Awarded ArshiOS: A Little Ways down the Road (Note on Pg 8)

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Posted: 8 years ago

A Little Ways Down the Road

 

 

*For men may come and men may go, but I go on forever.

 

The gentle flowing brook, flowing down the valley, beyond the abandoned farm far away in the city had seen its share of lovers. Hidden away from most of the inhabitants of the city, it was only discovered by some lucky lovers, who wanted isolation from the world and wanted to spend some time in this heaven like place.

 

I come from haunts of coot and hern, 
I make a sudden sally 
And sparkle out among the fern, 
To bicker down a valley. 

 

And right now, it was witnessing another pair of lovers.

Lovers who did not yet know that they were in love and destined to be together.

 

'Khush! Don't cry Khush. Please. Everything will be okay. I promise you this. If I cannot do anything else in my entire life, I promise you I will do this. I will make everything fine. I'll make you happy again.' A sixteen year old Arnav Singh Raizada promised a fourteen year old Khushi Kumari Gupta.

'How Arnav? How is it all going to be okay? They are gone. They are all gone. I have no one. My wh'whole family Arnav. Wiped away in an instant. Why us Arnav? Why weren't we on that plane with them? Why?' Khushi sobbed on his shoulder.

Arnav sat beside her, his hand gently moving through her hair, trying to give her comfort in any way that he could and trying hard not to give into the tears that were threatening to spill down his face.

Not now.

Not in front of Khushi.

She was so fragile, so delicate and most importantly she was all that he had left.

'You are not alone Khushi. You have me. And I have you. And as long as we have one another, we will be okay.' Arnav told her.

And it was true. Arnav had known Khushi since she was born. Their family were best of friends. Always together in everything. Arnav had heard so many times while growing up, the story of how he had claimed Khushi as his the moment he had set his eyes on the new born baby.

Arnav was two at that time. And like all the children of that age, he was stubborn and childish to a fault. Anjali Di already had Payal Di to play with. So it was only fair that Khushi would be Arnav's playmate.

Only his.

And he had kept good on his promise. He had followed Khushi everywhere for the first few years of her life.

And after that, a little Khushi had done the following. So much so that their family had named Khushi as the little lamb that always followed Mary. Always with Arnav, whether invited or not, even when he was playing football with his guy friends.

A seven year old Arnav did not know whether to be annoyed or amused by her antics. He had even told her off, once or twice, but Khushi being Khushi, always came back to him.

And on the rare occasions that she didn't, Arnav bought a box of Jalebis from her favorite sweet shop and took them to her as a peace offering. She would pout and scream and refuse to talk and finally accept the Jalebis and smile her bright smile, making Arnav smile in return.

And all would again be okay in their world.

 

Their parents had gone for a wedding to Lucknow two weeks back, leaving Arnav and Khushi behind due to their exams. The plane in which their entire family was traveling had an engine failure and had crashed, leaving no survivors.

The news had brought Arnav and Khushi's world crashing down on them.

Life as they had known, had ceased to exist.

 

By thirty hills I hurry down, 
Or slip between the ridges, 
By twenty thorpes, a little town, 
And half a hundred bridges

 

 

Today was the thirteenth day after their parents accident. Khushi had not yet come to terms with the loss, while Arnav had become a master at hiding his pain.

Carrying out the rites of six dead bodies had been soul shattering for him. He no longer felt anything. He could no longer sleep. And on the rare occasions that he was able to doze off, nightmares visited him.

He longed for his mother. To keep his head on her lap while she sang the lullaby which had put him to sleep when he was a kid. He wanted just one more day with his Dad. To feel his fathers hand on his shoulder, when he did something his father was proud of.

And most of all he longed for his Di. He wanted to fight with her, tease her about her upcoming marriage.

He wanted one moment. Just one moment in time, to let them know how much he loved them and missed them.

 

So many dreams.

So many memories.

So many lives.

All shattered.

 

'Arnav?' Khushi whispered, bringing him out of his thoughts. He looked at her. Saw her big doe like eyes red rimmed, filled with tears and fear and he wanted to howl in pain. Wanted to scream at the world for the injustice that was dished out to them. Wanted answers from the Gods that both of their families believed in, as to why were they pushed into this nightmare?

