Joined: 12 September 2011
Joined: 29 September 2011
Joined: 31 August 2011
Joined: 29 September 2011
Joined: 29 September 2011
I really shouldn't be this obsessed with this FF but, I guess my obsession with Arhi wouldn't let me rest until they get together(at least in this FF).
Thank you a thousand times for the comments and I'd love to receive suggestions on anything I could do to make the FF better!
Chapter 3: All my roads lead to you
"Haan, postpone karlo ek hafthe ke liye; good," Arnav switched his phone off and threw it on the bed angrily. Somehow, deciding to leave the city hadn't made him feel any better. If anything, he felt like he was tearing himself in two. Frustrated with the warring emotions within himself, Arnav approached his half packed bag. It was quite early in the morning, he noted, or he could have asked Di to help him pack. But the flight was too early and he had a little work to finish in the office and then he had to visit Lakshmi Nagar too…what? When had he decided that? Arnav wondered as he placed his suits in place inside the travel bag, making sure that they didn't get wrinkled; he cared too much about his appearance to be so careless with his clothes. He was almost done with his packing; the only thing he needed were his medicines. For a moment, Arnav contemplated leaving them behind, but that would probably result in his Di crossing half the world to come behind him to chide him. Smiling ruefully at his thoughts, Arnav picked up the kit and placed it on the side, closing the bag with a soft click. When he looked up, he found Anjali standing in the doorway, arms crossed and a 'What the hell are you doing?' expression on her face.
"Di? Aap is samay yaha kya kay rahi hai? Mein tumhe disturb kar diya kya?" he asked concernedly. Anjali shook her head in disbelief as she walked slowly in. Coming to stand beside him, she looked at his bag and muttered under her breath as she unpacked his stuff and began to repack them neatly.
Arnav thought he heard the words 'Man maani' and 'doosron ki soch bhi nahi' before he dared interrupt, "Di, apne aap se bol rahi hai kya?" An amused smile graced his face as he stood by without trying to stop her; his Di somehow always knew when he was leaving. And if he ever tried to leave without her knowledge, she'd come after him to scold him for it.
"Bakhwas math kar Chote. Ham tumse bahooth gusse mein hai. Hame batha nahi sakthe? Vaise bhi, achaanak kuch kaam aa gaya kya?" Arnav could sense the doubt in her voice and he couldn't claim that she was totally wrong in her guess(though her reason was completely different to his). Sighing, Arnav sat on the chair before Anjali, threading his fingers together as he tried to find a good enough reason. He knew his Di would easily see through his work reason.
Anjali was immersed in packing the bag but kept an eye on Arnav, trying to figure out what was happening; she was sure something was. And after the day's events and Arnav's unaffected expression, she was fairly sure it wasn't connected to Lavanya; which gave her only one option…
"Vaise Chote…Khushiji aaj subah bahooth pareshaan lag rahi
thi tumse milne ke baath. Tumne use phir se daandha kya?" she asked in a doubtful
voice, though she had been able to guess enough of what might have happened.
She hadn't failed to notice how the two of them constantly seemed to tense up
when in the other's presence and how, with the helping hand of fate, they
seemed to end up meeting with each other no matter how much they tried to stay
away. She had kept quiet so far because talking about this to either of them would only make them deny it vehemently and that might end up being a set back.
Arnav had been resting peacefully on the chair, his eyes closed as he tried to block out the images of the evening… Khushi sleeping on the couch, such a normal event, but to him, it had been entrancing; if someone had asked him how long he had stood there looking at her, he couldn't have said. He was losing his mind, he needed to concentrate on this business venture, not on the girl… He'd be fine if he knew she had reached home safely, he thought helplessly. He should have followed her, he told himself sternly. Now if something had happened to her, he could never forgive himself…
"Chote? Chote tum so gaye kya?" Arnav started awake, an unconscious "Khushi" slipping out of his lips. Looking around, he found Anjali trying to concentrate on her work; he sighed, relieved. She hadn't noticed his slip after all.
"Haan Khushiji… kya hua unko?" she asked without facing him, afraid that she'd smile and give herself away. So she had been right, Anjali thought smugly.
"Kya hua? Kuch nahi. Mein unse teek se baath karke jaane diya. Woh kabhi yahaan nahi aayegi…" his mind slipped from his words to her stricken face as she had run away last night. He should have gone after her, he thought for the hundredth time.
"Kabhi nahi? Kyon? Naniko woh bahooth pyaari hai na? Tum kyon aise kiya?" Anjali asked in a demanding tone, pouting slightly. Arnav couldn't help but smile at her childish expression.
"Di, unka job tha Lavanya ko train karna. Ab woh job complete ho gaya hai; to unhe chalna padega," The words were surprisingly difficult for him to utter, and the feeling that his words might actually happen gave him a bitter feeling that shocked him even more. Since when did he care about who stayed and left his home, much less his life?
Unable and unwilling to listen to the answer to that, Arnav stood up and walked to the bed where his bag was now ready. Lifting it, he was about to walk out of the room when, "Tum hamse naraaz hai na Chote?" Anjali asked as she blocked Arnav's path.
"Di… nahi, mein kabhi aapse naraaz nahi ho saktha hoon. Mein bas kaam ke vajhe se London ja raha hoon," he tried to side step her and this time, Anjali didn't object.
