Monday, 31 December 2012

Chapter Forty-Three: Crispy Leaf Pile

Happy New Year everyone and I hope it brings better joys and cheer than the last.

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She woke up a few hours later, with someone stroking her hair. Stretching her eyes open, she blinked a couple of times before resting her eyes on Raja now awake, sat beside her. He had his tongue out happily, making Khushi curiously roll and shuffle round to see the biggest surprise she has had in a very long time. She couldn't believe that she was smiling back at her with a warm grin, looking down at her. Payal?
Payal softly: "How are you Khushi?"

Khushi sat up with quickly difficulty, making Payal help her: "Khushi!! Not so fast! You-"
Before Payal could talk any further, Khushi pulled her into a tight hug. Payal laughed knowing that the tears of happiness in her eyes were also in Khushi's. Khushi pulled away to look at her properly after all this time. She was in a dark green anarkili with her hair pinned back. Khushi silently laughed and held Payal's face in her hands.
Payal cupped Khushi's cheek in a hand: " It's been a long time hasn't it Khushi? "
Khushi nodded earnestly before pointing at her then down at the bed. Payal grinned, happy she understood.
Payal: " Forget about how I got here. There are other people wanting to see you too.*giggles*"
Khushi frowned before looking round the bed to see Aman, Chinky and Priya with the other friends from the hostel. The all were holding 'Get well soon' Balloons making Khushi grin widely. They all suddenly climbed onto the bed too, making it a tight squeeze on the bed, but all were careful to give Khushi enough room. Raja barked with everyone laughing.
Chinky: "Did you like your surprise Khushi!? *wagging her eyebrows* "
Khushi nodded as Priya hugged her tightly.
Aman: " We know you've been ordered to stay in here, so we thought to bring Tea here to make you feel better. Good thing Arnav Bhai brought Payal to come here too to meet you. More the merrier. "
Khushi shocked turned to Payal demanding answers. Arnav did this? But-
Payal nodded: " I came back to Chandigarh the other day.* sadly* Heard about your Amma and Babuji and was devastated. I tried looking for you and Buaji, but couldn't locate you anywhere... *frowned* But then randomly I got the call from Arnavji this morning saying that you and Buaji were living with them all these years. I don't know how he got my number but *sighs* I'm really glad he did Khushi. I missed you!"
The two friends hugged each other again, before Khushi pulled away and turned to bring Raja onto her lap. Payal grinned looking at Raja.
Payal: " I know!! I couldn't believe it! When I entered the room, he recognized me nearly instantly. *stroking his fur* How could I forget your Raja? *Giggles*!
Chinky: " How can anyone forget Raja? "
Aman sighed: "You see Raja with all these girls in the room, your grabbing most of the attention. No fair."
The girls laughed. Priya then held Khushi's hand touching the bandages gently.
Priya: " We saw the fire and Maaji told us all everything..."
The other girls nodded concerned for Khushi: " Yeahh."
Priya: "..You are ok though... aren't you Khushi?"
Khushi tilted her head sighing feeling the pains come back. She laughed thinking how seeing all her friends made her forget about the pain for a little while. She nodded making everyone on the bed very very glad.

~

After chatting and laughing for an hour, while having tea in the room, Priya and the others noticed the time and hugged Khushi to bid their farewells. Promising they'd come another day, Aman escorted them out, much to Chinky's annoyance. Khushi noticing, started to think up a plan to get Aman to realize Chinky's feelings for him. It was then when Payal patted her on the shoulder.
Payal: " Khushi? I'd be going now too. I'll come back tomorrow."
Khushi pouted and tapped her wrist. Payal giggled nodding.
Payal: " Yes yes, Early in the morning. *hugged her tightly* Now you take care. Raja, make sure she doesn't get into mischief?"
Raja barked making Khushi gawp her mouth open. Chinky and Payal laughed while exiting.

As they left, Khushi hugged Raja tightly overly happy about today. I need to write this down! She then frowned. But my diary? She looked at her bag she took to hostel, beside the drawers near the door. Removing the covers to get her bag, Khushi was stopped as Raja barked at her, pulling the covers back to where they were with his teeth. Khushi sighed annoyed with Raja and watched him jump down from the bed instead and go over to the bag. He sniffed the bag, before gripping the handles with his teeth. He started to drag the bag towards Khushi, leaving it on the side as he couldn't pick it up. Khushi grinned at Raja appreciatively and leaned over to pick up the bag. Raja jumped on the bed again to side cosily under Khushi's arm.

Unzipping her bag, Khushi dug her hand right to the bottom of the bag to whip out her diary with a triumphant smile. Plopping her bag down the side of the bed again, she opened up the diary to the next fresh page and removed her pen attached to it. She then started to write.

Dear Raja,

Today is looking like a very good day. I just can't believe Payal, Priya and the others gave us such a surprise by visiting. I still can't believe it. You remember when Payal used to play with you and me in the forest, before she moved? She hasn't changed one bit has she... I wonder how Arnav found her? I remember once he joked saying that when you have a big company like his and have many contacts, you can find out about a lot of things....Is that true Raja?... I think so too. I think I should thank him, don't you Raja. Yes I know he's been a Lard Govoner, but it doesn't mean I shouldn't thank him. It felt nice to have everyone visiting me.

Now I think about it...Raja, when I woke up in hospital, I saw Dadaji through the window, but he didn't come in to see me. I wonder why... He looked so sad Raja. Like...I don't know...but I felt really lonely at that point. I hope he doesn't think that it's his fault. He tried to protect me. I know that. You know Raja...I think...It might sound silly...but I think there's something wrong. The way Dadaji looks at me and cares for me...but then stays away..it feels like there's a battle going on in his eyes and he's holding something in. It's like a mixture of fear or sadness or something...I hope I'm wrong though. 

Love you loads Raja. 

Just as she shut her diary, there was a gentle knock on the door. She and Raja looked at the door, with eyes wide and curious. Madhu came in with a tray with what looked like medicine and bandages. She had a soft smile playing on her lips making Khushi thoughtful.
Madhu: " Titaliya, it's nearly time to change your bandages. But before that *putting the tray on the table* there's someone I'd like you to meet."
Khushi's forehead creased with a odd smile on her lips. More visitors? But who else could it be? She looked down at Raja, who was curiously looking at her too. They both looked at the door to see a  tall broad man in a smart grey suit poke his head in with a cheeky elderly smile. Khushi's eyes widened recognizing him, while Raja was still keeping his beady eye on him.
Madhu smiled: " Do you remember him Titaliya?"
A smile crept on her lips as Khushi nodded.

Sajjan Kuraana stepped into the room carefully and sat down on the chair beside the bed. Khushi couldn't help but stare at him. He had changed so much from just being the nice neighbor from next door.
Sajjan: " How are you Khushi betiya? "
He lifted a hand patting the top of her head softly making Khushi smile that much brighter. Sajjan laughed out load at Khushi's adorable shocked expression.
Sajjan looked down at himself before back at her: " Changed a lot haven't I?"
Madhu smiled: " Well you have become a much more respectable man now Sajjanji with your suit-"
Sajjan chuckled: " I was talking about my weight."
He patted his slightly bigger belly, making Madhu blush embarrassed , while Khushi put a hand to her mouth giggling. Sajjan grinned.
Sajjan: " Now, that's the little Khushi I remember*chuckles before looking at Raja* And my my my...look who we have here....Raja If I remember rightly?"
Khushi nodded stroking Raja's mane. Raja slightly cautious kept his head down to the bed, staring at Sajjan. He crawled to his side slowly and let Sajjan pet his head, remembering when he let him come inside that cold rainy night.
Sajjan sighed thinking back to old times: " He's grown so much. Very handsome indeed. Good thing I convinced you to keep him Madhumatiji. *chuckles* "

Madhu tilted her head fondly looking at the scene and was glad that he had come to visit today of all days. Sajjan's eyes meanwhile fell upon the rough book, making his eyebrows shoot to the sky.
Sajjan grinned: " I see you have been using the diary I gave you very well betiya. Hmmm?!"
Khushi looked beside her at the book and smiled nodding at him.
Madhu smiled: " Nandkisore, How long are you staying at Chandigarh for Sajjanji?"
Sajjan smiled: " Well I don't know, as long as Mr Raizada needs me I guess."
Madhu shocked: " Arnav babwa?-"
Sajjan shook his head: " Nono. Kushal Singh Raizada wanted to meet with me and my team for his next project. I guess that golden opportunity for that Architecture internship all those years ago paid off *chuckles*"
Madhu and Khushi nodded, amazed how once he was living just next door to them and now he's was doing something great for himself.
Sajjan frowned: " Talking about that, I do need to meet him today, so could I?"
Madhu stood up nodding: "Of course. I'll take you to his study and call him there for you. *turning to Khushi* I'll be right back Khushi."
As Madhu headed for the door, Sajjan stroked Khushi's head once more before telling her to take care and leaving. Khushi looked down at Raja with a glowing astonished smile. What a day!

~

It was later on when Arnav was just finishing his office works, he heard a bark at his bedroom door. Smiling knowing it's Raja, he went over to open the door to find him sitting obediently with a note in his mouth. Arnav raised an eyebrow and crouched down to his level.
Arnav muttered scratching behind his ear: "Hey boy...*taking the note* What's this for? From Khushi? *smirking* "
Raja licked Arnav's jaw, before walking off down the corridor. Arnav stood up with the note in his hands, watching Raja wolf downstairs. With a soft lop-side smile, Arnav opened the note and read the contents inside. 

You, Mr. Arnav Singh Raizada, are being a Lard Govoner with these mean rules and orders, 
But for somehow finding Payal for me...Thank you. The best surprise ever.
Love you 
Your Khushi

Arnav smirked with a light laugh at the back of his throat.


It was 10 pm Arnav finished his work, so he could be free for the next few days for Khushi. Looking at the note again, he grinned and shot off downstairs to see what Khushi was doing. With teasing thoughts on his mind to play with Khushi, he sped up a bit heading down the corridor to her room. However, he frowned seeing her room light off as the door was slightly creaked open. There was an acute light coming from inside, which Arnav figured was the bedside lamp. Poking his head in silently, Arnav was taken aback to see Khushi and Raja asleep, tucked into bed. But what made him surprised was Kushal was sat on the bed beside her.

