Glow is low and it’s dimming

And the silence is ringing

And I can almost feel your breath

I can almost feel the rest

 

The red saree glimmered in the candlelight; the tiny beads flickering and casting reflections onto the surroundings. The bangles chimed in tandem with her repeatedly knotting and unknotting hands. The night breeze wafted around her, blowing her hair away from her face gently.

 

Her eyes lowered in shyness as he stared at her, mesmerized by her beauty. He took in her long lashes casting shadows on her cheeks, which were flushed in apprehension at what had taken place just then.

 

Moving her hands to brush her hair away from her face, she lifted her gaze slowly, apprehensively, to him. The fire and desire she saw in her gaze made her flush anew. Her heart raced as if it wanted to burst out of her chest, and she turned away abruptly to stop the feelings coursing through her in their tracks.

 

Night is young and we’re living

Hands move, moving steady

And the time is moving slower

I can feel we’re getting closer, closer

 

He had seen the longing and the want in her gaze when their eyes met for the split second, and his decision to walk away from her was rendered inconsequential. His feet moved on their own accord, moving him towards her, as always.

 

He saw her look up at him, meeting his gaze and taking a step back in reaction. He met her step for step, never taking his eyes off hers.

 

She felt her breathing increase in pace, and she lowered her gaze from his, as she hurried to put some distance between them, but it was futile. He moved towards her determinedly, like a predator who finally had his prey in sight, and was single-mindedly focused on hunting her down. Before she could think of way to escape, she found herself trapped by the wall, and looked up, startled, to find him standing just a hair’s breadth away from her.

 

Standing in the eye of the storm

My eyes start to roll

To the curl of your lips

In the center of eclipse

In total darkness I, I reach out and touch

 

He would not have believed that it was possible for her to look any more beautiful, but the light reflecting off the pool onto her made her look ethereal. The usual hazel of her eyes was splintered into tiny specks of golds and greens, growing dark by the second, in desire.

 

She closed her eyes as his hand moved closer to her face, to move the wisps away from her face and knot them behind her ear, to provide himself with an uninterrupted view of her face. Her eyes opened, and she stared up at him in surprise, as if his gentle action had confused her.

 

And why wouldn’t it, he thought. He had never been anything but cruel to her and she had come to expect nothing more of him.

 

Aching with the need to be closer to her,  he lifted his other hand, cupping her cheek with tenderness. He moved his hand down her soft, silky-smooth skin in wonder, as she continued to gaze at him with apprehension.

 

His eyes locked on her trembling lips and he was a man undone. Cupping her face in his hands, he moved his face closer to hers.

 

She clutched her saree to control her wanton desires, as a part of her warred with herself to give in, to let go and just feel.

 

Their eyes closed in sync, anticipating what was to come, accepting the inevitable and giving in to their heart’s demands.

 

Finally, their lips touched.

 

My mind’s gonna racing

On a horse that’s escaping

And I’m ready to jump,

Yeah, I’m ready to swim

 

His hands shook, in anger, or maybe it was despair, he couldn’t quite tell. Aakash had called him, cheerfully informing him of the good news. His brother had wanted him to be happy, or at least politely glad at the news he had given him. The news had invoked none of the expected feelings in him, of course.

 

Only one thought kept running through his head, numbing his senses…She is going to marry someone else.

 

He had been cruel, cutting and despicable in his reaction to their kiss. He couldn’t believe that he had lost control like that, forgotten who he was, who she was. His lack of discipline around her, the same one he had struggled to build since he was teenager who had been thrown on the street with not a penny to his name, abandoning him had made him panic. And he reacted as he always did when he was afraid; he lashed out. And she had been caught in the wake of his fury.

 

“You might have thought that your life was made. But know that that payal or you mean nothing to me.”

 

That was the last time she had spoken to him. It wasn’t the last time they had seen each other, however. Aakash had met Payal and fallen in love with her, and unfortunately that meant that Khushi and him were never far from each other. But for all the acknowledgement he got from her, they could very well have been in different continents.

