He stood there in the dark gazing at the sky. The night was beautiful, the stars were shining bright, everything seemed so peaceful. Then why was there a brewing storm raging in his heart? He had spent all day trying to get rid of this horrible feeling that kept on creeping up in him. He worked, he slept, he even tried to pick a fight with Khushi. Even when he had told her not to come anywhere near him, he ate that spicy daal just to get her to talk. Because somewhere Arnav knew, that it would be only her who could distract him. Well it had worked so far, but then she had again managed to piss him off. And now he was here, alone, as always.
The last time he had got this feeling, he had lost his mom. It was the day of his Di's wedding. He closed his eyes and told his brain to stop thinking about that night. But just like his heart, his brain wanted to play with him. If not one subject, it went to the other that irked him the most. Khushi. The moment he closed his eyes, flashes of Khushi came to his mind. And as if on cue, he heard the sound of her anklets behind him before it stopped. He sighed and opened his eyes. Looking back up in the sky, he quietly asked her "Shouldn't you be home by now?"
When he didn't get a reply, he turned around slightly to see her looking down and playing with her dupatta. Something she did when she was nervous, he had noted. "Am I talking to the walls?" he questioned as he turned back to give his attention to the stars.
"I'was just leaving in a bit." she replied quietly as she walked over and stood next to him. She was about to leave, but then she had remembered the chilis left to dry that were suppose to be picked up and then had caught Anjali ji crying and had stayed to talk to her. Anjali ji was missing her mom. Khushi knew how that felt, and somehow she had got an unknown feeling that maybe Arnavji was upset too. But she had put that thought aside, after remembering everything he had done and had gone on to get the chilis after comforting Anjali ji. On her way back she had found him, standing alone in the dark staring at the stars. And as if a force had automatically pulled her towards him, she had walked over. And now that she was here, she didn't know what to say. So like him, she looked up in the sky and said hello to her parents.
"You think my mom sees me?" Arnav asked her. He didn't know where that came from but he knew if anyone could answer that, it was her. He turned his head slightly towards her and saw the same shocked expression on her face, that he had in his mind. But then he saw her come out of her reverie, and smiled as she kept on staring up at the stars. "Of course she does," she replied as if it was obvious, "do you see that bright one there?" She pointed towards the brightest one in the sky. "I believe that is my Amma, and the one right next to her, is my babuji."
"Do you think she is happy to see me?" He asked her as his eyes got a bit moist. This time she looked at him and before she could stop her self she blurted out "How can she be happy if you are not happy." He abruptly looked at her and she realized she shouldn't have open her mouth. He was angry. Very angry. "You are going to tell me if I am happy or not?" He snapped at her, and held her shoulders. "You are the last person to tell me whether I am happy or not. And really what makes you think I am not happy? I am happy, very happy! I have everything I want. I can get anything I want." He whispered in a cold threatening voice. And then he let her go as abruptly as he had held her. "You can leave."
As he let her go, she felt wetness on her cheeks. Stupid tears, back stabbing her again. "I will leave, but it won't change the fact that you aren't happy. You may have all the money in the world, but like I told you that one time we met, I am telling you again. Money does not buy happiness. And if you were happy, you wouldn't be here, alone, in the dark, by yourself while your family is inside getting ready for your engagement. You can lie to me, to the world, but your mom'.just try lying to her." With that she started to walk away only to be pulled back by him as she crashed into his chest.
"You are saying this? You out of all people, will tell me about my happiness? Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately? Don't tell me about being happy, when you are the one lying to everyone about being happy and content with life. You may have been at one point, but I have seen you in the past few days. I see that gloomy look on your face. Fool the world Khushi, fool even your parents but'.just try fooling me." He looked into her eye as he spoke each word, seeing shock, anger and then sadness pass through them. But before he could go on, he realized how close they were. If he would move his face even a centimeter more, he could touch her lips. He could feel every part of her body touching his as his one hand held her hand and the other rested on her waist. Her sweet smell intoxicated him as it enveloped each and every vein of his body. His eyes lowered from her eyes and rested on her lips but before he could think anymore she pushed him a little and moved back. He heard a small "clink" as something fell out of her hand, when she pulled it out of his grip.
