ARSHI FF - HIT WICKET MY HEART 3.0 - Take 44-Pg.51(10.5.22) - Page 39

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Posted: 4 months ago

Hellooooo Guysssssssss....

Here I am with the next update ! I was down with covid hence the pause and delay! Have recovered now! Hope you all are keeping well as well! 

Word Count - Long in length - 9.2K Words.✍✍


Will be Eager to know your feedback on the Same!

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Also, yes this is the First Draft. Please definitely ignore editing/common repition of words errors etc - since I have not proofread.

I shall now let you all dive in without Further Delay.

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Disclaimer:

This Story/ Written Series is a work of Fiction.All characters are fictitious.Any resemblance to a person living or dead is purely coincidental. The depiction off fictitious characters through their cross - cultural backgrounds is also a work of pure fiction. I respect all faiths, cultures, communities with its rich diversities, equally.I mean no offence or hurt to anyone's sentiments through my work in any way whatsoever.

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Take 39

Take 39.1 - Wrecked

Same Day - Simultaneously

New Zealand - 3:35PM

At the Stadium where the Day 4 of Test Match is Underway

Rob walks into the dressing room - grinning and chatting with his opening partner Brad and a couple of more players from the team.

They were all extremely happy with the turn of events in the game at the moment - given that England had just finished their second innings before the last session on Day 4 giving New Zealand - to chase 350 runs in the last four sessions remaining of test cricket (one being left to played today)+ 3 tomorrow. Everyone in the team was gearing to take field and display an aggressive attacking brand of cricket on field with their pacers and field placements.

Infact the two of Englands ace pacer's were in the middle of getting last minute physio stuff done - before taking field. They had 20 minutes of the tea break to just give their muscles the boost that was needed to take this through for their team. Needless to say - it was because of this scenario on field that Alice Jones - was still prettu mch unaware of the storm that had already hit her little girl - across the globe. Her phone was in the office room dedicated for medical support unit and she was busy on field at the moment.

As the relaxed but detemined chatter amongst the England players continue, everyone begins to head to reach for their gadgets before heading to Tea Break - together. It is right that second - as Rob is about to look at his lit up screen that he hears Brad exclaim in a ddisturbed concerned voice - " Blimey Goodness Me...is this true? For real?? what the hell has just happened? Rob...did you know????"

Rob turns around to look at Brad standing shocked with his eyes glued to his screen along with the rest of the players/team mates peeping into his phone/theirs phone too and he asks getting a tad bit worried now - " whatttt???????? Whats wrong Brad??Did I know what????"

And to his ghostly shock he hears Brad voice back on behalf of the rest who were looking as shocked and surprised themselves - " did you know that Khushi is the illegitimate daughter of the head off Pakistan cricket board?? Rehaan Khaan? Did you know that Dr.Alice was never married to him? That Khushi is Rehaan Khan's daughter?????????????"

That shakes and stuns Rob further as he asks his eyes wide open - " whattt?? What the hell are you saying Brad?? How did you even know??????"

Brad answers holding his phone screen around to flash to Rob's face - " I know..because it's the raging news online - or as media is reporting it - the scadaulous online byte of the day - for it was published in the front page of Lahore Times this morning...and is going across on all the news/media houses there....did...you know?? this Rob???"

But as Robert watches everything that Brad just said roll up on screen now - in front of his eyes - he feels like he cannot waste a second there in the dressing room at the moment. He would answer his friend later - right now the priority was to pull Dr Alice off field and get her aware of this. His heart that was still on not over Khushi completely - gets clawed in momentary worry and fear for her. She was in Lahore at the moment - he knew from Dr Alice obviously.

He just shared a rushed disturbed nod with Brad now and rushed out the dressing room with his phone in hand - and as he steps out he notices everyone in the support unit/admins already looking into their phones in shock and surprise. He didn't have to think twice that they all had already seen the news. Rob doesn't pause and he begins to head out of the landing towards the field when it is right then he notices Dr Alice coming back up with a couple of her assistants and England's ace bowlers deeply engrossed in conversation.

Spotting his worried frame almost instantly - Alice freezes in her steps as she gives Rob a worried look and asks - " Wilson? Why are you looking at me as if you'd seen a ghost???? Come on boy...we need to get ready to take field in a bit..."

Rob finally takes a deep breathe as he resumes to walk down a couple of more steps and says with a aching worried look etched over his face, handing Dr Alice his phone to see -" Dr Alice...something's happened...there's something you need to know..."

Alice nods at Rob puzzled but just as she takes his phone from him and sees what was rolling up on his screen - Alice feels as if the earth had shook beneath her feet and her hand does reach out to clutch her heart on reflex and tears engulf her wide shocked/shaken eyes as she whispers looking at the screen - " No...no...tell me this isn't true Rob...tell me this is a nightmare..."

She couldn't believe it. She couldn't believe the extent to which she was reading about Rehaan and Khushi being ridiculed/shamed in the media back in Lahore at the moment so much so that the news had become an international gossip - with minutes - perhaps???? She saw her very own name getting slandered around as well with media there trying to take digs at her too - but she didn't for once care about what was being said about her. It was the bit that her little girl's photo was now being circulated around with the words- Rehaan Khan's Bas**** /Illegitimate child + the ways in which Rehaan was being questioned, shamed for this - that was stinging her soul. How could it not? And so it was obvious that for a second - she does lose her balance as her entire frame shakes holding onto Rob's phone in her hand.

Thankfully, Rob was there by a shaken Alice's side and he instantly holds onto her arm now in determined support as he says to her - " Dr..Alice...lets get you in first...,"and he also asks his fellow team mates - the bowlers she was aiding+ her assistants - to help get her some water.

