Joined: 28 July 2008
This whole thing was written in a haste, so it's not the best piece I've ever written, but I wanted to post it, because for some reason I just felt this story.
As usual, if you want pms on any of my other work, please buddy -GreenEnvy-
All comments and likes will be most appreciated.
Along with those, anyone that's a proofreading nazi is invited to tell me any mistakes I made so I can fix them [please]
PMs for this will be sent out tomorrow because it's like really late here, sowwy :P
"Kuch pata chala?"
"Nahi Di'" he whispered reluctantly, "he's completely off the radar. Bhai has completely disappeared.
"And'.what about him?"
"Nothing, I couldn't find anything on- on'Mr. Jha either'."
Anjali bit back her sob as she settled the phone back into its holder; tears fell down her hollowed cheeks as she limped towards their mandir. She clasped her hands as she sunk to the ground, "Hey Devi Maiya! You've put me through so much, and I took it all without complaint. I have always told myself that whatever you did was for a reason, but today, today I ask you for that reason! Whatever you have given, I received with humble hands, you gave me hope for myself in the form of that man, but then you yourself took him away from me, and you showed me how cruel the world could be again mother! I would have accepted that mother, and I have, but then you gave me hope for Chote'my dear Chote. Why mother, why have you given my poor brother nothing but pain? All he ever wanted was for me to be happy, all I ever wanted was that he be happy, and when he found that happiness'how could you take it all away? How could you take Khushi away, Devi Maiya? How?"
Nani looked solemnly upon her grandchild, her sari clad body was wrecking with sobs as she prostrated before the striking idol. Nani turned away as a tear fell from her eye, today, even she could not comfort Anjali. She walked away slowly, eyeing the flower garlands that hung from every inch of the house, entwined with curtains they had given the Raizada mansion the needed sparkle for what had begun as a day of happiness. Within a mere few hours their world had turned upside down.
Less than 24 hours ago, Arnav has appeared at the top of those very stairs, dressed in a carefully selected gold sherwani, for once a clean shave adorned his face, he had appeared surprisingly nervous as he looked down to his beaming Di and Nani.
"I have something to say." The clean shave had given a boyish look to the man hardened by life, but his voice remained the same, demanding every bit the attention is always did. "We have something to say," he'd corrected himself. He'd stepped aside to reveal who was supposed to have been the bride. Lavanya stood next to him, nervously fretting with the dupatta of her simple yet elegant party salwar as the group below gasped in unison.
"We're not getting married," she declared, "we can't." They exchanged a glance before beginning to descend the stairs hesitantly, finally coming to a stop before Di and Nani.
"I'm sorry Naniji," began Lavanya, "I know I put you guys through a lot, but, but'we can't get married, we won't be getting married today'or ever."
"Chote?" Di asked hesitantly, "why'"
"It's not his fault Di," Lavanya interjected, "it's me, I should've-"
"Lavanya." His voice cut through whatever explanation she was about to give, "It is my fault." He looked confidently at the three women, his steel determination not failing as he looked them all in the eye, "I can't get married to her, Di, because I don't love her. I love somebody else, Lavanya deserves better than that, so'"
"We talked it out." Lavanya finished for him, "we decided it's better if we just stayed friends."
The guests had been scandalized to say the least, the ferocious whispers had already begun, but Anjali and Nani took it surprisingly well.
Arnav's guilt seeped in at his sister's forlorn face, "I'm sorry about all this Di'"
"No Chote, it was the right thing to do, I was just'I wanted to see you getting married and'" she looked up from staring at the floor, shaking her head with a smile, "no, it's ok. Your happiness is all that matters."
"Di'"Lavanya began, "do one last thing for me?" Anjali looked with interest to Lavanya, who suddenly had a sly smile on her face.
"Of course Lavanya," Anjali replied curiously, "what is it?"
"Take ASR to the mandap Di, I have a surprise for him."
Curiosity ate at the guests and family members as a perplexed Anjali lead a thoroughly puzzled and increasingly agitated Arnav to the mandap, forcing him to sit in front of the sacred fire.
Anjali let out a small gasp as Lavanya appeared at the top of the stairs again, leading a lithe young figure clothed in a gorgeous magenta lehnga. Arnav used her distraction to get up as quickly as he could; he then squinted curiously at his Di, slowly following hers and everyone else's stares to the vision descending the stairwell. Lavanya led the nervously shivering form towards them as Arnav looked on in wonder. Anjali extended her hand, beckoning the reluctant form towards her; she slowly raised the dupatta draped over the girl head, gasping in delight at the furiously blushing form it revealed.
"Chote?" she questioned with glee, "you love'"
A dumbfounded Arnav looked to a beaming Lavanya, who winked at him, "I'm not that daft ASR!"
He had looked at her in wonder for a second, before a smile erupted on his face, "it's true," he said to his Di, shrugging, "she's'special."
Khushi seemed to turn an even darker shade of red as she leaned further back into her friend and guide Lavanya.