(Listen to this song as you read the rest of it...this is one of my favorite songs by Nickelback its called Far away)
Arnav cursed silently as he closed his eyes to compose himself. Turning around he saw her on the floor looking for something. "What are you looking for?" He asked as she moved around his feet. "My ring, I dropped my ring!" She replied back panicking. Sighing, he bent down to help her look for it. He didn't have to search long as it was right next to his foot. "Found it" he exclaimed as he picked it up and helped her up as well. She moved back a little and put her hand out as he gave her the ring. He saw her having difficulties putting it on and rolled his eyes. "Break your finger why don't you." he mocked her as he grabbed the ring from her one hand and took her other hand in his. He heard her gasp and murmured "drama queen" as he put the ring on her. He was halfway there when she snatched her hand out of his again.
Looking up and giving her a "what?" look, he saw that her eyes were getting misty again. "Now what did I do?" he asked her. "You can't put that on me Arnavji." she whispered quietly and looked up at him. When she saw the confused look on his face, she swallowed and closed her eyes as she confessed "that's my engagement ring." Opening her eyes, Khushi saw he had gone stiff, as if he had turned into stone. The hand with the ring still held out, he just stared at her as he stood there frozen. She wanted to tell him earlier. She really did, but she just couldn't because she had kept telling herself that it did not matter to him. In fact he himself had said, she didn't matter to him. But now seeing him like this, she regretted not telling him. No matter how harsh they were towards each other, they both knew that there was something there. There IS something there. But if he wasn't ready to accept it then she wasn't going to either. Her heart beat increased as she took a step towards him and put her hand out to take the ring from his hand but before she could he closed his fist around the ring.
Khushi opened her mouth to say something but stopped when she heard a barely audible yet firm "No" from his mouth. She looked at him as she saw a flicker of an emotion and then anger in his eyes for the millionth time that night. Was that pain in his eyes she asked herself? "When did you get engaged? And why didn't anyone know about this? Why didn't you tell me?" He asked her in a deathly whisper. The tone of his voice chilled her to the bone. She had never heard him talk like that before. Oh this was bad'.very bad! Every instinct in her body told her to run'but her stupid heart told her no, it was ok. He would never hurt her. So instead of running, she took a step towards him only to have him take a step back. Now this angered her, first he questions her and now when she was trying to answer he moves away. And really why was he angry? Not like anything mattered to him! He was the great ASR! He didn't care about anyone or anything! She wanted to give him a piece of her mind and she did just that. "Why? Why should I tell anyone! It is no one's business! You were the one who told me to stay away from you. So I am doing just that. Going away from you forever! So why does it matter to you if I am engaged?!" She yelled at him!
Her words had pierced his heart like a thousand knives. He felt as if his world was collapsing. His heart clenched as her words registered in his mind. His breath hitched as he realized what she had done. She had gone and given his right to someone else. And it was all his fault, his stupid words had made her make this stupid decision. Every pulse in his body screamed as he remembered what his sister had said to him."When you fall in love, you won't be able to live without her. You won't know when she will become a part of your life. Without her your heart will stop beating. If you don't have her in your life, then you will feel like you can't breathe."
His sisters words kept ringing in his ears and he finally burst as he pulled her roughly to himself! There was not even room for air to pass the two. "It is my business! Anything related to you is ONLY my business! I told you to stay away and you listened? Since when did you start listening to me anyways! How dare you go and get engaged! It matters damn it! It matters to me because I'.," he stopped when he saw her face. She knew what he wanted to say. The same thing was going on in her head. A lone tear fell from HER eyes as HIS breath hitched once again. The one thing they had been running from had finally caught up to them. Both had finally come to the realization. They were in love. With each other.
What they couldn't express with words, their eyes told each other. Neither wanting to let go of this moment, for they were scared that as soon as they moved, their world would fall apart. They wanted to live in this moment of realization, which would give them a lifetime of happiness. They were going to hold on to this moment, and never let it go.
They stood there staring at each other. For a few seconds or an eternity, they did not know. But it was time to go, because they knew it was too late. In a fit of rage, they both had committed the rest of their lives to other people. He gently let go of her as she stepped back. She slowly turned and walked out as his knees went weak and he collapsed to the floor. "I love you," He whispered as he watched his life walk away.
She walked out the door and whispered "I love you" as her world fell apart behind her.