Arnav stared at khushi as lay on his chest, her one hand clutching the lapels of his shirt. His heart was at peace knowing that she loves him but his mind, it was full of questions- things he couldn’t understand and only she could answer all of the questions he has in his mind. But is it the right time to ask, when she has just came out of her shell. He was afraid that she could go back into her shell if he remind her of those days, but he know and know for sure that all those things that he has in his mind were connected.
Why did she refuse to go down?
She was not willing to see even her sister. But why?
He decided, it cannot wait. He has to know this, if he wants her to be normal, to see his old chirpy khushi back.
“Khushi..” he whispered stopping her star staring session. She lifted her questioning gaze to him. Smoothing a hand down her hairs, he spoke, “Can I ask you something?”
Receiving a nod from her, he prepared himself to ask her the thing that was haunting his mind day night from the day she opened her eyes in the hospital. “Khushi..you..i..why you..why you were only looking at me and..and not any of your family members in the hospital and..and in home also your..your eyes were only on me, you didn’t even looked at your sister, payal. Why?”
He could not understand the emotion that flashed across her face at the mention of her sister, but he does not have to wait for long as she opened her mouth to speak and what she spoke left him stunned.
“Because you are the only one that I could call mine arnavji…”
“What..?” He could say nothing else. “Khushi, you have your family, you amma, babuji and payal!”
“They are not my family arnavji. They never have. I have always been an adopted child but for some year, I forgot that reality, and started living in an illusion but an illusion cannot last forever and it break at the night of our marriage. ” Arnav flinched at the mention of that night. He wanted her to stop saying more. He never wanted her to relive those days or that night in particular. But she stopped him.
“Let me speak arnavji. Please, let me take it out of myself.” He tightened his hold on her as she once again started pouring her heart out.
“Arnavji, that night, amma didn’t only slap me, but she made me realize my place. She reminded me that i was and will always an adopted child, the one who was thrown at her when her sister and her husband died. No matter how many things I do for them, no matter how hard i try to make place in their heart, but couldn’t because I will always be an outsider. I can never be their daughter. I will always be her sister’s daughter for amma and an unwanted guest in her house for payal jij-”
She was not crying. Her eyes only held acceptance. “If it would have been payal in my place that night, surely amma would’ve slapped her also but they could never in their lifetime disown her like they disowned me, you know why? Because she is their daughter, no matter what she does. And funny thing is that they reacted as if I have not eloped with you but with some stranger or someone who they hate and not the jethji of their daughter. As if, I haven’t married in the same house as their daughter.” She let out a short hollow laugh at that. “That night I wasn’t slapped once but many times arnavji. Their reactions were hard slaps on my face.” She smiled a sad smile. “But it was a good thing though. They dumped me to reality and it is better to live in reality than in an illusion because when illusion breaks, it hurts more than living in reality.”
“But then why..if..you..then why you agreed to stay with me in this house even after all this for payal?” Arnav voiced out the first question that came in his mind.
“Because you were the only one that I had arnavji. Even if you hated me but at least had your name attached with mine. At least I could call you mine and could say that I belonged to you. I was never here for payal arnavji, not after we came in the house after our marriage.”
Not a able to digest the facts, he could only stare at her, not knowing what to say. What could he say after all this, after knowing how deeply she felt for him even when he was nothing but a beast to her, always hurting her.
“…and then in hospital, your eyes were my only solace in the dark pit in which I have fallen into because even if my mind was forcing to stay in that pit and not come out, my heat only wanted to see you as it knew that you were the only one that I have in this world. I didn’t know that you loved me but even then I considered you mine, because the love that I felt for you was not out of any obligation that I had for my adopted family or the love that I bound to have since my birth for my parents who gave birth to me. My heart felt that love for you without any obligation, it just loved you without any condition.”
Overwhelmed with love for her and guilt at what he had done to her, he crushed her to himself. Peace and content like he had never felt before seeped through him as he felt her arms around him.
How come he has her in his life? An angel?
And for the first time, Arnav Singh Raizada thanked god for giving him an angel in the form of khushi, who loves him so much and promised to love her with all his soul, with his whole being and to her protect from the world.