Sunday, 24 February 2013

Heart's A Mess - Chapter Eight



A/N Before reading this please check out the post about Khushi's house! It will make the update more visual! Thanks.

5.50 a.m.

Arnav had somehow managed to wrangle Khushi into sitting in his car. Supposedly it was safer for him to drive since he had gotten three hours sleep compared to her no hours of sleep.  Grumbling she had agreed simply too exhausted to protest. It was dark out, the sun feeling a little lazy this winters morning. The car glided down the empty street, as people still lay tucked into the comfort of warm beds. Khushi sighed and snuggled deeper into her coat, wishing for the millionth time that she had chosen a more sane profession. Snowflakes swirled down from the grey sky, littering the sidewalks with a thin dusting. Shivering a touch, she turned to her companion in the car grumbling…

So where do you intend to take me to breakfast at six in the morning?

“Oh cheer up Gupta!

Khushi rolled her eyes, cursing the cold.

The farmer’s market down on East Street is open. I thought we could pick up a few things, go back to yours and you could cook me breakfast.”

She laughed. “Good joke!”

“Ummm…I was serious.”

Khushi growled… “You want me to cook you breakfast after a 36 hour shift? Are you mad!”

“Ok relax! I’ll cook it.”

“Don’t be stupid! You’re equally as exhausted. Nobody is cooking!”

“Awww she cares. Fine… we can cook together.”

Khushi opened and closed her mouth, trying to find the words to tell him just how much she didn’t care! But looking at his stupid grin couldn’t help but feel a little happy. “You just don’t give up do you?”

“No.” he said matter of factly.

She shook her head “You have too much energy for the morning.”

“What can I say? I love breakfast!”

He pulled up outside the farmer’s markets. Khushi looked outside the window to see the vendors setting up their stalls. Fresh produce sat in wooden crates, its vivacious colours beckoning passers by to partake in the gustatory delight. The door opened and Arnav offered her his gloved hand…   “Come 
on Gupta! Let’s go eat

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6.30 am.

Khushi stood outside her door, jangling the house key’s trying to get in. Arnav stood behind her holding two overflowing brown paper bags.

Gupta hurry up! My balls are freezing and that won’t be good for our future children.”

If Khushi’s hands were shivering before, it was nothing compared to now. Whipping around she snapped…

Would you shut it for just one second!

Arnav leaned in and waggled his eyebrows. “Why? Do I make you nervous?

Huffing she turned back around and violently forced the key into the lock. A loud click gave way and the door creaked open.

Hallelujah!” she heard him exclaim. Why on earth did she find him attractive again?

Stepping into the house, she pointed him toward the kitchen. Shivering from the cold she quickly slammed the door shut and breathed a sigh of relief. Shrugging out of her coat, she placed it on the coat rack and turned to see him coming out from the kitchen sans grocery bags. Damn him! Even after sleeping awkwardly in a chair for the duration of the night he looked perfect in his tweed coat and three-piece suit. Trying to fix her considerably more disheveled appearance, she nervously began to smooth her hair.

Here…I’ve got it.” Arnav brushed away the random snowflakes that had lodged themselves in her long locks. “Nice place you’ve got Gupta.

Uh… thanks.” She muttered awkwardly. “Make yourself comfortable. I’ll have a quick shower and change. Don’t start cooking ok?”

“Hurry up. I’m starving.” He called after Khushi, as she ran up the stairs.

I’ll be down in 10.” She yelled back.

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Arnav took the opportunity to survey his surroundings. Her place was big by anyone’s standards. The businessman in him couldn’t help but wonder how she had financed such a place? Perhaps mummy and daddy were rich? But then again Khushi seemed to be a self-reliant sort of a girl. Not the type to live off her parents. Doctors at Cleveland were paid well but not particularly so and she was still a resident. Her yearly income couldn’t be more than fifty thousand. Then how had she afforded it? Not to mention… why would she want to live in such a place alone? There were few pictures up on the wall; one of her graduation, one with an elderly lady and one with her hospital colleagues but nothing other than that. This girl was a mystery.

Taking his coat off, he hung it up next to hers. The foyer was large. White and black-checkered tiles lay across the floor in a tessellating fashion. To his left was an grandoise wooden staircase leading up to what he assumed would be the bedrooms and to his right was the kitchen. The sun was just beginning to peek through the cloud cover, its soft light streaming through the large open windows of the kitchen. Unsure of where exactly she would like the food stuffs to go he settled for putting the kettle on to boil. Stuffing his hands into his trouser pockets he stood facing the window watching two little birds chirp away merrily, welcoming the new day. No sooner had the sun appeared, large clouds drifted across, denying the world warmth once more.

