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Joined: 21 April 2012
She went to the kitchen and slowly prepared tea and sweets. At one point she stopped and pressed her hands flat on the counter and let out a big sigh. She felt like she would pass out with everything that she was holding in. It was just as hard to see him, especially now that he was engaged. 'I hate you so much Arnav!' She yelled internally and even then she regretted saying it right away.
She was startled and pulled out of her internal struggle when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned to find Anjali there. "Do you need help?" She asked with a soft smile.
Khushi shook her head and brutally tied her hair in a high ponytail. She was no longer going to leave it open around him. She always thought her long and straight chocolate brown hair would attract him but now that was the last thing she wanted to do. She couldn't do so because after all'he was gone. Slipped out of her grasp like never before. And yet he still took up every single dream of hers.
She tried to balance both the plate of sweets with the cups on one tray but if it weren't for Anjali to catch them in time, they all would have shattered on the ground. Khushi threw the tray on the counter and turned her back towards Anjali. She fisted her hands and brought them up to forehead. 'Take it in Khushi. Take it in.' She said to herself so as not to drop a single tear.
Anjali didn't say anything. She simply took the sweets and left the kitchen. Khushi turned to see no one there anymore. She took the tray of cups and went to the living room. She kneeled on the floor by the table while she filled the cups with tea. While doing so, she did it all with a frown. Again, she had to be pulled back to reality when Arnav's mom spoke up.
"Khushi how are you?"
Khushi faked a smile. "Good aunty, thank you." Her smile immediately fell when she looked back down. Without noticing, her eyebrows furrowed together. She softened the muscles of her face as she passed the tea around. She said "you're welcome," to everyone who thanked her except Arnav, who definitely noticed that.
She pulled up a chair and sat next to the couch where Anjali was sitting next to Arnav. She watched the parents speak between each other and laugh with every joke or funny moment in history.
"Where's Payal?" Anjali asked and when Khushi turned to answer, she saw Arnav's eyes on her. She tried to ignore it and held her eyes strictly on Anjali. "She's at a friend's house. If she'd known you were coming, she would have stayed back."
She wanted to poke Arnav in the eye with a fork when he wouldn't remove his eyes from her. She looked away from the siblings again and back towards her parents. Just then she thought of something. "I'll be right back," she said to Anjali and Arnav watched as she hastily walked away.
She went into the kitchen and took her phone out of her jeans to call her home phone. She let it ring a couple times before picking it up and pretending to speak to a friend. She stopped at the bottom of the staircase and tried to get Anjali's attention. She did but she also got Arnav's. She pointed to the phone then put up a finger to show that she'd be back in a moment. Anjali nodded her head and Khushi quickly ran up the stairs and to her room.
She turned off the phone and sat on the edge of her bed. She had nothing to do but she felt it was better than sitting there with HIM around. She leaned back on her bed and rolled onto her side, placing her folded hands between her knees until she was curled up.
Without stopping them, her tears rolled over the bridge of her nose and wet her covers. She wasn't sobbing but her tears just couldn't be retained either.
In the silence of room with some of the muffled voices from downstairs she let herself ponder. 'I was so sure we'd end up together. I was so damn sure Arnav! But how did this happen? How did you end up with someone else? I painted a family picture of ours in my head and now what do I do with it? It's not a painting on a canvas to rip apart, it's a painting in my mind! How the hell am I supposed to erase that? How am I supposed to erase the years of thought of you hugging me when you came home from work or whatever or all the cute little kisses you'd give me for no particular reason. How can I erase the feeling I get when you smile at me? When you laugh? All that brought me joy, Arnav! Those aren't even pictures that I painted! Those aren't even imaginary! They're all real Arnav! It's what it does to my heart ' how it makes it flutter every time you look at me or even stand near me. How am I supposed to face you in the future when you walk into our house with another person as your wife? Oh Arnav if only you knew what it feels like to love and not be loved. I've lost you. You're gone.'
She jumped out of her position when she heard the door open and stared dumbstruck and wide-eyed as she saw Arnav stand inside the doorframe. She had that immediate tightening tug at her heart. She tried to quickly remove as many tears with the back of her hands as possible but she could still feel some in the corners of her eye.
"I was heading to the bathroom but then I heard how silent it was in here. I thought you were talking on the phone?" Arnav asked, narrowing his eyes at her.
"Yeah it was just a classmate asking for help. Phone call is done now." She got up and started walking towards the door but her pace slowed when he didn't even move to let her by. Instead he took a step forward and closed the door almost all the way.
His eyes searched hers. He saw a clear sign of pain in them. The redness in them, the puffiness in them, and the tears that hung in the corners of her eyes; it was all very evident. When he saw her eyes lowering, he put his hands in his pockets and started walking around.
"That's a sweet picture," he smiled at the one of Khushi and his sister on her dresser, next to one of Khushi and Payal.
"She's my best friend after all." She said and watched with curiosity after him. "I wonder why we never became best friends." He said quietly but Khushi heard him very well. He didn't even turn to look at her. He was busier looking at Khushi's family and friend pictures on her wall. He pointed to one where it was taken years back when his and her family had a big picnic at a park. "Good times."
"You'd always run away that's why," she finally answered and he looked at her with furrowed eyebrows. "What?" He asked.
