Khushi and Arnav were coming closer day by day, though they never spoke about it openly. They shared a great chemistry when it came to writing. They were working on the Barun-Sanaya story currently. Arnav always kept trying to know more about Khushi's past. But she was careful enough not to reveal it. At times, Arnav felt frustrated as to why Khushi was not telling him anything. But then he used to think, "Whatever her past is, I just want her future to be mine!"
Khushi was in her room blushing as she thought about Arnav. "Arnav" she whispered feeling every bit of it. She was lost into her thoughts when her phone began ringing. It was Baba. She accepted the call...
"Hello Baba!!" she said, excitement clear through her voice.
"Hello beta... You seem very happy, haan?" asked Baba.
"Nothing Baba... Just feeling good, you know! Feeling great, actually!" Khushi said happily.
Baba was glad to see Khushi happy. "So, you like being here, haan? So much that you forgot your Baba..." he said teasing her, acting to be sad.
"Oh no no Baba!" replied Khushi, "Ofcourse, I miss you..."
"You would have called me if you did..." teased Baba, "It's been two days since we spoke!"
Khushi realized now that she didn't even think about Baba all this time. She felt bad, guilty rather. "How are you, Baba?" asked she.
"Mujhe kya hoga beta, I am fine" replied Baba. "You say, is everything alright there? How's your work going? Are you enjoying it?"
Khushi felt that Baba's voice was not as fresh as usual. He seemed weak. "Baba, are you taking your medicines properly?" she asked, concerned.
"Yes Khushi... Don't worry about me" he said, but Khushi could feel that he was not feeling very well.
They spoke for some more time and the call ended.
"I should go see Baba... Why am I feeling that he needs me?" thought Khushi.
Khushi, Arnav, Kaveri Mausi and Ramu Kaka were sitting around the table having dinner. Arnav was very happy since that evening... His attraction towards Khushi was increasing every passing day. Khushi was sitting by his side. He was waiting for Khushi to say something... something more... something that he wanted to hear from her... But Khushi was not even looking at him. He was trying to seek her attention in every possible way. He tried by dropping his spoon down on purpose, he tried by telling Khushi to pass on the curry to him, he tried gently kicking Khushi's leg and then saying sorry for the "mistake". But nothing was working. Though Khushi didn't notice Arnav's desperation to talk to her, Kaveri Mausi surely did. She was closely watching everything. And even Ramu Kaka couldn't ignore it.
Finally Arnav cleared his throat to speak something. He said looking at Kaveri Mausi, "Kaveri Mausi, you know that tomorrow is the inauguration of that new Book store in Mumbai. And they have invited me for the same.." Kaveri Mausi nodded remembering the invitation call. Arnav continued, "Khushi, it would be great if you too come along!"
Khushi was not listening. She was lost in her own thoughts. Arnav notice that. She seemed worried about something. Arnav placed his hand on hers and said, "Khushi? Kya hua? Is everything okay?"
Khushi resumed to the present. "Sorry Sir, I was just..." she paused and then said "You were saying something, Sir?"
"Again 'Sir'?!!" said Arnav, "What have I told you!"
"I mean... Arnav" said Khushi correcting herself, but she didn't blush now as before.
"What is it, Khushi?" asked Arnav, still holding her hand. "Something is troubling you... I know that!"
"Sir, if you don't mind, may I go and meet Baba tomorrow? I will be back by evening... Please?" requested Khushi.
"Well, yes..." said Arnav, "But why? I mean... Why so suddenly?"
Khushi told him about the call. Arnav had to agree, though he wanted her to come with him for the inauguration function. He knew how important Baba was for her. And Arnav would have loved to accompany Khushi to her home, but he couldn't miss the inauguration as it was planned long back.
Next morning, Arnav had arranged for a cab for Khushi. Arnav told her to inform him after she reached home..
Khushi reached home. It was a surprise for Baba. "Khushi?!! How come you are here?" he exclaimed as he hugged her gently. His eyes watered with happiness. It was over two weeks that he had not met his dear grand-daughter.
Khushi could see he had grown a bit weaker. "What is this, Baba! Arey you not eating properly? See, you have become weaker than when I had left from here!" scolded Khushi.
"Nothing like that, dear... I am perfectly fine!" Baba tried to convince her. But Khushi knew her Baba very well. She knew that he missed her a lot.
Khushi and Baba sat there chatting after so many days. Baba felt rejuvenated after meeting Khushi. He was very happy. Khushi was telling him about everything at Panchgani and he listened curiously. And in all this, Khushi missed to inform Arnav that she had reached home.
Arnav was walking up and down the passage restlessly. Why has Khushi not called yet? Has she not reached yet? She should have by now... Did she forget to call me? But I had reminded her to inform me...
"What happened Arnav?" asked Kaveri Mausi, seeing him restless.
"Khushi has not called yet, Mausi... I had told her to inform me as soon as she reached home!" said Arnav looking at his phone screen.
Kaveri Mausi smiled to herself looking at Arnav's condition. "If you care so much, why don't you call her and check?" she said.
"I will wait for some time... Maybe she'll call..." said Arnav and continued walking to and fro.
Khushi had not called yet. Arnav couldn't wait any more and was somewhat angry too. He finally dialed Khushi's number.
Khushi was busy talking to Baba after so many days. She looked at her ringing phone...
"Arnav?" she wondered for a while and then she realized she had not called him. "Oh no! I should have called!" she said as she picked up the call. "Hello..." she said, preparing herself for the bombardment of angry words of Arnav.
Arnav took a deep breath trying to compose himself. "Where are you? Did you reach home?" he asked trying to be as calm as possible.
Khushi was surprised that Arnav didn't scold her. "Yes, I reached here about an hour ago..." she told Arnav.
There was silence for a moment.
"How is Baba?" asked Arnav.
"He is fine... Little weak.. But fine" replied Khushi.
Arnav didn't say anything. Khushi could feel that Arnav was very upset with her.
"I am really sorry, I should have called you, but I just forgot..." Khushi was trying to explain Arnav.
But now Arnav couldn't control anymore... "Forgot?!!" he yelled, "How can you?!... I had told you several times to call me when you reach... You should have told me Khushi! Do you even know how restless I have been waiting for your call... Scary thoughts were troubling my mind, Khushi... I was waiting for your call... Why don't you understand Khushi! I care for you!" Arnav was speaking with intensity. Khushi was surprised at this. She didn't know what to say. She just kept listening silently.
"Why don't you understand!" continued Arnav, "There is someone waiting for you, Khushi!" Khushi's heartbeats rose. The emotions grew intense as Arnav spoke further. "You know Khushi? I was never so close to anyone as I am to you. I feel good when you are around. You make my life beautiful. I miss you when you are not with me... I miss you when I can't see you... I am missing you even now! I want you to be with me Khushi... Everyday, every moment... I want you to be mine..." He paused for a moment and then said, "I love you, Khushi!"
There was an awkward silence. Khushi's eyes were wet. Arnav's throat was dry after speaking so much with all his heart. The only sound both could hear over the phone was of each other's breath. Khushi was stunned at her place. Baba was staring at her perplexed at her reaction. Khushi felt her body go numb. Her mind was not working. Arnav realised that maybe he had spoken too much at a a time. Maybe Khushi needed some time.
Arnav broke the silence saying, "Will be waiting for you in the evening. Come soon..." And he ended the call.