"Sometimes a heart can't afford to be just friends."
"To love without condition, to talk without intention, to give without reason, and to care without expectation... this is the heart of a true friend."
Two friends, friendship, two hearts, love, and finally, destiny!
Hello everyone!!!!! My apologizes for the late update. I was really busy. So, without further delay, here is the next chapter. Happy Reading! Enjoy :)
Please note I retain sole ownership of all the works of fiction on this blog so please do not reproduce or alter my work and claim it as your own.
walked out of New York University after a meeting with the Vice
President. Though he worked efficiently regardless of what the
situation was, his mind was currently playing multiple memories from
olden days. He sat into his car and placed his head on the steering
wheel. He replayed Arnav's conversation, wondering why he needed her
location suddenly. Though he was thankful that he didn't ask any of
the questions he normally would, but then he was surprised, as to why
not. Akash had been expecting Arnav's call since the day NK informed
of his arrival.
Bhai did not even mention anything. Maybe he's not going to. I just
phone rang, marking the call of his elder brother.
Greenwich Village. Why Bhai?”
I was....Why don't we meet? I am in Greenwich Village as well.”
Oh God Bhai! Are you alright? I s everything okay? Are you....”
I.am.FINE! I asked, can we meet?”
sure Bhai. Anyways, I was coming to meet someone. Where at, Bhai?”
tell. Who were you meeting with? Colleague or....?”
Bhai. I am coming and will message you the place.”
sat in his car, the black windows hiding him from anyone's view. His
eyes were set on the entrance of the Cafe. Khushi was still inside
with her sister and Akash on his way here.
did Akash have to decide on this very Cafe? I thought he would NOT
want me to meet his love interest. How can this man be so down to
earth? DAMN IT!
knock disturbed his venting. Arnav saw Akash standing in front of
his door, his eyes looking around and on the window again. Arnav
lowered the window, just enough to make his voice across.
car's unlocked. Get in!”
quickly closed the window before Akash could argue back.
opened his mouth to argue but closed as the window went up. He
walked to the other door, completely clueless of what exactly was
wrong with his brother. As soon as he sat, Akash turned toward Arnav
with a stumped, yet curious look. However, as soon as he saw Arnav
looking at him with an affectionate look, the look he missed all
Arnav was caught up in many things, he couldn't help but feel the
same brotherly love for his younger brother. He had never shown his
emotions to anyone, but he had missed him all these years. He placed
his hand on his shoulder, but Akash hugged him tightly, just the way
he used to hug him in the younger years. Arnav patted his back
lightly, strictly controlling his emotions.
I am sorry, Bhai. I know I hurt you a lot, but you know I just
couldn't....I was....Bhai....it was....”
know, I know it all. Do you really think you could have breathed
even for a single moment without my knowledge?”
looked at Arnav, his face full of confusion.
You knew about....”
nodded his head in positive.
still want you to come back, but it will be your decision. My
desires won't interfere with your decisions.”
you Bhai, thank you so much! But I am still sorry Bhai. You needed
me, but I....”
had a choice, Akash, and you chose for yourself. I didn't, so I
flinched a bit at seeing the same rage in Arnav's eyes. Even if
everyone feared Officer Raizada, he would always be afraid of his
brother's temper nonetheless.
Bhai. I was just....”
closed his eyes to control his temper and looked at his brother with
it's....it's no use talking about that now. [He cleared his throat,
as he recalled the day's events.] So, who were you meeting here?”
suddenly remembered what happened earlier on and his warm,
affectionate look turned into a curious, yet an astute look.
going on, Bhai?”
still didn't answer my question.” Arnav said, avoiding an eye
contact with Akash.
it's a girl? Girlfriend or just a colleague?”
looked sheepishly at his brother, knowing fully well that he could
never lie to his elder brother.
love her, Bhai.”
noticed the honesty and pride in Akash's eyes as he spoke the words.
His lips turned into a smile as well.
