Sunday, 7 October 2012

Chapter Twenty-Six: Silent Hibernation

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There was a quiet ambiance in the Secret Garden, as only the smallest of leaves played games of shiver and shake. The moon was letting it's reflected light shine down on the huge pond, helping words being read of a time long ago. On the grass in front of the pond, Arnav was sat with his elbows on his knees, holding the diary up eye-level for him to read. With his still lips, in a tight line, his eyes read each word of every sentence that a young 12 year old Khushi wrote about that night she experienced  in the woods when she was 11. 

Khushi was sat close beside him, with an arm round his bicep and the other hand on top of Raja's head. As she rested her head against Arnav's shoulder, Raja was leaning his against her thighs. Raja was staring at Khushi in a weak daze, half asleep and half awake as her soft touches behind his ear lulled him. Khushi, however, was looking across the water with a lost gaze. Her body felt numb slightly, only understanding the sounds of her own breathing and the turning of her diary pages, by Arnav's cautious fingers. Just then Khushi felt his muscle tense beneath her hand, making her close her eyes shut as the night played before her eyes, Just as it played before Raja's eyes too.



Khushi came back from the forest as the sun started to set to see the house on fire. Heart in terror, she stood paralyzed seeing the house she grew up in burn fiercely. 
Khushi gasped: "Amma...Babuji...Buaji?"
She just then caught a glimpse of Garima, patting on the door crying her name. Khushi cried and rushed up to the window feeling helpless. Suddenly, Garima broke the glass from the inside to make a  small hole.
Garima: "THEY'RE BURNING THE HOUSE KHUSHI!!! YOU NEED TO LEAVE KHUSHI!!! RUN!!!!"  
Khushi seeing the fire grow: "AMMA!! The house has caught fire!!! The house!!! Get Out AMMA!!"
She went to come close only for Garima to shake her head furiously and sob. Suddenly, she gasped seeing Thakur's men starting to walk round to that side of the house, with branches of fire and tins of kerosene. 
Garima's face turned angry: "KHUSHI! KHUSHI! LISTEN TO ME!!!"
Khushi's breathing was out of control. She felt like she was going mad or ...or this was a terrible nightmare. 
Khushi sobbed pleadingly: "Amma...please....Babuji.....please get out the house..."
Then Khushi heard the men shout from far behind her too. 
Man: "THAT'S HER!!! GET HER!"
Khushi looked back at her Amma, not knowing what to do...Should she leave, when she wanted to stay.?..Garima banged on the window desperate to hide her little girl away from those thugs.
Garima: "RUN KHUSHI! PLEASE! GO MY BETIYA! GO!"
Khushi cried before feeling her legs start to run. She looked back at her Amma, but also started to see the men follow her. The last words she heard from her Amma were,
Garima screamed: "RUN KHUSHI! DON'T LOOK BACK! RUN!!"

Deeper into the forest she ran she could hear the twigs snapping behind her. She did only the thing last told to her. Run. Khushi panted with frightened tears rolling down. She kept running in her red coat terrified of what she had just seen. She felt her heart pound out of her chest hearing the chaser close behind. He suddenly gripped Khushi's by the arm making her scream into the air, echoing against the trees. 
Khushi: "LET GO OF ME!!!! "
The man tried to grip the 11 year old but Khushi bit his hand making him curse and let her go.
Khushi ran again knowing there was more coming: "AMMA!!!! BABUJII!!!"

After a few more minutes of receiving cuts and bruises from the stray pieces of twigs and branches, Khushi hides quickly behind a tree, trying to catch her breath. She puts her hands over her mouth, hearing the rest of the men come closer. Their running slowed down making Khushi's heart panic. She listened as the booted feet walked along the ground closer and to where she was standing. Khushi, knowing it was only a matter of second before she was caught, closed her eyes tightly. 


But just then a quiet sound of barking came from the distance, far away from Khushi's location, making the men pause and turn to see. Khushi's eyes snapped open. Raja? She then heard the men talking among themselves.
" Come on, the girl might be over there, lets go."
As the men ran away, Khushi thanked God that luck was on her side. But then she paused. What if they hurt Raja? She left her hiding space and stood in the open, watching the men walking away in the far distance.
Khushi worried whispered: "Raja?-"

