Chapter 21

The sun rays made their way into the room through the space between the curtains announcing the arrival of a new day. Arnav stirred and squinted his eyes as the sun rays falling on his face disturbed his sleep.

He froze as he felt something crepting up towards her neck. He looked down and saw as khushi stirred in her sleep , digging her face more into his neck as her hand clutched his collor ,she exhaled and returned back to deep sleep.

His breath stopped ,as for the first time neither his mind nor his heart were able to believe what his eyes were seeing. He had khushi in his arms as she slept peacefully. He had visioned this million times but he knew that it would never become reality. Her fringe fell over her forehead making her eyes flutter slightly. Not wanting to wake her up, he gently moved her hair behind her ear.

Still not believing that this moment is real not his imagination or a dream ,he continued to stare her face with his heart chanting only thing with every heart beat.

I love you…

I love you…

I love you so much…

Over and over again…

Closing his eyes, he leaned forward ,pressed his lips on her forehead as his heart uttered.

I am so sorry…

She felt something soft pressed on her forehead and slowly opened her eyes to look into arnav’s eyes which were filled with love and guilt. She closed her eyes to snap out of whatever hallucinations her mind was conjuring as she knew her love would never be reciprocated. Arnav hates her! There would only be hate in his eyes for her. Never love! Never!

But another memory came, of him kneeling down in front of her and his hand clapsing her mother’s Payal on her ankels once again cofessing why he had her payal with him, of him filling her maang with sindoor and a soft whispher that came out from his mouth.

Forever…

Forever…

This word echoed in her ears forcing her mind to accept that that was reality not her imagination.

“Goodmorning. Are you ok khushi..??”

She heard him say and she felt the rumbling against her cheek that rose from his chest. When she raised her eyes to look up at him, she found her eyes glued at him or specifically at his lips. He was looking down with his lips curved into soft smile.

Her hand rose on its accord to trace his lips that was curved up with her fingers to make sure that he was real.

Everying stopped for arnav as soon as he felt the touch of her fingers and for khushi, her eyes locked with his as she felt the softeness of his lips and the words escaped her mouth.”You are here! You…You really are here!”

Arnav looked at her eyes filled with uncertainity and her voice clearly showing her doubt she has in the reality of him being with her. He closed his hand around her hand which was on his lips and placing a gentle kiss on her palm, he spoke in firm voice.”I am here khushi and i’ll always be here. With YOU!”

As his words registered in her mind and with it came the dream.

Everything was dark and there was no source of light. Her heart was thudding loudly. She had always been afraid of dark.

She called out the one person that had always saved her ever since he entered in her life.

“Arnav!!!” her voice shaking with fear. She whipped her head around praying that he will come for her rescue as he always had.

“ARNAV!!!” She screamed again more loudly this time.

She breathed a sigh of relief as she saw him. Arnav. But what she saw made her scream out loud in absolute terror.

She saw arnav, his eyes brimmed with pain and guilt and his shirt red from blood. She saw him backing away from her and heard him.”I am sorry khushi.”

Running towards him, arm stretched she screamed for her life.”ARNAV!!!!” and the next moment she found her enclosed in his arms as he assured her that it was just a nightmare.

The dream felt as real as it could. Terried to hell, she threw herself more at him constantly murmering.”You..you are safe. Nothing happened to you.” Backing away slightly she ran her hands on his body.His abdomen, his chest and his face, reassuring herself that he is safe, that nothing happened to him. He is in front of her safe and sound.

Arnav realised that she was talking about the dream that she had last night. Desperate to calm her, he wound his arm around her, his hands rubbing her up and down to sooth her.”Shh calm down khushi. I am safe. Nothing happened to me. It was just dream. Relax.” He felt her breathing getting regular as she clutched him more tightly. He continued to rub her back and dropped a kiss on her hairs with a thought haunting his mind.’Why is she concerned me? ME? Why?’

After sometime he gently untangled himself from her. Standing up he leaned down and swept her up saying.”You should shower now. You can stand on your own no..?? Or i could fill the tub..” he stopped as he realised what he was about to say. Images flashed in front of his eyes.

Tub filled with blood…

Her blood…

Quickly correcting himself he said.”..or i could call payal for your help.”

His heart jumped in joy when she shook her head in denial.”No.”

He gently made her stand on the floor in front of the bathroom door still not leaving her hands. “Could you please leave the door unlocked. Please. If in case you won’t be able stand on your own then i could call payal for you. ”

She nodded and dispeared inside the bathroom closing the door but not locking it.

The time she took inside the bathroom were the most painful for arnav. There was a feart in him that she could try to take her life again but the sound of the shower and the thing that there was nothing sharp inside relaxed him a bit but then also he had fear in his heart.

Relief, immense relief that was what he felt when he heard the sound of opening of the door and looked up to see her walking out of the bathroom, her hair wet clinging to her cheeks and neck. She is so beautiful.

Grabbing the towel that lay on the bed, he strode towards her. Holding her wrist he led her towards the dressing table and made her
sit on the chair. He stood behind her gently started drying her wet hairs. He knew that she was staring at him from the mirror but he kept her down, he just want her to believe that this all real.

Once her hair dried,he dropped the towel on the recliner. Grabbing the small pot from the table, he took a pinch of sindoor and filled her maang with it.

He made sure that he was looking in her in the mirror all the while. He opened one drawer and took out mangalsutra. Slowly he brought it to her neck and clasped it around her neck.”Its of my mother khushi. She told me to give it to my wife when i’ll fall in love with her.” he confessed indirectly that he is in love with her.

Kneeling in front of her, he took her wrist in his hands and traced the marks of the cut on them. His heart clenched at the sight of them as doctor’s words came into his mind.

The cuts are very deep as though she didn’t want herself to be saved.

Shoving away the memory at the back of his mind, he took his mother’s
bangels and slid them in her hands effectively hiding the cut marks on her wrist.”…you know when i first made you wear them, i felt as though ma is now very happy, that her bangels got the right owner atlast.”

He looked up in her eyes and saw confusion and denial in them but he swore that he will remove this confusion from her eyes and make her believe that everything is real, that he is real.

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