Posted: 05 September 2012 at 5:38pm | IP Logged
*There's Bengali in this chapter. Translations in parentheses*
"W-w-what," Garima hesitated.
"Shut up," Arnav hissed.
"Chote," Dadi said, going over to Arnav, "what are you saying?"
"You heard me Dadi," Arnav said.
"But Chote," Nani said, walking over to him, "how-"
"What you were told was a lie, Nani. …she didn't die."
Nani and Dadi widened her eyes.
"Chote," Nani whispered out, "are… are you sure?"
Dadi turned to Khushi and held her hands. "Betiyan… betiyan, what's your name?"
Khushi remained quiet.
"Betiyan, please. Tell me."
"Don't be afraid," Arnav said, glaring straight at Garima, who was feeling uncomfortable. "No one can hurt you."
"Betiyan please! This is important! Please tell me! What is your name?"
Khushi sniffed. "My… my…." She took in a deep breath. "My name is Khushi."
Dadi and Nani widened their eyes. Arbaz and Anannya couldn't believe what they were hearing and went over to her. Anannya held Khushi's arm and made her face her.
"What," Anannya whispered. "What did you say?"
"Betiyan tell me! Tell me your full name!"
"Khushi… Khushi Kumari Gupta."
Anannya's grip loosened and she stared at Khushi wide eyed. "What? What did you say?"
"Khushi Kumari Gupta."
"But how," Arbaz said. "They said that you died from a disease-"
"But it was all a lie," Arnav said through his teeth. "Isn't that right Ms. Garima?"
"I-I d-d-don't know what you're talking about," Garima said really fast, looking up.
"Shut up! You damn right well know the truth but didn't say anything!"
Garima recoiled and looked down.
"B-but… I don't get it," Anannya said. "Why would she hide such a thing?" She turned back to Khushi. "Tell me, betiyan. Tell me!"
"Tell us all," Arbaz said. "Tell us!"
Khushi wiped away her tears. "The… the truth is… the truth is that she…."
"Khushi," Arnav said, cupping her face in his hands, "tell us. You don't have to be afraid anymore. She can't hurt you anymore."
Khushi took in a deep breath and calmed down. "The truth is…" and she swallowed. "The truth is that… she killed my father!"
Khushi held Arnav's hands tight and everyone stared wide eyed. Garima felt uncomfortable and was messing with her fingers.
"She's lying," Garima yelled out desperately. "Malik please! Don't listen to her! She's a really good liar!"
"Shut up you bitch," Khushi yelled out and everything went silent, so silent you could hear a pin drop.
"You little pest," Garima hissed. "You have some nerve to talk to me like that!"
"I will talk to you however I feel is necessary stepmother! All these years I've remained silent, scared for my life. But not anymore. Now that the truth is out, I won't stay quiet anymore!"
"So what if you tell the truth? You have no proof to prove that you are Shashi Gupta's only daughter. You-"
But Garima stopped. Khushi was laughing and everyone looked at her curiously.
"Oh stepmother," Khusbi said, chuckling, "you're so funny! What do you think? That I'm stupid? I'm Shashi Gupta's and Kamini Kumari Gupta's only daughter Khushi Kumari Gupta. You think that I'm stupid?!"
"What proof do you have?"
Khushi turned to face Arnav. "All the proof you need is at my home."
Arnav walked over to her. "Khushi, I don't need any proof to believe that you're you."
"Maybe. But there's more than my identity that you need to know about."
"I'll show you."
Arnav and Khushi headed out, the Raizadas and Garima and Payal following behind. They went to Gupta manor and Khushi stormed through the door.
"Moni," Khushi call out.
An elder woman came out and looked at Khushi. "Khushi? Ki hoyeche (what happened)?"
"Moni my locket."
"Ki? Kintu… kintu keno (What? But… but why)?"
Arnav and his family came in and Moni's eyes widened. "A-Arnav babu?"
Arnav scrunched his eyebrows and everyone looked at her in confusion.
"Purnima," Annanya said, "tum? Itne saal ki baat?"
"Annanya I- Khushi, ey shob (all this)… I'll be right back."
She left the room and Garima and Payal came in, looking at each other scared and curious as to what Khushi was gonna do. Purnima came back, her fists clenched. She went over to Khushi and held her hand out and placed the locket in her hand.
"Jao (go) Khushi," Purnima said. "It's time the truth came out."
"You're right Moni. Cone with me."
Khushi held Purnima's hand and went to the staircase. Arnav and his family followed behind and Garima and Payal followed as well. They went up the staircase and Khushi went to the left and headed towards a room.
"Hey," Payal yelled out, and she ran over to Khushi. "That's my room!"
"Wrong! It's MY room," Khushi said confidently.
Khushi opened the french doors and went inside. "What the hell did you do to my room?"
Inside was a mess. It was horrendous!
"Shut up," Payal said. "It's not that messy."
Khushi rolled her eyes and walked through the mess to some candles on the wall.
"What are you doing," Garima asked.
Khushi removed the mantles and revealed boards. She took off a board and pressed into the wall behind. Behind them, a wall roughly slid aside and Garima and Payal stared at it wide eyed. Khushi picked up a mantle and walked through the secret passageway.
