Forget Me Not - ArHi OS

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Posted: 7 months ago

This story was written for IPK anniversary celebration contest...posting it in a new thread so others can read if they like...would appreciate comments and criticism!

Forget Me Not

It was 28th May 2021. The date she would never forget. She stared at the calendar on the wall which had this date highlighted in bright red since the last 10 years.

Everything had changed 10 years ago on this date. Everything. Her whole life had taken a 360 degree turn. Her husband had died. She had sent his murderer to jail.

Shyam Jha.

She could never forget the name of her husband’s murderer. Today was the day he would get his due. She had been waiting for the past 10 years for the day when he would be sentenced to death. She wanted to be there to see it. She would make sure he had the most painful death just like he gave to Arnav Singh Raizada. 

***

Khushi stood in front of Arnav’s framed picture on her bedroom wall. She had never put a garland around it because she believed until she was breathing, Arnav would always be alive in her heart. 

Payal walked behind her as she saw Khushi was ready to leave.

“You shouldn’t be going there alone Khushi. You know how dangerous he can be. Let Akash accompany you.” Khushi heard her sister say.

“He is in jail. He can’t do anything to me now. Also, he has taken my most precious possession from me, my husband. Nothing else matters to me anymore. I saw him 10 years ago with his hands covered in my husband’s blood. Let me go see him today for one last time. I finally have the courage to confront him about why he did this with me.”

Saying this, Khushi turned around and walked out of the door.

***

Khushi drove to the police station where her husband’s murderer was located for the last time, unaware that Akash and Payal were closely following her in their own car. They had become even more protective of Khushi ever since she had become a widow and refused to let her take any risks alone no matter what.

Khushi arrived at the police station and walked straight to Shyam’s jail. It had been 10 years yet she knew exactly which way to go. Her steps automatically led her there.

When she arrived, she saw Shyam being prepared for his death sentence by two bulky police officers. 

Shyam’s back was towards Khushi when he heard her voice, he first couldn’t believe that Khushi would come to meet him, that too at this time--but shortly he realised why she was here--of course, she wanted to see him get tortured.

“Stop,” Khushi shouted at the police officers. “I need to talk to Shyam. Alone.”

When the officers had left and there was nobody except Khushi and Shyam, she walked towards him and studied him closely.

Shyam had aged, she realised. He had lost a lot of weight, his bones were almost poking out, and he had a lot more grey hair since the last time she had seen him. His face also had a few wrinkles.

“Khushi, please cancel this death sentence. I don’t want to die.” Shyam finally gave up and begged in front of her, sitting at her feet. 

Khushi was taken aback by his sudden move. She expected anything unpredictable from Shyam, but not this.

“Why would I? YOU KILLED ARNAV! YOU NEED TO DIE!” she cried.

Shyam looked at Khushi suddenly as if something had registered in his mind. 

“No, no, Khushi. Arnav is not dead. He is alive. I would’ve told you this before, but you never came.”

Khushi stared back at him, fury in her eyes now.

“STOP LYING! YOU KILLED HIM! WHY?!?!?!”

“Arnav is alive,” Shyam protested. “I can tell you where he is. Go and bring him back. But only if you get me freed from here. I will go far away from your life. Just let me live.”

Khushi was in a dilemma whether she should trust him again. She was lost in her own confusion and didn’t notice when Akash and Payal came up to them.

“What proof do you have that bhai is alive?” Akash questioned Shyam.

Shyam started looking through his things until he found what he was looking for. He took out a scrunched up piece of paper and handed it to Khushi.

Khushi opened the paper and was shocked by what she saw.

“He’s alive! My Arnav is alive!” Khushi whimpered, handing the paper to Payal with trembling hands. 

Payal looked at the paper as tears soaked her face. She saw Khushi’s drawing of a forget me not with her name KHUSHI printed underneath it in bold letters. She knew that this was Arnav’s favourite drawing by Khushi and he always used to keep it in his wallet. She flipped it over to see a telephone number written on it.

Payal turned back towards Shyam. “Call this number and make us hear Arnav.”

Shyam complied as he took Payal’s phone from her hand and started dialling the number.

“Hello.” A grumpy voice answered the phone.

“Bring Arnav on the line!” Shyam ordered his man.

There was a pause, and after a while some coughing was heard as Shyam put the phone on speaker.

Shyam tried his best to coax Arnav into speaking but there was no response on the other line.

“Speak up dammit!” Shyam was giving up.

No response.

Khushi took the phone from his hand and put it close to her ear. She could hear deep breathing on the other end. The breathing was so familiar. Every breath she heard, it felt like it was calling for her. 

“Arnav?” she whispered.

The breathing grew louder and faster every time she spoke his name in her silky voice. “Arnav? Arnav?”

“Khushi!” He finally spoke and her heart did a somersault in the air. Two hearts beating in one rhythm despite being miles away.

Payal gently took the phone from Khushi’s hand and handed it to Akash, as Khushi was getting out of her own control. Khushi fell down to the floor with her face in her palms as Payal comforted her. 

“You want to live, Shyam? Fine! We will set you free once you set Arnav free. Bring him back to us right now.” Akash seethed.

Shyam agreed to all his conditions without a second thought. He had always been waiting for this opportunity to be freed from this imprisonment. He was ready to do anything even if that meant making his worst nightmare come true and reuniting Khushi with Arnav. 

He took the phone back from Akash which was still on speaker and instructed his man to send his location and let Arnav go with Akash.

Payal helped Khushi to the car as Akash confirmed the location from Shyam and promised to come back once Arnav was with them safely.

