Back again! These two chapters have been extremely fun to write......plus they represent the turning point in the story.
I hope you guys like chapter..........I also hope I have been able to portray the feelings,confusion and dilemna here properly.Do let me know......
Fall To Pieces
She felt as if she was trapped inside a pitch dark room....she couldnt move, she couldnt speak, she couldnt open her eyes.
Soft whispers floated around her.
She could sense that she was surrounded by a few people but she couldnt understand what they were saying.
She tried to call out to them but her throat was too dry.
She tried to remember what had happened with her last.
She had been in a flower shop...
She had met Armaan there......
The next thing she remembered was a truck hurtling straight towards her.
And then........a cold fear that she was going to die....
But someone had saved her.Armaan?
"Is she going to be okay?"
"I cant believe what could have happened."
"She didnt see the truck?......How come she didnt see such a big thing heading towards her?"
"What's important is that she is safe now .......that's all that matters."That voice.........
That voice acting as a catalyst, she finally managed to open her eyes with a lot of effort.
The first sight that met her eyes was the white colour of her ceiling.
She was at home..........she was in her bedroom.Why were the lights so dim?
She moved her neck but instantly regretted it.
Each muscle in her body screamed in pain because of that one small movement.
"Are you alright?"
"How are you feeling?"
She saw three faces hovering above her...Naina, Yuvi and Vivek.
Clutching a nearby hand, which belonged to Yuvi, she finally managed to sit up.
She shut her eyes as her head throbbed so painfully that she feared she would faint.
Taking a deep breath,she opened her eyes again.
"Water....", she managed to say.
Yuvi grabbed a nearby glass of water with his free hand and held it to her lips.
She gulped down as much as she could and finally felt some semblance return to her.
She looked properly at the worried faces around her....Yuvi next to her holding hand, Vivek and Naina around her on her bed.Sid.......where was he?
She was sure she had heard his voice.
Naina's eyes grew wide."You dont remember?"
Her mind drew a blank.
What had happened? Why was she in so much pain? Why did her friends and fiance look so upset?
"I ...I remember a truck coming towards me but...."
"But how come?",Yuvi asked , "How can you not.....?"
"Give her some time guys...let the shock wear off........."
Her head swivelled towards his voice..........Sid
He was here.
So that's why she hadnt seen him.......he was leaning on the wall in the farthest corner of the room, shrouded by shadows.
Why wasnt he with Riddhima?
He had saved her hadnt he?
She had seen him run towards her.
But then who had saved her?
How come she was sitting here alive when she had clearly seen that truck coming towards her?
Sid moved away from the wall and slowly walked towards the bed.
As he came into the light, she noticed a deep red stain on his shirt.
Instinctively, her hand moved to her forehead and felt a small bandage there.
With a jolt she remembered everything."Sure I will call you back as soon as I reach home.....yes fine...take care."
Moving her phone away,she looked ahead and was surprised to find Riddhima standing in the middle of the road.
What surprised her even more was the sight of Sid running towards Riddhima.
She suddenly heard loud horns behind her and turned to see a huge truck heading towards her.
She felt all her limbs turn into stone.
She was going to die....that truck was too fast.
"RIDDHIMA MOVE OUT OF THE WAY!!"
Sid could save only one person and that obviously was Riddhima.
She was going to die.
She heard her voice being shouted in a completely panic stricken voice but couldnt make out the owner of that voice.
The truck was just a few inches away from her when suddenly she was roughly pulled out its way.
The force sent her and her saviour propelling down on the ground.
Their legs tangled and they rolled down the road for a good few seconds.
Then finally, after what seemed like a long time, they stopped.
She was clutching her savior so hard that she felt her knuckles paining from the effort.
Opening her eyes, she looked at the terrified face just inches away from her own face.
He had saved her.
He had shouted her name.
Disbelief coursed through her.
She had clearly heard him shout Riddhima's name.
She had clearly seen him run towards Riddhima.
