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While memories last, some remain in the heart
like a warm hug, like a happy smile.. Like love.., while some remain in the
heart like a dull ache, a sad tear … Like heartbreak. But when memories are
gone, they still remain…Like a feeling, a presence.. Like the dream that is
forgotten in the morning.
It had been quite some time before Khushi could live with the blank spaces in her memory. It had been quite a while before those endless questions and unanswered responses had stopped playing havoc in her mind. It wasn't the blank spaces that bothered Khushi anymore, it was that something that resided in the blank spaces.. That special something that had slipped out from the holes in her memory.
He carried her in his arms, her head resting on his shoulder. She was drifting in and out of consciousness but even in her unconscious mind, her hands didn't loosen their hold on his shirt. It wasn't because she was afraid he would drop her. But she felt so protected… So secure in his arms that she was scared that when he would let go, there would be nothing that could anchor her to the world, to something, to anything..
Khushi woke up with a start.. It was that faceless person again, the gap in her memory. Khushi took a deep breath and held a hand on her racing heart which was now aching with a longing for someone she didn't remember. She jumped from the bed and opened her wardrobe. Standing on the tips of her toes, she removed her box of keepsakes. She scrambled through her precious collection before she found what she was looking for, a key that was lying safely wrapped in a red muslin cloth. She picked it up and held it to her heart. That same heart that told her that this key belonged to him. Khushi closed her eyes, still holding the key and took a deep breath.
"I love you" she whispered "I will always love you"
"I love you"
Anjali clutched the woollen sweater to her heart and sighed her heart aching with so much.. Guilt, pain and regret. If only, she hadn't trusted her husband blindly, her Rajkumari would have been wearing the sweater today. If only she had believed in Khushi and her brother, she would be there to hear her daughter's laughter. If only she hadn't been so nave, some voice would have called her "mumma."
She wiped another stray tear and looked at the clock. It was past midnight and her husband hadn't returned. She rested her head on the dining table and thought about the morning before.
She had returned from the temple glad that she was home before her husband left to work. All the walking and even the running behind the auto had started a dull ache in her leg. The pain would be worth it. She didn't use the drivers that stood outside her mansion. For her husband, she was a duty and one of the things Anjali had realized too late was to not be a burden on anyone. She wasn't a burden on her brother anymore and she wouldn't be one on her husband.
She watched her husband fasten his rolex on his wrist, giving instructions on the Bluetooth. As she stepped inside, he looked at her, his eyes intelligent, sharp and calculating. Anjali stopped in her tracks, breath held, when she realized how handsome her husband looked. Dressed in an immaculate steel grey suit he looked like someone who had stepped out of a fashion magazine. Anjali released the breath she didn't know she was holding and looked down knowing she was staring when she saw her husband look at her with a raised eyebrow.
She limped towards him clutching the pooja ki thaal in both her hands and held it in front of him. She held out the sweet gesturing him to have it but he gave her a dry look and said
"Why would you want me to participate in the prayers where you are trying to bribe your god with every possible trick to bring your ex-husband back?" he mocked
"You have no idea what you are talking about. You have absolutely no idea what my ex husband has put me through," she replied angrily
"Temper temper..." he said walking past her "Looks like I have touched a nerve. You are right, I have no idea what your husband has put you through. But that sad part is, you know exactly what he has put you through and you love him anyway."
"Shyam was a lying, cheating son of a bitch" Anjali said not caring that she swore for the first time in her life. If Avinash was surprised with her reaction, he didn't let it show. he merely smiled and continued
"Sounds like a great guy. You sure have taken a leaf from his book." he said sardonically.
Collecting his car keys, he gave her a mock salute and walked towards the door leaving Anjali staring after him with angry tears in her eyes.
When Avinash returned, he saw Anjali fast asleep, with her head resting on the dining table.It was obvious that she hadn't eaten and had been waiting up for him and he felt a strange warmth melt the ice around his heart. His mother had been the only person who had waited up for him.. who had eaten only after him and yet here Anjali was, doing just that even when he went out of his way to make her miserable. He rubbed his hand on his tired eyes and shook her awake. But she didn't stir. He sighed and picked her up and carried her to their room and lay her down. He saw a strand of her hair lightly touching her cheek. His hand involuntarily moved to push it away when the glow of his cell phone which was on silent mode grabbed his attention. He was about to press the disconnect button when he saw the name of the caller.
He grabbed his phone and trod silently out of the room closing the door behind him. He walked upstairs not answering the call till he had reached the terrace. By then the call was disconnected. He called the number which was the topmost on his speed dial. A tender smile crept up his face when he heard the voice on the other end.
