A New Morning - Part 1
"and then the prince and princess lived happily ever after" she said as the little 3 year old snuggled deeper into his blanket and yawned as she tucked him in and laid a loving kiss on his cherubic cheek "but mamma...do all prince find their princesses when they grow up?" the child asked in his sweet voice full of sleep as his mother chuckled and brushed his hair away from his forehead "yes sweetheart...every prince finds his princess when he grows up..you will too" she said with a smile as the child closed his eyes before mumbling "just like papa found you.."
Khushi felt her heart stop for a second as her son's words registered in her mind...she took a deep breath and got up to to switch on the night-lamp near the bed...then she closed the curtains and picked up all the toys and books lying on the floor...she collected the mass of crayons and put them in a box before tidying up the rest of the room...what she did not see was a pair of eyes silently watching her doing her everyday chore from outside the room.
As she finally turned around to switch off the lights in the room, the person watching her walked away before she could sight him...she turned around as his presence lingered around wondering if she imagined him there...with a small smile she switched off the lights and kept the door slightly ajar before leaving for her room across the corridor.
As she walked into the room, she saw him sitting outside in the small garden beyond their bedroom...he always sat there working while she put their son to bed...he looked up and smiled at her as she returned his smile and laid down on the bed...after a few minutes he came inside and switched everything off before taking his side of the bed "good night Khushi" he said as she looked over her shoulder briefly and replied "good night Arnav" before he switched off the last lamp near his side of the bed...this is how every night was...with her husband, but not really...since the time she had married him...it all happened on that fateful day...one and half year ago...
One & a Half Years ago from present time...
"Baba, i'm soo excited to finally meet jiji and jijaji...and I truly cannot wait to see my sweety-pie nephew! Can't believe they are finally coming to India!!" khushi squealed as her father and mother joined in her joyous mood...it had been 3 years since she had last seen her sister...and that was when she was leaving for the US right after her wedding...it was an arranged marriage, with her jijaji's family being close friends of theirs...it was meant to be when the rishta had come from the Raizada's for the hand of their elder daughter Payal for their son Arnav
[Flashback to three years ago from present time...]
Arnav Singh Raizada...he was everything a girl dreamed of in a husband; smart, good looking...highly educated with a Harvard degree to boast and a top position in a very well known US based software company...every mother's dream choice for her daughter...and it was the same in the Gupta house as well...when the Raizada's had proposed the match, Payal had been very apprehensive of leaving for another country...but after a lot of persuasion and brain washing by her parent's she had finally agreed to meet him before taking any decision
Khushi still remembered the day when Arnav had come along with his parents, his sister and her husband to their house...she had gone to get sweets from the market after making sure her jiji was well dressed and perfectly groomed...she had spent hours straightening payal's hair and ironing her sari and matching accessories that she hardly had time to do anything else
She had rushed off to the market in hopes of coming back soon before the guests arrived...after all it was imperative that she tease her sister about her to-be groom before she sees him...so she had quickly bought all the stuff that her mother had asked her to get and was on her way back in her small maruti zen when she found a huge white SUV parked right in front of their gate
She had fumed at the person who had parked the car, wondering how she would get inside...she honked a couple of times but gave up when no one came...she drove past the SUV and parked her car right in front of it before getting down and unloading the things she had bought...when she came around the gate, she gave a nasty look at the SUV before kicking the bumper in anger
"Did you just kick my car?" a deep voice came from behind her making her turn around to come face to face with probably the most handsome man she had every met..his warm caramel eyes looked at her suspiciously as she kept staring at him with her mouth open...this was the man who was supposed to marry her sister?...Arnav Singh Raizada...his picture did no justice to his enigmatic personality"Uh...are you all right?" he asked her again as he looked at her in amusement making her come back to her senses
"Yes...i'm good...sorry...I had no idea it was your car...I mean I was cursing the idiot who parked in front of my gate..." she said as arnav smirked at her words making her bite her tongue "N..no...I mean...I didn't call you an idiot...I just meant that..." she started saying when he held up his hands "Its fine...it is my fault...I shouldn't have parked it there...let me move it" he said as Khushi stepped in front of him startling him "No..its fine...please...you are our guest..." she said as Arnav realized she lived here too
"You are?" he asked her as she smiled goofily and held out her hand "Khushi..Payal jiji's sister..." she said as Arnav smiled warmly and shook her hand making her arm tingle...what the hell! She thought as she quickly pulled her hand away "Uh...why don't we go in...and why were you outside?" she asked opening her big mouth again as arnav laughed, making him look more handsome than before "Its ok Khushi...I just came to make a phone call..shall we go in?" he asked her good naturedly as she smiled and walked in after him.