If she wasnt so scared right now, she would have blushed at the intricate way their legs were twisted around each other and how there was absolutely no distance between their bodies.
Yet all she could think about was how close she had come to her death.
But Sid had saved her.
She was about to tell him something when suddenly she felt darkness take over her.
The last thing she remembered was his voice softly calling out her name.
She broke out of her memory and found Vivek patting her hand.
"Are you okay? You kind of zoned out on us there......"
Her eyes wide, she looked back at Sid who was staring at her intently.Why? Why her? Why not Riddhima?
She had assumed that he was going to save Riddhima for obvious reasons.
But no....he had saved her.
The words played like a chant inside her head.
She wanted to ask him why.....why had he chosen her?
She wanted answers now.
She looked into his eyes hoping to find them but only found a dangerous storm raging there.
She didnt even realize that three other people were in the other room, one her fiance, staring at Sid and her as their eyes held a silent conversation.
"All right...I think we all need to leave", Sid said looking away from her. "She needs to rest."
Yuvi gently let go of her hand and stood up followed by Vivek.
"Who is going to stay with her?", Vivek asked.
"I am", Naina volunteered quickly.
"I think I should stay too", Vivek said but Naina interrupted him, "No Vivek...you go home and get some rest.You have been here all evening. You too Sid...you need to rest as well."
She looked at her husband who smiled fondly at her and kissed her cheek.
"All right take care of yourself girls", Yuvi said going out of the room.
Shilpa looked down at her hands as Vivek dropped a kiss on the top of her head.
She smiled unsurely as he left the room with a wave.
Only Sid was left.
She wanted to thank him for what he had done for her today but somehow mere words didnt seem enough.
She glanced at him, her mind was still reeling with all that happened.
He was talking to Naina. "Call me if you need anything no matter what time it is........dont let her walk too much and make sure she rests as much as she can."
Shilpa felt suddenly felt angry at him.
So much had happened today, they were so many unanswered questions between them and he wasnt even meeting her eyes.
He was talking about her as if she wasnt in the room.........he could directly tell her all those things too.......its not like I have lost my memory or anything.
She had an insane urge to stomp her feet.
She watched him as he walked out of the room and stopped at the door.
Turning halfway around he gave her an inscrutable look...........
And then immediately...he was gone.
Water trickled down his bare body as he stood under the warm water.
Running his fingers through his hair, he moved his face towards the shower.
His aching, taught muscles finally began to relax.
He raised his hands and rested them on the tiled wall.
If only he could do something to stop the scattered thoughts running around his head.
He could see Shilpa's confused eyes in his mind.............asking him why?
Why had he saved her when Riddhima had been there right in front of him?
But he had deliberately kept his eyes blank.....he had purposely not spoken to her.
She had already been though a lot today.
What could he even say when he had no answer himself?
He was still in a trance regarding his actions.
His mind had been thinking of Riddhima, his heart had been fearing the loss of a person who meant everything to him.
And as the truck had neared and terror had racked his body, he had shouted at the name of the person he truly feared
At that moment Riddhima had somehow turned invisible for him.
All he could see was Shilpa standing in front of her imminent death.
His body had instinctively carried him towards her.
As he had rolled down the road with Shilpa, he had experienced such a strong sense of deja vu since this same thing had already happened with him in the past.Only now unlike before, Riddhima wasnt the one in his arms.
It was Shilpa.......looking at him terrified with her big beautiful eyes.
Suddenly remembering Riddhima, he turned and saw that she was standing safely in Armaan's arms.
Relief ran through his veins.....nobody was hurt.
For the first time, the sight of them together did nothing to him....he felt absolutely nothing.
No resentment, no bitterness.
He only felt extreme relief for the fact that Shilpa was safe......she was alive.
He looked back at her to see that there was a small scratch on her forehead which was bleeding.
She was trying to tell him something but suddenly she lost consciousness.
He opened his eyes and closed the water taps.