Kushal's back was to the door, so he couldn't see Arnav, but Arnav watched as he stroked the top of Khushi's hair, with a careful hand and surprisingly humming rhythmically very quietly. Arnav frowned at the sight, as he had never seen his Dada like this before. What he also couldn't understand was the sad daze in Kushal's wet eyes, as he stared at Khushi sleep peacefully in her slumber.

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x

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Chapter Forty-Two: Ocean Tears

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Arnav walked into the ward in a light blue jumper, white shirt underneath and cream trousers. The click of the door shutting was sharp against the hmm-ing of the machines beside Khushi. Passing Madhu just standing up from Khushi's side, Arnav sat down on the stool. With the small cuts visible near his eyebrow and jaw, he gazed upon Khushi's motionless body. With 2 days passing Khushi was still unconscious with the oxygen mask on. Arnav thankfully was discharged the day before, but to his despair Khushi remained the same. Only Devayani, Kushal, Madhu and Arnav came to the hospital today as Devayani didn't want everyone to stress themselves. She assured the others at home they'd call if anything happens.

Arnav leaned lifted a hand to hold her soft one. He stared at her fingers that would brush the edge of his hair line and trail down his jaw. His jaw clenched remembering the image of crimson dashed upon Khushi's clothes. He was more than desperate for her to open her eyes. He waited for Madhu, standing at the foot of the bed, to leave in held tears before sighing heavily. He kept a controlled voice when speaking to her. 
Arnav huskily: "You know Khushi...Before I found out you were at the hostel, I'd always stand outside on the balcony....looking and talking to the moon. Do you remember when you told me that we had special connection that night in the garden under the stars?...That's why I talked to the moon because I knew you were looking at it too....You were looking at the moon those nights, weren't you Khushi....Tell me you were."
Arnav stared at her face that was sound asleep, but Arnav felt like she was listening. His eyes filled with tears remembering the doctors saying yesterday that if Khushi didn't wake up in the next 24 hours, she'd slip into a coma. He looked down quickly shaking his head and tears away in denial, before staring back at Khushi again. 

On the other side of the ward's window, looking in, was Devayani and Madhu. While they watched Arnav speak, they prayed from the bottom of their hearts hoping. They had watched him rush around with Kushal trying to make sure they were doing everything possible for her to wake up at the soonest. They hoped their efforts weren't to go in vain. 

Arnav swallowed down the lump in his throat and spoke out again in a firmer tone.
Arnav: " Khushi...If you don't wake up...How am I going to give you Maa's ring later on? Remember you said you'd accept it when I ask again. You need to wake up Khushi becuase no one else is going to wear Maa's ring except you. Only you."

Khushi remained silent making Arnav grip her hand that little bit tighter.

Arnav roughly: " Fine...Fine, not for me. Don't wake up for me...But Raja? What about him? He's dying to be with you. *Sniff* He knows you're not fine. He's *laughs lightly* He's outside the hospital refusing to move as the security guards won't let him in. *quietly* Are you going to keep him waiting Khushi? You know how stubborn your Raja is."

Still no response from Khushi, made Arnav grit his teeth in helplessness and anger. He had never felt so weak. His Khushi was laid right in front of him...and he could do nothing to wake her up. Hot tears fell from his eyes as he shuffled closer, holding her hand to his slightly stubbly cheek. He jaggedly exhaled staring at Khushi once more, before closing his eyes painfully.
Arnav gently: "Maa once told me that one reason God takes people who we love so much, is because they are too good for this world.... I wish you weren't so good Khushi.... Please Khushi...Please don't leave me...."

Arnav's body shuddered as he turned his head to lay his forehead against Khushi's hand. A warm silence was embedded into the room, before Arnav heard a small raspy voice.
Khushi quietly: ".....Arnav..." 
In utter shock Arnav shot his head up, with his eyes wide open. He couldn't believe that he was looking at Khushi weakly looking back at him with the softest of smiles playing on her lips, behind the oxygen mask. He simply stared at her in wonder, watching her every slow blink and movement of her eyes. A smile grew on his lips as he held her hand close to him.
Arnav: " Khushi?"
Khushi's eyes and smile turned watery, with a tear threatening to fall over from the corner of her eye.
Khushi: " ..Ar..Arna-"
Arnav got up to sit on the bed, leaning very close to her. He held her face delicately, removing the oxygen mask. His planted a kiss to her lips lightly hushing her.
Arnav: "Shshshhhh..."
He shook his head at her before delicately planting a kiss on her bandaged forehead. Pulling back, Arnav watched her lift a hand trace the outline of his face again, before her eyes saddened seeing the etched scratches. Arnav's smile then fell. Madhu entered the room heart overwhelmed with happiness that her niece had opened her eyes ...and spoke. Devayani had gone to retrieve the doctor. Khushi glanced at Madhu with a smile smile, while Arnav didn't acknowledge her entry. He was glaring at Khushi furiously. He turned Khushi's face back to him.
Arnav roughly: " Why did you have to put yourself in so much danger? Why did you come after me and put yourself in danger Khushi!? You didn't have to do anything!! You could have died DAMMIT!"
Madhu distressingly went by Khushi, while Khushi put a hand to Arnav's cheek trying to calm him.
Khushi: " Arnav-....."

Khushi frowned as her mouth and voice box halted, not uttering another syllable. She put a hand to her throat, making Arnav immediately forget his anger and put his hands on her shoulder. Khushi frowned as a huge headache and throat pain started to develop making her shake her head.
Arnav concerned: " Khushi!? Are you ok!?"
Madhu upset: " Why aren't you talking further Khushi!? After all these years...you still want to stay silent? Speak Khushi!"
Khushi felt tears in her eyes blur her vision, looking up helplessly. Her heart punctured hearing seeing Madhu so disappointed. She then opened her mouth wanting to speak.
Khushi: " Arnav-...-..."
The headache and throat pain resumed making her shut her eyes tight. Arnav pressed a finger against her lips. Khushi looked at Arnav seeing him comfortingly shake his head.
Arnav gently: " Khushi stop. Please. It looks like your hurting yourself!! "
Doctor: "She is."

Devayani and the doctor where standing just inside the doors, watching in. The three looked at them curious before Arnav stood to move back, letting the doctor check over Khushi.
Doctor: "Miss Gupta? Are you ok? *checking her eyes and blood levels* "
Khushi nodded with a gently smile but closed her eyes from the sharp pain in her throat. The doctor nodded understanding. He put his hands just under her jaw and asked her to open wide. Khushi obeyed letting him inspect her throat. He nodded satisfied before sitting on the bed.
Madhu: " Why can't Khushi talk doctor?"
Doctor gently: "Miss Gupta? Can you ask Arnav to give you a glass of water for me?"
Khushi frowned finding it odd, but did what she was told: " Arnav -....."
Khushi's head and throat started to tighten again, making the doctor give her water to relax. Arnav angrily clenched his teeth.
Arnav: " Can everyone stop bloody asking her to talk!? Can you see it's hurting her!?"
The doctor smiled at Khushi before speaking: "I was just confirming my suspicions Mr. Raizada. Madhumatiji has explained to me about what happened to Khushi when she was 11 years of  age and I can deduct that Khushi has lost her voice through traumatic shock and also for her own psychological comfort. And the continuance of her not wanting to speak as led to the fact she can't speak. However, that night of the bomb attack has made her force herself to speak out loud. And this was only the name 'Arnav'. The human instinct for Khushi wanting to stop Arnav, not wanting what happened to her parents to happen to Arnav himself, probably is what caused the outburst."

Devayani: " So Khushi can only say Arnav's name?"
Doctor: " Because of the bomb impact, I suspect yes. The psychological side of voice loss can be a tricky factor to predict, especially when it has been embedded for nearly 9 years now. Anything other than the name 'Arnav' would prove difficult for Khushi to say. Not saying she won't be able to say more in future, however this may take years, even the rest of her life. However I am not worried that she cannot speak, as I have also heard from Mr. Raizada himself that Khushi has no real issues of communication without her voice. But I'm worried the way Miss Gupta is forcing herself to try to say more words."
Madhu frowned: " Isn't that good? If she tries won't it be better for her?"
The doctor shook his head: " In actuality, it would only make matters worse. As I have said Khushi's case is very delicate and so it could take forever for Khushi to even say a sentence, however that can only be when Khushi's mind is ready for it. But for Khushi to force and push herself, like she was doing just a few moments ago, can only cause pain for her. Miss Gupta would feel tightening headaches instantly and a sharp pain in her voice box. Evidently it could make her situation worse. I'll do 6 month check ups with Miss Gupta, so I can see if theirs any evidence of her mind being ready for her to talk, however as for now all she needs is plenty of rest. No stress, ok Miss Gupta? The inspector will be coming in soon to take your statement about that night. I explained your situation to the inspector and he said you can have your family here to assist you in giving the statement. Ok?"

Khushi smiled weakly, still upset that she couldn't speak properly like Madhu wanted her to... like the whole world would want her to. She then felt a hand on her shoulder, making her look up into Madhu's caring eyes.
Madhu: " Titaliya...Don't feel sad. It's ok. God's made and planned everyone differently so they can be special in their own way."
Devayani smiled: " She's right betiya. Don't feel you have disappointed anyone. You are perfect the way you are so don't you dare this anything lower about yourself. "
Khushi smiled feeling her heart warm up, but could see in the corner of her eye, Arnav was still upset with her for saving him.
Arnav sternly:" Doctor, I was wanting to know if there was any medicine or procedure that would need to be taken when we take Khushi home?"
Devayani frowned: "Home? Khushi has only just woken up."
Arnav protectively: "The sooner she is home with us, the sooner she can get better."
Khushi crimsoned slightly, making Devayani laugh. Turning to see Madhu, her smile faltered seeing how Madhu looked worried. Khushi smiled fondly glancing at Arnav's care, but looking round the room she noticed something else. Someone else.