 

He could feel his chest tighten, and his breaths grow shallow at the thought of losing her to another man. He felt an inexplicable rage at the unseen man who would have a claim on her, who would have the right to call her his wife, who would, from this day forward be the only recipient of her touch, her kisses.

 

The one that she had shared with him once, willingly. The one he had belittled and stomped all over.

 

And to think that someone else would be on the receiving end of that attention…

 

Over my dead body, he thought and grabbing his car keys, rushed out of his office.

 

Life is chances that are taken

But nothing’s ever broken

They’re just pieces on the ground

New hands need to build them

 

Weary from her day of work, she rubbed her hands over her eyes to alleviate the tiredness. Placing the final set of files in their cabinet for the day, she closed the door and leaned against it for a second.

 

She had gotten a job at a reputable technology firm, once she grew determined to stop moping around her house like a lost soul. She would not give him the satisfaction of breaking her.

 

The manager had seen her secretarial experience at AR and had hired her on for a trial period of a month. She had worked her hardest to learn the required skills in that month and had excelled at her job, impressing the manager, who had hired her permanently at the end of the trial period.

 

She should have been ecstatic. She finally had a well paying job, her boss was not a perpetually pissed off arrogant asshole, and her parents had even received a marriage proposal from a reputable family in Lucknow. The family, despite knowing of the scandal in Lucknow and her broken engagement with Shyam had wanted to go forward with the proposal, which was a miracle in and of itself.

 

They why was she still miserable?

 

My mind’s gonna running

My hands cut loose

Yeah, but there’s no need for answers

Just the things you gotta do

 

Sighing, she pushed away from the cabinet and turned around, only to stop in her tracks. Arnav Singh Raizada was standing in the doorway, blocking her only exit.

 

“What are you doing here?” she said, speaking to him for the first time since that fateful diwali night.

 

“Khushi,” he breathed, as if in a trance, and moved towards her.

 

What are you doing here?” she repeated her question, not backing away like she had done countless times before.

 

“I…” he hesitated, searching for words, a first for the great ASR who was always ready with a cutting remark or two. “Aakash told me.”

 

Her brows drew together in confusion, before comprehension dawned.

 

“And?” she asked, as if it did not explain his reason for being there.

 

And it didn’t.

 

Why did he care if she got married?

 

“What do you mean, ‘And?’” he asked, his anger mounting at her dispassionate responses.

 

“And why does that matter?” she asked, as if explaining herself to a kid. “Why do you care? I mean nothing to you, right?”

 

He had started moving towards her during their conversation.

 

“Of course I care!” he said, admitting more than he wanted to in his anger.

 

“You seem to be confusing me with someone else, Mr. Raizada,” she said, laughing bitterly. “I am the girl whose aukat is below yours. I am the girl who you deemed to be a gold-digger. I am the girl who, foolishly, thought your kiss meant something, that I meant something to you.”

 

“Khushi…” he trailed off, having nothing to say in his defense.

 

And I need you to trust

That I’m lost and we must

Get past all these rules

We must choose

To reach out and touch

 

She scoffed at his inability to apologize, and made a move to walk around him. He grabbed her hand and prevented her from doing so.

 

“Let go of me!” she said, trying to pull her hand out of his, and when she wasn’t successful she turned her angry gaze onto him. “I will marry whoever I want, aapko kya farak padta hain!?”

 

He pulled her closer to him using her hand and grabbed her shoulders, as if to hold her closer to him forever, “Mujhe farak padta hain! Mujhe farak padta hain kyunki I love you, dammit!

 

She gasped at his declaration, but before she had a chance to say anything, his lips met hers in a desperate kiss.

 

Her eyes closed involuntarily, and her hands moved to clutch his shoulders, to steady herself or to hold him closer, she didn’t know.