Wrapping a towel around himself, he moved into his bedroom and stood in front of the mirror.
Something momentous had happened with him today.
It was like he was going through a transformation.
One second he had thought he was going to save Riddhima and next second he had found Shilpa in his arms.
The fear he had felt for her wasnt just because she was such a close friend of his...no it ran much deeper than that.
He had felt as if all his life was being sucked out of him as the truck had neared her.
And he hadnt felt like that for Riddhima....long ago he had but not today....the concern he had felt for her was nothing compared to the fear he had felt for Shilpa.
His mind was afraid to think what this could possibly mean.
It was forcing him to think about the question that had been haunting him all evening..............the one question he had successfully avoided so far.What exactly was Shilpa's place in his heart? What did she really mean to him?
Riddhima tightly clutched a glass of water in her hand, her fingers turning white.
She looked at her mother and Armaan seated before her as Armaan relayed to her what had happened today.
Her father was sitting in the living room reading a newspaper.
Other than an "Are you okay?" he hadnt said anything regarding what had happened.
It wasnt surprising for her.
His behavior with her and Armaan had been like that since the last six years.
He had never been able to accept Sid and her's separation.
He had turned a stranger to her the day Sid had walked out of her life.
He never spoke to her except when it was necessary.
Looking away from him, she closed her eyes as she recalled the events that had transpired earlier that day.
"RIDDHIMA!! MOVE OUT OF THE WAY!!!"
Yes, he was going to save her..............he had to come to her just like she knew he would.
She turned towards him but was shocked to see him run past her.
Suddenly she was pulled off the road and had almost fallen down but two strong arms steadied her.
She looked up to see Armaan holding her, panic written across his face.What?? How??
She realized that Armaan was the one who had shouted her name.
The truck rushed past them and her eyes fell on Sid and Shilpa rolling down the road, their bodies tangled with each other.
Armaan hugged her tightly to himself.
"My God! Riddhima are you okay? What the hell happened to you....Didnt you see that truck?....You could have died!"
She didnt answer him.
Engulfed in his arms, she stared past his shoulder.
Her fingers fisted his shirt as she saw them lying down with Sid on top of Shilpa, in the same position she and Sid had been all those years back.No......this wasnt how things were supposed to turn out.
"Riddhima?", she came out of her memory and found her mother and Armaan looking at her worriedly.
"Are you alright?", her mother asked.
"Yes I am fine.......I just...I just need to go lie down."
She smiled distractedly at Armaan and headed towards her room.What was wrong with her?Why had she behaved so rashly today.?
In a bid to gain Sid's attention, she didnt even realize that she was inadvertently putting his life in danger.
She sat down on her bed and held her head.
He was supposed to save her......but he had run straight towards Shilpa.Didnt she mean anything to him now?
Something in her just couldnt accept it....she couldnt accept that somebody else could be more important in Sid's life than her.
Her eyes narrowed as thought about her sister
Somehow she had never been able to warm up to her ever since she had first met her.
Shashank had told her everything about who Shilpa really was.......she had been ecstatic when she had first found that she had a younger sibling.
But then something had occurred to her.
Shilpa was the daughter of a man who had deceived her mother..........Riddhima was his daughter too but biologically...............for her only Shashank was her father.
And so despite knowing everything, she had never tried to contact Shilpa.
Her mother had pleaded her to do so but she did not.
Even when Shilpa had first come into Sanjeevani, Riddhima had hated the attention she used to receive from Armaan and Sid.They used to be so friendly with her.............they used to always defend her and support even when she was wrong.
She had tried to take Riddhima's place in Armaan's life but Armaan loved her too much for that to even happen.
And now, as was obvious from today's episode, Shilpa held more priority than her in Sid's life.
But Riddhima wouldnt let that happen.
Sid couldnt love anyone else as much as he loved her.
She was the only love of his life.
But somehow, she couldnt convince herself............things were not so simple now.
