Sunday, 7 April 2013

Heart's A Mess: Chapter Ten

"Anjali! Come on in....I was waiting for you."

Khushi froze.

Anjali?

It couldn't be. Could it? There had to be hundred's of Anjali's in America. Biting down on her bottom lip she closed her eyes and tried to resist the devil. Alas the temptation was too great. Pivoting on her heel she made her way down the corridor, finding some excuse to be near Matt's cubicle. Her behaviour was bordering on morally abhorrent but patience had never been a strong suite for Dr. Gupta. Aimlessly flipping through patient files, she concentrated on the strained whispers across the corridor...

"There's been no change to report." Matt Parker sounded visibly frustrated. "The board is still not willing to make a recommendation and to be honest I can't blame them. You're giving me nothing to go on."

"...I thought that..."

"Well if I could do a physical exam it might change the outcome."

"You know that's not possible. I can't afford anyone finding out."

"And why is that?"

"The situation has become more complicated."

"More complicated? How could it possibly be more complicated. Is it confidentiality? You don't trust me?"

"No no. Of course not. I trust you but you're not the only one with access to records are you Dr. Parker?"

There was an extended pause. "Do you have any changes to report? It might help me convince the board. Help me help you Anjali."

"I ran a series of tests." Khushi swore she heard the lady's voice shake. "I'm afraid the results...the results aren't good."

"We'll get through it together. I promise. One step at a time ok." Khushi had now given up pretending to read the files and inched her way closer to them. Matt was squeezing Anjali's hand as she tried her best not to cry.

"I'm being stupid. I mean I'm cardiologist for godsake. I should know better." 

"When it's personal nothing is ever easy. Let's go through the test results ok? We can take it from there."

"I've done the ECHO again and another ECG. The mitral regurge is becoming worse and there are signs that... "

Khushi felt a tap on her shoulder. "Shhhh." She tried to swat the hand away, intent on listening in on the results of the latest echocardiogram. The tapping became more insistent. Frustrated, she swivelled on the spot and shouted...

"WHAT!?"

Dr. Danes raised his eyebrows and Khushi sobered up immediately. "That's exactly what I was about to ask you. What the hell are you doing here when I specifically asked you to bring the files for ward rounds?"

"Ummm....I....uh...sorry." she floundered for a while before ending with a sheepish apology.

"Where is your head at today Gupta?" Danes looked at her disappointed. "Now... are you coming or not?"

Having the decency to look ashamed she quietly picked up the files and trudged behind him dutifully. Still, there was a nagging part of her subconscious annoyed by the fact that her knowledge about the beautiful 'Anjali' had been left wanting.

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The dark hall was slowly lit up by dim overheads and the crowd began to filter their way out of the cinema. Arnav squinted as his eyes acclimatised to the sudden change in the intensity of light. Craning his neck he saw Khushi fast asleep on his shoulder. 

She was exhausted. 

The past few days had been chaotic for the two of them. There had been no time at all in their busy schedules to see one another. So today when he had finished up work at the godly hour of eight pm he rushed straight to the hospital to drag her out for a date. Khushi was decidedly unhappy given the late notice. After a 36 hour shift she looked like hell and was not in the mood to go out with him looking the way she did. It took Arnav the good part of fifteen minutes to convince her that he thought she looked beautiful no matter what she wore. To be fair to Khushi the only reason she had relented was because of the sly smirks and jibes the rest of the staff were throwing her way. Blushing profusely and no longer able to bear the teasing, she grabbed her feather down jacket and stomped down the corridor leaving Arnav and everyone else in her wake. 

How long do you reckon before she notices?  Shagun had asked.

Thirty seconds.

Thirty seconds later Dr. Gupta had stomped straight back to her desk realising she was still in her scrubs. As soon as the door to the locker rooms had shut, the staff at the nursing station burst out laughing. As much as Arnav had wanted to show Khushi solidarity he found it increasingly hard not to smile. Finally they had made it out of the hospital this time with Khushi wearing what was considerably more appropriate an attire.

"Khushi..." Arnav gently shook her awake. No luck. Selfishly, he took a few moments just to look at her as she rest against him. She looked at peace. As if all the battles she had been fighting had ceased to exist. Somewhere he hoped that one day it wouldn't just take her falling asleep for her to look like this. Caressing her cheek her whispered... "As much as I would like to carry you Gupta...I'm not sure you would appreciate it here."

"Huh?" she mumbled sleepily. Looking around she took in her surroundings. It was a few moments before she registered exactly where she was. She sat up in alarm. "Oh my god! I fell asleep." Looking toward Arnav embarrassed she apologised..."I'm so sorry." Khushi wanted to kick herself. How he must think her so desperate to fall asleep on him as she did. Though, that thought didn't have much time to sink in as she became enamoured by the boyish grin on his face. "Don't apologise I fell asleep too."

