"Help me," Arnav pouted, raking his hand through the maze of his hairs, disheveling them.
"How does you mom handle you?" She asked him and got with him on folding his clothes.
"Like you," he winked at her.
She rolled her eyes and walked to the wardrobe to take the remaining clothes. As Arnav noticed, she was about to open the drawer, he went forward to stop her but he was very late.
"Arnav," she gasped.
"Uh Khushi," he was embarrassed.
She burst out laughing. "Oh My God, hahaha," she could not control her splits. "Superman Underwear, like really? and you teased me for my pajama's,"
He was face palmed, too flustered. Since, she was no where to be stop, he cornered her against the wall, her arms stuck to the wall, as their hands stayed their entwined, their body pressing to each other, "Shh!"
And her laugh had vanished, she was hypnotized. He forgot all about his embarrassment. The moment was too perfect, too magical. They were gazing in each other's eyes, in stupor. He was about to kiss her, their breath fanning each other.
A knock snapped them, "Sorry," Arnav mumbled and took his colourful underwears to put in his handbag. He was finding it hard, but he would do anything to regain his focus. He ached to be with her.
Khushi was dazled, her face was in the beauty shades of red, she had never been this close to anyone willingly but with Arnav it was different. The closeness, instead of repulsing her, made her crave more. She wanted to mold her body in his. To kiss him deeply. She shook her head.
To think about it, she found it rather exciting, rather pulsating if her spouse, Arnav, was to wear those colorful underwears... Spouse.. Arnav. Her eyes bulged. What was she thinking?
The knock sounded. "Khushi," came the voice.
"Dad," she was brought back from her stupor.
Arnav realized that he forgot to open the door, too lost in his thoughts. He went and opened the door, while she went to the washroom to pick his toiletries.
"Uncle," Arnav smiled.
"What happened, why were you not opening the door?" he asked them.
"Uncle, we didn't hear," he said sheepishly. "I was too focused in getting scolded by your daughter," he diverted the topic, not wanting to embarrass her, regarding their little special moment.
Maybe, if the knock hadn't come, they would have kissed. But it would have complicated everything. He needed some time, to know himself properly and then came to her, with his whole self.
Khushi whined focusing on the topic, "And I am right, who forgets to pack his luggage," she was mortified at that.
"We are done, don't worry," he assured her with a smile.
Shashank looked at them and his lips twitched. He didn't pass a comment or a remark as he didn't want to faze them. He was no kid, not to apprehend why it took them time. He had been there, he had been young and he had sneaked little moments too with his wife before their wedding..
Any other father from his community would have burst on their daughter but not him. He knew his daughter and he knew Arnav, he trust them. He had seen enough in this life to know who was genuine and who not.
In the first meeting itself, he saw the honesty in Arnav's eyes. A person's word maybe a lie, a person's smile may be a lie but not eyes. Because eyes directly emoted feelings from heart. These two organs were connected deeply. Be it happiness or sadness, it was the eyes that reflect the feelings of heart.
He was just little worried since Arnav was going back, he didn't know how would their relations shape. He just hoped for the best.
"Time to go Arnav," Shashank finally said the difficult words.
Arnav nodded, an immense pain rose in his heart. He was going to miss this badly, how he didn't wish to go back but he had. He had too many things to do before he could attempt to confess.
"I am waiting in the car," Shashank said giving them a moment and left the room.
"Please don't go," she said tearfully.
He walked to her and took her in his arms. "I have to..." he said sadly.
"Take this too, for you, your parents," she gave him a tiffin.
"What's that?" he asked her opening the lid.
"Laddo, I made them," she said as a tear streamed down.
"If they remain till I reach there," he winked at her wiping the tear, his heart hurting.
"Don't." she chided him. "Eat it with your family," she warned him.
"Alright, just one now," he said taking out one ladoo. He split in two and fed her one half and ate the together.
He was eating with his family, she was a part of it, his heart filled with warmth.
"You never made me talk to your parents," she asked.
"To be honest, I forgot about my parents being with you all, it was only back at the apartment that I remembered them. I promise, I will make them talk to you when I reach there," he smiled at her.
Together, they walked to the car, as Arnav wheeled the bag and a duffle bag hung on his shoulder.
She kept staring at him, afraid to move her gaze. Arnav put his luggage in her father' car. "I will miss you," she said for the umpteenth time, she just could not control it.
