As the retreated form of Khushi and Arnav disappeared quickly, Nani looked at the faces of all the people in the living room. Her gaze perplexed, eyes searching, asking questions that her mind is desperately wanting the answers to.
Garima was shattered, with her eyes staying atop of the staircase that khushi disappeared from she continued to stare. Her eyes hoping for this day to be a dream, that she really hasn’t lost her daughter. But nothing changed. Payal was still weeping silently, and her sister in law, for once in her life didn’t have anything to say.
Deathly silence surrounded the room as every occupant tried to come to the terms of what happened here.
Only two of them were worried about the girl who herself cutoff with the ties that she so selflessly have tried to salvage till now, even at the cost her life.
“How?…what?…what happened here?” Nani questioned looking perplexed. “Why Khushi behaved like this? Why did she cut all the ties with her family? What is happening in this house?” Her voice rose looking the mum faces.
Nk thought of stepping forward and letting the family know what they all have done to the girl he had come to see as his baby sister. “Naniji, you should know that the reasons behind Khushi taking her life was not one but many.” He looked at each and every person standing there. “The way all of you treated that girl after her marriage,” His gaze pointed to the gupta and the newly wedded raizada bahu. “The way you were with her before her marriage and the raizada family is also among them naniji. So it hadn’t come as a shock to you garima aunty, did it? “
Garima shook her head, her head bowed down. ” I knew the moment I saw her.” She looked up her eyes filled with tears. ” I knew I am going to lose my daughter today. “
“She was never your daughter auntiji. ” Nk knew his words were harsh but also so very true. “You were her maasi, have been her maasi all along, all the while you raised her, she never got the place in your heart which a daughter has. If it was there for her, no matter what had happened, you would have never disowned your daughter that night.”
“Payal bhabhi please stop crying. Your sister will not come back to you ever. The sooner you come to terms with it the better and naniji, if Khushi didn’t say about her in laws doesn’t mean that she’ll be her true self with you. Don’t expect to see your Khushi in this Khushi because you will not find her, she’ll be just your grandson’s wife to you. Her relation with you will only be because you are related to her husband and not because she gave a piece of her heart to you all. You all destroyed that part of her a long back.”
Aakash fisted his hands in an effort to keep himself jumping on his cousin. For all his life he never thought he could get this angry or could feel the rage like he is feeling on this particular moment. True, what Nk said was true. His wife, his family including himself gave cold shoulder to Khushi after her and bhai’s impromptu wedding. That does not give him to say such harsh words to his wife and her family when one could see how devastated they are with this turn of events.
For all the rage and anger Aakash knew somewhere deep inside his heart that Nk was right. That what stopped him from defending his wife was not his ever calm nature that refuses to make things uglier than what they are. Instead it was the guilt, it was the selfishness that he displayed by quickly abandoning that one girl because of whom he got to marry his love of the life.
Nk felt a headache coming. This was getting uglier and uglier. The step Khushi took by trying taking her life left a domino effect, taking away every peace and calm that ever existed in this house.
His eyes strayed to Anjali. At this moment Nk looked like he had aged ten more years.
Could this family handle the truth? The truth when I’ll do what anjali has asked me to will come to their doorstep. This has happened before and I know that its effect still lingers in Arnav and anjali di’s life.
A tired sigh escaped his lips. But doing this is the right thing. It’s either this or devastation of Arnav’s life. There is no choice to make when it comes to Arnav for him, is it? A wry smile touched his lips. Arnav Singh raizada, you owe me a big, baby brother.
“I’ll just check onto Arnav and Khushi.” Nk walked out not before giving a meaning glance to his di.
Once he was out of earshot, he dialed a number he had wished not to use again.
As soon as the call connected, a heavily accented voice, the accent that have touched his Hindi word, came through and greeting him like an old friend.
“Nk! Buddy! How come you called man? Not that I am complaining. It’s been so long since you talked to this friend of yours. How’s going buddy?”
The man doesn’t know when to shut up.
“Mig, I need a favour.”
The sound on the background got silent and Nk knew this time everybody on the side would have stilled whatever work that they were doing, on one signal of their boss, mig.
“Name it.” Came the response he knew he would be getting. He has always been grateful of the friends he made in his young rogue days. Of Course he knew nobody would want their son to be in their company. But they are the loyal friends he could count on anytime, doesn’t matter what they do for a living.
“I need you in India. It’s big mig. Not a small thing. I would understand if you would want to decline after hearing what I want you to do. Moreover, it would be hell lot of a difficult to do in India, in another country. So whether you do it or not, that would not affect our friendship. You feel me, man?”
“I feel you alright man. Just tell me and it will be done.”
“I want my brother-in-law dead.” Nk finally let out.
“You have a sister?” Came the surprised question.
Of course, thought Nk, leave it to mig, to be surprised by getting to know about me having a sister and not of what I asked him to do.
“Mig, she’s my cousin. Now tell me. Are you going to do it?”
“Of course, my man! Anything for you.”
“You are not even going to ask the reason behind it?”
“I know you well enough Nk, that for you to ask me this, that rascal of a brother in law of yours, deserved what I have stored in for him.”
Nk heaved a sigh of relief. “Come here and I’ll give you the details.”
“Nah uh, you would not be giving me anything. Just tell me about your cousin’s family and I’ll know who I have to kill. Don’t want anyone to trace this back to you my brother.”
“Alright, his name is shyam manohar jha. You can search his name and get his picture. For you to be sure he is the one he’ll be seen either with his wife Anjali jha or Arnav Singh Raizada. Don’t kill the wrong guy here bro. Search whatever you can on him. I can bet on my life that he has bad connections here in Delhi. Use whatever you find, kill that bas***d in a way that exposes all of his dirty work. He should be thrashed in press after his death.” Nk chuckled darkly. “And make sure he suffers.”
Mig laughed at the other end. “You know me. I know how to make one suffer. You’ll be seeing the good news very soon. Now after this call, if you are in the house get out then dump this phone after splitting your sim into two. No one could make connection to me but better to be safe.”
Nk rolled his eyes. “I know all of this. You don’t have iterated it to me. It was nice talking to you bro. Hope to catch up to you again. Soon”
“Yeah, soon bro.” The ended and Nk swiped his sim, out broke it into two.
“Hey, you should eat something. You also have to take your medicines.” Arnav squeezed her hand to bring her back to present. Khushi was continuously staring ahead at nothing in particular. He sat with her holding her hand giving her the support she needs after all the things happened downstairs. He could never understand the pain she’s going through. Even though he has lost his parents but Khushi, she lost them twice. He knew he could never handle that.
“Sweetheart, you have to eat.” He gently turned her face to him. “Come back to me.” He searched her eyes for an emotion. She blinked pulling down the curtain that protected her heart. It was all there, years of pain, anger, confusion, fear, and most of love for him.
Then she said the one thing that tore his heart out. “Please don’t hurt me again. I will die. I wouldn’t be able to live. “
His eyes moistened. “I can never hurt you.” He placed her palms above his heart. “This heart is yours. It beats for you. I hurt you even a little bit and it will give me a hell lot of a pain.”
Her fingers clutched his shirt hard. “Arnav,” her voice trembled, “make love to me.”
“No,” Khushi shook her head looking at his eyes directly. “I know what I want. Now, I need you to make this pain go away. It’s eating me inside.” Her hands traveled up his shoulders and cupped his nape.
Arnav didn’t know what to do. Making love to Khushi when she’s vulnerable is not right. On the other hand the pain and agony he saw in her eyes was terrifying to him what it would be doing to her?
Khushi made the decision for him. As soon as her lips touched his, he was not in control of his brain.