Freaking soap opera.
Arnav’s thoughts had reduced to tiny phrases against each other inside his head while the deafening sound of the dhol thumped against his ears.
The morning had just begun and he was already exhausted. Not only was his patience paper thin with having to put up with his family’s drunken antics but he was restless with frustration at the lingering feel of Khushi’s gulaal-covered fingertips on his cheeks. Every time he closed his eyes, her deep, unsettled hazel hazel stared back at him, seeming to question him, to plead with him about something. In the crystal ocean of her eyes, he had seen reflected the memories of those days just before Payal and Akash’s wedding. THEIR wedding.
It was funny. How easily he could sometimes forget everything else when he looked at her. Times like those when she was smiling with abandon. Laughing like she had no care in the world. Dancing like she was now.
The sunlight seemed to kiss Khushi’s pearlescent skin. It seemed to make her eyes twinkle. Her smile glimmer. It made her hair appear brown in the glow.
Arnav staggered towards Khushi, his unwavering gaze fixed on her face. The hints of a smile danced on his lips when she turned around to look at him. She knew he was there. She always did. He vaguely wondered how.
His hesitant fingers found her trembling ones, the only part of her that wasn’t frozen with surprise. She lowered her startled gaze to their hands at the first featherlight touch of his fingertips. Then, slowly, tentatively, he grasped her hand in his and she allowed her fingers to wrap around his.
Breathless anticipation whispered anxiously at him through her eyes when she raised her head to meet his gaze again. And there it was again. Her unspoken question. Her silent plea. Can we go back to how it was before?
The sparks of a dance on a sangeet night almost a lifetime ago, brushed their lips against his ears. Arnav’s knees went weak but Khushi watched his eyes soften.
Two hearts thudded loud enough to hear each other.
In a surreal movement, Arnav raised their linked hands above her head.
And then, she was twirling.