He closed the dickey as Raj put his bag as well. He said looking at her. "I will too, but we will meet soon. And you know what, if friendship stays even when there is distance it is true friendship, just let's say it is a testing for our friendship, which I am sure it is. Aint it?" He assured her and she nodded, "Are you coming to drop me?"
She shook her head and looked sideways, "I can't see you going," her voice shrilling.
"I will miss you," his heart broke. He had a lot to say but he had a lot to do before that.
"I will miss you too," she hugged him tightly.
"Oh! I forgot to put the keys in my landlord's office, now he will open after half an hour only," Arnav yelped.
"Don't worry, I will give him," she said. Shaking her head altogether at his ways.
Arnav said "you are a life savior," he thrust the keys in her hand.
"Now go, before I lock you up," she parted the hug and turned to the other side.
His breath hitched. He wanted to say... He wanted to confess he loved her... Yes he loved her yet it would have to wait.
"I will come back soon but If I can't come, please do come, I will wait for you," he said out of blue.
"I will come," she uttered, the words flowed in natural way. He hugged her and hurriedly sat in the car, craving to stop back but he had to go. She bid bye to Raj too, he acknowledged with a smile.
I will wait for you... I will come... A promise that didn't need many words or assurance, the little words and eyes' assurance was enough.
They promised to meet soon.
A silent promise that it was not just friendship but a lot more. And they would wait to realize that.
She saw with tears beaming in her eyes as the car drove away... Away... Away... Till it disappeared.
As he entered in the empty classroom, not so empty though, as he saw Alex on his knees in front Aliya. "Come on you can do it," she encouraged him.
Aman's heart galloped in fear, no she could not move on this quickly, although she had uttered those words but her eyes said the opposite.
"I will keep you happy, more than love I will respect you, I love you. Please marry me?" Alex said with his smoldering eyes.
Aman saw Aliya's lips curving in a smile and he felt as if she was going to say a yes. "No, she will not," Aman interrupted them.
"Uh oh," Alex exclaimed. "I will let you deal this on your own. Thanks Aliya. I am going to propose Emma, bye guys," he took his leave.
A sigh of relief escaped Aman, they were doing a mock proposal. "Is there something more left to say?" Aliya said with anger.
"Yes, a lot more," he said and with one swift action, he had cornered her. "I love you,"
Aliya was dazzled. "What?"
"I love you," he repeated. "I had not kissed you that day in a weak moment but because I had been stealing glances at you. Till that, I have never kissed Bipasha but I did kiss you because you are special. I was with Bipasha because our parents wanted us to try being with each other. We have broken up. Today, I had been so jealous, more than ever but I promise I will never repeat this. I love you," he said and lowered his head, to kiss her, she was in a stupor.
His lips were a millimeter away, when she regained her senses and placed her palm on his lips. "No kisses," she told her, although her heart galloping. "If you really love me, ask my hand to my parents. I want this once to do all the traditional way."
He held her hand that rest on his manly lips, she shivered, "If that is what you want," he kissed her forehead.
"I will talk to my parents today itself. You can confess back too," he said with excitement.
"You made me wait so long," she whined. "I love you too," she blushed and hugged him.
He felt complete. The missing piece fitting in the place.
Aliya thanked Arnav and Khushi in her heart, they were right. He loved her, that was why ignoring him worked. She was happy, although she was sad that Arnav was going but delighted that she had Aman, the man she loved.
Instead of waiting by the landlord's office, she went back in Arnav's flat, to feel his presence.
"Arnav," she sighed as she sat on his bed, caressing it,feeling his presence, his aura. "I hope we meet soon." she heartily wished.
"Arnav, you have stepped away from me a few minutes back and it feels like a part of me is going away..." she just sat there, unaware of the time until her mobile phone chimed.
She picked up quickly as Arnav's flashed on her mobile. "Arnav," she fought back her sobs. Why did he matter to her like no one else did?
"Don't cry, promise me, it hurts," he said in despair.
"I will try not to," she said as she wiped her tears.
"Now that is like an intelligent woman," he praised her, although his own heart was so in pain. "I have boarded the plane and have settled my self on my seat, the plan is about to land off soon." He informed her, giving her full detail. He already considered her his everything.