Kushal was looking at her sorrily on the other side of the ward entrance, through the window. Khushi's heart instantly squeezed, not liking one bit that he was so far away from everyone gathered in the room. Why is he not coming in? While everyone else was busy listening to the doctor, Khushi tilted her head staring back woefully at Kushal through the window. Why is he sad? Does he want to tell me something? Khushi lifted her hand towards the door wanting Kushal to come in.
Khushi: " Arnav..."
Arnav frowned seeing Khushi call him name. He went to her side holding her lifted hand.
Arnav huskily: " What is it Khushi?"
Khushi looked up at him eagerly, but when looking at the door again her heart fell in disappointment as Kushal had gone. Khushi saddened, shook her head staring down at her hands, leaving Arnav confused.

~

It was the next day the doctor agreed for Khushi to be discharged. Devayani stopped Madhu entering Khushi's room and gently to her to the side.
Devayani: " Madhu Betiya. I have been noticing that you are very lost in thought ever since Arnav mentioned about bring Khushi home....I know what you are thinking betiya."
Madhu turned to Devayani worried: " But Maaji-"
Devayani firmly: " No buts. I insist Khushi comes home and you both stay at the house. Not the cottage for now. In Khushi's state right now, she needs everyone around her. And I have seen quite enough of Kushal and your game of thinking what is best for Khushi, when the obvious best thing for her is to be around the people she loves most. "
Madhu hesitatingly: " But-"
Devayani sternly: " And don't you worry about Kushal. I know he won't say anything about Khushi coming back home. *muttered* He wouldn't dare it. "

They turned to the door to see Arnav coming out of the ward, with Khushi in a wheel chair. She was all dressed in her light blue churidar while Arnav was in his dark suit. Madhu looked at them shocked while Devayani smiled fondly.
Madhu went up to them: " Why are you in a wheel chair betiya?"
Arnav answered: " The doctor said for her not to walk for the next day or 2. So he suggested for us to use the wheel chair, just to talk her home. *muttering to himself annoyed* I would have carried her but Miss-I-care-what-other-people-think doesn't want that."
Khushi bit her lip hearing Arnav perfectly behind her.
Madhu: "Did you say something babwa?"
Arnav tightly smiled: " No of course not."

As they left the hospital door, Khushi immediately heard barking. 2 second didn't pass as Raja ran up to Khushi lifting his front paws onto her lap. Khushi with tears in her eyes patted her lap for him to come and sit. As Raja jumped up to sit on her lap, Khushi kissed and hugged her Raja over and over while he licked her jaw happily. Arnav went to take Raja off her, but Khushi patted his hand away and Raja growled at him lightly.
Arnav sighed as the other two women laughed: " Khushi, Raja can't stay on your lap. You'll get hurt. You can sit with him in the car. Come on boy, at least you should understand."
Khushi was shocked to see Raja whimper a bit, before obeying by jumping off her lap. Raja walked ahead to the car, where Kushal was just heading after finishing the paper work for the hospital. Everyone entered the SUV, and Arnav lifted Khushi from the wheel chair to sit her down in the back seat of the car. And as Arnav had said, Raja in suit jumped up to enter the car, laying his head upon Khushi's lap where it belonged.  

~

As soon as they reached the Raizada house, Kushal left heading upstairs, while Anjili, Aman and Chinky rushed to meet Khushi. Anjili stroked Khushi's cheek glad that she was fine and smiling. Khushi recognizing her from the photos she's seen lifted  hand at her in awe. She does have Arnav's mother's smile. Devayani smiled.
Devayani nodded seeing Khushi recognizing: "That's right Betiya. This is Anjili. Chote's older sister."
Anjili giggled: " But you can call me Di, Khushi. "
Aman grinned: " Becuase she's nearly everyone's Di!"
Everyone laughed and smiled, while Arnav wasn't impressed: "Talking can be done later. Right now Khushi needs rest. Chinky? Did you get the guest room ready for Khushi?"
Chinky chirpy: "Yes Arnav bhaiya! I got both Buaji and Khushi's rooms ready for them. Come. "
As Arnav pushed the wheel chair along to her room, Khushi twitched her lips annoyed at Arnav. Why does he have to be such a spoilsport? Hmph!


Tucking Khushi in, not letting anyone else do it, Arnav strictly instructed Chinky and Aman about what Khushi should eat and her routine for the day. Khushi gawped her mouth open at how boring it sounded. She looked down at Raja sitting on top on the bed covers, near her legs and made a sad face at him, making him bark amused.
Arnav swiftly turning to Khushi: " Now you need to go to sleep. Lay down."
Khushi looked at him shocked before looking at the clock. It's 1 pm?!!? What does he mean sleep!? As if Arnav read her mind, he retorted back.
Arnav: " There's plenty of time before tea is served so you should sleep to rest your body. Everyone leave except Buaji and Raja please."
Everyone smiled secretly at Arnav's commander orders and waved bye at a sad Khushi. Chinky and Aman held back their laughter. Khushi was about to give Arnav a good beating by removing the covers, when Madhu reminded her she was still in the room by stroking her hair.
Madhu: " Ey Sankadevi!? Where do you think you're going? Do what Arnav babwa has said. Lay down and sleep. Come. "
Khushi faked a tight smile obeying her Buaji and faced the door where Arnav had his arms crossed at her. Khushi glared at him while stroking Raja's fur in a circular motion. Just you wait Arnav Singh Raizada. Putting all these rules on me. *yawn* I'll....I'll- And like that she was asleep.


She woke up a few hours later, with someone stroking her hair. Stretching her eyes open, she blinked a couple of times before resting her eyes on Raja now awake, sat beside her. He had his tongue out happily, making Khushi curiously roll and shuffle round to see the biggest surprise she has had in a very long time.

*..........*..........*
Thanks for reading. 
Please do comment :)
x

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Chapter Forty-One: Pit of the Pond

HUGE Shout out to Vani (GodnMe.Foreva) for being such a sweet sis and telling others about this lil story of mine. 
Thanks alot sis. *SuperMario Hugs* :)
x

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The tears from Khushi's eyes were still slightly damp on her cheeks as she and Arnav arrived at the hospital. Laid on separate beds, Arnav and Khushi were hovered by nurses and doctors, as they were pushed along the corridor. Scars of blood screamed from Khushi's once white salwar, while Arnav's white shirt was also tainted. Dirt and rubble was evident from their clothes and dusty skin too. People peeped in horrified, as the doctors ordered the nurses to take the badly injured patients into ICU immediately. 

As they were taken into ICU, Kokila and Harun interrupted the doctor. 
Kokila worried: " Doctor will they be-"
Doctor in concentration: " Nothing can be said yet. Are you their-"
Kokila: " No. However I have called the Raizada's residence. They should be on their way. But-"
Doctor sighed understanding: " I understand your concern, however let us do our job. Pray for now. "
And with that the doctor entered the room swiftly, leaving the devastated two outside. Kokila slid down to sit on the near-by chair, with Harun beside her. 
Kokila teary: "They're so young. I promised Khushi's Buaji that I'd look after her. And all this?!"
Harun supportive: " They'll be fine. Just pray betiya. Have faith."
It was at that moment when the police inspector spoke up beside Harun.

Inspector: " Are you the person that called for the hostel emergency?"
Harun and Kokila stood up and turn to face them apprehensively: "I did sir. I'm Harun sir.*Harun introduced Kokila* This is a runner of the Hostel. "
Inspector nodded: " It was good that you called the time you did it at. The explosion was caused by a bomb set by Indu Thakur and his men."
Kokila frightfully: " But why would this man do this? "
The Inspector shook his head: " It wasn't an attack on the Hostel ma'am. It was an attempt to murder Mr Arnav Singh Raizada."

Harun and Kokila's eyes widened at this news. The Inspector continued.
Inspector: " We have been trying to catch Indu and his two remaining men for the last couple of months. Mr Raizada helped us to capture his other men, which is why Indu must have done this....I have contacted and informed Arnav's Grandfather about the capture of Indu and the others."
Harun asked: " You caught him?"
Inspector nodded: " Thankfully for the police station being so close to the site and your phone call, we literally had them surrounded. You have aided us in catching them Harun, for which I thank you sir."
Harun shook his head: " I just hope Arnav and Khushi betiya are fine." 
Inspector agreed: " We need to talk to Arnav and Khushi to collect their statements. Our prayers will be with them"
Kokila nodded thankfully.


~


Inspector: " Indu and his men have been watching your grandson for a while and the timed visits to the hostel lately must have been their way to set this plan."
Kushal gritted darkly: "I want them to have the worst punishment for this Inspector. I demand it."
The Inspector nodded understanding: " We are on that case Mr. Raizada. My men and I will be here to take the statement from the two injured."
Sat on the chairs was a tearful Anjili, trying to tame a nearly hysterical Devayani: "Why isn't the doctor not coming out and saying anything Kushal!?! What's happening to my children!?!? *wails*"
Madhu felt numb leaning against the wall, with Chinky and Aman trying to be her support. But she kept on looking at the small window, heart stabbing at how rushed the doctors and nurses looked inside.


The waiting game was being held, with emotions high and tear banks nearly dry. Kushal taking in Harun and Kokila's side of the story, curtly nodded and thanked them both. The two left praying the two locked hearts in the ICU room would come out victorious. It felt like hours before a doctor walked out. Devayani was the first to rush up, and everyone followed.
Devayani: " How are they doctor?"
Madhu desperately: " Is Khushi ok? And Arnav babwa?"
Kushal angrily: "Why don't you both say anything?!"
Doctor: "Becuase no one is giving us a chance to Mr Raizada. This is the hospital corridor. Please. I understand how you are feeling, however be patient."

Just as another bag of questions was about to be asked, they went silent seeing Arnav on his bed, be wheeled out from his ICU room.
Anjili's heart slashed seeing her brother unconscious on the bed, with an oxygen mask on. There were also small cuts on his face. 
Aman: " Where's Arnav Bhaiya going?"
Doctor: " Mr.Raizada only had a lack of oxygen in his lungs because of the fire. Also a few bruises and grazes. He's out of danger now and recovering slowly. He should be coming back to consciousness soon. Our nurses are taking him to a private ward as Mr Raizada requested *indicating Kushal*."
Kushal was about to say something when the doctor continued: "Yes another has been arranged a private ward for Miss Gupta too. It's opposite Mr.Arnav Singh Raizada's ward... but..."
Kushal narrowed sternly: "But what?"
Doctor sigh: " Miss Gupta can't leave this room yet. I'm sorry to say that her condition is still highly critical. She has lost so much blood in the incident and the injuries are quite deep. It's hard to say anything for now."

