Joined: 23 February 2013
Arnav slammed the breaks on his car. The car screeched to a halt, sending his body flying towards the steering wheel. His hands gripped the steering wheel tightly, his knuckles white. "Biggest mistake of my life...I wish I had never met you..." his own words rang in his head.
Lessons learned, bridges burned
to the ground,
And it's too late now to put out the fire,
Tables turned, and I'm the one who's burning now,
His heart clenched. What had he done? Her? The biggest mistake? She was his biggest blessing. What would his life BE without her? Before her, all he had known was how business figures should be, how his employees files should be. The moment she walked in, he understood what relationships meant, what life meant, what people felt and how he could feel them too...She had given him life, in the true sense of the word, not what he had been living with all these years. Losing his mother had left a gaping hole in his heart that no one could fill. And he didn't want anyone filling in, either. He lived with that pain, it drove him. Then Khushi had walked in, with a bucket of love and poured it into that hole. He had tried so hard to push her out, but she pushed back with such force, letting her in was all he could do. The moment he did, bliss was all he felt. He felt his heart ache reduced to a low throb, there, but bearable.
But what now? He had fired those words off at her, but the pain of losing her was threatening to tear his heart apart. This time, he knew, the hole would be too large to fill. The hole would be too deep, to wide and too, too painful.
Well I'm doing alright,
'Til I close my eyes
And then I see your face,
And it's no surprise.
Just like that, I'm crawling back you,
Just like you said I would, yeah
I swallowed my pride,
Now I'm crawling back to you.
The second his eyes shut, Khushi's face appears in front of him. Her pretty, innocent, gentle face. The face that was full of tears now, because of him. He had to go back. NOW.
He swerved his car around and floored it. "Coward." A small voice in the back of his head whispered. He knew that voice. It was the voice that had made him ASR, the ruthless, egoistic, merciless ASR that the world feared. It was responsible for all that he had said to Khushi. It had made him like that. For 14 years, he had been its slave. And Khushi's love had changed everything. Normally, he would never had gone back on his words. Never even have CARED what his words meant. But today? It had been barely 5 minutes, and he was on his way back. Back to undo what he had done. Back to beg for forgiveness. His ego, pride and heightened sense of self-respect no longer mattered. For Khushi, nothing else mattered.
I'm out of my head,
Can't wait any longer,
Down on my knees, I thought I was stronger,
Just like that, like you said I'd do,
I'm crawling back to you.
Arnav slammed his breaks and flew out of the car, not caring to close the door or lock it. There wasn't any time. He needed to say sorry. He needed to let her know that he hadn't meant anything, before her pain increased. He ran into his room, skidding to a halt as his eyes searched for her. There she was, where he had left her, broken and hurt. Slowly, he approached her. He reached out to touch her, but pulled back. No. This time he would make sure he showed her how sorry he was. He dropped to his knees.
The thud shook her and she turned, her eyes full of fear. She looked down at him, shock registering on her face. Shock quickly turned to confusion as Arnav reached for her hand.
"I'm sorry, Khushi." He whispered. This was the second time in his entire life he was apologising to someone other than his Di. It wasn't easy for him. But he knew, it had to be said. He had been wrong. Khushi pulled her hand back, shaking her head. He felt anger rising again. She was refusing to forgive him? HIM? He was about to yell at her, when she spoke.
"Bas, Arnav ji. Koi zaroorat nahi hai aapko sachai ke liye maafi mangne ki." She said slowly.
"No Khushi. IÖI didn't mean that. Woh to basÖ" She didn't let him finish. He stood up, reaching for her hands again. She pulled them away. He looked up to her face. She wasn't angry, he realised, she was just tired. She looked up at him, her eyes filled with resignation, pain and hurt.
Regret filled his heart as he registered what she was saying. She wanted to end this. End them. And she wasn't wrong. He had done that a long time ago, too. The difference was that this time, she wouldn't burn. He would. He would never forget her, and always, always regret his words, for the rest of his life.
It took him about a second to realise that Khushi hadn't just been sitting there all along. There was a packed bag lying on the bed.
"Khushi...?" he barely got it out.
"I'm sorry, Arnavji." She slung the strap of the bag over her shoulder and walked towards the door.
