Felonious

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Jan 18

felonious (By Varanasi) (Thanked: 5 times)

Part 10

"CRASHHH"

Hearing the sound she rushed into the room.

"I'm done. Our presence here is not required anymore. Let's move." Saying so he dragged her out of the room before she could comprehend the reason behind the uproar between the two in the room.

"But Arnav?" she still tried hoping to get an answer but the guy was not easy to handle, he gave her a murderous look which was very much new to her. As much as she knew about him she only saw him smiling, cracking jokes, easy to go, fun loving guy.

"Ok let's not talk about it. I'm starving let's grab a sandwich along with a coffee." Saying so she pushed him into the nearest table vacant.

When she was back with the order Arnav was in the same mood as she left. Pushing the coffee towards him she sat munching on her refreshment.

"Ok fine. I want to help her La. But she? She doesn't even realize that I'm in the same room as her, always deep in thoughts, sulking silently. Why can't she open up to me? I promised to help her isn't it?" It took whole fifteen minutes for Arnav to get back his cool.

"Arnav just gives her some time, she will come around."

"Some time? It's been more than a month but I don't see her even close to getting better it's rather vice-versa day by day she is turning more into someone whom I don't recognize as the girl I first saw back then ."

"I will try to speak to her." Pushing the plate with the food towards him she signaled with her eyes to have it without any further fuss.

One month. It's just one month since they met and she would have never believed anyone if they said she could get this close to Arnav with the knowledge of their first meeting. They often met in the ice cream parlor owing to their interest in the delicacy. From sharing the ice cream to sharing their day to day life activities she didn't know how long they have come. Now looking back she can feel that there is more to it.

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Why is she feeling bad now? Finally, she pushed him to the limit, resulting in him to leave her. Is it his mistake that the ever smiling, caring guy has thrown her away from his life? Absolutely not. She was the one who never gave him a chance to help her. Who is she kidding? Giving chance is very far, she didn't even thank him for the help.

One week back when she fainted in the shop, he was the one who rushed her to the nearest clinic holding her in his arms, not caring about the downpour of rain. Happy Singh was shocked seeing her lifeless on the floor, he tried to wake her up but it was of no use. He tried to get aid by hailing a taxi but owing to the weather condition there was no transportation visible in the vicinity. An ambulance is out of the question as it will take some time to reach there owing to the rain. There is a small clinic within walkable distance of 10 minutes, but how would he carry her till there?

He finally decided there is no other way other than calling an ambulance as even after his continuous attempts there was no response from Khushi. As he made a move to dial he remembered someone who can come for help. Thanking the stars for taking his details a few days back he dialed. It would be hard for Arnav also to reach there but still, he made an attempt and there was Arnav standing with water dripping from his head 20 minutes precisely after his call.

The whole week she struggled with different ailments resulting her to get admitted to the clinic for a few days. There was Arnav again to help from getting the admission form filled to paying bills, getting medicines, ensuring that she has her meals to bearing her attitude. He did everything even when it is not his responsibility and here she was enjoying the care but not once appreciating the efforts. Today her madness reached heights when she didn't respond but threw a tantrum pushing away his hand holding the soup asking her to eat. He finally got frustrated with her, crashing the bowl to the ground he went with his friend Lavanya.

She treated him like every other customer on their first meet, later when he turned up at her shop saying that he wanted to give her a treat she felt happy that he remembered his promise to come back if he gets success. She was unsure of going out with a stranger until happy Singh gave his nod. Once they reached parlor she was lost in the memories of time spent with her friend. With the increase of longingness, she finally decided to meet NK but God has something else stored for her. At every step, she met with disappointment only. In this whole procedure she never really gave a thought to Arnav's frequent visits and the extended hand of friendship from him. Maybe it's time to let him know the reason behind her suffering he deserves that at least.

It was more than an hour since he left in anger with his friend. Lavanya. Lavanya was working as a lab assistant in the clinic she was admitted. That girl for the sake of her friend tried to give her company, all the times when Arnav was out, she brought her homemade food to make her feel better. She didn't even thank her once. There was no reason for both Arnav and Lavanya to help her but they still did now it's her turn to correct her mistakes.