That day was something she will always remember...the first time she had met him...and the day the rishta had been fixed...it was always a yes from the Raizada's as Arnav had already told them he would marry anyone his parents chose for him...the fact that payal was an educated, cultured girl and would be ok staying in the US with him was only a plus point..but it did take the Gupta family some time to get payal's approval
Once the Raizada's had left, payal had taken Khushi's hand and led her to the terrace...there she had spoken of her concerns regarding the marriage...she was worried to go to the US and was far more scared about how she will live with Arnav Singh Raizada...according to her, he was not all what she had wanted in a husband...he was too strong a personality and intimidated her immensely, making her worry about how their lives would shape up if they marry
"Arre jiji...Arnav seemed like a genuine guy and I totally do not understand why you don't want to go to the US...it is such a grand opportunity jiji...just think! All the stuff you can do there...and best thing..no family to harass you!" she had giggled as payal had hit her lightly on her arm "chup pagli...then why don't you marry him? You seem to like everything about him!" payal had said making khushi giggle harder "Kya karen jiji...the rishta has come for you...alas! I wish it was for me...after all who wouldn't mind a hunk for a husband" she had said as payal had run behind her trying to hit her.
Later in the day when their parents had asked of payal's opinion...she had looked once at Khushi who had blinked her eyes and nodded, giving her silent assurance to payal, that she had said a yes albeit with a little apprehension...from then things had just been a whirlwind with the wedding being fixed in the coming month and payal's application for a dependent visa on way
They had hardly got any time to meet Arnav as he had been back to the US for his work and was going to return only a week before the wedding...but Khushi had encouraged payal to speak to him as much as they could and even chat with him whenever they got the time...this had helped in pacifying payal's fear from her disturbed thoughts as Arnav had been very understanding towards her wishes and concerns
Khushi's respect for Arnav had gone up many notches as she had seen him work very hard towards assuring her sister and also looking for various options for further studies that she could opt for when she gets there...he wanted her to study further as she was still young and had aspired to do so anyways...she had been relived to see her sister actually looking forward to going to the US and starting her new life with Arnav
The wedding had been a thing of dreams...all the functions were done splendidly with the best of everything; Khushi had hardly got a chance to catch up with Arnav as she had been busy all the while with the preparations and looking after the guests...but she had caught him many times giving her warm smiles whenever their eyes had met...it had left a familiar tingling sensation in her heart which she had all but pushed out of her mind knowing how wrong her thoughts were
Payal and Arnav had left for the US only two days after the wedding, leaving everyone in a state of sadness at their departure...Khushi had called her sister nearly everyday for the first few weeks as she was worried about her settling in...but the joy and excitement with which Payal spoke about the new city, its sights, shopping and her upcoming course had left Khushi with a satisfied mind...she had hardly spoken to Arnav since he was always at work when she called...except when they used to call during festivals and other familial occasions
It had worried her that her jiji did not speak much about Arnav and mostly changed the topic when Khushi asked about him...but then she had thought that maybe it was because she was still very shy...six months had passed like that and when one day she had asked Payal about how Arnav was she had snapped and told her to call him if she so wanted to know about him
That was when she knew something wasn't right...she had tried to speak to her mother about it as well, but her mother had laughed it off saying that these things happen between married couples...the thought had still nagged her, when a few weeks later Arnav had called them to inform them about Payal's pregnancy...and with that news, all her worries had left her...things were great between the two of them with the anticipation of the new arrival
The whole Gupta and Raizada families had been ecstatic and it was decided that Garima and Arnav's mother would be going to the US for the baby's arrival...the remaining months had passed in a jiffy as their joy had found no bounds with the arrival of their little prince 'Advait'...Khushi had connected her and her father on skype with Payal, where her mother was holding the little bundle of joy in her hands...she had seen Payal's smiling face and Arnav's teary eyes as he gazed at the little baby while holding on to payal's hand, the look that passed between the two had assured khushi that all was well in their life...that was then...