Who is she, by the way?”
timidness evaporated from Akash's eyes and a slight smirk made its
way on his lips.
sister of the girl you had me track down.”
ignored Akash's gaze upon him and found the parking meter outside the
car much more interesting.
you do know that you have to come clear, right?”
pondered upon his words for few seconds, cleared his throat once
again, and finally looked at Akash.
need your help.”
please. You know, if it wasn't important, I wouldn't be asking you
at any cost.”
How exactly do you want me to help you?”
looked straight into Akash's eyes to convey the seriousness of the
asked you to find out about Khushi and I just want from you that she
should never know of this fact.”
No problem. But there's something I need you to do in return.”
the! Since when have you learned to blackmail?”
chuckled a bit, as Arnav's tense muscles relaxed a bit to know it
wouldn't something serious since his brother was laughing.
I just want to introduce the person who is the role model of my life
to the person who I want to spend my entire life with.”
I have never told her anything about....well, anything. You are the
only family I have, Bhai. Please?”
are the only true family I have as well. But Khushi....”
worry. I know her personally as well. I'll handle.”
Arnav was not convinced, he nodded to Akash reluctantly.
there's one more thing.”
Khushi's birthday today. [He picked a gift bag from the backseat and
handed it to Akash.] Would you give this to her?”
bit the inside of his cheek to stop himself from smiling.
why don't you give it to her, Bhai? I assume you also know her
I mean....I....she....is an intern at IBM where I am heading the
internship program. So it's not personal.”
you care about her na?”
looked directly into his brother's eyes and smiled.
fine, Bhai. I know you. Don't worry, I'll take care of it” said
Akash while pointing towards the gift.
got out of the car and walked into the Cafe.
where is Jeejz now? I am even hungry now.”
be here soon. Maybe got caught with something.”
the cue, Payal saw Akash coming through the door, along with someone
else as well.
here he is!”
turned around with a wide grin on her face which turned in a shocked
expression as her jaw dropped down and her eyes went wide as she saw
Arnav walking with Akash. Arnav noticed Khushi's changing expressions
but he dared not look her in the eye. Akash, on the other hand, was
observing Khushi and Arnav, while winking at Payal. Payal was
smiling her cute smile at Akash when she noticed him looking at
Khushi and Arnav, so she also looked at the both of them. She though
was only slightly surprised at Khushi's state, but found nothing
wrong with Arnav since Arnav's face was expressionless. Payal was
further astonished as Akash winked at her with an amused expression.
Khushiiiii, Akashji is talking to you.” Payal tried to get Khushi
out of her daze, but Khushi remained statue-like until Payal pinched
her on her arm. Akash was smiling seeing her state, while Arnav was
looking everywhere but at her.
Khushi turned immediately to Payal with an annoyed look.
was that for Jiji?” whispered Khushi to Payal.
in the front and you'll know, Einstein.” Payal turned and smiled
warmly to Akash.
Birthday, Khushi.” Akash said and side-hugged Khushi. Khushi
hugged him back.
Jeejz. So you finally remembered me? What took you so long?”
[Jeejz = alteration for Jeeju, brother-in-law]
kiddo. I had a meeting and here, let me introduce you both to my
elder brother, Arnav Singh Raizada.”
looked at Arnav, who was still avoiding her. She opened her mouth,
closed it, opened again.
are Jeejz's elder....?” said Khushi, though she was mainly talking
do you know each other already?” asked Payal innocently.
my....boss” stammered Khushi as she looked away from Arnav.
wow. What a surprise! Akashji, you never told me you had a
brother.” Payal said.
and Arnav looked at each other uncomfortably, both aware of the
spoke, “Actually, I told him not to. Our family had many contacts,
while Akash wanted to build his career on his own merits. Therefore,
he established himself without disclosing who his family is.”
really Akashji? That's so sweet of both you brothers. Now can we all
sit and talk?” said Payal with a sincere smile on her face.
sat down, Payal and Khushi on one side of the table, while Akash and
Arnav in front of them. Arnav and Khushi still avoided eye contact
with each other, while Payal and Akash noticed the uncomfortable
silence between the both. If nothing else, both surely did know that
Khushi would not have kept quiet without any reason.
Khushi, here is our birthday girl's present.” Akash said while
giving the gift bag to her.
