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She was two minds about letting Nikhil go. It was the first time her little boy was going away from her and that too for the whole weekend. Looking at her reflection in the mirror she laughed at her worried state and continued packing his little bag. Yes, Nikhil had a habit of waking up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, but that was ok as her mom would be there. Ok but what if he cries for her? No, no Riddhima he'll be ok, he is a big boy of four now. Letting out a sigh she zipped up his bag and reassured herself that everything would be fine and if god forbids a problem does arise; her mother would call her immediately.
Looking out the window she smiled fondly as Nikhil jumped all over his father. Watching their smiling faces she closed her eyes briefly to etch this memory in her mind. She loved watching them together; they made such an adorable pair. It also helped that they looked so alike. She used to get so mad in the beginning whenever someone commented how Nikhil looked just like his dad and nothing like her, but now she cherished that and hoped that their next little one would look like him too. She was already 2 months and hubby had no idea. She was going to surprise him tonight after their friends left that is. Of course Muskaan knew; she was Riddhima's gynecologist after all and it was so sweet of her to keep her mouth shut; which for Muskaan was task in its own. Muskaan was married now and had a two year old boy of her own; who thankfully was much calmer like his father and had the cutest little head of curls. Rushing for the phone she couldn't help but laugh, what a long life she mused; she was just thinking about Muskaan.
"OyeRidzy it's me Muskaan"
"I know Muskaan, caller ID remember"
"Oh yea, KhairChadho, I was just calling to let you know that we are just about to head out. Is there anything else you need me to pick up or are we good?"
"We're good Muskaan, we'll see you soon" She smiled as her husband walked in with their son. Her mother would be here any moment to pick him up and well she was starting to get a bit anxious. She wouldn't cry she told herself. Nikhil will be fine and besides it was only 2 days!
"You ok?" He asked looking at her forlorn face as he bent down to tie Nikhil's shoelaces.
"I am fine"
"You sure sweetheart?" He gave her a quick peck on the lips and laughed with her when Nikhil made sounds of disgust.
"That's yucky!" scrunching his little nose he giggled uncontrollably as his father scooped him in arms and flew his little body around like an airplane. Ah, yes there they are thought Riddhima the most beautiful set of dimples.
It all seemed dreamlike now as if it had never happened, but it did. She had her mother to thank for this and mentally she did that every morning when she looked at her husband sleeping beside her.
"Nikki what's wrong?" He was frustrated by the constant banging, it was she who was shoving him in the bathroom in the first place and now here she was not even letting him clean up properly. As he opened the door however he was shocked to see her panting.
"Armaan, it's'.it's her mom"
"Riddhima's" Just her name had him sweating again. Riddhima's mom? Why in the world was she calling him? And that too now? Was she calling to mock him and laugh at his misfortune? Was she calling to boast? God, why the hell was she calling? He must have been too lost in his questions that he didn't hear Nikita's yelling, it was when she shook him did he come out of his reverie.
"Here, talk to her" Instead of leaving Nikita stood in front of him biting her nails, curious to know why the wicked witch was calling now.
"Armaan, I need you to come to our house right now, it's an emergency" and with that she had cut the phone, leaving him confused and worried.
"Well??? What did the witch say?" Nikita grabbed the phone and held it up to her ear only to be disappointed at the dead line.
"She wants me to come to her house right now"
"I don't know she said it was an emergency"
"So are you going?"
Rahul sat motionless on a chair at the far corner of the hall. He couldn't believe what had just happened, worse he couldn't believe what he had just done. They had just finished with the jai mala ceremony when Padma had taken him away from his friends. She had mumbled something towards the line of it was import and pertained to Riddhima. He was expecting some teasing or a question re: the wedding instead he heard something that had nearly shaken his world. Padma had told him about Armaan. Armaan? Who the hell was Armaan? That was the first question that popped in his mind, but it was answered soon. As he stood wide eyed Padma had narrated everything to him, about Riddhima and Armaan, their childhood, their love, the separation and then Riddhima's visit back. It suddenly made sense to him why Riddhima had never said I love you back, because she just didn't love him. She had loved Armaan and only Armaan. He couldn't believe that she was only marrying him to make her mother happy.
