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Sammy came in smiling clad in a blue t-shirt and black shorts, bestowed with natural beauty and noticeable curves anyone could've, men basically, turned twice or stared at her for more than required time. It would have hardly mattered to Ridhhima, if, this didn't have happened...
" Hey uncle good morning " smiling at Virendra, who wished her back smiling " hey handsome, where's the date today huh ? " she asked BP winking at him
" Oh you know, my usual favourite " BP played along
" Who's usual favourite ? " Armaan asked joining in
" You, my sweetheart, My usual favourite " he just shook his head
smiling broadly " You know just yesterday I was remembering our good old days
and what came to my mind " she took his hand and swirled dancing humming
" you can count on me,
like one two three, I'll be there
and know when I need it
I can count on you like four three two
And you'll be there
coz that's what friends are supposed to do " ( count on me by bruno mars listen to it it's lovely)
both laughed and when she stopped singing, gave a peck on his cheek. Flaring someone's anger to the bursting point. The swirling and dancing, though stupid, was tolerable but what was the bloody need of that kiss. Fine ! a peck, but why ?! Can't she get this thing straight. He's mine ! He's my Armaan you bi..."
Her mind which was reeling with anger and swear words, came to present with BP's voice and found Sammy sitting next to Armaan, on her seat !, giving that stupid smile to her. " You know Ridhhima, you are very lucky, I so envy you. Maine bas thodi si daer kya ki you stole away my boyfriend.." She still had that irritating stupid grin. Ridhhima calculated ways of getting rid of her, wondering which poison will work best on her...
" Yeah, when we were in London, I really for once thought there was
something going on " BP added. His words drained the colour out of her face, she
was unaware of the grin and wink that he hid.
" Yes BP, agar yeh lazy bone thoda jaldi karti to shayad meri jaan is Hither se bach jaati " that added fuel to already burning Ridhhima's heart
" Armaann." Virendra glared at him
" Oh cmmon dad ! you know very well that there was nothing as such " knowing it was time for damage control " actually Ridhhima we were all together in collage and Sammy was our junior so we just used to hang out together. Rohan was so protective of this little kid here. That's it. " he explained and glared at BP who was grinning. He didn't wanted her to think otherwise and risk his chances, but it was kind of late. She was already furious...
" Well, actually he's right Ridhhima. Unfortunately " Sammy laughed
along with BP and Virendra, who it looked, shared a joke, funny only to them.
Though Ridhhima smiled yet Sammy's words did not convince her much. Was she
trying to steal him away. No. Never ! She'll never let her do that, and Armaan.
Kya zarurat thi uske saath aise dance karne ki. Itna chipakne ki ? aur kitna
khush ho raha tha jab usne.." she turned, probably darkest shade of red thinking
about it. Sammy ko to main dekh hi lungi pehle to Armaan ko batati hun...? Her
thoughts were interrupted with a pat on her shoulder
" Hey Ridhhima " Rohan joined in " don't worry about this idiot, I'll marry you anytime . Anyday " he gave her a side hug and Ridhhima gave a challenging smile to the pair sitting opposite her. Armaan's smile faded ' why can't he keep his hands to himself ?!. He'd have said something but his cell rang up and he got up to get ready for the office. The topic was dropped, but not forgotten.
Standing before mirror his mind repeated Rohan's words.. ' I'll marry
you anytime, anyday...' damn ! Why will he marry her ? she's already married. To
me... But.. You can't claim her Armaan... But she likes me too... Yeah, exactly.
Likes, but what about love ? don't you think they look cute together and even
their names rhyme. Rohan Ridhhima. Rohan Ridhhima, Ro..' shhuutt uupp he shouted
out only to realize that he was all alone. He let out a deep breath.. It was
just imagination, just imagination. Repeating it he shook himself, trying to
brush off those scary thoughts...
Ridhhima came in with a big frown on her face. Already she was furious at Sammy and then this Rohan ! One just could not trust him to do something right and straight forward in one go... It was then her eyes fell on the things in the room.. It was all cluttered and totally messed up, as if a hurricane passed through it. Soon she found 'the hurricane'... All dressed up for the office, Armaan was busy throwing away the sheets off the bed, obviously looking for something...
" Armaannn ! Yeh kya hai ? Stop it right now ! " startled by the loud voice, he stood up straight. She came up to him ,horrified seeing around the room " what is all this Armaan ?! Yeh kiya kya hai tumne ?? "
" Main.. Main wo.. Actually, kuch dhund raha tha " he said sheepishly, now that he looked around he saw what a mess he'd created. And not to forget, messed up with her mood too.. " kya dhund rahe the ? Aur aise ?! mujhe kyun nahi bataya ? Martin ya Maria ko bula lete, haalat dekhi hai tumne kya ki hai room ki ! " she said sternly and started picking up things " ab kuch bologe bhi ya aise hi khade rahoge ? Kya dhund rahe the ? " she turned to him, her patience running out. He deliberated for a moment " wo actually I lost.. The key.. To my locker.." with these words her anger faded a little, she knew he was asking for the key that she took away, she was disappointed, she wanted to read more of his diary but it seemed she had to wait for a while longer
Exhaling a sigh, she said " bas. Pehle nahi bol sakte the ? Wo actually kal tumhare kapdo main ek key mili to thi, maine wo sambhal kar rakh li, kal mauka hi nahi mila tumse puchne ka " reluctantly she gave him the key, and could see the relief that came over his face. ' it's okay Ridhhima some other day ' she consoled herself.
" Hey thanks. Main kabse isko dhund raha tha. " he secured the key and his eyes fell on her face " hey , kya hua tum abhi bhi naraz ho ? I'm sorry wo main dhund.."
" No it's okay. Main is wajah se nahi Rohan ki wajah se pareshan hun " sighing she started picking up things again " mujhe samajh nahi aata ki yeh kab samjhega ? Koi kitna samjhaye, kitni hints de ? Sab baatein muh se bolna to zaruri nahi hai naa, magar nahi. Mr. Rohan Kashyap needs everything not only spoken but written ! Huh " she blabbered on " ab main use kaise samjhaun ? He just acts so childish so.. so kiddish. Upar se kehta hai Ridz I'll do whatever you say, huh " Armaan all the while just kept on listening. It was already too much that Rohan was barging in, claiming all his time with her but now even she's worried for him... As far as he could make out she was annoyed that he wasn't saying something straight forward.. But.. Is it about that ?... " you just won't believe.. He takes everything so lightly, aisa thodi naa chalta hai..."