YOU brought me a gift? Yepppeeeee!” Khushi giggled as she was just
about to open the gift when Payal slapped her thigh secretly. Khushi
stopped, realizing her manners which were forgotten due to her
Birthday Khushi.” Arnav spoke in a firm voice, attempting to hide
his hesitancy and looking directly at Khushi now.
you, A....Sir.” Khushi said shyly, ignoring Arnav's gaze on her.
Arnav smirked slightly as he realized that Khushi was about to call
him by his first name.
Bhai just told me that you both worked together. I didn't know. So,
I hope you don't mind that.”
no Jeejz. It's completely fine. Anyways, Sir is very sincere about
his work and it's a pleasure working with him.” Khushi said the
last sentence shyly, while Arnav's heart swelled with pride and
was amazed at her sister, but Akash acted as if nothing was happening
though his heart was jumping in joy to see his brother like this.
since it's Khushi's birthday, why don't we all go out together? I
don't have any work for the rest of the day, and I am sure Bhai can
manage one day without work. Right, Bhai?”
Akash. As you all see fit.” Arnav said while looking at Khushi
from the corner of his eyes.
Akashji. Khushi will love spending the day with us.” Payal said
excitedly as she saw Akash winking at her again.
and Akash got up to leave before Khushi could say otherwise. Arnav
and Khushi followed them close behind.
whispered to Khushi, “Khushi, you do know that you can call me by
my name in front of my own brother, right? I only stopped you from
that in front of the staff and faculty.”
looked at him surprised, “Ohh. I was just not sure since I didn't
now you do!” Saying it, Arnav walked away from Khushi and closer to
Akash, who turned around just in time.
why don't you and Khushi follow our car? I....erm....I had to talk
to Payal about something.”
looked at Khushi's surprised look, smirking inwardly he answered
Akash, “Of course Akash. You guys go ahead. Enjoy!”
and Akash went in their car, while Khushi and Arnav followed behind.
buckle your seatbelt.” Arnav said to Khushi without looking at her.
looked toward him as she buckled her seatbelt.
She said in a little voice.
Why didn't you tell me of your leave?”
began playing with her fingers nervously, “I....I told Amanji. You
could have called me or messaged me in the evening.”
shot him a surprised look. “I forgot. I was busy at home.”
didn't you tell me about your birthday?”
looked at her, a softness in his eyes, “You don't have to be sorry,
Khushi. I....I just....never mind.” He looked away, unable to
vocalize his feelings.
looked at Arnav and saw a strange sadness on his face.
Devi Mayyia! What have I done? He must have felt bad because he
found out from Jeejz. Stupid, duffer! How idiotic can you be
I didn't mean to hurt you. I just forgot. I am sorry. I am really
you don't have to be sorry. It's fine.” Arnav smiled at Khushi,
seeing her distressed at such a simple thing, while understand his
unexpressed feelings. Khushi smiled as soon as she saw him smiling.
I never thought you would turn out to be Jeejz's brother. He is so
different than you.”
Yeah, obviously. Personalities of any two people has to be
different. How can we be same, Khushi?”
you are seriously the limit. I wasn't expecting a complete logical
explanation for such a general thing.” Khushi rolled her eyes,
while Arnav smiled at her.
but even I didn't realize that your surname is also Raizada. I
should have guessed then, but I guess it never came to my mind.”
Khushi spoke as she played with the gift bag in her lap. She
suddenly realized that she still hasn't opened her gift. She looked
at Arnav with a mischievous glint in her eyes.
can I ask something?”
you mind if I open my present?”
looked at her, surprised and timidly. “Erm....no, go ahead.”
excitedly opened her the bag to find another wrapped gift box inside.
She opened it and found a pearl and diamond earrings with a matching
necklace. Her eyes opened wide, appreciating the beauty of the
present, while her mind blurred with confusion. Arnav noticed her
awed expression and looked away, smiling to himself since she liked
the gift. Khushi turned to Arnav, only to be more surprised to see a
peaceful smile adorning his face. Realization hit her and she looked
back at the gift.
gave this gift, not Jeejz, right?”
smile vanished as he looked at Khushi in shock!