Thursday, 2 June 2016

Chapter 21 - The Beginning of Something New




~
I remember it, 
precisely and perfectly, 
the birth of this love.
- Tyler Knott Gregson
~

Khushi slowly covered Arshia with a blanket, just as she heard Arnav come out of the bathroom, she held onto the edge of the cot for a second or so, deliberating through her thoughts once more. She wanted to, no needed to tell Arnav about what she'd thought she'd heard earlier. Too many secrets had been what had lead to this whole mess. They had nothing more to lose now, she might as well tell him.

She stilled for a fraction of a second as his arms suddenly went around her waist and she was sure she held her breath for a few minutes as she felt his breath, his body against hers.

"Hi," he whispered, and she had to close her eyes as she savoured his husky voice, the feel of him against her and the flutter of her heartbeat as it took off once more in it's erratic beat. She had to gulp to reawaken her voice.

"Hey," she whispered back as he kissed her cheek, his lips slow and purposeful against her skin.

Khushi felt herself floating through a space and time she did not want to come out of, all of her thoughts and worries dissipating. She was losing her coherent thoughts, her mind travelling back to the time when she'd been 18, when he'd held her in the same way.

She turned around slowly, blazing hazel orbs clashing against molten caramel spheres, she let her hands run over the contours of his face, as his curious gaze followed. She let her hand waver over his eyes before she closed them, savouring the innocence in his face before she let her lips fall upon his, taking them in slowly, letting his fingers grapple at her waist as her own fingers tangled through his hair. She could feel his equally reckless heartbeat knock off against hers, feel him losing himself in her embrace.

Her phone rang suddenly, startling them both and it ended as soon as it had begun. His smouldering eyes suddenly appeared panicked as his hands quickly left her. She almost banged into the cot as she ran towards her phone, almost as if they'd been caught doing something they weren't supposed to.

These streets 
Turn me inside out 
Everything shines
But leaves me empty still
And I'll, burn this lonely house down 
If you run with me
If you run with me 

I'll stay with you 
The walls will fall before we do 
Take my hand now 
We'll run forever
I can feel the storm inside you
I'll stay with you 


"Hey," her voice still sounded rattled as she picked up the known number.

"Hey you okay?" Aryan questioned back, sensing the sudden panic in her voice.

"Yeh yeh... I'm fine," she answered quickly, watching Arnav from the corner of her eyes as he leaned over and stroked Arshia's hair, then bent down and placed a gentle kiss upon her forehead.

"I'm more than fine," she smiled.

"Okay good, I've got a task for you," Aryan replied, already flicking through to the pages he required. "You know that doctor that you guys mentioned," he began.

"Dr Das?" She questioned, her coherent thoughts returning to her suddenly as Arnav came and sat next to her, a similar concern on his face.

"Yes that's the bastard! Well I have a task for you and Arnav because unfortunately I am not able to track this vile creature down," he complained in his usual dramatic flair.

Khushi rolled her eyes, almost unable to hide her amusement at Aryan's drama.

Arnav placed his hand upon hers, causing her to look towards him, their gazes meeting and holding as he lifted an eyebrow, portraying his concern.

She shook her head slowly, listening to see if Aryan had anything further to add. She felt his warmth seep through her as he squeezed her hand. And in that moment she knew more than anything that she needed to tell him. She needed to tell him about Anjali.

Fooled by my own desires
I twist my fate
Just to feel you 
But you, turn me toward the light 
And you're one with me
Will you run with me?

****

Shyam sat back on his small bed, it creaked underneath him as he shifted his position. Sure it was an upgrade up from his nasty prison cell but it definitely wasn't what he was used to, what he wanted from his life. He had had so many aspirations, he could've gotten so much more if it hadn't been for that idiot Arnav.

He had already partly exerted his revenge on Khushi, he had broken her down for her refusal but Arnav, Arnav still had to pay. And pay he would, for taking everything away from him. Shyam sat up abruptly, his bloodshot eyes taking in the board in front of him, taking in all of the pictures and arrows and in the middle of it all, Arnav Singh Raizada.

****

Anjali sat on her bed, her arms around her son as she looked at the pictures in her hands.

And suddenly she couldn't prevent her memories from assaulting her, memories she hadn't quite remembered so vividly in such a long time. They were of her mother, her father in another woman's arms, of her brother, his blank expression, a boy who had had to grow up too fast. She trembled as she tried to prevent the tears from streaking down her face. Her brother had always been there for her, Arnav had taken that responsibility, first for her and her mother and then for her alone, he had taken his life and placed her in the centre of it, shut off his love, his life behind the promise he had made to keep her safe. And she'd simply watched, silently as he'd ruined himself, stripped himself off everything including Khushi. She'd watched the silent storm raging through his eyes that always gave him away and she hadn't been able to do anything.

But this time it would be different, this time she would save her brother, even if it took everything she had.

She looked at the pictures in her hands, the board, the pictures, the arrows and in the middle of it all her brother. She knew what kind of man Shyam was, it had taken her a long time but she had finally figured him out, but this time he'd have to step up his game, because it wasn't every day that Anjali Singh Raizada played dirty.

****
I'll stay with you 
The walls will fall before we do
Take my hand now
We'll run forever
I can feel the storm inside you 
I'll stay with you 

Khushi guided Arnav's head onto her lap, his eyes closing as she trailed her fingers through his hair. She tried to keep her nervousness at bay, tried to ease her rapid heartbeat as she thought of the best way to initiate this conversation. After all they'd only just started getting back to normal and she didn't want to jeopardize it all again. They'd only began to trust each other again, she didn't want to break his trust.

She felt his fingers run through hers all of a sudden, causing her fingers to still, her breath hitch in her throat. He sat up suddenly, molten caramel spheres against dazzling hazel. She moved into his touch as he moved back a stray strand of hair and placed his hand on her face.

"What's wrong?" The concern in his eyes was clear and she wondered for the hundredth time where this Arnav had gone all those years ago, she wondered what had shut him out behind the man that had hurt her. And she was scared to awaken him again, she could not calm the storm raging through her heart.

He moved in closer, cradling her face in his hand, "Khushi, kya hua?" He asked once more, he'd always been able to read her and he hated himself for closing that Arnav off. None of this would have happened if he'd just trusted her.

