Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Chapter Seventeen: Vine's Grip


The night passed where Khushi didn't want to play or talk to Raja, making him whimper and put his head on the floor. On her front, in her white salwar, Khushi would lay on the bed with her arms wrapped round her face, so Raja wouldn't see her quiet tears. Raja knowing all would quietly sit beside her, nudging his nose on her elbow to let him in. However, Khushi couldn't explain what she was feeling. Each time she'd sleep she'd dream of those close moments with Arnav, she'd sit up sweating and feeling embarrassingly guilty, that she had dreamt of Arnav that way. She'd cry not even able to write it to Raja in her diary. This journey to discover what love is, felt cut off short making her decide she needed a few days to think before moving on....Well I have to try.


4 days passed since that day and Khushi's mood was getting better, but with still visible cracks. Aman knew that Khushi was sad for some reason, however with her keeping mum about it he did what he could do to bring happiness and smiles on her face. Aman would make sure she wouldn't stay gloomy for long and every time she refused to come out of the cottage in her free time, he'd carry her to places instead. Even though Khushi would pout all the way there, Aman could always feel a soft gentle smile grow on her lips against his chest. That was enough for him. 
Khushi would sometimes secretly look up to see Aman's cheery face, which was determined to do what ever it takes to get her out of this phase. He doesn't even know...and he's still doing all this for me... Khushi had a warm fuzzy feeling in her making her close her eyes peacefully.
Aman: "Hey Khushi?"
Khushi looked up at Aman causing him to smile.
Aman: "I was wondering whether you can help me cook tomorrow. You make really nice sweets. You always think of the best ones. hmm? What do you say?"
Khushi relaxed thinking over the idea before snuggling closer to Aman.
Aman chuckled: "I'll take that as a yes then."

Decorations was well underway for the engagement with it being 3 days away. Madhu, Khushi, Raja and Aman were helping. Khushi seemed unaffected helping out for Arnav's engagement, however there were moments where she'd feel sadness and twinges of envy. Each time a part of decorations were complete she'd  smile with Madhumati, until a misty fog would slowly cloud Khushi's heart making her smile dim slightly. This wasn't unnoticed by Arnav watching her from upstairs with clenched heart. 


It was the next day at lunch time when Lavanya walked into the Raizada House, with her black suitcase with a silver dragon patterned side. With her wavy mid-length hair out, she was wearing a light blue dress which had a little frills on the shoulder and came down loosely just below her knees.  Kushal and Devayani looked at her from toe to hair seeing that this was their to be daughter-in-law. Kushal smiled and shook her hand while greeting her while Devayani was keeping a beady eye on her movements. To her surprise, Lavanya when turning to her put her hands together and greeted her traditionally. Devayani thought back to Kushal's words.
Just because one person in the family is corrupt doesn't mean all the members are corrupt too. You usually know Muskaan betiya's words better than me don't you?
With that she gave Lavanya her blessing. Just as Lavanya rose to stand, she saw Arnav coming down the stairs talking on his Bluetooth. Lavanya smiled and started to run to him, not seeing him for a long time, but accidently bumped into a girl, wearing a purple salwar, carrying a very heavy big box of decorations. Lavanya gasped watching Khushi fall on her bum with the box on the floor. Arnav concerned was about to rush to help only to see Lavanya one step ahead. She crouched down beside Khushi with a very worried expression.

