Khushi goes to Airport to receive Arnav
Part A: "I am waiting for you!"
Khushi opened her eyes, it was already morning. Sun was up in the sky, birds were chirping and the poolside was tranquil. Khushi stretched in the bed. She looked at the poolside, her eyes settled on the plants Arnav planted'' she started thinking about Arnav once again. She had spent whole night just in his thoughts. Her gaze then settled on a beautiful picture frame laying on his side of the bed with Arnav's photo in it. Khushi took the frame in her hands, turned over on her belly and started talking to the picture, " Thank you for staying with me whole night, Arnav ji! Finally I had a good night's sleep."
Khushi remembered how Anjali walked in one day, with Arnav's picture in a photo frame..
Tears were still rolling down Khushi's face. Anjali came closer, wiped off Khushi's tears gently and said softly, "Khushi ji, your eyes will be hurt with this much crying. I have promised you to not tell anyone about this but if you continue to cry this much, I will have to tell Chhotey!"
Khushi immediately held Anjali's hand. With intense pain in her eyes, she said to Anjali, "No, Di! Don't tell him, please. He already left without listening to what I had to say."
Anjali tried to console Khushi, "But, Khushi ji, now that everything is alright, Chhotey is really in London and will be coming back in couple of days after his conference is done, you should be happy!" pleasant smile appeared on Anjali's face. Khushi said in a heavy voice, "Di, not till I see him with my own eyes can I believe now that Arnav ji is safe and sound. No more can I make out what is real and what is my imagination... I feel so lost!"
Anjali said lovingly, "Okay then, Khushi ji, now it is just a matter of couple of days. Until then, you stay with this Chhotey!" She handed Khushi Arnav's picture in the photo frame , "I thought, you might feel better if you had this picture of Chhotey with you. " Anjali looked at Khushi affectionately and with a glimmer of hope.
Khushi took the photo, looked at it and tears started trickling down her face. Anjali said, "Oh, Khushi ji, I thought you might feel better..."
Khushi said, "No, Di! I actually do feel better... my tears are..." she left her sentence unfinished as her voice choked again.
Anjali said softly, "No problem!" gave her a small hug and got up to leave.
Anjali pulled the door shut behind her, Khushi looked at the picture and said, "Come back soon, Arnav ji!" started crying again..
As Khushi came back to the reality, she sat up in the bed, put the picture on the table and said softly with a calm face, "Oh, yes! How could I forget that you are coming back today?" then she looked at Arnav's picture, held it closer to her and started talking to him in the picture, ".. I should not tell this to you, but... How I survived these many days without you I myself don't know! I did not know that I was so used to having you around that I missed you every moment. I can't wait to see you .. I am so eager!"
Khushi put the picture on the side table and rushed to the bathroom.
Khushi got ready and came downstairs. The family had already gathered at the breakfast table.
Anjali looked very excited. She saw Khushi and said with a sweet smile, "Khushi ji, Chhotey is coming back today!"
"Yes, Di!" Khushi smiled bashfully. Anjali looked at her adoringly. Nani smiled at her shyness, then turned to Aakash, " Are you going to pick up Arnav bitwa this evening?"
"Yes, Bhai's flight lands around eleven fifteen at night. I will go to pick him up, "Aakash said.
Khushi looked up, hesitated for a few moments before she asked, "Jijaji, can I say something?"
"Sure, Khushi ji!"
"I was thinking of going to pick him up myself!" Khushi said coyly.
Everyone looked at Khushi affectionately, except Mami, her eyes wide with surprise. Shyam became very unhappy as soon as he heard Khushi. His facial muscles started twitching.
Aakash said, "But this late at night?"
"I will go with the driver," Khushi suggested.
Payal interrupted, "Khushi, you have never been to the airport before!"
Mamiji jumped in the conversation, "Yes, alright! Never been to the airport... why now? What difference will it make, Phati Saree? Hello Hi Bye Bye!"
"In fact, I have been there once.. when Arnav ji'" Khushi left her sentence halfway and looked at Anjali.
Anjali got up from her chair. Came over and cupped Khushi's face affectionately. "Look at her! How eager she is to see Chhotey! I think she should go to the airport," Anjali chuckled mischievously..
Nani smiled, "Okay then, it's decided that Khushi bitiya will go!" Aakash nodded positively. Khushi blushed as she noticed everyone looking at her with a little tease in their eyes. But she was relived that she could go to the airport to pick up Arnav.
Shyam's anger was mounting, he opened his mouth, " If you say, I will come with you, Khushi ji! It's not alright to go alone this late at night. I will keep you company!" a sarcastic smile appeared on his face.
Khushi looked at him, gave a quick piercing look and then looked at Anjali, smiled and said softly, "Di, I want to go alone!"
"You..! You are impossible!" Anjali said to Shyam with a smile, " You don't miss a chance to tease these two. They are meeting after l..o..n...g ten days! You stay here with me. She can go with the driver!"
Shyam settled his piercing eyes on Khushi and gave a shrewd smile. Khushi left the breakfast table and left to go to her room.
It was late in the afternoon. Khushi was at poolside, tending to Arnav's garden. She kept talking to Laxmi, "Laxmi ji, I need to water all these plants, put everything back in its place.. Otherwise, you know, Arnav ji will be very upset!" her eyes oozed affection, her smile warm and subtle...
" You know, Laxmi ji," Khushi said as she got lost in visualizing Arnav's face, "Anger sits on the tip of Arnav ji's nose!"
" He loves you all so much!" Khushi said to the plants as she continued to sprinkle water on them. Then Khushi turned her attention to the poolside recliner and said, " You also miss him a lot, right?" she gently touched the armchair, rubbed her hand on it as if it was Arnav's..
Khushi lightly tapped herself on the head and said, "What's happening to me! Why am I thinking so much about Arnav ji? He did not even bother to listen to me when he left. Now he calls and says that Khushi, I am coming back in two days.. What do I make of it? Will he even talk to me? Truth still needs to be proved! "
Painful memories of her separation from Arnav rushed back to Khushi's mind... when he pulled his hand out of hers, intense pain in his eyes... then he left without looking back at her... Khushi was deep in her thoughts... her eyes welled up...