She sat waiting and rehearsing the words she needs to speak once Arnav or Lavanya return, as she heard the door opening she blurted out the first thing that came to her mind.

"NK"

"Huh?What?" he didn't quite understand if she was expecting someone else or if she forgot his name.

" It's because of him I'm like this. I mean to say I'm sorry. I'm Thanks. I mean Thank You. Forget it. NO, don't forget the Thanks. I mean forget sorry. No Thanks." She was blabbering unaware of the amused smile playing on Arnav's lips.

"Khushi relax. Decide what is that you want to say sorry or thanks?" Making her sit on the bed he dragged the nearby stool to get seated.

"Now with a peaceful mind tell me what is it?" finally he can see that she was trying to reach him. He came back to let her know he is sorry for creating a scene few hours before but that has to wait as Khushi choose to speak out after a long time.

Jan 18

felonious (By Varanasi) (Thanked: 12 times)

Part 11

He sat there silently listening, never interrupting her. There is a lot he learned about her today. The girl had a lot to deal with than he imagined. While he was a little shocked with her being an orphan, he understood the reason for her being so secretive. Trust is something which comes very hard to them. When they are betrayed by the own family it's no surprise that they don't trust strangers that easily.

Khushi treated NK as a family, the separation is taking a toll on her, he can make it out. He tried to convince her that it's just her thoughts which are making her weak and NK would be all fine out there, he wasn't able to say further when she looked up to meet his eyes with a teary glance silently asking at least him to support her.

That moment he decided he will help her with all that he can and when he said it loud the unexpected happened. Within seconds Khushi lurched forward from her bed to hold him tight in her embrace. Within seconds she pulled away before he could make out what has actually happened.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to.." the fear that she be judged by her behavior was reflecting on her face.

He would be stupid if he judges her in any improper way, he learned some new things about her today and he wants to continue this journey with her.

Wrapping an arm around her shoulders he pulled her close and whispered in her ears " its okay I understand. I'm with you"

She sunk into the warmth of his side, appreciative of his simple gesture. A small part of her thoughts said that this guy will stand by her no matter what.

To avoid awkwardness he stirred the conversation to the matter at hand.

"I will see what I can do from my end, once you are discharged together we will discuss on what's to be done next until then you please relax ok?"

"No further arguments on this" when she tried to deny he declared the ultimatum.

...............................................................................................................................

She was trying all means to seed doubt in her family's mind. Returning home late from the office, the secret phone calls, keeping the phone continuously engaged, not eating properly, everything which came to her mind. But nothing seems to work in her favor. It's like her family is completely fine with her change.

She tried to talk to Aman but he was always busy in one work or other. She couldn't fathom the reason behind him being always busy. Is he also having a secret life like her? Is that the reason behind his continuous absence for the dinners almost every second day?

How she wished one day by the time she wakes up she finds Shyam waiting beside her bed in the attire of groom waiting to make her as his, the next moment.

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"Khushi, we don't know under which branch NK is taken in. I tried asking the details over the phone but they say we have to go personally to get any further details." He tried to get the contact details of the institute from the internet but seems that it is not going to work still.

"We will go then."She was happy that Arnav could get some details.

"Yes, We can go but the matter is that I have been taking a lot of permission and leaves since past 10 days and me.." he didn't know how to post the matter to her without making her feel bad.

"I know its because of me right. Please give me the details I will go alone. I don't want your life to get affected because of me."

"No, no Khushi, I promised you I will be there with you it's just that I'm a new joiner there, it doesn't look good if I keep on avoiding my work. It's a residential school so we will go on coming Sunday. Until then please wait. We both will go and find out." He neither wants to let her deal with it alone nor he wants to keep his career at risk due to small issues. It's his dad who is involved just because he promised to be with Khushi doesn't mean he can neglect his duties towards his father. His dad is above all.