The nightmare that now symbolized their whole life.

He tried to speak, but the lump in his throat was too big this time.

'What do we do Arnav?' Khushi asked fearfully.

Arnav looked at her then, and his eyes held a new hardness, a new glint, a new resolve, that signified that he had matured way beyond his age in the past two weeks.

'We survive Khushi. We survive. Always.'

'Always and forever.' Khushi whispered and then buried her head in his neck and prayed with all her might that things really would be okay.

 

 

Till last by Philip's farm I flow 
To join the brimming river, 
For men may come and men may go, 
But I go on for ever.

 

******************************************************************************************************** 

Khushi was sitting down on the grass, throwing pebbles in the brook as she waited for Arnav to show up. They met here every month, on the date of their parents death anniversary.

It was Khushi's idea. She had decided that she wanted to remember their parents with a happy memory and not the sad ones. So they came here every month to celebrate the love that they were lucky enough to have with their family, until fate had snatched it away from them.

The flowing water of the brook glittering in the sun, always calmed her.

But not today.

Today she was agitated. She needed to see Arnav. Needed to know from him if the rumors that were spreading around in the college had any truth to them.

'Hey Khush. Sorry I am late. Got hold up.' Arnav's voice reached her ears. She stood up from where she was sitting and turned around to face him. And as always, just for one second, she felt her heart stop beating, and then start beating at a double pace.

She didn't know how or when it had happened. Id you asked her, she wouldn't be able to tell you the exact moment when she fell in love with Arnav Singh Raizada.

She only knew one truth.

That she loved him.

Loved him more than anything she had loved in her entire eighteen years of existence.

And every day, hiding her secret from him became more and more difficult.

 

With many a curve my banks I fret 
By many a field and fallow, 
And many a fairy foreland set 
With willow-weed and mallow.

 

She knew he didn't feel the same way about her. For him, she was his only living family, his best friend, and he loved her, but not in the way that she loved him.

And that was okay with her. As long as she had him in her life, as long as she was the most important person in his life, she was okay with the circumstances. She had long ago made peace with her fate.

She would in no way jeopardize their friendship.

No matter what the cost to her.

But today, she wondered if she had been a fool in keeping her feelings to herself. Because suddenly she had a foreboding that she was already too late. And that her one chance at happiness had already slipped from her hand without her knowing about it, like the grains of sand that slipped off, no matter how careful you are in holding them.

She cleared her throat, and told herself that she was not a coward. And if she did not ask him, if she did not know for sure, she would drive herself insane.

'So..aah, I heard that you asked Sheetal out on a date?' Khushi asked him in a timid voice, wishing with all her might that his answer be negative.

A sudden smile graced Arnav's lips at the mention of Sheetal and he nodded his head.

'Yes Khush! Can you believe it? She agreed to go out with me. I am so happy Khush. In fact this is why I was late. I was with her, and I didn't realize how late it was.' Arnav answered and suddenly engulfed Khushi in a sudden hug, twirling her around in his happiness.

And Khushi Kumari Gupta felt her heart break into a million pieces and die, with a big smile plastered on her face.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow 
To join the brimming river, 
For men may come and men may go, 
But I go on for ever.

 

 *********************************************************************************************************

Arnav and Khushi both looked at the brook, the moon reflected in its gentle flowing water, not knowing what to say, how to break the silence.

None of them were prepared to deal with what was about to come. For the first time, they did not have anything to say to each other.

'So you are leaving?' Khushi finally broke the silence.

'Yes Khush. You know its for the best.'

'No Arnav. How is it for the best? You leaving to New York for five years? What is the need? You don't have to go.'

'You know I do Khushi. This is a once in a life time opportunity. Sheetal's dad has agreed to train me under him. Do you know how big of an opportunity this is? I am already twenty two, Khushi. I need to make my name in this world. I want to earn money, be a big man, give you everything that you wish for. And I cannot do all this by being here. I have to take this chance Khushi. And you know I hate leaving you behind, but your future, it is important than this Khush. You cannot leave your studies. And I cannot support both of us in NY. I promise you I will come back Khushi. You wont even know that I have left.'

