Chapter 5 - Thick Headed ASR
Payal made dinner for the family while Khushi walked in at round 7.30 pm. Payal and Akash bid good bye and headed out for their dinner date. Khushi just smiled and gave a double thumbs up to her jiju.
Dinner at home was a quiet affair, only Sheetal and Aarav were talking and trying to get attention from Arnav. But Arnav was in foul mood and Sheetal felt happy inside guessing he could be mad at Khushi. She just warned Aarav to stop bothering ASR indicating using her eyes.
Naniji enquired about Khushi's admission and Khushi walked naniji to her room with animatedly explaining the day's charade. Khushi wound up remaining c****s and headed to her room.
"What is this Khushi?" Arnav just pulled Khushi and almost shouted at her.
Arnav Sign Raizada was never good with words. As is he was already irritated that he waited from 2.00 pm for her and she returned home at 7.30 pm and was coming to their room now at 10.00 pm. Waiting for someone was never his thing and he was totally agitated. On top of it when he heard Khushi informing nani about her correspondence courses, he really felt left out. He was waiting for Khushi to pounce on her and get some answers.
"What?" Khushi asked.
"What what? How could you Khushi? How dare you not inform me or ask me about you further education?" Arnav asked annoyed.
"Arnavji, you never asked me whether I wanted to continue my education. Moreover you clearly told me not to bother you with trivial matters" Khushi replied.
Arnav remembered how Khushi used to call him frequently in his office and he used to love that. He used to look forward to her calls. But when Sheetal made fun of Khushi being typical wife and keeping tab on him, he simply shouted and messaged her not to disturb him at work for trivial things. He immediately regretted his behavior that day.
"Khushi, it's not like that. But you should have talked to me" he said not hiding his disappointment.
"I asked naniji and she said yes. Why? Don't you want me to continue my studies?" Now Khushi was confused.
"No Khushi. Nothing like that. I am happy for you." Arnav was still sulking over her not discussing or sharing her wishes.
She could read his face easily and replied politely "Arnavji, you were very busy last month, always going to work early and coming late so I did not want to bother you with additional things. I was getting bored alone so thought of studying further."
"Still Khushi, you should have talked to me" Arnav just couldn't let go.
"Arnavji, many times when you go to business trips or some party, you never informed me. I got to know from Di or naniji. So I thought it should be OK with you too. Anyways I had informed naniji, she being the senior most in the family and took her permission before deciding" Khushi replied Arnav calmly and entered bathroom to change clothes.
Her reply hurted him the most.
Did he miss something? He realized he has lot of talking to do with Khushi. He sat on recliner waiting for her. Khushi walk passed Arnav, went out pool side and looked into the sky. The stars were shining. She looked at her two favorite bright stars (her amma, bauji) and gave them big smile as if she was conveying something important.
"Good night Arnavji" and she went to sleep on her side.
"Good night" Arnav pretended to sleep but the sleep was far away from him. He just did not know how to initiate talks with Khushi anymore and why she was going away from him. He decided, he had a lot to ponder over before he talks to her.
Chapter 6 - A Wake up Call
Arnav came down for breakfast as usual. He could see lot of rush and running around the kitchen.
"Khushi has to go to Institute and she has taken the whole house on her head while getting ready. Nothing unusual though. She always does that" Payal explained him sheepishly.
"I know. She can be over hyper sometimes" Arnav tried to cover up as if he knew she was going to Institute to further enquire on courses.
Arnav did not like the fact that again he was not aware Khushi was going to Institute early morning to enquire for her courses.
"HPji, I have already made naniji's favorite breakfast. Make sure to serve her after her Pooja. Also make sure she takes her medicines" Khushi ordered HP while walking out of the kitchen.
Arnav was shocked to see Khushi. She was wearing light blue tight jeans with a beautiful red embroidery top with short sleeves. She looked gorgeous was an understatement.
She also had a trendy bag in her hand and was wearing a trendy moderate heel sandals. She looked so refreshing and perfect college going girl.
