~My Prince Charming~
It had been three consecutive three days that Arnav couldn't find his guts to visit his wife. How could be, After what he had done with her? No matter how many oaths he took, the fact remained the same "he practically raped her and took away all her innocence which he had sensed from the beginning. He hated himself, he hated to categorize him in the list of criminals. So what he was married, so what she was his wife, no man, no man has the right to torture his wife even behind closed doors. How cruel one can get by snatching away the most precious thing a woman posed. It every woman's dream to give herself away to the person she loved the most? What if she wanted to make love to him differently, in a more affectionate way? Forget about being affectionate, he was not even civilized. He treated her as like pound of flesh, on which he pounced to satisfy his physical need. No, it wasnot only his physical desire it was GG's frustration. But the question remains, does every girl suffer due to her mother's sin? Was it God's wish to make that innocent soul face such a humiliation is such an early age? The question remains, why? Why an innocent soul should face such a deadly encounter when there is no fault of hers. Wasn't she the same woman who loved her husband blindly?
Arnav couldnot eat, couldnot drink properly. Only his wife innocent face was eating him up from within. "Khushi!" he breathed a shy sitting on the wooden bench in a small garden inside the hospital premises. He had finished almost 20 buds of imported cigarettes since morning. He wasn't a chair smoker though. But the past 3 days tensions made him crib to smoke. It was his daily routine. He waited for the visitors outside so that Khushi doesnot see his face. He feared what if she gets scared? What if she retaliated with his touch, what if she felt disgusted being with him? "No, I cannot go to her room" his mind alerted him. No matter how much he wanted to go to her and talk to her, but the fact was he did not have a face in front of her. He almost killed his wife and that scare Arnav Singh Raizada can never ever make himself forget.
He looked at the blue sky which was clouded with dark patches of clouds and finally said the word he never said to anyone, "I am sorry dad, I am really sorry for hurting your princess". He not only apologized but at the same time for the first time he called Mr Gupta, dad. "I only person whom I can talk to at the moment is you", Arnav looked intensely towards the dark cloud which hovered over him as if it would gulp him down in no time. "I might have made many mistakes in life, but this one is an unbearable sin that I have committed. I know no redemption would give justice to the innocent soul whom I am smashed beneath my shoe. I don't know how to undo this. But I really want to. I may not love your daughter, but I want to protect her just like you have protected me. I cannot ask for her forgiveness as I know what I have done is unforgivable. But I can ask for your forgiveness. There had been only one person in my life who had understood me and helped me out and that's you dad. My own dad died me when I was too young and my mom passed away after giving me birth. Probably god did not want them to see their child turning into an animal so he took them away from me. "Please forgive me Dad".
A tiny drop of rain fell in his eyes making him close his eyes due to the burning cased by it. Then slowly the dark cloud poured its droplets on his entire face. It felt as if it pierced his skin, it was so sharp and edgy. He instantly smiled and then forced his eyes to look at the rain falling on him. Few drops pricked his eyes but he kept his eyes open to take the raindrops as numerous slaps from his father-in-law. Tiny drops of water can only heart someone eyes and that's what Arnav chose to take. "Thanks dad, for punishing me. I know I deserve this". He smiled again looking at the down pour. Slowly his pain eased away and his face was washed away. It felt as if his father-in-law forgave him for his sin. Wasn't it the greatest punishment for the abuser to be forgiven so easily? Will be ever ease out his heart-ache ever? Whould he be sacred to touch her once again thinking of what he did to her? What about her respect? Will she ever respect him back? Will she still be that innocent to which he fell in love with? Yes he did fell in love with her innocence but he was still not aware of that. She had already made a vulnerable place in his heart in his unawareness. Probably it will take time for him to understand it but hopefully one day he can distinguish between his feeling for other woman and his wife. She was indeed a very special person for him.
"She is fine today. But she looked all lost and blanked", came soothing words. Arnav turned towards the source to find his bother-in-law standing at the edge of the sliding door looking calm and composed as ever.
Arnav looked down and then shifted his gaze towards shyam. "did she take her medicines?" Arnav asked in a low tone.
"She did refuse to take it, but nani managed to make her eat. Did you speak to bua ji? She was really worried about Khushi's condition. Looks like Khushi did not tell anything to her, what has happened and all", shyam told Arnav warmly.