Khushi turned around to see Arnav sleeping peacefully next to her...she observed his face as the permanent worry lines were eased off his forehead and his eyes lay peaceful in his slumber...this is how she remembered him from that day when she had seen her nephew for the first time...the look of peace between her jiji and Arnav was what had kept her worries at bay and let her freely rejoice in the new phase in her sister's life
Her mother had stayed with Payal along with Arnav's mother for nearly 6 months...she would have probably stayed for longer if it wasn't for the visa terms that dictated that she could not stay for more than 6 months at a stretch...those days had been golden...they would skype as much as they could to see the little cherub...khushi and her father waited for the day when they could hold their little prince in their hands and pamper him to bits
Around the time when Advait turned one, khushi's parents had started looking for a groom for her...she was only 23 and had wanted to work for a couple of years before thinking about marriage but the fact that her sister too had married at the same age, made it difficult for her to convince her parents...she spoke of her insecurities with her sister who was vehemently against Khushi's arranged marriage...she kept telling her that it was best she found someone for herself instead of saying yes to anyone that their parents found for her
This had put khushi in a dilemma...her jiji who had herself agreed for an arranged marriage...had been happy...in fact, is happy with her husband and their child but was still telling khushi to go against everything she believed in? Those latent fears of her jiji's marriage being in trouble again crept up in Khushi's heart...but the laughing giggling face of Advait and the content look on her sisters face made her once again stash those thoughts away...but everything had changed the day they returned from the US...nothing remained the same anymore.
One and a Half Year ago from present time...
"Baba...how much time more? Call Anjali di na, she must have spoken to the driver!" Khushi whined as she waited by the front porch for the car to arrive...the car which had gone to fetch her jiji, Arnav and Advait...they had decided to come to Gupta house first to drop Payal and Advait while Arnav was going to go back to his house later...Payal was going to stay with them for a week before going to Arnav's house...her parents had thought that the arrangement had been a bit odd since Payal should have gone to her in-law's first...but the joy of having their daughter back after three years and that too with their grandson had made everything better
"I don't know Khushi...they should have got here by now" Shashi said as he dialed Anjali's number...Arnav and Payal both did not have an Indian number yet since they had just landed...the only way to get through to them had been through Anjali who could contact the driver... "I spoke to her...she said the driver is not picking up...must be driving na.." Shashi said as Garima came out from the kitchen "Khushi, did you keep the bengali sweets in the fridge? They'll go bad otherwise" she said as Khushi smiled from the porch
"Haan ma...I kept it...and how much longer are you going to be in the kitchen huh? They'll be reaching any minute...you should go and freshen up if you want to hold your grandson" khushi said cheekily as Garima gave her a smile and went back inside...they kept waiting for the car to show up with Shashi calling up the Raizada's twice...but they too were clueless since the driver's phone had kept ringing...Anjali's husband had gone with his car to check if everything was all right since it had already been three hours since their arrival at the airport.
Khushi sat at the porch with tears glistening in her eyes...'where were they?' she kept thinking as a sinking feeling made place in her heart...why was it taking so long?...she kept praying that everything was all right...even her mother sat in front of the small temple in their house while their father walked around restlessly waiting for the Raizada's to call...they knew they had left the airport since Anjali had spoken to them from the driver's phone..but after that there had been no contact
It was only when half an hour later, Shashi's phone rang that everything came to a standstill...it was Anjali's husband...he had taken the route from the airport to the Gupta house, only to find himself in between a huge accident that had taken place between two cars and truck...one of them was the Raizada's car...they had been in an accident where the truck had tried to overtake their car and the driver in order to go ahead had smashed into another car that was coming from the front...to save himself he had swerved the car to the left, thereby making the other car crash right into the back passenger seat...the seat where Payal had sat...she was declared dead on reaching the hospital.
PART 2 below!
Khushi made herself a cup of green tea as she pulled her robe closer to her body; the december chill making her shiver despite of the central heating in full force...she went outside in the living room and looked out from floor to ceiling glass walls of their apartment in New York...if someone had told her a year ago that she would be relocating to New York, she would have laughed it off
She sat down on the comfy settee near the window and gazed down at the beautiful sight that Central Park made in winter...with the Christmas lights on and stars twinkling delightfully on the tall christmas trees, her thoughts went back to the day that had changed everything in her life...the day that had started with being a joyous one only to end up being the saddest of their lives.
