Sunday, 23 December 2012

Chapter Forty: Forest Fire


*..........*..........*

Khushi was sat in her room later that day, simply staring at the rose bush after watering it a little. In her light pink salwar suit, she plaited her hair slowly, with eyes still on the roses. Her expressions were a mixture of bashfulness, confusion and happiness, as she remembered back earlier that day when Arnav kissed her cheek before leaving. Finishing her plait with a hair band, she smiled shaking her head, looking down to it. She then turned to open her diary to a fresh page and thoughtfully started to write.

Dear Raja, 

I'm so happy that I got to see you along with Arnav today. You both gave me quite a surprise. I still can't wrap my head round why he suddenly showed up with this gift and approach. Making all the staff like him. Are you two planning something?! Arnav is such an unpredictable person. Sometimes I wonder about the things that run through his head. I bet he's told you his plan or else you wouldn't have had that cheeky look in your eyes today. I know you well. After you left, Priya and the others didn't leave my side, nudging me and smiling at me. You know what?....I can tell they have figured it out Raja. It's all that Arnav's fault. It was that kiss wasn't it!? I think so anyways. And Gia and Rupi didn't say a word to me. Just the odd glare. I thought it was normal, but Priya said to me something was burning at that point. I looked around Raja and there wasn't anything on fire...I don't get it. Just like I don't get why Arnav bought this lovely gift for me. 

Khushi looked up at the flowers once more, tapping her pen to her lips lightly. She then frowned a bit before putting pen to paper again.

Is the gift supposed to hint something to me? It's very random. I mean, it's not my birthday and it's not Valentine's day either. I wonder why...I guess I'd have to ask Arnav when he comes tomorrow. Devi Maiya!! Is he going to come to my room in front of everyone or sneakily?!! Oh no Raja. Now I'm left worried. Ohhhh! I'm a Sanka, for not asking! I'll talk to you tomorrow...if your coming too that is. 

Love you Raja.

Khushi sighed lightly, before closing her rouge diary and tucking it under her pillow. She then looked at the flowers with an annoyed pout. Standing up, she walked round the plant trying to think about why Arnav gave it. It was then she gasped. She halted in her tracks to see something shining inside the bushy leaves. Carefully she moved aside the branches and buds, to prevent it from any damage, she extracted a small golden envelope. 

Sitting on her bed with a little bounce, Khushi held the envelope in her hands, tracing the edges of her name written on it. With a secret smile, she opened it and unfolded the crisp white paper.


Khushi,
 Knowing the Titaliya you are, you've probably have found this letter.
I am going to ask you a question tomorrow night. But before I ask it I want to tell you that,
I love you.
I love you more with every passing day and I can never express enough how much your presence, your every little action, gesture, smile makes my heart burn so much... that I need to be with you to keep me sane. With this thought in mind, please be honest in your answer that you give tomorrow. Your honesty is always what makes me love you more and whatever your answer will be...I will accept it. 
Wait for me Khushi, tomorrow night. 

Your Arnav.


With that Khushi closed the envelope and stood. Slowly shuffling to her window, she looked out to the moon who smiled down at her. A drop of happiness fell by her soft smile as she gazed back at it lovingly. I will wait Arnav. Always for you.

~

*Tick-Tock*
*Tick-Tock*

The following night had arrived and it was 10 pm, with Khushi pacing in her room, worried. She was in her white salwar, with her dupatta draped round her collar-bone. Her hair was out and brought round her shoulder. Her eyes flickered to the clock and then back to her fidgeting hands, as she continued pacing. Where is he!? Is he on his way?! Is he here already!? What's he going to ask me!? 