'I don't need any of this Arnav. I only need you. Don't go please.'

It broke Arnav's heart to see her like this, but he could not help it. He remembered the promise he had made to her when he was sixteen, that he will give her everything she wanted. That he would make everything okay. And he would not break that promise.

Not even for her.

'Don't do this Khush. Please.'  Arnav pleaded.

And like always, Khushi could not deny him anything. But before he went, there was something she needed to do. She had thought about this a lot, and decided that it was high time he knew about her feelings.

He was leaving anyways.

And she owed it to him and herself to let him know how she felt about him.

'Arnav.' She whispered, looking at him with a steely resolve in her eyes.

He looked at her, and in that one moment he understood that something was about to change in their lives. Something from which they never could come back. He opened his mouth to ask her to stop, to not do what she was going to do. But before he could do that she had already spoken.

'Arnav, I am in love with you.'

And with that, she stretched on her toes and brought her lips to his.

Arnav wanted to push her away, wanted to tell her to stop, wanted to tell her that this was not how he felt about her, but all rational thought flew from his mind as he felt the first brush of her lips along his own.

Standing there, kissing her and holding her, he felt peace like he had never before.

Peace that he had felt only in another lifetime, when their families were alive and there was still laughter and love.

Suddenly it was all over.

Looking at her, with her face upturned and her eyes still closed, her cheeks crimson red and her breaths coming in shallow pants, he decided that she was more beautiful than any woman had any right to be.

And then he was scared.

Because it was Khush.

His Khush. His best friend. His only living family.

And he couldn't let this come between them.

He was sure that this, whatever this was that Khushi felt for him would go away. She was just twenty. A kid.

May be she had spent way too much time with him. May be it was a good thing he was going away now, before this new feeling came and destroyed what was left of them.

And he had decided long ago, not to give anyone his heart, because when they left, and they eventually did, your heart did not only break, but it rips into a thousand pieces.

And he would not go through that ever again.

So he hardened his heart, knowing that his next words will hurt her, but it will eventually be in her favor.

He looked at her, in her now open eyes, gazing at him full of love and hope and said, 'This should not have happened Khush.'

And he saw the hope in her eyes dying in front of him. He had never hated himself so much.

He saw her nod her face, trying to hold back the tears and turn around, silently asking him to leave.

He left her with his last words, ' I will fulfill my promise, Khush.'

And khushi stayed there for a long time after he left, the flowing stream her only companion thinking all the time that how he could be so blind as not to see that she had never needed all the money or comforts in life to be okay.

She had just needed him.

Always and Forever.

 

And here and there a foamy flake 
Upon me, as I travel 
With many a silvery waterbreak 
Above the golden gravel,


********************************************************************************************************

 

 

He came to their secret place, feeling unusually nervous.

Five years.

It had been five years since he had last seen her. Things between them had been strained after their last meeting. Yes, they had communicated through mails, and on some rare occasions on phone calls.

But they could never find anything to talk about. He wondered how had it come to this. How was it, that the only person who could even read his silences, now couldn't find five sentences to say to him.

He had not told her that he had come back. He had wanted to surprise her. Look at her face when he saw her.

Catch her unguarded, and may be, just maybe see the bright smile that always adorned her lips when he was around, before he had went ahead and screwed it all up.

He had achieved all that he had wanted. At twenty seven, he was already a millionaire several times around. But he had not found happiness.

All his life, he had thought this was his aim. This was what he was supposed to do.

But now, now that he had achieved everything he had set out to, he realized how hollow was his victory.

That without her, there would be no purpose to his life.

How stupid he had been, throwing her love away, when unknowingly, it was all he had wished for , for his entire life.

He felt like he had waited for her for his entire life.

And fool that he was, he had thrown it all away, thinking the diamond in his hand to be a glass.

Would she take him back? Would she even talk to him, let alone love him again, after the way he had refused her love before?

He did not know. But he knew that he would keep trying all his life.

