Joined: 19 April 2010
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Joined: 19 April 2010
Joined: 19 April 2010
Joined: 19 April 2010
Joined: 19 April 2010
~ Chapter Three: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not ~
The door of the flat swung open, and Mr. Linfield appeared, as usual in his old striped robe, his matching slippers and his wooden cane. He was and old man, with hair as white as snow. He was quite lonely too, maybe that was the reason for his crankiness; not once had Riddhima seen anyone enter his apartment. Maybe he had no family. He was looking at his guest with peculiar eyes, as if he didn't know who they were. Perhaps he suffered from Alzheimer.
"Hi Mr. Linfield, I don't know if you recognize me, but I'm Riddhima, you're next door neighbour and this is my friend Muskaan."
"Oh yes, yes...I see, how may I help you?" He answered, and he was quite enthusiastic in his response. Usually, he is in a foul mood and would scream at the top of his lungs on tiny details. Once, Riddhima came back from work at a very odd hour; she was exhausted and dropped her keys on the floor, and God knows how, Mr. Linfield had managed to hear the sound. That night, she had received a long speech on young girls and their behaviour. Ever since, she made no sound while leaving and entering her flat. She couldn't bear another humiliating conversation.
"Well, we heard that you were moving away, and that you are willing to sell your flat. So, I wanted to present you a suitable candidate."
"Come in then, come in" He gestured them inside. He was quite a neat man. The house was almost empty, and completely spotless. Not a single scratch on the wall. Riddhima smelled the strong paint smell that enveloped the house. It was almost the same as her and Rahul's one, with a few alterations. Riddhima spotted the huge smile that formed on Muskaan's lips. She was about to say something, when their host spoke "I will miss this house, you know... But I'm very happy. My grandson, he's probably your age, he graduated and his taking me to live with him, in Canada. I heard it was cold there, but very nice and peaceful..."
As he continued his monologue, Riddhima and Muskaan shared a chair; there wasn't much place to sit since he was moving. As his story came to an end, he was beaming with joy, as if a halo were around him. Riddhima was so happy that he had found his happiness, even at this age, though it left her wondering, will she ever find her happiness?
"Are you interested in making me an offer for the flat?"
"Yes!" Muskaan jumped up from the chair. She had never been so positive in her life. "Name your price and I will buy it. I absolutely love this place, and I will have awesome neighbours."
"Shall we go downstairs then, and finalized the paperwork?"
"Yes!" Both girls exclaimed in unison. They both placed themselves on either side, and helped the old man. After a few hours, the matter had been settled. Muskaan had purchased the flat officially, and would be moving in three days.
"Oh my god, Riddhima! I am so, so, so happy! And it's all thanks to you." She jumped on her friend when they finally reached Riddhima's apartment. "You have set me free. I finally have my own place, my own house, my very own house." Her happiness knew no boundaries. "And to top it all, you'll ne my neighbour! It's going to me just me, you and whoever owns the third flat." She exclaimed as she settled herself on the sofa. "Life is beautiful!"
"The third person, his name is Rahul." She poured two cups of cocoa milk and walked toward her friend. "He is a journalist and is currently at work, or else I would have presented you to him, or he would have done it himself."
"Well, I can't wait to meet him! We'll be a trio, just like in the movie Dostana, though opposite. They were two guys with a girl, and we'll be two girls and a boy!" She observed "It's going to be awesome." Muskaan was super excited about her upcoming life. She had never experienced life on her own and couldn't wait to finally start living, taking charge and deciding for herself.
Time passed and they both caught up with their lives. Muskaan was a painter. For now, she sold a few paintings here and there, but she was determined to open her own gallery. She had the money for it, but she wanted to be offered the opportunity to do so, to be asked to join a company because of her talent, not her fame. She had no desire to be stranded in the shadows of her family forever. Since her mother is a retired actress, and her older brother the heartthrob of Hollywood, it was hard to be seen as simply Muskaan.
"Riddhima, do you think I'll ever be taken seriously, I mean I know I talk a lot, and I act childish, and I'm all hyper, and you know?" She asked as she kept moving her hair locks behind her ear.
