The lump in Arnav’s throat was impossible to swallow. And Khushi’s helpless gaze impossible to look away from.
It couldn’t be real.
Surely this was the product of his wishful thinking.
Perhaps a manifestation of his stupor induced confusion.
How well he knew ki aisa kyun hota hai.
How desperately he wished ki aisa na hota.
How dreadfully complicated things had become after he had realized ki aisa kyun hota hai.
And now she was telling him ki aisa uske saath bhi hota hai?
Khushi blinked sadly at him, waiting.
And his heart was practically breaking.
What difference did it make? If he told her? It wouldn’t change anything anyway. Would it? She wasn’t his.
And he was a defeated man. At least where she was concerned. No amount of fighting would change his feelings for her. No number of cutting, mean words would make him hate her. So he might as well submit. Might as well confess his crime.
Because what else was it but a crime? He had known love was nonsense. And yet, he had let himself fall for her. And now he was paying the price. Enduring his punishment. He had her within his arm’s reach. And she still wasn’t his.
Arnav swallowed thickly, looking at the girl with a regretful intensity. The heat of his gaze made his eyes water. And simultaneously, so did hers.
A catalytic reaction.
That’s how they’d always been.
She moves, he moves.
He moves, she moves.
She wasn’t his.
But they were tied. With a thousand threads. Fine, like the strings of a spider’s web. They wound around their fingers. They shimmered in the darkness where the monsters lurked. Monsters desperate to pry them apart.
She wasn’t his.
But she’d just said ki aisa uske saath bhi hota hai.
Confusion muddled Arnav’s head. His reaction floated to the bottoms of his consciousness. The bhang zapped electricity into his limbs.
His hand reached out to grasp her face. Warm fingers stroked her pillow-soft cheeks and blood rushed to them as her eyes followed the trail of his fingertips.
His lips moved of their own accord.
Aisa kyun hota hai?
“Main batata hoon ki aisa kyun hota hai.”