As Madhu felt the breath be vacuumed from her, Chinky held her side, as Devayani and Anjili shook their heads in lost shock. 
Kushal firmly: " Listen to me Doctor. I don't care what the cost is. I want Khushi's condition to be recovering-"
Doctor: " Try to under-"
Kushal gravely: "No. YOU.Are.Not.Understanding....Khushi needs to be fine. I don't care how. But whatever you have to do...Do it. Got it?"
Doctor sighed with a nod before going back inside the ICU. With Anjili already leaving for Arnav's room, Madhu followed wanting to know what happened from Arnav, with Aman and Chinky leading her away.

Kushal with his fists tight, he stepped forward to look through the small circular window into the ICU room. His throat started to close, seeing Khushi with wires, tubes and plastics all around. His eyes caught onto the bowl of cotton wool that were soaked in her blood. He immediately turned his head away, squeezing his eyes shut.
Devayani in a despairing trance: "It's all your fault Kushal. All of it."
Kushal stood stiffly, not responding. Devayani however knew he could hear her.
Devayani: " You sent Khushi away. Chote loves her Kushal, doesn't this prove it to you?! I'm not surprised at all that he had found her and kept visiting her. Just because of your...needs... you sent her away and look! Look at the consequence of your actions now." 
Kushal roughly, but quietly: " You won't understand...I sent her...to protect-...I....I didn't know that this would happen."
Devayani: "I Don't Care Kushal! I don't care if you didn't know and I don't want to understand anymore! Becuase all I know is that my grandson has been blessed enough to live, while Khushi betiya is still in the grasps of death! And It's all because of you! You wanted to protect her Kushal...or is it to protect yourself?"
As he listened to her walk away from him to Arnav's room, Kushal opened his eyes weakly: "Protect her... Only her..."

~


Weakly as those eye lids opened, it opened and shut flickering time, with the molten eyes, taken aback from the harsh light. Slowly as his acute pupils adjusted to his surrounding, so did his hearing.
Doctor gently: "... Mr. Raizada?...Can--- hear ---?...Can you hear me Mr. Raizada?"
Arnav groaned lightly as a response: "mm...yes..."
Anjili smiled happy: " Chote? Your alright."
Arnav's eyes moved round the room to see everyone stood round his bed smiling at him. But his mind then flickered an image that shook his body awake. Khushi...
Arnav's eyes widened before his voice shot up a little louder: " Khushi?!"

Everyone gasped seeing Arnav try to sit up frantically.
Kushal: "Arnav!"
Madhu: " Babwa!?"
Devayani: " Chote! Stop!"
Doctor: " Mr Raizada-"
Arnav groaned in pain: " Khushi! Khushi's hurt! She's-"
Aman: "Bhaiya it's ok. She's here in the hospital."
Arnav frowned: " She is?...Then where? Is she alright!? Is she-*coughing fit*"
Chinky passes water helping him drink.
Doctor: "Mr Raizada please. Calm down. *gently easing Arnav back down* She's being treated. You both were victims of a bomb explosion. The police are outside to ask you a few questions too."
Arnav shocked: "Bomb?"
Doctor: "Yes you-"

The nurse came in calling him outside a minute. The doctor insisted only two people to stay with Arnav while he's out so Kushal, Anjili, Aman and Chinky left the room.
Madhu stroked Arnav's forehead: "How are you feeling beta?"
Arnav looked at Madhu with quick eyes: " I need to get to Khushi."
Devayani trying to calm him: " Chote. The doctors are doing everything to -"
Arnav frowned: " What do you mean?...*shocked* Is Khushi unconscious still?!"
The doctor entered: " Yes. But she's stabilizing."

The three looked at the doctor come in, with the inspector behind him, to stand beside Devayani.
Doctor: " I have just explained to the others outside too. Miss Gupta's breathing and heart are stabilizing, so that's a good sign. It's safe enough for her to be moved to the her ward now. She's being moved now."
Arnav seeing Devayani and Madhu look across outside the window, made him instantly looked across to see Khushi 's bed in the other room, with everything being set up by the nurses. Anjili was coming beside her, while Kushal was talking to the other doctor. Arnav was speechless seeing her in this condition. Her head and parts of her arms were bandaged in white, with peaks of red seeping through. The oxygen mask was still on her. She looked so pale and weak, Arnav's heart felt more restless and worried. His mind however was numb.

Inspector calmly: "Now Mr. Raizada. As the doctor must have told you about the bomb. I must also say the bomb was set by Indu and his men, who have been caught.  But it's very important for you to tell us what happened."
Arnav continued to gaze at Khushi in dazing eyes.

..." ARNAV!!!!"...

...Arnav, shocked...
...his Khushi had called his name out loud... 
 ...horror on her face...
 ...she sprints up to him frantically...
..." Khushi?"...
...Khushi grabbing his arm trying to drag him away...
... too confused to move...
..." Khushi? What is it?"...
...She went behind him pushing his back critically...

*Tick-TIck-TICk-TICK---*

Arnav huskily: " Then ..it went off...She must have known...That's why she was pushing me..."
Inspector: "But how she knew is the question. For that we have to wait for Khushi to wake. "
Devayani wiped away her tears with a smile: " Khushi betiya tried to save you Chote"
Doctor: " And she did. If you had entered the car you would not be here today Mr. Raizada....and it explains a lot about Miss Gupta's major injuries and blood loss."
Madhu with a tear stricken face: " Doctor?"
Inspector: " I agree. You see Madhumatiji, the way Mr.Raizada has explained it, Miss Gupta was behind him pushing, when the bomb went off. That would put her directly facing the bomb's full impact."
Doctor: " Another reason why Mr.Raizada's didn't have as much injuries and blood loss as Miss Gupta did. She was intentionally or unintentionally blocking the bomb's impact, so it didn't hit Mr. Raizada as badly."
Arnav felt tears burn his eyes: " Khushi"
Inspector: "Hmm..Thank you Mr.Raizada for your co-operation. Doctor, please inform the station when Miss Gupta awakens. "
As the doctor nodded, the inspector and his men left.

Madhu: "But how is Khushi now? Will she be alright?"
Doctor: "Hmm...Well...M. Raizada, did you say she talked?"
Arnav painfully: " She cried out my name."
Madhu turning to the doctor: "Is she better? Can she talk when she wakes?!"
Doctor: " I'm not fully familiar with Miss. Gupta's history about how she lost her voice, so Madhumatiji I would need to ask you a few questions about that in my cabin. However about being able to talk again or be fine... I have said Miss Gupta's body has maintained level, however what impact the bomb has really had, be it for better or worse, will only be evident when Miss Gupta wakes I'm afraid. And that only God can say."

Arnav looked across helplessly at Khushi, wishing Khushi didn't save him. Wishing she could hear him mentally calling out to her. Wishing she'd just wake up.

*..........*..........*

Please do comment :)

x

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Chapter Forty: Forest Fire


*..........*..........*

Khushi was sat in her room later that day, simply staring at the rose bush after watering it a little. In her light pink salwar suit, she plaited her hair slowly, with eyes still on the roses. Her expressions were a mixture of bashfulness, confusion and happiness, as she remembered back earlier that day when Arnav kissed her cheek before leaving. Finishing her plait with a hair band, she smiled shaking her head, looking down to it. She then turned to open her diary to a fresh page and thoughtfully started to write.

Dear Raja, 

I'm so happy that I got to see you along with Arnav today. You both gave me quite a surprise. I still can't wrap my head round why he suddenly showed up with this gift and approach. Making all the staff like him. Are you two planning something?! Arnav is such an unpredictable person. Sometimes I wonder about the things that run through his head. I bet he's told you his plan or else you wouldn't have had that cheeky look in your eyes today. I know you well. After you left, Priya and the others didn't leave my side, nudging me and smiling at me. You know what?....I can tell they have figured it out Raja. It's all that Arnav's fault. It was that kiss wasn't it!? I think so anyways. And Gia and Rupi didn't say a word to me. Just the odd glare. I thought it was normal, but Priya said to me something was burning at that point. I looked around Raja and there wasn't anything on fire...I don't get it. Just like I don't get why Arnav bought this lovely gift for me. 

Khushi looked up at the flowers once more, tapping her pen to her lips lightly. She then frowned a bit before putting pen to paper again.

Is the gift supposed to hint something to me? It's very random. I mean, it's not my birthday and it's not Valentine's day either. I wonder why...I guess I'd have to ask Arnav when he comes tomorrow. Devi Maiya!! Is he going to come to my room in front of everyone or sneakily?!! Oh no Raja. Now I'm left worried. Ohhhh! I'm a Sanka, for not asking! I'll talk to you tomorrow...if your coming too that is. 

Love you Raja.

Khushi sighed lightly, before closing her rouge diary and tucking it under her pillow. She then looked at the flowers with an annoyed pout. Standing up, she walked round the plant trying to think about why Arnav gave it. It was then she gasped. She halted in her tracks to see something shining inside the bushy leaves. Carefully she moved aside the branches and buds, to prevent it from any damage, she extracted a small golden envelope. 

Sitting on her bed with a little bounce, Khushi held the envelope in her hands, tracing the edges of her name written on it. With a secret smile, she opened it and unfolded the crisp white paper.


Khushi,
 Knowing the Titaliya you are, you've probably have found this letter.
I am going to ask you a question tomorrow night. But before I ask it I want to tell you that,
I love you.
I love you more with every passing day and I can never express enough how much your presence, your every little action, gesture, smile makes my heart burn so much... that I need to be with you to keep me sane. With this thought in mind, please be honest in your answer that you give tomorrow. Your honesty is always what makes me love you more and whatever your answer will be...I will accept it. 
Wait for me Khushi, tomorrow night. 

Your Arnav.


With that Khushi closed the envelope and stood. Slowly shuffling to her window, she looked out to the moon who smiled down at her. A drop of happiness fell by her soft smile as she gazed back at it lovingly. I will wait Arnav. Always for you.