"Arnav," she let their gazes meet once more, let herself drown in his melting chocolate orbs. Taking a deep breath in she began, "Arnav I need to tell you something about Di."

Now come in from this storm 
I taste you sweet and warm 
Take what you need
Take what you need
From me

Wake up this world 
Wake up tonight 
And run with me 
Run to me now 

I'll stay with you 
The walls will fall before we do
Take my hand now 
We'll run forever
I can feel the storm inside you 
I'll stay with you 
~
The wounds have changed me,
I am soft with scars.
My skin
breathes and beats stars.
- Nayyirah Waheed
~


Thursday, 3 March 2016

Chapter 20 - In This Moment it's Just Us

 ~
I want to be with you, 
it is as simple, 
and as complicated as that.
- Charles Bukowski 
~

He scrunched his eyes as the dazzling rays of the sun played on his face. She watched his serene face, a small smile on her lips as he moved his hand over his face to shield himself from the beautiful assault. She could watch him forever, the childlike innocence to his face that she rarely got to see, that she hadn't seen in years. Khushi felt light, free, as if all of her worries has been lifted and she could float like the clouds that the sky was so devoid of today. Her gaze moved over to her little girl, her most important possession as she slept serenely in her cot, undisturbed by the harsh realities of the world and Khushi sent a little prayer out that Arshia's life should forever remain that way. 

Khushi watched silently as he finally stirred, scrunching his eyes several times before his arm fell onto her side, as his hands began to search for her in the break of sleep. She decided to walk over and sit down on her side of the bed, let his fingers meet hers before his eyes finally opened. And that's all it took, a single gaze, glimmering hazel against molten soft caramel. She watched as a side of his mouth lifted, in that way that made her heart skip several beats. 

"Hi," she whispered slowly, as his fingers gripped hers tighter. 

"Hi," he whispered back, his husky voice playing with her every sense. 

"Good afternoon," she smiled. 

His eyes widened before he almost leapt out of bed, "what?! Oh my god! How did I manage to sleep in so late?" He questioned, looking at the clock. 

"I may have turned your alarm off," she smiled a small smile, still not quite sure of his reaction, a small corner of her heart still afraid of a sudden outburst. 

He watched her carefully, the small worry in her large hazel eyes and the smile that did not quite meet them. He'd always been able to read her so well why hadn't he opened his eyes earlier? He's have saved them all of these years of heartbreak.

"Thanks," he smiled as he walked over to grab his towel, "I really needed that," he chuckled before walking into the bathroom. 

She sat there for a little while, aware of the speed of her heart beat, the flush of her cheeks as she breathed a sigh of relief. It had been years since she'd last felt this way.

In the morning when you wake up 
I like to believe you are thinking of me
And when the sun comes through your window
I like to believe you've been dreaming of me

I know 
cause I'd spend half this morning 
Thinking about the t-shirt you sleep in 

When I saw you, 
Everyone knew 
I liked the effect that you had on my eyes

But no one else heard
The weight of your words
Or felt the effect that they have on my mind


****
"I need to speak to Dr Mehta," Aryan waited patiently on the phone, he'd been trying to get a hold of this doctor that seemed to have disappeared into thin air for the last half an hour.

Anjali walked over to Aryan, as he sat with his phone almost plastered to his face, clearly not pleased at something. 

"I thought you could do with some coffee," she smiled before placing the large mug on the table next to him. 

"That's actually perfect!" He grinned, I could do with a pitcher of coffee but I guess a mug will do for now," he joked as she broke into a laugh. 

He liked the way she looked when she laughed, with her head back, her eyes scrunched up, like a small child. There was a part of Aryan that wanted to dislike Anjali. After all this whole house had had a part in breaking apart his best friend but he couldn't bring himself to. Anjali was finally a woman that fascinated him, he'd had his fair share of girlfriends, one that he had almost married but no one had interested him as much as Anjali did. 

"I could bring you over a pitcher if you really need one," she smiled.

"No no it's fine just keep the mugs coming, that way I get to see more of you," Aryan smiled back. 

Anjali blushed a bright shade of pink, not quite sure how to reply just as she heard Arnav clear his throat in the background and she was glad for the interruption. 

Arnav had been observing their unusual camaraderie for quite some time. He'd always been protective of Anjali, and ever since Shyam he was even more vary.

"What's up chotey," Anjali questioned, her eyes inquisitive as she approached him.

He watched her face intently, trying to make sense of whatever it was that was happening between his Di and Aryan before replying, "nothing Di, I'm just going to head out, I've increased the security outside the house but just keep an eye out," he reassured her before walking out.

****
Anjali didn't have to think twice before picking up the unknown number that was ringing her. She walked into her room, making sure that there was no one in ear shot.

"I'm sure I told you not to phone me whilst I'm at home," she spoke sort of in a whisper as the man on the other ends lips curved up into a smile.

"Rani Sahiba you know I can't survive without listening to your sweet voice," his lies made her blood boil but taking a deep breath she continued. After all you always knew the risks when you decided to play with fire.

"Just get to the point Shyam," Anjali spoke through gritted teeth.

"Fine I need you to lure out Khushi," Shyam's face changed quickly, into a menacing grimace, not wanting to give away much to Anjali. He didn't trust her just yet.

"I'm still working on it," she replied cryptically, not wanting to give anything away to anyone.

"Well hurry up," he snarled before cutting the phone call.

It took Anjali a few more minutes before her breathing returned to normal and rapid beating of her heart calmed down.

Khushi stood stock still for a few seconds, not quite sure what she had eavesdropped on, if she'd even heard the name correctly. Hearing fast approaching footsteps she hurriedly walked away.

****

Khushi sat on the edge of the bed, their bed as she let her eyes wander around their room, a room which had pretty much remained undisturbed in all these years. There were still little glow in the dark stars on the ceiling, where she'd stuck them all those years ago in a last ditch attempt to make a home out of the place. Some of the clothes she'd left behind like the sari she'd worn the night before she'd left still remained neatly folded in the wardrobe. She walked over slowly to her bag, still in two minds over whether she should unpack. They seemed to have crossed a bridge of sorts and a large amount of normalcy had returned almost over night.