They were all collectively shocked and surprised still - but they nodded back at Rob and headed in with a shaken Alice who says to Rob worried - " my baby..she's there...Rob...Khushi is there in Lahore right now...I wonder what the media will do to her if they spot her...they'll hound her...they'll...christ...I need to get to my phone..." And her heart sinks further as she recalls the bit that Arnav was still on the flight.He was out of reach for her little girl to connect to.He was her wall and she knew his support at the moment was propbably what her little girls heart also longed for the most.

Why? Christ.Why???? Why did this have to happen this way??????

And as Alice steps into the area inwards - she notices everyone from the admin/support unit looking back at her in a shocked/surprised tone - and she was sure that one look at her face right now told them the answer they seeked. That the news they saw was indeed true. No other premise could offer the reason for her shaken disturbance at the moment.Obviously.

But at the moment - she doesn't really care about what everyone was thinking.All she cared about was getting to her phone and connect with Khushi+ Rehaan.

Just as she is about to race towards her phone - she sees Dawson(The head of the administration department - her working collegue for years in the unit) - walking upto her and she embraces herself for a series of questions and she is completely surprised when she spots him place a hand of warm support over her arm as he says with a supportive nod - " come on..go on in...Alice..get to your phone...you don't need to answer any questions at the moment...your condition right now...already speaks volumes...of how shaken you are...I am here for you...I'v known you for ages...I know...you must have your reasons...we are all here for you....don't you worry...we will not let any media/reporters reach to you at the moment directly...we will give you the blocking shield you need at the moment..."

Surprised yet shaken - Alice just nods back Dawson thanking him silently in support and hears him say to Robert who was looking at her with worried silent looks - " Wilson...come on...help me here..am calling in on Mike...we will be blocked for any comments on the matter if any reporters reach out for our reaction..or try to get in touch with Alice...we will maintain our stand that we only will be commenting on the game at the moment..nothing else...but you Alice...take your time that you need to look into this...your team will step in on your behalf..for now...,"And with that he shoots Alice another supportive nod and she nods back at him tearful and finally heads in to the room and gets to her phone at the speed of light.

And the very second she sees it - she feels her breathe hitch on her. She had ten missed calls from Rehaan already and about a couple each from Raahil and Noor and about five from Khushi too.

She closes the door shut and is just about to call Khushi when her phone buzzes with Rehaan's video call.She plugs in her earpods and swipes green and the very second she spots Rehaan's worried face fill in the screen- she sees his eyes well up further as he whispers heartbroken - " Al...the look on your face tells me that..you know..am sorry...I wanted to be the one to tell you..."

Alice nods at him brokenly now as tears continue to fall of her eyes and she wipes her cheeks and asks brokenly - " my baby...where is she?? Khushi??? whooo...whoo..d..id.thi..s???Re..haan...?? ho..w???did this even happen????"

She sees Rehaan take a deep breathe at that as he answers - " we will find out..everything....Al..we will...Raahil is in the middle of getting down to the bottom of this...Khushi is packing up...I'v asked her to...I need to have her away...from here..somewhere safe...or the media will hound her...say disrespectful things....to her face...hurl..hurting questions...etc...I will not have our daughter face the media court of trial when she is in such a fragile state...they will capture her vulnerability/her tears and use it to get sadistic pleasure making her a source of a scandulous gossip...,"and Alice nods silently wiping a line of tears herself as she sees Rehaan wipe a tear out of the corner of his eye as he adds now - " I am sorry Al...I failed you once again....when she was coming here...I promised you...I'd keep our daughter safe...I'd watch out for her...but...I failed...at ...it...miserably..."

Alice whispers heartbroken - " No...it's not your fault...it is not...we don't know who did this to us and why...but...I know..this is not your fault...,"and she adds wiping her continuous trails of tears - " do it..please?? Rehaan? Get our baby out of there please?? somewhere where no media can reach her for atleast a couple of days...we need to make sure she has the time to embrace herself for what is in store now...for now...everywhere she will go..she might face consequences...we don't know to what extent...but surely there will be consequences...I don't care about what happens to me...I don't...but my baby...my little girl...I will come to he..r...as...s..oon...as...i...can...but...un..til...I reach...given I am across...the globe.....why?christ..why did this happen??,"and she finally breaks down into a fresh pool of tears - her mothers heart feeling Wrecked - like it hadn't felt in a long time - as she feared a zillion things that could go wrong for her little girl - both personal and professional.

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Lahore - Khan Mansion

His heart was shattering over and over. His soul was pretty much numb and yet Rehaan didn't know how was he managing to compose himself in the moment as he saw Alice's distraught and distressed condition on screen. Seeing his precious daughter in a pool of distraught a couple of minutes prior had been an aching whip to his soul anyway and now to witness Alice this way - only stung him further.

Oh so his heart wished that he could be there with her in the moment.But his mind knew that he had a lot to handle before he could get to that - given the situation. He says to Alice now after taking a couple of steady breathes - "Al...compose yourself please....i will make it okay..everything will be okay...I am here....okay???? I have thought of my plan...I am planning to go public in a conference 30 -45 minutes anyway...as Khushi leaves...I wanted Raahil and Noor to be with her...but she wouldn't allow the same...but we'v arranged for her to...,"and he goes onto explain the plan of the hour to Alice and watches her listen on sighing through her numbing pain.

About seven minutes later - once he was done briefing Alice over it all - and they were both on the same page with regards to how they were going to focus on the well being of Khushi first and then be each other's support through the very public stigma - accepting it as the truth of their lives nonetheless - he hears Alice say in a broken whisper - " this could make things worse for you and Raahil though...Rehaan...and Noor too...you know it could...they could remove you...from your position that you worked so hard at...Christ..what will happen to Raahil...he's only just begun too..."

Rehaan takes a deep breathe at that as he says - " we will see..what will come our way Al...we will...but that is not what I want you to worry about at the moment..."

He sees Alice nod at that as she asks - " have you spoken to anyone in your close circle yet though? I am sure your phone's been ringing..."