"I knew she wont Shyam, after all she is Khushi", Arnav acknowledged his wife for being to his side even thought she had been treated worst by the very person".
"Hmm! Arnav can I request you one thing?"
"just go and talk to your wife, her eyes are searching for you"
"I cannot shyam, you know why. I have hurt her a lot and she feels repulsive by my touch. What if seeing me reminds her of those terrible moments which she wants to forget?"
"Instead of hiding from her, you should be with her at this stage. I am sure even she is craving for you just like you are craving to hold her".
Arnav was shocked hearing such revelation. How could his brother in law sense what Arnav wanted to do? Yes he wanted to go and hug his wife and cradle her on his lap just how Khushi would have like.
"it was good that you had asked nani to come and see her. She needs a woman to whom she can confide. And I am sorry for Anjali's behaviour in the morning".
"You don't need to apologize for my sister. I know she is mentally ill. I felt bad for nani, whom she had made a victim for her tantrums. Shyam, I think we need to show Di to a doctor. Day by day she is loosing her sanity. Sometimes I feel helpless for you. I knew how much you loved her but I never thought your life will be hell after you are married to my sister. Why did you agree to get married to her Shyam when you knew she is one of the worst woman a man can ever get married to?"
"I loved her Arnav and I thought she loved me too. But I was wrong. She loves my money and most importantly she loves attention that's why she ended up rilling up the whole house in the morning. She is insecured with her position in your house. She thinks her importance will go away if rest of the family members starts loving Khushi. So when nani wanted to visit Khushi, anjali created a scene so that nani backs out seeing Anjali's venerability. Anyways its good that you forced nani to come witho you. Khushi felt nice to see her and even nani is happy to see Khushi. But Arnav, I think your wife need you more than anybody. I hope you change your mind soon and talk to her". Shyam said giving Arnav a friendly tug.
"I wanted to thank you for being their for my wife'."
Arnav was cut off, "she is my sister Arnav, don't forget that. I can even fight for her rights without even caring if the person opposite to me is you.
Arnav smiled and hugged Shyam back.
Her lashers were low and she was having her barley soup quietly. After numerous attempts of denial, failing to convince nani, without any further argument Khushi was having her soup.
When the antibiotics started kicking her taste buds barely worked. All the foods tasted blunt. But just to respect nani, she tried to have the soup even if she felt pukish.
Nani sat beside Khushi caressing her back and tucking her locks time to time while Khushi eat her soup. Once she was done she pushed the bowl and leaned her head on nani's shoulder.
"Mujhse kya galti ho gai hai nani?" (what is my mistake?) Khushi said in a very low and weak voice.
"Kya huya baccha? You cannot afford to be said at this state. Stress is harmful for you darling", nani concoled her understanding Khushi unspoken words. She was missing her husband and it was now clearly evident. Khushi wasnot someone who tried hid her feelings from anyone. And when it came to Arnav she did not want to. She wanted to hug him, kiss him smuggle up with him without caring anybody.
"Nani, Arnav ji mujhe milne ek baar bhi nahi aye" (he did not come to meet me for once) khushi said pressing nani's hand.
Her hand felt cold, lifeless. Nani wanted to tell her that her husband was here in this hospital 3 consiqutive days taking care of Khushi silently and that he was guilty but due to arnav's strict order she gulped it down.
"Nani, mujhse aisa kyun lagta hai ki aranv ji yahaan hi hai par mujhse milne nahi atey…" (why do I have a feeling that Arnav ji is here in the hospital, but he is not coming in front of me?) Khushi suddenly jerked up and looked directly into nani's eyes questioning her. She searched for her answers in nani's eyes and nani tried hard to hide it. "boliye na nahi, kya mein galat feel kar rahi hoon?" (tell me nani, am I wrong?)
Helplessly nani pulled Khushi in her embrace. Resting her head Khushi closed her eyes in pain. Longing for her beloved husband was really painful for her. Her eyes welled up in pain and started flowing.
"Nani, was Arnav ji in some kind of pressure to get married to me?" Khushi clutch nani's shoulder hoping for a positive answer. She wanted to know why Arnav was avoiding her? Why wasn't he behaving like her dream man, her prince charming. When she needed him the most why was he avoiding her.