" Aur kya kaha usne.." she turned and found him standing with wrinkled forehead as if pondering hard on something, he ran a hand in his hair and her eyes then fell on something
" Armaan ! yeh tumhare hath main kya hua ? " she held his hand which had a small bandage near his wrist. Everything else forgotten
" Kuch nahi " he pulled his hand away " kal kaam karte hue dhyan nahi raha aur cutter lag gaya " he explained putting the files in his briefcase. The mood spoiled by her Rohan recital early in the morning.
" Dikhao, jyada to nahi lagi ? tumne mujhe bataya kyun nahi ? " she was
worried, both by his injury and now by his sudden sullen mood.
" Itni bhi koi badi baat nahi hai Riddhima ,waise bhi tum itna busy rehti ho aajkal... tumhe fursat hi kahan hai, kaam se.. Rohan se " she froze hearing the words, he picked up his bag and with a brief look moved out of the room.
" So, that is the reason behind that frown " she thought " of course Ridhhima. Pichle kuch dino se tujhe Armaan ke baare main sochne ka mauka hi kahan mila hai.. Upar se you don't even get enough time to spend with him, he'll surely feel neglected... Aur wo bhi ab, when he needs you the most.. When you should be with him. He needs your love Ridhhima.. Don't waste time, tell him that he's the one. You love him " the voice in her mind said " yeah, it's time for some damage control " a smile then spread across her face as something struck her mind and giggling to herself she set out to implement the plan.
Niki was waiting for Abhi to finish his call and join her for lunch. She was brought back from her beautiful day dream to the real world with a tug of her hair. She turned around angrily only to find... No one !.. Surprised she was about to turn back when her eys fell on the 'tugger'. A broad smile spread on her face...
" Heeyy, so it was you who pulled my hair hmm " bending a little she asked a little boy, not more than 1-2 yrs old.. The child was not the least abashed and nodded with his ten teeth smile.. She chuckled at this darling little one " come here " she indicated the place next to her, but the little guy instead of taking place next to her on the couch climbed on to her lap. She was utterly surprised at this ,but then felt her heart warming up with an unexplainable feeling...
The child in her lap was busy checking out her necklace with a big pendent, totally comfortable in her arms, resting his head on her chest. She held the child lovingly and asked " so mister, where's mommy ? " she had to repeat the question twice and in answer just got a dismissive shrug. She laughed out and planted a soft kiss on his cheek ,totally floored by his cuteness. The child's eyes twinkled at the surprise gift.
Meanwhile Abhimanyu finished his call and found his wife busy with another 'man' who was now giving her a kiss. His lips curved into a soft smile, the scene before his eyes was just beautiful... Perfect... She looked so happy... so radiant... He sighed " So Mr. Abhimanyu, it seems you have competition " grinning to himself he approached the table
" Niki, I thought we're the only two for lunch. Who's this third party ? "
She shrugged and asked again " where's mommy sweetheart ? " the boy
just copied her shrug making Abhi laugh and Niki gush at his cuteness. He bent
down a little..
" Young man, I think you should know this " he lowered his voice a little saying conspicuously " she's mine " the child's expression changed from smiling to confused to a scowl. He looked around and picked up a small roll from the starters plate and threw it flat on Abhimanyu's face ! Wiping off his smug smile immediately...
Niki burst out laughing along with the baby. Poor Abhi could hardly do
anything other than wipe his face, swallow his pride and scowl.. To his relief
boy's mother soon found him, thanking and apologizing she took the child away "
awww what a cute baby " Niki crooned
" Cute !? That was a miniature devil who just walked out of here " not happy at being served a roll, on the face ! " abhi yeh haal hai bada ho kar pata nahi kya karega, dekha nahi kaise chipka hua tha tumse "
" Just because he liked me more than you, doesn't make him a devil Abhi " she smiled wiping his face with a tissue paper, amused to see her silly husband getting jealous of a baby
" Now what are you smiling at huh !? I tell you Niki when we have kids it'll be a girl. No boys Pls. " he said as a matter of fact
Niki was surprised at the mention of the topic " Abhi... Kids.?? " her heart felt something strange ,something nice... Lately even she'd thought about it... Now that everything is okay between them, it was probably time to move on to the next level of their relationship. To go the family way... Even Abhi's mom had hinted her, many a times, that she'd like to have a child in the family.. Her grandchild. Her own mother was not far behind. But she couldn't approach him with this, though the idea of having Junior Abhi had really caught on her.. But she was just little apprehensive.. Until now...
" Well.." she came back from her thoughts " why not ? I won't mind having kids.. I mean we'll have them someday. Dad don't leave a chance to narrate what all he'd planned for his grandchild " he raised his brows, Niki's face fell hearing this ' so he doesn't want kids. Not now anyway ' she thought
" It's okay Abhi, we'll think about it later. We both should be really ready for this " she said putting aside her disappointment
" Hey ! No. Who said that I'm not ready now ? " her eyes shot up at him " Niki, I know what you're thinking, but trust me I'm all ready to be a dad... Infact I'd love to experience parenthood with you... Just yesterday when I was talking to dad I realized that it is.. Would be.. The most amazing feeling in the world... But I thought may be, you'd like to wait so.."
Niki was stunned with happiness " Y..you would " she couldn't believe it
" Yeah definitely. You see darling your husband isn't like those men who get cold feet about having kids. Besides I know I'm going to be just one hell of a dad and think of mom and dad, they will touch the ceiling, jumping with joy " she grinned imagining the scene. He brought her closer wrapping her into his arms, kissing her forehead lovingly. Niki was speechless " and I know you'll be a super mom.. but there's just one condition " she looked up, her smile wavering " it had to be a girl and no less than a dozen kids "
She arched her brows hearing it " Abhi, A dozen kids ?! Are you serious
" Of course I am. And all Junior Nikis " he kissed her hand smiling broadly
" hah ! Mister what if I want junior Abhis "
" No way ! abhi dekha na tumne us little devil ko. No no ! I want sweet little Nikis around, bas "
" I can say the same thing too, that I want cute little junior Abhis "
she kissed his nose
" No way ! I'm not falling for this. I want junior Niki and that's final." she opened her mouth to say something but he silenced her putting a finger on her lips " now that this is settled I think I should take the rest of the day off... We should get started immediately. What do you say ,huh " Niki blushed and hid herself in his chest... Her eyes already started seeing those beautiful images...
Earlier that morning...