Rehaan nods at that with a sigh - " yes it surely has been buzzing...but no...I haven't spoken to anyone yet..not even Abrar...I will...once I have seen Khushi off safely...before the start of my conference..,"and his eyes - eye the door to his study - his heart still continuing to be in a Wrecked Stage of worry for his little girl.

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Noor continues to hold Khushi strongly by the shoulder as they walk to Abbu's study - with Khushi's suitcase in tow behind them. She knew even though her Aapa had zoned into a stunned silence for the last couple of minutes as she finished winding up - she probably had a storm still raging through her head and heart given that Khushi's eyes were still as bloodshot - even though she had managed to stop crying - in the last couple of minutes.

Noor says now to Khushi eyeing Raahil upfront behind a small enclosed glass living space as he was pacing furiously busy on his phone still wanting to reassure her of it all - " Aapa...we will get to the bottom of this...we promise...see there...Raahil is at it...I am sure...everything is set..for now too...Azlaan bhaijaan will be here to pick you up at the backgate - in about ten minutes...he will take you out of here...you can trust him..."

She sees Khushi nod at her zapped and shaken but in silence still as they walk up closer to Abbu's study. Noor pauses in the steps and holds Khushi by the arms now - " Aapa...please...say something..continue crying if you want...but please...don't zone into silence this way...whats on your mind...aapa??"

Khushi looks at Noor and continues to maintain her ghostly silence. Should she tell Noor - that she overheard what she did as she stepped out of the room packing up?(Noor has stepped out for a couple of minutes to talk on the phone) Should she tell her that she overheard her tussle with her Abbu and Ammi on the other end about the wanting her to come home instantly to explain everything and she denied the very same saying that she wouldn't leave Raahil or Rehaan at this time and if they wanted to discuss anything - they could come over instead and show their support in person here.They were also mad that she'd seeked out Azlaan's help on this to take Khushi away and even more aghast at the development that Azlaan had agreed without another thought and had paced out of home - almost immediately in order to oversee the arrangements.

Noor continues to gape at Khushi worried as she probes further - " Aapa...say something..please??"

Khushi gives her a look know as fresh tears come into her eyes threating to fall again - " I overheard your talk..Noor...with your ammi...abbu...how Azlaan's parents are also so mad just like them..over him helping me on this...they probably hate me so much already...given that it is my existence that has caused a scandal in theirs and yours perfectly settled lives...I mean...I know...how sensitive this is...always knew..it....feared...it...coming out...but now...that it finally is out...I...I....I..'m...sorry...,"and she pauses not knowing what else to say.

Noor sighs now connecting the dots in her head as she hugs Khushi hard and whispers brushing her hair - " you got nothing to be sorry about aapa...my family...I will handle them..they are just mad right now because they don't know the truth...once they know it...they will understand...I am sure..all they need is time to digest this..that's all...,"and she pulls back and kisses Khushi's head - "come on then..lets get to Abbu.."

Khushi nods zoning back into a crushed silence and they make their way into Rehaan's study. The minute they enter in - she realises that Abbu was on a video call with her Mum as she hears him say into the screen upfront - " Al...she's here...Khushi is here...,"and she hears her Mum's broken voice come through - " is she now?? finally? Rehaan...give the phone to her will you??"

And just as Khushi hears that she rushes herself dropping her bag - leaving her suitcase behind to take the phone from her Abbu's hand as she wipes her tear stricken face that had begun to fall down on their own accord again and she asks shaken into the phone looking at her Mum's crying face - " Mum...are you okay??? Don't worry about me...alright?? I a..m...o..kay...sha.kennn...yes...but...ok...ay...I am sorry Mum...I hate that the media is using my existence to hurt accusations /shaming Dad and you this way...i...ha...te...t..hat...yhe..two..of you have become a source...gossip because...of...me...I am sorry...so so sorry.."

And needless to say - she only hears her precious Mum school her back for even worrying about her in the moment as she asks her not to worry saying that she didn't for once care - over what was being said about her and she continues to say further two mins later- " baby...dar..ling..Khushi...hear me out...your Abbu has planned it all for you...I will be with you...as..soon..as I can be..."

Khushi wipes a trail of her tear exchanging a nod with Abbu and Noor as she says to Alice channelisizng all strength from within - "I will be okay...Mum....i will be ....you finish your duty at work..you still got another day of test match..right? last thing I want is anyone calling you out for being unprofessional is leaving your duty mid tour...because of me...you come when you can...k? I think anyway...I will just need a couple of days to just soak it all in and embrace myself for the consequences fur....ther...,"and she sees Alice gesture her to go aside now and convert the video into voice and Khushi catches on the gesture and just as she steps aside into a corner of her Abbu's study she hears her Mum ask in a whisper - " hun...I know Arnav is on the flight...I am sure..you wana speak to him..have you spoken to his family? I was thinking of calling them? I mean...I am sure...they will spot this any minutes...in case they already haven't.."

And Khushi admits in a heartbroken whisper - " I wana talk to Raima Mom, Arjun Dad, Akash, Anjali di too Mum...I wana like say something to them..but what do I say? How do I even look at them in the eye? Now? and...and....about...hi..m....i know..he will see this as he lands...but no...Mum...I don't want to speak to him...for now...its better if I close any sort of contact from him for a couple of days..."

And she hears her Mum's shocked and shaken voice come back at her - " whatttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt?? Hun???????? Are you crazy? What did you just say? This is going to hurt Arnav beyond repair..."

Khushi whispers - " I know...Mum...I know...just like its butchering me...but he will come to me then...I don't wana risk him being seen with me...right now...not right now...you know what I mean mum don't you?? as it is there are speculations in the media here that Abbu will be sacked...Raahil may be not asked to play for a while...you know how the scene is in India..as well right???,"and she takes a deep breathe further as she whispers - "Mum...please...do me a favour...my phone is off...I have switched it off...have sent M, S, brian and jack a text too that I will be okay and will get in touch with them when I can...left one text to Arnav too...but I am sure...he will call u...okay? You tell him...I ...love...h..im...okay?and I will be okay? Tell him that you spoke to me...tell him...I will call him myself...k?"