"What?" Khushi asked Arnav after she realized he was checking her out. But Arnav fell short of complimenting her.
"Nothing, never seen you wearing jeans before" He casually mentioned.
"Kriti and Kamya helped her pick few clothes at the mall last week, doesn't she look so amazing" Payal said.
"Khushi, what's so special? You are looking so beautiful" Akash complimented her. Even Di agreed.
"Thank god Khushi, you listened and decided to wear the jeans for college and thank you naniji for allowing Khushi to wear her age clothes for college. Get going Khushi, else you will be late and here is your lunch" Payal commented and handed her lunch box.
Khushi quickly had her breakfast and headed towards the door.
"Wait Khushi," Arnav barely made up his mind to call her but she was gone.
"All the time Sheetal keep asking him for the ride or never misses chance to go with him. Why can't Khushi ask him once?" Arnav was angry in his mind.
"Why she has to ask you fool? She is your wife. You could have simply taken her with you and you could have got the chance to see what courses she is interested in and you could have guided her" His heart chided him. But he and his big fat ego could not just move from the dining table. How can he even run after her and take her with him?
Driver Mohan was ready waiting for her.
"Thank you Mohanji, pick me up at 4 pm" Khushi let the driver go.
Khushi was exhausted by 4 pm. Luckily she had carried lunch box since Payal forced her. So at least she could eat lunch but it was a busy day at the Institute and she has to learn so many processes for her part time job.
It was heavy traffic time and would take at least 45 minutes to get home. Khushi's mind was already overworking thinking about house c****s and yet she never knew when she slept off in the car.
Suddenly there was jerk and she bumped her head on the front seat. A car behind theirs had dashed into their car and Khushi got up with pain in her head. It was a very minor accident and she got a small bump on her forehead.
Driver Mohan stopped the car and went out of the car and checked the vehicle. The Insurance numbers were exchanged. He took photos of both the cars and called Insurance Company to report the accident.
Khushi was holding her head and Mohan tried to call Arnav to inform him. But Arnav did not pick up his phone, maybe he was busy in a meeting.
Since it was just 5, 10 minutes they had started from the Institute and due to traffic, they had hardly moved so Khushi called Karan immediately and he reached within 5 minutes.
Karan took Khushi home with him while Mohan took the car to mechanic for repair.
Naniji prayed and thanked Devi Mayya that Khushi was OK and she just had slight headache. She asked her to take some rest. Anjali Di gave her tea and headache medicine and Khushi slept off.
Arnav saw missed call from his Di and called her back. He started for home and ran towards his car after hearing Khushi had an accident even though DI had said Khushi was ok.
He checked his calls, he could see couple of missed calls from Mohan but not a single call directly from Khushi. He was really worried for her now and getting worked up.
He got into his room running and saw Khushi sitting leaning on the headboard with a minor bump on her head. He was relieved to see her OK but then started getting angry realizing she did not bother to call him and inform.
"Why the hell you did not call me, Khushi?" He raised his voice.
"Arnavji, Mohanji tried to call you but you did not pick up the phone so we thought you might be busy in a meeting" Khushi whispered. She still had headache.
"Are you kidding me Khushi? You had an accident and what do you mean I might be busy? You could have left message with my PA, called Akash or tried my phone again and again until you reach me?" Arnav was still hopping mad.
"It was a very minor accident and we were very close to the Institute when accident happened, so Karan came just in time and got me home" Khushi replied trying to calm him down.
"Are you purposely doing this Khushi? Are you trying to ignore me?" Arnav asked with no nonsense attitude. He was so done with all this tension going on between him and Khushi.
Today was the height. His wife was involved in an accident and he got to know about it last.
"No, Arnavji. First of all it was a very minor accident and no one is really hurt. I slept off due to headache medicine and in the meantime Di informed you" Khushi tried to explain.
Arnav did not know how to convince her now. He should be the first person to know anything and everything happens in her life.
He really did not want to discuss it further right now and stress her. He was more worried about her health but he realized it was high time he talk to her. He went close to her, pecked on her forehead and asked her to rest.