Jan 28

felonious (By Varanasi) (Thanked: 2 times)

Part 12

"You don't trust me?" his voice is clearly laced with hurt from her actions.

"No, it's not like that, I trust you, I seriously do, I thought it would be better if I confirm it again. Just in case.."

She knew any answer will not justify her actions. For anyone, it would only look like its an action out of distrust, from her side its only hope that it may work out positively if she tries again. Calling the institute's branches, visiting them alone, even after him saying that they will personally go in a week time surely did look like mistrust from any angle, wish if anyone could understand her state.

"Khushi tell me directly if you have any issues with me helping you, I won't mind. But this.."

"Please don't say that. I'm really sorry, Please it's just my hope, not anything else"

"Fine, just let me know henceforth if you decide anything." There is nothing more he could say anyway.

................................................................................................................................

"What do you mean by we are not allowed?" he wanted to punch the guy right on his face.

Both of them are in front of SHAKSHY head office fighting with the security guard since 15minutes, which is literally draining his calm. At first, they were asked if any of them are family of the mentioned kid when it got clear that they are neither family nor legal guardians, they were straightaway asked to get out without wasting time.

Khushi got into a verbal fight with the security guard when he admonished from even allowing them into the campus after the general inquiry. Her only notion was how can an orphan have family or legal guardians. The security then asked her to get a letter from the orphanage stating NK knew her and it's in the best interest of kid that she is here to meet him.

"Are you mad? Why don't you call the kid outside, once he sees me you will surely understand if he knows me or not."

"Mam, these are rules, either you follow it or leave from here. If there is no harm in you meeting him why don't you get a letter from the orphanage? Don't waste my time."

"At least let us go inside we will speak to the concerned authorities." Arnav tried one last time.

"Sir, if I let you in then I will lose my job which I can't afford."

"why did the other branches asked us to visit this place when you are not ready to let us in?"

"My duty is only to let the parents or guardians inside. That's it. What someone else said to you is not my concern. Now go from here before I drag you out."

"We won't leave until I get to see him" Khushi was too stubborn to let the chance go.

"As I said, It's your wish if you want to go or wants to be dragged out." The security was no less.

"Khushi, let's go" there was no use in standing there anymore.

"But"

"Khushi, he will not let us in, let's get back to the orphanage to get the letter. Come" without giving her any chance to say further he dragged her from there.

Arnav was exhausted, deprived of sleep, food and to make the matter's worse there was no positive result.

Firstly he was busy all week with a lot of pending work to deal with owing to his constant leaves, permissions. Secondly, the day before he was in office until 4 am completing off the updating of files. By the time he reached home and freshened up, it was close to 6 in the morning. The place they were staying is to another side of the city to the head office and Khushi refused traveling on a bike with him. Hence he skipped his breakfast to catch the public transport to reach here.

"Let's have lunch before deciding what has to be done next." He didn't wait for her answer though and walked to the nearest cafe.

While Arnav gulped the whole plate of rice in seconds Khushi was fixed on the photograph in her hand, the food forgotten.

"He is very cute isn't he?" she spoke as if trance.

"To confirm that you have to show me the pic"

"Ahh?"

"The pic Khushi. You have to show me the pic so that I can certify your words as true or false."

"This was taken just a few days before he was taken away. On the day of medical camp." She explained how she requested one of the photographers who came to cover the program from media to click a picture of NK.

"Yes. He is cute." Saying so he handed back the photo before grabbing it again and looking at the person beside NK golding the syringe. Those eyes behind the mask... he saw them somewhere. But where?

"Shall we go?"

"Huh. Umm Yes."

"What happened? Are you Okay?"

"Yes" those eyes, where did he see them?

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"I see these days, you are very busy. May I know what is it that is keeping you quite occupied?"

"Oh Shyam, It's nothing. Just some personal work."

"Arnav, remember one thing one should never mix personal and professional life. Those two are meant to be kept at two different ends."

"Sure, I'll keep in mind."

"Is it a girl which is keeping you engaged? If it is so let me warn you that you will regret the time spent with her."