She'd woken up in the morning gasping for air, the blur of her memories playing out in her mind. She'd looked around the room, the cot in the corner with Arshia sound asleep, the pool area so devoid of his plants and yet still had not been able to prevent the fear of history repeating itself creeping up on her. She'd tried to move out of the bed, do anything to reassure herself that he wouldn't ask her to leave all over again when the weight of a warm arm had weighed her down. His words had played back in her mind then, and the innocence that overtook his face when he slept had prevented her from breaking down all over again.

"Hey baby," she smiled just then as she felt small arms go around her leg, bending down to pick up her beautiful angel. Her long curls framed her face as Arshia smiled back at her, clapping her small hands in glee.

"Do you wanna help Mamma unpack?" She cooed kissing her soft cheeks as Arshia giggled in return.

Arnav paused at the door, a smile already creeping upon his lips. He felt he could watch them forever and never tire of it.

"Should Mamma unpack?" Khushi giggled back with her little girl as she tickled Arshia.

"Mamma should definitely unpack," she paused for a second, she'd never been able to resist that husky voice of his, especially now that she knew that he had always loved her.

She let her eyes lift up to his face as he walked to stand in front of her, sparkling hazel against molten caramel orbs.

"Are you sure?" He could still see the fear that rested in a corner of her heart, a part of the Khushi that he'd torn apart.

He let their gazes meet for a few seconds, the sincerity in his eyes something she could no longer dismiss before he took Arshia, "we'll help you," he smiled that lop-sided smile of his as placing Arshia on the floor he began to lift her clothes out of her bag.

She hesitated for a few seconds before bending down to take the clothes he handed from him, their gazes colliding, the sincerity within them no longer a secret. Khushi wasn't quite sure yet whether she wanted to tell him about what she may or may not have overheard. She decided to keep it to herself until she was sure instead.

There were things that Arnav wanted to ask her, things that still gave him nightmares. He wanted to right his every wrong, cherish her, love her till there was no more love left inside of him and then some more, he wanted to know about the things that hurt her, the things that made her happy. How much had she changed, how much did she think he had? But he would have to leave those for another day, for now he would tread carefully, for now he had to make these moments count.

I know 
cause I'd spend half this morning 
Thinking about the t-shirt you sleep in 


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Chapter 19 - As Our Whispers Come Alive




~
I've always been in love with you. I'll always be in love with you.
- Grey's Anatomy
~

She lifted her eyes slowly, it taking her a second to recognise the person standing outside. Khushi felt her whole life fall apart and fall back together again. She took her steps slowly at first and she did not know when she had fallen into a run, when she felt herself collide into his embrace.

She let Arnav's arms go around her, his stubbled cheeks caress her rosy soft ones, that familiar scent of his engulf her completely. She wasn't sure what was going to happen next and for the moment she did not want to think about that. All that she was sure of was that she had once again found home...

Then suddenly everything began to come back to her, how she’d left, how she’d been dragged, how he was the reason for all of this hatred. She pushed out of his embrace awkwardly, tightening her hold against Arshia then got into the back of the car.

He watched in shock, his eyes wide, not quite sure what had happened. Putting his turbulent thoughts to bay he too got into the car and fired the engine to life as she continued to stare off into the distance her thoughts in chaos.

****

Anjali placed her hand on the cold metal handle of the car door then closed her eyes and took a deep breath in. She opened the door slowly, finding her footing on the red ash grovel beneath her before stepping out completely.

He stood with his back to her, his hair an unruly mess, she could sense the fear kick in even before she approached him, but she would have to do this for her brother. She nodded for the driver to leave before she took another step in his direction.

He turned around suddenly, moving his jet black hair away from his face, a dark snarl spreading across his lips.

“Rani Saheba!” He exclaimed, his arms open as if waiting for an embrace. “And here I was thinking you’d never appear!”

****

She was out of the car even before he had turned the engine off, her arms tight around Arshia. Her mind was in chaos, unsure and afraid. She didn’t know who she was anymore, was she the woman that hated Arnav or the one that loved him? He’d taken everyone she’d held dear, ripped her life into shreds and yet she found comfort in him, wanted to forgive him, but how could she? She’d lost her parents, her bauji, her home and in return he’d chased her away, treated her like dirt.

She attempted to calm her nerves, her anger. “Deep breaths Khushi, deep breaths,” she whispered to herself as she held her tears at bay, her whole body trembling with the effort of controlling her every emotion. She placed Arshia who had now fallen asleep down in her cot, her small fingers trembling against the blanket as she put it over her little baby.

Arnav walked in just then, his feet quick on the ground and he was behind her within seconds, his face a picture of concern. His hand fell on her shoulder, the affection coming naturally to him.

She refused to turn back, to look at him, for fear that her anger would explode that she would not be able to hold it in any longer.

“What’s wrong Khushi?” He murmured, his husky voice soft and concerned, but that was enough to break her.

She turned around abruptly, throwing his hand away from her as he stared back, his eyes wide, hurt fleeting through the depths of his eyes.

“You’re what’s wrong Arnav! You ‘re what’s wrong!” She screamed, her emotions getting the better of her, her mind over her heart, her anger over her love.

He took a step back, not quite sure how to react, keeping a tight hold of his own anger that had no bounds, that both relieved and terrified him at the same time.

“I… I don’t know how to feel anymore!” She exclaimed as angry tears trailed down her face. “My parents won’t take me back! I have no place to call home! I wasn’t happy but I was surviving and now I don’t even have that!” She shouted taking further steps towards him as he automatically took a few back.

“And it’s driving me crazy! I don’t know who I am anymore! I hate you and I love you! I want to push you away but be in your arms at the same time! I can’t! I can’t do this anymore!” She cried, unable to take it anymore as she began to crumple down to the floor, her face in her hands, her small frame trembling before he leapt forward, his arms going around her.

“I don’t’ know what I feel! I can’t do this anymore,” she sobbed as he let her tears drench into his shirt, as he held her close, held her safe.

“Shhh shh Khushi, it’s okay,” he whispered into her hair, “it’s okay,” he murmured, holding her tight.

****

He braced himself before he took another step further, his hand stopping mid-knock as his eyes fell on her innocent form. She sat with her back against the bed frame, her thoughts seemingly lost in the distance. She was beautiful like she'd always been, a stray lock of hair graced her face innocently before she quickly tucked it behind her ear. He loved her, infinitely and irrevocably.

