@ Thank you people!! I am glad that you liked it.
@ zee and subia: I like Arman? Well I must be one convincing writer then
@ gimzy: Awww!! I know that oak door has so many beautiful sidma memories
@ shreya: I love you hun, okay?Chapter 8
To say he was confused would be the biggest understatement of the century. One moment he was slacking around the dusty penthouse, hating the unused smell of the house and the next he was holding a sobbing Ridhima in his arms.
It was not something that he hadnt experienced before. He had often held her hand as she wept, patted her back as she soaked his shirt with tears. All those times had been different. This time he had no clue as to her sorrow or the slightest inclination why Ridhima who had finally everything she ever wanted crying as though someone had died. She whimpered against his chest and he instinctively pulled her closer.
"Sssh ..sssh..its okay" he murmured.She burrowed her head further and something melted within him. He couldnt help it- he couldnt help but notice how soft she felt against him. He couldnt help but notice how perfectly her warm body fitted onto his. He couldnt help but notice the sweet cherry smell emanating from her hair and how familiar it all was. So wrong and yet so right.
He stepped back as he realised the turn his thoughts were taking. He couldnt think of Ridhima like that now. She was a married woman; someone's wife. Only she wasnt. Suddenly he understood everything and with the realisation came a slight pinch of pain.
He took a deep breath and said clearly " Dont worry Ridhima. We will sort out this mess. The divorce will be done in no time and you can go back to Arman"
He heard a sharp intake of breath and Ridhima stepped out of his arms. He smiled at her but she stared at him with red rimmed eyes. It felt like a luxury to stand next to her and watch her watch him. It felt like one of those stolen moments of life when everything was fine- the few days when he believed she loved him and no one. A few glorious days before the reality smacked him in his face.
"I am sorry" she murmured
He shrugged and motioned her to walk in with him.
She paused at the threshold staring at the house as though it was a remotely magical place. And then with a heavy sigh she stepped in and followed him.
He pulled off a dark maroon cover from a sofa and patted it.
" It could be a little dusty. I didnt have time to clean it up"
She stared at him as though she didnt hear a word he was saying and then she sat down tentatively.
" What are you doing here?"
She was seriously asking him that
" Your father called me. Something about the divorce formalities being incomplete..I dont know what went wrong. I assure you I did everything I thought was necessary"
Her eyes left his and scrambled to the floor " It wasnt you. I..um..I forgot to sign the papers"
He wasnt expecting that. Not at all
'" I am sorry, Sid. I wasnt clearly thinking and I was ..there was so much happening. I dont know..." she trailed off worriedly " I just.. I.."
' Its okay" Sid said hoping it would calm her down " It happens"
Ridhima gave him a queer smile which faded into something very sad " Of course you will say that."
Sid raised his eyebrow
" You are always supportive"
He didnt like the direction the conversation was going towards so he shrugged again " I am a good friend"
This time her smile disappeared. She stared at her hands and then shot a furtive look at him. As much as he wished the opposite he was an expert at picking up the subtext of Ridhima Gupta's mood swings. And the Ridhima sitting opposite him was disturbed.
" Ridhima, how are you?" he asked gently
Her eyes filled ith tears
" I am me. How are you?"
"I am good too." he said wondering how he could turn the conversation back to her. Before he could speak she blurted out
" I heard about Dr, Carmichael. I am really proud of you"
He felt a sudden warm glow at her praise. " Its been a good experience. I am actually promoting his genetic research and its implications for cancer next week at Delhi."
"Wow Sid. That is so great.."
He smiled at her. She smiled back this time. He nodded slowly " So now tell me how are you actually?"
"Sid..." she shook her head
"Hey- I am still your husband" he joked "Well technically"
She colored and looked away. " The house is in awful shape. How are you going to stay?"
" I will get some help." he said feeling slightly tired
" I will help?" It was somewhere between a question or a comment.
" No.There is no need to bother yourself..." he began
" I will come tomorrow.." Once again she sounded so uncertain that he wanted to tell her that she need not. But she got up and walked to the door. " Get some sleep. "
He nodded the jetlag finally catching upto him. She paused and then turned slowly "Kuch khaya?"
He smiled inspite of himself " Just made myself a sandwich."
She nodded slowly
" Tell Dr. Shasjank to call me once he made an appointment with the lawyer. We should end this mess once and for all"
She blanched but quickly recovered and whispered a goodbye.
Then she was gone, leaving nothing but a whiff of her perfume.
Not as big as my usual posts but I couldnt wait to post it.