"P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C. Pathetic. Your inability to play scrabble. Pathetic." Khushi sat across from Arnav, her legs folded underneath her, making herself comfortable on the hospital bed. Laying the white tiles down on the scrabble board she looked at him with a self satisfied grin.
Arnav responded. "I-N-N-U-E-N-D-O. Something I am rather talented at." She folded her arms and leaned back against the foot board rolling her eyes. With a lopsided grin he added..."Not my only talent though." Then looking at her with a heated gaze, he implored her to remember all of his talents. Arnav watched her lashes lower, shielding the liquid gold her irises had become. In their depths lay the secret of their heated passion. He delighted in the slow blush that bloomed across the bridge of her nose, diffusing out to her cheeks.
Clearing her throat she tried to dispel the brewing sexual tension. "E-G-O. I'm surprised sometimes how your head fits through the door since you have so much of it."
He let out a small laugh. Arnav was on a mission today. Sick of the polite and careful Dr. Khushi he desperately wanted his Gupta back. Ever since she had found out about his illness she had been so careful around him. It was irritating him to no end. This wasn't the woman he loved. And so he was going to irritate her till she reappeared.
Slyly he placed the next few tiles on the board. "B-O-O-B-S. You've got a great pair."
His lower lip wobbled, failing to contain his amusement. Shock, embarrassment and indignation flit across her face with in a split second as a tile came hurtling toward his head. "You are so......urghhhh" she groaned in frustration, left inarticulate by his last verbal charge. Scowling, she bit out..."Anyway its not a proper word. It's a colloquialism."
Arnav raised an eyebrow at her not so discreet adjustment of her outwear. No doubt an attempt to hide her very generous assets. "So? Who's going to arrest me? The scrabble police?"
"You sir, are a rouge."
"And you maam...a pedant."He shook his head as he waited for her to form her next word. "Using a colloquialism...utterly Machiavellian I tell you."
"Well it is in my books." Khushi looked down at the rack of tiles pondering her response. Tiles fell upon the board and she smirked a very Raizada smirk at him. "H-O-R-N-Y. Raizada is a horny teenager. Horny."
His next word came almost immediately. "P-O-P. What can I say? Once you pop you just can't stop."
It went deathly quiet; Khushi's mouth hung open. "Did you...did you just compare my virginity to opening a box of pringles?"
Arnav couldn't contain himself any longer and burst out laughing. Khushi launched herself at him from the opposite end of the bed. The scrabble board went flying, crashing loudly as white tiles rained upon the floor. Arnav only laughed harder as she pulled on his hair with, seeking her retribution. "You. Absolute. Jerk." Her tiny fists pounded against his chest. Long fingers found their way under her top and began to tickle the soft flesh near her hips. She squealed loudly, wriggling on his lap. After a good two minutes she cried mercy, resulting in a cease fire. She lay against his chest, breathing heavily, a smile plastered upon her face.
He dropped a kiss in her hair, inhaling the lingering scent of her shampoo. "I've missed this. Just being us."
Closing her eyes, Khushi leant herself further in to his warmth and in response felt his arms tighten round her. If only time would stop... just for this moment. Silence fell upon them as a warm embrace, shielding them from the rest of the world.
With a loud sigh, she concurred. "I know. But things have changed and I just...." The rest of the sentence was stuck somewhere in her throat; a tidal wave of emotion threatening to spill over.
"They don't have to." he responded, his voice a low hum.
She looked up, unsure of his meaning.
"They don't have to change." Though delivered in a casual tone, there was a just a trace of accusation and Khushi immediately stiffened, ready with her defence.
"What do you mean they don't have to change? Of course they do!"
"Why? Because I'm ill? It's not as if I'm going to die tomorrow."
"No but it's not as if you have the bloody flu either!" Khushi was becoming increasingly incensed as the conversation wore on.
"I'm not denying that its a big deal. What I'm saying is that you can't let it affect our relationship."
"You're making no sense."
Arnav sighed and rubbed his eyes with his thumb and forefinger, bringing them to rest on the bridge of his nose. " I mean that you have to stop making concessions for me. You've been so polite its absurd. I don't know how to act around you anymore. We keep tiptoeing around one another, doing this silly little dance as if the next word could tear us apart." Arnav desperately needed her to understand. "I need to know how you really feel or we’ll just end up resenting one another. I know you're mad at me but you've barely said two words about it. We haven't really resolved what's going on."
Khushi sat up and turned to face him, putting some distance between them. Frowning, she tried to articulate her thoughts appropriately. "It seems silly to be mad at you. It's not important in the face of everything. I don't want to waste what time we have together."
"There you go again! I'm not dying in a month or two. I have five or more years. In which time I might get transplant."
This time Khushi seethed, not bothering to hide her emotions. Her eyes narrowed and she hissed. "Do you know the likelihood of you getting a transplant? NO! I do! I see patients die here every day just waiting for a match. So don't you DARE tell me that I should be all sunshines and rainbows. I am handling this the best way I know how." Her tirade, left her breathless and her chest heaved in and out with emotion.