She looked up suddenly, sparkling hazel against molten caramel, their unspoken fears meeting and dissipating. He lowered his gaze, swallowing hard before he took a further step forward. She looked away again, her thoughts lost in a distance somewhere as she felt him sit down next to her, their arms almost touching, the warmth of him radiating towards her as she battled between her desire to stay and the fear that crippled her mind that was screaming at her to run.

He too rested against the bed frame. There were so many things he wanted to say, he had so many words for her, but none of them would leave his lips, he did not know where to begin.

"Thank you," it was almost a whisper and Arnav was sure he hadn't heard her right.

Taking a deep breath in she slowly turned towards him, large hazel orbs against charred caramel, furrowed brows. And suddenly she saw all of her worries fade away, her heart leave it's rigid clutches upon her past. Suddenly she felt lighter, like nothing was enough to stop loving him and her hand moved of it's own accord, at first stopping inches away from his face as his eyes followed, curiously, before she placed it in the middle of his brows, easing out his frown lines. He moved back almost instinctively, not quite sure what was happening. She smiled back, a smile that reached her eyes, before she reached forward again and whispered, "thank you".

This is us at our best, and our worst
And when we speak, does it feel unrehearsed?

Cause where I wane be is far apart
From where we are, from where we are
And I thought I found the place where we could start
Talk from the heart, talk from the heart

He stared back at her, his eyes wide, his mind in panic. She sighed, moving back to rest her back against the bed.

"You know for a very long time, I didn't know what to call home," Khushi began, her eyes focused on the distance once more. Her thoughts momentarily stopping on the barren ends of the swimming pool that used to hold his beloved plants and she felt a stab of pain in her heart. He was hurting, he'd always been hurting but he'd inflicted so much of that pain on her that she'd never been able to understand it.

Arnav gulped back his fears as he moved back next to her, not quite sure what was going on, thankful that he may not have to speak just yet. Not quite sure he'd ever be able to put his thoughts into words.

She let her fingers fiddle around with each other, scratching at the tip of her nails as she kept her carefully concealed tears at bay. Taking a deep breath in she continued.

“I remember so clearly, all of those years ago, walking out of my flat. It was late and I’d made up my mind and I didn’t even allow myself the permission to wander in the direction of your flat before I left the city.”

He looked towards her suddenly; he knew where this conversation was heading. It was going where it should have all of those years ago and finally that time had come. Perhaps this was what they both needed to put their pasts behind them.

“And after coming back, I remember my mind was never in one place, I was never completely content, there was always something missing.” She began to squeeze on her fingers as she allowed a sideways glance at Arnav. “But I just didn’t know how to get that missing part back.”

Before she continued any further she turned towards him, his eyes seemingly not have left her face. Their eyes met, glistening hazel against molten caramel, the embers of his eyes burning into her soul.

“I was back and I suddenly realised that I’d made this decision, that would change both of our lives. That I’d made a rash decision, but I no longer knew how to take it back, how to go back to you.” Her voice was breaking in places now and she tried with great difficulty to keep her emotions at bay. “I didn’t know whether you’d have taken me back.” She mumbled finally.

But you just say I’m perfect
Say I’m pretty
Say I’m worth it
But if you really care for me

Say love
I want you to say love
I want you to say love
When I say “love you”
You just say “me too”
But I want you to say you love

Arnav seemed to have lost all sense of time and space, his hand going over and around both of hers of it’s own accord. He let his eyes hover over her face for a few seconds before he dropped his gaze. “Of course I would have.” Sparkling speckles of hazel against burning embers of caramel, “I would have done anything to have you back,” he mumbled.

He looked back towards the dark night sky, sparkles of bright stars speckled on it’s dark canvas. He gulped audibly, if only they’d had this conversation all of those years ago, before his own insecurities had crippled him and brought him crashing down, before he’d torn her apart. He took his hand away slowly, as she followed it with her eyes.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had the ability to turn you away,” he mumbled softly, almost as if he was talking to himself. “You know I always kept hoping you’d come back, that maybe it would take a few weeks, then maybe months but that you would come back to me. And although I’d made up my mind, I don’t think I ever completely gave up on that hope.”

“I couldn’t bring myself to,” she tried to explain.

“I know, I don’t blame you,” he stated, cutting her off before she could finish.

“Khushi,” he turned around towards her completely, taking her hand into his once more, their eyes holding. “Khushi, when you first came into my life, I was still lost, still frightened. I had all of these walls, this guard on that I wouldn’t let anyone break through.”

She nodded slowly as tears finally began to slowly stream down her face.

“But somehow, you seemed to break through them and for the first time in my life I knew what it felt like to love. And when you left, none of that changed, I knew I would still love you, it was an emotion that was never in my control.”

“Arnav,” she murmured, sure that she was rapidly losing her ability to control her own emotions.

 “No Khushi, please let me say it today, please just this once,” she could feel the yearning, the helplessness in his voice.

He was finally saying it, everything that she’d wanted him to say but hadn’t and now she didn’t know how to respond. She could feel the soft glisten of the moon high up in the sky as it bathed them both in it’s light. She could see the ferociously burning embers in his eyes.

He took a deep breath in, watching the beautifully confused rays of emotions of her face as they weaved in and out. He gave her small hands a little squeeze, somewhat unaware of his actions himself. “I know this might be difficult to believe, that I certainly haven’t shown it,” he let his eyes hover over her face before letting them stay level, not leaving hers for even a second. “But Khushi, I don’t think I’ve ever stopped loving you.”

Her eyes widened, her hands almost pulling out his grasp before she hurriedly placed it back where it had always belonged. She felt something inside of her release and soar. There was a tingling that seemed to spread from her heart to the tips of her fingers and if it wasn’t for his warm grasp and sincere eyes she may have mistaken this all to be a dream.

“I…” Taking a deep breath in he let go of her hands once more, looking away, forcing himself not to breakdown. They were opening up the dam that were their emotions and he would have to continue till she knew it all. “When you came back, I was unsure… Unsure of myself, my hearts yearning, whether I was seeing everything realistically or whether my heart was just convincing my mind. I knew I loved you but I didn’t know whether you’d moved on, or was trying to move on and maybe just maybe I was getting in the way.” He stood up then and walked over to the large French doors. His back turned to her, his heart in his mouth, “and suddenly things were moving so fast, the first time you’d left, my life had come to this stand still again, and I guess I just didn’t know how to deal with it.” He stuffed his hands in his pockets, not sure how to go on.

