For Nancy (lexaxel) who hearts the Raizada pool
OS: A Poolside Proposal
"Marry me!" It was less of a question, more of a statement.
Khushi whirled around at the sound of his voice. His gazed
was fixed on hers with such intensity that it scared her. She lowered her eyes
for a second. Then she turned back around to the french windows she'd been
staring out of. They were by the pool in his home. Payal and Akash's engagement
had just happened. Everyone was in the living room eating dinner and chatting.
Khushi had escaped at an opportune moment.
She needed some air. She felt cloistered in there. In that
room. With that man staring at her all the time. Having to pretend everything
was alright. When in fact, nothing was OK. Nothing. She had never loved Shyam.
But she had believed in his sincerity. Her family's trust in him had been the
sole reason to consent to an engagement that she knew would never make her
happy. Now that trust was gone. She was free of a relationship that she had
never wanted in the first place. But her family's happiness was at stake. She
couldn't stand to have them hurt. They had rallied around her. But she knew
they were worried about Payal's engagement. She felt like she was the harbinger
of bad luck for Payal. And she had determined that this time, Payal's wedding
would happen. If that meant not exposing Shyam's actions to his wife and her
family, so be it. It was wrong, and she knew it. And she was prepared to face
the consequences at a later date. For now, she just wanted to get through this
"Did you hear me Khushi Kumari Gupta? I said, marry me!"
said ASR imperiously.
"I heard you. I thought you mistook me for Lavanya. She's in
the living room. And she's already agreed to marry you. Remember?" said Khushi
without turning around.
"Look at me when I'm talking to you!" he held her by the
arms and whirled her round to face him. She pushed his arms off angrily. "Don't
manhandle me. I've had enough of being used by men!" she snapped.
His eyes narrowed. "Is that what he did? Your fianc? Did he
hurt you? What did he do to you dammit? I'll kill him. I'll kill the bas***d."
"Let it go. Please. I have. I'm hungry. I'm going back to
get some food."
"Not until you answer me."
"What is it that you want ASR? I'm exhausted. I can't do
this anymore. I can't fight with you anymore. Please. Leave me be."
"Marry me Khushi!" he said softly. He looked into her eyes
as he said it. They were luminous pools of genuine shock at that moment.
"Rubbish! You're getting engaged and I'm.." her voice
"Let me be clear. I'm not getting engaged. At least, not to
Lavanya. I broke up with her yesterday. As for your engagement. I don't care if
you are engaged to someone else. Break it off! I know you don't love him. He
clearly hurt you, for which I will gladly break his face someday. But for now,
I'll settle for you agreeing to marry me. Please, Khushi."
"No." She turned away and made to walk away. He held her
hand tightly, not letting her go.
"Why not? You know you want to," He said.
"Forget my feelings. Why do you want to marry me?' she asked
"Because you haunt my dreams, and waking up to a reality
without you every day is like living life in black and white. Stark. Colorless.
"Huh? In English please," she said, looking puzzled.
He sighed. This was one of her most endearing traits. A
total lack of understanding of the concept of subtlety. With Khushi Kumari
Gupta you had to lay your cards on the table. No gentle hints worked with her.
"Because you make me happy. Now, are you happy? I said it," he said, a little
angry at having his hand forced thus.
"I make you happy?" she cocked an eyebrow. "You mean like
when you yell at me for, oh, I don't know, breathing? That makes you happy? Or
when you taunt me about my poverty? That makes you happy? Screaming at me for
trying to help Lavanya? That makes you happy? You are such a sadist. But, I'm
not a masochist. I don't enjoy inflicting pain on myself. So, the answer is No.
Now, will you please let me go. I'm not marrying you. Or anyone else, for that
matter. I've had it with men!" she tried to wrench her hand away.
"You're not getting married? Your engagement was called
off?" he asked, intensely curious, his heart racing suddenly.
"I broke it off. But that doesn't mean I'm marrying you! I'm
not. Will you let me go. Don't be such a caveman!" she said, tugging on her
wrist in vain.
