Falling in love is a subtle process, a connection sparked by attraction, tested by compatibility, and forged by memory.
Jay Bell, Some thing Like Summer
It had been there all along, but he somehow, very characteristic to his persona, had shrugged it off, not with ease, no, but with determination, as this peculiar feeling had seemed to bring considerable unease to his heart, bringing it out of its dormancy. And now, whilst sitting in his room, as he finally acknowledged this atypical sentiment that he could associate only with Khushi, he found himself letting go of all inhibitions, as he leaned back onto the mantis green recliner. For the first time, in a long time, he didn't have the usual upsurge of the gazillion doubts questioning his actions storming his brains. Instead, a quiet calm had taken over his mind, something that made him extremely prone to impulsions. Meanwhile Arnav's hand of its own accord grazed his right cheek, and he felt reruns of the events of hours before, take over his mind.
She had disappeared obviously, like a nervous blur of sunshine yellow, the second the realisation of her actions dawned on her. He meanwhile, was dazed. And nowhere, nowhere was the feeling of having lost the impulsive bet from earlier treading his brains. Instead something like elation, bubbling jubilation was spreading through him like warm honey, engulfing everything sensible on his mind, leaving him with a strong desire to be within an inch of that annoying girl, and just look at her. And suddenly, every notion about tales of love and romance he had encountered in any form of literature that had earlier bored him, now ceased to exit. He could still feel that slight pressure of her lips against his cheek, the kiss like a soft caress ending a little too soon. A little while later, when he had encountered her against the main door of the Raizada Mansion, he felt good. No, good was not the exact emotion, it was more close to excited, thrilled, very much aware of his throbbing heart. The pink flush on her face, was his causing, he knew it. This fact pleasured him, more so remembering the evening before, when he had placed a similar kiss on those velvety cheeks, only more lingering, indulgent.
"Humein toh lagta hai, aap bhi theek nahi hai!"
Khushi couldn't have been more right. Nothing seemed to be right with him since the past few days. He felt a sudden tightening in this throat, or the familiar heaviness in his chest with every word, every smile Khushi exchanged with NK. Every time he used to walk away with Khushi, right in front of him, he felt edgy. But then, he now found himself asking, is this what Di had meant by falling in love? Was he finally there?
There was no subconscious rebuking him for thinking of such frivolities this time. One could actually see a small smile tugging at the corners of his lips, almost reaching his eyes. Love, was it?
All this time, when he had felt that outlandish surge of energy when Khushi had walked into the house during the wedding festivities, when the dormant dullness and monotonousness of his life had been painted over by what he felt like, happiness? Then the bizarre elation he experienced witnessing Khushi wearing the bangles, he had given her or taking the saree of his choice, ignoring NK's wishes, that demure smile she had thrown his way, meant only for him.
Arnav may have suddenly acknowledged these emotions, the first pang of love, an incandescence of colours, but they had been in love all along. Those expressions and gestures, unnoticeable, but still very much there. Those lips set softly upon the bruise at the necessary moment, then and much, much before.
And in the midst of this evening of retrospection, Arnav might have let out a silent laugh thinking, that of all the women he could have fallen in love with, it had turned out to be the chatterbox of a nineteen-year old girl! But did he care? No. All he wanted was another chance to have those warm hands in his, like that evening beside the pool, when she had dropped the pair of bangles, so very carelessly. It felt nice, that touch, soft, supple, so perfect. In fact he didn't have the words to describe that feeling, it just felt nice, like something he would want to hold onto for the rest of his life. What else would he want to hold onto for the rest of his life? He felt himself asking, now a full-blown smile playing on his lips.
Maybe that dupatta which he had so authoritatively taken from Khushi to wipe off the haldi smeared on his face. Maybe the domesticity he felt, the right he felt to perform this far-out action. But it felt so right. Exactly like he had felt when Khushi had somehow ended up standing next to him in those family photographs NK had been taking. Her, standing beside him and tagging along those ingenuous antics. It scented of completeness, a feeling of contentment.
"Baat karni hai tumse...akele mein," and hence the eventful evening of Khushi's sister and his brother's wedding, began. What a sight it was, so lovely. A coy smile adorning her face, the kohl-rimmed lashes fluttering, her eyes undecided on where to look, the man standing a mere breath away from her, or the steady stream of guests walking through the beautifully lit corridor.
"Akele mein...kyun?" Was there a slight tremor in her voice, a quiver? She knew, Arnav deciphered from those hazel eyes, tonight a little brighter, twinkling almost. Taking hold of that small hand, as he walked with her towards the terrace, he couldn't resist looking at the array of those flame orange and gold bangles now touching his hand against her wrist. Poetic justice, he mused, smirking away to himself, his hold on her hand tightening.
"Aap kuch bolenge ki nahi? Neeche jiji ki shaadi.." Khushi's voice died the second he stepped closer, the looming voice startling her into surprise. "Just shut up Khushi. Let me concentrate!" The wind seemed to be mocking them, howling with all its might, as Arnav felt a little helpless, unable to get the words he had so assertively scripted in his mind, out of his mouth. Why couldn't he just kiss her, and let it be? Why these heavy declarations? Oh, but he knew, that Khushi would need the words, the exact ones. And maybe he would too, to see her reaction. He felt himself relaxing, the grip on her hands loosening, and he sighed, looking at her exasperated face. "I...I love you Khushi," It had been said, his words faint, yet so sure. The sound resembling that of sweet murmurs, and as Arnav watched, Khushi remained silent for a few long moments, and he was almost certain he could hear her heart pounding a little too fast. Or was it his?
And then she erupted in a fit of giggles. He was disconcerted, but only for an instant. "Kya kaha aapne...? Humne suna nahi..." He had an itch to shout at her for laughing, at a moment so defining as this. But, he had a lifetime to shout at her, didn't he? And more to tell her those three words again and again, as many times she wanted to hear it. But now he needed her close. He needed her, and this time he willingly, with the joy of a five-year old, accepted it.
The declaration didn't exactly come like a bolt from out of the blue, she had been expecting it, or rather imagining this talk, but when she heard those words flow out of his mouth, she felt her whole world exploding, leaving her adrift somewhere in between, her feet grazing the stars. One minute she had been the girl enthralled about her sister's wedding, and the next she felt like a woman in love. His woman.
Moments later, she felt his face nearing hers. She noticed how his skin was thicker than hers, and a gorgeous shade of toast. He smelled like amber or was it, pine? The decision was left hanging mid-air as she felt her face come even closer. A second later, she felt his lips on her left cheek, firm, and lingering. Right in the middle of the deserted terrace, he kissed her so slowly, leisurely that every single bone in her body, the hollow backs of her knees, everything filled up with a dazzling light. So soft, so exhilarating. Like the caress of a feather, subtle, yet effectively painting away her face, her skin to a scorching crimson.
A while later when Arnav slid his hand into hers, a tingly warmth spread through them. It was something outright simple, the gesture of holding hands, yet so significant. So liberating. They felt the evening breeze, it grazing their skin, and it felt different. They were smiling, they were happy. And they knew, somewhere within the deepest fissures of their hearts that all their dreams were about to come true.
This is the end result of IPKKND withdrawal symptoms. I always wondered what-if, not the Shyam fiasco, then what? Whilst Arnav went all flirtatious, I wondered what exactly was going on in his mind. Hence, I am extremely nervous about this. Anyhow, if after reading this you conclude that Sona has finally gone batshit crazy, don't shy away from saying so. Cheers!
Topic started by mistyrains
Last replied by segad