She stood up too, taking nimble footsteps towards him, not wanting to disturb his chain of thought, it was important that he finally got everything out.

“And suddenly I was standing there and watching this nightmare unfold in front of me, Shyam with you… I… All o f my insecurities suddenly came to the surface and without thinking I came to my conclusions.” He turned around again, their eyes meeting once more, his glistening with still unshed tears, he grasped her hand again as her eyes widened, refusing to leave his for even a second. “I’m so sorry Khushi! I’m so sorry!” He placed his head against her hand, tears trailing down his face. “I’m sorry for ruining your life, for forcing you to marry me, for hurting you, for tearing you apart, for taking away everything you love,” he mumbled, his words broken, his body shaking.

She tried to pull away, shaking her head, unable to wipe the tears flowing down her own cheeks. “No no…” She began to mumble but he continued, lifting up his face to her, pulling her unconsciously towards him.

“But you need to know,” his fingers were tight around her hands as if he was holding on for dear life, “every time I hurt you, it hurt me more, every time I tried to hate you, I hated myself more.”

She placed her palm on his cheek, as his hand went around her wrist, their eyes meeting but their gazes blurry with tears. “And when I told you to leave it was because I knew I’d wronged you, because I knew I didn’t deserve you.”


Her eyes widened suddenly, her breath hitching in her throat, she tried to pull her hand away but his grasp was tight on her wrist. She hadn’t known that and she couldn’t believe her ears. She’d known he was hurting, that somewhere in a corner of his heart he must love her, but she’d always thought it had been his hate that had chased her out, not his love. And suddenly she wanted to forgive him with all of her heart, give him everything she had once again. She wanted to take him in her arms and never let him go, kiss away his insecurities and break down his walls. She carefully took her hand away, running her arms around him bringing him closer to her, as he buried his head in the crevice of her neck, his hot tears that had been held unshed for so many years finally melting into the softness of her skin, their bodies shaking as they shrugged off their fears and sorrows and finally let go of the past.

Say love 
I want you to say love
I want you to say love 
When I say "love you" 
You just say "me too"
But I want you to say love 

~
"It's just you and me, 
scattered amongst all of it, 
trying to find home."
- Tyler Knott Gregson

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Chapter 18 - Scattered Souls

Hi guys! So sorry for the late update... I'm doing this at 1am in the morning. My life has been really hectic over these past couple of months, I do apologise. I'm going to try and do more regular updates more often... Promise... And sorry guys! 

Thanks for sticking with this, it means the world to me. 

Song credit - All We Are by One Republic

Pre-cap
Khushi's friend Aryan who is a lawyer comes to take over the case against Shyam
Arnav and Khushi both reveal all that happened between the time Khushi left Arnav's house to Arnav finding Arshia. 



~
You are so brave and quiet
I forget you are suffering
- Ernest Hemmingway 
~


She walked over, whether she was in a hurry or not was difficult to tell but her feet were a lot more swifter on the ground than usual, her limp a lot more pronounced. She made sure to look around, survey her surroundings before she finally picked up the receiver. She could hear her heart pounding in her ears as she gulped and attempted to make sense of the voice coming through the other end. 

She dabbed at the beads of sweat that now adorned her upper lip before she began to speak. 

"You have to understand, the only way I'll help you is if you leave chotey out of this. If it is the same thing we are interested in, only then do you have a deal." 

Anjali slammed the phone down before she looked around once more then rapidly walked off. 

****

Khushi sniffed slightly before she placed the small duffel bag on top of the bed. Her mind a whirlwind of thoughts, all of her mind numbing insecurities colliding off of each other. There were things that she needed to think through, opinions that she had to re-assess and somehow that felt an impossible task here. Here where his footsteps echoed through her heart and all she could do was dwell on the past.

She wanted some peace and quiet, to be in a place where she did not feel his every heartbeat. She needed space for a while.

She felt her body stiffen as she heard him walk through the door, his footsteps light and quiet.

"I just came to check if you were okay," he began before she could turn around, their gazes colliding the moment she did.

She looked down suddenly, sensing the weight with which he was waiting for her reply.

His gaze fell on the small bag then, those crippling thoughts overtaking his mind yet again.

"Are you leaving?" The question broke out of him before he could stop himself, "I mean..." He quickly attempted to regain his composure, his words failing him yet again, his hands balling into tight fists.

"Actually..." She looked up at him again, searching his eyes and finding nothing but fear there. She wanted to reassure him but didn't know how to anymore, after all how did you reassure someone who had only seen disappointment?

"I wanted to go to buajis for a few day," she finally blurted out, her fingers fidgeting against each other.

His brows scrunched together, he hadn't expected that.. "Buaji's?" He questioned, more confused than he'd been earlier.

"Yeh... I'll be back in a day or two, I just, I mean I've not been in a very long time," She finally managed to fully compose a sentence, her eyes darting to every corner of the room in a bid to escape his gaze.

He nodded slowly then walked over to Arshia's cot, his eyes falling tenderly upon her innocent face as she stood up to welcome him. "Are you taking Arshia with you?" He asked then, his back facing her.

She gulped, she'd been expecting that question, "yes if that's okay with you?"

He gulped, choking back the lump that formed in his throat, "yeh that's okay," he picked Arshia up into his arms then turned around. "Do you want me to drop you off?"

I tried to paint you a picture, the colors were all wrong
Black and white didn't fit you and all along, 
You were shaded with patience, your strokes of everything
That I need just to make it, but I can see that...

Lord knows I failed you time and again, 
But you and me are alright

We won't say our goodbyes 
You know it's better that way
We won't break, we won't die
It's just a moment of change

All we are, all we are is everything that's right
All we need, all we need, a lover's alibi, yeah

****

Aryan watched as strands of her hair fell into her eyes and she attempted to brush them off of her face with her slender fingers, her attention otherwise on the magazine that she was reading. The small rhinestones of her earrings glimmered in perfect tandem with the sparkles in her eyes.

He walked over slowly, being careful not to break her out of her perfect reverie. He'd never quite seen anyone like her, she made the hairs on his arms stand on edge and not out of fear.

She looked up suddenly, slightly flustered from the sudden intrusion, her brows furrowing the next minute as she tried to assess who he was.