As if in slow motion a drop of rain fell from the grey swirling skies, followed by another and the another. The rain pitter-pattered down from the heavens, at first a light shower, eventually becoming heavy down pour. He watched fascinated, as the droplets eddied against the windowpanes, running in every which direction till they collected in pools on the outside sill. The birds had stopped chirping now and instead he heard the rumbling of the kettle. Tufts of white steam sounded a shrill whistle from the spout, heralding him that its contents were ready.

Grabbing two cups from the cupboard directly above him, he let the tea bags diffuse their rich brown colour into the recently boiled water, waiting a few minutes before adding a dash of milk. Leaning against the counter, he sipped on the tea, relishing the warmth of the cup against his icy cold fingers. True to her word, Khushi appeared but moments later, freshly showered, hair damp, wearing a cashmere sweater and jeans.

He handed her a cup… “Tea? I didn’t know how much sugar you take so I put a teaspoon. ”

“It’s perfect. Thanks.” She said gratefully.

Walking over to the opposite counter, she leaned against it. Curling her fingers around the mug she sipped slowly. Khushi snuck an occasional glance at him, over the top of her cup, hesitant about what they would do now. Not having accounted for him being in her house, she was caught off guard.

So…” he said trying to dispel the uncomfortable silence.

So…” she repeated, trailing off.

“What’s for breakfast?”

Putting her cup in the sink she went to unpack the groceries. “Well I thought we could have scrambled eggs, toast and juice?”

“Sounds good. What do you want me to do?”

“Can you make the egg mixture? I’ll put the oranges in the juicer.”

“Yeah…sure” he said a little hesitantly.

Khushi put a metal bowl in front of him and a carton of eggs. Chopping up several oranges roughly she put them in the juicer and watched the orange nectar trickle out of the machine. Happy with her efforts she threw away the scraps and put the jug in the fridge. Wiping the extra juices on her hand with a tea towel, she turned toward Arnav…

How’s the….” She stopped mid sentence as she watched him look curiously from the bowl to eggs; the bowl still empty. Suddenly it dawned on her.

You have no idea what you’re doing.” It was more an accusation than a statement.

“That’s one way of putting it.”

Khushi’s eye widened as she swatted his back with the tea towel in her hand. “How the hell were you going to cook for me then?”

He shrugged. “I can use a toaster and cut fruit. That’s a pretty good breakfast for most people.” Khushi began to laugh at the defensive look on his face. 

Oh shut up Jamie Oliver!” he grumbled, irritated by her reaction. She began to giggle even harder, grabbing on to his arm for support. Wiping away her non-existent tears she stood up.

But you love food!”

“Yeah so?”

“So a food lover should know how to cook. Come on I’ll teach you.” Slinging the dishcloth over her shoulder she pushed herself up on the counter and began to instruct him.

Ok before you start the eggs, turn the oven on to about 100 centigrade.”

“Why?”

“Just shut up and do as your told.”

Rolling his eyes he followed her instruction. “Then grab the fresh loaf of bread we bought and with the bread knife, slice three or four pieces and chuck it in the oven.”

With that done she continued to bark out instructions. “Crack four eggs into the bowl and add a pinch of salt and a little bit of full cream milk.” As he did what he was told she explained… “ The milk gives it a bit of creaminess and the bread will be nice and toasty when it comes out.”

As he whisked… “Couldn’t you have put the bread in the toaster?

Well it was bakers bread so it would really fit plus the oven gives us time to do everything else and it won’t burn the bread. Now grab the skillet over there and get some butter from the fridge. I would use oil normally but if you want it to taste great then butter is the way to go. You know the main ingredients in French cooking? Butter, Butter and…”

Butter.” He finished off for her, as he turned on the heat and put a generous dollop of the white goodness.

As it simmered he got ready to put in the eggs. “No! You have to wait till it gives off the smell.” She almost screamed.

He jumped and looked at her curiously. “Calm down Godzilla!”

Making a face she mumbled…”You can put it in now. Just let it cook slowly and move it around once in a while.”

As the eggs cooked, Arnav watched her from the corner of his eye, smiling at her offended demeanour. She was obviously just as passionate about food as she was about everything else in her life. A hope sparked somewhere within in…perhaps she would be just as passionate about him someday. Clearing his throat he asked… “So who taught you how to cook?”


Khushi jumped off the bench and walked to the fridge. “No one. I learnt from watching cooking shows, reading books and experimenting a lot.” Returning with olives and feta she took her place once more on the bench. “What about you? Who taught you how not to cook?” she teased.

My Di would be very offended by that. She taught me how to make tea just right.”

“Hmmmm I have to admit for a teabag tea it was quite nice. Who’s Di?”

“Oh my sister, Anjali.”

Khushi felt a little uneasy hearing her name and tried to quash thoughts of the patient file sitting in the hospital data bank. Smiling weakly she offered…”Older or younger?”