She hears Alice sigh now at the other end - " alright Hun...alright...I will talk to him...okay?"

And with that they talk for a little while more comforting one other and giving each other unconditional support through it all - even though they were both also similar heartbroken version of the other.

Minutes later - as Khushi hangs up and heads back to join Rehaan, Raahil and Noor in the study - noticing Raahil explaining something to Rehaan and Noor with a super tense expression on his face - she asks channelizing her strength preparing herself for another whip within - " Raahil..what happened? Did you get to the bottom of this? Did you find out who did this??"

She sees Raahil shake his head in a No as he exchanges a look with Noor and Rehaan and explains - " No..aapa...not completely..but I did say that a reporter named Sana leaked this out to the world...haven't been able to get a hold on her..yet...but I have been relayed a message through my sources that..she is maintaing the stand that someone very close to us...has leaked this out....to her....and that's exactly what is bothering us..right now..for we have no idea....who??????but we will know soon...we surely will?? And once I know who did this...I am going to make sure...they pay for this too...,"and she watches Raahil kick the table near in fury - " I will ask them..did they get the freaking pleasure they seeked.... out of this?"

Rehaan takes a deep breathe at that instructing Raahil to calm down and as Noor phone rings with Azlaan's call - she says to all - " aapa...bhaijaan is probably here at the backdoor...come on...lets go..."

And they all exchange a heartbroken but supportive nod at that engulfing Khushi into a warm group hug - their silence reaching Khushi's hearts with the words she knew they wanted to say. None of them had ever imagined that she'd be leaving Lahore this way at the culmination of the trip that had otherwise been a rosy peaceful memory uptil this very point.

What could Khushi do then?

She could only hug them back as hard - Obviously.

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Simulataneously - in NZ

The very second Alice had put down the phone with Khushi - she took a couple off minutes to compose herself through - closing her eyes.

Christ knew that she had no other option but to gather all the courage that she could at the moment. Not just for herself but for Khushi and Rehaan as well. She knew Rehaan was trying to maintain his composure but she knew he was as shaken.She also thought off the right time to talk to Arnav's family. She atleast thought off leaving them a message with the wish of wanting to connect.

It is right then she hears a knock on the door and she asks the person to come on in and the second she spots Rob come in with another bottle of water in his hand as he says - " I reckoned...you could use some more...Dr Alice..."

Alice nods and takes the water from him and drinks it up nodding at him a silent thanks and as she spots him eyeing her worried - she asks after taking a couple of sips - " what is it Rob? What is it that you wana know??"

She hears Rob ask worry etched all over his face - " she okay? Khushi..is she okay?? That's all I need to know? please tell me she getting outta there...I'v been keeping tap on the online developments on this while you were in..and seems this is just catching wildfire on another level all together...they are showing pictures of the media circus outside khan mansion in Lahore..already..its freaking insane...how will she get outta there???"

Alice sighs at that as she says - " she will...get outta there...Rob..she will....and...to the former all I can say is...she's trying to be okay...for sure...but is she okay? Hell no...I know my little girl..she's far from being okay.."

She sees Rob nod at that as he asks - " Raizada reached India yet? He on the flight back? he knows??"

Alice shakes her head looking at the time - " not yet...but he will know..in an hour...,"and she takes a deep breathe further at that as she says composing herself with great difficulty - " that reminds me...that...you need to get ready to field boy..and I need to get ready to get back in the dug out...am going to use some ice to somber up my face and then I will be back in the dug out as the game begins..tell everyone that will you????"

She sees Rob at her instantly at that walking away to give her some more space for a couple of minutes - and Alice Jones begins to pump her innerself with the composure she needed.

She couldn't do anything about the Milk Split - given that it already was all over the space. But she had to get ready to row up an emotional lifeboat for herself and Khushi - that she knew they both would need to sail through further.

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Meanwhile - in Lahore

Azlaan instructs his chauffeur to pull the car towards the extended back gate entrance at the fag end of the Khan Mansion.And gets on with informing Noor that he'd be there in a couple of minutes.

Once done with that - he finally takes a deep breathe brushing both his hands on his face. The morning had been beyond just chaotic. Obviously. He had just finished his morning routine at the Golf-Club with Azhar and Ayan when they'd spotted the news. It was needless that it had caught them all off-guard completely. Never in any of there dreams - had any of them in their family had imagined - that Khushi Jones - wasn't just Noor's friend(As they were maintaining under pretext) - but instead she was Raahil's half sibling. Rehaan uncle's illegitimate daughter.

His family was in a state of puzzlement and shock for not only were there phones also continuously ringing with their extended friends and relatives calling to check the same - they all had a collective question on their mind - Did Noor know about this? Prior to her Nikaah to Raahil?? The three brothers had obviously rushed back home to find everyone - distraught and worried - obviously.

But the very second - he'd received the frantic call from Noor asking for help - because of the way things had gotten out of hands - in his mind he had gotten the answer. For there was no hint of shock in Noor's voice at all only worry for Khushi - whom she was now openly addressing as Aapa which only told him - that the sensitive truth hadn't been hidden from Noor at all.

Nonetheless - he'd agreed to help his beloved sister outright obviously. Talks could wait. Support in the moment could not. His parents werent really happy about it - because at the moment they all were in the middle of feeling a little betrayed at the hands of the apple of their eye - Noor - for it seemed that she'd purposely hidden this from them all. But unlike the elders in the family - in his heart Azlaan felt like he understood Noor's reasons. Just like Ayan and Azhar did for they knew her well.(He'd advised them to be at home with everyone - and continue to calm them down) And he felt like he couldn't really blame his sister - because just in case this news had seen the light of the day prior to her Nikaah - issues could have been raised amidst the extended elders of the family given its sensitivity.