Armaan was in a middle of some discussion when his cell buzzed up "
hello " " hello, Mr. Malik " " kaun ? " he'd picked up the call without seeing
who it was
" Wow, do ghante main bhuul bhi gaye ? Chalo main hi yaad dila deti
hun, it's me Mr. Malik your 'wife' " the voice and reminder was a pleasant
surprise " Ridhhima ? " he wasn't expecting her to call, he just came in the
office " kya hua ? Sab theek hai na ? " realizing that there might be something
" Ohho, ab kya main tumhe call bhi nahi kar sakti ? " he smiled, relieved now " of course, tum jab chahe tab call kar sakti ho, ab bataogi ki baat kya hai ? "
" Mujhe lunch karna hai " came the answer " lunch ! Abhi !? It's hardly 10 o'clock ! "
" Offoh tum puri baat sune bina hi na bas shuru ho jaaya karo " he chuckled at her irritated reply " achha baba sorry, bolo " " mujhe aaj tumhare saath lunch karna hai. But at my favourite place okay. Aur haan main wo bimaro waala continental nahi khaungi isliye menu ka wo waala section dekhna bhi mat " she warned
He couldn't help laughing at this " Okay boss, no continental. Aur koi hukum ? " " I want to have ice cream after that " he chuckled again " aye aye madam " " good, now I'll see you at two. Don't be late okay "
" I wouldn't miss it for anything in the world " he said, meaning each and every word. It was after all days that they'd got the opportunity to spend some time together and he didn't wanted to miss it...
He waited impatiently for the clock to strike one ,so that he could leave office. He didn't wanted to be late for his unofficial date. His mind worked at double speed after her call and he spent rest of the time deciding what and how he would say what he felt for her... He wasn't going to waste a single minute now... He was lost in his thoughts when his cell vibrated again, his heart raced seeing the caller's name..
" Ridhhima ? " he picked up the call but was scared, wondering if she'd called to cancel their meeting.." hey Ridhhima " he greeted ,hiding his fear
" Hey Armaan..."
" Main bas abhi thodi daer main nikalne hi waala hun. I'll meet you outside Sanjeevani in an hour. Tum aa rahi ho naa.. " praying frantically for a yes..
" Of course main aa rahi hun " he breathed in, relieved " but..." he
sat up again
" But what..? "
" We have to make some changes ,Rohan is coming with me "
" What ?! But.. But you didn't said anything about him before " he spluttered.. Damn this Rohan again !
" Haan main bas papa se baat kar hi rahi thi aur Rohan bhi wahan tha to
maine socha ki saare ek saath lunch karte hain.. It'll be fun "...
" Fun ?! It'll be fun ?! For who ? " his voice rose a bit, what all he was thinking and.. And now it has all gone to the drains. Still fuming with anger he said in cold manner " it's fine Ridhhima, if you want to bring him along then what can I say... Tum ek kaam kyun nahi karti bring Sapna too, I'll ask Amit to join us. Let's have a real 'friendly lunch' "
" I'll see you at two. Bye " he disconnected the call.
" Hey ho gayi baat ? " Rohan asked " I'm already hungry " Rohan ran a hand over his stomach
" You're always hungry Mr. Rohan Kashyap... Did you come from Somalia or something ? " Swati gave him a disapproving look
" Haha Somalia... That was funny, gosh your sense of humour is great " he laughed some more, Ridhhima hit her head mumbling 'jerk' and Swati just rolled her eyes...
Ridhhima was more worried about Armaan. She had planned and dreamed so much for this time together, this lunch ,which was supposed to be a private affair, but while she was asking for the permission to leave from Shashank ,Rohan came there and heard all about it. He instantly made plans of a group lunch inviting Swati too putting her in a fix...
God knows how much she tried to make Rohan change his mind but he's just one silly stubborn bull, he didn't got a clue.. Stupid ! Tabhi to abhi tak atka hua hai.. Kuch nahi pata ki kab kya karna hai.. And Swati, poor thing she said yes all coz of her. She could feel Armaan's changed manner when she spoke to him.. How could she explain the situation with Rohan and Swati sitting right before her. She was left with no choice, now their private lunch turned out to be a group affair... She sighed, the more she tried to spend time with him the more situations got adverse. Now The Armaan Malik will be all sullen and she'd have to work double hard... Already he's not so open about his feelings and what if he steps further back... The thought worried her.
On the other hand Armaan's relief which came on hearing that she's coming for the lunch was washed away with the news of Rohan accompanying her... This was just too much. He was intruding everywhere...
" Ridhhima, I thought it was just you and me " his anger and disappointment touched a new height today and thank god Rohan wasn't there before him. He just wanted her to cancel the lunch, didn't wanted the thIrd party between them and was really angry at her that she didn't waved him off... lost in his disappointed thoughts he heard a knock... and saw a smiling face peeping in...
They all sat together for lunch, Ridhhima totally missed the sarcasm in his remark and actually brought Sapna along... Armaan never hated his friend so much, he was competing against him for Ridhhima's love. How can he ? Even when he knows that he loves her... But then the feeling had to be mutual which he wasn't sure of and the way they both were behaving it was obvious that they had come close in a very short time... He fumed further when he saw him sitting between Ridhhima and that sweet girl Swati.. Whom he remembered he'd met before couldn't exactly recall where but was sure of it.. His confusion got solved when she cleared that he met her in Rohan's office in Germany, but now she'd left the company and had joined another.
If Armaan was sullen Ridhhima was no less furious.. He'd come with Sammy, arm in arm. She turned brightest shade of green when Sammy sat with him leaving her with no choice but to sit with Swati and Rohan. And Armaan, well he didn't seem to have any complain with the sitting arrangment.. So in a U shaped sitting area they sat in this order Ridhhima, Rohan, Swati, Sapna, Amit, Armaan and Sammy.. Who sat right opposite to her..
Ridhhima's hold on her fork became tighter as she saw Sammy laughing at
something which Armaan whispered in her ear. And what's that ? Is she blushing
!? Ggrrr she roared inwardly. What could he probably have said that made her
blush ! Armaan Malik you are gone. But could hardly say anything as Rohan and
others kept distracting her. The lunch went on and there was no change in the
scenario. Ridhhima was pre-occupied with her thoughts, her glares had no effect
on Armaan what so ever instead, she could see that he was ignoring her royally,
she knew why but it wasn't exactly her fault. Didn't she tried her best, how can
she explain all that to him with all of them around. But would he listen ? No.
Men..! Huh.. And this Rohan ,why did he have to tail after her when he could've
easily spend time with Swati.. Another silly man.