Just then Kritika, Karan and Kamya walked in. Payal brought Khushi some soup and Kritika took the responsibility of feeding her soup and then Kamya gave her nice head massage while Karan and Kritika entertained her with some silly jokes.
Khushi was enjoying the attention she was getting over such a small accident.
"Khushi, this is not the first time. You know why you do these things. Just to get our attention, we know it for sure. You are still the same old attention monger, Khushi" Kamya teased her.
"Oh Hello, I used to fall while riding cycle back then in Lucknow but this was car accident that too someone else hit our car. How is it my fault?" Khushi sulked.
"We just love to tease you but we love to pamper you more" Kritika hugged Khushi.
Arnav so much wanted to talk to her and get some privacy but felt left out. First time he still showed some patience and quietly listened to all of them.
"It's late guys. Let Khushi have some rest" Arnav reminded them politely and gave Khushi her medicines. Ks had left. Khushi dozed off in few minutes.
Arnav knew she did not mean not to call him after today's accident. Yet it hurted him so much not to receive call from her. Their talks yesterday and today's accident had made him completely restless. He was desperate to talk to Khushi now.
He barely ate dinner sent by Di in his room. He just kept watching Khushi...
Loved all comments... I know some of you feel Khushi being harsh towards Arnav but some people need harder push before they realize things... And Arnav has been such a thick head in this story...
But I am sure you will love Chapter 7 - Name says it all...
Chapter 7 - Soul Searching Night
Sleep was far away from Arnav. Khushi slept immediately due to medicines, he could hear a small snore and he did not miss the cute smile on her face. After a long time, he was seeing her sleeping peacefully without crying or turning and twisting.
That made him think, was Khushi happy without him? Was he not the first person on her mind when she was in an accident? The thought almost killed his heart. He walked out poolside for some fresh air and started remembering the things happening last few days.
Last few days or may be almost more than a month, he was always busy at work or was surrounded by family, Aarav, Sheetal and never got his chance to relax with Khushi. Or for that matter, due to Khushi's insecure behavior and DNA fiasco, he was purposely ignoring her. Today just one day he came early, he had to wait for her for few hours and he was completely pissed off. And poor Khushi has been waiting for his glimpse for more than a month now. It felt awful remembering how he was purposely sitting with Aarav and Sheetal for late hours. She questioned him and begged him to spend time with her and he had mocked her!!
While driving back home today, he had talked to driver Mohan to get firsthand information on the accident. He knew Khushi had slept off in the car and got jerk when accident happened. Looking at her holding her head, obviously first call was made to Arnav. Then after 5 minutes, she took logical decision to call Karan since he was at the nearest distance. Di had told him how at home, everyone gathered around Khushi not letting her chance even to move or talk and forced her to lie down and rest. Dr. was also called and Dr. too suggested her to rest. Her friends coming and seeing her later in the evening was natural and expected. Still he felt ignored or left out.
And all these days he was ignoring her purposely!!
What the hell was wrong with him? He was hopping mad with Khushi's friend Karan when he interacted with Khushi. He was so jealous when Karan side hugged Khushi while leaving though he also hugged Payal and he could see it was a pure friendly gesture. Still he felt like choking Karan for being so close to Khushi. But then he had called Khushi childish, insecure when she was seeing him day in and day out with his ex-girlfriend Sheetal. How could she not be insecure when Sheetal always talks about their college days, acts as his best friend and shows off that she knows Arnav better than his own wife? And not to forget her son acts, walks, talks and eats exactly like him!!
What is going on around him?? He suddenly felt sick to his stomach. All these days he ignored all the obvious signs and conveniently blamed Khushi!
He could easily connect the dots and realized Sheetal is never even looking for an apartment. She has been in their house for more than a month and given a chance she is showing no signs to move out. Suddenly he was shocked with this new revelation. He realized Sheetal was always joining them to work related parties by travelling with them stealing their privacy as a couple, she would always go and come back from office with him, Aarav and she would hog his evening time.