“Older and she reminds me of it any chance she gets.” He grimaced. “What about you, any siblings?”

Arnav noticed the light in her eyes fade. “Nope. Only child.” Trying to change the topic she poked him in the shoulder. “The eggs are slightly firm, now add these olives, a little feta and some dried oregano.”

Arnav finished off the eggs as she grabbed the bread from the oven and two plates. About to simply scoop the mass of soft egg on to the plate, he stopped as she gave him a death glare. Putting the skillet down on the stove he stepped back and allowed her to do her thing. Khushi very artistically arranged the toasted slices and egg to look as though it had just come from the pass at a top rated restaurant. Adding a nob of butter on the bread, she poured the juice into two glasses and presented his plate to him.

Voila!” she said with childish enthusiasm.

 He smiled. “You really love cooking don’t you?”

Mhhhmmm. It helps me escape from everything and I get something to eat at the end of it. Win- win. Don’t you think?” she agreed nodding. “Now come on I’m starving.” They walked past the highly stylised dining room to the living. Sinking back into the plush white sofas, they both ate in silence, devouring the food on the plate as fatigue caught up with them.

Having finished his meal before hers he sat back and rubbed his tummy. “That was good!

Her mouth still full, she muffled… “It was all you.” Smiling, he leaned over and kissed her cheek. She paused mid chew, her cheeks puffed out a little with food and her eyes wide. Gently nuzzling her nose with his cheek he whispered. “Better get used to my way of saying thanks Khushi.

She almost chocked as she heard him say her name. His husky voice had a way of caressing her name that made her turn to mush. Gulping down on the juice she squeaked out… “You…you’re welcome.”

Standing up abruptly, she cleared away the plates and walked to the kitchen. Grabbing her black 
Japanese iron teapot she put in on the stove in hopes to calm her frazzled nerves. As the water boiled, she noticed the neglected bouquet of flowers he had bought her. Standing on her tiptoes, she reached for a small vase in the cupboard above her head. The vase was just short of her reach as she jumped up, trying desperately to grab it. Arnav walked in.

Woah! Are you crazy?”

Khushi turned around to see him looking annoyed.

God for a doctor you have no common sense! You’ve got boiling water on the stove and your jumping up and down near it. What are you so desperate to get anyway?”

Khushi looked at the teapot and felt a little stupid. “Ummm there’s a vase up there.”

“Go take the tea outside. I’ll get it.” He said a little tersely.

Feeling like a child who had been reprimanded, she quietly took the tray with the tea outside and sat down. Arnav followed her flowers and vase in hand; the atmosphere tense. Softly he said…

You wanted to put the flowers in here?”

Khushi looked away refusing to answer, still sulking at his outburst.

You worried me. I thought you were going to burn yourself.”

Her body language relaxed a touch and he tried again. “Did you like them?”

She nodded.

You know there is a better way to thank me.” He said mischievously, alluding to his earlier proclamation.

Khushi cheek flushed and she replied stiffly… “I believe I already did.

Arnav sighed, knowing that she would need a little time. “Do you mind if I watch the news?” Khushi shrugged letting him know she didn’t particularly care what she did. Turning the television on he avidly watched the finance report on CNN. After about five minutes of not hearing a word from Khushi, he turned around. Oblivious to the world she was fast asleep, snoring softly, teacup still in hand.

Prying the cup from her hands he scooped her in the cradle of his arms and walked toward the stairs. No matter how light she was it was still an effort and a half to walk up all those stairs with her. Donning a light sheen of sweat he was glad when he finally saw what appeared to be her bedroom. Like the rest of the house it sparsely decorated, shades of white and beige dominating the colour scheme. Gently dropping her on to the mattress, he pulled the duvet from underneath her and tucked her in.

No matter how much she tried to hide behind her tough exterior, Arnav knew that she was just a child, her emotions still raw and yet to be nurtured. Her innocence shone through and removing her hair from her face, he bent down to kiss her forehead. About to get up he was pulled back down, her hand still clutching his shirt. His heart leapt a beat but he reluctantly removed her hand. A flash of pink in the otherwise dull d├ęcor caught his attention. It was the flowers he had given her before their last date. She had kept them! That too in her room.

He walked out with renewed confidence. There was still hope for him yet.

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Ok so its not the most well written of chapters but this is what you get when I do an update in a day and I'm feeling sick! :( On a positive note however you guys are AMAZING! I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU! I don't think i have received this much love for a story ever! All I can say is that I am humbled. I know this update wasn't particularly romantic but its about a normal couple. This Arnav is going to be like the YLME Arnav. He's going to be more real. A gentleman...but real. 

Love Sasak!


Arnav's Outfit





Khushi's Outfit

25 comments:

  1. Wow!! You updated again!! Thank u thank u so much!!!

    Awesome update...