" Hey guys, just listen to this... you remember Armaan when we were in high school and sneaked out for a night out.. You know what Ridhhima we were caught. And this isn't it, when we returned early morning guess who did we found sneaking in with us.. BP ! " her eyebrows cocked up at this " and he snatched away Armaan's jacket trying to be all alert parent, remember what he said Armaan "
" yeah.. How can I forget, he checked the jacket and there he found pics of semi naked girls, their numbers, a cigarette pack and even a small bottle of whiskey " they both laughed, Ridhhima wasn't amused " but he forgot to check just one thing " he looked at Rohan who was barely able to control his laughter " that the jacket he was checking was HIS, not Armaan's " They all cracked up hearing it, including Swati who for a change was smiling at Rohan and even looked... Normal... Rohan gave a happy smile to Ridhhima who, Armaan saw, blinked kind of assuringly to him, this faded his smile... They both were talking with their eyes ! He just couldn't bear them this way. First she invites him on a lunch which was supposed to be their time together, then she sit with him, laugh at his pathetic jokes and now exchange silent words through eyes !. She want to be with him. Fine. Like I care, let her be with anyone she likes.. He turned his face away from her, back to Sammy.
Ridhhima could feel that just a moment ago his eyes were on her, but when she looked at him he was busy with Sammy, wondering if that was her imagination, she went back to her food. Though she hardly had any apetite for it now...
" You know Sammy I just remembered something... once an elephant fell in love with an ant and confessed his love but she denied saying... How many times should I tell you Ele that our family doesn't approve of 'intersize' marriages " everybody laughed, except Ridhhima, who made no efforts to hide her displeasure from him, especially because Sammy's head was now resting on his shoulder and she was laughing like maniacs..
" Armaan.. Bas bahot ho gaya, ab araam se khana khao. Yeh koi PJ competition nahi ho raha " she couldn't bear it anymore. Thankfully it wasn't taken into notice much by others. Armaan could sense that Ridhhima wasn't exactly happy seeing him with Sammy, he felt really glad in his heart ' so she's jealous. Hmm... Good, let her be, it's her fault ' still sullen at his spoiled lunch date he was in no mood to forgive and forget...
A moment later Sammy's cell rang up with a loud beep, she checked for the message and excusing herself got up, it would have been okay if Armaan hadn't left along.. Ridhhima watched them leave, her mind worked superfast, a moment ago she saw Armaan texting something and then seconds later Sammy got a message and she left. Did he sent her a message ? That's it. I think I have to make few things clear
Quickly following the suit she followed them and found Armaan walking towards men's room. Where's Sammy ? She can't be in men's room !? Her doubt got cleared as she found Sammy pacing up and down in the lobby with cell phone glued to her ear. Ridhhima hid herself behind a pillar from where she could hear her clearly..
" Yes, I know... Mchh but I told you naa bro need me here... But how
can I.. Yes I do remember you, miss you... When is she going to leave ? "
" leave ? Who's she talking about ? Me ? " Ridhhima wondered, she turned around to see where Armaan was, and was surprised ! She could see the sitting area from where she stood and Armaan was there chatting with Swati and others... " so if Armaan is there that means she isn't talking to him " her heart sommersaulted at this revealation " he's not with Sammy ! " she jumped with joy and relief and thanked god profusely...
As Sammy turned she almost bumped into, now smiling mischieviously, Ridhhima ,she wagged her brows at a surprised looking Sammy " uh, actually it was a friend.." she explained, bit hesitant.
" Ohhh a 'friend'. Must be a very good one since you miss him so much "
Sammy knew with the look on Ridhhima's face that lying to her would be
useless, she sighed " Okay fine. He's someone I know since college days, we're
very good friends but I didn't said anything to him coz I was unsure and didn't
knew what to say.. He's already in a relationship, not that strong though, but
now I realized that I feel strongly for him. But just to be sure that this isn't
infatuation I thought I'll give us sometime... And that's pretty much it " she
" I guess this Don't-know-what-to-say problem runs in the family " Ridhhima mumbled to herself " huh ? " Sammy asked confused " oh nothing " Ridhhima gave her a genuine understanding smile, anything that keeps Sammy away from her Armaan was welcome " so what's the answer ? " she asked
" As I said, I'll think some more about it, but mostly... It's a yes " Sammy grinned back now gaining back her confidence and gettting bit excited
" Aww,..congrats " Ridhhima hugged her " Rohan will be so happy seeing his little Sammy all grown up "
" Oh no no no, " she broke the hug " don't tell bro anything now, he's so protective that he hardly likes anyone I go out with " she said exasperated " and definitely not Armaan pls. He's even a step further, haven't you seen bro, even he's scared of him " Ridhhima didn't felt right about Sammy hiding this from Armaan but she was so relieved that she could hardly bother about anything now.moreover Sammy was right about Rohan being scared of Armaan, she grinned in her thoughts...
Both the ladies came back, Armaan was already there and was hungrily and greedily eyeing the ice-cream that was being served. Since she'd started regulating his Ice-cream intake, his treats were reduced considerably and now he didn't let go of any chance to consume it whenever he can and whatever he can...
" A single scoop plz. " she asked the waiter serving ice-cream
" Ridhhi, are you on a diet ? " Sapna giggled " single scoop ?! "
" It's not for me Sapna. It's for Armaan " and with that she quickly snatched away his bowl which had five different flavours and he was all set to dig in " Rriiidhhiimaa " he cried out
" No way Armaan. This is just too much, waise bhi the weather is
changing, do you want to fall sick. Already you catch cold so easily "
The other's whistled hearing it " see Armaan you've got such a loving and caring wifey " Sapna teased again
" Yeah, if that's what Hitler is called these days then I surely have one " he said putting a spoonful of ice-cream in his mouth before even that one's snatched away. Everybody laughed and Ridhhima just shook her head smiling. Though he made a face at being denied his favourite yet he felt nice, she still cared. He still had hope...
And it seemed God was on his side too...
It was already late afternoon and Ridhhima said that she wasn't going back to Sanjeevani. Sapna on the other hand had some work at home and decided to go along with Amit... Sammy left them as she got a call from her friend and that left Rohan ,Swati ,Ridhhima and Armaan. His heart jumped with happiness at being able to finally have some time alone with her. And to Ridhhima's amazement ,Swati offered to drop Rohan to Sanjeevani, she had some work there and Rohan's car was there too. Rohan jumped at the opportunity and Armaan felt like giving him a kiss.. A non-gay-happy-friendly-kiss.