 

This kiss was completely different from their first kiss. Whereas their first kiss was slow, tender and soothing, this kiss was fire, bruising and desperate. It was a claim, a declaration that she was his and no one else’s.

 

Pulling back, he started into her dazed eyes and repeated, as if to erase any doubts she might have, “I care because…I love you.”

Standing in the eye of the storm

My eyes start to roll

To the curl of your lips

In the center of eclipse

In total darkness I reach out and…

 

Mrs. Arnav Singh Raizada.

 

It was her wedding day today. She had gotten married to Arnav Singh Raizada. She was Mrs. Arnav Singh Raizada.

 

She still couldn’t believe it.

 

Her mind went back to the first time he had declared his love for her, and she cringed at her reaction.

 

“You’re lying,” she said, coming out of the daze his kiss had placed her in. “You…you’re lying.”

 

“Khushi,” he started, as if to explain himself to her.

 

“No. No,” she said, pushing his hands away from her. “You…you always do this. Always! You’re lying, and just when I start to fall for it, you will pull the rug out from under me.”

 

“Khushi, listen to me…” he called out as she turned and fled from him.

 

He had told her that he loved her many times after that. Everyday, and sometimes, a few times a day. He had been kind, patient, and apologetic for every hurt he had caused her. He was still that angry man that she had first seen, of course, but now, his anger was controlled. He took great care to never insult her. If an argument got particularly heated, he walked away, calmed down, before speaking with her again.

 

He had worn her defenses down, made her fall in love with him, hesitant at first, but headfirst as time went on.

 

And when Buaji had demanded that she say yes to the rishta from Lucknow, he had barged into their house, his family in tow, and demanded, yes demanded, her hand for himself.

 

Nani and Di still giggled over that one.

 

Standing in the eye of the storm

My eyes start to roll

To the curl of your lips

In the center of eclipse

In total darkness I reach, I reach out and touch

 

She felt hands wrap around her waist, and sighed in pleasure.

 

“Mrs. Arnav Singh Raizada,” he whispered into her ear, biting it gently after. “I find I quite like the sound of that.”

 

She turned around in his arms and stared up at him with a beautiful smile that never failed to disarm him.

 

His eyes turned tender at that, and he whispered, “I love you, Khushi.”

 

And for the first time, she returned his declaration with one of her own, “I love you too, Arnavji,” before she touched his lips with hers.

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19 thoughts on “ArHi OS : Touch

  1. Marvellous OS.
    First time reading your OS and I am speechless. It’s so so wonderful.
    Always missed their almost kiss in the show but it’s pleasure to read thoughts of writers like you.

    Loved the way you describe arnav’s eagerness to not let Khushi go away.
    You bring memories of IPK alive.
    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story.
    Thanks for pm.

    archnahardik123(IF)

  2. Beautiful OS..
    You realize the importance of the thing/ person you have when it is going to snatch from you… And that’s what happened with Mr. Arnav Singh Raizada…
    Absolutely Loved it…

  3. Beautiful. I loved how you used one of the most iconic scene of IPK and created a different story around it. so amazing, lovely and feel good because of the happy ending. 🙂

  4. I feel a little destroyed. This song is so them.

    Standing in the eye of the storm
    My eyes start to roll
    To the curl of your lips
    In the center of eclipse
    In total darkness I reach, I reach out and touch

    For some lovers, verbal exchanges are needed to define, to clarify, to illustrate. But Arnav & Khushi have always communicated far better without.

    Something about that tender touch of lips. Not just a physical union, but one of soul. Dreamy…

    1. *Sigh* Even your comments leave me speechless, K, not just your stories. Thank you ❤

      And oh, just noticed that the song wasn't working. If you haven't heard the song, do listen! It's highly intoxicating, and as you said, perfect for them.

  5. Such a lovely read. Refreshing memories. Loved the different take here. Arnav did the right thing finally n loved this khusi as she didn’t give in easily.

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