Suddenly he felt somebody else's presence at the same spot. He turned around.

And there she was.

She had changed so much, but she was still the same.

The years had filled her body, making her more curvier. Her hair was longer now, falling to her waist. She was wearing a white dress, falling to her knees, with black ballet pumps, giving her the look of a teenager.

Looking at her, Arnav realized that he had finally reached home.

She had not seen him yet, her head bowed down as she made her way to the brook.

And then as if she had read his mind, she raised her head and her eyes clashed with his.

Arnav could see a whole myriad of emotions passing through her face.

From surprise to disbelief to anger to happiness and finally the one he had thought he would never see again.

Love.

Khushi blinked once, twice, and when she was sure that her eyes were not deceiving her like the numerous other times they had in the last five years, she took him in.

She let her eyes roam over his entire frame, hungry for all the details that she had missed the past five years.

He had lost weight. He was wearing casual chinos with a red jumper, and a leather jacket hanging on his arm. He looked like a fallen angel.

Beautiful but harsh.

She saved his eyes for the last.

When she looked up into them, she saw something that she had long ago given up hopes of seeing.

And then, she did not waste a single second and ran into his arms, just as he opened them.

She wound her arms around his neck, her face hidden in the crook of his neck, and smelled him. It had been so long that she had felt like this.

Felt this whole.

And she hugged him just a little more tighter, not wanting to let go ever.

Arnav disentangled himself from her, smiling to assure her that everything was fine, and then proceeded to take out a box of Jalebis from his jacket pocket.

Khushi looked at him disbelievingly, and then smiled the bright smile that he loved.


'Always, Khush!'

'Always and Forever, Arnav.'

 


I steal by lawns and grassy plots, 
I slide by hazel covers; 
I move the sweet forget-me-nots 
That grow for happy lovers

 *********************************************************************************************************

 

And hence the brook saw another pair of lovers, who had finally found each other, overcoming all the pain that life had thrown their ways. Finding happiness in the little things that made life worth living, love being the most important of them.

 

And it waited, for another pair of lovers that would soon find it, and tell their story by its side.

 

And out again I curve and flow

To join the brimming river,

For men may come and men may go,

But I go on forever.    

*********************************************************************************************************


A/N :- Okay, this is the longest post i have ever written. This OS is inspired by Lord Tennyson's poem "The Brook". I don't know if it made sense or not. But i just had to write this.

Please tell me what you think of it, even if its completely crappy.

Comments appreciated.

Richa




Check out my other works if interested.

Arsho OS Clouds. http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3621100

Arshi FF Pygmalion. http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3514895 ( On hold)

Arshi Drabbles. http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3687958

Edited by richa1792 - 7 years ago
Posted: 8 years ago
wow that was beautiful
and almost had me chocking seeing them separate like that
funny how things worked out though
and they worked for the best
and thats how another set of lover met

Posted: 8 years ago
touching one..
Liked it
Posted: 8 years ago
R.

A little suggestion: Next time when you make a post, make it in the IPK forum. It'll get you more readers.

--------
Edited: I LOVED it!
Sweet story. I really liked how they realised that were in love over the years. But it was always there, it always exited...like it was written.
As usual, your writing was wonderful. Each scene was described to perfection. And I just loved the central prop (or whatever you may call it) to the story: the brook!
Khushi and Arnav were just adorable!
Could have written a better comment...but I'm online through phone so...

But thumbs up for this cute OS, Rich. I truly loved it! Just wish you'd have posted it in the forum. This deserves to be read by more!
Edited by Anarocksick - 8 years ago
Posted: 8 years ago
Very nice.. I loved it.. Change the heading to arhi os... More people will read it
Posted: 8 years ago
Hey dis was a beautiful os. I mean der wer so many emotions. Der was pain, separation, heart brk and finally love and togetherness forever. Amazing update.
Posted: 8 years ago
Amazing story. You have beautifuly written it.
Felt sorry 4 khushi when he left her. Wonder how she survived those 5 years. Glad that he realized his feelings and came back.
Posted: 8 years ago
that was really beautiful... warmed up my heart instantly... :)

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