Why can't I move?!? Arnav stood rooted to the ground, his limbs unmoving despite his desperation to stop Khushi. Her hand on the handle, she turned to look at him again. Her eyes were blood red, tears brimming. That shook Arnav's nerves out of their temporary paralysis and he shot forward. He grabbed Khushi's shoulders.
"Khushi, are you mad? Main gusse mein tha! I didn't mean it!" His voice was urgent now, desperate.
"Gusse mein admi sach hi bolta hai, Arnavji." Her voice broke, but Arnav could tell her intentions hadn't.
"Khushi..." he tried again, but Khushi placed her hand on his lips, silencing him.
"Mere aane se pehle kya aapki zindagi mein koi bhi pareshaani thi, Arnavji? Nahi. Toh mere jaane ke baad, wohi din laut aayenge Arnavji. Aapke zindagi mein bhi, aur Di de zindagi mein bhi." She walked out of the door, leaving Arnav stunned.
He had wanted to apologise again, he had wanted to beg her to stay...to tell her that before her, he hadn't even been human, that after she had come, he had learned what it meant to live, love. But what she had said, it had shaken him to silence. Till date he had never known what his words could do. How his words could convince an angel that she was a demon. An innocent that she was a criminal. He wanted to stop her, hold her close and promise her that he would never do that again, that he would never let his words hurt her again. But he couldn't promise her that, he knew how unpredictable his anger was, how quick his mouth was. All he wanted was for her to be happy...he couldn't stand hurting her either. It had pained him to no end, her every tear stabbed his heart. So he had let her leave.
Time can heal, but the scars
only hide the way you feel,
And it's hard to forget how I left you hanging
On by a thread, and everything is said, I will regret it, yeah,
3 months had passed since Khushi had left. No one had asked much when she had left. Mami commented about how it was good that the root of the problem had left, how everything would change for the better now. Arnav was back to ASR, a tough nut. But he couldn't forget her face. He couldn't forget those tears, and he couldn't, no matter how much he tried, forget the pain in her eyes when she had walked out that door. How she wrongly blamed herself for all the bad in his life, without understanding that she was the reason for everything good that had ever happened to him.
"Sab tumhari glati hai!"
"I wish I had never met you!"
"You're the biggest mistake of my life!"
"Mere aane se pehle kya aapki zindagi mein koi bhi pareshaani thi, Arnavji?
Every day. Every single day, these words would play in his head, like an ipod stuck on reply with infinite battery life. And every single day, Arnav's heart would break a little bit more.
At first he had been angry, frustrated that he was feeling so miserable over some girl despite being the biggest business tycoon around. It wasn't long before it hit him. Khushi wasn't "some girl". She was his life. She meant everything to him, and being the biggest business tycoon around didn't change that. He knew that given a choice, he would give up everything for her in the blink of an eye. His rage turned into agony, and there was nothing he could do to stop that. Guilt ridden and broken, he chided himself for what he had done.
Their relationship had barely even begun, and he had strangled it mercilessly with his words. Every day, every minute and every second in the last three months had been filled with regret for Arnav. And, like he had done in the past, he had capitalised on that for his business. His ruthless, go-for-the-kill nature was back, and so was the wall he had built around himself that Khushi had broken down. His Di's life, though still filled with pain, was somewhat stabilised, thanks to the highly qualified American counsellor that Arnav had arranged for. But Arnav also knew, Khushi could have healed her better than anyone. Everything became mechanical once again in the Raizada household. Nani visited the temple alone every day, while Anjali sat alone in her room immersed in thoughts. Mami would sit around watching TV and Payal would busy herself with household chores, so much so, that 2 servants were forced to leave their jobs as they had nothing to do. NK returned to Australia, and Akash got busy with the other ASR businesses. Basically, no one wanted to sit around and do nothing like they used to when Khushi was around, because it just wasn't fun anymore. In fact, it was painful. Arnav knew that Khushi's departure had no only broken him, but broken his family too. But he couldn't deal with that pain. So he had done what he always did. He had buried it deep, so deep that sometimes, some very rare times, he forgot that it was even there. And he thought that maybe, maybe with time, things would get a teeny, tiny bit better.
I was doin' alright, thought I
could make it,
Then I see your face and it's hard to fake it.
That's when he saw her again. Khushi Kumari Gupta No-Singh-Raizada. And then he realised how horribly wrong he was and how hopelessly in love he was with her.
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