3 Months Later...
"I need fresh white lily's and those peachy orchids all across the banisters and on the pillars...make sure the centerpieces too compliment the rest of the decor...in fact, let me meet the florist today at 4pm if possible, need to make it perfectly clear that I will not tolerate the fully bloomed lily's that are packed with all that pollen...do you know how many people complained about them staining their pretty wedding clothes?" Khushi gushed as her junior assistant followed her around the huge high-class wedding venue
"Oh and please make sure that the damn carpet does not clash...I suppose they have options? This color will just not do...get me the options..." she said looking at the young bespectacled guy who was sweating profusely under Khushi's orders "Are you jotting down everything or not? I don't want you to make any blunders later" she said as he nodded and typed on his little tab
Just then a beautiful girl with short cropped hair and a loose skirt and vest walked in, making khushi cease her tirade...the girl gestured khushi's assistant to leave as she came and stood in front of her "Sooo...how is lady hitler doing today?" she asked her with a dimpled smile as khushi rolled her eyes and turned away "Have you come all the way to bug me? and..will you be bugging all throughout our power lunch?" she asked her as the girl came around and held khushi by her shoulders...making her look back at her from the perusing she was doing of the upper floor
"Khushi baby...i will bug you...bug you till you get out of this mammoth depression that has turned you from that sweet little angel into mother terrorsa...Boss sent me here to check on you...or more so, on your assistant who looked like he was ready to sprint given a chance" she said as khushi gave her a tight lipped smile "Which you obviously did...and I am not depressed...its just work...its not fun anymore...all those whiny brides and over-demanding grooms...arrghh...weddings used to be fun Meg!" she said pushing her friend's arms away to pick up her bag that was lying on the plushly carpeted floor
"Weddings are fun...but, for the guests...for us poor souls, its always been torture...it was only you who used to find happiness in every menial and mad task that came with planning them...you were our inspiration Khushi...now look at you...snapping at everyone...I swear if I ever meet that man who did this to you!" she said as khushi gave her a warning look before striding out in a huff
They walked in silence to the little cafe just around the corner from the venue and settled down before ordering their lunches "You know you really need to talk it out honey...the only time you told me anything, was the week after you got back from your parents...and that too cause I caught you crying your eyes out...you need to talk about it...don't keep it inside you! " she said as khushi remembered the day she had left Coorg
It was probably a really stupid spur of the minute thing, but she just had to get away...the feeling of being betrayed and cheated was just too overwhelming...and somehow in all that emotional turmoil all she wanted was to be with her mother...she had left hastily once she knew that Arnav had gone out...
Smitha had even tried to talk to her and explain how Arnav had gone to get her things that she liked but she was beyond listening anything at that point...she had already called for a local taxi guy who she knew and left after saying an emotional goodbye to Smitha and VK...she did leave that note for him, but just because she thought that if not for his love, then for her riddance he will keep away from her
She had reached Chandigarh after taking the next morning's connecting flight from Bangalore...being with her mother and father had given her a sense of calm...she had thought about how Arnav did not get along with his parents and if all that he had told her, was even the truth or just a story to gain her sympathy...everything was too confusing for her then...her hands itched to pick up the phone and call him...if not for anything else, then just to understand why he did what he did
He had not only kept the truth away from her...but he had also stupidly lied about being her favorite author...who the hell does that! Momentary insanity she had termed it as she spent a week with her parents before going back to Delhi...she had tried to be her old self with everyone but only her best friend and colleague Megha knew that something was wrong...when she had one day, caught khushi crying outside in the little secluded garden of their office that she was forced to spill the beans on everything
Megha had told her to think rationally and ask herself if she really believes Arnav to be a fraud...did all the time they spent together feel like he was playing her and if he really wanted to take advantage of her, why did he stop himself, when she was more than ready to go to the last point with him...that conversation had helped khushi calm herself down and think about Megha's advise
It had taken her more than a week to come to terms with her feelings...she loved him...loved him madly and so deeply that it did not even matter anymore that he used her for his book...she had seen the same feelings in his eyes for her as she had felt for him...however good an actor a person is, he cannot fake true emotions...and so she had taken the decision to call him...she just hoped that he would talk to her and maybe they could have that chance they had seen together
The next day she had a new spring in her step as she rushed to her office...after completing some of the pending work she had in the morning, she called in for her lunch in her cabin and then picked up her phone to dial him...taking a deep breath and with a silly grin on her face, she searched for his name...she was just about to click on it when a sudden bout of uncertainty hit her...she picked up her office landline phone instead and called him
When the phone got picked up, her heart started racing at the thought of hearing his husky drawl after so long...she started smiling when her face froze at the unexpected voice "Hello" a sultry female voice spoke on the other end as khushi felt tongue-tied to reply...the woman spoke again in an irritated voice when khushi let out a small 'hello'... "Who is this?" the woman asked when Khushi took a deep breath and spoke thinking that she's just jumping to conclusions
"Is this Arnav Raizada's phone?" she asked the woman who replied immediately "Yes it is, but he is in the shower right now...who is this?" she asked again as khushi's breathing became erratic "Uh...I...I'm calling from India Loans office...may I know who i'm ssppeaking to" she said in a voice as normal as she could manage "Oh...i'm Lavanya, Arnav's fiance...I can take a mess.." the woman started saying when Khushi cut the phone, the receiver falling from her hands as she stumped back in her chair as she felt a sharp stab of pain in her heart
It took her a while to get over the initial shock of finding him engaged...after what? Less than 3 weeks to being with her in Coorg? So, was he already engaged? He had told her about that girl...Lavanya...but...she did not know that was true anymore...he had played her...played her so well and like a fool she had fallen for him...hook, line and sinker only to get her get her heart broken
She came back to her present as Megha placed her warm hand over her cold one's... "Khushi...why didn't you tell me all this earlier? You have kept so much inside you honey..." she said as khushi gave her a small smile and wiped the betraying tears that snuck into her hazel orbs... "I'm fine now Megha...keeping all this locked away helped me in a way...I pretended that I had never met him...that those days in Coorg had never happened...I pushed it all away...or at least I tried to" she said as she sipped on her green tea
"Oh Khushi...I wish I could say something to make it better for you...but, I really don't know how to console you" she said as khushi grinned at her dear friend "I know exactly what would make me feel better" she said as Megha looked at her in concern "A big Megha Bhattapadi Dimpled smile and an even bigger tub of my favorite chocolate ice-cream" she said gaily as Megha laughed and came around to hug her "Off course babe...anything you want" she said as khushi hugged her back...her broken heart betraying the bright smile on her face.