She looked at the large portrait of her sister that hung on one of the walls in the living room...her smiling face, dimpled cheeks and twinkling eyes looking down at Khushi who sat with tears welling in her eyes...she missed her sister...missed her more than anything! And if it wasn't for her sister's baby...she probably would not have been sitting here today...in her new life...as Mrs Arnav Singh Raizada...a name that was rightfully her sisters...not her's.
One Year ago...
It had been nearly six months since the accident and payals demise...Arnav and Advait and their driver had survived the ill-fated accident with minor injuries since they had been sitting in the front...but Payal had left them all on that day...Arnav had turned into a shell of a man from who he once was...he had left Advait with his parents and sister and had left for the US to get things in order there...he had come back a few weeks later, taking indefinite leave from work as he had to decide on what was best for Advait...
The first thing everyone told him was to come back to India...but he had refused to even think about that...he had told everyone that he was capable of taking care of his son and would not be coming back anytime soon...he had even discussed working from home so that he could be a full time father for Advait...his company had agreed on his request, since he was one of their highly respected and senior employee...so this was the best solution for them.
During his time in India, Khushi had visited the Raizada house regularly...she had been so taken with Advait that she felt as if he were her own son instead of her sister's...Advait too looked forward to his maasi's visit as she probably reminded him of his mother...this was truly appreciated by Arnav who was indebted to Khushi for her involvement in his son's life...he knew that Advait missed his mother's warmth and Khushi provided the same to him whenever she came to their house...he also enjoyed her company as she always tried to engage him in something or the other to keep him occupied...to keep him from falling into that abject depression that had come over him after Payal's death
No one had probed Arnav after that day about his plans and had agreed with his solution of working from home...but looking at Advait's growing bond with Khushi had brought about a thought in everyone's mind...of Arnav's remarriage...Advait needed a mother and who better than Khushi who understood both the father and son so well? Even Shashi and Garima had thought that this was good idea and looking at the way Khushi adored Advait, they thought it would be for the best...as it is, they could not see anyone else taking their Payal's place in their grandson's life.
It was on one of those days, when Khushi had come to play with Advait...she was going to take him along with her for the weekend, when loud noises from the bedroom upstairs caught her attention...she could hear Arnav's mother and his sister talking to him...she inched a few feet closer to hear the only sentence that caused her to gasp in surprise "No ma...I will not marry Khushi...period...I do not want anymore discussion after this." he had said in such an enraged voice that it had shook her to the core
She had quickly left from there and gone to the kitchen to calm her nerves...they were planning to marry her with Arnav? Why?...her gaze shifted to little Advait who had now started walking slowly...his pudgy legs kept tripping over each other making him fall and then giggle before getting up...she wiped the odd tears that had somehow made their way to her eyes before picking him up and making him sit in her lap...she knew why...it was for Advait.
At that same time Arnav had come down to find khushi and Advait playing...he had given Khushi an intense stare before completely ignoring her and walking out the door...she had let the tears fall past her cheeks only to have Advait's soft hands wipe them away...she had kissed him on both his cheeks and hugged him tightly before saying a quick goodbye to the rest of the Raizada family.
That evening her parents had asked her the same question...they had told her about their concerns regarding Advait's future and how a step-mother may not love him as much as she would...they also knew the equation she shared with Arnav and that given time, everything will come together...she had asked them to give her time and had gone back to her room to play with Advait...that night she slept with him in her arms, as she watched him peacefully next to her...she knew she could not let him go...he had made a place in her heart but things weren't so simple...plus Arnav did not want to marry her...so there was no question of her agreeing.
Next day morning, she had woken up to Advait hitting her softly on her cheeks and mumbling something...on further listening to him she had understood what he was trying to say 'Mamma'...she burst out crying frightening the child who too started crying along with her...she held him tightly till both their sobbing subsided...she had made up her mind.