Bidding them good bye they made way to their car. Neither of them spoke, just stole glances. Ridhhima decided that once they get going she'll explain him that she'd no choice but to invite Rohan and Swati or it was rather Rohan who invited himself !... Armaan on the other hand thought frantically what he was going to say to her, with every passing minute he felt like he was loosing her. And this thought scared him to death..
Finally their car arrived. The valet handed him the keys and opened the door for Ridhhima. They were about to get in when came a loud call...
" Armaan, Armaan. Thank god tu mil gaya yaar " Rohan came there with Swati following him close behind
' Perfect timing..' he grumbled " kyun ? Kya hua ? You were leaving for
Sanjeevani naa ? " He asked
" My car broke down." Swati said " And I'm kind of not feeling well, so dropped the idea of going to Sanjeevani " Ridhhima was worried to hear that and quickly went to her. Both the ladies talked among themselves in whispers. Armaan asked Rohan what they were talking and he just shrugged
" Armaan, let's drop Swati first and then we can head back home " she opened the door to let Swati sit in the car
" Magar ?? "
" Kya magar ? " Rohan looked questioningly. Armaan opened his mouth like a fish. Unable to explain he just looked helplessly from Ridhhima to Rohan to Swati, who waited for him to say something. Ridhhima could do nothing but chuckle lightly at his angry, perplexed, irritated and ready to kill Swati's car face. He exhaled giving up and Ridhhima came to his rescue
" Oh cmmon Rohan, it's nothing, we'll drop Swati on our way. Hai na
Armaan." He gave a fake toothy smile and growled at Rohan..
Rohan came to Ridhhima eyeing Armaan closely " Hey man are you okay ? you look little red red... Cmmon Ridhhima, you get in with Swati, he's looking weird today..." Ridhhima could barely control her laugh
In the car too Rohan the great sat with him in the front. He never
hated Rohan so much ever. The only consolation was Ridhhima's view in the rear
view mirror. Boy did she look beautiful !... The journey was made in silence,
except for Rohan, who did all the chatting and with them replying in
monosyllables. Armaan kept stealing glances at Ridhhima and for a moment even
thought of pushing Rohan out of the car, only the years of thick and thin
together kept him from doing so... He groaned inwardly, how he longed to touch
those rosy cheeks and kiss those lips... Lost in his thoughts, he had no idea
what Rohan talked about or when they dropped Swati off, but rest of the journey
which was just 10 minute drive went by in silence... they just smiled at each
other and in her case, blushed, which, unfortunately, went unnoticed by him..
Little did he knew that she wasn't thinking anything different..
That evening they all sat in the parlour, Rahul Muskaan , Rohan Ridhhima but Armaan didn't join the gang he sat bit distant from them trying to do some work and... failing miserably. All his mind could think of was how they all were laughing and cracking jokes. some stupid jokes which for some weird reason Ridhhima found funny ! He made a face, trying hard not to hear them... But he gave up after a while ,all he was doing was blankly staring at the pages. He put the file aside and picked up his diary... Their laughter echoed in his ears, Rohan cracked another stupid joke
" you know guys ek baar ek village main movie shooting ke liye crew pahuncha to ek ladki ne kaha ' Maa gaon main film waale aaye hain...' to maa ne kaha ' Nahi beti andar aa ja in film waalo ki neeyat badi kharab hoti hai..' beti boli ' Ma John aur Abhishek aaye hain..' ' Achha to ek kaam kar bhai ko bhi andar le aa..' " they all burst out laughing, except Armaan who just scowled and wrote furiously in his diary
" This Rohan. He spoiled my entire day. What not I planned for today but he had to butt in everywhere ,everytime ! I feel like killing him now- the villian. See, how he's cracking those stupid jokes and god knows what Ridhhima find so funny in them ?! " he glanced in their direction and saw Ridhhima and Rohan Hi-fiving " ugghhh, and these hi-fives, they should be banned. Totally banned ! Completely banned ! " he looked at them frowning
" Hey sadu ! Come and join us. Wahan us stupid file ke saath kya kar raha hai ? " Rohan called
Armaan closed his eyes momentarily, and then turned to him with a fake smile " No, you carry on. It's important " he lied, his eyes met briefly with Ridhhima's and they looked expectant, but she didn't said anything and got busy with Muski...
He started writing again " Huh ! Look at my wife ! She hardly cares !
Ek baar bhi nahi kaha ki Armaan come join us. Why would she ? Wo Rohan jo hai
wahaan. Waise bhi meri love story aage badhne ka naam nahi le rahi upar se yeh
Rohan naam ke speed breakers ! " a sharp ringing broke his chain of thoughts. He
saw Ridhhima breaking off from the group... " this is it Armaan ! Grab the
opportunity " he thought quickly, and closing his diary stealthily slipped out
of the room. Looking around he found her heading towards their room. He followed
her with heart thumping and a broad excited smile on his face... As soon as he
reached the door he stopped to calm himself a little and took deep breaths... He
was about to enter when her words reached him... She was talking to Sapna...
" I'm so glad that Vivek episode is over.. He's not even worth mentioning Sapna, I don't think I ever loved him anyway " she kept on talking and tidying the room. His smile broadened hearing it, he was so glad that she was over that Vivek thing, he was right she never loved him
" Hmm and what's with this dude, Rohan ? "
" Rohan, oh he's such a sweetheart." Armaan's heart as if stopped beating " he's so sweet and really funny "
" Haan dekha aaj maine, aur Armaan ka kya, bechara competition dekh kar
jal kar koyla hua jaa raha tha " Sapna lughed
" Oh plz Sapna ! Armaan know's that he's just a friend and waise bhi he's not even competeing he's already a winner " Ridhhima replied but Armaan was unable to see her blushing face, her back was towards him
" Not competing... Is she talking about me ? who's the winner ?? " he thought, confused
" Ohho, possessive huh " Sapna teased but Ridhhima just rolled her eyes smiling " magar Rohan ki problem kya hai ? Saara din us Swati se jhagadta rehta hai, daant khata rehta hai. Kuch karega bhi ya aise hi chalta rahega ? "
" Arre yaar actually he's in love, aur pata hai wo to mujhe bhi nahi bataa raha tha but when I confronted him he blurted out everything... But you've seen him naa ,he's so kiddish in some manners, ab har baat to samjhayi nahi jaati. He should grow up yeh saari zindagi ki baat hai koi hansi khel to nahi hai naa " Armaan still stood there wondering about her words, his own reason forgotton.. Rohan is in love ?! With who ? His heart starting beating rapidly as a scary thought crossed his mind and a name flashed somewhere...