~

*Tick-Tock*
*Tick-Tock*

The following night had arrived and it was 10 pm, with Khushi pacing in her room, worried. She was in her white salwar, with her dupatta draped round her collar-bone. Her hair was out and brought round her shoulder. Her eyes flickered to the clock and then back to her fidgeting hands, as she continued pacing. Where is he!? Is he on his way?! Is he here already!? What's he going to ask me!? 


Arnav meanwhile was pacing too, in the tunnel to the hostel, up and down from the second gate back to the first. His body was tense under his white shirt, with his sleeves rolled up. He had cream trousers on, with dark shoes. Harun was at the second gate watching the young man mentally talking to himself. He wisely smiled, making wrinkles crease on his face. He shook his head at the young man, who had been pacing in front of him for the last 15 mins, with his white SUV parked right outside. 
Harun: " Should I shut the gate beta? Kokila behen and Sheela might walk by...plus you look like you're going to be a while. *chuckling* "
Arnav frustrated at himself, stopped and closed his eyes. Come on ASR. You can do this. She must be waiting for you. Come on. Get it right first time. She won't say no. She wouldn't. Come on. Arnav walked up to Harun nodding, making the elderly man smile earnestly.
Harun: " Remember only this one time I'm letting you in. Ask her. Come down and out before midnight. Understand."
Arnav nodded stepping through the gate, mind focused in his mind about what he's going to say. 


*Tick-Tock*
*Tick-Tock*


As Khushi opened the door, her heart nearly soured seeing Arnav again, but this time with a different look in his eyes that she couldn't put her finger on. She moved to the side to let him in.

Shutting the doors, Khushi turned to see Arnav by her bed, staring straight back into her soul. She walked up to him with questioning eyes and a soft smile. Arnav heart beats relaxed a bit more seeing her beautiful smile. He sighed heavily before putting his hands on her arms. Khushi looked at them, before looking back up at him. He gently moved her to sit on the end of the bed and crouched to the floor in front of her, holding her hands in her lap. Khushi watched him look at their hands clasped together for a while, before looking up at her. Arnav gulped before speaking.
Arnav huskily: " Khushi....You have read the letter haven't you..."
Khushi nodded naively making Arnav squeeze her hand a bit more. She lifted a hand to his face asking him with her eyes. Arnav nodded clenching his jaw determined. He reached back into his pocket bringing out the small velvet box, holding it between them. Khushi tilted her head wondering what was inside the box. 

Arnav looked into her eyes with wide eyes, before speaking in a low voice: "Khushi...I love you more than anything and...I have been wanting to ask this question for a very long time now... Khushi with my mother's ring I want to ask you...If you would give me the pleasure of being my wife for as long as I live. "
Arnav opens the box to reveal a golden ring. It had silver swirls, detailed along the band with a small, but gorgeous cut diamond in the center. Khushi's heart was held in her throat with her eyes glassed. She looked into Arnav's eyes, which were holding his heart out on a plate. With a tear falling from Khushi's eyes, she looked at the ring again, before lifting a hand to close the box. 

Panic surged through Arnav's being as he looked at the box closed. However, Khushi lifted his head with her hands immediately. Arnav closed his eyes as Khushi's lips merged with his and felt her body slam into his, with her arms wrapping round his neck. Arnav gave the kiss back in full force, before pulling back to look into her eyes. 
Arnav hopeful: " Khushi... Is that a yes?"
Khushi's smile turned into a grin and shook her head making Arnav have mixed feelings.
Arnav frowned: "No?"
Khushi shook her head to that too and looked up at him with widened eyes. Arnav watched as Khushi pointed at her heart and then at his, before point behind her. She then pecked his lips.
Arnav put a hand to hold her face with a smile: " Always mine from the first kiss? *Tilting his head* Really?"
Khushi blushed nodded with a grin. She then looked at his hand holding the box and took it, holding it to his chest. She shook her head at Arnav. 

Arnav kissed her lips before asking intensely: " If you have always been mine, then why can't you accept the ring now?...*Khushi looked around the room discretely making Arnav sigh*...Not the right moment was it? *chuckling*" 
Khushi looked at him gratefully, Arnav smirked in reply: " The next time I give you the ring, will you accept it?" 
Khushi sighed in awe at Arnav's adorable question. She catapulted into his arms again, hugging his tightly and nodding with tears. Arnav hugged his future wife tightly, looking at the box over her shoulder. He smiled boyishly. Everything has it's time I guess...but at least I got the yes from her Maa. I couldn't be more thankful.

~
*Tick-Tock*
*Tick-Tock*


It was 5 mins before midnight, when Arnav left with Khushi pushing him out with a grin. She smiled shutting the door and leaned her back against it. She couldn't believe Arnav would as such a question that her heart had answered a long time ago. She shook her head smiling like a fool and rushed over to the window, to at least see him leave. She looked down with a grin to see his white SUV parked just outside the gates. However, she frowned seeing something else too. 

She watched as a dark figure come out from under the SUV. She narrowed her eyes to see the suspicious man look round quickly and before running to hide behind a wall, which she had full view and audio of. Khushi's eyes widened in horror seeing the men in a slightly better light. 


The man panting: " Boss, It's done. Only a few more minutes til midnight."
Indu grinned: " That's all we fucking need. That Raizada has been living for too long. The guy ruins me and thinks he can get away with it? Told that shit didn't I, He'll get his. And this bomb will do the trick. *smiles manically* "
The other henchmen worried: " Don't you think we should leave Boss. I mean the police station is just round the corner from this hostel and-"
Indu slapped him round the head: " Shut the fuck up. I want to make sure the damn job is done. WE are not moving til I see Raizada's dead body. You understand!?"
The two men hesitantly nodded, while watching with his boss as the time ticked down.


*Tick-Tock*
*Tick-Tock*


Just as Sheela was about to lock Khushi's door, Khushi burst out and ran past her, leaving Sheela angrily yelling behind her. But Khushi didn't listen. She couldn't hear a thing. I need to stop Arnav. Speeding down the steps, she nearly topples, finally reaching the bottom floor and out the building. Rushing up to the gates, she tried to open the gates, but Harun stopped her.
Harun frowned: " Betiya? What are you doing out here? *looking at her bare feet* And like this?! *looking round* I thought Arnav beta had already met you? He left quite happily."
Khushi wept hard shaking the bars, as she could see Arnav nearly at the end of the tunnel reaching the exiting gates, where his car was on the other side. She felt herself losing her breath. She immediately turned to Harun with her hands together, pleading him to let her through. Harun had never seen Khushi so distressed and restless before. Seeing the young girls tears, nodded. He opened the gates for Khushi , letting her through, while taking a step through himself to see what was wrong. She rushed forward, but her legs came to a dragging stop...He was just exiting the gates and was mere seconds away from opening the driver seat's door.

...
...
Time felt like it had stopped for Khushi.
...
Her heart stopped. 
...
Tears streaked. 
...
...
Her mind blacked out...back...back to that moment when she laid eyes on the burning house...her mother's cries...her helpless heart...the running...the hiding...the silence....

Garima screamed: "RUN KHUSHI!"


Khushi reached out her shaking hand towards Arnav desperately: " ARNAV!!!!"

Arnav, shocked,  turned immediately to see Khushi. He looked at her with amazed that Khushi...his Khushi had called his name out loud. Arnav grinned turning away from the car. However, his smile didn't last noticing the horror on her face. He opened the gates, watching her sprint up to him frantically.
Arnav frowned: " Khushi?"
Reaching his side, Khushi grabbing his arm trying to drag him away, but Arnav was too confused to move. What's going on?
Arnav concerned: " Khushi? What is it?"
But Khushi wasn't listening, she went behind him pushing his back critically, just like she did a few minutes ago in her room. How could she explain in the last few seconds everything she knew. All she knew was that she needed him to get away...away before-

*Tick-TIck-TICk-TICK---*


The catastrophic explosion was earth shaking. The fuel tank from the car, aided the expanding flames of destruction making everyone scream and yell in shock.

The crackling from the monstrous disaster was blaring for all to hear and see. The girls looked through their windows horrified at the sight.

The gates were shattered through by the blow as bits of the SUV, huge pieces of rock and concrete scattering far. Reds, Oranges, Yellows of the most dangerous of sorts were everywhere. Flames burned high, making the screams of the girls inside continue, terrified.

The black smoke rose higher and higher into the sky.  The light from the fire bared witness to the two beings laid on the floor with an arm's distant apart from each other.

Arnav painfully opened his eyes to see Khushi lying on the floor, facing him...lifelessly. Blood was everywhere making it impossible to say who's blood it was...his...hers...or a mixture of both...The cuts and streaks of red upon her clothes and skin, made Arnav's weak eyes water.

Arnav choked with a unbearable wheeze: "K...Khu..shi..."
Eyes only fixed on her, he numbly dragged his blooded hand across the rubble-covered ground to reach her still outstretched arm. Fingers crawl to her motionless hand, before slipping it in, trying to hold it frailly. His body violently vibrated as a cough clawed his throat. His head spun feeling from the pain and eyes rolled back, feeling his breath shallow. Khushi...

The last thing he faint heard was a distant male voice, yelling. As Harun called the emergency line urgently, he watched the smoke rise sadly higher into the coughing atmosphere, as the fires fiercely blazed on.

*..........*..........*
Comment your thoughts.

x

Friday, 21 December 2012

Chapter Thirty-Nine: Red Roses


*..........*..........*

As Arnav had said, the day had come for Anjili to arrive. With Arnav just leaving to go to the airport, Devayani and Chinky sat down to make some ladoos; Anjili's favorite. It was then Devayani thought about Khushi again, remembering the time when she made them all sweets, gifting it to them first thing in the morning.  Her smile fell sadly remembering also that Khushi even made some for Kushal. 

She sighed rolling out her 5th ladoo and felt her heart weep about the conversation she had with Kushal a few weeks ago...When she had bundled the courage to demand the reason, why he sent Khushi away. 