She couldnt deny the fact that in these six years, everything had changed................most importantly Sid
"Shilpa there is something we need to talk about."
She looked away from the window.
It was mid afternoon now and she had been standing at the window hoping to see his car pull into her driveway.
But it didnt.....she had been waiting the whole day.
She walked over to Naina and sat beside her on the couch. "What is it?"
"Look you have been through such a big thing and clearly you need more rest. So I think you dont need to participate in the pageant."
"What?", Shilpa looked confused, "but you have already given my name."
"Yes I have but I can explain to the organizers that given your condition you wont be able to participate."
She rolled her eyes. "What condition Naina? I just have a little scratch on my forehead which can be covered by a concealer."
"No buts", Shilpa interrupted her firmly. "I have worked too hard for this not to mention the amount of whining I have tolerated from you", she said smirking at Naina.
"Are you sure?" Naina bit her lip, looking very worried.
"Of course I am...I wouldnt miss it for anything."
Naina looked visibly relieved.
"There is one problem though", Shilpa said, "When Vivek called a few minutes back, he told me that an expected meeting has come up at the same time as the pageant.'
"Oh no! So he wont be able to come? Who is going to be your escort?! Who are you going to dance with?!"
"Hmm...well he is trying to postpone the meeting but......."
"But nothing is sure", Naina completed.
She thought for a few seconds."All right. if Vivek doesnt make it then I will ask Yuvi to be your escort. He knows the dance steps anyway so it shouldnt be a problem."
Nodding to herself in approval, Naina got up from the couch."Okay now are you sure you are going to be fine by yourself? 'Cause if you want I will stay."
Shilpa shook her head and got up. "No no.....I am going to be fine.You need to go. God knows how Yuvi is managing without you."
"What?", Naina said walking towards the door."Its hardly been even one day........"
"Isnt that long enough for him without you?", Shilpa commented with one brow raised.
Naina smiled sheepishly. "Yeah it is.....all right so please call me if you need anything. And pleeeease take care of Shilpa."
She gave Shilpa a tight hug.
Shilpa smiled at her friend's warm concern.
Naina let her go and spoke in a serious tone, "You dont know how important you are......for all of us....especially.......", she stopped herself.
And then in a cheery tone, "All right then! Bye!"
Before Shilpa could ask Naina to complete her sentence, she was gone.
She closed her door and sighed deeply.
It was sunset now and he still hadnt called.
She had expected him to come but he hadnt.
But she didnt feel hurt by his non-communication.
She could understand what he must be going through.
He should have protected Riddhima yesterday but he didnt.
He had come to her
Both she and Riddhima could have died yesterday............. but he had saved her
He had put his life in danger.....for her
.Was she really that important to him?
She wanted to know what he had been thinking when he had given her that unfathomable look before leaving.
He had kept his emotions under such tight control that she been unable to read him.
No one...no one had had ever done something like this for her.
No one had ever acted so selflessly for her.
She felt a restless urge within her....she wanted to talk to him...wanted to know why he did what he did.
But most of all, she just wanted to see him.....just wanted to feel his presence beside her.
She wanted to embrace him and let go of all the tears she had been holding back since yesterday.
She wanted to feel that protective embrace of his arms around her that made her feel the safest person in the world.
She had almost picked up the phone to call him but stopped herself.
She was too emotional right now and Sid didnt need that.
She slowly put her phone down.....he would come to her whenever he was ready.
She suddenly felt dizzy........it was better if she rested some more.
As was she turning to go towards her bedroom, she caught her reflection in a nearby window.
What she saw in her eyes stunned her with great force........she knew now that it was no use trying to hide from the fact that was looming in front of her with such precise clarity that she felt breathless.
She couldnt deny it anymore....................that she was hopelessly in love with Siddhant Modi.
------------------------------------------------- Note : Shilpa's feelings in the last part are inspired form the song "Fall to Pieces" by Avril Lavigne.
Edited by sidsk - 09 March 2011 at 2:42pm