Khushi sobbed violently into his shirt and shook her head in denial, no no no, you don’t need him, he didn’t need her, it was so easy for him to just cut her away like an unwanted appendage and just look at you – you can’t even serve him his just deserts – that Laad Governor will just get away with murder once again soch le – she warned herself.
A pair of warm familiar arms wrapped themselves around her, “Shh Khhushhii its ok shhh” he breathed softly into her ears.
For a blissful precious few moments she soaked it in bemused and dazed in her overwrought state – was she dreaming? Arnav was in office wasn’t he? She stiffened and jerked away and stared up at Arnav accusingly her face awash with tears, “Aa..aap?” she said stiffly and moved away from the cozy comfort of his arms.
“Tum theek ho?” he asked abruptly even as he raised his hand to brush away her tears.
Immediately she moved back and scrubbed her face clean with his shirt, “Ha…an hu…hum theek hai,” she said distantly, “Woh….woh something went into my eye,” she dismissed airily.
“Kya? Lemme see,” Arnav moved forward.
“Na…nahi,” she squeaked and moved back instantly, “Ab theek hai,” she vigorously rubbed her face and nose once again on his shirt.
“Mera shirt kyon kharab kar rahi ho?” he protested mildly.
“Don’t worry I will have it washed and ironed,” she said coldly.
“Mera shirt mujhe wapas karo,” he insisted.
“Here take it, but its dirty,” she held it out to him without looking at him.
He caught hold of her arm and pulled her at her resisting frame, “Yeh kya kar rahein hai aap?” she glared at him.
“Meri Khushi mujhe wapas karo,” he muttered huskily looking deep into her eyes; her heart stopped and began beating furiously.
Khushi jerked away from him instantly, “Kyon?” she snapped ferociously, “hum koi doll hain kya, jab mann kiya khel liya aur jab mann kiya chucked it into the dustbin?” she gritted her teeth and held on to her anger grimly willing the tears not to spill over, “Sorry to disappoint you but the garbage has been disposed off,” she flounced away with a twirl.
But Arnav’s reflexes were still intact, he caught hold of her and swung her back into his arms, “I am sorry Khushi, forgive me please?” he mumbled penitently as she stood stiffly within the circle of his arms.
Khushi yearned to just forget it all and sink into the blissful oblivion of his embrace – it was ages since he had held her, spoken to her in this warm tone or even looked at her, “Forgive you for what Arnav?” she moved away to a safe distance, “For not loving me? Did you ever even actually ‘love me’? Hume toh nahi lagta,” her voice broke, “I think you were challenged and intrigued by me, the fact that a chit of a girl with no aukat, no money could stand up to you irked you no end, you couldn’t rest till you had conquered this deal, ensured this merger,” she swallowed, “of course physical attraction too played a role and then Di handed you the perfect excuse,” she shrugged, “phir kya tha, all defenses demolished, merger complete, deal done, and packed away,” her voice faded away.
“Khushiiii,” Arnav cupped her face and forced her to look at him.
She swallowed painfully, “And now that you are bored of this ‘deal’ you want to clear your table for a new and more interesting deal,” her throat was raw and scratched from pent up emotions.
“Khushi, don’t torture yourself like this please,” Arnav shook his head as he caressed her cheeks with his thumb wiping away her tears as they spilled over, “Aisa nahi hai I promise, you misunderstand me, I agree I was very hurtful but that wasn’t because I don’t love you,” he paused and shook her gently, “It was because…because,” he hesitated and then admitted shamefacedly, “because main darr gaya tha.”
He dropped his hands and turned away; he thrust his hands into his pockets as he stared outside, “When the deal blew up in our faces, it was like I was 14 once again, standing outside Sheesh Mahal,” his voice was barely above a whisper and Khushi had to move closer to hear him, “like I was at the airport as Sheetal dumped me,” he drew a ragged breath, “Like I was at the terrace once again with you in…his arms. And then the last straw, if my own brother could do it, the brother who never took any action without my permission, the very brother of whom I was so confident would break off his marriage at my command,” he dropped defeatedly on to the recliner; he leaned forward resting his elbows on his thighs and buried his head in his hands.
Khushi sank down beside him and held his hands, he reluctantly raised his head and looked at her regretfully his eyes bloodshot, “My parents, my chacha, my first love, my brother in law, my cousin, who was next,” he paused and looked away; with an effort he dragged his eyes back to her, “You?” he said in a painful whisper, “I think I went sort of mad, ruin stared at me, bankruptcy was a foregone conclusion, the media would have my blood, I could just see them hounding my family,” he shuddered, “I…I just couldn’t ask you to stay on when I had nothing to offer you, and…and worse I couldn’t…couldn’t bear the thought of you staying on because of pity, duty, I…I just couldn’t,” he got up with a jerk and paced the room restlessly; he ran an agitated hand through his hair, “I don’t know what I was thinking, I guess I wasn’t thinking straight, all I remember thinking was that it would be best if I were alone…” he trailed off.
“For then nobody could hurt you, dump you betray you,” Khushi finished for him.
Arnav looked at her helplessly, “You know Arnav I agree aapke saath bahut bura hua and life has been unfair to you, but then it still hurts to know that even after so many years you still haven’t understood me, you still don’t trust me,” her voice broke, “what kind of a relationship do we have if you do not trust me, have no faith in me?” her tears began flowing in earnest.
“Khushi,” he drew her into his arms, “Aisa nahi hai that I don’t trust you, but I…I guess I just lost my head, I could see no way out and the possibility that I could lose you was preying heavily on my mind and the only solution in my twisted thinking was to push you away before you pushed me away, I am sorry Khushi I am sorry,” their tears intermingled and washed away the past egged on by the RV that softly and hesitantly slithered in through the crack in the doorway.
Click here for https://mysilverstreaks.com/silver-streaks/chapter-412-party-poopers/Chapter 412