He was sure he forgot where he was standing for a minute before he finally managed to will his hand to move forward.

"I'm Aryan, Khushi's friend," he finally introduced himself, spreading a generous smile on her face.

"Anjali," Arnav's sister, she replied gently taking his hand into hers.

****

Arnav felt the world shrinking around him as Buaji assessed him from head to toe, her hands balled into fists and resting on her hips. He'd known the minute she'd opened the door that this would not go well. Buaji was a character, he'd never really liked her, never really felt the need to. After all how many times had she taunted Khushi, made her feel unwanted?

Khushi clutched onto Arshia in her arms as if holding on for dear life. Tears pooled in her eyes as she watched her mother stand behind her buaji, as her buaji looked down on her like dirt. Her mother's slap still stung her skin, echoed in her ears. She could still hear Buaji's words echo in the deepest corners of her mind.

"You've let us all down Khushi"

"You've finally proven that you are not our blood"

And she had, she'd let them down, let herself down. But now here she was, with a baby in her arms, the very man that she had forcibly married her standing like a pillar behind her.

She turned around then slowly, letting her gaze meet his then slowly nodded.

He looked down as he understood, taking his steps back slowly before turning around to walk away.


****

He stormed back into his room, his trail a blaze of anger, his hands balled into fists. His emotions were a mess, for seconds on end he was overtaken by anger and then by grief. He didn't know how to control himself, how to place his thoughts and his fears at bay. Everything put him on edge, would she stay or would she go? Would he be able to handle it if it happened again? Suddenly a few weeks felt like years and his life was breaking down in front of his very eyes once again. He pulled his sweatshirt off and threw it on the bed as he too slumped down onto it.

He brought his hands together, resting his forehead against them, his gaze fixed on the far distance, his eyes wet with the swarm of emotions rushing through him. And suddenly he was on his feet again, grabbing for his shirt, picking up his keys and storming back out of the door.

I walked a minute in your shoes - 
They never would've fit
I figured there's nothing to lose
I need to get
Some perspective on these words before I write them down
You're an island and my ship has run aground. 

Lord knows I'll fail you time and again, 
But you and me are alright, yeah. 

We won't say our goodbyes 
You know it's better that way 
We won't break, we won't die
It's just a moment of change

All we are, all we are is everything that's right
All we need all we need is a lover's alibi

****

She sat in her room, on her creaking bed. Stars still hung from the ceiling, stars that represented the only two people who'd been a constant in her life. After all everyone else had left her had they not?Khushi held her little bundle of joy tight, tears flowing down her cheeks as she placed gentle kisses upon Arshia. Her heart was pounding in her chest.

"Who knows whose child that even is!"

"So many years later and now she decides to come back... Besharam!"

"Was it not enough that she brought shame to our family once that she had to return?!"

She scrunched her eyes shut, attempting to drown out Buaji's screaming. She took a deep breath in before she finally stood up, her arms tightening around Arshia of their own accord.

She walked the rest as if in a daze, the shouts and screams now inaudible in her ears. It was as if she would not be able to take another single breath if she did not leave. She placed one foot outside, felt the crunch of the gravel underneath her feet as reality kicked in once more.

She lifted her eyes slowly, it taking her a second to recognise the person standing outside. Khushi felt her whole life fall apart and fall back together again. She took her steps slowly at first and she did not know when she had fallen into a run, when she felt herself collide into his embrace.

She let Arnav's arms go around her, his stubbled cheeks caress her rosy soft ones, that familiar scent of his engulf her completely. She wasn't sure what was going to happen next and for the moment she did not want to think about that. All that she was sure of was that she had once again found home...

Every single day that I breathe,
You change my philosophy
I'm never gonna let you pass me by

So don't say your goodbyes 
You know it's better that way
We won't break, we won't die
It's just a moment of change. 

All we are, all we are is everything that's right
All we need, all we need, a lover's alibi...

~
Is it possible for home to be a person,
and not a place?
- Stephanie Perkins
~








Sunday, 22 December 2013

Chapter 17 - Pages of Her Journal


Okay so first off huge apology. I know it's been ages since I last updated and that my updates have been all over the place this year. But I really do have a lot going on. Full time med student plus I work 4am to 8am shifts now too :(... And on top of that my accommodation is in a bit of a state at the moment where I might be looking for a new place to live. *Deep breaths* so yeh as you can see, a lot going on and with all of it, it's just not possible for me to keep my mind in one place or be in a place where I'm comfortable with writing again. But nevertheless, it's still unfair on you guys who have remained so loyal so I'm going to update and see how it goes....

Lyrics credit: Stay with you by Goo Goo Dolls


~
Let's count your scars
- I said
Why?
- She replied
Because then I can see
How many times you needed me
And how many times
I wasn't there. 
- Oisin, Ideas on Ink



The quote used at the start is one I came across on Tumblr: http://apoetwithoutpaper.tumblr.com/


Khushi had to stop, take a deep breath in before she could convince herself to take that first step in and cross that threshold all over again. It awaited her like a storm, the broken pieces of a life she had only barely known. His smell still lingered in the crevices of it's walls and along with it that night all those years ago when they had made love with incoherent words.

A slow tear trailed down her cheeks and she wiped her hand swiftly over it, now was not the time to fall weak. But with every step she could feel her resolve weakening. So many harsh words, so many accusations had been raised in this room and now she didn't know what to make of the fact that she was moving back into it.

They were giving each other another chance, turning new pages in the tattered, old book that was their life but she could feel herself wavering again, she could feel herself breaking apart again.

He walked in just then, stopping mid-step as he watched her back. He was sure his sister was up to something, Anjali never liked to make people uncomfortable, she wouldn't do it if she could help it. So why was she requesting Khushi to move into his room? He didn't question it however, she would manage to convince him of a reason one way or the other, it would just be futile.

He wanted to step forward and take her into an embrace, but he stopped himself. He could feel the edges crumbling once again, there were too many memories in here to torment her.

He walked over to her slowly, till they were breaths apart, till his hand was lingering next to hers.

She turned back quite suddenly, her breath hitching in her throat for a fraction of a second before she managed to compose herself.