He had always been surrounded by too many women to not understand how Sheetal was all the time openly flirting with him, trying to be physically closer to him and trying to hog all his time in the name of work or Aarav. She did it many times in front of his family and especially Khushi. How the hell did he allow that? And how painful it must have been for Khushi?
He had seen Khushi's face always pale these days, her smile not reaching her eyes and she was mostly quiet. Was he always this dumb? His Harvard brain was useless when it came to his relationships, he knew that but was he this blind too??
He recalled how Khushi had tried to talk to him indirectly, asked him questions and ended up asking if he ate jalebis with anyone else? He could not help but laugh. She was trying hard to make things work and he was being thick headed. He just hated himself that moment!!
He could have, would have and should have done so many things differently. He was older and supposedly more mature in their relationship. He could have simply asked Aman to look for an apartment for Sheetal and stopped Khushi from calling her to stay at RM. He could have spent more time with Khushi, been romantic and naughty with her like before and made her feel wanted and secure. After all she was the only one he ever loved!! He could have ensured her time and again that no old flings meant anything. Instead he chose to ignore her and was spending time with his ex-gf and her son in front of her!! He felt like slapping himself.
He looked at the sky. Tears rolled down from his eyes. He knew he has failed as her husband. She was never childish or doubting him. She was just any young 20 year old, newly married, trying to take care of his whimsical family, encourage her jiji, and help her to save her from Mamiji's taunts. She was just trying everything, running everywhere and managing everything with a smile. She never missed out any responsibilities towards him or any family members. And what did he do in return? Ignore her!!
And to top it all, he realized he has been always keeping quiet whenever Sheetal or Aarav behaved rude with Khushi or Payal. He was angry at her for DNA test but then how could he allow someone else to hurt his Khushi? Again he felt miserable not being able to protect her.
He walked inside. Felt peaceful looking at her sleeping. Suddenly remembered, Payal mentioned Khushi working part time job. He could not ask her why she needed or wanted to do the job. Even if he asked her now, he knew she will not tell him the real reason. Was her bauji / family ok? Why did she need money suddenly or she just wanted to avoid seeing him spending time with Sheetal and Aarav?
He had no clue when and where things started slipping from his hands. Usual control freak Arnav Singh Raizada was in total mess when it came to his relationship with his own wife. No wonder she stopped trying. No wonder he was a complete snob, jerk and what not!
What would he do with her? He kept smiling looking at her and again tears rolled down from his eyes. Should he just feel lucky she did not leave him after his insensitive behavior, apologize her forever, kiss her senseless and knock her out of her senses with his love, what should he do? Buaji's name for her - Titaliya was so perfect for her, he acknowledged. She spreads her wings and spreads colors of happiness in everyone's life around her. He needed to love and protect his fragile Titali...
He literally felt like going to kitchen and make jilebis just like Khushi and eat them!! What The?? He shook his head and smiled. What has she done to him? Right from the day one when she landed in his arms, his life was changed for good. It was time to cherish her.
And he clearly knew saying sorry or showering her with expensive gifts wouldn't cut the deal for him this time! This was his Khushi, love of his life!
Arnav decided he needed to take control of too many things!! First priority his wife, then find out motive of Sheetal's sudden visit. He apologized and kissed Khushi on her forehead and promised her he would work hard to mend their relationship while she was in deep sleep. He would always love and make her his utmost priority. He was devastated to acknowledge in his mind that he chose some other woman over his wife, his Khushi but then he was determined to fix his mistakes, be her partner, companion. He more than ever wanted to build his relationship with his wife. He wanted to know her in and out, wanted her to share her innermost feelings, and wanted her to run to him as she always did. Oh boy, he so much missed his Khushi.
Khush, he again felt sharp pain in his heart when he remembered Karan calling her Khush. His first thoughts when he had met her couple of times was she brought happiness in the surrounding. He so badly wanted to start calling her Khush but never did. He could never express himself well and now he had shunned her. He so badly wanted her to stop calling him Arnavji and just move on to Arnav. But he could wait for it now.
He just pulled her into him again kissed her forehead, held her hand and slept with new found resolution in his mind!!
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