Arnav felt something on his face disturbing his sleep. Twisting his face a bit he tried shake off whatever it was, but it comes back again and again. Irritated, he at last blinked open his eyes only to look at the hazel eyes of his wife who had her fingers on his cheek staring at him with love. A smile broke into his face looking at her the first thing as he opened his eyes in morning. “Hey…” He whispered as he proceeded to sit up. “How long have you been awake?” He asked looking at her freshly showered form.
“An hour ago.” She said not taking her eyes off him.
What happened to her? Why is she looking at me like that? “Khushi…” He placed his palm over her cheek tenderly. “Are you feeling fine? What happened?”
Instead of answering to him she asked him, “Do you love me?” She looked at him in the eyes, her eyes conveying her doubts.
What?!? From where did that come from? He cupped her face firmly in his hand, having her full attention on him. “I love you khushi!” He spoke with as much as sincerity he could. “Why would you even think like that?”
“Then why didn’t you make love to me yesterday?” Her eyes were full of pain. “You were even regretting that we even went that far.”
What? How could she think like that? I wanted to make love to her yesterday but not when she was in venerable state. It took me everything has to move away from her. “Hey…listen to me. I love you khushi and I wanted to make love to you but I didn’t because you are not properly healed khushi. I know you are physically healthy but not mentally” He searched her eyes desperately for any signs that he was getting through her. “And I want you to first be healthy because I don’t want to hurt you. I won’t be able to bear it.”
He knew that it didn’t work the second she turned her eyes away from him. What happened to her in one night? She was ok yesterday. Fuck! He should have thought that this could come in her mind making her doubt his love for her. She’s emotionally very vulnerable right now. He has to make her believe. He couldn’t lose her now not when they come this far. Not now not ever.
Swinging her down on the bed so that she was under him, he stared at her wide eyes hard. “You want to know how much I want you?”
Khushi just stared at him wide eyes. His eyes they were so intense, that made her slightly nervous. “Arnav…what are you doing?”Her voice trembled slightly.
“Showing you my love…my need for you.” He didn’t waste any second to lean down to capture her lips so passionate that will make her forget even her name. Arnav didn’t hold back anything this time. He poured out all the passion and love he has for her. Khushi was shocked initially but soon her wound around his neck pulling him closer, taking most of his weight on her. Till now the kisses they have shared were soft lacking something but now they were giving themselves to one another fully not holding back anything. He left her to let her breath, moving his lips from her jaw to her neck to the neck line of her top. Peppering kisses to her collar bone he moved to her ear. “Still have any doubts on my love for you?”
Breathing heavily khushi looked at him confused not getting what he just uttered. Her mind still numb from the kiss, the only thing swirling inside her very being is the feel of his lips on her lips, on her skin, burning her up. “Huh??”
Staring straight in her eyes with their lips almost touching he repeated. “Do you doubt my love for you, khushi? Do you khushi?”
Overwhelmed by the raw emotions she can see in his eyes, her voice came out in a low whisper. “No…” Mesmerized by his eyes, the pure love and passion swirling inside them only for her, without any guilt that was ever present in his eyes being a wall between them she touched him with her fingers softy, witnessing the same passion that was there on diwali night. There was just the need, love and desperation to prove his love to her in his eyes, the window to his soul.
Putting her hand away from his face he restrained them beside her head. “Listen to me khushi and listen well. I can handle anything but not you saying that you doubt my love.” He leaned impossibly closer to her. “Get that in your heart, mind and soul that I love you. Have always loved you. Will ALWAYS love you.” He kissed her hard again. “Don’t you dare…don’t you dare to doubt my love for you!”
As soon as he released her hands, she hugged him tight, burying her face in the crook of his neck. “I love you. I will never…ever doubt your love.”
Arnav breathed a sigh of relief. You scared me khushi. I don’t want to lose you. Not the second. I got you back the first time but if I lost you again I will not be alive the next second.
“Let me go downstairs to bring our breakfast. You have to take your medicines also.” Arnav pulled away from the hug, giving her a hand that she took and got down from the bed.
“Arnav…I ”Khushi stopped him from leaving the room. He turned to look at standing near the foot of bed. “What happened?”
“I…I want to make breakfast today…for you.” She said hesitatingly.
He looked at her with a frown. “But you shouldn’t be doing…” But he stopped when what she really was asking get through him. She wants to make breakfast and for that she has to go down to kitchen, where everybody would be present. There will be no other better way to do this. Everybody will be able to see her, after such a long time. They all would be so delighted to khushi so much healthier. She herself wants go down, I will not be getting such opportunity another time. But I have to be sure that this is what she wants. “Khushi…you want to make breakfast for me?”
Khushi was clearly not comfortable with going downstairs. It was written all over her face. I really want to make him breakfast and for that I have to go down where all the people would be present. I really don’t want to face them, not now, not ever. I have to go down…I can’t stop doing things I want to do just because of them. They are nothing for me. At least Nanheji will be there, the only one I can talk to. “Yes…I really want to cook today for you.”
