Chapter 20

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He had been miserable for the past four days since Khushi had walked out of Rizwan's flat. Angry and miserable, sad and miserable, guilty and miserable, defensive and miserable. In a nutshell, miserable.

Khushi was the only girl in his life since forever. She was his only reference point when it came to femalekind. Except for his mother he had never been that personally involved in any other female's life and that was a different kind of a relationship, very long ago. In his adulthood, Khushi had been a benchmark for the whole womankind for him. It was difficult for him to imagine a female who did not dress high fashion, who did not spend away money like empty shells of peanuts, who did not treat him different from all others in a special manner or who did not love her useless brother with all her heart. Because that was what Khushi was. For him, the word female was synonymous with Khushi. To add to all of it, she was the only human being who appealed to his protective instincts. Insanely so.

However, he had decided to not apologize to her even one more time for what he did. He was avenging his mother dammit! His ways might have been questionable but that was all he knew. Without any tools to help him survive, her family tossed him by his ears into this human jungle where survival was the supreme priority. He will not apologize for being selfish or immoral. Those very things kept him alive on dark merciless streets of Mumbai when she was safely sleeping tucked in her princess themed bedroom.

He had let everyone believe that he climbed up the ladder of success because of Lalaji's benevolence and Rizwan Baig's support. They had no idea that he changed his own fucking stars. He sold his soul and pawned the only thing he held dear to his heart, Khushi, to reach where he was today. Just so that he can attain a place in life where he could stand in front of Akash and look into his eyes instead of cowering down. And even that didn't happen overnight. He had risked his life so many times now to establish himself that he had lost count. She would need to see things from his side too. He refused to suffer at the hands of another Vaghela.

He won't apologize again, he reminded himself once more as he sat in front of the girl he loved.

His heart scoffed.

Arnav huffed.

The rascal seemed to know that if it comes to that, he would stoop to begging without another thought.

A million times. 

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Her crystal case had shattered.

She had been trying to re-evaluate her relationship with her brother since last twenty four hours. It wasn't as altruistic a bond as she had always believed it to be. She had idealized a relationship which was deeply flawed. His love came at the price of her absolute compliance. Like a pet dog. Any rebellion and he wouldn't hesitate to squash it. It didn't take him even a moment to strangle her when she raised her voice against him.

But surprisingly she felt free. As if she had been trying to hold on to the edge of a cliff all her life, afraid to slacken her grip, afraid to die. An unnamed fear driving all her efforts that were solely concentrated on hanging on to that piece of rock. And now when she had let it go, she realized that in falling away she could actually spread her wings. She could spread her wings and fly away.

But fly away where? To whom?

Archie was a good stopover. But one needed a home to go to at the end of the journey. Where was her home?

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