Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chapter 16

Hello Everyone!

I am finally back with an update!  

Chapter 16 is updated, so I won't make a long note.  Just enjoy and leave me comments.  

Please remember to include your IF names in your comments.

Enjoy and Happy Reading!

:)

Chapter 16

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.


“If you need any help, you know na, you can always ask me.”
“What?  Why would I need help?”
“No....nothing! I just meant that....”
“To the point, Khushi!”
“How are you going to talk to my parents about Jiji?”
“Erm....I'll think of something?”
“Are you telling me or questioning yourself, Arnu?”
“I am telling you.  Anyway, there is absolutely nothing Arnav Singh Raizada cannot sort out.”
“Ok then. Let me listen to your master strategic plan!”
Arnav finally turned to look at Khushi, who simply wiggled her eyebrows in amusement.
“Looking at me won't help you find any answers, Arnu!”
Arnav looked away and said, “Khush, I....I'll bring Akash with me in a couple of days and talk of their alliance. Good enough for you?”
“And what will you say is the reason for this alliance?”
“Reason? What do you mean reason?”
“Well, you cannot talk about love in my house because my parents' minds are still traditionally set, so they won't even hear of love marriage.”
“What the!  Erm....So what? I'll think of something else.”
“So, Mr. Arnav Singh Raizada cannot sort this out?”
“Come on Khush!  Stop kidding.  At least give me some time to think of a solution to this.”
“Is 5 minutes good enough, Mr. Raizada?”
“5 minutes? With you, in this car, on this road? Are you serious?”
“Oh yes I am. And what do you mean with me and here? What's wrong in being with me?”
“Khushhh!” Arnav looked sternly at Khushi, who was grinning openly at him, looking at his annoyed face.
“Ok, fine! Then, you find me a solution within the very same 5 minutes.”
“Done!”
“What?!!!”
Khushi looked at him, and she noticed how his body language has changed from before.  Arnav looked at Khushi, uncomfortable with her silence, and saw her looking at him with a strange look in her eyes.

Arnav looked away from her, avoiding her stare as memories of the past once again plagued his mind.  No matter how hard he tried, those things always had a way to come back to him.
“Arnu?”
“Erm....yeah?”
Khushi noticed the stiffness of his body, along with the tense tone of his voice. She, though, didn't protrude the matter since she knew that their friendship wasn't as strong enough to share everything.  However, she did realize that there was something that bothered Arnav deeply.  She silently closed her eyes and opened them again with a happy glint to them.
“So, now my dear friend Arnu ji, would you like to listen to my plan?”
“You have a plan?”
“Yes!” Khushi said, as her eyes brightened in excitement.

~*~

Arnav sat in his cabin, working on the computer, as he “hmmm”ed to Khushi’s constant talking, without paying any attention actually.
“Aaaa….Ouchhh…..Khushhhh!  What’s wrong with you?” Arnav said, as he struggled to free his left ear from Khushi’s hold.
“What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with YOU? Here, I am telling all the details to you, and you are just drooling over that computer of yours! Huhhh!”
Arnav looked at Khushi, an amused look adoring his face, as he took in her annoyed look.  He held her hand and made her stand in front of him, with her back to his table.
“How about I tell you exactly what you were telling me?”
“Hmph! As if you know!”
“You manipulated your family into looking for alliances for Payal, they are excited for Payal, and you even showed the fake matrimonial profile you created of Akash.  And now, we just have to schedule the meeting, right?”
“But I-”
“Khush!  You already told me all of that last night in the chat.  Why are repeating everything now?”
“Because it’s different, talking to you here face-to-face than typing all of it at night. I….”
“I know, but don’t you have to head home now?  It’s getting late and everyone already left.”
“But I think you are still here.  And you don’t even allow me to say a single word the entire day just because someone might think in the wrong way. Now what’s wrong with me being here when no one else is here?”
“Won’t your family be worried? I don’t want you getting in trouble because of me.”
“I can always say that my CRUEL supervisor made me overwork.” Khushi said, as a twinkle made her eyes glows.
“Oh, so now I am CRUEL to you?”
“Of course you are.  You don’t let me talk to you all day.  Then you are always shoo-ing me away in the evenings when others leave.  And over the top, you only text chat at night.  Can’t you even Skype then?”
“Khush, we are together the entire day, why do you even need to Skype at night?”
“Becozzzz it’s easier to look and talk.”
“Weren’t you saying just last night that it’s easier to talk without looking since then you can just say whatever is on your mind, without thinking how it will impact others. Although, there has never been such a moment yet.”
“Haaaa! Arnuuuu!” Khushi pouted, while playfully hitting Arnav’s chest, and Arnav simply smiled at her expressions.
“Do you even know how cute all your antics are?”
“I know!  After all, I am Khushi Kumari Gupta!”
Khushi went back to talking about her plan for the Gupta family's meeting with the Raizada brothers, while Arnav continued to look at her, trying to analyze her in his business-mind.

