Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Chapter 11 - In This Horizon of Hope




~
I may have failed but I have loved you from the start.
-Fall For You,
Secondhand Serenade
~


“I don’t think I’m going to take her anymore,” she mumbled quietly.

His eyes widened, his arms tightening around Arshia unconsciously as she too watched the silent words that refused to flow between her parents. He didn’t understand, what did she mean? Or did he not want to understand? He didn’t want to put his hopes up then watch them crash land once more.

But she was Arshia’s mother, his mind whirred back to what he had witnessed the night before, how easily Arshia had bonded with Khushi despite her missing presence for fifteen months. What was he supposed to say to this?

“I don’t understand,” he finally managed to mumble, their gazes clashing then hers dropping just as suddenly.

Khushi attempted to hide the tears that once again threatened to spill, the edge in his voice, his emotions that she could no longer understand and instead she stood up quickly then walked out of the room.

He sat rooted to the spot for a few seconds, attempting to arrange his thoughts, what was happening? Quickly placing Arshia in the middle of the bed, a dozen pillows around her he too walked after Khushi, his stride longer than hers.

She stood at the balcony at the far end of the corridor, her shoulders hunched and trembling, he didn’t know what to do anymore but his decision was equally as made. He wanted Khushi in Arshia’s life, he wanted his daughter to have a mother even if it meant that he would have to leave, even if it meant that he would no longer be a part of Arshia’s life. And he had to tell her before it was too late.

She heard his footsteps behind him, each one crippling her mind further, she wasn’t sure of how to react any longer. She wanted Arshia, no she needed her, and she deserved her after all of these years, after months of not seeing her, after a year and a half of believing that her baby was dead. But she couldn’t stop her heart from reacting the way it did, she couldn’t tear away the beautiful bond that Arshia and Arnav shared. She couldn’t take away from the love and adoration she witnessed in his eyes every time he looked at her, spoke of her, his final words ringing in her ears.

I don’t know what I’ll do when you take her


Her fingers tightened on the banister, as if she could will him away by holding onto it. Drops of her tears falling onto the grained wood then seeping into the depths of it.

“Khushi.”

She felt her whole body stiffen, she closed her eyes, trying to imagine that she was not here, stuck in this tangle of emotions, in the midst of his actions that she couldn’t comprehend.

His hand automatically went out to her shoulder then stopped only inches away, hovering in mid air until he drew it back again, folding his fingers into a fist, his helplessness clear in his fallen features.

“Khushi,” he tried again. He had the sudden impulse to grip her by the shoulders and yank her around to face him, push her against the banister and demand she take Arshia but he didn’t. He stopped himself, clenching his fists at his side because those actions had been what had started all of this in the first place.

“Look Khushi I want you to…” He struggled with his words, words that did not come to him easily; it was his child too after all. He couldn’t express to her how much he wanted to just keep Arshia yet knew he did not deserve that.

Her breaths came out rapidly, awaiting the end of his sentence, a storm raging through her mind.

“Khushi I want you to have Arshia,” he finally managed, his words flowing out in a flurry.

She felt her whole body freeze, her mind go numb for a second, she couldn’t hold it in any longer, every emotion, every contradicting thought that she had been pondering over for all of these hours coming through to the forefront.

She spun around rapidly as his eyes widened to the suddenness of it.

“What the hell is wrong with you Arnav? Why are you doing this?” She shouted, taking a step towards him, her eyes furious as he backed away.

“What… But I don’t understand,” he managed to answer, his voice not as audible, not the reaction she had expected but she continued anyway, needing to get everything off of her chest. She was tired of assumptions, of second-guessing, of his feelings that were always guarded by a thick wall.

“What don’t you understand?” She screamed furiously. “First you take her away from me…”

“I didn’t take her away from you!” He exclaimed, cutting her off, taking a step forwards towards her.

“Yes you did Arnav! What the hell do you call this then?” She couldn’t believe her ears, what was wrong with him? And here she was giving away chances.

“Khushi I didn’t take her from you! You left! You thought she was dead and you left!” He screamed, unable to take her accusations, he deserved her coldness, her anger, but not this, not something that he hadn’t done in the first place.