"I think that those are the qualities that are going to take you far, believe me, I wouldn't want a boring painter painting my things. Your personality will give life to your paintings." Riddhima affirmed. She stood up and headed toward the kitchen to put back the cups.
"Riddhima, do you have a head band by any chance? My hair is really getting on my nerves, they're everywhere. I seriously need a haircut!"
"Oh no problem, just go to my room, it's in the first drawer of the stand beside my bed." She replied, and disappeared in the kitchen. She placed the two cups in the sink, and suddenly it hit her. She had more than just a head band in that drawer. She bolted to her room, as quickly as she could, but it was too late. Muskaan was already holding the frame; it was a picture of her and Armaan. They were at a picnic. Armaan had caught the Frisbee by circling his arms around her, and lifted her off the ground to surprise her. Their friends had captured the special moment. Riddhima loved that picture; they were young, carefree, in love and especially happy.
Muskaan was quite puzzled to see her brother's picture in Riddhima's room. It had been seven years and she was the one who broke up with him. This did not make any sense. Why would she keep the picture in her nightstand? She looked up and found Riddhima at the doorway. "Riddhima? Why... do you have Armaan's picture in here? I mean you guys broke up, and that too seven years ago. That is more than enough time to get over someone..."
"What if... I told you I never moved on... and that's why I have his picture?" Riddhima spoke softly; she wasn't sure where to start, but she had to tell her. She needed Muskaan's help if she wanted to win Armaan back.
Muskaan was even more confused now "Yeah, but that wouldn't make any sense, you left him with no message, no number or whereabouts."
"Muskaan... I don't know how to tell you this... but I never meant to leave him, I really loved him. Your mom... you mom, she offered me money to leave him... you see, she never really approved of me... and I had to take the money...I didn't have a choice." Riddhima eyes were slowly tearing up, but she fought them back.
"Why didn't you have a choice, Riddhima?"
Riddhima didn't know what to do anymore. She still had a promise to keep. She would never go back on her word; her father was gone, he had given her the choice to break the promise, but she simply couldn't do it. It was as if she was betraying him. She had already betrayed Armaan once, and she couldn't bear to live with another burden. "I... I can't... I can't tell you, but please...please believe me when I tell you that I loved him with all my heart...I still do..." She whispered.
Muskaan was first taken aback by the revelation, but then, somehow in the bottom of her heart, she knew that Riddhima wasn't lying, that there must've been a good reason for her sudden take-off, and that she had probably been suffering for seven years, just like her brother. "I believe you, somehow, I really do."
At those words, Riddhima smiled the brightest smile in ages. Muskaan trusted her; this was a ray of hope for her. If Muskaan and Rahul believed her without any further explanation, than Armaan could do it too. "Muskaan, umm, at the party... you said that I broke his heart... was it really that bad?"
"I'll be honest with you, he was quite devastated at first, and then he fought and worked really hard, and reached the top, but at the cost of shutting his true feelings out... well that's my theory. Everyone else, including himself, thinks he's perfectly fine. He might show the world that he has moved on, but I can't help but feel that all of it as nothing but an act, and I know that if a person can make him truly happy, that person would be you." She smiled. It wasn't just a belief, no it was much more than that; it was a hope, a request.
Riddhima nodded and took her friend into a warm embrace. Somehow, it felt like she had been relieved of the burden she'd been carrying all these days. They broke apart by the sound of Muskaan's cellphone. "Oh, I have to go, my mom is calling me...can't wait to give her the big news! I will see you in three days. Take care of yourself." The two friends parted after saying their farewells.
