Akash, Nani, Anjali, Arjun, and Hari Prakash, paced outside the maternity ward worriedly.
Arnav too stood there, angry, worried and confused, all at the same time.
Khushi had fainted due to the unbearable pain in her womb, and had been rushed to the hospital.
Then suddenly the doctor came out of the ward and addressed the very worried Singh Raizada family.
"I had warned Mrs. Singh Raizada to not take stress.
This is her first pregnancy, hence has to be handled very carefully.
Though everything has been normal till now, stress can prove to be very harmful in her condition.
Plz, take good care of her.
Somebody plz come with me, we need to discuss the reports."
And with this, Akash and Nani followed her to her cabin.
Arnav stood there rooted to the spot.
Mrs. Singh Raizada, the doctor had addressed Khushi as Mrs. Singh Raizada.
And she was PREGNANT!
What the hell was going on here!
But in all this commotion, he had not got the opportunity to clear his doubts.
But he very soon will...
"Aaraam se Khushi bitiya.
Ab aap bas yahan par baithi rahiye, aur aaraam kijiye.
Na aapko college jaane ki zaroorat hai, aur naahi office.
Aapke college ke notes aapki friend aapke liye roz bhej diya karengi, humne unse baat karli hai.
Bus aap aaraam kijiye, aur apna aur humare hone waale par-naati ya naatin ka khayaal rakhiye."
Nani maa said affectionately to Khushi while settling her down in her bed in her new room.
Arnav was watching all this from the background.
After putting Khushi to sleep, everybody came out of her room to let her rest in peace, only to be met with Arnav's questioning gaze.
"Who is she?"
They all exchanged worried fearsome glances.
"Why did Akash address her as Bhabhi?
Why did the doctor call her Mrs. Singh Raizada?
Why is she pregnant?
And why the hell did no one tell me anything about this before?"
They were all very afraid now.
What should they tell him?
A lot had happened now for them to be able to hide anything further from Arnav.
And he was not a simpleton to be satisfied with just any story!
If he sensed anything fishy about what they told him, he'd know that they were lying.
And no one could get away from lying to Arnav Singh Raizada.
"Won bhai... actually ... woh..."
"Stop stuttering and tell me the truth!
And don't you dare lie to me!!"
They couldn't tell him the truth at any cost!
The doctor had given them strict instructions that his mind will not be able to process the truth.
It could have a very-very adverse effect on him.
He wasn't yet well enough to take so much pressure.
But truth was all that could quench him right now.
"Arnav bete chodiye na.
Hum... hum baad mein baat karenge..."
"Baad mein nahi Nani!
Mujhe sach abhi jaanna hai!"
"Kya sach jaana chahte hain aap!"
And everybody turned around to see Khushi standing right behind them, her arms crossed over her chest.
"Yahi naa, ki main kaun hoon?
Main is ghar mein kya kar rahi hoon?
Mera pati kaun hai?
Is bacche ka baap kaun hai?..."
"Nahi Nani Ji!
Aaj main inhe inke saare sawaalon ke jawaab dena chahti hoon!
Main Khushi hoon.
Wahi Khushi jisse aap 3 saal pehle Lucknow mein mile the.
Aur main is ghar mein isliye hoon kyun ki..."
Khushi paused at this, inhaling deeply
"Mere pati ka naam hai.."
"Don't interrupt her Akash!
Let her tell the truth!
Main bhi jaanna chahta hoon ki akhir yahan ho kya raha hai!
Go on Mrs. Singh Raizada", Arnav said sarcastically.
"Mere pati ka naam...
... ... ... Ddd... Dhruv...
Dhruv Singh Raizada hai!"
Everybody gasped at this, shocked with her answer.
"Aur yeh baccha bhi unhi ka hai!", Khushi spoke as she closed her eyes in pain.
Uttering these two statements had been worse than stabbing her self through the heart.
Calling herself somebody else's!
Calling the baby in her womb somebody else's!
But then this too she was doing for his sake.
He couldn't know the truth, and this was the only thing she could have said to put an end to his questions.
Akash and Arjun could just not believe her quick thinking and sighed in relief, while tears formed in Nani and Anjali's eyes.
Only a woman could understand the depth of Khushi's pain at that moment.
How much she loved Arnav!
Arnav too was shocked with her explanation.
"But Dhruv is the youngest of all of us! He couldn't have gotten married before me and Akash! When the hell did this happen?"
"Well as it turned out, he did get married before the two of you!
And that is all you need to know!!
Not everybody in this house needs to give you an account of their lives!
You are yet not the head of the house!!"
And having said this she turned around and marched into her room, slamming the door behind her shut.
breaking down, which she did as soon as she found
the refuge of her room.