Arnav was not able to say anything further seeing the serious look and a shade of red in his eyes.

"Oh boy come on. I was just joking. I don't want my work to be disturbed that's it."

Yes, the smile was back on Shyam's face but the look which passed through his face while warning him is very serious to be taken as a joke. Was he being too much observant or is something surely wrong?

................................................................................................................................

"Khushi, Why don't we just take the easy route? Ask Gupta's to give the letter. They knew your attachment towards NK, so I don't see any issue with them allowing you to meet him."

"Wish it's that easy. They are the first ones whom I reached when I could no longer hold myself."

"Then?"

"They are not ready to help me. I tried sneaking into the office room but even there I couldn't find any details. I started searching in the storeroom too but before I could complete that I was sick and from then you know the rest."

"You sneaked into office room?" the girl sitting in front of him surely didn't look the type.

"Then what do you want me to do? I had no other way."

"This time I will accompany you to the room let's search together." He said after a few minutes of silence.

"It's not Happyji's shop that you could walk in any time. You are not allowed to even visit me there, how will we search together?"

"Khushi, come on. I will enter in the same way as you did." Now he has to enter the premises of a building without the permission of the owner as a thief.

That night once the clock struck 12 Khushi made a move towards the back side of the building with a stool in her hand. Luckily there was not much security in the building.

Both of them went through the storeroom and to the disappointment there was nothing helpful found in it. Just some old furniture, papers, photographs.

"Khushi, I think we need to check the data from the system."

"It's password protected."

"Hmm. Give me some time, I will think about it."

................................................................................................................................

"It's been 10 minutes since you came and all you did is smiling to yourself ear to ear. What's the matter?" she gave him a call asking him to come to meet at their regular spot but from the time they are here she was only smiling not speaking a word.

"See this" saying so she forwarded her phone.

He didn't know what to say once he looked at the screen.

Jan 28

felonious (By Varanasi) (Thanked: 9 times)

Part 13

"It's been 10 minutes since you came and all you did is smiling to yourself ear to ear. What's the matter?" she gave him a call asking him to come to meet at their regular spot but from the time they are here she was only smiling not speaking a word.

"See this" saying so she forwarded her phone.

He didn't know what to say once he looked at the screen.

"What? La you called me here to show the photo of a ring?"

"Offo, come on Arnav, I thought you are more intelligent than this." Saying so she lifted her left hand to show him.

"What?" Arnav was still not able to comprehend why was Lavanya suddenly behaving weirdly.

"Arnav! I'm engaged, the ring you see here in the photo and on my hand is my engagement ring." La blurted out if she lets Arnav keep guessing the answer is surely not to come.

"Engaged? But when? How? Where? You didn't even tell me, this is what you call friendship?" he acted hurt but he knew he was happy for her, the smile on her face is clearly reflecting the happiness bubbling inside her for taking this step.

"I'm sorry, it was rushed actually, he proposed me one day and the other day he was with his family to meet mom. His family wants it to be done at earliest so we had to do it in fast forward mode. I tried contacting you but you never had time to pick up my calls. In fact, I should be angry with you but I let it go understanding your situation."

"Ok, ok, I'm sorry too now show me the photos."

"La, can I meet your fiance?" he asked with a serious tone once he gone through the photos.

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"Khushi, we can't go an file a police complaint just because you are not allowed to meet NK. The institute didn't deny you right? they asked you to get a letter if you remember, if something is fishy why would they ask you to get a letter?" Arnav tried one more time to convince her.

"But, I still feel something is odd with them."

"Khushi only because of one event you can't decide that it is suspicious, I have enquired with some of the parents who are sending their kids to the same institute, everyone is praises about it. We will find out don't worry. By the way be ready by 5' we have someone to pay a visit."

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"La, I'm here already, how much time does it take for you to come out?" he was waiting at the entrance of her office.

"Arnav you better come inside looks like it will take me some more time to call it a day."

By the time he reached her room, he saw she was entering some data into the system while the fax machine is on beside her. There was a lady to the right of La her back to the door, who turned to see Arnav when he entered the room calling out to La. Lavanya signaled Arnav to be calm when she saw how Payal was giving her looks.