Riddhima slumped on the couch as she reencountered the day's event in her head. So much had already happened, and it was just 3 o'clock in the afternoon. She still had the whole day ahead of her. Her shift at the hospital wasn't until the next day at five in the morning. She inspected her house and realised that if someone were to come in, the person would probably think that it was an old woman's house. Her mom had picked the furniture and the wall color; the choices were marvellous, but something was missing. Riddhima had never bothered to personalize the place, perhaps because she was lost, but not anymore. She grabbed her coat and headed to the mall. There was a lot to do. Once she arrived at the mall, there wasn't a single store she came out empty handed. Rahul had once asked her when she had worn bright and vibrant colors, and he was right; it had been a while. It was highly time for her to change that dull wardrobe of hers. She bought new shoes, new bags, and new clothes. She even went into a salon and got a haircut; she kept them long but added a few layers and a side bang. It made her seem so much more lively and dynamic. This was going to be a new beginning for her. She would live her life, be who she is, and most importantly, win her love back. The old Riddhima was back!
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Rahul had a long day at work. As much as he loved his job, sometime it did get tough. He was one of those people that can write about anything, but he preferred to write about important issues. Since he was a brilliant writer and knew exactly how to weave a good story, his company wanted him to cover international affairs and grand events. Now, he was being sent for five days to Brazil to write a piece on soybeans production.
Finally, he was home, well almost home. He climbed into the elevator and pressed the button that had the number 7. As he reached his floor, he decided to pay a visit to his best-neighbour-friend. They both placed their spare key under the fire extinguisher; he planned to sneak in and scare her. She always jumped of fear which made him laugh like a little kid. He slowly inserted the key, turned the door knob and put a foot inside the apartment, only to be shocked. Was he even in the right place? Usually, there was a vase with blue stones in it, but it was now replaced by a nice bouquet of pink lilies and white orchids. There were nice scented candles and a few new frames hanged on the wall. He slowly approached the kitchen and a faint sound of music went through his ears. He peeked in the kitchen and had a hard time recognizing the back of the silhouette that stood in front of him. She wore a purple long sleeved dress with leggings and added a brown leather belt to accessorize it. She was humming Truly Madly Deeply Do by Savage Garden. "Riddhima?"
She turned around at the sound of her name. "Oh hey Rahul? I am making pasta. Do you want some?"
Rahul simply gawked at her. Had he been in a coma for the past years, because he was definitely missing something? He walked to her and put the backside of his hand on her forehead. "Riddhima, are you ill?"
"No, I am perfectly fine. Fit and healthy, now you did not answer my question. Do you want pasta?"
"Yes, I do... we have a lot of catching up to do during diner." He said in a quizzical tone.
Riddhima served the food in the dining area, and they both ate in silence, up until Rahul couldn't keep it in him anymore. "Okay, Riddhima, shoot. What are you hiding? Are you planning on seducing someone tonight? Did I interfere with your plans?" He winked at her.
"Shut up Rahul!"
"What? You have scented candles, you're all dressed up, and you even have fresh flowers. The whole combination is there. Plus, you were humming a love song." He laughed as he made fun of her.
"Ha-ha, very funny" She laughed sarcastically at his lousy comments. "I just wanted to personalize my house. I decided that from today I am going to be myself and be happy!"
"God bless the person that was able to knock that concept into your head. I have been trying to for years and all my attempts were futile." He picked up his drink and gulped down its content.
"Oh and more thing, I will win Armaan's heart back." She declared with confidence.
Rahul instantly spit out his drink in the glass; the sudden news made him choke on the drink, and as a consequence, he coughed quite fiercely. He looked at her, she was actually serious. "Sorry... it was just... much unexpected." He wanted her to be happy, but his last encounter with the guy didn't quite give him a good impression, but if it was what she truly wanted, he would do everything in his power to help her.
"You know... that song I was singing, it was the song Armaan sang to me the first time he confessed his feelings for me." His head shifted right away towards her. She was sort of lost in a trance, probably reliving those cherished moments. It was the first time she had actually told something that personal about her and Armaan. She usually avoided any topic linked to him, but not today. Today, she was determined and strong.
"Exactly how do you plan to do that?" He asked, bringing her back to reality.
"I have no idea, but Muskaan is going to help me too."
"Muskaan? Who is Muskaan again?"
"Oh Muskaan is...the lady friend I met at the party and I was supposed to introduce to you...remember?" She mimicked his words. Rahul raised an eyebrow, asking an honest answer. "She's Armaan's little sister. She is going to be our neighbour. She's the one who purchased Mr. Linfield's flat. You can meet her Wednesday, that's when she's moving in."
