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
~








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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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