Plus in his mind - thoughts also kept wandering to the one who was the central of it all at the moment as his phone also kept glaring back at him with the volatility at which the media/reporters were taking things to another tangent altogether. He couldn't help but wonder - what was Khushi upto on that trip to Lahore at the Gadaffi in the beginning of the year then? Wasn't that the first time she'd made an appearance in their lives?? Did Noor know since then?? Or After?? And When?? Did Khushi know about it all her life???

Nonetheless - his heart was also going out to her - given the way her pictures with the tags illegitimate child + Rehaan Khan's child of Sin - Khushi Jones : was now beginning to flash on some of the city's traditional and more conservative news channels - making its way like wildfire across the country.

In his head - Azlaan was also worried about the eventual consequence that Raahil and Rehaan would have to face. Gut told him - that this was not going to go down well eventually.He sighs now anyway - as the car screeches to a halt at the fag end of the back gate - which was tucked away from the knowledge of the usual.And he wonders why Noor and Khushi weren't here yet.

He was right on that thought - when his phone buzzes with Azhar's call and he picks it up instantly as he hears his brother say - " bhaijaan...ammi abhi bhi naraaz hai...keh rahi hain..aap...wapas aa jaiaye...."(bhaijaan...ammi is still very upset..she is asking you to return)

Azlaan sighs at that and before he could even answer Azhar how to handle this - he hears his Ammi's taut voice through the phone - " Azlaan...baat suno meri...wapas aao...socho...kya kar rahe ho...help karni hai toh Noor/Raahil/khan saab ki karein...iss Khushi ki kyun karen??"(Azlaan..listen to me...come back..what are you doing...come back...if you wana help lets figure out ways to help Noor/Raahil/Khan saab why are you helping Khushi??")

Azlaan sighs at that and answers - "Ammi...please...samjhe(understand)...helping her right now technically means..helping Noor only...ammi..how can you be this heartless at the moment...until yesterday you were also saying at the party...this Noor's friends khushi is very nice...courteous...good girl..and also very talented...now you are suggesting...that we just let her becoming a bait in front of the hounding media here or what???"

He hears her Ammi grumble - " but that was before we knew the real connection...Azlaan...why must you escort her to safety?? Don't you understand...tumharee rishte ki baat chalane ki soch rahe hai...humeira ke saath(we are planning to have your Rishta talks on...azlaan..with humeira )and...if you are spotted escorting this Khushi Jones...to safety...again questions will get raised in minds..as if there hasn't been enough slandering already??? Why must you suffer??"

Azlaan sighs at that again taking deep breathes not knowing how to explain the phrase - Lets be emphathetic Ammi - how is it her fault? - without having her go into another frenzy mode and so he just patiently says - " Ammi...aap..naraaz nai hoye...par meri baat sune...Noor ne madad maangi hai...aur main karunga...ab chahe jo bhi ho...please..okay?,"(Ammi...relax...don't be angry and hear me out...Noor has asked me for help and I am going to help her...come what may...okay??"

And with that as he hears his Ammi beginning to grumble further - he hangs up reluctantly knowing that the best would be to just give her some time on this. Everyone back at home - needed some time to digest and process things through.Thats all. It wasn't as if - they could cut there ties with Noor/raahil/Rehaan uncle because of this - obviously. This was just the sudden shock!

And right then he thinks of buzzing Noor again - when he finally spots her stepping out the backgate - with Khushi right next to her as they are both deep in conversation and Noor is hugging Khushi - sideways.

And one look at Khushi tells Azlaan in his head and heart - that he did the right thing by agreeing to be the source of help nonetheless. Because after seeing the cheerful/happy version of Khushi last night in the part - he'd never imagined - that he'd ever spot her looking this disturbed in her frame - almost as if she were a Stunned/Shocked Pale Ghostly Empty Shell. Her usually twinkling eyes had no spark in them at all. They were just a version off bloodshot - ghostly - sockets at the moment.

She looked like as if everything inside off her was - Wrecked.

................................................................................

At The PR Department of the BCCI Headoffice

Radha rolls her eyes in sheer disgust as she continues to hear/watch one of slandering news bytes - that had Khushi Jones+ Rehaan Khan's as its target - at the moment. The fact that all the media houses/news channels here in India seemed to get some sadistic pleasure by magnifying the scandal surrounding the explosive revelation off PCB head's Rehaan Khan's - illegitimate child - made her quite uneasy. Because she was in the field of media herself - she very well knew - that if the media decided to go on a slandering mission - they surely would leave no stone unturned to do so!

It was a given obvious - that every media house here in India - were focusing on magnifying everything that was making news back in Pakistan at the moment. They were also continuously airing the scenes from out of Rehaan Khan's mansion which was surrounded by a sea od reporters.

And the fact that she knew Khushi on some tangents as she was her direct connect for all the work they'd been doing for the animated content off late - her heart couldn't help but go out to her at the moment.She couldn't help but wonder - how must she be feeling at the moment?

She plugs out her ear-pods in an instant now and decides to text her to check on her. Once she taps send to that - she feels Nikhil's hand on her shoulder as he tells her that Vikram Sir has called her in. She nods and gets up instantly and hears Nikhil ask - " stop it...then? I mean just don't see the news if its bothering you so much Radha...you know how it gets...its going to be a heated rage until something else comes along atleast for a couple of days..."

Radha sighs rolling her eyes - "I know...but it isn't fair Niks..she's a sweet girl...she doesn't deserve this level of public ridicule..she surely doesn't..."

Nikhil nods - "Well no one deserves this level of public bashing from an entire nation altogether...I mean...rehaan Khan and Raahil's cricketing fans are hating and cursing and abusing on her ..because they feel it is because of her..they'd both face a downfall now..."

Radha gapes at Nikhil in shock - " hell no...when did this start??"

Nikhil shakes his head - " three minutes ago...some news channel is there...is doing a very specific coverage on public reactions..."