He bent down wordlessly, his fingers intertwining around the handle, brushing her soft fingers before she rapidly yanked her hand away. And that pulled at a corner of his heart, that he still made her jump, still made her ache. Their gazes clashed for the smallest of seconds, hazel against charred caramel before he broke away his gaze and walked away with her bag.

They both continued to stand still as time stretched on, their backs facing each other. His hand was still on the handle of the bag and hers balled into small fists. The same thoughts passing through both of their minds.

That they would have to make this work, if not for each other then for the little angel that they had been blessed with, that they had fought for, that they would always continue to fight for.

These streets
Turn me inside out
Everything shines
But leave me empty still
And I'll, burn this lonely house down
If you run with me
If you run with me

I'll stay with you
The walls will fall before we do
Take my hand now
We'll run forever
I can feel the storm inside you
I'll stay with you
****

Khushi held her bundle of joy close to her heart, till Arshia's eyes had closed and her breathing had become even. Arshia was like her anchor, she felt safe with Arshia close to her, the deep even movements of her little chest putting Khushi's back into rhythm.

Arnav slowly walked over to the door, taking a deep breath in before he opened it, he knew the person on the other side of the door, he'd never had a problem with him all those years ago. But now things were different, now he was the man that had wronged Khushi and Aryan was still her best friend.

He sent his hand around the door knob, bracing himself for all that was to come as something seemed to weight him down with his every movement.

He opened the door to a beaming smile that quickly flattened out to a thin line, before the man in front of him extended his hand for a firm hand shake.

"Aryan," he stated.

"We've met before," Arnav answered, attempting a smile but faltering then let him in.

Aryan slowly took in the lavish interior, if he'd been surprised by the exterior, he was gobsmacked by what he saw now. He'd always known that Arnav had to be rich and of course along with that he'd expected him to be the arsehole he'd eventually shown himself to be.

"Khushi's upstairs, I'll just get her for you, why don't you have a seat," Arnav almost mumbled before he made a run for it. Aryan and his judging gaze made him feel uncomfortable.

---

Khushi finished laying Arshia down in her cot when she heard his footsteps at the door, spending a few more seconds watching the serene face of her baby she turned around to face him, almost immediately taking in his turmoil. His charred caramel orbs were troubled, his hands clenched in fists as was usually the case when he was worried or hassled.

He lowered his gaze quickly, "Aryan's here, he's downstairs, so..." He mumbled as she began to walk over towards him.

It took a lot for Khushi to stop herself from walking over and embracing Arnav, she knew how much he hurt and how much he regretted all that he'd done, but there was a lot left to be done before she would take that step. She knew he wouldn't be comfortable with Aryan around, hell, Aryan and Arnav had never liked each other, but there was no one else that Khushi could trust with this. She didn't want Shyam buying off their lawyer too.

Fooled by my own desires
I twist my fate
Just to feel you
But you, turn me towards the light
And you're one with me
Will you run with me?

I'll stay with you
The walls will fall before we do
Take my hand now
We'll run forever
I can feel the storm inside you
I'll stay with you

****

She'd lost a lot of weight, her features more angular than he could remember, but her eyes were still piercing and she felt light in his embrace, he plastered a large smile on his face before she looked at him again.

"Well... You look... Different," he smiled, making Khushi's smile widen before she broke into a light giggle, the corners of her eyes crinkling.

"And look who hasn't changed at all," she stated, thankful for the atmosphere that Aryan always carried around with him.

"Well I hope I have, don't you think I've lost weight?" He questioned then, his eyebrows meeting together in that awkward way as he obsessed over himself.

Khushi nodded, still giggling, "no you have you have, you've lost weight, you look ravishing... Would you like any more compliments or are we done for the day?" She questioned jokingly, placing her hand on his arm, gesturing for him to take a seat.

Arnav watched for a few seconds, taking in their camaraderie, the smile that he may never be able to put on Khushi's face again then slowly faded into the shadows before he turned around and walked off, his hands clenched at his sides.

Khushi too looked up suddenly, it was strange how she could still sense his every turbulence, his restlessness, her eyes searched around for him, already knowing that he had walked away.

****

Khushi walked into their room slowly, taking her time to process all that her and Aryan had talked about. It would be difficult to encourage Aryan to even like Arnav again, and she'd known this all along but she suspected it would now be even more difficult to bring Arnav out of his shell. She remembered how much Aryan had hated Arnav when they'd first started dating, and now after all that had happened, convincing Aryan would be an impossible task. But that wasn't her priority.

He stood with his back to her, he knew she was there, but refused to turn around, not yet anyway. His hands were in his pockets as he looked out at the shimmering moon, a thousand conflicts passing through his mind. He felt like he was going to lose her again, her fingertips clinging onto the ends of his then breaking away. He gulped, as the anxiety returned, the fear of what the future would hold, what it would take away.

She walked over to him, as he slowly turned around, causing her to stop mid-step, their gazes clashing and holding.

"Aryan wanted to talk to the both of us," she began then, "he felt the sooner we start..."

He nodded then began walking towards her before she could finish her sentence.

--

Aryan didn't make an effort to hide his distaste towards Arnav, there was no need to. This man had single-handedly ruined the very foundations of Khushi's life. He'd warned her but she hadn't listen and of course it was too late now.

He watched as Arnav evaded his gaze, all but too similarly to how he had evaded all of his responsibilities.

Khushi sat fidgeting, her index finger playing against her thumb as she took deep breaths in and out. She knew what was coming next and she didn't want to look at Arnav, think about what it would put him through. And the worst part of it was that she would have to do this, there was no other way.

"Okay so Khushi's already told me about why you want me fighting this case and I am more than happy to, actually it would be my privilege. But before I go ahead, I need to know everything, from the beginning till now. Don't miss out a single detail, this will all be important," he explained as Arnav's head snapped up. He looked shaken, his charred caramel orbs clouded, before he dropped his gaze, gulping back his fears and bracing himself for what was to come.

"Khushi," Aryan allowed Khushi to begin.

She looked away before she began, taking a deep breath in.

"After Arnav asked me to leave I had no where to turn to," she mumbled, already feeling the low sting of tears in her eyes.

He clenched his hands into fists, gulping, staring at his feet.

"So I gathered the money that I had somehow saved till then and moved into a room in a chawl."

He scrunched his eyes shut, as he dug his fingers into his flesh.