"Oh..." she replied softly as they walked out of the cinema hall side by side.

"I didn't realise it would be that long."

Khushi frowned. "I know! Three hours! Even Bollywood movie's aren't that long anymore."

"I thought most girls like musicals?"

She turned to look at him annoyed. "Do I look like most girls to you?"

Arnav laughed, forming clouds of mist in the cold night air. Turning to face her, he stood very close. "No you don't....but you had the book in your collection. So I thought you might enjoy it."

The proximity made it very difficult for Khushi to think straight, her breathing just a fraction more pronounced. "You remembered?" she let out in a small voice. The idea that he would peruse through her book collection, remember a selection and use it to inform his choice in film for their date floored her. He tried to shrug it off.

"Yeah well....doesn't matter does it? It was probably the wrong choice."

She rushed to reassure him. "No...don't say that. Any other day I would have really enjoyed it. The performances were really amazing its just that I'm so tired."

"I just wanted to spend some time with you."

There was an honesty and vulnerability in his voice that caught her off guard. Why did this impossibly beautiful and intelligent man want to spend time with her? It didn't make any sense in the realms of her painfully logical mind.

"Why?" Her voice faltered with hesitancy.

"Why what?"

"Why do you want to go out with me? Spend time with me? I've been meaning to ask you this since the first time we met."

"Gupta why are you making this hard?" he sighed, looking down into her very confused eyes. They were standing at a distance of barely a foot. Arnav towered over her as she craned her neck upward to meet his eyes.

"I'm not. Not on purpose....it's just I.....don't understand."

"What's there to understand? I'm attracted to you."

"But why? There are a million other girls who would have more time for you, are way more beautiful, have more patience and less baggage."

"They wouldn't be you though." Arnav leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her nose. Her eyes had gently drifted shut and he watched the dull blush inflame across her cheeks. "You know for someone who's such a ball buster you can be painfully shy. But I love that....making you feel like a woman. Being the one that has the ability to make your knees go weak. That you react to me not because of what I am but because of who I am. I like trying to understand the complex creature that you are. I like the fact you don't let me get away with crap and that you are focussed, driven and highly ambitious. That you don't look at me with pity when I tell you I lost my parents but with a shared understanding of the pain. I love the way you pretend to be all tough but aren't. The rest I don't know...but I do know that I want to find out. That's why I want to spend time with you. Is that enough Gupta or should I submit a formal article on the topic?"

Khushi gulped and looked down, shying away from his gaze. Her heart was a flutter and the butterflies that had recently taken up residence in the hollow recesses of her belly were wreaking havoc. It all seemed to good to be true. Did she really have a shot at the happiness that she had been too afraid to even dream about? Arnav stepped forward a fraction more and now she could see his shoes and feel the warmth of his breath as it caressed the side of her neck. Cupping her face, he willed her to look at him. Khushi resisted, her eyes firmly shut.

"Look at me." The deep baritone resonated huskily, commanding her to obey.

Slowly her emerald orbs flickered open, glassy with unresolved emotions. The second their eyes locked, he swooped down to claim his prize, mating his warm lips with hers. Significantly more prepared this time, Khushi stood on her tiptoes wrapping his arms around his neck as he chose to wrap his around her waist, cuddling her closer to him. This kiss was slow and sweet, absent of the urgency that had consumed them a few days ago. They held on to one another, exploring and discovering, becoming comfortable with the physicality of their bodies. Torturously, Arnav traced the outline of her mouth, familiarising himself with its contours. Khushi ran a hand through his hair, coming to rest on his cheek.

A few moments later they pulled away, still locked in the embrace.

"Don't you think that's a good enough reason to want to spend time with you?" Arnav grinned in between ragged breaths, his forehead resting against hers.

Khushi pushed him away playfully. With lightening reflexes, he grabbed her arm, swinging her back around on to his chest. "Stop running scared. Take it one day at a time ok? We might have a good thing...we might not. But if you don't take the chance you won't know."

Sighing deeply, she nodded and squirmed out of his embrace walking along the harbour. The view of Cleveland from here was spectacular. All of its twinkling lights beckoning her to loose herself in the magic. Hands brushed as they walked with one another in companionable silence enjoying the still star lit night. Almost naturally, Arnav slipped his hand into hers continuing to look out over the water as if nothing had happened. He felt her stiffen but she made no real attempt to remove it. Smirking he asked...

"On a scale of performing a surgery to watching Edward Cullen how uncomfortable are you right now?"

Khushi scowled at him. "I'm not used to this ok. It's not me."

He raised an eyebrow. "Affection isn't you?"