"Are you sure you know what you are doing Khushi? There is no going back..." Arnav had asked her the day after when she had come to drop Advait back...Arnav had been told of Khushi's acceptance of the proposal making him confused and angry at the same time...he had roughly spoken to her only for her to stand up to him and speak in a clear manner "Yes, I am sure...but you should know that I want this marriage for Advait only...I can't live without him...so for his sake, I have said a yes" she said with a pain in her heart, lest he thinks otherwise...she knew he did not want to marry her and her ego and love for Advait would not let her accept the fact that she wasn't just marrying him for Advait
"Thank you for clearing that...if this is your final decision that I have no problem with it...we will marry as soon as we can since I have to go back to the States...your visa will take some time and you can join when it comes through..." he said as Khushi tried to reign in her tears... "Fine...but Advait will stay with me till then...i'll come along with him" she said as Arnav hesitated for a bit before nodding "Ok, but i'll come to get you both...the visa process will take a month at least...but i'll try and hasten it if I can..." he said as Khushi nodded mutely
He looked at her drawn face before adding softly "Please be sure you want this Khushi...I don't want you to live with a regret...don't you have someone in your life?" he said to her as she smiled at him "I am sure Arnav and No I don't have anyone else in my life...I love Advait...and I can't stay without him...also, if its ok...i'd like to have a court marriage...since it's only been six months since..." she added to which Arnav nodded "Off course...but our families would want a small traditional ceremony as well...we can have that in a temple with just our close ones" he said as Khushi nodded...drawing a final line at the decisions made
And thus two months later, Khushi and Advait had come to New York...Arnav had shifted out of their house in Jersey and bought an apartment in downtown New York in the time he had been gone after the marriage...they had signed the marriage papers followed by the small temple ceremony making Khushi a Raizada bahu...keeping in mind the circumstances of their wedding and the recent death in the family, there were no other rituals performed...Anjali had kept Advait with her on their first night, leaving them both awkwardly staring at the bed
"You can take the bed...I'll sleep on the recliner" Arnav had said to which Khushi had shook her head "No Arnav...we are mature adults...i'm not someone who would be scandalized if we slept in the same bed...plus you are my husband now...if only in name, but still" she had said...missing the look of hurt in his eyes...he had simply nodded and changed into his nightwear before going to sleep...Khushi too had unpacked and changed before sleeping next to him...and that was how they had been till now
The only difference was that Advait slept between them...but from the last two weeks...he had started sleeping in his own bed; leaving Arnav and Khushi once again at odd's in the night...but otherwise their relationship had been getting better and better...there were still times when things were still awkward but in the months they had been married, they had become good friends
Khushi had taken up an MBA course at NYU Stern with Arnav's help who had encouraged her for it...she knew that she could not work right away and whiling the entire day indoors was not for her...so she had applied for the one year MBA program at the University, for which she had only two hours of course work daily keeping her free to spend time with Advait afters...Arnav had hired a nanny to look after him while Khushi went to university
The arrangement worked perfectly for them as Khushi made new friends and started once again finding a new meaning to life...evenings would be great with Arnav playing with Advait while she cooked for them...sometimes they called for take-away when Khushi had her paper's to write and Arnav too helped out with Advaits things when she got busy with term papers...on weekends Arnav made sure they went somewhere new with Advait and sometimes even planned weekend trips away for the three of them...Life was perfect for Khushi except the fact that she had hopelessly fallen in love with her husband...
It wasn't something new...she knew she always had this pull towards him...even when he had come to see her sister on that day...but she had kept her foolish dreams aside...it was a taboo to even think about your sister's fiance in that way...the shiver of excitement she had felt when Payal had jokingly told her to marry Arnav instead had cemented the fact that she had feelings for him...something which was forbidden and should never be thought of again
But now, things had changed...he was her husband and being in close proximity for nearly a year had made her yearn for things she had hoped to have with her husband one day...yes he took care of her and protected her...and maybe was fond of her as well...it showed in many of the things he did for her...like bringing her favorite flowers...or ordering a hindi flick from the library on movie nights that they had decided to have every thursday...even sometimes cooking breakfast when she was busy with Advait...he was perfect...but he did not want her
Not the way she wanted him...her heart always sped when he was near her...she could hardly sleep with him lying so close to her...whenever he touched her, either accidentally or just in general, she felt such warmth and pleasure that it made her yearn for more...but every single time she thought of finally telling him how she felt about him, she remembered that day when he had disagreed to marry her...or that look that had passed between him and her sister on Advait's birth...he was in love with her sister...had always been...and that could never change...not when her smiling picture reminded her everyday of the fact that this was rightfully her place...reminded her daily about her unrequited love.