"Oh yeah, about that, I won't be here till Saturday morning. I have to go to Brazil and write a piece, which reminds me I haven't packed anything. I should be going. Don't you dare have all the fun without me huh?" He opened the door, and before he left, he couldn't help but add a little comment. "By the way I was right, you were trying to seduce someone, and it's just that the person doesn't know what you have in store for him...yet" He managed to shut the door, avoiding the cushion Riddhima threw at him. She cleaned the table up, and while doing the dishes, THAT song resonated over and over in her head. She could still clearly hear his voice singing it to her.
"Armaan! You're the best! You brought me to the beach to cheer me up... That dumb mathematics teacher, he gave me a bad grade for no reason. My answers were good. He took so many points just because I didn't show every single step. Urgh" Riddhima kicked her sandals and sat down abruptly on the sand. She clutched a handful of sand and squeezed it, as if she held her teacher in her palm. Though, the calm atmosphere of the beach was starting to sprinkle its magic, and calmed her down. Thank god it was empty. Armaan was so sweet to bring her there. She couldn't help but remember how everything had worked out for them. They started off on the wrong foot, but things had eventually worked out. They were now best friends, but sometimes, she wished they were more. Yes, she had started to love him, but so far, she had no clue as to the current state of his mind.
She watched Armaan walked back to the car and come back with a guitar in his hands. They had been friends for a quite some time, but he never sang or played in front of her, despite the numerous requests she made to him. She saw the guitar in the corner of his room, but he just wouldn't play in front of anyone. "Awww, Armaan, you're even going to sing for me. How sweet! All these futile attempts to make you perform and I just had to be pissed to succeed. Why didn't I think of it?"
Armaan sat in front of her and positioned his guitar. Before playing the tune, he looked down at his fingers flirting with the chords. "Riddhima, you might think that I brought you here to cheer you up, and in some way you're right. But my main objective was to get you away from the crowd...so that I could spend some time alone with you. You know, when we met a year ago, I never thought we would become friends, but we have..." He looked up directly into her eyes "and perhaps what I feel for you is much more than that." Riddhima's heart skipped a beat at those words. "Riddhima, I brought you to the beach because this is the place where it all started. We used to fight all the time, but that day, when you almost drowned, a sudden fear took over me. I was scared of losing you. When I saved you, I felt I had saved myself as well, and that's when I realised...that augmenting with you was the best thing that ever happened to me. I don't know how or when, but through all those fights... I fell in love with you."
Before Riddhima had the time to react, he tapped a few strings and started singing. "I'll be your dream, I'll be your wish, I'll be your fantasy. I'll be your hope, I'll be your love, be everything that you need." His voice was gentle and smooth. It was beautiful. Just hearing him say those words to her made her feel so special. "I love you more with every breath truly madly deeply do. I will be strong, I will be faithful 'Cos I'm counting on a new beginning, a reason for living, a deeper meaning." His piercing gaze sent shivers through her body. His eyes revealed all the emotions that took shelter in his heart. His fingers glided gracefully through the multiple chords and his voice echoed softly in the air. The sun was quietly setting behind him, giving a more romantic ambiance. It was perfect. "I want to stand with you on a mountain. I want to bathe with you in the sea. I want to lay like this forever until the sky falls down on me." Riddhima felt her eyes tear up with joy. At the moment, she was the happiest and the luckiest girl alive. The boy she loved, loved her too, and that's all that mattered. "I'll be your dream, I'll be your wish, I'll be your fantasy. I'll be your hope; I'll be your love, be everything that you need. I'll love you more with every breath truly madly deeply do."
He put his instrument on the side and came up to her. Even though she was sitting, he would do this like a true gentleman. He knelt down in front of her, took her hand in his, and said "Riddhima, I love you, more than you can ever imagine, and I would feel like the king of the world if... if you did too."