"No. It's not. I'm not the kind of person who does these things."

Arnav was beginning to understand just how afraid she was. From his perspective the notion was ridiculous. Khushi had everything going for her. She was smart, beautiful, kind, loyal...she had the world at her feet. Still the baggage of her past wouldn't be so easily erased. He would have to be patient. "Does this feel good to you?"

She nodded hesitantly.

"Gupta, with me you can be what you want to be and not what you think you have to be."

There in lay the end of the discussion, their hands still intertwined. From the corner of his eyes, Arnav caught sight of a 50's style ice cream parlour. "Want some ice-cream?"

"In this weather? Are you nuts?"

"This is the best kind of weather to have ice-cream."

 "We'll get sick." Khushi looked at him, as if pointing out the obvious.

"God the doctor in you can't help itself can it? I feel sorry for our children."

Taking a few seconds to recover from this statement, she bit back..."I thought we were taking this one day at a time?"

"No... you were. I've already planned our retirement." he teased.

Khushi grumbled..."Let's just get the damn ice-cream."

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18 comments:

  1. no pictures this time:( love your sense of fashion.

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  2. I've already planned our retirement......LOL,,, he is such a tease
    whats the mistry with Anjali...??? is she ill or anyother person....???
    he is so happy go lucky guy,,, wow,,, just to want to spend some time with her he go all "you are looking beautiful" scene in hospital....
    the scene of her coming back to change her dress was really funny

    thanx for the update, loved it..........read in one go....love the character Arnav in this Fiction

    Neag
    (india-forums)

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  3. This is SO adorable! I can connect so well to Khushi's hesitance, and omg, this has been written amazingly well!

    Thank you for updating! :)

    ~K

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  4. PS: Are you on IF? My username is Krani :)

    I am surprised this story does not have more readers! Shall recommend it to people! :)

    ~K

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    Replies
    1. OMG KRANI!

      Eek! I can't believe you commented on my story and are thinking to reccommend it. I am so humbled. I know you are a respected writer on India forums so to have your feedback is extraordinary. I am indeed on India Forums my username is Trisasak. This is the link to my index. I would be ever so humbled if you chose to read anymore of my works.

      Just a warning, though, Your Love Means Everything is my baby and currently at 53 chapters. However it was my first ever fanfic so at the beginning it is very slow and clumsy. Please if you do read it give it ten chapters before you make up your mind. Again I cannot belive that you read my story.

      Love Sasak

      http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3461237&PID=77216869&#77216869

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  5. I love it love it love it. Arnav is so adorable. His words r so real yet so soothing n perfect. Atually they r ur words.. So applauds for that.

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  6. Hi! I just came across this awesome story! Hope to read more from you and soon! For a change, I am loving Khushi more than Arnav ;)

    -A

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  7. I Want want want WANT Arnav!!! How cute wasit to have Khushi fall asleep on Arnav's shoulders while watching the movie..? *sigh* Now I'm off to dreamland! What's with Anjali.....I'm a bit confused and VERY curious!! :P :P
    Arnav's reasons as to why he wants Khushi....I was literally in tears! Every woman/girl out there deserves that! And you just made me realize how severely lacking I am in the fact that I don't have an Arnav! :'(
    I was squealing like a kid when Arnav made that comment about their children!! Oh man, I do hope they have children....beautiful children!

    I can't wait to read more!! :) You are doing a great job!

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  8. I feel really bad for Anjali, but MR is treatable, so unless she has a myoma or something, she should be fine. Arnav and Khushi are so cute, I really can't even begin to describe it :)) Waiting for more !
    -S

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  9. Love, love this Arnav and Khushi! My favorite part was a couple of chapters ago when Arnav fell asleep in the hospital waiting for Khushi. Awwww.......

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  10. Love this FF.....love your work toooo good....waiting for the story to progress seems so interesting.....

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  11. missed the arnav/khushi connection but like you said some medical clarities had to come through. loving the progress. don't kill him! :)

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  12. arnav is such a gem awww how i am falling for him. so much understanding he is.
    anjali thing is keeping me on my toes here.

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  13. Are you getting tired of "loved this update"? Its getting redundant, but I can't help it, the most i can do is alternate between "awesome" and "loved it". :P I am in love with Arnav, find me someone like him? :P

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  14. i love love arnav in this chapter.... he is so sweet n caring... n smart n witty n funnyyyyy
    LOVED IT!!!
    thank you so much for sharing this story with us :D
    n thanks to meera30 for recommending it!

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  15. Beautiful update:-)) what is going in with Anjali? Does Arnav know ?

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  16. First Harry Potter and now Edward Cullen, this is turning to be a teenage dream! <3 <3 <3 loved the update!!!!

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