Joined: 29 March 2012
This is my first Arshi fanfiction.. this is just the first chapter and I have lots of plans for this. Readers--please comment and let me know whether this is worth continuing.
Winning You Back Chapter One
"Why did you marry me?" Khushi's breath came out in harsh rasps as she hurled the words out at Arnav. "I have every right to know. Tell me!"
"Because I know about you and Shyam!"
So that was the truth. It had finally come out. But Khushi still didn't understand. Why had he married her?
Arnav must have seen the silent question in her expressive eyes. "I wanted to protect Di. I needed you away from him. My only option was to marry you, to tie you up in a relationship so you could no longer pursue him."
Clarity. After three months of wondering, of worrying, she finally had the answers she wanted. She opened her mouth to speak, to tell him the truth which she should have told him long before now. But Arnav wasn't done yet.
"Do you have any idea what you did to me? I was on my way to tell you that I love you! And I saw you there with him! Do you have any idea how I felt? And even now you stand there as if you're not guilty, as if you hadn't tried to break Di's marriage! How could you Khushi? I loved you. And you betrayed me."
He was wrong. She hadn't betrayed him. He had betrayed her. Maybe if he had hated her, and drawn those conclusions, she would have had some hope. But he had loved her and yet he had still believed her capable of such disgusting behavior. He had loved her, but he hadn't trusted her. There was no point trying to tell him the truth now. He wouldn't believe her anyway.
As Khushi walked away, Arnav was at a loss as to what to do next. The Khushi Kumari Gupta he knew was never silent. She always had a remark to share, a taunt to throw at him. Her eyes had a curiously glassy, glazed look in them, as if a part of her had died. Something wasn't right.
Garima looked up as Khushi walked into the house. Her daughter was unusually quiet and her feet dragged behind her as she slowly made her way to her room, her head hung low. "Khushi, what happened?"
"Nothing Amma. I'm fine." But Garima was a mother. And mothers knew when their children lied to them. She was about to follow her when Arnav made his way inside and went after Khushi. Maybe they had a fight. She smiled. Youngsters these days. Always arguing. I'll leave them to it. And she went back to the vegetables she was cutting, happy in her oblivion, as her daughter's heart was breaking in the room next door.
Arnav strode in angrily after Khushi, ready to demand an explanation for her outrageous behavior. He hated it when she walked away from him when he was speaking to her. He stalked up to the bed where she was curled up, prepared to yank her up if he needed to. His hand was already stretched towards her when he saw the lone tear trickling down her porcelain skin. He froze. He couldn't deal with her tears. He had never been able to. Arnav drew back and stared at the objects still clutched in his fist. Khushi's stars. She had left them to him before she went to carry out her crazy plan. Even then, when she had been so close to the doors of Death, she had thought of him and his family. The two images of her did not reconcile with each other. On one hand, there was a sweet, innocent girl who truly embodied her name, Khushi. She spread joy wherever she went, always placing the needs of others before her own. On the other hand, he could still see her screaming at his brother-in-law, demanding for him to leave his sister, his beloved Di. The two sides did not match up. There was something missing, some vital piece of information he didn't know. What was it? He stood there, with his arms crossed and his brow furrowed, as the clock ticked on and the sky lightened with the rising dawn. He needed to find the answers and he would. After all, he was Arnav Singh Raizada.
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Khushi listlessly bid her mother and aunt goodbye, and stopped to take the blessings of her father on her way out the door. She made an effort to smile at the paralyzed man in the wheelchair, not wanting to worry him. Perplexed, Arnav watched her. Again, she was giving her father's happiness the utmost importance, forgetting her own misery. Then why did she not think about Di's happiness before asking Shyam to leave her? This girl was so confusing.
In the car, she turned away from him, blankly staring out the window. Her behavior was beginning to scare him. Normally, he couldn't get her to shut up for two minutes and now here she was, silent. She hadn't spoken a word to him since their confrontation on the rooftop yesterday. He was about to call out to her when he saw the tears rolling down her face. What had he done to her? His hand immediately shot out to cup her face, to wipe away the pain he had caused. What was he doing? This was probably another one of her tricks. He quickly looked away, lest he fall into her trap again. He would not soften towards her until he found out the truth. But when he heard her shaky breaths, her feeble attempts to control herself, he couldn't stop himself. His hand reached out, seemingly of its own volition, to cradle her face. "What's wrong Khushi?" She looked up at him then, and the pain in her eyes mirrored the pain in his heart. It was as if she was burning in her own personal Hell, just as he had been ever since that night when he saw her on that terrace. He slowly drew back from her, not knowing what to do or say. She continued to look at him with those sorrowful eyes and this time, he was the one to look away.
When they reached the gates of Shantivan, she quickly wiped her face, erasing all evidence of the grief coursing through her. She walked into the house, not stopping until she reached the poolside where she collapsed in a heap, gut-wrenching sobs wracking her slight frame.
Anjali stared after Khushi's retreating figure. What had happened? The ever-present smile was gone, the sparkle was absent from her eyes, and she had not even spared a greeting for Anjali. Something had definitely gone wrong. Arnav followed Khushi into the house, his mind already in gear, formulating a plan. But Anjali would not let him pass without clearing her doubts. "Chotte?"
Arnav paused. "Yes, Di?"
"Chotte, what's wrong with Khushiji? She seems rather upset."
Shit. "Upset? What are you talking about? She's fine Di. You worry too much."
"No, Chotte. Something's definitely wrong. Khushiji didn't even stop and say hello to me."
"Khushi, Di. Not Khushiji. It's about time you dropped the formality. She's a part of this family now." With that, Arnav attempted to escape to his room again, where he could finish planning in peace, leaving Anjali behind with a soft smile on her face. But he didn't get very far. Before he had taken no more than two steps, Anjali spoke again.
"You didn't answer my question Chotte. What's wrong with her?"
Dammit. He would have smiled if he hadn't been so irritated. Of course she had seen through his ploy. Sentimental and romantic she may be, but Anjali was still a Raizada. He turned back to face his sister.
"It's nothing Di. Khushi wanted to stay with her parents for a few more days but I really needed to get back."
"Then why didn't you let her stay? You could've left her there and come back alone."
"No Di. Khushi belongs here. With me." This time, Arnav was able to slip away, leaving Anjali with a full blown grin on her face. I just told Di what she wanted to hear, he tried to convince himself. But both sister and brother knew that those words had rung with a fervor that only the truth could hold.
Her brother was hopelessly in love with Khushi. Though Anjali had initially been very upset with their hasty marriage, she now saw that Khushi was the best thing to happen to her Chotte. But now, Khushi was upset and Anjali felt it was her duty to cheer her up. After all, Khushi had always taken it upon herself to make everyone in the house happy whenever anyone looked even the slightest bit put out. Anjali smiled. She knew exactly what to do to put the happiness in Khushi's name back on her face.
One floor above her, her brother smiled too. But whereas Anjali's smile had been an infectious, excited one, Arnav's was grim, full of determination. Yet, each was eager for the next day. Each had a plan to put into action.
Joined: 22 May 2010
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