“Excuse me?” Khushi was sure she would explode with the anger coursing through her. “How dare you tell me that I left my child?! You took my child from me! You made me believe that she was dead! You told the doctor to tell me that Arshia was dead!”

He stood numb with shock, his eyes wide, not sure that he could believe she considered him capable of such a thing.

“You made sure that I didn’t see my daughter for all of these years! That I lived a life half dead so that you could have your own fucking way yet again!” She continued, taking further steps towards him, her accusations slashing through him one by one.

He could feel his heart pound away against his chest, his fingers digging in to his palms further with each word but wasn’t sure he could find the words to respond.

Tears began to stream out of her eyes but she continued, “it’s always been about you hasn’t it? Your happiness? What you want? So why this change? Why this drama Arnav? What’s the point? What’s the bloody point in bringing me in front of Arshia, giving me the choice to take her? Why are you playing this game with me Arnav?” She exclaimed pulling at his shirt, her hands fisting around the material.

His hands went round her fists suddenly, his grip tight and unrelenting, his gaze meeting hers and penetrating. He yanked her closer, her petite body knocking off of him.

“Stop,” his voice was hoarse at first, as if he had just awoken his throat.

“Just stop!” He yelled the second time, causing her to tremble in his hold.

“Chotey!” Anjali yelled just then, rapidly clambering up the stairs and stopping a few feet away from the two.

He blinked several times, his hold slowly loosening on her then pushing her out of his grip stormed off, his fists clenched at his sides.

She began to frantically rub at her wrists, her tears blurring her view.

“Khushiji are you okay?” Anjali questioned, limping up to her but Khushi couldn’t prevent the tears that gathered and streamed down her cheeks.

“I’m fine,” she quickly mumbled then walked off.

****

His fist slammed into the wall, the skin on his knuckles tearing and bleeding from the impact.

You made me believe that she was dead!

You told the doctor to tell me that Arshia was dead!

Her words continued to replay on his mind. How could she think he would do such a thing?

He grabbed a vase that lay on the coffee table, let his fingers tighten around the ceramic then flung that too to the ground, letting the crash of it echo through his ears.

“Chotey! Chotey! What is wrong with you?!” Anjali screamed, grabbing him by the shoulder and turning him around to look at her.

She sent her arms around him, embracing him as tears began to fall from his own eyes.

“Di I can’t do this anymore. She thinks…” His voice was broken, heavy with tears, with the pain that he always carried locked within himself.

She caressed his back, soothing him like a child, “chotey, you have to talk to her, tell her what really happened. Your silence is what started this and you don’t want it ruining things all over again,” she finally spoke her mind, hoping that this time he would understand. She would always stand by her brother, she knew that he had been wrong but god knows he had tried to fix things and she knew how difficult that was. It was always easier said that done, she knew of his sleepless nights, his constant torment and she wished that fate would work to his favor for once.

He moved back quickly, their gazes meeting then falling rapidly, he refused to be weak, to show that he was weak.

“Just talk to her, control your temper for once and just talk to her,” she told him again, always the one to understand her brother, his every action, the pain that he showed to no one.

He nodded slowly then walked out.

****

“Mr Roy, you are aware that these sort of cases are not pardoned and that Mr Shyam Manohar Jha must serve the full period of time he has been given,” the heavy set man sitting in front of Roy was polite but to the point. His voice had that sharp edge to it that whenever he spoke it rang of authority and finality.

Roy gulped, he still wasn’t sure of whether he should have taken this up or not but it was pointless attempting to back out now because with Shyam you just didn’t do that.

“Yes Sir, the thing is my client has new evidence against the prosecution sir,” he stated trying to bring confidence into his voice.

The man in front of him nodded slowly, “I understand that but your client was charged with kidnapping, he was caught red handed,” the judge finally stated, closing over the file in front of him.

“Sir but what if… What if there was an accomplice?” Roy finally uttered the words, each one shaking with his efforts to control the speed of his heart.

The judge stopped mid-action, his fingers stilling on the edge of the file, then peered up at Roy above the specs that were comfortably settled on his nose, “well then I guess that changes things.”

****

He walked into her room first, his feet rapid against the floor. His eyes flickered over to every corner of the room, she was missing, then fell to his little angel sleeping in the midst of the pillows that he had carefully lain around her and felt his heart go a little. He gulped back the fear and pain that engulfed him then, his eyes finally falling onto the half packed bag then quickly strode out.