" Bechara use pata nahi uska paala kisse pada hai. Ek taraf Ridhhima the hitler aur dusri taraf Swati the Nepolean " she giggled " aur Armaan ? "
" What about Armaan ? " Ridhhima asked
" Usko pataa hai is baare main ? "
" Nahi, abhi Armaan ko kuch nahi bataya, maine kaha Rohan se ki Armaan
ko bataa do magar wo hai ki sunta hi nahi, aakhir yeh baat hum kab tak chhupa
sakte hai. Hamein saath dekh kar wo waise hi doubt agar abhi nahi kar raha to
karne lagega, he's not a fool he'd already said that Rohan seems changed."
Armaan's heart sank, she wanted Rohan to tell him something.. Something they are
hiding from him... The past few days rolled before his eyes, the way they
talked, behaved.. and he stood there fixed...
" Hmm, magar wo Armaan ko bataa kyun nahi raha ? After all dono best friends hain ,I'm sure Armaan uski aur help kar sakta hai."
" Maine usko yahi kahaa magar wo kehta hai ki Armaan ke saath uski kuch baat hui hai aur wo Armaan ko is baare main abhi kuch nahi bataa sakta.." Armaan remembered the day when he asked Rohan what he was upto and he said he'll tell him when the right time comes..
" Strange "
" Yeah, exactly " Ridhhima said, though she had the idea of the reason for not telling Armaan
" Aur Swati ka kya ? "
" Maine to Rohan se keh diyaa hai ab bahot ho gayaa no more waiting, ab seedhi seedhi baat kar lo baaki jo hoga dekha jayega. Ghar waalo ko to hum kaise bhi sambhaal lenge. Iss baat ko aur delay nahi kar sakte, time nikalta jaa raha hai. Aur rahi baat Armaan ko batane ki to I'll drop some hints to him, yeh Rohan to waise to itna samajhdaar hai magar kuch baato main bilkul silly hai..."
" Yeah, I think he should hurry up Swati is already three months pregnant and uske mood swings ko dekhte hue delay achhi baat nahi hai. Ab Rohan ko akal aa hi gayi hai to use apne hone waale bachhe ki khatir Swati ko manaa lena chahiye " Sapna said
" Yeah you are right. I'll tell him to directly talk to her parents. Meri Rohan ke parents se baat hui and they are so understanding and guess what, unhe divorce waali baat se koi problem nahi hai. They are really nice and understanding people..." Armaan was on the other hand drenched in cold sweat... She'd even talked to Rohan's parents ?! And he didn't even knew about it ! And they don't have any problem with divorce thing ?! So.. So does that mean she wants to leave me.. Divorce me ??!
" Thats great news yaar.. Ab bas Swati ko manana reh gaya hai and I'm sure wo maan jayegi. I know she loves him too... Warna wo usse kabhi shaadi nahi karti.. And of course Rohan ke parents apne hone waale pote poti ke liye kuch bhi kar sakte hain.. And what about Sammy ? "
" What about that now ? "
" Wo Sammy aaj Armaan se kuch jyada hi chipak nahi rahi thi ? and did you look at your face ? aisa lag raha tha ki any moment you're going to pounce on her and rip her apart.." Sapna grinned
Ridhhima laughed " nahi nahi Sapna, aisa kuch nahi hai, I know Armaan jaanta hai ki mujhe pata hai ki it's nothing but pure friendship.. Aur usse jyada I'm worried about Rohan.. you know he's just so kiddish at times. Hopefully ab sab theek ho jaye.. Mujhe puri umeed hai ki wo is baar sab kuch saaf saaf bol dega aur phir hum araam se Armaan ko bhi bataa sakte hai. Main ab usse aur nahi chhupana chahti he has all the right in the world to know, he's his best friend after all " ' so she thinks I belive what we have is just friendhip.. Pure friendship ?! Is this what I am ... Best friend ! ' Armaan thought sadly
" Magar Rohan to usse bahut darta hai "
" Haan, magar ab Rohan ko bhi himmat karni hogi jo hua so hua ab aage ka sochne ka waqt hai, hum purani baaton ke saath chipke to nahi reh sakte naa. Aur Rohan yeh baat achhi tarah se jaanta hai." Armaan swallowed a lump in his throat
" Hmm ,ab bas yehi dua karte hain ki dono ke beech ki duuriyan jaldi khatam ho jaayein.." Sapna added
" I really hope so, main to bas ab wait nahi kar sakti is khushkhabri ke liye... I think he's soon going to solve everything, just can't wait for it..." Armaan, who heard only one side of the conversation, didn't had the heart to listen further. " so she's waiting for Rohan to declare everything... this is what they were hiding from me ? This is the happy news she's waiting eagerly for..." With heavy steps and heavier heart, drained out of all the happiness, he trudged out... He kept walking till he reached his favourite spot under the tree with the swing... He didn't knew what to think ? What to say.. She was considering.. Had considered ,it seemed, Rohan over him... He quietly wiped off a lone tear that trickled out...He was left alone again. He was indeed too late...
Or he thought so..
Ridhima kept the phone down, this little conversation with Sapna brought back the memory of that day when Rohan told her everything about him and Swati...
Rohan sighed heavily, " Ridhhima, actually a friend of mine is in kinda mess.. A big mess " he paused ,she waited, knowing well that he was looking for words. He spoke again " he's in love with this girl, truly, and he committed a blunder and has a last chance to get her back into his life... it's just that the chances look bleak and he had no clue how to make her understand that he really mean what he said " he looked at her, exasperated and looking like a man who had tried much with no result
Ridhhima watched him closely and said softly " Rohan, first of all if
you want my help you have to be completely honest with me.. Have you heard about
that saying that you shouldn't hide anything from your lawyer and doctor..." his
eyes shot up at her, she could see surprise in them and knew that she was right.
Moreover, he felt he could really trust her, she spoke again " is it really
about your friend..? If I'm not wrong then this 'friend' of your's is none other
than you.." she looked directly into his eyes, he could say nothing but nod a
yes.. Knowing well it's useless to lie.. She gave an assuring smile " trust me,
I'm your friend too, just like Armaan is.. I'll do my best for you " her soft
assuring words made him believe on her and he spoke up... Telling everything...