She felt a tear trickle past her cheek as she sniffed and wiped it off... "Khushi?" she heard his voice from behind her and got up quickly to pass him a smile "Arre Arnav...why are you awake?...did you want something?" she asked him trying to be her sunny self again but he came closer to her, making her flick the last bit of moistness from her eyes "You were crying?" he asked her as she shrugged and shook her head
"What? No...something must have gone in my eye...lets go sleep" she said trying to change the topic and go back to their room when he held her wrist, making her turn towards him...her body reacting once again violently to his touch "Hold on Khushi...were you crying because you were thinking about her?" Arnav asked her as she sighed and turned towards him...she knew who the 'her' was that he was referring to
"I miss her..." she said sadly as he left her wrist taking all the warmth from her body...he turned away from her as she felt her eyes once again prick looking at his rigid stance...he will always love her sister...he will always be her sister's husband...she is just a friend for him...and it should remain that way...she had to comfort him in his grief...she went towards him and laid her hand on his shoulder...making his body tense under her touch "I know you miss her too...its always difficult to let go of loved ones" she said with a sad smile as Arnav turned around with hurt evident in his eyes
She looked at him in confusion as he sighed and once again held her hand...he led her to the same settee she was sitting on earlier and made her sit next to him "Khushi...there is a lot you don't know...about me and Payal" he said as Khushi looked at him with concern "About what?" she asked him as he took a deep breath and ran both his hands through his thick wavy hair
"Khushi...I don't know how to explain this...but let me tell you in short...I guess I should have told you this long time ago...probably even before we got married...but I never wanted to bring more grief to you and the family" he said, as she squeezed his hand that was still holding her "What is it Arnav? You are scaring me" she said as Arnav looked at her...his eyes full of intensity as his gaze hovered over her face...before coming to rest again on her eyes "Payal and I were heading back to India for a divorce"
Part 3 Below!
Arnav relaxed as he felt a huge weight lift off his shoulders "Our marriage had ended long back...a divorce was just a formality.." he said looking straight in her eyes as she looked on in shock and disbelief...she shook her head and pulled her hand from his as she shifted away from him on the settee "What are you saying? No..it can't be...you were...you were both so happy...and then Advait..." she said as Arnav chuckled mirthlessly and looked away
"Happy?...we were never happy Khushi...all that was an act...the truth was that we should have never married in the first place...but I left the decision to my family...if it was up to me, I would have married someone else" he said looking directly at her..."But...but you never...both of you seemed so perfect..." she said as Arnav's face turned hard "Really Khushi? You had no idea? Payal told me that you suspected something was wrong between us...don't deny that you had felt the cracks in our relationship" he said as her eyes filled up
"I did...but then I thought its just normal between husband and wife...I knew something was wrong when Jiji would ignore anything and everything about you in our talks...but I thought she was not very comfortable taking about you with me...she had always been a private person...but this..." she said as she looked sideways at her sisters photo "She was always so happy here Arnav...she used to tell me about her friends and her work, that she loved being here..." she said as Arnav nodded
"Yes, she loved being here...but she did not love me...nor could I ever love her...we could not even be good friends...we lived in the same house but different rooms...not even once we came close enough to share our thoughts, forget about anything else" he said as Khushi felt more and more bewildered and confused at Arnav's words...what was he taking about "If you did not love each other and shared no relationship...how did Advait come into being?" she asked him as he sighed and picked up a little photo frame of Khushi and Advait from the nearby coffee table
"I know it will sound crass but Advait was a mistake..." he said as Khushi gasped "How can you say that?" she said as he held her hand back "Khushi...listen to me...I did not mean it that way..." he said as she calmed down and waited for him to continue "When I felt that things had gone from bad to worse in our relationship...I planned a weekend trip to Las vegas for me and Payal on a friend's suggestion...the idea was to loosen up a bit and maybe start over again, but things took a different turn...on our second day there, we got completely drunk...and one thing led to another..." he said as he closed his eyes and looked down
"We both regretted that night Khushi...it was not out of love or even mutual attraction...it just happened...and that was it for our relationship...when it should have gotten stronger...the last of it crumbled away...we could hardly see each other face to face...it disgusted me that I had probably taken advantage of her in my drunken stupor and she never forgave me for it...the week after we got back from Vegas, she asked for a divorce" he said as he looked away
"Khushi, I don't know why things never worked out between us...or why we both never put in that extra effort...maybe because we knew from the start that it was a doomed relationship...maybe that was the reason why neither of us fought for it...from the first day of our marriage, we stayed away from each other...we both tried but could not force ourself to feel for the other" he said as khushi shifted closer to him...her heart breaking for both Arnav and her sister...if only her jiji had spoken to them about this...so much could have been avoided