Arnav saw the other lady work on some instruments after giving him one hard look to add to it the medicinal smell is making him more irritated.

Lavanya bid bye to Payal and dragged him out.

"We need to take Khushi along."

"Khushi? But what will she do there?"

"Let's go."

................................................................................................................................

He got a call from his fiancee asking him if he was free and if he could manage some time to meet her friends as they missed the ceremony. But when he opened the door after one hour, he wished if he dismissed the idea, there in front of him were La with ARNAV and KHUSHI.

"You?"Khushi all but shouted, she didn't expect him to be La's fiance.

"You both knew each other?" La was surprised.

"Yes, he comes to the shop, the journal's, books in the shop are from AS Publications after all," Khushi said looking at him.

"Okayy" La couldn't make out why all three of them were serious.

"You know what la? Khushi even knows your in-laws, after all, she stayed with them all her life." Arnav said trying to comprehend the other man's look.

"Isn't it true? Rohan Gupta?"

Khushi forgot about the photo she came across in the storeroom a few days before, but she didn't expect this. Rohan was Gupta's son? Why did they have to keep it a secret? They always said they don't have a child to be called their own hence they started this Home. Rohan meets her almost once in two-three months even he never shared that they are his parents under whose shelter she is living. Why?

"What do you know about SHAKSHY?" Arnav's asked taking the lead.

"SHAKSHY? I don't know anything about it"

"Like you don't know who the Gupta's are?" Khushi bit out.

"Khushi, I have my own reasons to not reveal my identity, it's my personal life I have a right to decide, what to say and whom to say. You can't question me about it."

Whatever the trio was speaking was going above La's head. She tried to intervene in between but no one is ready to stop all the while giving each other murderous looks.

"We know that you are aware of "Shakshy". See, what you do with your personal life is none of our business but this, you have to say what you know. It's important."

"Khushi, trust me when I say I don't know what you are saying, what will I know about that institution?"

"Is there nothing else you could help out us with?" Arnav asked again.

"Nothing"

"Let's go," Arnav thought maybe they finally found a lead but even it's a waste of time.

"Just a minute" Rohan called out to them when they were at the door.

Feb 2

felonious (By Varanasi) (Thanked: 2 times)

Part 14

Sitting at the coffee shop he recalled all the events till date since he met Khushi. As much as her simple life has changed to one with a constant nagging feeling of meeting her friend, his life too took a completely different direction. He started to lie to his father more, he visited the Home twice after the initial stunt to gather any further details with no positive result, he has his office work to manage, some or the other part of which is shown always as pending on any time of the day, his course has picked up the speed and it won't be long before the semester exams makes an appearance while he still hasn't glanced at some chapters. There is this completely different thing of finding NK's whereabouts too which is eating his time and Khushi's peace of mind. Taking a sip of coffee to relieve his mind out of all these thoughts he sat observing the crowd outside the shop.

A couple who were crossing the road got his attention. Arnav was uncertain if he is seeing them or is his brain playing games with him as he is bereft of sleep.

"HP? What is HP doing with her?" The way both of them are speaking to each other, their behavior towards each other doesn't look like they just met or acquaintances, something is wrong. As far as he remembers he asked HP to stay in his house by being some help to his dad because the old man has no one to look after him. But looks like he has one more issue to take care of. Now even HP has to be observed closely..oh god when will his life be back to normal?

But he knew at least where he can get some basic information, he can't question HP directly as he doesn't want to make the other person offended without any proper reason. If it is not what he is doubting, then it would surely raise unwanted rupture in their relation. He will gather information from her side.

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Payal threw her purse on the bed and went to freshen up. Standing under the shower she rubbed out the tiredness out of her body, unaware of the upcoming storm. Once she was out from the shower, she noticed that Aman was standing at the door with an unreadable expression on his face.

"Payal, Bua wants to speak to you, Papa is also waiting downstairs, make it fast." Saying so he left her to ponder on what went wrong, he usually never addresses her with the name until he is upset with her, it is always sissy for him. She rushed downstairs.