"Of course I didn't know that I was pregnant then," she stated then looked towards Aryan, "and nor did Arnav," she wanted to let the both of them know that she didn't blame Arnav, that the decision had been hers.

"And when I finally found out I didn't know how to tell him," she mumbled as Aryan nodded back at her. "And the more I put it off the more I felt it was too late to tell him."

Arnav turned around to watch the side of her face then, the speckles of tears that already shone in her eyes and he felt his heart give way a little. She was still protecting him, protecting his mistakes. The truth was he'd scared her off, belittled her, so why would she have wanted to tell him anyway? If he'd been in her place he wouldn't have told a man like him either. All he had given Khushi were tears, so why would she think him capable of giving their child anything else? And he knew Aryan saw through her words, Aryan knew he was a monster.

"I kept to myself and got a job as an admin assistant at a doctor's surgery and I attended my check-ups regularly," she began again. "The first doctor I saw changed on my second check-up."

"What was his name again?" Aryan questioned, quickly interrupting.

"Dr Das," she stated before she began again, she could feel her voice giving her tears away.

"I fainted at work because I hadn't yet taken maternity leave and they had taken me to the hospital. They asked me for my consent for a caesarian, I asked them several times if my baby would be okay, if she would survive," her voice broke then, and the tears finally began to trail down her face.

Arnav moved forward in his chair before he stopped himself. It killed him to watch her sob like that, her every tear seared through his heart.

"And they told me she would, so I agreed," she spoke through her tears. "But then I woke up," she finally turned towards Arnav, hazel orbs against caramel spheres, taking him by surprise. "And they told me she hadn't survived, that my baby had died," her sobs were louder and he couldn't stop himself any longer. He stood up and went to sit next to her, taking her into his embrace.

"They told me she was dead..." She looked up towards him again, burying herself into his chest, "I thought, it..."

"Shhh... Shhhh," he hushed her, letting her tears soak into his shirt, "shh it's okay, she's okay, we're okay," he consoled her, sending his fingers through her hair as she shed her tears against him, her body shaking within his embrace.

"I didn't know..." She struggled with her words as they collided off of her tears, "I didn't know what to do, how to fix things." His embrace tightened around her, he wanted to desperately fix things, everything.

She looked up at him once more, "I didn't know how to move on," she mumbled and he had to avert his eyes. He hated himself, at that moment more than he had ever hated himself before because now he knew exactly what he had put her through and for that he never deserved her again.

Aryan watched quietly, giving them space, taken aback by Arnav's gesture. He hadn't seen that coming and although he was still not convinced, he decided to at least give Arnav a chance.

He held her till her sobs had seized, till she straightened up and he loosened his embrace. She looked away from him then but made an effort not to move. She wanted to stay engulfed in his warmth.

"I wanted to just get away, begin again," she said, her fingers entangling through Arnav's of their own accord.

"So I called up Lavanya and she helped me move to London, let me stay at her place until I could sort myself out..." She looked up at Arnav once more, "and then Arnav found me again," she finished off, squeezing his hand gently as he looked down at her once more, then away again, attempting a small smile.

"So what happened on your end Arnav, Shyam contacted you am I right?" Aryan questioned, letting his gaze linger over Arnav, as he flickered his gaze away and back to Aryan, making Aryan perfectly aware that the question made Arnav uncomfortable.

Khushi squeezed his hand again, gently smiling at him, she knew how difficult this would be for him, Arnav was never one to display emotions.

He swallowed before he began, his throat had suddenly become parched. He focused his gaze on Aryan once more, returning to the only demeanour of his that he knew would not betray him.

"I was getting ready for work when I first got Shyam's phone call," he began, his voice cold and devoid of emotion and all Khushi wanted to do was hold him, let him shed his tears, scream and tell him to stop keeping things in. He was ASR again and she hated that, hated that that would hurt him more.

"He told me he had my child, that if I didn't pay a ransom then I wouldn't get her back. I didn't know what to do, up till then I.. I hadn't even known that Khushi had been pregnant and it didn't even make sense. It had only been seven months since she'd left me," he stated, Khushi could hear the notes in his voice faltering, she watched his stern face, his set jaw, and for the first time she witnessed in him the same person that had existed before she had left, she saw the face of the man that had asked her to leave.

"The baby was premature," Aryan added as Arnav nodded back.

"I'd already made a mistake, so I didn't want to make another one so I went with gut instinct and and decided to do something about it anyway. After all, if it wasn't my child then it was still someone else's, it was still a child," he stated matter of factly.

Khushi continued to watch him, the stern lines of his face, the way his eyes gave his emotions away and in that moment she knew that he had never stopped loving her because she had seen him take on this same persona every single time he had spoken to her in the first months of their marriage. She felt the sting of tears in her eyes again, this time for her misunderstandings.

"So I called up the police, gathered the money. Shyam is cunning yes, but he is greedy for money and that is his downfall," Arnav stated, allowing his gaze to meet Aryan's once more. "We had the place surrounded when I went in with the money and the police caught him red handed," he finished off, relieved to see the end of it.

Khushi watched him for a few seconds longer then suddenly tore away from him. His head snapped around towards her, his brows knotting together, it taking him only a second to notice the tears that adorned her face. He stood up suddenly, his arm stretched out towards her but she'd already turned around, her feet already rapidly taking her away from him.

She ferociously wiped at her cheeks as she ran up the stairs, into their room and banged the door shut, slipping down against the door onto the floor as she covered her eyes and cried. She had been so wrong.

Now come in from this storm
I taste you sweet and warm
Take what you need
Take what you need from me

Wake up this world
Wake up tonight
And run with me
Run to me now

I'll stay with you
The walls will fall before we do
Take my hand now
We'll run forever
I can feel the storm inside you
I'll stay with you
~
Sometimes I'm terrified
Of my heart; of its constant
hunger for whatever it is
it wants. The way it stops
and starts.
- Edgar Allan Poe
~

 

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BeyondTheStars
I have too many stories in my head and sometimes I just need to put them out there for people to read. Fanfic writing was an idea that I hadn't considered at all until coming across some really good ones on India-Forums so my writing is an affect of too much IF trolling on lazy revision days. I get bored easily from studying (which I do too much of) and writing helps me relax. My life involves a whole load of drama so the twists and turns in my stories will show the effect of that. Anyway hope you enjoy the Arshi fanfics I send your way :).
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