Riddhima gave him a tearful smile, and answered his question by jumping on him, making them fall; he lay on his back with her arms locked around his neck and her petite frame slightly on top of his. Armaan circled his arm around her waist and brought her a bit closer. He felt at peace and his happiness had no frontiers. "Umm Riddhima, as much as I love you, you're kind of killing me here" He teased her.
Riddhima realised their compromising posture and got off him. Her cheeks flamed with embarrassment. She didn't dare to look at him. Armaan got up and to ease her discomfort, he helped her up, carried her off her feet by the waist and twirled her in the air, making them giggle. "Armaan, put me down"
"Nope" He stated.
"Why should I? I'm happy like this"
"Armaan, I'm two feet off the ground for no reason, so please put me down"
"There is a reason" He breathed in her ears as he put her feet back on the ground. His arms were still firmly surrounding her waist, and his face was inches from hers. He fingers reached her hair, tucking the loose strands behind her ears. He continued stroking her hair lightly as his gaze gently dropped to her lip and came back to her eyes. His thumb slowly caressed her lower lip and pulled up her chin. Riddhima's lips quivered at his touch, her body was responded to his every movement. She closed her eyes as she saw him lean forward. He brushed his nose with hers, and then captured her lips with his own. One of his hands was near her neck, his fingers playing with her hair, while the other one was gently resting on her lower back. The kiss was very gentle at first, up until Riddhima snaked her arms around his neck, bringing their bodies closer. She then slid her hands to his collar and pulled him closer. Slowly, he nibbled her lower lip, wanting an entrance and she parted her lips in response. The kiss became more and more passionate as their bodies pressed together and their tongues danced in sync. They were both out of breath, but their desires took the best of them. Armaan slowed down, and pulled out, leaving Riddhima wanting more. They were both breathing heavily. What a first kiss it was! Riddhima got up on her tippy toes and whispered those magical words in his ears "I love you too Armaan."
Riddhima blushed at the thoughts of that day, those words and that kiss. She still remembered his touch, his taste, his everything. She smiled and went back to her own world, reminiscing, cherishing and reliving those moments over and over again.
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Muskaan couldn't wait to move into her new apartment. The day had finally come; she packed most of her belongings, she would get the rest when her place would be more functional. She came in early morning with huge barrels of paints; the truck would come to deliver her items the next day. Everything was planned: she would spend the first night at Riddhima's house, and the next day, she would unpack her belongings. Riddhima said she would come help her out once she finished her long shift at the hospital. The apartment was vacant, not a single object lay was visible. The old man had done a good job, but it still lacked something. Muskaan took out her brushes and got to work. She started with the kitchen, attacked the two bedrooms, and then finished with the living room. Her hands were fast at the task. After all, she was an artist.
Later that night, when Riddhima came back home, she found Muskaan's door open and saw her lying on her back in the middle of the living room. She was wearing and old pair of sweatpants and a loose T-shirt. Her clothes were covered in paint. "Muskaan, is everything okay?"
"Riddhima, you're here!" She got up, and pulled her friend inside. "Let me give you a little tour in my castle" She leaded her through the house. Riddhima was astonished by the work of art. The placed looked too good to be true. How in the world had she managed to paint all this in a day? The kitchen had huge sunflowers painted on the wall giving it a very warm touch. Anyone would love to cook in there. The flowers field made it seem so calm and peaceful. Her bedroom was as splendid as her kitchen, yet completely different. She painted these pillars entwined with vines around her closet and her door. The next room was her art studio; the whole room was white except for one wall, on which bright colors were splashed in giving it dynamic air. To add the cherry on the top, Muskaan made Riddhima lie down on her back in the living room; the ceiling painted in a rich creamy color. It seemed as if the wall had been carved into intricate designs.
"Wow" Riddhima exclaimed. This girl was surely talented. "Muskaan, you are amazing!"
"Thank you, thank you" She bowed down as if she was been applauded in a hall after a concert. Well, her merit was no less than the one of the conductor of an orchestra.
"I assume all this hard work made you very tired and hungry, so shall we go eat. I am making spaghetti."
"Yes please!" They both headed to Riddhima's flat. After a fun evening they both retired. The next day, Muskaan's stuff arrived and she spent her time organizing her belongings. As promised, Riddhima helped her out after work.