"Call him" he hadn't meant to say that but it had come out without a thought and now as he sat waiting for Armaan to arrive he couldn't help but wonder what kind of man could love someone so much and just let them go for the sake of her parents. Whatever happened to eloping; he laughed at his own silly connotation and got up to break the news to his family and friends.
Enough was enough. She just couldn't take it anymore. She had watched her daughter cry helplessly day and night and pine for Armaan. She had seen her getting sick and loosing weight due to the depression. She had seen her putting on a happy face in front of all her friends and family member and weeping in solitude. Her husband had stopped speaking to her straight out and had ignored her every effort. It was all too much for Padma to handle. She had let this go on for too long and she knew that it was only she who could fix it. She hadn't seen Riddhima all day and when she had finally gone in to talk to her she had seen her husband and daughter crying together. It was then she had decided to go on and talk to Rahul; there was no way she was going to let this marriage happen and have her daughter and husband blame her for every unhappiness. No, she didn't want that on her conscience.
Armaan had come running accompanied by a ferocious looking Nikki; who had sworn to take down anyone who spoke ill to Armaan, even if it were Riddhima herself. Riddhima chuckled at the memory of Nikki running in behind Armaan at her wedding. It was quite the comic scene, though at the point it seemed anything but funny. She had been shocked, thrilled and upset to see him and she knew he probably felt the same. The confusion and questions were galore but thankfully her mother and Rahul had stepped in to clear the puzzlement.
She had thanked and apologized to Rahul fervently for his kindness and her blunders; he being the true sweetheart he was had forgiven her and wished her nothing but the best. Oh and how could she forget her mother and the tears of joy they had shed at the end; her father had finally forgiven her and they were once again a happy family, well almost. Armaan was still not fully in the picture yet.
They didn't marry that day or that week or that month for that matter, but exactly 2 months and 3 days later they had a lavish wedding; with the baraat arriving directly from Satyagarh. Once again Riddhima had stepped into the house whose threshold she had crossed numerously in the past, but this time she had stepped in as Armaan's wife. They had spent the next month honeymooning and shifting in to Armaan's house in Mumbai. Gayatri had moved in with them at last and Riddhima couldn't be more ecstatic with her presence. About 2 years in to the marriage Riddhima was pregnant and a week short of 9 months Nikhil had arrived; healthy as a plum.
Abhi and Nikki had met during their wedding and though it took time; 3 years to be exact, they had finally wed. Abhi was a hard man to tame and they all knew if anyone could do it, it would be Nikki. Rahul too had fallen in love again, but with his true soul mate this time; Muskaan. The long hours they spent at the hospital had turned out to be much more and after a year of courtship they had tied the knot; Arush had only completed the picture.
Life was wonderful; though not perfect. They had their tribulations from time to time but that was ok. Riddhima didn't want a perfect life anyway because then there would be no room for improvement.
Looking at their family picture with her parents and Gayatri mom; who was currently renovating the house in Satyagarh, Riddhima finally felt at peace and couldn't help but smile contently as Armaan slid his arms around her waist. Yes, she belonged right here she mused; in his arms and near his heart.
Ok I had gotten many juttis and chappals for the depressing end, so I here I am with the cheerful epilogue. I hope you all are happy now!! Initially I was two minds about the ending and was in fact leaning more towards the sad bit as I could relate to it more, but there already is too much sadness in life, so why put it in fiction eh?
I also want to take this moment and thank everyone for their constant support and comments, even during the times I took centuries to update. Your love and affection is the sole reason I have made it this far with this FF. Cheers to my regular readers you guys rock!!
Now that this FF is finally over I will focus on my other FFs and will hopefully not deprive you all with regular updates (I am not promising anything here; just FYI)
Anyhow, once again thank you guys for your awesome support. Love you all!!!!!
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