"That's why we never became best friends. You always ran off doing other stuff." She said with sad eyes.
"That's not true, what about that time everyone else was having their own conversations and you and I stood on the foot of the railing by the river and watched the firecrackers go off? Do you not remember that?" He asked taking a step closer to her.
'What a stupid question Arnav, of course I remember! I remember every single moment we spent together!' Khushi yelled at him internally. "You're bringing up something that happened when we were ten." She said bitterly.
"How about that time we were at a party and we had that bet on how long you can keep quiet. You never did make the ten-minute mark. I'm still waiting for my 10 rupees." He said with a half smile and took yet another casual step towards her.
Khushi looked down in frustration. "You always bring that up but I did pass the ten minute mark!" She wasn't mad at that. She was angry at the fact that he was driving her heart crazy with every step towards her. Her hands started to become clammy. She felt her body temperature going up and she did not like the feeling since she felt like she was on fire.
Arnav decided to take another route to make her crack. He shrugged his shoulders. "I guess you're right. It wouldn't make sense for us to be that close when we've only spent like two times together."
Khushi snapped her neck up and looked at him with her mouth slightly open. "Two times? What about that time that we ran around like crazies throwing water at each other? What about that time you snuck up on me at night while we were sleeping over at your house and I screamed in that middle of the night? What about all those emails I sent you on every single one of your birthdays? My God, where the hell have you been living!" She heightened her voice at him.
Arnav chuckled, nodding his head yes in a way to show that he did indeed remember all those moments. He turned on his heels and went to sit on her bed. Khushi went in defense mode when he picked up her journal on her bedside table. She quickly walked over and snatched it from him. "This is personal!"
"Why? We're friends'shouldn't you tell me your secrets? Oh wait'apparently you like to tell them last minute," he said, clenching his jaw and Khushi's heart stopped for a second. She knew he was seconds away from bringing up what she told him on his engagement day.
Throwing her journal in the first drawer she turned to leave but Arnav caught her wrist. "Arnav I need to go downstairs." She said in a stern voice. Arnav turned her around so she was facing him and held on to her shoulders.
"Why didn't you tell me earlier? Why did you wait last minute to tell me?" His facial expression showed pain.
"Just forget about what I said. You said it yourself, it was last minute so why care about it now?" She looked everywhere but at him.
"Forget? Are you out of your mind? You tell me something huge like that and you expect me to simply move on? Who do you think you are?" He said in an angry tone and Khushi shrugged his hands off.
"Apparently I'm no one! I'm no one! I'm but a mere friend, maybe even acquaintance and nothing else!"
"That's not true." Arnav said, sadly shaking his head.
"Yes it is! You NEVER said if you ever liked me more than a friend. Than a family friend. But all I can say is'Arnav you're so damn blind! How can you be so stupid?!" She said, holding her head as if it were about to explode.
"Tell me now! No more hinting words. Tell me clearly!" He retaliated.
"No! You KNOW what it is. If there are any doubts in your mind there shouldn't be because whatever you're thinking it is absolutely correct! Okay?!"
"Why don't you ask about how I feel then?"
"You don't feel anything!" Khushi said loudly then quickly tried to calm her anger so no one hears them.
"I do!" Only two words and it caught her off guard. What exactly did he mean? "You just brought up SOME of the things we did together. You think I actually don't remember? And do you really think that I did all that for fun? Khushi think!" He said as he grabbed her face between his hands. He felt her quick, short breaths on his face.
"I always thought that YOU didn't like me. Every single time you sent an email, my heart would swell with happiness but I never knew if you did that because you wanted to or because you felt like it was expected because our families are so close. I always wondered if you were bothered by me talking to you too much. I always wondered what you really thought of me. But you never told me what you told me a few days ago! I thought I should just suppress my feelings and move on and then you throw this grenade at me! Do YOU understand what I'm saying now?"
Khushi's breaths had stopped all together. It was after nearly half a minute of holding it in that she finally let it all out.
"But'your fianc," Khushi murmured and Arnav finally showed a little smile after all that anger. "You think that after knowing that the love of my life loves me back, I'm going to let her go?"
Khushi felt like her heart was in her throat. She heard it. He said it'that word that she had used for years and years to express her feelings for him. Love. She was the love of his life.
Unable to contain herself, she slammed herself against him and hugged him tightly. With newly formed tears falling on his shirt, she listened to the sound of his heartbeat right under her ear. This is where she belonged and it was finally happening!
Pulling back after sometime she looked up at him. "They're really going to wonder what happened to us."
With a smile, Arnav shook his head. "No. They know what's happening right now. We're here today for you."
Khushi had to cover her face with her hands. Way too much was happened in one day. She went from immense heartache to such joy that she thought her heart might just burst from the sudden conversion.
Arnav removed her hands and pulled her close to him. "You forgive me for all the tears I caused?" He asked and Khushi chuckled along with a nod, and all the while having tears roll down her cheeks.
"Chal," he said then thought again. He made her face him again. "I prefer your hair open," he said taking the elastic out of her hair and letting her hair flow like it always did. Khushi shyly grinned and hid into his chest as he hugged her once again before heading down to finalize what they'd come for.
That's that! Hope you liked it! Please yaaron, I put a lot of effort into this trying to make it all perfect. So it's not too much to ask, please just leave a comment or a like. Thank you SO much!
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