However before she could step forward, a hand wrapped round her mouth and waist, lifting her. She tried to scream and waved her arms and legs about, but he only gripped lighter with a deep chuckle. She then kicked her heel back into his shin, making him yelp and drop to the ground. Having still a good hold of her, he turned her over on the ground so she laid flat on her back. She was about to scream again, but in vain as his hand stopped her.
Man: "Now now...We don't want the others to hear you now, do we? "
Khushi angrily tried to scratch the man's face, but unsuccessful started to cry under his grip. 
Man grinned manically: "When the boss finds out I have caught you all by myself, I'm so going to get a hefty reward! So it would be good of you to SHUT UP!"
But just as he yelled the last two words, a small dog head-butted him from in front. He yelled, falling on his back with shock and went to open his eyes to see, only to feel bites and claw attacks on his face and neck, making his swear loudly. Khushi turning on her fours, quickly hid behind a tree, watching Raja growl and maul the man's face with dirt from his paws. Unable to see becuase of the dirt in his eyes, he staggered back on to his feet and legged it, bumping into the sides of trees along the way. 

Raja turned to Khushi as she came out of hiding and leaped into her arms, as she crouched down to him, with tears in her eyes. She stroked his fur seeing how muddy it was getting and kissed his head over and over, thankful for his brave rescue.
Khushi whispered crying: "Oh Raja... I was so scared and-*gasp*"
She looked up to see in the distance the men were coming back as they must of heard the scuffle that had happened. She got up with Raja in her arms and started to run away all over again, but as she looked down at Raja whimpering she had got an idea of where to hide.

Arriving quickly to the hollow tree, she glanced back to see the men weren't behind her, but she could hear them coming closer from afar. Lifting Raja into the hollow space of the tree first, she quickly entered herself, scraping her knees along the way in a hurry. Sitting with her back right up against the back of the tree, Raja made space in her lap making her hug him close. She breathed heavily finally finding the place she could feel safer. But it didn't stop the seeds of doubt to plant. What if they saw us enter? What if they will burn this tree down like how they did to- She gasped hearing something outside. Khushi and Raja's eyes stared at the hole with heartbeats running so fast, Khushi worried that the men would be able to hear it.

 They waited...and waited...and waited...until they heard it. They heard the leaves crisp and twigs snap quietly as heavy feet threaded on them, coming closer... and closer...and closer. Khushi feeling herself shake, either becuase of the cold or the fear, held Raja tightly against her body. Raja's ears tweaked hearing the men very close to them. Khushi then started to hear them talk and held her breath hearing they were so so close. Raja and her sat still.

Silent tears fell from her eyes as she heard them speak about her parents. About how they had been wanting to do it for a long time. About the fire they lit happily. She listened as they laughed all the way through and how they enjoyed their work. She listen about herself and how they thought she was an orphan now and would be adopted by their 'boss'. She felt ice travel through her veins and grip her heart painfully...The fear of being so close to the men who killed her parents shook her core and she continued to hold her breath...Eye's still wide and in shock, she sat still like the tree itself. She dared not breath let alone speak in case they heard them...She didn't even realize the men gave up left...and didn't even realize when the sky's turned dark, blacking out the forest completely. Not even acknowledging when the heavy down pour started from the heavens above. As if the world was crying the tears, she felt she couldn't...not anymore. 

Hours passed with her lost in a void, until Khushi's mind blanked with exhaustion...eyes closed. Raja whimpered seeing Khushi's state and unable to wake her up, decided to stay up and alert. He continued to stare out, watching the rain fall,... waiting. 
...
...


As Khushi snapped open her eyes, she took in the surrounding of the still garden and realized that she was safe. That it was finished. That wait. That horrible wait was over and she was now with the people she cared about. She was still wrapped round the man's arm that she loved more than anything. She turned her head to looked down at Raja who now had his head lifted from her thighs, but alert staring at her with eyes full of concern. Khushi let out a breath of relief seeing Raja and smiled at him softly, making him whimper slightly. Khushi frowned and then turned her head to Arnav worried. She sees that her rouge diary wasn't in Arnav's hands anymore, but on the grass, spine upwards, below his tightly clasped hands. Understanding he had finished reading the entry, she hesitantly looked at his face to see he was staring across to the other side of the water, eyes red, jaw clenched, tight lipped. 

