Khushi came to a standstill at the doorway as the voice assailed her ears – well known, friendly, familiar. Even before she saw the owner of the voice she knew who it was. The steps which had been sluggish till now, weighed down by the burden of the recent fight, hurried ahead once more.
‘Khushiji!’ NK could not say more. The last time he had seen her, she had been preparing to go to the kidnappers, and nothing he could say and do could stop her. He remembered the steely glint in her eyes; her single minded determination to get her husband back. During Aakash and Payal’s wedding he had been taken by surprise by the attraction simmering between this chirpy happy girl and his morose and grim cousin. But it was during Arnav’s absence that he had learnt how strong the bond between the two was….or rather how strong Khushi’s love was for his undeserving brother.
‘Khushiji, you are back!!’ NK was uncharacteristically subdued as if the miracle in front of him was too much to take in. To him, her limp and scar did not matter. When she had disappeared – without a sign, without any clue, he had felt responsible. Why had he let her go alone? Why had he not insisted on accompanying her? He had asked this question again and again over the year. Now the only thing that mattered was that she was there – his friend. Rest, though unfortunate, could be taken care of.
‘Aap theek ho?’ he stepped towards her. ‘Aakash tells me that you have forgotten us…have you? Is that true? Have you forgotten me, Khushiji?’ Despite his words, NK did not put Khushi’s memories to test. Unlike the other members of Raizada and Gupta family, even Payal, who waited for Khushi to know them, NK accepted her condition and moved ahead to introduce himself. He did not look to revive the memories of the past. He moved ahead to start again, befriend her again.
Probably that was the way he earned his reward. Khushi’s lips curved into a knowing smile.
‘I know you.’ she whispered.
‘Sach. Toh phir sabko batao. I knew Aakash was lying.’
Khushi looked at the smiling man standing in front of her. A single name, a word rose from the dark terrains of her mind, in recognition of a kindred spirit. Inexplicably she knew it was him.
A pin drop silence followed word.“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables ————————————- I know this is a short one. But hey, something is better than nothing… even your comments saying that it was too short. I just wanted to put this as a separate part. Hope you like it. a longer update should follow in a day or two.