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Chapter 7


Khushi’s fear was not estimated. She trembled with tears. The PRIVATE NUMBER man threatened her by the current situation. That means, he is watching her moves. Is he around here? What if he does anything horrible? Why not? He will be capable of doing that. After all, he is a killer. He doesn’t want her to be close with Arnav who is handling the case. The killer doesn’t want her to say anything to Arnav. But how could she say him when she is also being trapped in the case? She dropped the knife in the house. What if Arnav found it? He could find her with the help of forensic experts. But what if the killer got the knife? What if he uses against her? She gulped. She has no other choice than stay away from Arnav.

Next day

It was Sunday. Khushi didn’t come out of the flat, not knowing how to avoid Arnav. But it was not that easy to avoid Arnav. He knocked on her door. Khushi opened the door and got stuck.

Arnav: Do you want anything?

Khushi: No thanks…

Arnav: Vegetable seller is there, at the gate.

Khushi: Ohh…

Arnav: You can buy from him.

Khushi nodded and went inside to take her purse and basket. Arnav was waiting for her.

Arnav: What Pooja is doing?

Khushi: She is watching Cartoon.

Closing the door, she went downstairs to buy vegetables. Arnav was still there standing. He thought Pooja may come out searching for Khushi. He was not wrong. In a few minutes, Pooja came out shouting BUAAAA….

She smiled, seeing Arnav.

Pooja: Is Bua in your home?

Raising his eyebrows, Arnav nodded NO.

Pooja: Where is she?

Arnav: She went to buy veggies…

Pooja: I’m also going.

Arnav: Wait… she will come.

Pooja: No…I want to go…

Arnav: Ok fine. Come. I will take you.

Pooja raised her hands, gesturing for Arnav to pick her up. Picking her, Arnav entered the elevator. When they came down, there was a crowd around the vegetable seller. Pooja got down from Arnav and ran towards the mini-park. She started playing in the swing and Arnav pushed her, making her giggle. Khushi panicked seeing them together. She ran her eyes in the manner of checking whether anyone is watching them.

As the crowd was heavy, she has to wait for her turn. In the meanwhile, Pooja enjoyed in the park. Khushi felt cool inwardly. Pooja always demands to come to the park but Khushi is not fond of these activities.

It was Khushi’s turn. She bought only onions, tomatoes and green chillies as she didn’t know cooking. These are enough to prepare readymade food like noodles.

Arnav frowned seeing them in her basket.

Arnav: is it enough?

Khushi: Haaannnn… enough.

Pooja: Bua… I don’t want noodles today but roti dall.

Khushi widened her eyes, nodding NO.

Arnav: Let’s have lunch at my home.

Khushi(hurriedly): No no… no thanks.

Arnav: But why? I cook well.

Khushi: It’s ok, sir.

Pooja (clutching Arnav’s hand): You eat noodles. I will eat with uncle.

Khushi: Pooju… it’s not good…

Arnav: Why? She is a kid… she used to eat her mother’s food. You should feel happy that she likes DESI food instead of FAST food.

Khushi (hesitatingly): She will bother you.

Arnav: Nothing is there to be bothered. (looking at Pooja) Chalo, Beta…

Pooja: I’m not Beta but Beti…

Arnav(chuckling): Ok beti… come.

Khushi looked at her surroundings fearfully while calling Devi Maiya for her help. Arnav went to his flat with Pooja. He stopped.

Arnav: I have no problem teaching you basic cooking tactics.

Khushi: No thanks, sir. I will learn through youtube.

Arnav: Ok…

Arnav switched the TV on. But Pooja didn’t show interest. She came to the kitchen and watched what Arnav is doing.

Pooja: You know cooking?

Arnav: Little bit…

Pooja: Your mother taught you?

Arnav (nodding no): My sister…

Pooja: Where is your sister?

Arnav got stuck…. he took a long breath. He never opens up with anyone about his sister. But don’t know why he likes to share it with this small angel.

Arnav(cutting onions): She is in the hospital.

Pooja(sadly): Is she having a fever?

Arnav: No…

Pooja: Then?

Arnav: She is going to give birth to a baby…

He told her the truth…

Pooja(excitedly): Wow… baby? What baby?

Arnav: Boy baby…

Pooja: Will you take me to the baby?

She asked curiously.

Arnav: I will take you after he is born.

Pooja: You know, my Mumma also told me that she will give me a brother. But before that God had taken her from me.

Arnav looked at her painfully.

Pooja: Will your sister allow him to play with me? I will look after him. I will teach him colouring like, your sister taught you cooking.

Arnav looked at her smilingly. How cute this small girl is… he caressed her hair.

Pooja: Do you like your sister?

Arnav: A lot…

The knife got slipped from Arnav’s hand. He bent down to take it and got stuck seeing Khushi standing. Arnav smiled at her.

Khushi: Is your sister admitted to the hospital for her delivery?

Arnav nodded no.

Khushi: But you told…

Arnav: she is in a coma… met with an accident.

Khushi: Is she pregnant?

Arnav nodded yes.

Khushi: How many months?

Arnav: This is the eighth month.

Khushi: How is she?

Arnav: in the same state of the day when I admitted her.

Khushi: What about her husband?

Arnav(tightening his jaw): He is dead… in an accident.

Khushi: In the same accident?

Arnav: No… after a few days of her coma stage, he died in an accident.

Khushi: What’s the baby’s condition?

Arnav: He is growing with medical support.

Khushi: But what will you do after his birth? How will you take care of him?

She asked with concern.

Arnav: I don’t know…

Khushi: I thought only my life is dreadful…

She stopped, without completing it.

Arnav started rolling rotties.

Arnav(to Khushi): Will you try?

Khushi nodded NO hurriedly.

Pooja(giggling): She will make an Australia map…

Arnav laughed at her whereas Khushi glared at her.

Arnav: Do you know Australia?

Pooja: Mumma teased Bua once…

Arnav: Ohh… it happens often?

Pooja: Always…

She again giggled and Arnav joined her. They had lunch together chitchatting. Pooja arrowed a lot of questions about his sister and the baby. Arnav answered for a few and kept quiet for many.

Khushi: Thank you so much for the delicious lunch. We had a very good time with you.

Arnav: Me too.

Khushi: Thank you…

Arnav: Take Pooja to the park when you get time. She will be relaxed.

Khushi nodded yes.

Arnav went to the office after bidding bye to them. He had a lot of work regarding the case. He has to make everything in order before Arun Prince reached Delhi. But he stayed home for Khushi and Pooja. But it was worth doing though. He left for the office.

In the evening

Khushi took Pooja to the nearby ice cream shop which is next to their flat. She followed Arnav’s tactics. Four small ice creams in different flavours…. Pooja had it one by one, sitting on the cement bench. Khushi waited for her to finish. They got up as Pooja finished the ice creams.

They just took a few steps, in no time; a truck hit the bench at high speed where they were sitting on. Khushi lifted pooja in her arms and hugged her getting horrified. Thank God they left the place. If they would have sitting on the bench for a few more seconds then…. God…

She rushed to the flat and closed the door. At the same time, her phone yelled making her more fear. Her fear was right. It was from HIM. She expected this. He is going to threaten her for being close to Arnav. She attended it hesitating.

“Do you think yourself lucky not to get hit by the truck? (Kushi’s eyes went wide open in fear) It’s me who gave you the chance to survive. I could have hit the bench a few seconds prior. Don’t lose your precious life and the innocent child’s. Stay away from Arnavv. This is the last warning.”

He disconnected the call, leaving shivering Khushi.

To be continued….

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