"Do you think I am too young for him nani? Do you think I am inappropriate for him? Do you think I wont ever be able to sa….t" Khushi chocked thinking how young and inexperienced she was for him. A man in his late twenties would definitely thrive for more experienced woman and Khushi was just in her teens and he was her first man ever.
She wasnot aware off the presence of her husband behind the closed door of her suit before he barged inside calling her name, "Khushiii"
Khushi took a sharp intake of her breath and held it. Her head turned instantly towards the door to check whether she is hallucinating or not. It was real. Arnav ji was real. He was standing in front of her. He looked miserable. He looked worn out.
Her head went up in the air, her soft lips tucked in between her teeth to stop them from quivering. Her arms spread towards him asking him to hug her back. Making a stuffy throaty noise she called his name "Arnav ji" and her tears started poring in.
Nani slowly made her away towards the exit without breaking their trance. She knew in order to make Khushi back to her normal start Arnav needed to be beside her. Because one thing which everyone saw was khushi's unconditional love towards Arnav.
Arnav stood still in his tracks looking at his pale wife. He had seen her many times when she was asleep but she looked nothing less than an alien when she was awake. Her skin stuck to her bone, her fuller cheeks shrank, her eyes lost its twinkle but one thing was constant…her love for his husband.
"Aap mujhse milne ayeho?" (you came to meet me?) she said still holding her hand in the air. "aap mere paas ayina…wahan kyun khade hai? Kya mein…kya mein itni buri hoon?" (why are you standing there? Am I that bad?) She chocked her last word before bursting into tears.
Arnav quickly walked towards her and held her arm nervously and sat beside her.
Khushi immediately crawled towards him and hugged him tightly. "bilkul bhi miss nahi kiya himko?" (you did not miss me?) she said in a low, painful voice. "ek baar bhi maan nahi kiya mujse milne ke liye?" (did not you feel like seeing me for once?)
Arnav gripped the bed sheet tightly in order to resist himself from touching his delicate wife. How many times he needed to apologize to her?
For being harsh on her?
For not being taking care of her? Whether he loves her or not but he definitely needed to take care of her as she was his responsibility, she was his wife.
For not being there when she fainted in the morning?
For planning to lash out for his di's stupid words when she was in her most vulnerable state?
For not being able face her in the hospital?
For making her more sick by not meeting her up?
For making her her feel unwanted?
"Aap kuch bol kyun nahi rahe hai?" (Why aren't you talking to me?) Khushi asked him resting her cheek on his shoulder. She slowly withdraw herself to face him. Cupping his face she placed a soft kiss on his lips. Arnav immediately stiffened and sucked his breath. Khushi caressed his face like a small girl play with her doll, checking each and every corner and then kissed his cheeks tenderly.
It was more than shattering for Arnav. Wasnot he the person who f**ked her brutally? And look at her, can someone be one tender than her? How could he make such a mistake grossly? Why was he her husband? Did not she deserved a better person than him?
Khushi looked at his eyes and angled her face wanting to be kissed. "please" she pleased in a low voice.
Arnav closed her eyes and slowly reduced the gap between them. Slowly and delicately he touched her lips. He could feel her lips tremble as if calling his name. Then she pressed herself fully on him to devour his lips. His guilty hand remained on the sheet while khushi tucked his neck in her embrace.
"I wanted to marry you, there was no pressure" he said. His motive might have been different but he definitely wanted to get married to her. "khushi! I was unable to face you after what I did to you and probably I wont be able to touch you ever. But I promise you that other then you there will be no second girl in my life from now onwards. I was here in his hospital from past 3 nights just that I did not have guts to meet you".
"you did not go to other girl's Arnav ji?" khushi was shocked to know that. her greatest fear of thinking his husband with someone came to an end and she was unable to believe it. Her Arnav ji was with her?
"I don't need to when I have such a lovely wife with me. It was my past and I don't want to live with it anymore. You are my present and I want to start my life in a new way with you. khushi I might not be expressive and one of the most difficult person to be with but I would want to open up with you, that is only if you are ready for it. Khushi! After Mr. Gupta I did not have anyone to guide me in the write path and I took mostly the wrong path without thinking twice. I know I had been irresponsible with you, with us but I want one last opportunity to make it right", Arnav kept the distance between them all through not wanting to upset her by touching. "will you be my friend?" he asked being hopeful.
"y…….e……..s" was her reply before she jumped in his arms.