Beyond words

When eyes and souls connect

Chapter 23: Realization

on May 17, 2013

Arnav held the crumpled piece of paper in his hand. Making the first move in relationships had not been his style. He opened it to read “Jeth ji, friendship MEANS much to me. It has to be earned.”

Arnav felt a frisson of anger radiate through his being. “How dare she.. What did she think of herself?”. He read the note again noticing the capitalized “MEANS”. Was she telling him something. His mind went back to the last conversation they had after the Diwali night.

“For me you or whatever happened tonight MEAN nothing”

He sunk to the ground, his back against the bed frame. The images played in succession in his head. The hurt in her eyes as he backed away after leaning in to kiss her that Diwali night. The tear that escaped her eyes when he stood with Lavanya announcing they were to get married. The devastation on her face at her doorstep as he uttered those cruel words dismissing everything she had felt in one swoop.

almostkissKhushiCryingbreakingdown

How had he even expected her to respond to his offer of friendship? She was right. He would have to earn her trust before her friendship let alone love.

“Love?”

Did he actually say that?

Khushi sat by the window sill. The full moon poured a silky light all over her room. Her hair was open. Her thoughts far away.

Arnav. Not Arnav ji. She had earned the right to be his equal. Hadn’t she? This time they would start out as equals.

“Can we start afresh? As friends.”

The note had been burned into her memory. What did he want from her? He had destroyed her that night hadn’t he? She knew as well as he did that what had happened was not an impulse. They had been drawn to each other as moths to the fire. Writing her reply had been difficult. She knew how hard it would have been for him to take the first step. Arnav Singh Raizada never asked for anything. He demanded and got away with it. If he wanted to her in his life in any capacity, he would have to earn that right this time.

She looked at the sky. The bright light of the moon had overshadowed the stars. She knew her parents were up there watching over her. She had to sleep.

Tomorrow Jiji would be engaged.

payalphone

Payal sat in the living room clutching the phone. Akash ji had called for the third time that evening. He was besotted. She had to give it to him. For all his mild manners, he was a wild horse at this romance thing. She half expected him to pop in to her room through the window next. Life was good.

Akash couldn’t believe himself. Tomorrow he was going to be engaged to the girl of his dreams. His Payal. The first time he had seen her at the market looking for dupattas, he had fallen hook, line and sinker. Growing up with a mom who believed in flaunting, he craved for the simplicity that Payal offered. He needed someone silent and strong. Someone who would stand with him. By his side. Not ahead. Not behind. A partner.

Anjali watched the moonlight filter in through the window. The drapes moved in the breeze sending shadows dancing on the walls. Tomorrow one of her brothers would be engaged. She sighed wistfully at the thought. When would she see Chottey’s eyes shine with happiness the way Akash’s did? Would she ever see him laugh. In the fourteen years since he had taken responsibility for their well-being, he had been a man on a mission. He hid behind his pain. His heart was shuttered in making them impregnable to hurt. He used cynicism as a shield and held a grudge against the fates for leaving him without a mother’s love to cocoon him. She had done her best but what he needed was a shore for his soul to moor itself. A sunny, calming presence that could heal away the hurt and apply balm to his troubled soul. An image of Khushi inveigled itself into her conscious. If there was one girl who fit the bill it was Khushi but Chottey seemed to always get off on the wrong foot with her.

arnavkhushi3

Devi Maiyya, please make Chottey see sense she whispered as exhaustion overcame her.

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2 responses to “Chapter 23: Realization

  1. loved it akash ia so smitten he keeps calling and loved the note asr has to come better that that loved the update

  2. fijiankudi says:

    If only Anjali had thought of Khushi and Arnav before she tried to force La on him. In all this she hurt both Khushi and La !
    Paypal and her expectaions lol If only Akash would jump thru that window! akash bitwa too is growing up by leaps and bounds.

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