Devayani frustrated: " Why are you doing this Kushal!? Why?!"
Kushal remained silent, flicking through his file angrily. Devayani walked up to him and took the file off his hands. Kushal kept his stern gaze down, away from her furious ones.
Devayani: "You have to answer me. I know that Khushi reminds you of Muskaan, you cannot deny that. However what has happened that you have ordered Khushi away!? What happened!?!?"
Kushal firmly: " Madhumati told you?"
Devayani: "Doesn't matter who told me! What matters is you have sent that innocent girl away, from her home, from her family, from Raja, from Chote!! "

Devayani's breath hitched back realizing what she just said. Kushal's jaw tightened in a very calm manner before looking up at the wall.
Kushal: " So you knew... all this time that these two were-"
Devayani frowned: " Why are you saying as if...*her eyes widened* You found out didn't you...That is why you sent Khushi away!?!?"
Kushal quickly added: " That is only part of the reason-"
Devayani furthered: "What?"
Kushal raised his voice slowly: " But Arnav and Khushi need to stay away from each other. They can't be together. Khushi can't... come into this house as a daughter-in-law *painfully choked* You won't understand."

Devayani put her hands to hold his suited shoulders gently. She turned him to her pleading with her eyes. 
Devayani: "Then help me understand why Kushal. Why are you so against Khushi betiya to truly be part of our family? Why do you keep her to the side, when you care for her so much? *angrily* And don't you dare say it's becuase of her lack of speech. I know you Kushal Singh Raizada. You're not a man to judge someone like that, despite all that fake talk you put up in front of Madhu betiya and the world. Your views would never go against Muskaan's views and you know she would have accepted Khushi with open arms. *shaking him lightly* Tell me Kushal. I'm your wife. "
Kushal's eyes heated as hot tears formed in the tips of his eyes, but he held it in. Not again. Never again.

He stepped back from his dear wife and turned to pick up the file, before speaking in a low broken voice.
Kushal: " You won't understand Devayani. Leave things alone you won't understand."
With that he stormed off and headed for their bedroom door, leaving Devayani more upset. 
Devayani: " Kushal you need to stop running away. Keeping Chote and Khushi apart isn't right!! You'll suffer more Kushal!"
Kushal walked out with a deaf ear. 
Devayani angrily: " Kushal!!!"


Chinky: " Dadiji? Dadiji?!"
Devayani looked at Chinky, snapping out of her thoughts: " Yes betiya? What is it?"
Chinky frowned concerned at her: " Are you ok Dadiji? You just-"
Devayani smiled: " No no I was thinking about something. "
Chinky nodded with a smile: " We have finished with making the ladoo's Dadiji."
She looked down at the bowl, glad to see it was full of ladoos. But her heart's happiness wasn't present for the occasion. 

~

As Anjili walked into her house wearing a chiffon dark blue sari, she immediately grinned feeling her childhood memories seep back. It had been a while since she had come back home and it was sweet of her in-laws to let her stay there for a couple of days, til her husband came back. She was first met by Devayani, who hugged her close after Anjili took her blessings. 
Anjili closed her eyes and squeezed tight: " I have missed you so much Dadi!"
Devayani pulled away with a pretend pout: " Liar. Why would you be missing your Dadi here, when you have Damandji over there to keep you company? Hmm?"
Anjili blushed with a shy smile: "Dadiiii! *looking around* Where's Dadaji?"
Devayani patted her cheek: "He's at work, he phoned saying he'll come as soon as possible to meet you betiya. But truly. It feels good to have you back. Come in. Where's Chote? "
Anjili's smile fell just a tiny bit, she turned to watch Arnav walk in with her bags. His eyes were avoiding hers making Anjili shake her head.

In the car, Anjili had noticed Arnav's eyes were lost in thought as she spoke to him. She knew something was up, so she questioned him. Loads. But Arnav, being Arnav, turned defensive. 
Arnav roughly: " Dadi I'm putting these bags in Di's old room upstairs."
Devayani nodded letting him go. Anjili then turned to her, as Arnav went out of ear-shot.
Anjili concerned: "Dadi, Has anything happened? Chote seemed really distracted in the car. He wasn't replying to anything I was asking. Is everything Ok?"
Devayani sighed heavily and nodded at her grand-daughter: " Come. Freshen up and eat. I'll tell you."

~

Devayani only told Anjili about Khushi and about how Arnav had fallen in love with her. She also explained that because Khushi's now staying elsewhere, Arnav's thoughts were always with her. Anjili felt sad for her younger brother and knew she had to talk to him. 

She went upstairs and knocked on Arnav's door, before entering.
Anjili poked her head in quietly calling: "Chote?"
Arnav was standing in front of the mirror, looking flustered seeing Anjili. He smiled at her softly.
Arnav: "Di? Come. Sit."
As they both sat on the end of Arnav's bed, Raja charged in happily from the balcony with a ball in his mouth. Arnav smiled as Raja put his front paws on his lap, putting the ball from his mouth into his hand. Arnav smirked while scratching his fur. Anjili stared in wonderment at this new face, but more than that Arnav's ease around him.
Arnav huskily: " Good boy. Your getting better at the finding games aren't you?"
Raja barked, enjoying the ruffling of his fur by Arnav. Raja noticing Anjili then, calmed down instantly, gazing at her curiously. Arnav noticed and looked at his Di, smiling softly at them both with slight amazement.
Arnav nodded: " Di, this is Raja. And Raja, this is my Di."

Raja sat on the floor beside Arnav's leg, taking in a new member. Anjili worried at Raja's expression, looked at Arnav.
Arnav chuckled: "Di, don't worry. He's usually like that towards anyone new. He's just checking how to behave with you. That's all. And no he doesn't bite."
Anjili smiled feeling more reassured and then noticed Raja slowly walk up to her, with his nose sniffing her knee area. Anjili giggled finding it funny, before gently stroking the top of his head. Raja was hesitant with the action at first, but then relaxed and sitting beside her legs with his eyes semi closed.
Anjili continuing to stroke his head: " I think he likes that....He's beautiful Chote."
Arnav nodded with a smile, before looking at Anjili asking gently: "Did you want something Di?"

Anjili smiled down at Raja warmly and then looked up at Arnav with caring eyes: "I know about Khushi, Chote. Dadi told me. "
Arnav taken aback slightly, looked away from her. He noticed Raja's ear's spike up too, hearing the mention of Khushi's name.
Anjili put a hand on his shoulder, smiling fondly at him: " You love her a lot, don't you?"
Arnav lowered his head to look at his clasped hands, before nodding curtly. Anjili grinned, happy for her Chote. She knew that he was with Lavanya, but the way Devayani explained what happened, it seems Khushi was the perfect choice all along. Sobering from the happiness inside her, she continued carefully.
Anjili: "Chote, in the car...that's why you were upset wasn't it...Your upset about Khushi leaving...and your desperate to find where she is, but-"
Arnav sighed heavily before replying to his dear Di: " I know where she is Di."

Anjili's eyes widened with shock as her mouth opened slightly taking it in: "What?!....*looking back to make sure the doors shut*...You...You..*shaking her head with a smile* You...You do!?!! Then that's great news!! *excited* Then what are you waiting for?! Go get her! "
Arnav smiled softly at his Di's encouragement, but shook his head: " I can't. How can I bring her when she doesn't what to come back yet. She staying away for a reason...and...*thoughtfully* and I don't know what it is. "
Anjili whacked his arm lightly, making Arnav startled: "Di!!"
Anjili frowned: " Your a duffo Chote. Convince her to come back! "
Arnav: " I've been trying since last week when I found her, but she keeps mum about it."
Anjili's face when all mushy: " Awww my little Chote is being Romeo. "
Arnav rolled his eyes: " Di, stop it. "

Anjili: "Ok baba fine. But what are you going to do then? Wait til what?"
Arnav: " Khushi said that she's coming back soon. "
Anjili thoughtfully hmm-ed: " Chote...Have you said to her you love her? Have you like *excitedly gasped* proposed to her yet? I'm asking because maybe that's why she's staying away. "
Arnav firmly: " She knows how I feel about her. Words and no words. She knows."
Anjili bit her lip cheekily not wanting to go into detail about how, but she pushed a bit: "Proposed?"
Arnav remained quiet looking sternly to the ground. Anjili asked gently: " You do want to spend the rest of you life with her, right? or is it like-"
Arnav without hesitating: " She's the one Di. "
Anjili whined: " Then why haven't you-"

It was then Arnav shot up and walked over to his wardrobe, pulled a small dark velvet box out and went back beside Anjili. Anjili's face was like a goldfish. Raja went over to Arnav's side to have a closer look at the box.
Anjili: " Is that what I think it is Chote?....*Arnav stared, focused on the box in his hand. Anjili smiled bewildered*...You've had it a long time haven't you?..."
Arnav stroked the edges of the box before speaking deeply: " I'm just waiting for the right time Di... I want to...  ask at the right time. Plus I'm...I'm a bit nervous about how to ask."
Anjili rolled her eyes: " Your Jeejaji was exactly the same!!! He was like I didn't want to ask too fast and I needed to rehearse it. *holding Arnav's arm* Chote. Please. Just ask her. Why wait? She might come back becuase of it. What if she's waiting for you to ask!?!"
Arnav looked at her: " Really?"
Anjili grinned: "You'll never know til you ask! *giggles*"

Arnav holds the box firmly in his hands, before turned to Raja who was staring at him and the box quietly. Arnav put the box to the side and brought Raja closer, so he was sat between his legs. He held his face gently.
Arnav seriously: " Raja...I know that Khushi's your queen. She always will be. I'd never ever part you and her. But I want her to be mine too. *Raja growled lightly making Arnav hold him tighter* I can share Khushi with you, but Khushi is yours first. Can you share...your Queen with me Raja?"
Arnav watched Raja stay still, whimpering slightly, before putting both of his paws to his chest. He then started to lick Arnav's hands making him smile happily with glassy eyes.
Arnav stroked Raja's fur: " Thanks boy."