He told her the truth... He was married, to a girl named Swati... And
now was divorced too.. The shocking part came now.. The girl he was pursuing for
marriage was none other than... Swati !.. Ridhhima was herself quiet confused
and shocked to hear it, but as the truth unfolded she came to know about the big
mess he'd landed himself into...
Swati worked in Rohan's company, as a finance advisor, she was smart,
intelligent and for the reasons unknown to him, in love with him, though
according to her she loved this carefree, gregarious, smart, happy-go-lucky
Rohan Kashyap who tried to show that he didn't cared but would go to any extent
for the sake of his loved ones, " she said, she loved the way I make her feel
special but the truth is, she made me feel like I belong somewhere, like I had a
reason to be here with her, a divine order brought us together... she's my
anchor when I drift off ,my dam when I seek control, she's the one I would never
get tired of loving..." Ridhhima recalled his words...
Swati was floored when she came to know how he helped Armaan in unveiling Vivek's truth, though he assured Ridhhima that Swati didn't knew about the intricate details, just that he helped Armaan to deal with a man who was cheating on his friend. Swati believed that he was a strong man of principles and her love and admiration grew further... Rohan felt something too, something he never felt with other girls, her faith, trust and love raised his expectations from himself and he wanted to be everything she wanted him to be. Swati pulled him to her and he was not complaining, he too fell in love with her.. It was like magic for both... Working together gave their budding love ample opportunity to grow stronger. Their mutual attraction was so strong that they could hardly stay away from each other. To his surprise Rohan rarely noticed when he changed from the carefree, reckless Rohan to caring, responsible Rohan... his favourite strip club cried of his absence, his parents wondered seeing him so happy these days and he himself felt being on cloud nine... And why not... after all he was the man in love.. but unfortunately he turned out to be the weaker link of the two...
Who knew that everything was going to change that soon... One fateful
day he announced a trip to Las Vegas. It was work cum vacation trip.. There one
night.. Swept away by the high of atmosphere and alcohol, they ended up getting
MARRIED to each other in a local church...! Of course Vegas is a beautiful
place, which seems even more beautiful when you get to spend your first wedding
night making love to your newly wedded wife passionately in a beautiful suiet of
Ceaser's palace !
The next day ,reality sank in... He could not bring himself to accept the fact that he was married. Lawfully. It wasn't that he didn't loved Swati, he did. And still do. But at that time it was really hard for both to accept the fact.
Considering the situation they decided that they'll give each other some time before declaring this to their parents. He could see that though it was kind of hard for her to accpet the manner in which they got married yet she wasn't regretting the decision and surely wanted to be with him. And here, he didn't agreed with her, this wasn't how he wanted it to be, marriage wasn't in his agenda for next 5 yrs !... But he couldn't bring himself to burst her bubble of happiness. So he just agreed with the idea of not telling anyone about the wedding and giving each other time to think ,relax and to let the reality sink in... Happy with the adjustment and agreement they comtinued to ' meet ' . Swati had no inhibitations, he was afterall her husband...
And then things started to change. After about a month ,she started
asking him to talk to her parents and his too.. He wasn't ready even by then...
He felt that his freedom was going to be snatched away, her presence now felt
like intrusion and though he still loved her he was just not ready for the '
marriage ' thing.. Talks turned into debates, debates into arguments and
arguments into fights...
And one day she came to him, unlike other days she looked happy, but somehow it all turned to their old topic. She again asked him to talk to her parents and he burst out on her ,saying some really hurting words... Accusing her of being after his money, claiming his freedom, that she was suffocating him... He was in a foul mood that day, it was just not his day and all his anger came out on her..she went away crying from there. When he came to his senses he realised what he's done. He tried to contact her but she didn't talk or met him nor answered any of his calls... Then she asked finally what he wanted and he foolishly asked to wait further. That was the last they talked. He still remembered her tearful eyes and sad face, but he was too dumb to understand anything. She wasn't ready for what he wanted and he wasn't ready for what she asked from him.. Lifelong commitment gave him jitters...
Two days later he got a letter, a box and a packet. Her lawyer came to deliver that. The letter was her resignation, the box carried all his gifts he gave her... Including the wedding ring and the packet had.. Divorce papers... his ego and anger took better of him, clouding his real feelings and better judgement ,he signed those papers, without even pausing to think over it for a moment...
And within the short span of time he had done it all... Found his life, fell in love, married her and then got divorced...
The things did not end here. After she wass gone, his life changed again, and this time... For worse. Swati went away and along with her was gone all his happiness. He was left with no desire for anything or anyone... if he thought that he could breathe without her, then he was wrong... Very wrong... His life felt empty... Shallow... Nothing interested him, and smile disappeared from his face all together. Everywhere he looked he hope to see her, to find her looking at him.. He waited that she might call again but after that day she never called... Never met.. He often went to her cabin just to feel her presence, her fragrance but that too was fading.. It scared him, he didn't wanted her to fade away from his life like this fragrance... That day he realised what she meant for her, what her being, her presence meant for him... That day he realized what a fool he'd been to let the love of his life slip away from his hands... And then he started searching, looking for her everywhere.. To ask for her forgiveness to let her know how much he loved her to tell her that she was right all along and he was the jerk... To beg her to come back to him to love him like she did and to promise her that he would never let go of her again , and would love her forever...
The search wasn't difficult , the only thing that was, was her consent. She flatly refused to see his face again.. To even to talk to him. He expected no less after what he'd done but giving up did not exist in his lexicon and absolutely not when it was the question of the love of his life... He remained persistant, followed her everywhere. Knowingly and unknowingly.. Did stupid stuff to gain her attention and once even landed up in prison overnight on her complain. Still he did not relax his efforts. He wasn't going to commit the same mistake and loose her again..
Life on the other hand had another surprise for him in her bag... he was once following her as usual one day when she turned to the hospital. He was worried, none of the people she knew were sick. On enquiring he found out something that made him even more resolute to make her reunite with him...
She was pregnant... With his child of course !
That day he cried, they were the tears of both joy and sorrow... He was
going to be a father and he fooloshly drove away the happiness from his life for
some stupid notions of his.. Child.. His child.. The symbol of their love... At
no cost he was to be left out of this, he wanted to be a part of everything, her
life, their child's life.. But swati was still adament. She didn't wanted him to
be anywhere near her or her child . While signing the papers he failed to notice
that he'd also signed on no right over children or right to fight for coustody.