Arnav meanwhile was pacing too, in the tunnel to the hostel, up and down from the second gate back to the first. His body was tense under his white shirt, with his sleeves rolled up. He had cream trousers on, with dark shoes. Harun was at the second gate watching the young man mentally talking to himself. He wisely smiled, making wrinkles crease on his face. He shook his head at the young man, who had been pacing in front of him for the last 15 mins, with his white SUV parked right outside. 
Harun: " Should I shut the gate beta? Kokila behen and Sheela might walk by...plus you look like you're going to be a while. *chuckling* "
Arnav frustrated at himself, stopped and closed his eyes. Come on ASR. You can do this. She must be waiting for you. Come on. Get it right first time. She won't say no. She wouldn't. Come on. Arnav walked up to Harun nodding, making the elderly man smile earnestly.
Harun: " Remember only this one time I'm letting you in. Ask her. Come down and out before midnight. Understand."
Arnav nodded stepping through the gate, mind focused in his mind about what he's going to say. 


*Tick-Tock*
*Tick-Tock*


As Khushi opened the door, her heart nearly soured seeing Arnav again, but this time with a different look in his eyes that she couldn't put her finger on. She moved to the side to let him in.

Shutting the doors, Khushi turned to see Arnav by her bed, staring straight back into her soul. She walked up to him with questioning eyes and a soft smile. Arnav heart beats relaxed a bit more seeing her beautiful smile. He sighed heavily before putting his hands on her arms. Khushi looked at them, before looking back up at him. He gently moved her to sit on the end of the bed and crouched to the floor in front of her, holding her hands in her lap. Khushi watched him look at their hands clasped together for a while, before looking up at her. Arnav gulped before speaking.
Arnav huskily: " Khushi....You have read the letter haven't you..."
Khushi nodded naively making Arnav squeeze her hand a bit more. She lifted a hand to his face asking him with her eyes. Arnav nodded clenching his jaw determined. He reached back into his pocket bringing out the small velvet box, holding it between them. Khushi tilted her head wondering what was inside the box. 

Arnav looked into her eyes with wide eyes, before speaking in a low voice: "Khushi...I love you more than anything and...I have been wanting to ask this question for a very long time now... Khushi with my mother's ring I want to ask you...If you would give me the pleasure of being my wife for as long as I live. "
Arnav opens the box to reveal a golden ring. It had silver swirls, detailed along the band with a small, but gorgeous cut diamond in the center. Khushi's heart was held in her throat with her eyes glassed. She looked into Arnav's eyes, which were holding his heart out on a plate. With a tear falling from Khushi's eyes, she looked at the ring again, before lifting a hand to close the box. 

Panic surged through Arnav's being as he looked at the box closed. However, Khushi lifted his head with her hands immediately. Arnav closed his eyes as Khushi's lips merged with his and felt her body slam into his, with her arms wrapping round his neck. Arnav gave the kiss back in full force, before pulling back to look into her eyes. 
Arnav hopeful: " Khushi... Is that a yes?"
Khushi's smile turned into a grin and shook her head making Arnav have mixed feelings.
Arnav frowned: "No?"
Khushi shook her head to that too and looked up at him with widened eyes. Arnav watched as Khushi pointed at her heart and then at his, before point behind her. She then pecked his lips.
Arnav put a hand to hold her face with a smile: " Always mine from the first kiss? *Tilting his head* Really?"
Khushi blushed nodded with a grin. She then looked at his hand holding the box and took it, holding it to his chest. She shook her head at Arnav. 

Arnav kissed her lips before asking intensely: " If you have always been mine, then why can't you accept the ring now?...*Khushi looked around the room discretely making Arnav sigh*...Not the right moment was it? *chuckling*" 
Khushi looked at him gratefully, Arnav smirked in reply: " The next time I give you the ring, will you accept it?" 
Khushi sighed in awe at Arnav's adorable question. She catapulted into his arms again, hugging his tightly and nodding with tears. Arnav hugged his future wife tightly, looking at the box over her shoulder. He smiled boyishly. Everything has it's time I guess...but at least I got the yes from her Maa. I couldn't be more thankful.

~
*Tick-Tock*
*Tick-Tock*


It was 5 mins before midnight, when Arnav left with Khushi pushing him out with a grin. She smiled shutting the door and leaned her back against it. She couldn't believe Arnav would as such a question that her heart had answered a long time ago. She shook her head smiling like a fool and rushed over to the window, to at least see him leave. She looked down with a grin to see his white SUV parked just outside the gates. However, she frowned seeing something else too. 