"I'm sorry sweetheart I walked out again after you fell asleep but I had to go. I will see you in the morning, I promise. "
He heard her complain a little but then she ended her call with an "I love you"
He looked at his phone for some time, her "I love you" echoing in his ears and whispered under his breath "I love you more"
After he had made the announcement to his staff that Khushi Kumari Gupta was coming back to AR, and had made sure that none of them would reveal anything about her previous experience with the company and its boss to her, even accidentally, he had seen a few disdainful glances being passed around and another few understanding glances too. Uncaring about any such reactions, he had returned to his chamber. Deciding to shower her with the love that she deserved had been easy. And planning to do it all, had been even more so. For when Arnav Singh Raizada decided to do something, he did it to perfection. He had not earned the name and fame just like that. He had put himself so much into the plan that his arms itched and twitched to hold her in his arms. Where is she?! He wondered, looking at his watch for the umpteenth time in the last few minutes. Payal had called him to tell that Khushi had agreed to work under him after a little explaining and that she would be at work by nine o'clock. It's almost ten, damn it! Arnav thought, as his hands raked roughly through his hair. On top of this, her phone was switched off. The odds seemed to be totally against Arnav's promise to keep his calm, at least when he was with her. He was about to call Payal and make sure that she was okay when she felt her behind him.
Surprising her when he turned to her in a sudden movement, his hungry eyes roved over her face, and his mouth opened to spew angry words at her. His mind venting out in the only way that he knew of. "Where the hell were you?! You were supposed to be here by nine! Moreover your phone was switched off. What do you have to. . ." His words trailed off as he saw the bruises on her arm. "What happened?!" Arnav demanded, his eyes wide with fear. He had covered the remaining distance between them in one step and he held her arm with extremely gentle hands. If Khushi had started to feel a little irritated when he had started to shout at her, her feelings changed into that of astonishment now. His concern towards her was unnerving. But Arnav, busy that he was, being freaked out at the littlest of bruise on Khushi's arm, missed on all this.
Grabbing the first aid kit, he made her sit on the couch and tended to the wound. After he dabbed a little on the bruise and she had appropriately winced, he asked her how this had happened. She smiled as she remembered how she had saved a little boy from meeting with a terrible accident and in the process had got herself hurt. She saw Arnav staring at her, flabbergasted, by the time she narrated this story to him. "Kya?" She asked, not even noticing the fact that her arm was still being held by Arnav, who was still a stranger to her. "What if something had happened to you?!" He questioned, snapping his mouth shut. "Kuch hua nahi na? Bas, thodi si kharoch aayi hai. I will be alright." Khushi answered, smiling contentedly.
"Khushi, you cannot risk such things! Agar tumhe seriously kuch ho jaata, tho?!" Arnav raised his voice, and raised from the couch himself, his breathing turning shallow and his eyes more maniacal at the thought of something happening to her. Again. No! NO! His mind screamed. He would not let fate play with him like this. Not again! He watched as Khushi rose to her feet too, a frisson of irritation in her eyes, her nose turning a little red as she prepared to counter attack. "Agar uss bachche ko kuch ho jaata tho? Main kaise chup reh sakti thi?! Khair, I don't expect you to understand all this, Mr. Raizada. I know at least this much about you, that you could care less about the people you don't know."
She turned away and was about to leave when she remembered that she was now an employee of this company, and he was the boss.
She would have to take orders from him.
No other way.
Sadly, she grimaced to herself.
Turning back to him slowly, she stood with her chin raised defiantly. "What do I have to do?" She asked in the same tone and finally let her eyes travel towards his, just in time to see a knowing smile disappear from his face. She looked at him expectantly and saw him take a step towards her. Unknowing to herself, she took a step back.He seemed to have noticed it, and a smug smirk made way on his face and he took another step towards her and she took a matching step backward. This went on until she felt herself being cornered into one of the glass wall, and she felt her heart start to race for a million dollar prize, and she reminded herself not to hyperventilate as he bent nearer and flicked a finger across her nose. Looking up at him in confusion, she heard him say there was something there.
She gathered her bag in both her fists and almost ran towards what she expected to be her cabin and left Arnav with an endearing smile on his thoughtful face.
Khushi rushed out of Arnav's cabin and didn't stop till she was in the confines of her own. She sank in her leather chair and kept her hand on her heart wondering what had caused it to beat so wildly even though she knew the answer. There had been a magic in him, in his words, in his presence that made her heart trip, stumble and fall. There was something in those eyes that burned with rage within a minute and cooled down in the next.
Her mad heart didn't stand a chance.
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Lyraa hides behind the chair just in case there are rotten tomatoes her way. She should have taken harshu's suggestion and bought herself a helmet..
Yess Lyraa's back,,,, well, for this chappie at least. Blame it all on harshu. She wrote the last chapter so well that I couldn't resist but write this one with her.. though I cannot promise that I would be writing the remaining chapters as well but I will try..
I hope I have not lost my touch and u guys will enjoy this update just as much if not more *winks*
Do read and leave your replies
Luv u all
P.s If there are any readers from Pune, a bright hello to you.. I'm in Pune right now for classes and loving the place :)
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