"Go on chamkili," Lavanya said, "it's time to claim your prince." A teary Khushi clasped Lavanya's hand as she began to step away, shaking her head as if asking her to stay. Lavanya gave her hand a reassuring squeeze before letting go to step over to Arnav; she leaned over, whispering softly into his ear. The guests looked on as a flurry of emotions flitted across the usually expressionless face of Arnav Singh Raizada before he nodded somberly, a small smirk emerging on his face. He gently clasped Khushi's hand, sitting with her at the mandir as Lavanya stepped away, embracing a beyond happy Anjali and equally pleased Nani.
Nani came out of her tearful reprieve at the voice of her daughter in law, "yes, Manorama?" she asked tiredly.
"I came to ask if you have eaten." The usually hyper Manorama had sobered within the last few hours, she had even gone so far as to accept Khushi, of course it was a little bit too late for that.
"No'I am not hungry'"Nani replied, turning her face away.
"Please, sasuma, you will fall ill, and that is the last thing that is needed in this house." Nani looked upon her with surprise, how situations changed people. Nodding somberly at Manorama she slowly got up from her chair, casting a poignant look at the glowing face in the garland adorned picture before her, she trudged towards their oversized dining table.
The golden sherwani was dirty now, to say the least. It was tattered in places, caked in mud. But what drew Arnav's attention the most was the dried blood; he couldn't tell when his ended'or where hers began. His nimble fingers ran over the material which stuck to his sweaty body, 24 hours'less than a day ago she had been his. And now. Now what did he have? He stared at the burn marks on his hands, all that he had of her now.
"She loved me you know," he said aloud to his captive, "all she ever wanted was to be mine'"
"Wrong," the man choked out, "She was mine, always, mine."
"Tsk tsk tsk'" he chuckled scornfully, "you're wrong, jeeju, so, so wrong." Arnav didn't stand from where he lay against the pole, resting his tired body after hours of continuous abuse. "She loved me," he panted, "and I loved her'"
His eyes narrowed as maniacal laughter erupted from the man he had once respected, "she will never be yours Saale Saab! If she can't be mine," he cut himself off, his voice choking out a few spurts of tortured laughter.
"You know what," Arnav said thoughtfully, "you are like a spoiled child. You just can't hear no, can you? See, Khushi said that to me once, she asked me to change, and I loved her so much, that I did'I tried jeeju. But you know what you did? Nothing. You are still that spoiled child'the kind of man my Khushi hated. You want that toy that's not yours and when you don't get it, you try to forcibly take it. Do you know what little boys like that get jeeju? Punishment."
Arnav's eyes lit with a dark merriment as the small fire he had been tending began to grow larger, the hungry flames licking at the dry hay surrounding it. Heaving himself up he picked up the safely stowed canister of gasoline, setting it in front of his once loved jeeju he waved goodbye, eyeing the fuel slowly escaping the puncture on the side. "Where you're going, jeeju," he said calmly, "you will never see Khushi. I've heard that angels go to heaven, but demons'they go to hell jeeju.
He dragged himself off into the night as screams erupted from the small secluded barn. It was in the middle of nowhere, really; it was precisely why Arnav had chosen it. He didn't know it what he'd done was right; he would say that most people would've said it wasn't. But he felt no regret; he refused to feel any regret.
His Di was broken, he couldn't fix her again if he tried, and he didn't have it in him anymore. The fight, the will to survive, it had all vanished the second she'd gasped out the words he'd been begging to hear'and then left him forever.
She paced back and forth nervously as he entered the room, a satisfied smirk emerging on his face as he ran his eyes up and down what he'd just forever claimed as his. Turns out there were advantages to this marriage thing after all.
She swiveled to face him at the sound of the door shutting gently behind him, "Arnavji!" she whispered furtively, lifting her skirt up she scuttled towards him, "Arnavji what-"
"Shhh" he shushed her gently, laying a finger gently against her trembling lips. "It's all ok Khushi," he said with a smile. She frowned up at him, releasing the folds of cloth she stuck her hands on her hips, staring imposingly up at him, "what do you mean ok? You're poor sister is married to a psycho, said psycho is after me, and we just got married without knowing about it ourselves until the very last minute! How is this all ok?" she asked in a furious whisper.
He quirked his eyebrows bemusedly, she was feisty this little thing, wasn't she? As for their problems, well when she put it like that',
"Khushi," he said bending down to whisper in her ear, "why are we whispering?"
She pulled back to look him in the eyes, "well because-
err'I' I don't know," she said in a normal voice.
He straightened up, looking her up and down as her brow furrowed in confusion, "Khushi," he said, grabbing her suddenly towards him, "I'll take care of it, of you." He slowly ran his hands down her arms, threading his fingers through hers, "don't you trust me?"
Her wide eyes stared up at him from beneath the dupatta covering her head; she began nodding unconsciously before catching herself. With the hint of a blush she began biting her bottom lip, avoiding his piercing gaze.
"Khushi," he asked again, "do you trust me?"
"Good then because we have enough security around this place to stop bin Laden, and Lavanya is also taking care of some things, so Mrs. Khushi Arnav Singh Raizada, if we could get to-"
Khushi's mouth gaped open with a gasp as her head flew up, her eyes looking inquisitively into his, "I'."