She watched as a dark figure come out from under the SUV. She narrowed her eyes to see the suspicious man look round quickly and before running to hide behind a wall, which she had full view and audio of. Khushi's eyes widened in horror seeing the men in a slightly better light. 


The man panting: " Boss, It's done. Only a few more minutes til midnight."
Indu grinned: " That's all we fucking need. That Raizada has been living for too long. The guy ruins me and thinks he can get away with it? Told that shit didn't I, He'll get his. And this bomb will do the trick. *smiles manically* "
The other henchmen worried: " Don't you think we should leave Boss. I mean the police station is just round the corner from this hostel and-"
Indu slapped him round the head: " Shut the fuck up. I want to make sure the damn job is done. WE are not moving til I see Raizada's dead body. You understand!?"
The two men hesitantly nodded, while watching with his boss as the time ticked down.


*Tick-Tock*
*Tick-Tock*


Just as Sheela was about to lock Khushi's door, Khushi burst out and ran past her, leaving Sheela angrily yelling behind her. But Khushi didn't listen. She couldn't hear a thing. I need to stop Arnav. Speeding down the steps, she nearly topples, finally reaching the bottom floor and out the building. Rushing up to the gates, she tried to open the gates, but Harun stopped her.
Harun frowned: " Betiya? What are you doing out here? *looking at her bare feet* And like this?! *looking round* I thought Arnav beta had already met you? He left quite happily."
Khushi wept hard shaking the bars, as she could see Arnav nearly at the end of the tunnel reaching the exiting gates, where his car was on the other side. She felt herself losing her breath. She immediately turned to Harun with her hands together, pleading him to let her through. Harun had never seen Khushi so distressed and restless before. Seeing the young girls tears, nodded. He opened the gates for Khushi , letting her through, while taking a step through himself to see what was wrong. She rushed forward, but her legs came to a dragging stop...He was just exiting the gates and was mere seconds away from opening the driver seat's door.

...
...
Time felt like it had stopped for Khushi.
...
Her heart stopped. 
...
Tears streaked. 
...
...
Her mind blacked out...back...back to that moment when she laid eyes on the burning house...her mother's cries...her helpless heart...the running...the hiding...the silence....

Garima screamed: "RUN KHUSHI!"


Khushi reached out her shaking hand towards Arnav desperately: " ARNAV!!!!"

Arnav, shocked,  turned immediately to see Khushi. He looked at her with amazed that Khushi...his Khushi had called his name out loud. Arnav grinned turning away from the car. However, his smile didn't last noticing the horror on her face. He opened the gates, watching her sprint up to him frantically.
Arnav frowned: " Khushi?"
Reaching his side, Khushi grabbing his arm trying to drag him away, but Arnav was too confused to move. What's going on?
Arnav concerned: " Khushi? What is it?"
But Khushi wasn't listening, she went behind him pushing his back critically, just like she did a few minutes ago in her room. How could she explain in the last few seconds everything she knew. All she knew was that she needed him to get away...away before-

*Tick-TIck-TICk-TICK---*


The catastrophic explosion was earth shaking. The fuel tank from the car, aided the expanding flames of destruction making everyone scream and yell in shock.

The crackling from the monstrous disaster was blaring for all to hear and see. The girls looked through their windows horrified at the sight.

The gates were shattered through by the blow as bits of the SUV, huge pieces of rock and concrete scattering far. Reds, Oranges, Yellows of the most dangerous of sorts were everywhere. Flames burned high, making the screams of the girls inside continue, terrified.

The black smoke rose higher and higher into the sky.  The light from the fire bared witness to the two beings laid on the floor with an arm's distant apart from each other.

Arnav painfully opened his eyes to see Khushi lying on the floor, facing him...lifelessly. Blood was everywhere making it impossible to say who's blood it was...his...hers...or a mixture of both...The cuts and streaks of red upon her clothes and skin, made Arnav's weak eyes water.