How can someone be so na├»ve, innocent, and yet mischevious? How can someone enter his life and turn it upside down in a matter of just a few days?  How can someone be so open and frank with him?  He had learned to build a solid wall around himself, preventing anyone and everyone from entering his personal life.  Since the past few years, he had never had a personal conversation with anyone, not even Akash.  He had avoided every single instance that may lead to something like that.  Why was it then, that whenever Khushi was near him, he forgot all about his outer-image?  The image he himself created, to blind the world into believing that he was a ruthless, heartless person, so no one can dare to come near him and hurt him.  He had never allowed anyone to affect him at a personal level since she left.  Why was this girl making such a huge impact on him all of a sudden?

“Oye mister, do you plan on sitting here all night?”
Khushi snapped her fingers in front of him, making him snap out of his thought-frenzy.
“Huh? What?”
Khushi quickly check his forehead to see whether his temperature was normal or not.
“What are you doing, Khushi?”
“Nothing, I am just checking whether you are fine or not.  Or whether you have simply sworn to ignore me today?”
“I am listening to you right now, aren’t I?”
“Oh really, how about telling me what I was saying before that, Mr. I-Know-It-All?”
“I think, Miss I-Surely-Know-It-All, it’s time for both of us to head out since I am getting hungry now.  How about we both go out to dinner?”
“Dinner? No, Jiji messaged a while back that everyone would be waiting for dinner. Sorryyyy! Some other time?”
Arnav looked at the sad face Khushi was making, and his heart soar up at that angelic face.
“Anytime you want to.  Now, let’s go. Come on!”
Khushi happily picked all her stuff and both left to their respective abodes.

~*~

The day finally arrived.  The Gupta household had been very busy with all the preparations.  All the decorations were kept to a minimum since this was just a meeting of the respective alliance.  But the food arrangements were made to be elegant, yet simple.  All the family members were in their best attire.
Garima, Payal and Khushi’s mother, wore an elegant Banarasi sari, as she rushed to make final touches to all the arrangements.  Shashi and Bauji dressed in their regular formal wear.  Khushi was in Payal’s room, dressing her up, while she got ready early in the morning so she can help everyone else. 
“Jiji, you look sooooo pretty!  Jeejz is going to faint, just by looking at you.”
“Oye Khushi, what are you saying? If he faints, how will he talk about the alliance with everyone?”
“Ohhhhh, so my Jiji is already getting desperate for Jeejz, huh?”
“Khushiiiiii,” Payal pouted, “are you sure everything will be fine?”
“Of course Jiji!  Everything will be perfectly fine.  I am here na?”
Both sisters hugged each other for assurance, while Khushi was nervous herself, but she managed to convince Payal otherwise.

~*~

“Arnav, when are you guys coming?”
“Just 5 minutes away!  Are you okay?  You sound a bit edgy, hmm?” Arnav said, feeling a little relaxed hearing her voice.
“I am just nervous, even more than Jiji, though I managed her somehow.  And how come you guys are so early?  Weren’t you supposed to be coming a bit later? I mean, it’s not really the time yet, is it?”
“Khushi!!!!  First of all, I am driving, so you can answer your question yourself.  Secondly, stop getting so nervous. Everything is going to be just fine.  Lastly, talk to Akash because I CANNOT HANDLE TWO SUCH THINGS SIMULATENOUSLY!” And all of the relaxation and soothing time ended as soon as it began.
“How can YOU…”
“Hello, Khushi. What’s wrong?”
“Oh, hi Jeejz.  Everything is perfectly fine.  Didn’t you just hear your LOUD and OBNOXIOUS brother?”
“Oh, yes, yes, of course. Who couldn’t have heard that? You know what, let’s talk when we all meet, since we all need to CALM DOWN.  And you know, what’s funny in this? I AM THE ONE WHO’S COMING THERE FOR MY ALLIANCE! SO BOTH OF YOU, STOP FIGHTING!!!!”
Khushi pushed the phone away from her ear since Akash’s voice obviously traveled freely out her earpiece.
“See you, Jeejz!” Khushi quickly spoke into the phone and ended the call.
“I guess someone is more nervous than all of us combined!” Khushi said, as she ran to the living room to wait at the window for the Raizada brothers to arrive.

~*~

"Akash, for the hundredth time, we are only few feet away the house.  You need to pull yourself together." Arnav said, with as much as patience as he could, while trying to control his temper from leashing at Akash.
"Bhai, but I..."
"Listen, if there is anything wrong, you just signal me, call me, message me, anything!  Just don't freak out.  Do you understand that?"
"Yes, Bhai.  Yes, I am fine, as long as you are with me.  Let's do it, Bhai!" Akash said, with a smile on his face, though his eyes still gave up his nervousness which he was trying hard to suppress. 
“Just remember, you still have to answer few of the questions coming your way.” Arnav said, as he visibly begin to relax.
“Yeah, but only few out of the thousands!” Akash gave a bright and victorious smile, as he looked at himself in the mirror.
Arnav turned away from Akash, veryyy annoyed, let out a big sigh, and ran his hand through his hair. "This is going to be one longgggg day!"

Links to Alliance Day attires:
Garima
Akash
Payal
Khushi
Arnav


So, How was it?
I will try to post the next update in a couple of weeks, at the most.  I am trying really hard to write and post as much as I can.  Also, sorry for the long delay in the update. 
Remember to include your IF names in your comments.  Thank you!
~Mannat <3