"Yes, you are Mrs. Arnav Singh Raizada," he said with an arrogant tone.
"Hey Devi Maiya! What will become of me now?"
"Laad governor se shaadi?" Khushi pulled away from Arnav's hold to sit on the bed, "o mother in heaven!"
Arnav rolled his eyes at her dramatics, the nerve of this woman; he sat down beside her, slipping an arm around her shoulders to pull her close to him. "Trust me jaan, a lot of things are about to happen to you right now." He turned her body towards him, angling her yielding head just right, he smiled softly as he began his descent, "beginning with'" he whispered.
Her eyes had closed on their own accord, his heart began racing as if he'd ran a marathon; that and a certain Mrs. Khushi Arnav Singh Raizada's closeness had Arnav Singh Raizada quite lightheaded. "Khushi'" he whispered softly against her, "do you love me?" She moaned in response as his fingers flitted across anywhere they could reach. He grinned, taking it was a yes, he closed his eyes as well, finally letting her soft lips touch his. He didn't even register the disturbance until the door crashed open and an infuriated man raged through.
They flew apart in shock, yet held onto each other as they rose from the bed; Arnav stepped in front of his wife, instinctively ready to protect her. He stared in fury at his brother in law, who had managed to find out about the wedding just a little bit too late.
"Arnav," Shyam bit out, "give Khushi back to me."
Arnav felt Khushi's fingers on his arm, her small form pressing into his back, clutching to him in fright. "Khushi's not going anywhere," he replied coolly, "she'll stay where she belongs, with her husband."
Arnav held his ground as Shyam stepped forward menacingly, "I don't want to have to hurt you, Saale Saab, but if you don't give me my Khushi I will be forced to."
Arnav heard her scared whimper, he stretched back a reassuring hand to hold hers before replying, "Khushi is mine, Mr. Jha, only mine. Now if you don't want me to hurt you, I suggest you leave from my room this very instant. It's a very special night for us, you know."
Arnav knew his taunt had gone too far the second he saw the light change in the beast's eyes. With a sudden cry Shyam lunged at them, shattering a vase onto Arnav's head. Arnav managed to throw a punch as he staggered back, still covering the frightened and now concerned Khushi, "Khushi..." he whispered, "run."
"No," she cried out, hugging him from behind, "I can't leave you."
"Let me handle him, Khushi, run, please."
Arnav pulled himself upright, ready to face Shyam who had once again begun heading her way. Showing him a menacing scowl he charged, ready to fight the man he'd once revered.
Shyam was cold now, cold and calculative, at this moment he had nothing to lose and everything to gain. With a frighteningly evil leer he charged as well, pulling out a secluded blade to slice his brother in law. Arnav deflected the first stab, but wasn't as lucky the second time around. He was still staggering from the blow to the head he had received, in his disorientated state he was easily overcome, within minutes Shyam had Arnav lying on the floor, blood flowing from the superficial yet painful cuts he had delivered. Not sparing him a second glance Shyam raced off, chasing after Khushi who had tried unsuccessfully to rouse the sleeping family, all slowly waking to their rude awakening.
She stumbled over the long skirt as she entered the hall, eyes swinging wildly to locate any form of help. Her eyes fell on Om Prakash, the loyal servant who had been given the duty of guarding the sacred fire, carefully following the priests instructions to allow the fire to die by itself and now by some manly power. He lay unconscious beside the fire, still burning but slowly dying out.
Her steps faltered as the leering voice called out to her, fear and apprehension clouded her soul as she turned to face her adversary.
"Shyam-ji," she said with a trembling voice, "please go away, please!"
"Oh, but how can I Khushi, if you aren't with me?"
She choked back the sob that had risen from within her, slowly retreating backwards, heading towards the mandap, yet to be cleaned up.
"Come now, Khushi, things will go much more nicely if you just came to me," Shyam said with a glossy voice.
"Never," she screamed in anger, "go away!" She took another step back, completely on the mandap now.
"KHUSHI!" she looked up to a sight that filled her with horror, Arnav, a bloodied Arnav stumbled down the stairs, scowling at his brother in law.
"Arnavji'" she whispered softly, taking another step back.
"Arnav just stay there!" Shyam yelled, walking towards Khushi, "I'll just take what's mine and leave; you don't need to get hurt anymore."
Khushi heard a guttural moan come from her husband, who had stopped swaying as he approached them. But Shyam was still heading towards her, she stepped back again as fear clutched at her heart, she couldn't, wouldn't! She was only Arnav's!
A high pitched scream left her as she tripped on her skirt again, falling backwards onto the mandap, her wayward dupatta landing in the holy fire.
"KHUSHI!" Arnav's horrified voice rang through the halls as the family appeared from their rooms.
Shyam stood frozen as Arnav rushed past him to his wife; his who was screaming for her life, enveloped in the very flames that had bonded them together moments before.
Her name escaped his lips at her peered over the taunting ledge, "I love you Khushi', I'm sorry I never deserved you." He turned to stare up at the sky, noticing the one star that seemed to shine brighter than them all; with a silent whisper he took a final step back, allowing the lofty emptiness to embrace him as he took his final flight in life.
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