Lifting her weight from him slightly, she feared of what he thought from reading her diary. But before she could think any further, Arnav swiftly turned in his position to pull her powerfully into his arms. Gasping from the sudden reaction, she slowly relaxed into him and lifted her hands to slide up his back, gripping the jumper. 
Arnav hoarsely: "Khushi...I...*alone tear*...Oh god Khushi..That's why...that's why you don't spe-...*burying his face deeper into her neck*...Khushi..."
Khushi didn't know when tears started to flow from her own eyes and sobs shuddered through her body, reliving the loss, but also releasing from the pain. It was like a warm blanket wrapping you to protect you from the cold. Arnav just then pulled her away and held her face in his hands firmly.
Arnav shook his head: "No...*wiping her tears*....I swear to you Khushi...I swear that I won't let you feel lost like you did that night....You- *kisses her cheeks*...YOU won't cry anymore over this *another kiss on forehead*...OK? "
Khushi looked down unable to reply. Arnav then lifted her face to kiss her softly on the lips before stroking her cheek.
Arnav asked again gently: "..Ok?..."
Khushi nodded tearfully as Raja came close to rub her side with his face. Khushi smiled at Raja and hugged him kissing his head. Arnav proud of Raja scratched his ears.
Arnav huskily: "Thank-..Thank god  Raja was there for you or else...or else...*sigh*...Good boy Raja."
Raja barked and laid his head on Khushi's lap again, making her smile brightly. She then felt Arnav kiss the side of her neck softly, making her lean into him as he hugged her close.

~

Chinky paced in front of Aman in the kitchen with her hands fiddling and looking out of the kitchen door time to time. Aman was sat on one the kitchen stools, thinking over what had happened today.
Chinky worried: "UFFF! Where is she!!??!? It's already so late!!"
Aman had an idea of who she was with, but where was another question. He stood up to stop her pacing by putting his hands on her shoulders.
Aman smiled: "Calm down you. She's fine. She has probably gone to the cottage. Raja's with her remember."
Chinky sighed and nodded agreeing with Aman, but just then saw Khushi walk in with Arnav and Raja.
Chinky jumped a bit with a bright grin on her face: "KHUSHI!!"
Aman turned to see them and smiled and watched as Chinky ran up to Khushi, hugging her tightly. Arnav feeling slightly out of place walked past them casually to leave, only looking back once at Khushi with a quiet smile. Khushi understanding nodded with the same soft expression as Chinky pulled away from her.
Chinky: "We were worried sick!! Not to mention Buaji! Don't to that again ok! *looked down at Raja* you too mister!"
Khushi nodded feeling still slightly lost in her own thoughts. She felt a hand on her shoulder.
Aman reassuringly: "Hey...don't worry about those men ok-"
Chinky piped up angrily: "Yeah! Those brutes!! UFF! If I had a few more pounds on my arms I'd...I'd-"
Aman finished: "Punch them black and blue?"
Chinky blushed slightly with a silly smile: "Yeah..that's it.*giggles*"
Aman: " but what we're really saying is...As long as we're all here, nothing will happen to you. Ok?"
As Chinky nodded enthusiastically Khushi simply looked at them both before walking up to them to hug them both.
Aman grinned: "Nothing works better than a group hug!!"
Chinky and Khushi grinned while Raja barked happily.

~

Khushi and Raja walked into the living room where Devayani was comforting Madhu. Devayani noticed the young ladies presence first and stood up walking over to them. She smiled at them before stroking Khushi's cheek softly. Understanding that Khushi and Madhu need some time alone, Devayani nodded goodnight and left the room. Khushi looked on at Madhu who was wiping away her tears and sighing at today's events. She knew her Buaji was holding it all in and slowly walked over to her, sitting by her on the sofa. Raja followed too and sat beside Madhu's legs. As soon as Madhu realized that Khushi was present, she immediately hugged her close and cried. Khushi let out the tears of loosing her parents and felt much better as Madhu pulled away to wipe her tears. She smiled watery and shook her head at Khushi. However just as Khushi's eyes met hers again, Khushi put her head against Madhu's chest for a tight warm hug. Madhu laid her head against hers and stroked Khushi's hair, repeating one sentence over and over again.
Madhu softly : "Everything will be alright. "

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x

8 comments:

  1. thanks for the PM

    awesome update

    Arnav & Khushi loves each other so much

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  2. Omg! Finally its out! And sad man how fearful wud that situation be! She was so horrified n den not one word cums out ever frm der on! Realli glad she had raja wid her!! N now we can b sure arnav wont leave that thakur f a b***h in peace! Im jus dreadin what.ll happen next!
    cheers for the pm
    Twilightstar_Jp

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  3. That was beautifully done. Finally its out in the open. :)

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    1. Oh Angie here.. ;)

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  4. finally!! the past has come haunting back! i loved the way arnav said nothing will happen to her... i hope kushal understands this and doesnt come in between them again!

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  5. tht was simply awesome one
    Arnav knws wat happend..
    very painful..
    rkapoor1382

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  6. Loved the sentence here " nothing works here than group hugs"

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  7. Khushi really needs Arnav I hope Dada understands this

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