"Its not just your fault Arnav...Jiji had never whole heartedly accepted the marriage proposal...she was under a lot of pressure from my parents and maybe even I had a hand in convincing her, that she finally gave in...if only we had not.." she said as Arnav looked at her "Don't say that Khushi...we cannot change fate...even Advait's existence is just that...fate" he said as he continued with moist eyes
"I did not argue with Payal when she asked me for a divorce...we decided to make a trip in a months time to come to India and go ahead with the proceedings...in that month, Payal and I got more detached than ever before...she used to spend all her time with her friends while I stayed away from home and worked...but then she started falling ill...when she missed her dates, she came to me with her concern...I knew at once what it was and bought her a home pregnancy kit" he said as khushi squeezed his hand
"She was pregnant...it was crazy...that feeling of being the happiest person alive and then the saddest...I tried to talk to her once again about maybe staying together for the child, but she was adamant...she told me that she will have the baby because she can never abort it...but once the child was born, we will have the divorce...I knew that convincing her at that point was not possible...so I stuck out...I thought as the baby grows within her and once he or she is born...she will change her mind" Arnav said as khushi twirled her arm around his and laid her head on his shoulder...making him relax a little bit from remembering all those painful days
"Nothing changed Khushi...even after Advait's birth, she was adamant...I thought our son might bring us closer, but she had made up her mind to start her life all over again...she had secured a job in a good firm in New York and we also discussed custody...as the divorce settlement had to be done in India and we needed a special sanction to carry out the same in the US...it was decided that we will have joint custody...she loved him as much as I did...in that, there was no question..." he said as khushi sighed and looked up into Arnav's eyes as they reflected grief, pain and something more
"But what about when Ma and your mother were here? How did they not realize..." Khushi asked as Arnav turned towards her "Maintaining a happy family facade in front of our mother's was the worst...it killed us to keep them in the dark, but we had to...we could not tell them about our separation when they were so happy about Advait's birth...we thought it would be best for them to know it later...so when Advait was old enough to travel safely back to India, we planned the ill-fated trip" Arnav said as his shoulder's drooped down in defeat
"Why did you not tell me all this before Arnav?" she asked him when he let his other hand gently caress her soft cheeks...he swiped his thumb beneath her eyes to catch some of the residual tears hanging on there... "I did not want to increase your grief Khushi...plus you had made it abundantly clear that you were in this marriage for Advait only...I did not want to burden you with all this too...as it is you sacrificed a lot already..." he said as Khushi straightened up and pulled her arms away
She stood up and went to stand near the windows again...it was dawn and the sun would rise in sometime now...it was time to tell him about the truth she had been hiding inside her...but before that, she had to ask him something "Why did you not want to marry me?" she asked him softly, startling him at her question..."Pardon me?" he asked her as she turned around towards him
"I heard you that day...you said to your mother and di that you will never marry me...why Arnav? Was it so bad to marry me? That you only agreed to it when I said I was marrying you for Advait only? Did you really not find me worthy enough to be your wife in the real sense?" she asked him as he looked on dumbfounded...he stared at her for a few minutes as she found her confidence faltering...what was she doing asking him all this?...she did not want to know...it would only hurt her more... "You know what...forget I asked you this...lets just not talk about it" she said as she made her way to go inside when Arnav got up and pulled her roughly to him
Her body hit his with such an impact that she had to hold him by the shoulders in order to not fall on him completely "Arnav...what.." she started asking when he tightened his hold on her...making her body go up in flames at such an intimate contact with him... "You, not worthy of me? It was I who was not worthy of you Khushi...you had your whole life ahead of you...the last thing I wanted was for you to be saddled with your sister's husband and her child...I wanted you to live your life on your terms..that was the reason I said I will not marry you...not because I did not find you worthy..." he said as his breathing became erratic
"In fact I still don't find myself worthy of you...you are too pure and kind Khushi...you are perfect...and me...I have too much baggage with me...I was worried that you too will be unhappy with me like Payal was...but then when I saw your love for Advait...I relented...plus you said you were in it only for him...so I thought if not me, then for Advait I can agree to this...I wanted to give you everything Khushi...and I know you only see me as a friend...but I hope that one day we can look beyond all this...I will never want you to bind yourself to me or Advait ever..." he said as Khushi looked on in wonder
"If you ever..." he started saying when he felt his mouth being shut by the softest petals ever...it took him a second to realize that Khushi was kissing him...but it wasn't long before his body reminded him of her effect on him as he kissed her back...his hands tugged her closer as she wound her arms around his neck, her inexperienced lips kissing him softly, waiting for him to guide her as he slanted his lips over hers...making her part her lips in anticipation and need as he deepened their kiss...she clung to him as he kissed her hungrily, like a man starved for ages...he kissed her like a man kisses a woman...a man who was madly and passionately in love...