"What is this place," Garima said in wonder.
Khushi turned her head. "You'll see."
She looked at Arnav and saw him gazing at her. He couldn't help himself. The way the candlelight was shining on her face, Arnav couldn't help but gaze at her. Khushi blushed and looked away.
They walked through the hall and came into a huge room.
"What in the world… what is this place," Arnav asked.
"This was was Babuji's secret room,"Khushi replied. "Only him, Amma, and I knew about this room."
Khushi walked over to the desk and dusted it off. She opened up a drawer and took out a book and went over to a bookcase and placed it into a slot. The bookcase opened out, revealing a vault.
"What the hell," Payal shrieked out.
Khushi unlocked the vault and then took out a book and handed it to Arnav.
"What is this?"
"This is Babuji's diary. Inside you'll find some medical reports."
Arnav went through the book and found some papers folded up. He opened them up and looked at them and then back up at her. "Poisoning?"
"That's right. That woman," Khushi said, pointing at Garima, "slowly poisoned my father to his death, putting in drops of poison into my father's food, slowly killing him, making me an orphan!"
"What nonsense," Garima yelled out. "I-I d-did no such thing!"
"Don't lie you witch! You poisoned my food and planned on doing the same thing with me!"
"What," Arnav yelled.
"Yes Malik. She planned on killing me as well, because she was jealous of me."
"Oh shut up," Garima yelled. "Like I give a crap about you!"
"Don't lie because it's written all over your face," Khushi sneered.
"No you shut up! You tried to poison me but I knew better. I got rid of all the poison by tossing it into the river. But me living properly wasn't enough for you so you faked my death and made me a slave in my own home!"
"That's enough! I've heard enough from you and you'll be going to the dungeon!"
"The only one going to the dungeon is you! You were jealous of the fact that my father had already planned out my marriage with Malik while my mother was alive. You were jealous that my parents had set my marriage for that when I turned 18, I would become his wife. You were jealous and wanted to kill me! Because of you, under religion-wise, I got married not even exactly at the age of 4!!!"
Arnav's family looked away, remembering that day.
"You were jealous that I had become the Raizada Parivaar's bahu," Khushi continued. "You were furious that your daughter couldn't get married to Malik and that you wouldn't be able to live off of their money!"
"What," Arnav yelled. "What the hell?!"
"So what," Garima yelled. "I can do whatever I want! Even if that means-"
She stopped rambling. She didn't realize what she was saying and stopped herself before she said anymore. Garima fell to Arnav's feet and held onto him.
"Malik," Garima cried, "please! Don't send me to the dungeons!"
"Shut up," Arnav said and kicked her off. "That is exactly where you'll be taken."
Khushi went over to Arnav and held his arm and sighed. "I know what she did was wrong… but please don't punish her severely."
"Please Malik. …what if she worked for her mistakes? She could make it up."
"Khushi betiyan," Anannya said, "how can you say that after-"
"I don't want to look at all the bad things. I'd like to look past it." Khushi turned back to Arnav. "Please?"
Arnav thought about it for a second and then nodded. "Fine. If you say so Khushi, then I'll do it."
Arnav looked down at Garima. "You'll be working in the kitchen and do all the laundry," and he turned to Payal, "along with your daughter."
Khushi looked at Arnav. "But Malik-"
"My decision is final."
Arnav grabbed Garima's arm and Payal's arm and led them out and took them out of the house. He had his workers take them back to the Estate and have them put to work immediately. Everybody else came out and Khushi held onto her Moni's arm. Arnav turned to look at her and went over to her.
"Let's go Khushi," Arnav said.
Khushi looked up at Arnav. "Where?"
"Where else," Anannya said, going over to Khushi. "Our home. You're our bahu, and we must welcome our bahu to her new home, right?"
"Please Khushi. After we heard that false rumor that you were dead… you don't have a clue on how miserable I felt. Please Khushi, now that I know I have my bahu, I don't want to let go of you. Ghar chale? Please?"
"Under one condition."
Anannya scrunched her eyebrows.
Arnav went in front if Khushi. "Khushi, what are you say-"
Anannya put her hand up, motioning Arnav to stop. She looked back at Khushi."And that would be?"
"I lost my mom when I was only 4," Khushi said. "And I barely remember her so… can I call you "Amma"?"
Anannya's eyes swelled up with tears and she nodded and held Khushi tight. Khushi hugged back, crying and Anannya put her hand on Khushi's head and calmed her down.
"Well I have a condition," Arbaz said.
Everyone looked at him.
Arbaz walked over to the two and Khushi stared at him wide eyed, nervous and curious. He placed his hand on Khushi's head and smiled lightly. "You have to call me Babuji."
Khushi let out her tears and nodded and gave Arbaz a hug and Arbaz kissed the top of her head. Arnav couldn't help but get emotional and was happy.
Arbaz loosened up and looked down at Khushi. "Chal bahu. Your new home is waiting for you."
Everyone looked at Purnima in confusion.
"Khushi kutow jabena (Khushi's not going anywhere)."
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