"Why?" her mother sat beside her brother and questioned in low voice without looking at her.

"What why? What happened that all are serious? Is anything wrong?" she is already confused by her brother's behavior and now even her mother is giving her tough glances and speaking in riddles.

"You tell me, my dear daughter, why is that you are delaying every marriage proposal which comes your way, or should I ask when will you find the right time to let us know that you are running a show behind our backs?"

"Ma.." she can guess now where the conversation is leading to but until it is clear she doesn't want to let it out from her side.

"Shyam Jha." Her uncle spoke.

"Mama ji.."

"Enough Payal, I never thought you would make us stand in a position where one needs to bow down their head in shame. Whatever are your reasons, will not change my decision. I still feel that you have some respect towards us. Let Shyam out of your life." He didn't want prolonged discussions.

"I'm sorry to this Mama Ji but you are not giving me any other option to say anything else other then this that there will be no one in my life if not Shyam."

"SLAP."

"Then you will stay like this forever." Her mother who never raised her hand today slapped her and declared her decision before going back to her room.

Aman and his father too left her to cope up with the latest happenings. She hurried to her room to call Shyam.

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Shyam sat in his cabin going over some case files when he was informed that Aman was here to meet him and he wouldn't go back without having a word with him. Pushing the files to a side he asked his assistant to send him in, in all this, he didn't see that his phone which is kept under silent mode which he usually does while going through case files is ringing continuously with the caller id Payal.

................................................................................................................................

While Arnav was thinking about how to manage time with the issues in hand he saw his phone vibrating.

"Hello, what? When?"He heard the person from the other side speak.

"Okay. I will be there in a few minutes." he didn't know whatever has happened is a good thing or is it going to make the situations more complicated. Maybe he would know once he reaches there.

Feb 2

felonious (By Varanasi) (Thanked: 10 times)

Part 15

Aman dragged his feet towards the chair opposite to his with eyes locked on to Shyam. The look in his eyes is revealing that from that instant their relation is not going to be the same again. That the truth of his and Payal's relation is out in open. He expected this to happen but not this early.

"I'm not leaving her." He said before Aman can say anything.

"We know what future this holds still you wanna drag her into this?"

"We both love each other." Shyam was still playing a safe game.

"She wouldn't after she knows it." Aman still tried his best to make Shyam back off.

"She would be mine before she knows anything else."

"Over my dead body. I would tell her straight away. We will see if she still wishes to be with you." He tried the last resort.

"Oh please go ahead then she wouldn't even be with you."

"Why are you doing this to her?" he tried to hold back the tears of helplessness.

"I told you, I love her."

"I wouldn't believe it if you do then let her go."

"Sadly, your sister believes it and it is enough for me, there is no question of leaving her. If you are done with your important talks, I have some meetings to attend, excuse me." Saying so Shyam left.

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"Khushi, you finally spoke to NK right. Still, you are crying? Is it necessary to cry for everything?"

"These are tears of happiness, after hearing his voice I miss him more. Wish I could see him just once." Khushi spoke wiping her tears.

"Then you would wish that if he stays with you for some days it would be good, later you would want him to be with you forever, then there would be no need for him to go back at all."

"Don't say that I wish for his bright future, it's just I heard his voice after so long hence I became little emotional."

"But how come he called you?" Arnav expressed his doubt.

" I was in my room when I was called by Mrs. Gupta, she handed me the phone once I reached the office room and walked away. Whatever it is I'm happy that he is fine."

"I knew he would be fine, you simply were worried for no reason. By the way, did Gupta's say anything?"

"Mrs.Gupta told me, now that I spoke to NK and got confirmation that he is safe, I should stop my madness and stop interfering with other's life."

"Do you think Rohan would have told them about the meeting?"

"But he asked us to not reveal this fact anywhere else isn't it? So, why would he say it to them?"

"Khushi, I'm happy that NK is fine, let's think about everything else later. I.." he was disturbed at the same moment his phone rang.