They broke apart as air became a necessity, both taking in big gulps to reign in their breathing... "Khushi..." Arnav said huskily as she shyly looked up to find his eyes reflecting the same emotion she held in hers "I am already bound to you Arnav...you and Advait...I can't live without the two of you...maybe you are right...maybe this is fate...and I cannot even recall you how long I have been in love with you...I always feared your rejection Arnav...but now, I don't want to wait anymore" she said as Arnav's face lit up with a smile as never before
"I'm glad we are friends first Arnav...but I have waited too long to be yours...but if you want.." she started saying when Arnav interrupted her "I love you Khushi..." he said as her eyes widened at his words...her heart beating erratically as his arms imprisoned her in his warmth... "When I said I wanted to marry someone else instead of Payal, it was you Khushi...you took my breath away the first time I saw you kicking my car.." he said as she chuckled "But then things weren't so simple...and you never gave me any indication if you too felt something that day...so I let it go...I let go of a hope to be with you and married Payal instead...it was the right thing to do at that point...and I gave it my best" he said as Khushi hugged him, pulling him closer into her
"I know you did Arnav and I know that Jiji did too...but somethings are just not meant to be...and maybe a second chance was written in our fate..." she said as she pulled back to look at him...she caressed his stubbled chin as he turned his head and kissed her palm "I did feel something for you Arnav...but I too, let it go...thinking it was wrong to feel anything like that for my sister's fiance...but now I will never let you go...you, Advait and me...this is my world...I don't know anything else" she said as arnav once again kissed her passionately, taking her breath away...but then pulled back to look at her with guilt-ridden eyes
"I still find myself guilty for Payal's death Khushi...I still think of 'What if's'...What if we had come a day later ?or if I had sat in the back on Payal's side instead of in the front? did you know that Advait was sitting with Payal? It was only when he started crying that I took him to sit on my lap in the front...that was just a few minutes before the accident Khushi...this thought still haunts me...and that was why I couldn't bring myself to tell you how I felt about you, I though I did not deserve anyone's love...It made me restless that you were so close to me, yet so far...and I never thought that this day would ever come, when you will return my love...please forgive me Khushi...forgive me for Payal's..." he said as Khushi gently placed her finger on his lips and shook her head
"No Arnav...it was not your fault...how can you even think that you are to blame for it? What happened was already written Arnav...jiji's death has left a hole in our hearts...but I know that with time and with our love for Advait, it will fill up..." she said as Arnav hugged her tightly "I love you Khushi...please don't ever leave me" he said as he placed his face in the crook of her neck, nuzzling her soft skin there, making her gasp at the tingles of pleasure running through her veins "I'll never leave you Arnav...we'll always be together" Khushi said as she trailed her hands over his back
His hands went to the knot of her robe before gently pushing it off her, leaving her blushing in a soft satin nightie...she placed her head on his chest, right above his heart as he whispered in her ear "I have waited so long for this Khushi...only I know how I remained sane, being so close to you...to feel you next to me and not be with you...I want us to take our relationship forward, Khushi...I want you to be my wife, in every sense..." he said huskily as she nodded and kissed him lightly on his jaw, making him groan "Me too arnav...me too" she said as he picked her up in his arms while she looped her arms around his neck, their eyes reflecting their love as the sun finally rose out to a gorgeous morning...a new morning and new beginning...for two lovers, who had finally found their solace in each other
Hey beautiful people!! Thank you sooo much for liking and commenting on this TS...as I mentioned in my first post, this is based on a couple I know in real life...the Guy was married to the elder sister and had a child with her...but when they were returning to India, they had a major accident on way from Mumbai to Pune, where she died...there was no divorce stuff there but everyone knew that the couple were unhappy...since their son was only a year old, the younger sister was proposed to marry him for the sake of the child...it was a shock for the entire family and friends of the couple..but then things took shape beautifully...just recently they had another child...and they are very very much in love...where things looked bleak and unfair for the younger sister...it is now full of hope and love...you never know what fate has in store for you!
Love you all!!
Topic started by RTlicious
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