"Not until you let me answer your questions. Want to know
how you make me happy? You make me happy when you come in to work every morning
with a sunny smile playing on your lips. You make me happy when you make my
family laugh with your ridiculous antics. You make me happy when you bring me a
glass of cold milk for my poor, ulcerated insides. You make me happy when you find
a silver coin in a bag of detergent and dance around with glee. You make me
happy when you laugh that silvery laugh of yours, when you're teaching Lavanya
to cook. Or talking to Di about something. Or telling Nani how Lakshmi loves
gulab jamuns. And I want to be the one to make you laugh. To put that smile on
your face. I want to make you happy, because your happiness is entwined with
mine. In fact, it's the same thing. Your joy is mine. Seeing you happy, makes
me happy. Now, for heavens' sakes Khushi, marry me!"
"Because I don't want to," She said stubbornly.
"Oh! You totally want to. I don't know why you're holding
back. But it's not because you don't want to," he said letting go of her. She
stepped away, rubbing her wrists where he'd held her tightly.
"I don't!" she said indignantly. She backed away from him a
little. He walked towards her purposefully. There was a fire shining in his
eyes that she'd seen once before. At this very place. On Diwali night. She
stepped back, alarmed. That hadn't ended well. But she had no place to go. And
he kept coming towards her, and she kept stepping back. Until he had her backed
her against the wall, just like that evening. Her eyes looked into his. Afraid.
Expectant. Her lips quivered. Her heart pounded. She shivered a little. He put
his hand up to her cheek, caressing it lightly. Her eyes closed, and she
clutched at the sides of her dress with her hands to prevent them from going up
to encircle his neck. He bent towards her lips, and she wanted it. She wanted
him to kiss her. Now. His lips were almost on hers when he backed away. For a
moment, she didn't know what had happened. Then her eyes flew open.
"You totally want to!" he said smirking at her obvious
"Go to hell!" she said, chest heaving.
"Marry me, and I'll take you with me."
"Flattering! That's what girls like. To be told they'll be
taken to hell after marriage."
"So, that's a yes?" he asked doubtfully.
"No, you fool. It's a No."
"But why?" he pouted like a little boy who'd been thwarted.
"It's my life. Do I need to explain why I don't want to
marry you?" she asked.
"You need to explain why you won't marry me even though you
want to. There's a difference."
"Because I. Because I." she stopped, unsure of what to say.
"Because you what?" he asked. "You don't even have a good
reason not to." He said gently.
"More importantly, I don't have a good reason to marry you!"
she shot back.
"Khushi. I already said it. You make me happy. And I want to
spend my life making you happy. What else do you want?" he asked exasperated.
"Do you love me?" she asked slyly, looking at him.
"Errm. Ummm. Sure. I guess." He said, cornered.
"You guess? You guess? This is why I won't marry you. I
don't want to marry a man who guesses he loves me!"
"Like you're sure you love me!" he asked angrily.
"You know I do!" she said quietly.
"Dammit Khushi. If you love me why won't you marry me?"
"Because you haven't said you love me."
"Does everything have to be spoken out loud? Surely you know
how I feel about you? I go crazy when I don't see you for an entire day. I
worry when you're late coming in to work, or your sister calls saying you
haven't gotten home yet. Your tears disturb me. Your bleeding finger hurts me.
The thought of another man touching you sickens me. And the idea of you
marrying anyone but me is incomprehensible to me."
"So, you love me?" she asked doubtfully.
"Yes, baba. Now, marry me."
"Are you asking me or telling me?"
"Are you going to, or do I have to make you?" he countered.
"Either way, looks like we're getting married," she said.
"That's a yes, right?" he asked, wanting to make sure.
"Yes, it's a yes. Let's go tell everyone. I want to tell
Jiji!" she exclaimed excitedly.
"Not so fast. We have some unfinished business," he pulled
her close. "This pool has
witnessed too many almost kisses and near hugs. I want a bone-crushing hug and
a kiss to melt the ice-caps!" he said.
"After all these months of blowing hot and blowing cold on me, suddenly, you're all about making your intentions crystal
clear!" she said exasperatedly, throwing her hands around his neck. "Now,
where were we?" she smiled up at him.
I thought today's episode was awesome. I crushed on ASR a little more than usual. So, this OS was born. Tell me what you think folks.
My other works:
Highway to Hell
Edited by madmaxine - 18 December 2011 at 5:46am