I find myself at your door, 
Just like all those times before,
I'm note sure how I got there,
All roads they lead me here. 

He arrived at Arshia’s room, his fingers clinging onto the edge of the door then stood there for a few more seconds, his gaze immediately falling upon her, her fingers against a frame and that’s when his eyes fell to the little bag next to her feet. He thought his heart might leap out of his chest, his face quickly loosing its colour and turning pale. She was going to take Arshia with her.

“Khushi, I need to talk to you,” his voice was loud, every word clear, it was the dread that kept him going now, that crippling fear of losing everything all over again.

Her body straightened suddenly, her heart stuttered than galloped on with it’s rapid beats. How dare he come back? How dare he think that he could explain when he pleased, leave when he pleased? Balling her hands into fists she spun around only to stand mere inches away from his penetrating gaze. But this time she did not let herself waver.

“I don’t think I want to hear anything,” she stated calmly, looking straight into his eyes then crouched down to pick up the bag.

I'm right before your eyes,
I'm breaking.
No thoughts, no reasons why,
Just you and me...

This is the last time I'm asking you this
Put my name at the top of your list,
This is the last time I'm asking you why,
You break my heart in the blink of an eye...

He caught a hold of her wrist rapidly, pulling her back up to look into his eyes.

She struggled against his grip, twisting her arm. He pulled at her, bringing her closer to him as she glared at him accusingly, unable to understand what he was going to do now.

“You’re taking her, I can’t let you take her,” it was a statement, he was adamant on fixing this.

She tried to break away from his grip, squirming in his arms, “Arnav she’s my child!” She exclaimed through gritted teeth. “Weren’t you the one that wanted me to take her anyway? What the hell has happened now? What changed?”

You find yourself at my door,
Just like all those times before,
You wear your best apology,
But I was there to watch you leave.

And all the time I let you in,
Just for you to go again,
Disappear when you come back,
Everything is better. 

His hands tightened further, his eyes furious, the rage flowing through him all too evident. “Because you don’t know the truth!” He exclaimed, his nostrils flaring, the tendons of his jaw defined.

She tried to comprehend that, her eyes large.

“Because she’s my child too! Because for fifteen months I brought her up alone!” He screamed, she tried to cut him off but he continued anyway, his hands further tightening around her wrists. “You can’t just come here and accuse me of things that I haven’t done! I’m trying! I want to fix things! I want to pay for the mistakes that I’ve committed but not what I haven’t! How dare you think I would do such a thing?”

He pushed her away then, letting her stumble then find her bearing. He pulled out a roll of paper from his back pocket, grasping her hand and stuffing them into her palm.

“These are the police reports, read them! Properly!” He commanded as she looked down at them, completely taken aback.

He took a step back then, creating distance once more, he’d already said too much that he hadn’t meant to, his temper getting the better of him like always.

“After you read them I’ll be okay with any decision you take,” he mumbled, this time his words almost inaudible, his eyes downcast. “If you still want to take Arshia with you then I’ll respect that and let you,” with one last look at her, pools of drowning caramel he quickly turned around then walked out. 

I'm right before your eyes,
I'm aching. 
Run fast, nowhere to hide,
Just you and me...

This is the last time I'm asking you this
Put my name at the top of your list....


~
Here we are at the start,
I can feel the beating of our hearts. 
- A Call To Arms, 30 Seconds to Mars
~

Lyrics credit: The Last Time by Taylor Swift


2 comments:

  1. as usual awesome writing...waiting for the next update .....the mystery to solve ......what the hell is snake planning?

    ReplyDelete
  2. ohh please...the police reports..i want to see them soon

    ReplyDelete

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BeyondTheStars
I have too many stories in my head and sometimes I just need to put them out there for people to read. Fanfic writing was an idea that I hadn't considered at all until coming across some really good ones on India-Forums so my writing is an affect of too much IF trolling on lazy revision days. I get bored easily from studying (which I do too much of) and writing helps me relax. My life involves a whole load of drama so the twists and turns in my stories will show the effect of that. Anyway hope you enjoy the Arshi fanfics I send your way :).
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