Khushi stopped and turned to look at Arnav 'I'm gonna head off to the hotel now, it was nice meeting you Arnav, I really had a good time' she smiled and looked up at him, 'I had a nice time too stranger' Arnav said with a gentle smile, they looked at each other, the silence between them suddenly seeming heavy 'Well good bye then' Khushi replied after the sudden silence and gave him a brief hug, 'Goodbye' Arnav whispered as he saw her walk away and then turn back and wave, he waved back and then turned to go, somehow he felt like he was walking away from something important, something priceless, he turned back to see her walking faster through the street, the streetlights casting her long shadow along the road, he turned back and shook his head and then simply walked to the hotel brushing away the little voice that asked him to go back to her.
Khushi hugged her sweater closer as she walked and turned to look at him walking down the street, away from her, she would definitely remember him. She turned back and walked through the cold trying hard to not let a feeling of loss wash over her. She entered the hotel and walked into the elevator, she leaned across the railing and sighed 'If it's meant to be fate will do it' she told herself and walked out to her room, when she reached for her keys she realized that her bag was missing 'Oh crap I must have left it at the hotel where Arnav is staying, where we had coffee'.
Arnav did not walk up to his room, instead he went to the cafe in the hotel where he had coffee with Khushi just this evening, somehow he felt that he wouldn't be able to fall asleep tonight, he sat at the same table outside and wondered if he was doing the right thing by just not even trying to get to know her, he sighed and leaned his head against the chair and closed his eyes.
'Hey what are you still doing here?' he heard her voice and snapped his eyes open, 'Well I couldn't fall asleep so figured that I would just sit out here' he said with a happy smile 'Why are you here, couldn't stay away from me could you?' he asked with a naughty smile, 'Well sorry to burst your bubble Mr-I'm-So-Awesome but I actually forgot to take my bag' Khushi said with a laugh and Arnav couldn't help smile at her comeback. Khushi grabbed her bag and then smiled at Arnav 'So we meet again, huh', 'Yeah we do' Arnav replied and then asked 'So when are you leaving Nainital', 'Umm I actually have to leave tonight, had an urgent meeting call from home, what about you?' Khushi replied
'I'll be leaving at around 4 am, my sister can't wait to have me back and my office will turn into a disaster if I stay longer' he said shaking his head with an annoyed look, 'Well then goodbye' Khushi said softly, still utterly confused whether she was doing the right thing, she turned to go.
Arnav suddenly caught hold of her arm, 'Listen we had a good time and umm we met again don't you think we should not just walk away like this, like strangers?' he paused, pulled out two scraps of papers from his pocket and then added 'Lets do this you write down your number on this slip and I'll write mine' he handed it to her and she smiled 'Fine' she said with a laugh.
Arnav handed the paper with his number to her but suddenly a gush of cold wind just washed past them and the paper just flew away with the wind 'Urgghh, wait I'll write another one' he said slipping his hands into his pocket, 'Wait Khushi' told him suddenly, 'Maybe this isn't meant to be' she said quietly thinking of her settled relationship with Karan which was having its rough times but will probably get through, Arnav stared at her as if she was crazy 'Fate?! common we met twice already, that was just the silly wind not some sign' he said trying to convince her.
Her eyes suddenly lit up 'Okay quick, hand me a note' she said, she pulled it out of his hand, ignoring his puzzled look and walked to the counter, 'Now write your number and 'Lovely Stranger' on it she said, he simply nodded his head 'Will you just tell me what this is?' he asked and handed her the note, Khushi paid it to the person at the counter and bought herself a cookie, she then grabbed a book 'Love In The Time Of Cholera' from the shelf of magazines, newspapers and latest edition hard copies, behind the book she scribbled 'Lovely Stranger' and wrote down her number, she heaved a sigh and turned to him with a crazy smile 'Well if fate does want us to be together, I might find the 5Rs note someday and you will find the book and then well you can call me or I might call you' she said quietly.
Arnav looked at her utterly baffled 'Well there's a one in a million chance of something like that happening' he said with an annoyed expression, 'Yes but it will happen if it is meant to be' she said quietly, 'No, I'm not convinced, lets try something else to find out if this is meant to be' he said waving his hands in frustration, 'Okay then' she said an idea striking her head again, she pulled him towards the two elevators facing each other and examined his puzzled face and frown, 'There are 20 floors in this hotel and if we both punch the same button, we'll be on the same floor and then we'l know that this all is just right', 'Okay fine' he finally agreed and entered the elevator and watched her through the door standing inside the one before his, he smiled at her and looked at the pretty face , wide Innocent sparkling eyes and a smile that made his heart beat faster one last time before the doors closed and he could see her no more.
Khushi watched him stand inside the elevator her heart beating in anticipation, she did want to see him again but she knew that she wanted it all to happen only if it was meant to, she looked at the friendly handsome face with the deepest eyes and the most charming smirk, she looked at him before the doors closed softly with a ping and she closed her eyes, breathed in and punched the number 12 .
Arnav sighed deeply and punched the button 12 and waited for it to move, hoping they would meet again, he hoped her crazy idea was right. The elevator stopped at floor number 1 and he watched as a chubby kid stepped in, the kid just looked at him and smiled naughtily and then he started punching all the buttons at once, 'Whoooaaa there will you stop that' Arnav almost yelled and tried pulling the annoying kid away but it seemed like the boy had taken an oath to ruin everything. When the doors opened at floor 2 the kid just grinned cheekily and ran out. Arnav stood inside the lift waiting as it stopped at each floor, he felt saddened and lost all of a sudden.
Khushi stepped out at floor 12 and looked around expectantly, when she did not find anyone she looked down sadly and just shook her head at what a crazy idea the whole thing was, she waited for a few minutes longer and when she did not find him she just walked back in and went away to her hotel to get packed and leave.
Arnav had had enough by the time the elevator stooped at floor 5, he decided to take the stairs and ran up, he held on to the railings and stepped on two stairs at once, he finally reached floor 12 and looked around breathlessly, she was not there, it was empty. He looked around and then quietly walked to the elevator and went down to his room believing that it was not meant to happen.
Khushi leaned her head against the window as the bus trotted slowly through the winding streets down the mountain, she looked out at the night sky and remembered how close she had felt to him, like they had known each other since forever, she sighed and looked lost but she knew that if it was meant to be it would have happened, somewhere deep down she still hoped it would happen. She closed her eyes to the shining stars and beauty around and tried forgetting everything before she returned to the place where she belonged.
Arnav tossed and turned on his bed, sleep still evading him, she was so different and crazy he taught and smiled to himself, 'Writing numbers on notes' he said and shook his head at the absurdity of it. He would never forget this girl, he knew it but if she believed that it was not meant to be then he was no one to impose himself,he hardly ever spoke about himself to anyone and he still couldn't believe that he had shared his memories with her over an mug of coffee, her beautiful laughter still rang in his ears making him a little sad about never hearing it again, he hoped deep down that he would some day , he sighed and leaned against the headrest 'Lovely Stranger' he whispered and fell asleep.
Keep reading to know if they meet again and please tell me if you're enjoying the story, I hope its not becoming too boring? Do comment and tell me your feed back.
Hit the like button if you have read it.