"Yes dad, I'm on the way, ok bye."

"Khushi I need to go, dad is waiting for me. We will meet at some other time. Now that you are free from tension, have a peaceful sleep okay? Bye" Arnav got from his seat and turned to go when he was held back.

"Arnav, Thank You, I mean I'm sorry, I mean Thank you for helping out and sorry for letting you go through all this, I know how I behaved all this while, but you still stayed with me, so as a thank you from my side I want to... , would you mind...I mean shall we go....err dinner?" Khushi held his hand, closed her eyes and blurted out whatever she has practiced since last 2 hrs.

She couldn't see his face, only the back of his head. He didn't respond to her making Khushi doubt if she went overboard with her words and actions. Slowly, she started to release the hold on his hand.

"Tomorrow 7.30. I'll come to greet Happy ji, from there you can decide." Arnav spoke finally giving her the view of the side profile of his face.

Khushi couldn't decide if she saw a small smile playing on his lips or was it just her imagination.

Feb 5

felonious (By Varanasi) (Thanked: 9 times)

Part 16

"Here have some water"

"Thank you, HP." Arnav reached home but his thoughts were still occupied with Khushi's words. This is the first time she has shown interest in spending time with him, he was more than happy.

"Dinner is ready, Sir is waiting for you."

"I will be there in 5 mins, let me freshen up," He was about to open his cupboard when he remembered the visual from afternoon today.

"Ahh, HP you never told us about your family? How come you didn't have any of them beside you at this age?" He tried to ask as casual as it can seem.

"Beta, why are you asking about them suddenly?"

"I was just wondering how come someone is so cruel to let their age-old parent fetch for himself?"

"What to do beta, this world is like that, the way you gave me shelter and let me stay here, I consider you as my family." HP wiped the invisible tears.

"All that is okay but still have you never felt like seeing them or going back to them? Where are they? If you want I can speak to them." Arnav still tried to get some information.

"Let them be wherever they are, you come down for dinner." HP went away before Arnav could question further.

"Hello, busy?"

"Shall we meet then?"

"Okay, I will be there in an hour."

Maybe he will get the details from her. He moved towards the dining hall.

........................................................................................................................

"La, have you ever seen Ms.Malhothra's family?"

"No, she comes and goes alone, why?"

"Whom does she stay with?"

"Oho, is this why you called me here at this time of night? Why are you suddenly interested in her?"

"It's just you always seem to be busy, so I wanted to know what type of boss she is to load you with so much work?"

"Oh don't even go there, one hell of a boss I got, but these days I see her getting distracted, she keeps checking her phone now and then, other then that nothing changed."

"Okay, if at all anyone comes to meet her would you let me know?"

"Why?"

"Offfoo, La if she is busy with personal work, you can as well have some time for yourself too, even we will have some fun while she is busy, what say?"

"Okayyy." La can feel that Arnav is hiding something from her but she doesn't open up giving her friend time to open up by himself.

............................................................................................................................

"Ma, I will be back in 10 minutes."

"Where are you going?" Madhumathi was not on speaking terms with her daughter but she still cares for her.

"Ma, I think there is a problem with my mobile, the sim is not getting detected, I will visit the repair shop and be back in a few minutes."

"No need Payal, we canceled the connection, that's why it I showing an error message. Now go inside." Aman spoke.

"What? But why?"

"We all know the reason behind it, from now onwards you are not going anywhere alone, someone from the family is going to accompany you even if it is for the stores nearby." Her uncle spoke this time.

"Ma?" Payal was bewildered with the way her family is behaving from the time her feelings for Shyam were out. She never thought they were this against love or him. Maybe all this while Shyam was postponing for the same reason, he saw and understood what she couldn't about her family even after living with them all her life. What should she do now? How to contact Shyam? What is he thinking about their future? He didn't respond to her calls before, now if he calls back also there is no use. Even today in the afternoon she wanted to visit him after office hours but her brother and uncle were outside the office waiting to take her home. So the same is going to repeat every day henceforth.

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