The music was booming from inside the nightclub. Khushi sat next to Payal off to the side of the bar area. She knew Payal was itching to dance. Khushi didn’t want to spoil the night, but she just wasn’t in the mood for partying.
Just then a guy walked up to them. He extended his hand to Payal, “Hi I’m Akash, umm, care to dance?” Payal looked in her friend’s direction, Khushi flashed a smile, indicating that Payal should go. Payal got up and mouthed a “thanks” to Khushi as she was led onto the dance floor by Akash.
Khushi smiled as she saw Akash and Payal dancing away to the rhythm of the music. She was happy the night wasn’t sour for at least one of them. She sighed and ordered a coke, soon after losing herself in her thoughts.
Khushi didn’t want to even come to the club, but Payal forced her saying that she’d get her mind off things. Khushi really wasn’t the party girl, she would have preferred to stay home on any day. Even her parents told her to go out and have some fun. She had always found love to be so mesmerising and beautiful, she had not experienced it yet though. Nice guys came her way but she didn’t feel that ‘connection ‘ that her mom kept talking about all the time.
She wanted a relationship like her mom and dad, they loved each other dearly, gave space when needed and also understood what the other wanted in life. There was a sense of freedom yet unity in their relationship. That was something which Khushi really hoped for in the future.
Arnav on the other hand was tensed as he had just joined the family business. Being the youngest boy of the household had its perks but it also had a downside, everyone viewed him as that youngster, who was still not ready to join the business. He had been working day in day out, trying to live up to everyone’s expectations, he needed a break.
So his cousin… more like brother Akash decided to bring him here, at this new club right on the beach, to relieve some stress and have some fun. His brother had long ditched him and asked some girl to dance. That’s when he happened to glance over at the bar area and see a girl sitting there, seemingly lost in her thoughts.
Khushi heard a voice from behind her that made her break her trance.
She spun around to see a tall, handsome guy standing before her. He sat down in the stool next to her. She shifted in her seat and they both shared an awkward smile.
They were sitting so close; she could practically make out the scent he was wearing, Calvin Klein,ck2inU to be exact. It was a divine scent. She was never really nervous when it came to guys, but for some reason his one word ‘ hi ‘ did something to her.
Just as she thought she was calming herself down, she heard his voice again, “You’re looking gorgeous tonight.”
She looked up to see him staring directly at her. Before thinking twice she blurted out, “I wish I could say the same about you.” The second the words came out of her mouth, she mouthed an“Oh shit” under her breath.
He looked on at her and let out a, “Hmm”
Khushi recovered from what she said and quickly uttered, “Umm… I didn’t mean that, I meant I can’t call you gorgeo…err you’re looking handsome, a bit hot, umm, I should just shut up!”
She scrunched her eyes in horror, she couldn’t believe she blabbered all of those things.
She flashed an awkward smile and sipped her coke. She was waiting for him to move away from her, but to her surprise he remained.
Then she heard a chuckle, she tilted her head to see him laughing.
He let out, “You’re a bit crazy.”
“Um thanks I guess?!” Was it an insult or a compliment, she wasn’t sure.
He ordered a coke and turned in Khushi’s direction, “So how about a start over?”
He put out his hand, “I’m Arnav.”
She extended hers and replied, “Khushi.”
Khushi inquired, “So why aren’t you partying and enjoying yourself?”
He shrugged, “I could ask you the same?”
She looked over at the dance floor, “Hmm, not in the mood for it, you?”
He looked in the direction of the dance floor himself and replied, “Same here!” He pointed to his friend on the dance floor, “My brother seems to be having a lot of fun though.”
Khushi connected the dots, “Akash is your”
Arnav looked at her, “You know him?”
Khushi said in a matter of fact tone, “Well he’s dancing with my sister Payal.”
Arnav smiled as Khushi spoke, “Looks like both of them dragged us along so they could have fun.” She chuckled.
Arnav looked at her and asked, “Do you wanna get out of here?”
Khushi hesitantly said, “I, err, Arnav I’m not that kind of…”
Arnav interrupted her, “Khushi I didn’t mean getting out of here to hook up somewhere, I meant out of the club, like for a stroll.” He ended with, “on the beach maybe.”
Her eyebrows raised, “Ohh…” She thought for a second, “Wait am I not the type that you hook up with?”
He answered, “I guess talking to you right now, means you are my type but I’m really not the kind of boy who just ‘hooks’ up. I was brought up a certain way.”
Satisfied with his answer, she replied, “Glad to know.”
Arnav smiled, “So are you up for the walk?”
She returned the smile, “Yeah, sure.”
She found her way to Payal and told her she was going for a stroll on the beach. Payal nodded and Khushi made her way out of the club to where Arnav was waiting for her.
The walk to the beach from the club was less than 2 mins. Once on the beach, they took off their shoes, holding it in their hands while they strolled side by side.
She broke the silence, “So do you always approach girls like that?”
He chuckled, “Believe it or not, no actually, and what about you? Do you always walk the beach with strangers you meet in clubs?”
She shook her head, “Nope I don’t do that either.”
Arnav looked at her, “Well I guess it’s a first for both of us.”
She nodded and turned towards him, “So Arnav, is that your name or?”
She narrowed her eyes and Arnav couldn’t help but laugh. He surrendered his hands in the air, “You caught me, my name isn’t just Arnav. It’s actually Arnav Singh Raizada. And what about you miss…?”
She replied, “Khushi Kumari Gupta here. So what do you do Mr. Raizada?”
Arnav ran his hand through his hair, “Just joined the family business. And you”
Khushi smiled, “I tutor kids. You like kids?”
