6 months later...
So much had changed since the night that Arnav and khushi had reunited...as the morning had dawned lazily, waking the two lovers entwined in their own small world, it had bought in a barrage of new revelations in Arnav's life as he had woken up to the annoying ringing of his phone and winced further when the caller ID showed a certain, Sr Raizada ... that had been then...six months ago; yet it seemed like a lifetime since that morning
Today as he sat pondering on the wooden bench, he sighed as he remembered how after that conversation, he had finally and completely broken all relations with the man who he once called, father.
He closed his eyes and rested his head on his crossed arms as he heard the now familiar tinkle of that one single anklet...the sound of which gave him a sense of peace as he had never imagines...he turned back to see her walking up to him with two steaming cups of their daily mint tea...she placed both the cups on the table in front of him before making herself comfortable next to him on the bench, her hands automatically going around him as she rested her head on his shoulder
"Your'e thinking about him aren't you?" Khushi asked him, snuggling deeper into his warmth as he accommodated her soft body; he pulled her closer still into his arms as he kissed her lightly on her lips, making her smile before she shook her head at him "No...you are not wiggling out of this...you have to talk about it Arnav...if you don't want to invite him, its ok...I only suggested it because I truly want to see you with your whole family...they are proud of you Arnav...you have proven yourself to them...now you need to let go" she said with a firm voice as he sighed nodding at her concerned face
"I know Khushi...I'm not even bothered about all that anymore...but after the conversation we had on that day, I cannot think of him as my father anymore...I mean, which father says he is finally proud of his son one moment and then treats him as a cash cow the next" he said as Khushi nodded in understanding "I know baby...but not inviting him for our engagement will only make you the lesser man...not him...the only way to let this all go, is by giving him one last chance...everybody deserves that right?" she asked him as he smiled slightly against her silken hair...he knew what she was referring to
"Fine, i'll extend the invitation to him...but if he even breaths a word about having me married off to some ultra rich heiress because now i'm worth a lot more than Akash, I won't be responsible for the spectacle our engagement party would turn into" he said with a scowl as khushi giggled "I hardly think he would do that Arnav...besides he listens to your mother and she happens to like me..." khushi said as he raised one eyebrow and leaned back to look at her sparkling, mischievous eyes
"My mother? You have met her once...and that too because she turned up at our house to see the girl her son is marrying...you didn't spend more than half a day with her" he said as khushi grinned at his irritated face "That half day was more than enough to get through to her tough exterior...and we had fun trying to find our way to the Gateway of India, since both of us were clueless about the city...plus we do speak occasionally on the phone...about stuff" she said as Arnav smiled at her and picked up their cups, handing one to her
"Fine...i'll take your word for it...and even though i'm curious to know about the 'stuff' you speak of, i'm not going to ask" he said as Khushi laughed freely while blowing on her hot tea "Oh, speaking of parents...mine are coming a week before the engagement...they want to see the city a bit and also make a small trip to Shirdi" she said as Arnav nodded and muttered "yeah, more like do another spanish inquisition on me like the last time" he said as Khushi thinned her lips "I heard that!" she said as Arnav pretended he didn't say anything
"Arnav! What is your problem with my parents? I admit my dad went a bit overboard with all the questions and stuff and keeping us away the whole week as he went over your background and...and..." she said as Arnav looked at her with his mouth open "Overboard? Khushi, your father went mental! He actually asked his friends in higher places for my entire background all the way down to how much taxes I pay! I mean...who does that! I don't know how a woman as sweet as your mother can tolerate him!" he said as Khushi shifted out of his hold with a huff
"Don't bring my mumma into this...and what did you expect?! His only daughter was leaving everything to come and live with you, moving in with you!...without even being engaged, let alone married! And ask me, how much I had to convince him for it...I mean, starting over in Mumbai and living with a man who is my boyfriend...that's a lot to digest for any father! If bua and mumma had not intervened...I would not be sharing your house with you today" she said as Arnav felt the corner of his lips lift up a bit
"Our house..." he said as Khushi looked on blankly "Did you even hear one word I just said!" she asked him as he smiled fully now and pulled her back onto his lap "I heard baby...and I can't thank him enough for allowing you to move in with me...I don't know how I would have survived otherwise" he said as Khushi's features softened and a soft smile lit up her already sunny face "I know...me too...I was anyways looking at renting out the flat next to yours...I mean, ours...if it had come to that...though how it would have come into my budget I can only wonder" she said as Arnav chuckled and held her face in his palms "Then I would have moved out of there to wherever you were...it doesn't matter where we live...as long as we are together" he said as khushi smiled and leaned in to peck him softly
She sighed as her small peck turned into a toe curling kiss, which left them both panting for more...they looked at each other with all the love they felt as they came up for some air...the balmy breeze ruffing their hair as they remained in a tight embrace "Shoot!" khushi shouted suddenly as she tried to scramble off Arnav's lap but was stopped from leaving as Arnav refused to let her go "What happened?" he asked her as she looked at him frantically
"Its already 10...I was supposed to send the approval for the visiting card and stationary design to Parul, she will kill me if I delay it again for another day!" she said as arnav shook his head "What is it with the two of you...I mean, sometimes I feel you spend more time with her than me...I'm sure Manav also feels the same...just the other day we were discussing how our better halves have time for each other more than us" he said pouting as khushi smiled at him
"She is my business partner Arnav...and I really don't think I could have had a better one...you know how difficult it was to start my own wedding planning company, that too in Mumbai where I had no idea about venues or sources...but with Parul's contacts and brilliant business sense, we could make it happen...i'm so glad we clicked on the idea of doing this together...so both of you need to stop being such kids and let us do our job!" she said as Arnav gently kissed her forehead
"I know baby...and I am so proud of you...you changed your whole life for me...love you soo much" he said as khushi hit him softly on his arms "It wasn't that much of a sacrifice arnav...stop making me sound like a martyr...I always wanted to start my own thing, but could never imagine competing against my own mentor...and it wasn't fair on her...so a different city was the only solution for it...plus I fell in love with Mumbai the first time I visited you...but Delhi will always be my first love" she said as Arnav mock saluted her "Aye aye maam" he said as khushi giggled and snuggled back into his arms
"You know we can always relocate to Delhi right? I'm my own boss now...and I can write from anywhere...so anytime you want to go back..." he said as Khushi shook her head and kissed his shoulder "No...I don't want to go back...i'm finally doing something on my own now...and with you by my side and such wonderful friends like Manav and Parul, it all looks pretty good to me!" she said as Arnav laughed and pulled her to her feet, kissing her soundly as Khushi pushed her hands inside his sweatshirt to caress his warm skin
"Don't you have to go and reply to her mail now?" he asked her as khushi looked into his darkened eyes with a slow smile "I'll do that tomorrow...its too late now anyways...and they might be asleep already...after all, they aren't the one's who are on a holiday!" she said as Arnav's eyes crinkled at her suggestive look...he swooped down and picked her up in his arms as she squealed in delight
"Shhh...be quite...Smitha and VK are light sleepers" he said as khushi pursed her lips and held onto arnav, her arms going around his neck as they made their way from the little seating area they had recently gotten made beneath the large guava tree...they smiled at each other as their eyes conveyed promises and love for a life full of excitement and happiness...the guava tree looked on in peaceful silence as the lovers made their way into the old house...its flowers puckering up into the newly formed buds for a promising bounty of fruits.