"You are angry." Arnav made the observation out loud as if just realising the extent of her emotion.
"You're damn right I am."
"I can't change this!" he bit back angrily.
"No you can't. But why the hell did you let it happen in the first place!"
The silence was deafening. There it was. The unspoken question that had been threatening to tear them apart.
"You knew I lost my parents. You knew I was vulnerable. Then why the hell did you come into my life!"
The guilt on his face tore something deep within her and immediately she wished that she hadn't said anything. But he was right. They would resent one another if they tried to push it away. It didn't mean it was easy.
"Do you really wish you'd never met me?" His voice cracked.
Khushi looked down, trying not to cry. "Sometimes." She whispered. "It would have been easier."
"I did for a while." he admitted and she looked up at him shocked. "I wished I hadn't met you. I thought it would have been easier if we hadn't met. It wouldn't be so painful. That's why I disappeared for three days. Because It wasn't fair. Not to you or me. Then I decided to be selfish and take a chance and you know what I realised? All this time I hadn't been living. Not till I met you."
At his last admission she broke down, he shoulder shaking as she sobbed. He drew her into his chest. "Spending your life hiding your heart away Khushi doesn't mean you're living. Maybe this is more painful. But that's life and now we're living it. Together."
"What if you leave me? I can't live a life without you. I refuse to. I love you Arnav. I love you." she sobbed, clenching a fistful of his shirt in her hand, hiding her face. He tightened his arms around her and rocked her gently, unable to say anything to comfort her. Tears slid from the corner of his eyes. Three simple words had bequeathed him a lifetime of happiness. All the tension that his body had been clutching on to, slowly faded away.
With a deep breath he put two finger underneath her chin and titled it upward. Her eyes were red and her cheeks wet. Warm palms cupped her soft face, his thumbs rubbing away the moisture. "I promised you didn't I? I will never leave you. Not even if you ask me to."
Leaning down he softly pressed his lips to hers. He felt her quiver as he just stayed there, gently touching her. Her hands came up to rest on his upper arms and she inhaled deeply trying to memorise his scent.This kiss was achingly slow. Khushi felt the blood pound in her veins as the anticipation built. He withdrew only to place quick kisses across the outline of her lips, stopping only to nibble the portion just blow her cupids bow. Surprising herself, she gasped audibly. He continued to drop sweet kisses along her jaw and down her neck. Instinctively her head fell back; the world spinning around them. It all made sense. After years of derision, she could finally understand Juliet. She would happily giver her life for this man.
Somehow he had made his way back to her lips, trying to quench his insatiable thirst for her. Sucking slowly, his hands moved to roam down her back, lifting the hem of her shirt desperate to feel the warmth of her flesh. How long had he desired this? He didn't know. It didn't matter anymore. He had her and he would be damned if some illness kept them apart. Her back arched as his fingers massaged the sensitive skin over her hips, pressing her up against him. A tiny whimper sounded and caught his attention. Emitting a low growl, Arnav bit her upper lip, gripping her with ferocious possessiveness.
Slowly the fire ebbed and they drew away from one another. Looking into to her eyes Arnav made a request he had been contemplating for a while.
"Come home with me. There's someone I want you to meet."
I wish I could lay down beside you when the day is done
And wake up to your face against the morning sun
But like everything I've ever known, you'll disappear one day
So I spend my whole life hiding my heart away.
I know that I have disappeared like Houdini. For that I can only apologise sincerely and hope that you understand. My personal circumstances have not changed much and I am taking one day at a time to fix my health. Plus moving house and all that. I am here to say that I WILL finish this story so don’t worry but I can’t give a guarantee about YLME.
Updates will come when they can. I won’t make anymore promises because it is time I focused on myself. I love all your support though. I cannot tell you what it means to read your comments and PM’s. It seriously makes my world a little brighter.
To all my new readers welcome.
I will endeavor to get back to all those wonderful people who have PMed me. IF you are going to leave a nice and wonderful long comment or have done so. PLEASE PM it to me. I want to reply. But the only way I will remember if it is in a PM. I sometimes get confused with all the threads. I only say this because recently I have had quite a few lengthy comments and I can’t remember who posted them and on what thread.
Also I will be trimming my PM list to those who comment. The rest of you can feel free to stalk.
This update was a long time coming in terms of what they had to talk about. Meera and Semanti had once left a comment about whether it is indeed better to have loved and lost then not to have loved at all and I believe this is my answer. For me it is always better to have loved and lost. I would never want to live with any regrets.
My day is made brighter by all of you. Happy belated Eid, Friendship day and Janamashtami to you all.
P.S It also seems that as I was writing the chapter I accidentally pressed publish instead of saved as draft and some of you thought that it was the Chapter. Sorry!