When they reached the top seats, she turned and gazed down on the green where she had played so many games. Her head whirled and she barely noticed as Tony placed his hand on her distended stomach. "Can't you feel it kicking? Jess? Jess?" His voice echoed along the rows of glittering metal steps.


As she lay in the hospital bed contorted in pain, she thought of the things she didn't tell her parents. The things they would make them ashamed to have her as a daughter.

She didn't tell them about those times when Joe came to visit, even after she wore Tony's engagement ring. On Christmas, Easter, whenever he had an excuse to visit or whenever she went back to England, they were together. At first he had his reservations. "Aren't you married now?" But she told him how it went; Tony was her gay friend who was willing to be her husband if he could give her freedom.

Joe was pleased enough, but inside she knew it would all shatter in the end. "The last time," she told herself, but each last time was one time too many.

And so she tied the secret between her fingers like an amateur magician, ready but not quite ready to bring it back into sight.


The doctor passed the red-faced bundle into her arms, and she felt such a strong pang of love pass through her at the contact with her child that she thought she would faint. For a moment, she didn't care who the father was, but then reality set in.

"What will my parents say?" Jess whispered, staring into the blue eyes of her pale-skinned baby son. Tony squeezed her hand.

"Jess. Your son is beautiful. They'll come to see that." He was sitting by her bed, and had been sitting there all night. Where was Joe? He said he had an important game to coach, he had said.

She noticed something glinting, on her hand that held the baby to her breast. A silver ring, the ring that tied her to Tony – Tony, not Joe. Who had sat by her bed all night? Who had paid for their mortgage and food? Who had sacrificed everything for her?


"Are you really willing to give up your freedom for me?" she had asked Tony the night he proclaimed them as engaged, when they sat in the park. "You don't have to do this." But inside she was pleading with him, begging him to love her, thanking him for everything. Maybe she loved him because he was always by her side, while Joe stayed far away, blurry in the background.


And here he was, stroking the head of her blue-eyed baby as if it were his own. "He will make a wonderful father," Pinky had said.

Her parents ran into the hospital room and smiled excitedly at the young Indian couple. Reaching down to take the baby, her mother did not notice how Jess's hands were shaking. Her mother looked down into the baby's face for the first time, and Jess forgot how to breathe.

There was an empty, groaning silence, like the frozen moment before ice cracks. Her parents' eyes were frantic as they scanned the baby, asking silent questions. They saw the pale skin and the blue eyes and they found the answers. Their daughter had betrayed them. Jess saw the shame in their disbelieving eyes.

"What is this?" her mother croaked, holding the baby out. Her voice was broken. "What is this?"


When they had sat in the park that silver night, he had said, "As my friend, I love you. And I don't care that you're in love with your gora coach or that you won't love me back. I just want you to be happy."


"What is this?" her mother repeated weakly. Her face was creased like a folded curtain.

Tony took the baby from Jess's mother and cradled him. Tony's eyes, so different in color from the baby's eyes, Joe's eyes, were gentle. "This is my son," he said. And Jess knew why she loved him.