~

It was just going half past 2 in the afternoon, when Khushi and Priya came out of the 3 story building. They went up to get their book for the dance class after tea. They were now heading over to the school hall for tea, when they noticed a huge commotion at the gates. There was a huge crowd of girls chatting enthusiastically, looking through the gates, while the security man was on the other side talking to someone. Khushi and Priya frowned.
Priya: " Whats this going on?! *She looked up at their building to see many girls were even looking over the balcony to have a look* Hey Kareena!! *Her friend looked* What's going on!?!"
Kareena grinning like an idiot: "OH god Priya!! ASR is here at our hostel!!! Can you believe it!?!"
Priya frowned: " Huh? No way! Arnav Singh Raizada?! Here!? *Khushi's eyes widened shocked* Why would he be here?!"
Kareena shrugged her shoulders still grinning:" Don't know yaar, but he's here with this reeallly gorgeous dog and a huge pot. It looks like roses I think. Damn ASR looks too fit!! Better have a look before he leaves!!"
Priya smiled excited, before turning to Khushi, who was like a statue. Why is he here?!!?

Priya laughed: " You're amazed too right! Come on lets have a look."
Before Khushi could stop her, Priya held her hand tight and ran straight into the crowd. She squeezed them past everyone, til they got to the gates and looked through to have a better look. Khushi couldn't believe her eyes. He was really here. Arnav's white SUV was parked right outside the hostel and Arnav was stood in the middle of the lit tunnel, in his sharp dark grey suit, with a black shirt and silver tie. He was talking to Harun, the elderly security man. Behind them was two men carrying the pot, that held the most beautiful rose bush. It wasn't big, but it had the potential to be, Khushi thought. But why is Arnav here? What's this plant for?

Raja noticed Khushi behind the gates and started to bark happily, rushing over to her. Khushi grinned and bent down so she could pet him through the gates. Arnav turned his gaze to her, holding that handsome eye-lock with her, before turning back to talk to Harun. They both then turned to see Khushi, looking back at them half worried and have curious. Arnav smirked as Harun went over to the gate, opening it.
Harun: " Khushi betiya, this man tells me that this plant is for you. Come. "
All the girls quietened slightly looking at Khushi. Priya looked at her friend with wide eyes.
Priya: " Do you know ASR? Why is he giving you flowers?! "
Khushi simply embarrassed, smiled at Priya before going through the gate, stepping out into the tunnel. She first hugged Raja tightly, before going over to Arnav, with a "What are you doing?" expression on her face.

Arnav blinked back at her as if to say 'trust me'. Khushi could hear the girls whispering behind her, watching their every move. Rupi and Gia were most annoyed of the group.
Gia spitefully muttering: " I bet he's just sympathetic for Miss Ziplip, which is why he got the flowers for her. Why else would the ASR buy flowers for her?!"
Rupi sniggered: " Here comes Sheela! Shshshsh!"
Sheela and Kokila were furious to see such a group crowding round the gates.
Sheela: " What's going on here then!?!?!? Move!!!"
The girls immediately obeyed and made way for Kokila and Sheela to get to the gate, where Harun opened it for them. Bebo joined shortly. Kokila instantly recognized Arnav as Kushal's grandson. Kushal talked about his grandson greatly and she's always see him in papers.

Sheela immediately confronted Khushi, who was terrified: " Why have you brought up this inappropriate commotion hmm? I knew you were a troublesome-"
Arnav roughly: "Stop. It was my fault. Khushi didn't know I was coming. I just came *eyeing Khushi* to drop off this plant for her....I'm Arnav Singh-"
Kokila nodded calmly: " I know who you are beta. *looking at the roses questioningly* What are these for?"
Arnav looked at Khushi, who was already dying of anxiety. Arnav replied quickly.
Arnav: " Buaji sent them. *Khushi looked at him* Yes, Khushi's Buaji wanted me to ...drop these off to her."
Sheela criticizing: " Ohhh and are we supposed to believe-"
Kokila interrupted looking at the plants: " It must be true. *Sheela stumped* Khushi's Buaji was telling me the other day about how Khushi would miss tending her plants staying here. She must have sent these so Khushi would feel more comfortable. "
Bebo turning to the carriers: " Take it in please. Harun Bhai, can you show them to Khushi's room? "
Harun nodded and led the way.

Arnav casually: "Khushi? You're ok aren't you?"
Khushi confused about why he was asking, simply went along with it and nodded with a soft smile.
Arnav smiled and noticed the books in her hand: " What's that for?"
Khushi looked down at her book and smiled. She pointed at the school, before tapping her feet gently. Arnav raised his eyebrows impressed.
Arnav: "Dance class? nice."
Khushi grinned nodding, while hugging the book closer to her chest. Arnav could tell she enjoyed that class most. Kokila and Sheela were quite surprised watching their great flow on interaction.
Kokila smiled fondly: "You understand Khushi very well Beta."
Arnav smiled boyishly: " I know..."
Arnav's intense gaze made Khushi look immediately down, trying to hide her reddening cheeks.

Bebo watching this with a very sweet smile, spoke up: "Come and have tea with us Beta."
Sheela twitched: " Don't you think it would be inappropriate to-"
Bebo: " It would be more inappropriate to let this young man leave, only meeting him at our door. He's our guest. It would be rude for us not to, and *looking at Arnav* it would also be rude if he refused. "
Arnav's eyes smirked knowing this would happen and innocently accepted with his eyes firmly on Khushi.
Arnav huskily: " I'd love to."

Letting Arnav into the hostel, the three ladies led Arnav to the hall, with the girls excitedly watching him. Harun came back to see and saw Khushi outside the gate stroking Raja: " Betiya you can bring him in. However he can't go inside the buildings I'm afraid."
Khushi smiled appreciatively and kissed Raja's crown, before entering the gates. She curiously watched Arnav ahead with his back to her. She knew he was up to something. But what? Priya and her other friends surrounded Khushi and Raja, snapping her out of her thoughts.
Priya teasingly: " Ok. I'm annoyed. You know ASR and you never said. The hottest guy on earth and your acting normal round him. Hmmmm?"
Khushi's heart did a little flip. Thank god they don't know that my heart doesn't act normal when he's around. Khushi simply smiled before shaking her head and leading Raja round the side of the building where she could feed him something. Priya and her friends knew there was something between the two making them smile and find it so sweet. However, saying Gia and Rupi were annoyed out their wits with the mere thought of Khushi with a hot shot guy like ASR.


It was 3.30 pm when Arnav headed to the gates, when he heard Raja bark happily behind him. He turned swiftly to see him rush up to his legs, with Khushi walking slowly behind. Arnav smirked as Khushi stopped a few steps away from him and looked around quickly, to make sure no one was watching. She then suspiciously pointed at him then to the floor, before shaking her hand in a bowl form, asking why he's here. Arnav with his hands in his pockets walked slowly up to Khushi, making her take little steps back. But Arnav was already close to her. Khushi hesitantly looked up into his mischievous eyes and gulped nervously.
Arnav in a low tone: " Why? Aren't I allowed here? You never minded me coming the last few evenings. "
Khushi opened her mouth at shock at his cheek through words. She lifted a finger at him annoyed, making Arnav in turn catch it with his own.
Arnav calmly whispered: " I just came to give you some flowers. Raja wanted to meet you and I didn't want to play hide and seek anymore. Did I do anything wrong?"
He watched her sighed in defeat and shook her head, but still didn't want anyone to find out about them. Especially with Gia, Rupi and Sheela waiting like snakes in the grass. He smiled at her innocent pout that made him want to kiss those lips, but he settled with a quick peck on the cheek. Khushi's nearly squeaked, putting a hand to her mouth in shock, while her eyes widened and body stiffened like a sculpture.
Arnav chuckled with a menacing grin: " I'll see you tomorrow. Come on Raja. "

Arnav turned to walk up to the gates with Raja, only to meet Harun's wise smile. Arnav secretly smiled in return and nodded at him, before going through the gates, while leaving Khushi,who was still stood in her spot, unable to move an inch.


The girls watched from high above over the balcony as Arnav left. None of them could hear what was said between them, but that kiss on the cheek was enough to make Gia and Rupi blow a fuse with jealousy. The other girls aww-ed, sighed wishing they were in Khushi's place and high-5-ed, pleased that she of all girls had secret, special someone.

*..........*.........*

Thanks for reading. Please do share your thoughts and any questions. 

Thanks so much to the 160+ fabulous squirrels ( I know of,lol)  who read my FF so far, and have joined my story recently. Thank you for allowing me to show you my story so far. I hope that you shall continue reading and loving as I have loved writing and reading your heart-felt comments. Thank you. :D

x

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Chapter Thirty-Eight: Peace of a Tree


*..........*.........*

After having dinner with everyone, Khushi left the school hall at 8.30 pm, heading towards the entrance of the 3 story building. She smiled gently remembering Arnav's shocking visit the night before with Raja. She never did realize that it had been weeks since she had seen or heard Arnav...til that day when he phoned. It felt like a door creaking open with unexpected tears pouring through. The door was always there, but she never looked at it.



The weeks passed by for Khushi with her settling in. She was first met by a huge woman with a sharp eyes, however a subtle understanding gaze. She remembered when Madhu went to explain everything about her lack of speech, however the woman simple said, I know. Mr. Raizada has explain it all to me. I shall take good care of her. Don't you worry Madam. And with that the lady led Khushi upstairs to meet the others. It was like a eagle taking her under her wing. She whispered gently next to her, Everything will seem a little new here, but don't you worry Khushi. You'll fit right in dear. You can think of me as your Maaji. She then laughed gently making Khushi smile lightly. All the other girls do

When Maaji encouragingly introduced Khushi to the other 2 senior members, one smiled at her fondly, while the other raised an eyebrow. It was then Khushi found out Maaji beside her was called Kokila. 

Sheela snarled: "Ohh! So this is the Miss ZipLip we are suppose to pet. But Kokila Behen she doesn't seem that special."
Kokila lifted an eyebrow at Sheela tightly: " I'd hold my tongue if I was you Sheela. Mr. Raizada wants the best for this young lady."
Sheela bit her tongue hearing Mr. Raizada's name, which was definitely a person not to get into trouble with. Khushi watched with caution as the other woman, who was quite elderly, walked up, gazing at her. Khushi instinctively took her blessings, making her smile.
Kokila gently: " This is Bebo. But you can think of her as Naniji. She's the head and founder of this hostel. "
Bebo pushed her round glasses up slightly smiling at Khushi: " She will do just fine here. *holding Khushi's hand* Don't be scared dear. Everything will be fine."