"Yay, we finished! I never could've done it without you Ridzy... You don't mind me calling you Ridzy do you? I tend to make nicknames with names."
"Of course not"
"Great, now I just need Armaan to bring the rest of my stuff on Saturday."
The thought of seeing Armaan again made Riddhima happy and sad, excited yet scared. She didn't know what to expect, but no matter what, she would not give up. Nope. Never.
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Rahul was glad to be back in New York. He had missed the chilly weather, the colourful fall foliage in Central Park peaks, the rainy nights; Brazil was a nice place, but the heat was a disadvantage, especially for someone who liked cool weathers. It was quite early still. The sun was just rising. He made his way to his flat without making any noise since he did not want to wake anyone up. Who liked to wake up at 4 o'clock? As he was about to enter his lair, he turned around and realised that the door of his new neighbour was left open. He slowly peeked inside. The place was still dark, and it was literally a mess. There were clothes everywhere, the DVD player was unplugged and it was in the middle of the living room, and open jewellery boxes lay scattered on the sofa. However, there was no sign of any piece of their content anywhere. No necklace, no earring or even rings. He saw a little piece of gem shining near his feet, just near the doorway. And it hit him. His neighbour had just been robbed. That had to be the only plausible explanation for the state of the house. They must have taken all her ornaments and dropped one on their way out. It also explained the open door. He was about to enter, but he didn't know her yet. She would probably feel awkward. Maybe he should call Riddhima. He rang her doorbell, but no answer came. He had no choice but to do it himself; she had been robbed so it was his duty to tell her.
He hesitantly entered her house and was careful not to step on anything. It was a crime scene after all. Her bedroom door was open. Did the woman close any of her doors? Plus, how in the world had she managed to sleep through a robbery? He sneaked a look inside her room and saw her. She was sleeping so peacefully. She was curled up in her blanket and her curls fell softly on her face. The peeping sun rays slightly illuminated her face. She looked divine and angelic. "Rahul, now's not the time to think in that line, c'mon focus on waking her up. What's her name again? Ah, yes...Muskaan." He said to himself.
"Muskaan, wake up" He poked her shoulder.
"No, mom it's not time for school yet." She mumbled in her sleep.
"Huh? Muskaan, no wake up, it's serious." He poked her again, but this time with more force.
Muskaan slowly opened her eyes and just saw an unknown man in front of her. "Aaaahhhhhhhhh" She took her pillows and threw it on him. She also pitched the alarm clock and her cellphone on him, in hopes of injuring him, and ran out the room. "Aaaaahhhhhhhhh" She kept screaming as she searched for the phone to dial 911, but couldn't find it. She heard steps behind her so ran to the kitchen and grabbed a knife. She turned around abruptly and pointed her knife to her opponent. She finally saw his face. He looked like a decent person, but obviously was not. "Don't come near me. A step closer and I won't hesitate to plunge the knife in your heart. I've seen people doing it in movies, so beware"
"Woaaaahhh...There is no need for violence here...please put that down and let me explain myself."
"Why? So you can kidnap me and ask a ransom from my family? How did you find out where I lived?" She clutched the knife even harder, determined to scare him with it.
"What? No! Why in the world would I want to kidnap you? Just Listen to me... I'm-"
"Rahul?" Riddhima's voice echoed through the room. They both stared at the figure that stood in the kitchen doorway. "Muskaan? Rahul? What are you guys doing? Why were you screaming? And why in the world are you pointing a knife at him." Riddhima was confused. It's not every day you find your friend pointing a knife at your other friend. Riddhima just came back from work and she found Rahul's luggage at his doorstep, and then her attention was captured by several cries. "What on earth is going on here?"
"Oh thank god you're here, or you probably would've found my rotting corpse if you came any moment later. Now, would you please tell her that I'm her neighbour?" Rahul was relieved to see Riddhima, or else who knows, the crazy lady would probably chop him and feed him to the vultures.
"Muskaan, put down the knife. It's Rahul, our neighbour." Riddhima said, still puzzled about the current situation.