Arnav took her hands softy in his, gazing in her eyes he tried to show her the love and gratitude he feels for her. “After so many days I would eat the food which you have cooked. I missed you khushi. I missed everything about you. But you have to promise me that you will not tire yourself out, you won’t do everything on your own. You will take Hp’s help.”Knowing there is not much choice for her, khushi agreed, “OK.”
“Hariprakash ji! Not like this. See mix it thoroughly.” Khushi was instructing HP in the kitchen, finding very hard to control her urge to do everything herself aware of her husband’s eyes on her from the dining table.
Arnav was waiting for everything to take its place accordingly. He hadn’t told anyone that khushi is in the kitchen. It was a good thing that breakfast was already made and all were at the dining table having their breakfast. He saw confusion in everyone’s eyes as soon as he sat on the chair instead of making plate for khushi as he had been doing from past several weeks. The confusion increased when he decline to eat. It was good that payal was in the kitchen or else he doesn’t know how he would have handled payal knowing khushi’s opinion about her family members.
There…He didn’t react when payal head snapped towards kitchen as soon as she heard khushi’s voice. He sat still when it was clear that everyone on the table were aware of khushi’s presence in the kitchen. He will not do anything. He won’t stop khushi from doing anything she wants. It will be her choice if she wants to talk to payal or not. If she want to let her know whatever she felt for her and think of her. It would be her choice to tell payal that she has lost her sister.
He didn’t follow payal when she strode towards the kitchen. He kept sitting on the chair when one by one everyone followed payal after they got nothing from him. Only anjali and NK were there on the table.
NK was confused. What the hell nannav is doing? Till yesterday he hid the fact that khushi has been talking to him and is walking again. But what happened today. All of a sudden khushiiji is in the kitchen Cleary cooking something and he sat silently without so much so word about khushiji. What is he doing now? “Nannav what the hell is this all about? How come khushiji is in the kitchen? Just say something dam….”
“You will get all your answers Nk, today only. Just wait.” Arnav knew whatever khushi decides he would have to explain everything to NK. Why he didn’t tell them about khushi all along. The reason she kept herself locked in the room, refusing to come down.
“KHUSHI TALK TO ME!!!” Payal shouts echoed from the kitchen to the dining hall. NK and anjali ran, with arnav calmly following them. It will be good if khushi just pour everything out she feels for payal and her family. A big weight will be off her shoulders then and she won’t have to act all nice to them. Pretending that didn’t felt hurt from the words they’ve thrown at her, from their actions. She has done all the pretending for a life time. Always have a smile plastered on her face, even when she had been hurting from inside. This should end here, enough of her doing everything to just make everyone happy around her.
Payal was holding khushi’s hand trying to talk to her when they reached inside the kitchen. Khushi had her face away from payal, who was trying very hard to get through her sister. “Khushi why aren’t you talking to me.? Look at me. See it’s me, your jiji.” Payal desperate attempts stopped as khushi jerked her hand away from her roughly. Arnav closed his eyes. As much I want khushi to say everything but it will be very difficult for all of them to handle that.
For the first khushi looked at payal’s eye. Payal’s skin turned cold looking at her sister’s cold eyes. But she’s about get another blow. “I don’t have any sister Mrs. Raizada. If you don’t remember then I will remind you that I am an orphan.” Khushi’s words were cold devoid of the warmth that has been ever present whenever she talked to her jiji.
Payal staggered back like she had received a massive blow on her. Not only she, everybody gaped at khushi in horror and confusion. The girl whose love for her sister they have witnessed is now denying the very relation.
“Khushi…what are you talking about? You are not an orphan. You have amma, babuji and buaji at lakshmi nagar and I am your sister, your jiji.”
Khushi laughed humorlessly. “Who are you talking about? The people who disowned in this very house? The one who not even once forget to remind me that I am not their blood? Not they forgot to remind me that again on my marriage. Amma huh? She’s not my mother Payal singh raizada, She’s your mother not mine. You have buaji, not me. She never was. She never wanted me in that house, but she didn’t leave chance to taunt me, to remind me my place, to remind me that I am not a family member. Whatever I do she has a problem with that even if I am just eating, she won’t allow a single morsel to go down my throat in peace.” Her eyes softened immediately recalling the only person she had with her the entire time. Who was with her all along! Never had he treated her differently. “Babuji… you’re very lucky to have them as a father payal and I will be very grateful to him that he gave me safety when I lost everyone I had, when I was just 8 years old. But I can’t call him babuji, even when I want to, even when i know in my heart that he will always be my babuji. If I do so then I have make relations with all of you. With his wife, his sister and his daughter.”
Arnav saw all the confusion leaving from nk’s face. He understood his actions from the past several days. Payal was devastated; she isn’t coming to the term she has lost her sister.
“I am not your sister Mrs. Raizada, I am Khushi Mehra Singh Raizada. I was never a Gupta.” With that khushi turned and busied herself in her work, ignorant to everyone’s presence in the kitchen.
With one last glance at her sister’s back payal broke into tears and ran out of there not looking back. Arnav knew this is not the end as everyone looked at him with questions. He signaled them that he’ll explain everything later but not now. Now he needs to be with khushi. She must be emotionally drained after all of this. And she has a lot more to come as he knew that payal must have told everything to the guptas and they will be coming to visit her.