Anjali sobbed as she lay discarded on the floor like a piece of garbage. Never before in her life had she felt her handicap as a curse as she did today. Never before did she loathe herself for being an invalid as she did today. Her cast had been pulled off, leaving her strewn across the floor, unable to help her little Chote who lay about ten metres away from her, incapacitated.
Arnav was cropped up against the door like a vegetable. Unable to move. He watched his Di sob at her helplessness. A despair filled him, as he knew that something even more terrible was about to happen, but couldn't understand what.
Khushi...Khushi... his mind screamed in agony. Where was she! Khushi!
"Arnav Ji! Wake up Arnav Ji! I'm here! Please wake up!"
Arnav woke up with a start from the terrorised voice in his dream to a concern laden voice in his reality. A pair of delicate hands were pulling him from the abyss of his dreams to the darkness of the night.
Khushi gently slapped Arnav numerous times to get him to wake up. He had been screaming for her in his sleep. It was good that she had had a midnight craving and was on her way to the kitchen when she heard him. The doctor had forewarned them of this. She just didn't know that the nightmares were going to be this bad. He was literally shaking!
Arnav sat up in his bed panting. A soft sensation on his forehead brought him back to reality. Hi looked up into Khushi's concerned ebony eyes as she wiped the sweat off his forehead and then caressed his jaw gently.
"Relax Arnav! Everything is alright!
I'm here! You're safe, every one's safe."
The doctor had told them that the nightmares would consist of the worst possible experiences of his life. And knowing Arnav's history, Khushi couldn't even imagine what he may have dreamt about.
Arnav calmed down further as Khushi continued to rub his arms and his back.
"Relax", she told him, and he relaxed instantly.
"Come, you need a bath." And without a thought, Arnav obeyed. He was pulled off the bed by Khushi's gentle tugging, and pulled into the bathroom.
Khushi closed the door behind her, as she switched on the light and turned around to face Arnav. He looked Chote in every sense of the word. Hair messed up, standing at odd angles, as if a gel job gone wrong. Shirt and pullover creased, and a lost puppy dog look on his face. Smiling at the thought of his board members seeing the mighty ASR in this state, she pulled him towards herself.
Arnav stood their silently, as Khushi tugged at his hands and pulled him towards herself. Then she slipped both her hands underneath his pullover and coaxing him to raise his hands, pulled it up and off of him. Then she unbuttoned the front of his shirt, and placing her hands on his bare chest exposed between the lapels of his shirt, slid them sideways across his chest and shoulders, sliding the shirt off his shoulders and dropping it on the floor besides his legs.
Arnav now stood bare to the waist forth her. The events of the dream playing through his mind like a reel.
Khushi. He remembered her being in potential danger, though he hadn't seen her in the dream at all. Di, helpless. Unable to take it anymore, he pulled Khushi into a fierce hug, burying his face in her comforting long stresses.
She felt him shake against her, as he held her close in his embrace.
"Shh...baby...it was just a dream. Do you wanna talk about it?", she felt him shake his head violently at that. Sighing deeply she just didn't know what to do. She just kept rubbing his back up and down.
Arnav inhaled her scent, pulling her closer if it was possible. She made him feel secure. That was when he felt her jerk.
"What's wrong?", he asked her, pulling away to look down at her questioningly. Khushi grimaced in discomfort as she replied.
"It's nothing. I just need to sit down."
Arnav pulled a stool and sat Khushi down on it.
"Are you alright? Should I call the doctor? Khushi tell me what's wrong!", he panicked.
"There's absolutely no need for you to get so worked up Arnav! It's the third month of my pregnancy, this happens when the baby moves. There's nothing wrong!"
Arnav sighed in relief. "You shouldn't be here. You should be resting! What are you doing up in the middle of the night? The baby needs you to rest Khushi!", he admonished her.
"I wanted to have some Jalebi!", Khushi pouted.
Arnav looked at her cute lips, jutting out in a totally kissable pout. "Don't do that!", he whispered huskily.
"Don't do what?", Khushi asked in confusion. "It's normal to have midnight cravings Arnav! It's a pregnancy thing."
Arnav looked down at her glowing face, and thought about the life growing inside of her. "Can I?"
"Can I what?"
"Can I feel the baby Khushi?"