    As you said.. their relationship is realistic...

    I love that,..

    Cant wait to read the next update...

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    1. Yayy!!! I just realized.. Me first!!!

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  2. Sweet update
    Aww she kept the flowers
    Aww arnav has hope
    Loved the sentence arnav said this won't be good for our future kids

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  3. that was amazingggg!!!!

    love how they r beginning to adjust to each other!!!

    arnav seems such a lovesick dedicated guy

    why do i feel khushi is a widow?? =/ =p

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  4. Loved the way he cooked breakfast for them both. You can't say that it was not romantic. He waited seven hours for her, cooked for her and then carried her to bed. I think it is more romantic then all the kissing and making out.

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  5. i loved it .. loved it.. loved it.

    and i love arnav. there does seem to be a lot of mystery to khushi.

    would love to discover khushi along with arnav.

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  6. was really sad when you took a break from HAM. but enjoyed YLME. Glad you're back with a bang! and I wish a had K's house. along with a maid. nice!

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  7. awesome story. please update soon

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  8. wow sasak i disagree man this is my secound favourite chapter first one being the one he asks her out on a date seriouly i cud jus visualise every moment ur writing makes everything so real and relatable heres looking foward to more from ur ps i love ur humour its subtle but effective jus love ur work

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  9. Did I tell you I love this Arnav? I was going "Awwww" and "how cute" the whole time while reading the update. I am getting addicted. Update soon :D

    ~nifty-nia

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  10. First of all , Thank you for sharing something so uniquely beautiful !!!!!!
    There's something so indescribably wonderful about this story , although I can't point out what it is exactly ..........
    OK , I just want to say that I love love love this story & am so very enamoured by it ( I am probably rambling ,as it's my first time commenting on your story but I just had to tell you what a marvel your story is ). Your writing has a flair , Sasak . Keep it up !

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  11. lovely update.........the house is so beautiful
    he waited for her for 5 hours.........wish there was someone like this in my life :D

    GunM(IF)

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    Replies
    1. i know what you mean. truly shows that he loves khushi but also respects her.

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  12. loved the updates. please update soon.

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  13. Loved it. When I saw the pictures of Khushi's house, I too was wondering how she could afford that. I know she's a doctor, but she only a resident. I don't think they make that much money. I'm exicted find out more about Khushi's background. Thanks so much fur your updates!!
    Can't wait to read more.
    P.S. Of course all of your ArShi scenes were adorable.

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  14. fabulous update.... Arnav is just adorable.... the entire part with them making breakfast together, tht was something so domestic n realistic...
    I cant wait to read the next one...

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  15. the details u go into in the form of pics to give better imagination to the reader is awesome and i just love it about you. the fine quality of pictures coupled with updates keep me in awe throughout the process of reading it. gr8 work.

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  16. Dude this is supa quick!! Nice man!!

    And galls he has!! :p my balls will freeze n future children would b affected I believe!!

    And they made breakfast together! Aww...family!

    And she kissed him cho chweet!

    I'm waiting for them to confess!! :-) n attention to details eh Mr Raizadha!!?? Why the doubt? And cho chweet he carried her upstairs n kissed her forehead!!

    Cheers

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  17. loved it........a nd the teaser also...... waiting 4 next update.......

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  18. Okay, dude, I am LOVING this story!
    It's been ages since I came across a good story! Thank you for such an amazing read!

    ~K

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  19. “Gupta hurry up! My balls are freezing and that won’t be good for our future children.”
    OMG! You know that feeling you get when you are just beyond giddy and cant contain the blush. Yeah, that's what I feel when I read your updates about Arnav. Its a sad world I am leaving in when the guy who makes me feel like a woman, is a fictional character. Lord have mercy on the guy I fall head over heels. Sigh, moving on. May I saw that the visual masterpiece you have provided as Khushi's house is breath-taking. Its beautiful and reflects Khushi's character... The Victorian touches in the modern house shows how she is a woman who sports the independence streak with vengeance without losing herself.. "No matter how much she tried to hide behind her tough exterior, Arnav knew that she was just a child, her emotions still raw and yet to be nurtured".

    Yes, Arnav you have hope though you don't need to sound so ominous about it!

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  20. Loved how Arnav stood clueless with the eggs and bowl haaaaahaaa. U a have Given such a realistic touch to the story as well as how the characters deal with each other.Small things r what touches the heart. A beautiful update.

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  21. loved Arnav... the scenes were so real... i did that with my husband... he looked so cute when confused... ok bk to arnav... wonder wats up with anjali... arnav does not sound sad while talking abt anjali.. or may be he is just good at hiding it... very beautiful update...

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  22. First of all the house is just soooooo beautiful.. And loved the update as always:-)

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