Arnav and Khushi sat in the back seat of his car returning back to Colaba..It was past midnight and Khushi was having a hard time keeping her eyes open...
"Go to sleep.."Arnav said, " I'll wake you up, when we reach home.."
Yawning, Khushi put her head on his shoulder..
"When is your next call? Arnav asked.
"Friday...day after tomorrow.." Khushi said sleepily.
"Then, I'm afraid..you'll have to come to Mewar with Ravi on Saturday as I will have to leave a day before the press conference...on Friday.."
"Oh...I wanted to go...with you.." The mention of Mewar sent a shiver down her spine..
"Me too.." Arnav said, looking down in her eyes.." But I really have to be there by Friday.." he said picking up her hand and kissing it.
Reaching their apartment, Arnav went to the bathroom, while Khushi took her sari off and then folding it neatly and with loving care, she decided to hang it in her closet..
Stepping inside her walk-in closet, she hung the sari in a hanger and then changed in her nightie...
About to step out, her eyes fell on the scarf lying on a shelf, folded neatly...She picked it up wonderingly..
"Did Arnav buy this for me too? Khushi thought, but then noticed a faint scent wafting up from it..It was a women's perfume..."So it can't be new.."Khushi thought..
She was standing there with the scarf in her hand when Arnav came in, changed in his PJs and a T shirt.
" Khushi, it's too late to put your clothes away now...lets go to bed.." he said, catching her by her hand.
Once in the bedroom, Arnav noticed that Khushi had something in her other hand...
"Arnav " Khushi said, lifting the scarf up..."I found this in my closet."
Arnav looked at scarf without interest, " It must be yours.."
"Arnav...I don't wear these kind of scarves ...and I hate animal prints.."
The mention of animal prints brought certain unwelcome memories to Arnav's mind...One of the things that had always irritated Arnav about Maya was her inordinate fondness for animal prints, be it clothes, shoes, handbags...
He glanced at the scarf again...and he knew...it was Maya's..
He glanced closely at Khushi's eyes...they were guileless, innocent, unsuspecting and at the moment extremely curious...
"It's a mystery...where did it come from then...and in my closet..."she said looking at Arnav.." May be the people who lived here, before you..."
Arnav knew at that moment that, such was Khushi's innocence and such was her trust in him that he could make any stupid, implausible excuse under the Sun and she would still believe him, without a single question..
He made up his mind then...he was not going to lie to Khushi and take advantage of her boundless, infinite trust in him.
He put his arm around her and made her sit on the edge their bed, then he knelt down on the carpet in front of her..
Holding both her hands in his hand, he looked up at her...There was an expression in his eyes that Khushi couldn't quite decipher...Resolve mixed with sadness..
"What...Arnav...is something wrong...you are scaring me? She said looking in his caramel eyes, flickering with emotions..
" Khushi" Arnav said somberly..." That's Maya's scarf.."
Khushi's eyelashes fluttered in confusion, " Maya's scarf.." she repeated softly..
" In ...your room..." Khushi continued haltingly, trying to read what Arnav's eyes were trying to say to her...
And suddenly she knew and the realization came with a stab of pain to her heart..
She closed her eyes to try to block the vision of Arnav holding someone else in his arms and in their bedroom..
"Khushi, open your eyes...look at me...please " Arnav pleaded...
Opening her eyes, Khushi looked at him...There was sadness in her eyes but no rebuke..
" So you were going to marry her...but then I came into your life again.."she whispered..remembering Arnav and Maya's picture, she had seen in the tabloid, not so long ago.
"No it wasn't like that at all...I have never loved or wanted to marry anyone except you...ever...even when I thought you were dead.."Arnav said intently..
Khushi believed him, but there was something that she didn't understand, something that was bothering him..
She looked in his eyes searchingly...
"Then why did you and Maya..." she was unable to finish the sentence, finding the idea of someone else with Arnav too disturbing..
Arnav's eyes blinked and looked away and for the first time in his life, he was unable to meet her eyes..
Finally he began uncomfortably , "It was just physical ..I.."
Khushi got up quickly, feeling a strong wave of nausea rise from her stomach...she couldn't believe her ears...The idea of just a physical relationship, without any intention of marriage, let alone love, was so alien, so repugnant to her that she couldn't bear to hear anymore...that too from her Arnav's mouth...
She felt this was a new side of Arnav, that she knew nothing about and didn't want to know, for that matter...
As she started walking out of their bedroom, Arnav got up too..
He caught her hand..." Khushi, I'm not done yet."
Khushi pulled at her hand, tears spilling from her eyes, "I don't want to hear anything else.."
Arnav got up and pulled her close to him, by her waist, " Khushi...look at me..." he said gently..
"It was mutual...we both agreed...I didn't make any false promises..." he began..
Khushi cringed and started crying openly, " I said I DON'T want to hear about it...Don't you GET that" she shouted..
Arnav was distraught and hurt too...that Khushi didn't even give him a chance to explain himself...didn't even ask, what made him do something that was so alien to his nature...
"She knows me inside out, yet it was so easy for her to accept that I would do something like this...without even asking once...why..
Arnav followed her to the kitchen...Khushi was standing in front of the frig, sipping water from a glass..
Arnav took the glass from her and put it on the counter..
As she tried to go, he pursed his lips grimly and pulled her close to him, not so gently...
" I was not in the right frame of mind at that time...and she was the only one..."
Khushi didn't let him finish..
"I don't care what state of mind, you were in at that time...or if she was the only one...what you did was DISGUSTING, It was sinful...and there can be NO excuses for it.."Khushi said loudly, with her face flushed and wet with tears..
"It reminds me of all those men, who used to...to come to ...my mother...just like my father..." Khushi said shuddering..
Arnav stepped back, with his face turning white ...
"You are actually comparing me to those men..."he said, with his eyes full of hurt.
"I didn't mean that.."
Without a word, Arnav turned around and going to his den, shut the door with a bang..
Khushi felt her legs giving way and she sat down on the floor with her knees drawn up..Resting her head on her knees, she cried bitterly , with her whole body racked by her sobs..
" I should have known...I should have known, that life can never be this perfect..."
After crying for a long time, she got up slowly and went to the bedroom...The scarf was still lying on the floor...she couldn't bear to look at it
Picking it up, she threw it in the garbage angrily..
Arnav was still in his den...a part of her wanted to go to him and slide in his lap again to be comforted by his warm embrace..
But she needed some time...some time to come to terms to what she had just learnt..
Laying her head down on her pillow, she looked at the empty spot next to her...Fresh tears started as she whispered to herself, " Why did you do that...Arnav...? You spoiled everything..."
Soon tired in mind and body, she drifted off to an uneasy sleep..
Arnav stared at the laptop screen blankly as Khushi's words reverberated in his ears..." I don't care what state of mind you were in at that time..."
" It reminds me of those men, who used to come to my mother...it reminds me of my father..."
Arnav felt the familiar darkness closing around him again...
Thanks for all the good wishes...love you all
...I'm feeling better..now.
Hope you like this update...please don't forget to comment...really love reading your thoughts and views..
Whose point of view, do you understand more at this point? Arnav's or Khushi's?
Looking forward to hearing from you...
Edited by IPK007 - 20 January 2013 at 11:41am