With that she walked off. Kokila and Sheela then showed her the room she was staying in. It was very spacious, with bed, wardrobe and a little separate room with sink and shower. 

(Where the TV is, instead there's the main door)

Kokila sat her down on the single bed, before sitting beside her: "Is it ok dear?"
Khushi nodded, with a very appreciative smile. Kokila smiled: "Good. Now as this is a Private Hostel, we keep high standards here, which is why there are a few rules that I'll need explain to you. Ok?"
Sheela immediately jumped in in a strict tone: " Breakfast is at 8am, Lunch at noon, Tea at 3pm and Dinner at 8pm. You are not allowed to drink or smoke, and there's a strict curfew at Midnight to 7am in the morning. And NO guests allowed, without Kokila Behen or I knowing. Is that clear?!"
Khushi stared at Sheela as she was quiet threateningly close, making her swallow hard. 
Kokila strictly: " Sheela! Your scaring her! *Sheela backed off rolling her eye, while Kokila turned to Khushi* Don't worry dear. You're new so it'll take time to adjust. Plus making new friends here, will help you loads. And the Curfew is there for all our girls protection."
Sheela muttered: " And to catch any of those bratty sneak outs."
Kokila emphasized: " Which Khushi here, is not. Isn't that right dear?"
Khushi nodded her head. 

Kokila smiled, before standing up: " We'll go for you to look around the room. Don't hesitate if your in doubt ok? I, Sheela and Bebo will always be around. "
Kokila then left, with Sheela glaring at her before following. Khushi then noticed a young woman in her mid twenties pop her head in, staring at Khushi with a warm smile. Khushi tilted her head at her as she let herself in and walked up to her.

Priya was her name. From Delhi, she had been staying here for a good while studying at the private school at the hostel. It was her last year before heading off to do her internships back in Delhi. Khushi easily jelled with her as her patience with Khushi's lack of speech was very heart warming. She stayed next door to her which was presently convenient too.  She showed her round the hostel, school and also many of her friends, which was practically the majority. It was later on however, Khushi got to find out as well as nice people, there also had to be people that weren't so nice. Rupi and Gia. And they had to be the girls sharing the room next to hers too. One side Priya, other side these two.

Khushi found it confusing that they believed that just because she couldn't speak, she shouldn't have got the room they were pining for. Khushi felt bad. She didn't care what room she got. She wondered why Kushal had to demand the best room for her. She didn't mind really. Priya and the others stuck up for her though.
Priya bravely: "Don't listen to these cows Khushi. They're just jealous of you. They're always bitter to anyone who looks prettier than them, *laughing* Which is practically everyone in the whole hostel. "
As everyone laughed, the two girls gasped in a high pitch voice, before storming off in their clipping heels. Khushi didn't know what to say in this situation, but felt two familiar streaks in Priya which made her smile gently. She looked a lot like Payal from her memories, while her talk was like Chinky. Funny world.

From that day on, her days went on in a routine kind of manner. Walking up, doing her many activities with Priya, her favorite being the dancing classes, having a visit from Buaji most days, but also sometimes from Kushal. The first visit was very eerie with Kushal standing beside the window looking out from her room, while she would stand beside him...waiting for him to say something. He'd usually ask about her day and well being, which she'd carefully explain through her hand gestures, but then slowly express herself happily. Kushal would simply stare at her with fond eyes, nodding time to time, ears attentive. He'd then turn to her, patting her head gently and leave. Khushi didn't understand why he had to visit as Madhu already does that, but it felt nice to see he cared. 



Priya called out: " Hey Khushi!! Stop!"
Stepping out on to the 1st floor landing, Khushi paused coming out of her past thought and turned to see Priya catch up to her. She panted heavily, making Khushi smile at her, asking with her eyes.
Priya: " I wanted to ask quickly if you wanted to go out with me and others to the mall tomorrow? I got permission from Maaji."
Khushi loved the idea, however she knew Kushal wouldn't be happy. He had sent her here for her own protection and she definitely remembered what happened last time she went to the mall. And anyways Arnav was probably coming to see her at midnight like yesterday. She shook her head with a gentle smile.
Priya : "Oh come on Khushi! You have never gone out with me since you arrived. You act as if this place is a jail *laughs*"
Khushi upset, shook her head desperately at Priya. She never wanted her to think that she was unappreciative of the love and care the majority of people gave to her here. Khushi held her hand desperately, not wanting her to think that at all. Priya waved her off.
Priya laughed: " I was joking silly. What are you like!? * yawning* I'm heading off for an early night in. If you change your mind tellllll meeeee! Night Night!"
Khushi watched her leave before heading into her room for a shower.

~

After having a shower, Khushi realized that she hadn't picked up the bottoms of her yellow night Salwar. She wore what she had and came out of the bathroom in a towel wrapped head, her yellow salwar kameez top and panties on. However, just as she exited, she halted with a shocking frown. Why are the windows open!? I closed them before going for a shower. Hastily she ran to close her two windows. After closing the first, she went beside the bed to close the other, when an arm wrapped round her waist and a hand covered her mouth. 

Her eyes snapped wide squeaking as the arms immediately twisted her round and pushed her back against the still open window.
Arnav winked before speaking sexily: "Hello Khushi. I opened the windows for a bit of air. It's a bit hot in here, don't you think?"
Khushi's jaw dropped a little in total astonishment. She blinked a few times realizing he's really there in her room. Her first thought was, Panic! She pushed him back a bit before closing the windows behind her in such a hurry, a tiny crack was left open. She then ran to the door locking it too, before pacing to and fro from her shower door to her main door. She glanced at the time. Why is he here now?! It's quarter past nine!? What if someone knocks on the door before the curfew? What if Arnav gets caught!? Arnav had a smile playing on his lips watching Khushi pace up and down, and so casually took off his black suit jacket and waist coat, placing it on the chair. Left in his sea blue shirt, he rolled up his sleeves to his mid-bicep, revealing a tiny bit of a tight black t-shirt underneath. He crossed his arms, still watching Khushi pace for a while, taking in her craziness that he had miss so much.

His eyes rolled down from the top of her toweled hair, to the bareness legs. Knowing she was too worried to even think about that factor for now, his eyes gleamed . Without warning Arnav stopped Khushi at the door and holding her against it, before kissing the daylights out of her. Khushi was bewildered at first, but then quickly seeped into her hearts home. Arnav. Khushi hand passionately dug in Arnav's hair as he switched off the lights with a hand while the other tugged off the towel on her head. Digging a hand gently in her moist hair and he slowly led her back to lay her back again her single bed. 

Relaxing beside her Arnav moved away from the kiss, only for Khushi to grab his black tie and pull him towards her.
Arnav breathlessly smiled: " I can tell you missed me Khushi."
Khushi blushed realizing her actions and let go of him embarrassed making Arnav chuckle lightly. It was then Khushi's eyes flew open with alert flags about her surroundings...about the time and place. She blushed harder and pushed Arnav back trying to get him off the bed, but Arnav stayed firmly put, while pushing her back down to indicaing for her to relax. Khushi trusting him slowly nodded and stayed laid back. She stroked his cheek as he turned himself so he laid beside her on the bed.


The bed was small, however it was cosy for them both, as the two faced each other. Khushi's eyes were soft and questioning, while Arnav's were dazed yet warm.
Arnav with a lop-sided smile: " I told you I'd come...you left your door open."
Khushi smiled finding his features adorable. But she looked away from his eyes, still worried about if someone comes before the-
Arnav sighed: " Don't worry. I'll leave before the curfew. Unless...*raising a teasing eyebrow* You want me to stay over for the night?"
Khushi opened her mouth at him, scandalized at the thought Maaji coming in the morning to find another person in her bed. She shook her head poking his hard chest, with a cute pout on her lips. 

Arnav shuffled closer so his face was closer to hers, and lifted a hand to tuck a wet strand of hair behind her ears.
Arnav seriously: "Khushi...you still haven't told me why you left...I know you would never leave for your own reason so don't lie to me. ....*looks into her eyes imploring* What's the reason?"
Khushi put her hands on his chest, with her eyes saddened about the day she left. But how can she explain that she left because Kushal wanted to protect her. I don't want Dadaji to be in trouble. But I don't want to keep Arnav in the dark. He should know too that I'm here to be protected from Indu
Arnav searched deeper into her eyes curiously: " Did someone say something Khushi?"
Khushi felt like crying then and closed her eyes tightly. She then swiftly wrapped her arms round Arnav's chest, gripping his back, while resting her head in the crook of his neck. Arnav instantly complied by hugging back. 

He desperately wanted to find out, but not at the expense on making his Khushi cry. He just wished that he was home that day, to know what happened.
Arnav: "Khushi...Do you want to stay here?"
Khushi knew she had to stay here til Indu gets caught. If I say no, he'll take me home for sure. That can't happen yet.  Khushi nodded her head timidly against his neck. Arnav felt his heart clench slightly, but he continued.
Arnav: " How....How lon-..*gulping*...Will you come back soon?"
Khushi lifted her head to look at him. She held his face in her hands and nodded earnestly. Arnav knew she was telling the truth and pulled her in for another desperate kiss. He compromised with his heart, vowing that he would visit her everyday til she would come back. 
~

It was 15 mins before midnight, when Khushi's doors opened with Arnav pushed out playfully. Arnav watched her lean against the doors fondly watching him as he buttoned his jacket casually.
Arnav whispered intensely: "See you tomorrow Khushi."
Khushi eyes shot to meet his as he breathing hitched again: Arnav stepped closer laying a hand on the wall outside.
Arnav: "You sure you don't want me to stay the night? *Winks*"
Khushi now burning bright red, shut the doors quickly wanting to avoid his bed eyes. 
Arnav chuckled lightly and waited a minute where he was. The doors flew open with a shy Khushi walking out, kissing his cheek lightly before heading back inside. The bashful smile she gave him, when shutting the door this time round, was enough to melt Arnav's heart to the floor. He grinned before walking downstairs, chucking his car keys in the air and catching them in the same hand. Same time tomorrow.

*..........*...........*

x