"No! Ask him why he was in my room at this hour!" She said with menacing eyes.
"What! Rahul, seriously, what were you doing in her house at this hour." She was sort of surprised by Rahul's behaviour. It was so unlike him.
"I came in with perfectly good intentions. She has been robbed and I came to tell her. Is there anything wrong with that? I even tried to call you, but you weren't there. I had no choice."
"Robbed?" Both girls exclaimed at the same time.
"Yeah, robbed... Your door was open, and your jewellery boxes were empty." He took out the little earring he had found from his pockets. "This was outside your door. The robbers probably dropped it on their way out."
"Awwww... You found it" Muskaan dropped the knife on the counter and took back her precious jewel. "I've been looking for this everywhere. It was my grand-ma's earring. I thought I lost it"
Now, it was Rahul's turn to be confused. "You mean the mess was created by you! Who turns their whole house upside down while searching for something...Wait a minute... the boxes, they were empty...and there was nothing around?"
"Yeah, maybe because I emptied them in my room smarty-pants" She snapped. Who in their right mind would jump to such conclusion? He was definitely a lunatic.
"Rahul, are you serious? Did you really think she was robbed?" Riddhima couldn't help but laugh at the way the events had turned out to be. This kind of stuff only happened in movies; well her life was quite filmy, wasn't it?
"What! I'm a journalist, a writer... It's what I do. I see something, create hypothesises, and then draw conclusions, and as I journalist, it's very normal think about the worst possible outcome. Plus, I am jet lacked and I haven't slept in twenty-four hours. And her door was open. Who sleeps with their main door open?" He defended himself.
Muskaan was about to say something, but Riddhima interrupted the upcoming argument. "Anyhow, the misunderstandings have been cleared out, so how about we all go to sleep? That seems like a jolly good idea to me."
"Good with me" Muskaan said, giving a dirty look to Rahul.
"Yeah, me too" He said wanting to get away from this embarrassing situation. He just left the room without uttering anything else. He had already made a huge fool of himself.
"Okay... Sleep well Muskaan..." Riddhima bid her friend farewell, and collapse on her own bed. She was so tired. Plus, the whole fiasco just killed any brain cells that were still alive. She didn't even bother changing. She had time. Now, she just wanted to sleep. Sleep like there is no tomorrow.
At 11 o'clock, the beeping sound of her alarm resonated in her room. Today was the day. She would face Armaan and actually talk to him, unlike their last encounter. She had no clue when he would come with Muskaan's stuff, but she wanted to be ready. She took a quick shower and wore a white top and a navy blue skirt. Since the weather was quite chilly, she added a black pair of tight and a black knitted cardigan. There, she was ready.
As she walked out of her apartment, she bumped really hard into someone. She was sure she was going to fall, but a strong pair of arms grabbed her. "I am so sorry-"
"You" She felt Armaan's cold voice vibrate in her eardrums. It felt so good to be in his arms again, even if it wasn't really intended.
Armaan was shocked to see Riddhima there. Muskaan never ever mentioned her in any of their conversations. Moreover, he did not like the close proximity he shared at the moment with her. Why had he even bothered grabbing her in the first place? If he had known, he wouldn't do it. He pulled his hands back right away, without giving her the chance to balance herself.
THUD. Riddhima fell on the floor on her butt. Well so much for being rescued. She frowned at him. She was not going to be vulnerable today. "You made me fall!"
Armaan gave her a frosty glare and shrugged his shoulders. "Should've looked where you were going." He muttered and disappeared through the stairways. Riddhima was annoyed, but what did she expect? A warm hug with soft words? She picked herself up and spotted a Gucci wallet. It was obviously Armaan's. How did he even drop it if she was the one to fall? She was very tempted to open it, but restrained herself. It was not good etiquettes to do so. She followed him through the stairs. "Armaan, wait" She yelled behind him.
"What do you want Riddhima? And why are you even here?" He asked annoyed by her presence. Every time he saw her, those painful memories flashed back in his mind. He had moved one, he believed he had moved on, but the sight of her pulled him back into the past.