Lavanya: "OMG, I'm so so sorry! You ok? "
Khushi looked up at the girl and smiled nodding her head. Lavanya smiled back and helped her stand up. While Lavanya took in Khushi's appearance, Khushi went to pick up the heavy box again struggling. Lavanya noticed and laughed before picking up the box in a whoosh. Khushi stood straight, amazed. Lavanya grinned at her.
Lavanya: "It's the least I could do for bumping into you. Urm where did you want this?"
Khushi blinked at Lavanya's strength and pointed to the table near the stairs. Lavanya then clipped off in her high heels and placed the box before coming back to Khushi.
Lavanya stroking her shoulder: "I'm sorry again. "
Khushi smiled and shook her head indicating 'no problem'. Lavanya stuck out her hand to her, making Khushi instinctively put her hand in hers too, to shake.
Lavanya: "I'm Lavanya by the way."
Khushi stood static staring at the kind young woman. Lavanya? Meaning...Just then Arnav cautiously walked over to them.
Arnav softly: "This is Khushi. "
Lavanya: "Khushi?! What a sweet name! But ASR! She can tell me her name herself."
Arnav gently: "She can't speak Lavanya."
Lavanya then looked at Khushi with sorry eyes: "oh..I...I didn't know Khushi...I'm sorry if I did or said anything-."
Khushi numbly shook her head with a smile. Lavanya then smiled cheerily.
Lavanya: "But it doesn't matter becuase I understood you for a good 15 mins. So no matter. It would be great to talk to you again."
Khushi smiled at Lavanya and her sweet words. She was grateful of her pleasant point of view. Lavanya then turned to Arnav and hugged him loosely making Khushi lower her eyes with pokes of envy. 
Lavanya: " Soooo hey ASR. How are you?"
Arnav, knowing Khushi was getting hurt, let Lavanya go quick: "I'm ok. How was the journey?"
Lavanya shrugged her shoulders: "Can't complain. But *whispering* There's some good news I have to tell you in private. "
Arnav nodded understanding and led her deeper into the Mansion, leaving Khushi to busy herself. Devayani watched the two go and sighed. Kushal was right. After meeting Lavanya, she felt much more at ease that she was actually a very  nice young girl. However, her thoughts were on Khushi and the happiness that was not in Arnav's eyes when stood with Lavanya. She had watched Khushi's and Arnav's expression throughout this ordeal and was  convinced there was something a miss. 


It was passed dinner and Aman was with Khushi in the kitchen, eating the remaining of the Jalebi's that Khushi made. Aman, in a navy blue and white shirt and dark jeans, munched away happily.
Aman: "Ummmmm... these are fantastic Khushi!! I swear ...you should open a shop."
Khushi smiled appreciatively while tidying away. Aman cheekily looked at the clean kitchen and had an idea to bring back Khushi's full-on grin back with a bang. Khushi was putting away the last of the pots and turned to Aman only to get flour puffed on her dark pink churidar front. Khushi backed away with shock and looked at Aman who stood cheekily on the other side of the worktop island, with a bag of flour in his hand. Her shocked expression started to make Aman laugh hard, making her grab the other flour packet and chase him round the island spilling flour along the way. 5 mins hadn't passed and they were both tipped with flour on their arms and clothes. They were grinning their heads off. With the flour built up on the floor Khushi was about to slip, but Aman held her up only to slip himself too. They both toppled to the tiled floor with their backs against the cabinets shoulder to shoulder. Khushi flung her head back as tears of silent laughter flooded her being. She hadn't had this much fun for a long time. She even thought if Raja was here it would of been even funnier.

Aman exhilarated : "Whoo!!! How about that hey?! Who knew that a simple flour fight would bring back the smile of Khushi Kumari Gupta. "
Khushi shook her head with a grin and slapped Aman's arm playfully. Still out of breath they looked at each other's appearance laughing all over again. Aman stomach hurting of laughter looked up to the ceiling.
Aman sighed: "God I love you."
Their laughter continued til it slowly came to tire. Khushi, however, looked up to Aman's face with a expression of astonishment. What?...Did Aman just say-
Raja barked making them jump and stand smiling to brush the flour off their clothes. Khushi could see Raja  annoyed that he missed out on the fun, which made her realize how much she had missed playing with him. Khushi hugged Raja tightly, while Aman scratched the back of his head with an embarrassed chuckle. 

After bidding a late goodnight, Aman went down the corridor to turn in for bed while Khushi went the opposite way to walk out into the garden. However, along the way the lights blacked out making her gasp fearfully. She looked around and heard Aman shouting from afar. 
Aman: "Khushi! Stay put where you are. ok!? I'll check what's wrong!!!"
Khushi felt the walls back to the kitchen and neared the drawers opening it to find the candles. Successful she lit a match to the thick white stick of wax. I wonder if Dadiji and Dadaji will need any candles... Collecting a few candles in a hand, she walked out the kitchen to head upstairs. Just as she was about to climb the third step of the staircase, she felt a hand hold her hand, which held the candle. Frowning, Khushi looked up to see Arnav glaring down at her. Surprised and slightly flustered by his sudden appearance, made her look away. Khushi tried to pull her hand away from his, but Arnav only gripped tighter. Khushi bewildered, looked back at his furious expression. What was wrong now?.. Arnav then roughly trapped Khushi against the stairs making Khushi appalled by his unexplained rude behavior. Arnav spoke through his teeth.
Arnav: "What were...you and Aman doing playing with God damn flour in the kitchen??!"
Khushi stared at Arnav confused with his question.
Arnav darkly: " Respond dammit!!!"
Khushi flinched back with terrified eyes. She didn't understand why Arnav was being so angry. Aman and I were only playing around...but then again.. Aman did say- Khushi's eyes shot to Arnav's realizing. He's...He's jealous...