"London ja rahi ho?" the mischievous smile was back on her face though this time, it was lined with confusion that escaped Arnav; he only saw her grin and belatedly connected the dots. Hadn't Khushi muttered something about Lavanya and London?
"Di, mein kaam ke liye ja raha hoon… Lavanya se milne ke liye nahi," he replied firmly as he closed the bag and walked out. He thought he heard a set of footsteps outside and halted for a minute, but when no-one approached, he dismissed it as his imagination.
"Sach mein?" Anjali was in front of him again her expression slightly defeated. She had been so sure it hadn't been Lavanya but now she wasn't… if only her Chote wasn't so closed up, she thought furilely.
"Sach mein, Di. Aur vaise bhi, mujhe patha bhi nahi ki who kahan rahthe hai," he added with a shrug as he lifted his bag and stepped onto the drawing room.
Appeased for the present, Anjali's smile returned, "Kab vaapas aaoge Chote?"
"Kuch dino mein, Di," Arnav answered elusively; how could he answer a question he himself couldn't fathom the answer for?
Noticing that he was returning back to his 'Laad Governor' self as Khushiji put it, Anjali offered consolingly, "Accha Chote, lekin Durga Pooja ke pehle aa jao, please?" Arnav nodded absently, the words Durga Pooja inadvertently reminding him of the Devi Mayya idol he had saved and who it had belonged to.
Pushing aside the memories, Arnav nodded, "Teek hai Di, lekin mujhe ab jaana hai."
"Abhi? Lekin tumri flight tho theen ghante ke baad hi hain na? Kuch na kuch khaa ke jao?" Anjali asked with her usual puppy dog expression but this time, Arnav was adamant. He had work to complete and a detour to make before he left. No the sterner part of his mind, the ASR in him warned. You're teetering on the edge too much, this is going to surely end up in hurt, again. Do you ever learn? Though he knew and realized the truth behind the arguments his brain was making, Arnav couldn't convince himself.
"Mein office ja ke kuch kaam complete karna hai. Uske baad mein airport jaoongi. Bye Di," his eyes unconsciously sought out the couch where Lavanya and Khushi usally sit and talk. It had become his practice, unconsciously. Seeing the empty couches there made him sigh and he walked out quickly, lest he do something even more uncharacteristic. It was the lack of sleep that was making him so nostalgic, he decided.
Lakshmi Nagar was just on his way to the airport, no matter how much he tried, he couldn't think up any other logical reason why he needed to visit the place. It held nothing of interest to him. He had been there only a few times and even they had been only recently.
just make sure she's fine and safe before I head to the airport; it was normal
for him to feel responsible for someone who left so late in the night…the
fact that he had never bothered so much about Lavanya ever before came to his
mind uncomfortably. But she didn't have
this knack for getting into trouble he argued exasperatedly. She never made him worry like this or act so protectively over her; she'd probably have scorned him if he even had attempted to.
The day had dawned and though he knew he might be a little early, Arnav didn't want to risk being identified by any of her family. All he wanted was assurance that she was okay. She will be, he told himself repeatedly, she'd probably be imitating some other actress by now, probably trying to act insane, which would come naturally to her, he thought with a half smile.
But when he parked a few streets away from her house and walked through the narrow lanes and reached the street where her house was, he stopped on the other side, making himself invisible behind a curtain that was hung on the outside of a road side shop.
He waited impatiently for about five minutes…she probably was still asleep or something he thought, irked. Her house seemed quite peaceful and not at all like a girl in the family had disappeared so Arnav assumed she must be safe. As much as he felt relieved, he waited still, just to make sure by himself that she was fine.
What he actually did see, though, shocked him beyond belief…
"Bas ek hafthe ke liye hai Rani Sahiba," Shyam offered consolingly, but Anjali pushed his hand on her shoulder away.
"Aap bhi chale gaye tho ham kya karein? Aur ek hafthe ke liye! Saath dino!" Anjali muttered, making Shyam chuckle.
"Rani Sahiba, hamein patha hain ki ek hafhe mein saath dino hein," Anjali offered him a reluctant smile and hugged him tightly. For a moment, guilt reigned completely in his mind as he thought of what he was about to do…jinhe saza dena hai, unhe saza dena hi padega he told himself firmly as he drew away from the hug and smiled at Anjali.
He smiled wickedly as he thought of what would happen the next time he entered this house; the storm it would cause in the Raizada family and the satisfaction he would feel of achieving his goal.
Hope it wasn't too boring? I apologise for the lack of Khushi and Arhi in this chapter but the forthcoming chapters are full of them so I hope you'll forgive me!
And the precap:
"Woh kabse yahaan rehthe hai?" Arnav asked angrily as he took a hold of her wrist and dragged her behind one of the pillars. She tried protesting but he wasn't letting go; not until he received his answers… not even if he hurt her.
"Jabse hum Dilli aa gaye the, tab se," Khushi replied unwillingly, twisting her hand in an effort to free herself but the attempt didn't even register in his mind, lost as he was in contemplation. Noticing that he wasn't about to let go or even offer her an explanation for his sudden questions, Khushi asked defensively, "Ab kya hua hai ki aap subah subah mandir aake hamein daandthe hai? Shyamji ke bare mein aap kyon ithni pooch rahe haein? Kyon?"
Frustrated with her questions, he spat out, "Kyon ki who mera jijaji hai… "
Obviously, important chapter coming up…
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