"I live here. Muskaan is my neighbour" Riddhima replied.
"Oh I get it now... You're going to use her, just like you used me."
"No, she is my friend."
"What a nice friend you are Riddhima." He said sarcastically. "Acknowledged her existence after seven years. You're such a great friend."
"Armaan, please, would you just give me the cha-"
"Forget it Riddhima! I know what you're trying to do. I'm not stupid. If you think you're just going to say sorry and everything will be fine between us, then you can forget it. I don't want to your apologies, your lame stories or your regrets. I don't give a damn. We are not going to be friends or anything else ever again. I don't want anything to do with you. I don't even want to see your face or hear your voice. Get that in your puny mind." He turned around to go down the stairs.
"Armaan?" She said again in a neutral tone. Those words stung worse than a flamed needle, but she was not going to let him see that.
"What Now? Was I not clear enough?"
"I think this is yours." She put the wallet forward.
"Did you open it" He asked curiously.
"No I don't open other people's belongings without their permission."
"Funny, because you ripped my heart open years back." He mumbled to himself, but Riddhima had heard his comment.
"I'm sorry." She said looking down and her feet.
"Don't be. I'm not. You taught me something very important. You know what that is" He took a few steps closer. "You taught me how to hate from the deepest part of my heart. I hate you Riddhima, and thank you for teaching me such a valuable lesson." He emphasized each word of his last sentence, and then descended the stairs rapidly without looking back at her.
His words hurt like hell, but she did not break down like last time. He had reasons to be angry, mad and furious, but couldn't he at least hear her out. Give her two minutes of his life. Well, if he was going to remain like this, she just had to reach to him. If she could make him fall in love with her once, she could surely do it again. If his words were true seven years ago, there were still true now, no matter how hard he tried to conceal the truth.
She was not alone this time. She needed help and a plan. She went back up to her flat and invited her two neighbours. They were still annoyed with each other's presence because of the night's incident. Riddhima was sure it would eventually work out.
"Guys, I seriously need your help. I just bumped into Armaan, and he made me fall. Somehow, he lost his wallet, so I went after him to give it back, and he doesn't want to hear me out...AT ALL,"
"You touched his wallet?" Muskaan asked.
"Is that all you heard from what I said?" Riddhima was puzzled by her question.
"No, it's just that Armaan really hates anyone touching his wallet. You know how you can never touch a woman's purse; we were never allowed to touch his wallet. Never understood why, I mean it's just a wallet! Anyhow...about Armaan, he is quite stubborn."
"Well since he won't listen to me, I will make my way back into his heart, and that's where I need your help. I'm not too sure how I am going to do that."
"Usually, I would suggest a date, but I don't think that's a good idea here" Rahul joked to lighten up the atmosphere.
"Wow Rahul, you're such a genius! So smart." Muskaan's tone was full of sarcasm.
"You two, stop if with your childish fights. Rahul, you're a guy. If you still cared for your ex-girlfriend, what would you hate to see?"
"I guess I would hate to see her with another guy, you know guys, we tend to get a tiny bit possessive." He showed a tiny length with his fingers.
"That's it!" Riddhima exclaimed "Rahul you're a genius. Jealousy!"
"Got to hand you that Rahul, there's nothing worse than a jealous boyfriend." Muskaan remarked.
"Yeah" Riddhima smiled "And in our case, there's nothing better than a jealous ex-boyfriend."
Hi everyone!! I am terribly sorry for the long wait!! My friend introduced me to this Japanese drama called Liar Games, it was really good!! It's so different and super smart!! I have been watching it ever since and I got so hooked up that I finished it!!Plus, since it was in Japanese, I really had to focus on the subtitles, so couldn't multitask. While watching, I was like a channel should get copyright and create one like it!! Since I miss Kajen so much, I kept thinking how KSG would have been perfect for the guy's role, and Jenny for the girl's one.
I hope you enjoy the part, and I will try not to ever make you all wait that long!! Thank you so much for you lovely comments!! Next part: Chapter Four: Love That Is Fed by Jealousy Dies Hard
Love you ALL!!
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