Arnav choked with a unbearable wheeze: "K...Khu..shi..."
Eyes only fixed on her, he numbly dragged his blooded hand across the rubble-covered ground to reach her still outstretched arm. Fingers crawl to her motionless hand, before slipping it in, trying to hold it frailly. His body violently vibrated as a cough clawed his throat. His head spun feeling from the pain and eyes rolled back, feeling his breath shallow. Khushi...

The last thing he faint heard was a distant male voice, yelling. As Harun called the emergency line urgently, he watched the smoke rise sadly higher into the coughing atmosphere, as the fires fiercely blazed on.

*..........*..........*
Comment your thoughts.

x

11 comments:

  1. What an update...

    I hope whats his name ... and his little group of friends disappear soon.

    Hope Arnav&Khushi are not hurt too bad.

    Anyways that was a great update.


    #A

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    Replies
    1. Ohh yeah I also hope you get well soon ...

      :D

      #A

      Delete
  2. wow! finally read All the chapters and what a cliff hanger :)

    loved it.

    She finally said his name !

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  3. She spoke!!!!! I'm like dancing in my room right now LOL loved the.update!!
    -pmohini1

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  4. What the?? Should I be happy that he proposed and she accepted in a way and now they are Man and Wife!

    Should I be happy that Harun helped them! Should I be glad that she heard evetyn bout what that good for nothing Indu planned!

    Should I be supa happy that she finally voiced out?? She came out of her fear held voice?

    Should I be fine seeing her go get him saving him from death!!

    But seeing her thru his pov that shes lifeless is doing no good to me! All the above feeling just went down the drain! She put herlsef in trouble n saved him!

    Whats Kushal n others reaction gonna be? I'm like supa scared!

    I know she's the female lead so obv she won't die but its possible too! Gosh this is worse than a thriller movi! N Bravo Zee u explained the incident so well! Kudos ma!!

    Cheers

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  5. Totally unexected...I was wondering how's she going to warn him and all of a sudden she shouts out his name..Amazing...hopefully they will be saved

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  6. wow! wat a cliffhanger! soo happy khushi spoke! very nice but hopefully all is fine ..
    get well soon , cant wait to see wat happens!

    - nisha (IF- Blulavender7)

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  7. Hi Zara!!

    I read all the chaps in one go!!!

    i was impatient sweetheart... i could not stop by for commenting on every update!!
    SOWIE *pouts*

    i just have this much to say!!
    U R AMAZING!!

    i loved the concept ... loved every bit of it Zara!!
    Had so many questions in mind but they got answered as an when i proceeded ... not all tho!!
    Kushal's behaviour is still a mystery... but i was shocked in the chap where Devayani's convo with Kushal happens... ' ARHI can be toegther' gawd now what on earth could be the reason? are they related? oh shucks!! i will be doomed if thats the case...gawd zara my imagination is running wild....they have made love already for f**k sake...

    and like already this were not enuf ... this indu thakur shows up again ... now the last chap is scaring me.. will ARHI survive?
    This is a cliff hanger .... hope u update soon sweetheart!!
    loved loved loved ur FF!! :)

    my IF id is arushi_fan

    ~P

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  8. Hi Zara,
    This FF was recommended by Vani(GodnMe.Foreva)I have read all the 40 chapters in a go. I really enjoyed the story and you have written it so beautifully. The way you have described each details that my imagination was enough for me to actually visualize the story in my mind like I was actually in the story. I loved it and it's become my No.1 FF. Sorry for not commenting on every chapter since I was so eager to read the story.

    Simran( IF:~simz~ )

    I loved each characters...Dadaji, Dadiji, Arnav, Madhu(Buaji), Aman, Chinky Khushi, and most of all Raja.

    Thank you for such a wonderful story.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Finally back from a holiday to catch up all the updates.... :)
    and wow, I am thoroughly engrossed.... what an update.... hope Arnav and Khushi be safe...

    valeyrie - IF

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  10. omg!....
    That was scared me out of death...
    Hope they both r fine..

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