Radha rolls her eyes at that - " God...and I am sure..we have some of our channels showcasing the very same...bombarding it over and over..."

Nikhil nods sadly.

They both enter Vikram Sir's cabin now and they see him look up collectively as he gestures them to sit and he says scanning his phone - " alright Radha...this scandal centering Khushi Jones...is quite the roaring international gossip of the day..but...nonetheless...I want you to post that post she sent our team - on Ved Khanna...as scheduled in a couple of hours...that post is excellent and it will go Live..."

Radha looks at Vikram Sir relieved at that as she says - " thank god sir...for a second I was fearing what if you'd say...we should cancel our content collab project with the daily in the UK..and Khushi..."

Nikhil is looking at Vikram Sir pleasantly surprised for he was expecting a similar reaction. They both hear Vikram say now leaning back into his chair - " well...I gave it deep thought....look...whats happening to her on the personal front...is a different story...altogether...but she is talented...in her work..she surely is...and we still don't know how most of England is going to react to this piece of news...as they wake up...given that it is still...early morning there....lets see what is it her company decided to do...and then observe the tide and then take a call...another reason..why I want to have that post on Ved up live today...its already viral now that she is the creator of content...lets see how the public social media sentiments are here in India about the same...I am anticipating that we will get a massive volume of engagement...nonetheless...it's still...well...publicity..."

That makes Nikhil bite back his pleasant surprise from prior as he gives Radha a look that says - I told you so - he's not all that ethical - which makes Radha cover up her disappointed expression at the moment as she just nods back at Vikram and hears him change the topic in the usual work undertone - " anyways....so..the next thing...I wanted to discuss...our men in blue unit lands at the IGI...in 30 minutes I guess...so probably this afternoon - I want exclusive interviews rolling out for our boys - they just created history at the Gabba...only fair we give them...the volume of crazy publicity they deserve just like we have been stirring up..."

........

10:40 AM - AT The Indira Gandhi International Airport

Arnav's POV

I am so glad that I feel the wheels of our plane finally touch the runway as we land back home. The stupid ten minute delay up in the air - in await for the landing que at the runaway already had my impatient nerves going crazy for two reasons mainly. One being - the bit that given that I'v been on transit - haven't really spoken to My Fiore in a quite bit ( I am sure you all guessed that) and this bit to be honest is enough to send me into a partial sulky mode after a certain hour mark even if I am travelling. The second reason being the bit - that I just can't simply wait to get home - and see the ring that I asked Mom to prep(that I intend to propose Khushi in a couple of days with)

Yuppppppppppp!

You read that guys!! Its finally readyyyy!

Like finally - I was anyway crazily bummed when Mom couldn't send it to me in time for our New Years in Australia. Anyways - now that it is finally ready and I did have Mom + everyone text me last night in the family group - when I was boarding that she couldn't wait for me to put in on Khushi's finger - and everyone's already going gaga in their imaginations planning our Summer Wedding. And now that I say that - its only fair that I admit that I do have an imaginary flash about the same in my head as well - which makes me grin like a freaking orangutan - as I unbuckle my seatbelt in glee - reaching on for my phone side by side.

My expression catches Ved's attention(who was next to me) as he unbuckles his seatbelt as well and both of us along with the rest of the team/unit around get up in order to get set to deboard and he whispers to me grinning - " I know that look...but tell me something brother...are you grinning because you cant wait to turn on your phone...or is there something euphoric that's just popped into your imagination..."

I chuckle at that and admit honestly - "both...brother..both.."

We share another warm chuckle at that and Ved gestures Sameer, Daksh, Cap, Raunak who were just near and around us from behind to join in their cheeky gestures of taking my case. They bring it on cryptically in collective whispers are we are getting out stuff out of the over head cabins and I am as always enjoying the banter.

On that note - Has my phone screen lit up? And the tower signals have blessed me with a significant signal so that I can reach my Fiore?? I mean I am sure I have a tons of voice notes awaiting from her+ some texts.

I reach out to check my phone amidst our banter and grin gleefully as it comes to life but then next comes in a scowl on my face on reflex as I spot that the Vodafone signal hasn't still blessed my phone!

Dammit.

What's freaking up with Vodafone these days?

I tap on my phone screen- persistently as if my consistent tapping was going to help the signal come to Life.

I ask Ved now whose also got Vodafone as his service provider - " Ved...your signals come in??"

Ved shakes his head - " nah...not yet.."

Cap, Raunak, Sameer, Daksh add collectively - " we told you both..switch to our good old airtel..again..."

Ved and me collectively roll our eyes back at them as they begin to scroll through their phones - happily and I gape at them in sheer envy.

It is right then I hear Rishi's voice from upfront and close as he exclaims looking into his phone with his eyes widening - " Oo teri....yeh kya syaapa...ho gaya..."(whats this ruckus that has happened...)

That catches all of our collective attention as we all await for the flight attendance clearance to get off. Before I can ask Rishi anything- I hear Singh ask - " kya hua?,"And he begins to scroll his phone and we all hear Rishi exclaim scrolling through his phone still - " damm....scandal of the freaking hour...indeed...spreading around like wildfire...you all won't believe this...I remember this one..Khushi Jones...I think she was in the england support unit for a bit on our tour earlier in feb last year...her mum is their head physio..Dr Alice Jones...areeee...the one whose behind the amazing animated content going viral on cricket related themes off latw..she also did one on Cap recently and finished one on Ved too right??? Remember???Well
..It turns out...she's the illegitimate daughter of Rehaan Khan...Rehaan Khan...as in the head of the Pakistan Cricket board......see it's freaking all over..everywhere...the news apparently leaked out in Lahore Times..a couple of hours ago...its been a raging mess..ever since....crazy on another level..infact a fresh notification just popped up that Rehaan Khan will be giving his statement soon...given the ruckus outside his house since morning...now they are theories like...will he own up to the rumoured blood tie? Or will he deny it? craziness on another level brother's...."and he flashes his screen to us.

WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT?????????

WHATTTTTTTTTTTTT DID HE JUST SAY?????????

WHAT DID RISHI JUST SAY???????????

MY INSIDES FREEZE AND I AM SURE MY FACE HAS PALED.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?????????

WHY?

HOW????????????????????????

WHY TO MY FIORE???????

Given that I am so shocked and shaken - I ask out loud as if I were shot with a gun myself snatching Rishi's phone into my hand almost instantly- " whatttt????????????????No way...is this for real????"

OH HELL.

YES APPARENTLY IT IS!

RISHI'S PHONE SCREEN IS TALKING BACK TO ME AND TELLING ME - EVERYTHING THAT'S KILLING ME TO THE CORE AS MY BLOOD CONTINUES TO BOIL ON ANOTHER LEVEL- as I take in the volatility of everything that's been going on in the news for the last couple of hours while I was still mid air.

Whyyyy???????

Just why are they being so cruel in shaming my Fiore this way???

Why???

Howwwwwwww?????????

WHO EVEN DID THIS??????????

GODAMMIT I NEED TO REACH HER!

My eyes have blurred with tears for sure and I most definetly feel like crying. I can't believe the downright disgusting slander that's been the trending news of the morning both here in India and across the border in Pakistan.

I hear Rishi ask me puzzled now - " ASR...why do you look so agitated and shaken and disturbed about this????? Is....everything okay??"

I just shoot him a look - Not Now - Rishi and thankfully he just nods back at me in puzzled understanding and as I look up reaching out for my phone desperately - I find myself looking into the concerned faces of Ved, Cap, Sameer, Raunak and Daksh as their eyes silently ask me in a subtle gesture that asks - Did you know??

I nod back at them subtly in a gesture that says to them. Yes - I knew.

I watch them all nod at me at that as they all collectively give me a worried look eyeing my phone. They all know Khushi right? Theyv been so friendly with her over all this while - I can clearly spot that they are worried for her too at the moment as they are reaching out for their phones as well.

Ved hands me his water bottle that still has some water in it. I gulp it down only because I do feel the need to simmer down the raging volcano of anger within me.

Godammit.

Where is that freaking signal???????

I want to break my phone!!!!!!!!!

And why haven't we been allowed to leave the plane yet? Should I just barge out the gate myself???

My closest friends read my expressions easily and Ved says in a whisper - "no...don't think about barging out the plane..we don't want you to be held at the airport for breaking aviation laws...brother..just calm down...a couple of minutes more..and we will be out..."

I muster under my breathe sending out a curse helplessly - " can't believe that this happened..while I was on the plane...Ved..."

Everyone in our team/unit otherwise now seems to be catching up on everything online as well mustering amongst themselves.

DAMMIT - ONLY MY PHONE WONT WORK!

Thankfully it is right then we are asked to head out and we begin doing so and Cap - Ved - Sameer - Raunak - Daksh follow me out in a rush as well as I race out of the plane - without being my cheerful interactive self with the crew this time around.

Once we have rushed out the aerobridge space - I gesture them all to join me in a group as I say to Cap given that my phone's still not buzzing with the signal - " phone...cap...please...you have her number..I need to reach her...now...give me your phone..."

Cap nods now and hands me his phone and I ring Khushi up but to my utter dismay - it doesn't get through. I try three more times over. Not Reachable. Sameer is already on the phone with Akash(thankfully he caught onto my helpless gesture to him ten seconds ago) and he also tells me that Akash is super worried just like the rest of my family because they are not able to reach Khushi at all ever since they spotted the news. They'v been trying too as well.

Godammit.

Baby.

Fiore.

Why is your phone unreachable?

I begin to panic within like I haven't in a long long time - and Daksh gestures us all to get going through the rest of the arrival formalities so that no one wonders what our serious huddle group discussion is about.

I follow with a heavy heart but god knows I feel like every thing inside of me is dying in worry for My Fiore - as Raunak keeps subtly filling us on the raging developmets on the news/media/online - on this angle.

Some news channel in Lahore - has gone down to the level of terming my Fiore as the 'Child of Sin'. A lot of the public reactions in Lahore are now being streamed online- and everyone's just hurling so much hate at her publically that its insane.

That's it.

I cant take it anymore.

I am going.

I am going to Lahore.

I am going to be with my Fiore.

I don't care about anything else at the moment.

As we get through immigrations my resolve strengthens and once we are done - I pause in my steps at this little space before we take the escalator to collect luggage and I look at Ved and Cap and I whisper the same to them - and it is right very then I hear Raunak whisper from behind me as he hands me his phone - " brother...another media house in Lahore just aired this...ten mins ago..they spotted Khushi...at the Lahore airport..some man is with her...thank god for him though...for he's managed to protect her from the sea of bombarding reporters who are only hurling disrespectful questions at her....here...see for yourself..."

And I immediately take Raunak's phone in my hand now and see his screen - and the very second I spot the sight off my Fiore's face and frame behind the screen - I feel like everything inside of me Dies.

Yup.

It simply Dies.

She looks wrecked/paled/shattered/broken/with bloodshot eyes that easily say that she's been crying - but in the moment is holding onto tears with great difficulty not wanting to break down on camera. I have never ever seen her this tattered in her spirit as I catch the sight on screen of her trying to wade her way through in silence as reporters surrounding her asking her questions like - " did you always know you were Rehaan Khan's daughter??"
" When did you know??"

" why did you come to Lahore??"

" Are you going to take responsibility of what will happen to your Abbu and half brother??"

" Where is your mother ??how is she feeling? why isn't she reachable for comment??we know she is in New Zealand.have you spoken to her??"

" What are the details of your parents secret affair??"

" You do know...your illegitimate birth...has just put your Abbu into a piping hot spot..how do you feel about this???"