Khushi's eyes traveled down Arnav's jaw and lips, which were set tight while his nose flared like a beast. His body was so tense that it looked like he was about to pounce at any moment. But why? He loves Lavanya...doesn't he? Suddenly Khushi squeezed her eyelids closed as Arnav's grip, over her grasp on the candle, tightened. She painfully looked across at her hand to recoil in shock. The candle wax was dripping down the stick and onto the back of Arnav's hand. In horror and disbelief Khushi immediately looked at Arnav. He didn't even seem to notice. With watery eyes, Khushi swiveled her body using her other hand to desperately loosen his steel grip from her hand, so he wouldn't hurt himself further. However, Arnav wasn't responding at all. Khushi tried with all her might, feeling so weak in that moment.
Arnav let go of Khushi's hand making the candle topple to the tiled floor, still burning away. Khushi cradled his hand tenderly. She cried silently seeing how the wax started to harden upon Arnav's skin. Arnav realized Khushi's desperate concern for him and cursed himself for hurting her more. Embarrassed at his heated actions, he snatched his hand back from Khushi. Mumbling a sorry, he strode upstairs leaving Khushi in the dark, with only the burning candle on the floor beside her feet.

Khushi let out a silent sob, leaning back against the rails of the staircase. Aman rushed up to Khushi from afar, with a bright candle in his hand. He frowned noticing her candle on the floor and bent to pick it up. Aman tentatively put an arm round Khushi, who was wiping her tears in vain. 
Aman hushing: "Hey hey... What's wrong? I have called the electrician in. He's on his way right now. *chuckling* Can't keep Khushi in the dark can I? hmm? Hey hey. Stop crying. "
As Aman wiped Khushi's tears, she stared at his caring eyes and reassuring smile. She remembered back to Aman's accidental confession and couldn't help but feel so much better. Like a...ironically like a warm candle in the dark. She smiled a watery smile before hugging Aman tight. Aman responded back by rubbed her back warmly. 
Aman: "Come on you..lets get you home."
As Aman led Khushi away from the staircase She looked back with a sense of departure and hope. Hope that Arnav would figure out himself that he didn't love her as he was getting married to Lavanya soon. Despite her mind being with Aman, Khushi's heart however was lingering elsewhere concerned for another. 



  1. Awww.....thats was my emotion while I read this chapter!!!

    Poor Khushi...she's desperately trying to be happy for Arnav's sake isn't she??????? I'm so glad that she has Aman to cheer her up now!!!! Did Aman just confess???? that too in such a cute manner????? that was so nicely written!!

    Arnav......always the jealous type isn't he????? Arnav-Khushi need to talk it out for this mess to be sorted.... :)

    Lavanya does seem like a really nice person....though now it'll be more difficult for Arnav to convince everybody else in the family that he doesn't actually want to be with her......
    Great Chapter!!!!


  2. I don't want Aman to get hurt but I also want Arnav and Kushi together.. I'm hoping that there will be a change somewhere down the line. Awaiting an update soon.

  3. awesome update..
    lavanya seems to be a nice woman..
    feeling soo bad for Arnav n khushi..
    i hope Arnav explains her everythin
    does Aman loves her like frend or more..
    hope nt more dnt want a triangle.

  4. I love Lavanya in this. She's such a sweetheart.
    Poor Khushi, trying to be happy. So Aman, does sort of have feelings. Even though this hasn't been touched upon other than the accidental confession, i've got a feeling this will become a love triangle... hope not though!

    IF: Atownsuga

  5. wow..that was intense.
    Khushi is in hell shock why Arnav is marrying Lavanya though he is jealous of Aman