He felt it was his responsibility to tell her everything about himself. Khushi was stranger to him till a month back but today, she had become an important part of him, a part of his life. He could no longer visualize his life without her presence. He had to meet her soon, be back to her soon, because he belonged to her only.
"I have to go now, the air-host is telling me to switch of the mobile... I will call you as soon as I land there, miss you, bye," he said with hollowness spewing in his entire body.
"Take care, miss you too, bye," she said her heart filling with emptiness.
As she put her mobile on the bed, her hand hit something, her eyes turned there and she saw a few books on photography. "In the rush, he forgot and I didn't notice too," she shook her head and picked it up.
Casually, she flickered through the books and her hands halted, her eyes bulged out. She was baffled. "Arnav," and here she was taking his for umpteenth time in the last few hours.
She was flabbergasted and then realization gushed in her heart, with a satisfying warmth. "He loves me..." she smiled widely as she drew her hand over the countless times Khushi scribbled on the pages, in Arnav's hand-writing.
"Do I love him?" She questioned herself. Closing her eyes and every moments with Arnav flashed in her mind and she craved to be with him. To hear him, to smile together, to laugh. She needed him, she wanted hil... She loved him. Her eyes opened wide with the awareness.
The realization set her free, she felt happiness, pure happiness. She laughed with joy. "I love you Arnav," and her smile died, he was going.
"I have to tell him," She rushed to her mobile and dialed his number.
"The number you are dying is currently switched off," came the automate reply.
"He is gone," she pouted and she looked at another book and she was greeted with the same.
"why hadn't he told me?" She went into retrospection, trying to know the reason as she flipped the pages and the same was adorned on each page.
When they met, he flirted with her and she rebuked him. Then he flirted with Annabelle and she wanted to save her, they were at each other's head and were enemies. Steadily over their detention, as she threw the drink on him and they got punished, they could bear each other. So many things happened and they became friends. Best-friends, she corrected herself. He changed.
The point being he was a flirt, harmless friend as he used to call him himself, she shook her head, but over the time, as he came close to her, he had changed. He had changed into a better person.
"So is he hiding it from me because he thinks he can be back to before, as he had expressed his fear. He wants to fight his insecurities, he wants to make himself worthy of me," she was amazed. "Idiot,"
"Arnav I will give you some time till I can come to you because I want to let you know my Arnav is strong, stronger than you know," she was determined. "I still hope you will come to me before I come to you," she said flickering her finger on her jaw.
"I will do anything for my love, for All It's Worth," she promised herself with love in her heart, increasing every minute.
She went to the washroom and her eyes halted on his T-shirt, the one he wore during the presentation. "If he keeps on doing the packing at last minute, he would leave a treasure behind. Good that he did this once," she blushed as she kissed his shirt, where his heart must have laid.
Taking the shirt, she put in her hand-bag, she used the washroom and checking if he had taken everything, she gave the keys to the landlord.
As she felt the heaviness of her bag, she was reminded two most priced gifts were in there, his books with her name and his shirt. She smiled shyly. She wanted to go to him soon, very soon.
Typing to Mon Amour Khushi, 'Plane landed just now. Miss you so much.'
Yes, Mon Amour Khushi. As soon as Arnav had sat in the plane, he had called her and then changed her name to that. And he had switched of the phone. After the take off, he had switched on his mobile on plane mode, he went through her pictures, their last selfie and he just wanted to want to fly back to her but he had a goal to accomplish before. He would go back to India and wait for her, in case she came before he could make her way to her but he was sure it would be soon. Because, he simply could not leave without her.
He set their selfie as his screensaver, only to be seen by Raj, who teased him a lot and he could do nothing but blush.
He had never loved anyone like he loved her. Not even himself.
Now he had several goals before he made his confession.
First in his list was to get under an expert for internship, as he was promised by his professors in London, they must have transmitted the report back in his college.
Second was to try to establish his own foot in photography, even if at little level but do something about it. He wanted to provide Khushi, although he knew she was capable enough to earn money but he wanted to be a Man, whose wife didn't need to work unless she herself wanted.
Third was the most important... To see if he could stay determined on his promise. To lead the right way and make himself worthy of her.
She was his life, his breath. He would give his every beat For All It's Worth and he was sure, his love was worth more than anything and everything, more than the world. Even though he had haywire ways in past but he was changing and he hoped to get a chance at love, extreme love, For All It's worth.
To be continued...
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