"Where are you going now?? are you going back to where you came from?"

" How does it feel to have the dirty secret of your birth come to light????"

GODAMMMITTTTTTTTTTTT!

HOW DARE THEY???????????

WHATS HAPPENED TO HUMANITY????????

WHAT JOY ARE THEY GETTING OUT OF HARASSING A PERSON WHO CLEARLY LOOKS LIKE SHE'S IN A SUPER DISTURBED STATE. Any one who sees My Fiore can see that.She's all lost/tattered and butchered in her spirit looking around for escape helplessly and these damm reporters!!!!!!!!!!!

THEY WONT FREAKING STOP HURLING THEIR QUESTIONS over and over AT HER IN THIS DISGUSTING VIDEO BYTE GOING VIRAL - AND THE ONLY PERSON I CAN SPOT WHO IS BEING HUMAN IN THE MOMENT IS AZLAAN NEXT TO HER - who can be seen trying to shelter her and just gesturing her to remain silent as he guides her into the departure off what seems to be the private charter terminal at the Lahore airport - as he also gets into a hustle with the reporters asking them for humanity's sake to just let her be to which one of the senseless reporters answer - "she's brought upon doom to her father. What about humanity in her context??"

I spot Azlaan glare back at the reporter in sheer fury as he finally manages to get My Fiore into the terminal within the next ten seconds in a staunch silence.

Guys.

As much as I wana be in Azlaan's shoes right now - in my heart - I am also thanking god that atleast he is there with her. Something in my gut tells me that probably her Abbu/raahil/noor - wanted to get her out off there first? - because the know the hounding lynching attack - the media will throw at Khushi - if she continues to be spotted in Lahore???????????????????

But.

WAIT.

WHAT??

WHERE IS HE TAKING HER???

Where are they sending her?????????????????

I hear the reporter on screen - making the same claims/questions too.

Broken, shaken and wrecked myself within - I hand Raunak back his phone as I say to Ved, Cap, Sameer, Daksh and him in a rushed broken whisper - " where ever is it that she is...I am going...I will find it out...and I will go to her...I don't care about the rest..right now...I simply don't....I am not going to leave her alone...in this...period..."

Cap pats my shoulder in support and Ved says for now in a whisper - " check your phone for signal...she surely must have texted you...about her where abouts...already..."

I nod at him and all and I step a little behind them - looking at my phone again in dire hope and thankfully as I see the signals come back in - now -finally - I rush to Whtsapp immediately as messages begin to ting in.

Khushi and my chat begins to get flooded with a number of voicenotes - but I don't press on to listen to them - for the last text that she sent me pops up in front of my eyes - and as I read it - I feel like I'v died a thousand deaths within my heart in that fraction of a second.

Only that one lone text that says :

Her : I love you baby. So much.Don't hate me for this..please? But just for a couple of days..until the heat settles...around me...this is the only way my mind says it can protect you. I am sorry. I might be out of touch for a couple of days because I know you will want to come to me. And I can't risk it. I just can't. I can't risk you.You are the only one left that I can protect within my control right now. Let me do it please?

I read it ten times over - in a split of the next couple of minutes - unable to digest what she's written to me...in this...heartbreaking text...after which I have received no text at all. Or voice Note. None at all. Not even one telling me where is it that Azlaan is taking her at the moment!!!!!!!!!!

Nope.

Nope.

She can't freaking do this to me!!!!!!!!!!!

She can't.

I won't let her.

She knows this will kill me just like I know its probably killing her more to do this. I know her intentions. I know where she is coming from. But - dammit that does not change the fact that it freaking hurts me like a range of gunshots that she's thought off cutting her contact with me for a couple of days!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That just like everytime she does - this time around too -she's trying to keep me at bay and away from her at her vulnerable sensitive moments!!!!!!!!!!!!

I spot Mrs.J text come up now on Whtsapp as well that says - Arnav ..have you landed?call me as soon as you see this. And several missed calls from my family as well. But I do not reply to them at the moment - because I feel like I just need a moment to compose the mess within my emotions.

I excuse myself to everyone around and rush to the washroom nearby managing to keep a straight face with great difficulty and once I am in the stall in complete privacy - I finally - CRY.

For the knowledge of what Khushi wants from me at this point hurts/wrecks/continues to kill me within over and over making me feel like a volatile mess within - and I can't help but let my misery/helplessness/worry out in the form of my helpless tears!

But even through my helpless - tears - and broken/wrecked state right now - I know one thing in my mind for sure - that this time around - come what may - I am not giving in into my Fiore's wish.

Nope.

I can't.

I just can't give in to her wish.

What did she write? Until the Heat Settles???????

As If.

Godammit Fiore.

I am going to turn the earth upside down if I have to but I will find you out and come to you before the freaking sun sets today!!!!!!!!

PERIOD.

..................................................................

TADAAAAAAAA!

How was That Guysssssssss ??????????with the range of dramatic scene flow?????????????? Also....... No shoes at me for stoping at the cliff hanger thoughhhh...please...just had to for the dramatic affect..hehe...😜

Next Update : Tomorrow( Wednesday )night!!

Until Then - Please take care 🙏🙏🙏🙏

Thanks, Guys, for all the Support and your Precious Time to my Work!

Much Love

Always

Prachi

Posted: 4 months ago

Good to hear you recovered from covid. Even I got it. Recovering still.

Posted: 4 months ago

Rob is concerned for Alice and Khushi. Even after the breakup, his heart is in the right place.

Posted: 4 months ago

What a nightmare for them all. For the whole family.

Posted: 4 months ago

Dawson is a class act. Very supportive with just the right words.

Posted: 4 months ago

Arnav will not want her to distance herself from him for even a minute.

Posted: 4 months ago

Noor's family is panicking too much. Why don't they want to help Khushi?

Posted: 4 months ago

Its so unfair that Khushi is being bashed. Why target her with all the hatred?


Arshi Romance 


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