“Arnav has been kept in Bangalore. I am taking the flight to get there, you go home with Khushi in her car. I am leaving for the airport.” Akash spoke to Payal in a monotone. He had no time to waste and wanted to reach Arnav as soon as possible. “I will be back with Arnav by tonight.”

Khushi tried to protest, but found no strength within her to argue. She wanted to go to Arnav, but she trusted Akash. She knew Akash would bring Arnav back and that faith was enough for her.

***

It was past midnight and everyone had gone to sleep including Payal, who was sleeping in Khushi’s room tonight. She had told Khushi to get some sleep as Akash and Arnav would probably reach in the morning, but how could she? How could Khushi sleep knowing that Arnav was coming to meet her? How could she sleep knowing that Shyam was going to be freed today? Akash had requested the officers to delay Shyam’s death sentence and keep him under their supervision until he came back, and they had reluctantly agreed after some fussing when Akash had convinced them that Shyam may not have murdered Arnav, and he was going to bring evidence.

Khushi heard the car parking outside which brought her out of her reverie with a jolt. She stood up and ran to the window as her heart leaped up to her throat, threatening to come out. 

She saw Akash open the passenger seat door and her dishevelled husband walk out of the car with Akash’s assistance; his face covered with bruises and his legs wobbling like jelly, as if they had no strength of their own. His beard covered his neck as if he hadn’t shaved since months.

Khushi covered her mouth, but still was not able to control the moan of agony and helplessness which came out of her throat seeing her husband in such shape. Any pity she was feeling for Shyam after meeting him that evening all vanished into thin air. 

Hearing her helpless cries, Payal woke up startled and walked towards the window. It didn’t take long to figure out what had disturbed Khushi to no end.

As if hearing Khushi’s silent plea, Arnav automatically looked up towards her, meeting her gaze. For one moment, he forgot all the pain of the past 10 years as he cried tears of joy of finally seeing his wife again.

Khushi was able to hold on no longer as she ran down the stairs bare feet in her pajamas, two steps at a time, towards the driveway. She didn’t even acknowledge when the stairs had ended and she ran straight into her husband’s arms. Unable to control her weight on him, Arnav fell backwards with Khushi falling next to him. 

Payal and Akash smiled seeing these lovebirds back together again after many years and decided to leave them alone, walking hand in hand to their own bedroom. 

Khushi helped Arnav towards their bedroom as they spent the rest of the night in each other’s arms, whispering sweet nothings and how they spent the last 10 years without each other.

***

The time had come for Shyam to be hanged to death.

He was begging the officers to spare him as he hadn’t murdered Arnav.

“Stop,” Khushi ordered, walking towards the cell. “I have forgiven him. I am here to set him free. My Arnav is alive and I am here to pledge that Shyam did not murder him.”

“We would need Arnav’s statement before letting Shyam go.” The officer told her.

Arnav walked in with Akash and Payal, smirking at Shyam. “I am ready to give my statement.”

***

Arnav sat across from the officer and began to narrate what had happened.

Shyam had kept Arnav locked in a basement for 10 years to keep him away from Khushi. He had ordered his men to take care of him, give him food and keep him alive but not let him contact the outside world. He had lied to everyone that he had killed Arnav, but the truth was that he never intended to kill Arnav-his punishment was more severe than that. He wanted to torture Arnav and make him live a life more painful than death. This was his revenge on Arnav for taking Khushi from him. Every time Arnav tried to escape, Shyam’s men were ordered to beat him. 

Khushi, who was standing behind Arnav, listened to his story with hateful tears spreading across her face. Hate for Shyam. She thought that she could never hate anyone more than she hated Shyam after learning about Arnav’s murder, but with every passing moment, her hate was growing stronger and stronger.

After Shyam had been released, Khushi insisted that they take Shyam home with them, little did they know that Khushi had her own plans. She felt Shyam was her and Arnav’s criminal and only they should have the right to punish him.

Payal and Akash tried to stop her but to no avail. When Khushi made a decision, she didn’t listen to anyone.

She argued that she will take Arnav and Shyam in her own car while Akash and Payal go home. Akash and Payal reluctantly agreed. They understood that Arnav and Khushi were there to protect each other this time, and when they were together, they didn’t need anyone else.

The drive was quiet. Khushi didn’t speak a word and neither did Shyam. Shyam was just relieved to finally be out in the open air. He could give up anything for this moment. “To hell with Khushi and Arnav!” he thought.

Khushi suddenly stopped at a deserted road and offered Arnav a walk in the park with her. Arnav could never refuse his wife who he had gotten back after so many years. He could do anything for her. He would walk to the moon and back for her.

She gently held his waist and helped him out of the car. They walked arm in arm while Shyam waited in the car for them. 

Arnav suddenly heard a blast and turned around with Khushi to see the car in flames and Shyam screaming inside it.

“This was my revenge for you,” Khushi smiled at him, leaving Arnav astonished. He never knew his Khushi could become so ruthless to take someone’s life.

“I had to do it,” Khushi explained as if understanding Arnav’s unspoken words. “He would have never let us live in peace and so I had to--”

“Ssshhhh, I don’t need to hear how you did it. Let this be our new beginning. Just me and you.”

And with that Arnav sealed his lips with Khushi’s pouted ones.

Posted: 7 months ago

I had read this in the OS contest and i had enjoyed reading it that day. U did fab job Hinna. Kuddos

Posted: 7 months ago

Reserved ❤️✨


Thanks for Tag 

Posted: 7 months ago

Too late to vote in the contest but I loved the punishment Khushi doled out to Shyam.

Posted: 7 months ago

As I said earlier, I loved the twist.  That surprise element made us very happy at the end.

Lovely OS.  smiley20

Cheers.....

  1  

Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon 


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