“I’m allergic to them.” He chuckled, “I actually love kids. I’ve got a niece, she’s my world.” He fished out his phone and showed her a picture of him holding his niece, Sunaira.
Her eyes lit up when she saw the picture, “Aww… she’s adorable. So how’s the family business treating you?”
He sighed, “I like it. But I’ve yet to prove myself that I can do a good job.”
They continued talking and getting to know each other. They had been on the beach for 2 hours now, but it felt like it passed in a breeze.
The sound of the waves crashing onto the shore was calming and soothing. It was a beautiful night. And Arnav and Khushi both thought that they were lucky to enjoy it with someone, not a stranger but someone who felt familiar to them, despite meeting hours ago.
Arnav gazed at the girl standing next to him. He had only known her for a mere few hours but he felt like he had known her for much longer. He felt something, he remembered his sister Anjali talking about feeling ‘a spark’ when she had met her husband Shyam. Could this be it? Was Khushi feeling the spark too?
Khushi stole a glance at Arnav, he was a lot more than just looks. The conversation with him just flowed. Could this be what her mom was talking about; ‘having a connection.’ Arnav reminded her of her dad; his simple nature, his honesty, his sense of humour. She had read in a magazine somewhere that girls are attracted to guys similar to their dads. Could Arnav be this guy?
At the same time as if on cue, Arnav and Khushi spoke. They both laughed.
Khushi said, “You first!”
Arnav nodded, “Okay… umm, this may sound weird, but I really like you, it’s a crazy feeling, I mean we’ve only known each other for a few hours and yet…”
Arnav continued where he left off, “Yet you feel like we’ve known each other for a long time.”
When Arnav nodded, Khushi continued, “I feel the same. That’s what I was going to tell you. I like you too.”
Arnav replied, “So, I guess.”
Khushi bit her lip, “Should we…”
Arnav replied, “Would you like to go out with me?”
Khushi smiled, “I would love to.”
Arnav leaned in and cupped her face, while Khushi clutched his t shirt and closed her eyes.
Arnav’s lips brushed against Khushi’s and he pecked her. He was about to pull away, when she pressed her lips against his, responding to the kiss. Arnav pulled her closer and Khushi’s hands went into his hair automatically.
They continued kissing each other until they heard what sounded like two people clearing their throats.
15 minutes earlier…
Akash and Payal got tired of dancing and decided to take a stroll outside.
After walking on the beach for a while, Payal smiled mischievously and dropped her shoes and her purse on the sand. She made a U turn towards the water. She cupped her hands in the water and splashed it against Akash.
Akash yelled, “You’re gone.”
Payal giggled, “I’m waiting.”
He dropped his shoes next to hers and splashed water on her. Before she could splash any more water on him, he picked her up and twirled her above the water.
She shrieked and he took her out of the water. He was about to kiss her lips, when she pulled away.
Akash asked in alarm, “You okay? I’m sorry if you didn’t want to…”
Before he could continue she replied, “No its not that.” She pointed her hands in the distance, “I think that’s my sister there… you met her earlier, she was sitting with me at the bar”
Akash turned to where Payal’s hands pointed, “Where? …The girl who’s making out with the guy?”
Payal replied, “Looks like her…”
Akash narrowed his eyes, “The guy looks like my…”
Payal looked at him, “Your what?”
Akash uttered, “My brother.”
They got closer to the couple making out and were certain now that it was indeed their siblings. They cleared their throats, hoping the duo would hear.
Arnav and Khushi pulled apart and saw their respective siblings standing in front of them, looking at them in surprise.
At the same time Arnav said, “Akash” while Khushi said, “Payal.”
Arnav asked, “How long have you all been here?”
Payal answered, “Long enough to see you smothering my baby sister…”
Khushi immediately took to Arnav’s defense, “Jiji he wasn’t smothering me. We were just kissing.”
Arnav continued, “And besides we’re boyfriend and girlfriend.”
Akash asked, “Since when?”
Khushi answered, “Right before we kissed just now we decided.”
Payal asked, “Isnt this too soon?”
Khushi said, “Come on jiji… stop behaving like we’re getting married today… we’re just bf, gf. Its normal… “
Arnav said, “Yeah… and we could say the same for you two… you two were all over each other inside the club. I’m sure there’s something cooking between you two.”
Akash and Payal guilty looked down.
Khushi added, “Yeah just because you two are a few years older than us doesn’t mean we can’t ask you all the same questions.”
Arnav said, “I’m sure you all want to be boyfriend and girlfriend…or already are. Am I right?”
Akash voiced, “Well I didn’t ask her yet… and you two duffers interrupted me when I was going to kiss her.”
Khushi asked, “What did we do?”
Payal said, “Actually as he was about to kiss me I saw Khushi so I pulled away.”
Arnav surrendered his hands, “That’s not our fault… the beach is huge, you only found that spot to kiss…”
They all started laughing.
Akash said, “We’ll meet you all at the car…I want some privacy with my to be girlfriend.” He threw the car keys at Arnav. Payal smiled and handed over her car keys to Khushi. Arnav and Khushi left for the car park while their love bird siblings remained on the beach.
After 15 minutes, Arnav and Khushi saw the love bird siblings coming.
Arnav asked, “So whats the relationship status?”
Akash proudly declared, “In a relationship.”
They all hugged each other and exchanged phone numbers. Arnav kissed Khushi’s cheek while Akash also kissed Payal’s cheek. The brothers made sure that the sisters got into the cars safely and then they followed them home in their separate car to make sure they reached safely.
Durning that night neither of the four got a proper sleep… They all kept thinking of the start of their new journey; Love. That too their first love.