*This was my submission for the 10 year anniversary OS contest, which one was selected as the runner-up winner!
That One Moment:
10 years. 3650 days. 87600 hours. 5256000 minutes. 315400000 seconds.
In retrospect, 10 years may not seem to be a big deal. In fact, for most people, it was only 10% of their entire lifetimes and could have very well been the most mundane 10 years of their life. However, it is less about what had occurred in those 10 years but rather what had been so significant that it had been remembered for 10 years. If one were to break it down, to hold onto a single memory for 10 years would mean spending 315400000 seconds actively trying to piece together what had happened and to fixate a mental mirage of it.
One such memory had taken homage in her mind for the past 10 years, one that she wasn’t able to shake free nor did she have the desire to do so. As she sat on the bed, dipping biscuits in her chai - a habit her husband incessantly frowned upon and one that she exaggerated just for his attention – Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada reminisced what her life had been like 10 years ago. She heard a ruffling sound and looked over to her right at her peacefully sleeping husband who had looped his arm around her waist. Correction: what their life had been like 10 years ago.
In all honesty he had made her life a living hell back then. Many times, she felt that he would purposely execute new plans to torture her, perfectly tailored to push her buttons and amuse himself. Had he continued with his gruesome behavior, the attraction she had felt with him would have definitely been overshadowed. But somewhere along the way he had grown a soft spot for her and though he didn’t often express it, the small moments they had would put him back in her good books. There was a constant tug of war that would occur in her mind as she would be insanely confused by his hot and cold behavior.
However, there was one single moment that had solidified the attraction she felt towards him and the moment that had made her question if he really was the devil or just pretended to be. Even 10 years later, that singular event still had a huge impact on her life because if it weren’t for that moment, Khushi would have never found the soft soul hidden behind his devilish exterior.
She remembered the day as if it were yesterday, each detail fresh in her mind. She had been subtly crying all day because of Arnavji’s behavior towards her. Though she was no stranger to his brutal nature, his words had particularly pierced her heart for the past few days. Especially since she had attempted to console him during his grief, but in return he had insulted her and ordered her to leave the house. She stood in the gazebo, away from everyone and the party, contemplating what was so wrong with her that he couldn’t be nice to her for just once. Was she that terrible that every word that came out of his mouth for her had to be terrible and unapologetic? Had she put herself in this vulnerable position where anyone could pick her up to be used and thrown away at their discretion?
She had been lost in her thoughts when Arnav had approached her from behind and when she noticed his presence, she decided it was better to ignore him rather than engage with him. But as usual, Arnav had perceived her silence as dismissal and grabbed her arms in a tight grip. His fingers harshly pressed into her skin. Had they been his nails instead, they surely would have torn into her skin with the force he was applying. He was enraged by her dismissive behavior especially since he was attempting to apologize to her for his previous actions. She whimpered from the pain he was causing her and when he finally had removed his hands, red imprints of each one of his fingers were engraved into her skin.
If this was his way of apologizing, then Khushi didn’t want any part of it. Her eyes that were already swollen from her incessant crying, had yet again filled up and with each blink, tears spilled down her cheeks. Khushi called him out for not being able to apologize to her properly while explaining why she was equally saddened by the death anniversary of his parents. She was one of the few people that could understand his pain and had wanted to be there for him, but he had so rudely rebuked her offer. She wasn’t naïve and was aware that it was foolish to expect an apology for him and once she was satisfied that she had explained her side to the best of her ability, she turned to leave.
“Khushi” She stopped in her tracks at his calling and turned back to face him. A moment of silence followed and even though there was no sound, a thousand words had been said between the two in that small second. “Sorry.” Her eyes widened in shock and when her eyes met his, she saw that his tears mirrored her own. “Sorry. I’m really sorry.” She was at a loss of words and turned her back towards him in an attempt to regain some sort of verbal functionality. But it was too soon for her to recollect herself and with a hint of a smile, she ran away with the gloom slowly lifting off of her shoulders.
That night she had spent countless hours replaying his apology in her head and she had realized just how much he affected her. Everything from his words to his actions made a significant impact in her life and from then onwards, she noticed how every action of hers was a reaction to his.
Though this moment wasn’t a universal event that every couple celebrated such as a wedding or first date anniversary, it was one of the most special milestones to Khushi. This moment was completely unique to their love story and might have been the turning point in their tumultuous relationship as well. Had he not surpassed her expectations and apologized to her, Khushi would have never let him create a soft corner for him in her heart. She would have never considered her attraction for him as anything legitimate. She would have never opened her heart to him, giving him the power to either complete her or utterly destroy her. His one apology had gravitated her towards him and she was eternally grateful to him and for him.
She slowly snapped out of reliving that moment for the 315400000th time and snuggled in closer to her husband’s warmth. Khushi had never shared with Arnav how much she thought about this particular instance as she was sure the significance would be lost on him. Nor did she find it necessary because she knew he had a that one moment of his own he secretly cherished as well.Edited by SlytherInMe. - 7 days ago
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