But he didn't wanted to fight her he wanted her, and their child ,both. Swati
was right on her part too. He hadn't proved himself to be much reliable, what if
he later found the child even more binding and demanding on his freedom.. He
wasn't ready to accept their marriage let alone shoulder the responsibilty of a
child.She won't be able to see her child heartbroken as she was.. He was better
away from them... But he was resolute and continued his best to make her
understand that he'd realised his mistake and wanted her back in his life.. he
was a changed man now.. But she replied with a pained tone
" That's the problem with you Rohan. You change too much..."
Ridhhima could see the pain in his eyes that day, she knew whatever he'd said he really meant that... But he quickly recovered from his sadness and continued.. Not giving up he secretly bought the company she worked in and his efforts paid off when he started seeing the cracks in the wall she'd created around her... He knew well that though angry she loved him a lot... She like him would never want their child without the love of his/her father. Her defenced started to loosen a little, she stleast now did not rebuked him, had stopped, though not completely, insulting him and sometimes even talked to him normally.. He even once saw her smile when he filled her cabin with her favourite flowers and bought loads of things for the baby and statred taking extra care of her... And it wasn't just for the show, he realised that he liked doing that... For her ,for their baby...
Two months later, he found her that she was coming to india and with a lucky coincidence to Sanjeevani, for a project of investment in medical field. He grabbed the opportunity and came to India he knew Armaan was here and so was Ridhhima.. They would do anything for his sake. Though he'd fight for his love himself, all he asked from them was some opportunities. He'd never wooed a divorced pregnant lady before ! He'd laughed out on his PJ himself.
Ridhhima was all ready to help him out in whatever way she could and said that they can talk to Swati on his behalf but he kind of freaked out. He didn't wanted Armaan to know, not right now anyway. She remembered she asked him why , totally confused...
" I mean main Armaan ko batana to chahta hun but he's first going to beat me black and blue and then will ask for anything else. When he met Swati in Germany he'd warned me not to do something stupid and break her heart or he'd break my bones and I did exactly the opposite.. trust me he beats real bad.."
Ridhhima knew he wasn't telling lie she'd seen him once in that parking
lot with those goons who were troubling her. She still remembers the fire in his
eyes. " So all I want is that first I'll settle things with Swati make her agree
to marry me, again... And then of course I'll tell him everything. I want to win
my love myself ,in that way atleast I'll not be beaten up that much..." Ridhhima
smiled at him that day. It was so nice see someone work so hard to get his love
" Or the best thing I'll hide behind you and Swati." Ridhhima almost choked on
her drink laughing... But he became solomn again and his words he spoke that day
still echoed in her ears " you know Ridhhima, when I met her ,It was so
difficult to say hello for the first time and trust me I have no intention of
saying bye to her for the last time.."
Ridhhima came to present, a lot had changed in the past fortnight. She'd talked to Rohan's parents and after a good lecture and scoldings to Rohan they'd rejoiced on the news of becoming grandparents. Sammy came to India to support him morally and Rohan's parents had talked to Swati's parents who agreed delightfully. So all was set and the only thing that was required was a yes from Swati. Which she believed wasn't far away. Rohan though kiddish at times wasn't a bad guy and loved Swati to the core, how can anyone say no to so much love and adoration...
Was she able to resist Armaan, who didn't even said a word about his
love... Yet she came to know.. Her lips curved into a longing smile at his
thought. Once this Rohan's matter is solved all her attention will be totally
diverted to her love. He'd unintentionally suffered so much because of all this.
Her heart longed to reach out to him, hug him, love him, kiss him and make up
for all the days that were lost...
On the other hand ,unaware of the truth, Armaan suffered with the pain of almost loosing his love...
Throughout the dinner he kept observing them, Ridhhima was definitely quite free with Rohan. She looked the same, behaved the same.. She laughed ,she scolded, she talked but somehow it felt that it was all for Rohan. Though she coaxed him to eat, he didn't feel like eating even a morsel, especially after what he'd heard today.. When he saw them talking ,smiling to each other ,it felt as if he was the one who was out of place... Who didn't belong...
Swept away with anger, frustration and sadness, he sat alone in the bedroom, blankly staring at the file before him. It was just 10 by the clock and he asn't expecting Ridhhima to back anytime soon. He sighed heavily, maybe it wasn't the time that was wrong but he is... Maybe he was all wrong, from the very start... If he could just go back and make everything okay... He was lost in his thoughts when a soft click brought him back. Turning around he saw a smiling Ridhhima entering the room... Surprised he glanced at the watch again. That was quiet early by her standard... By Rohan's standards...
" hey ! " she greeted him happily
' What is she so happy about ? But of course she has the reason but why on earth she thinks that I have one too " he thought dejectedly " hi " he replied in a monosyllable, for a moment she kept looking at his face, expecting more than a dry 'hi' but he was back to his file again..
Putting the thoughts aside she came over to his side " Mchh, Armaann,
jab se aayein hain tab se tum bas iss file ke saath chipke hue ho. Shakal dekhi
hai apni, kitne thake hue lag rahe ho. Chalo band karo yeh sab and cmmon let me
give you a 'head message' " she said declaring the prize of the day.
Armaan's ears shot up hearing it ' head message !' only his heart knew how much he'd longed for her touch but, today it was different. He looked up at her , she was waiting for him to close the file and get up " chalo ab, soch kya rahe ho ? " she tried to take away the file from his hand but he moved it away stopping her , she was surprised at his reaction " kya hua Armaan ? "
" thanks for the offer but I have some important work to do . You go to sleep ,it's late and you must be tired " he said dryly. Ridhhima was totally surprised at his reply ,she thought he'd jump at the offer but by the look of it ,he didn't even cared !. She tried to reason out with him but he just quietened her saying that he wasn't exactly feeling sleepy . After few futile attempts she gave up. For a while she kept waiting for him to come over so that they could talk but then her eyes felt heavy and she drifted off to sleep
Armaan came and sat next to her. His princess was deep in slumber. How beautiful she looked. He sighed ,here she was sleeping peacefully taking away the same from his eyes... Would he be able to live without her ?? He couldn't even imagine waking up and not seeing her around... He sighed and rested his head at the bedpost... Debating with himself to let go or to hold on... And then the day's events flashed before his eyes.. The talk.. Rohan... Everything just muddled up his troubled mind even further. " I need some fresh air " with that he got up, then stopped and covered her with the cover and walked out of the room...
Coming down he was surprised to see Rohan sitting at the bar... He looked around to see if Rahul was there but apparently he was alone. Drinking shot after shot..
" Hey Rohan.. What are you doing up so late man ? " he asked. Rohan turned and he saw his bloodshot eyes. Armaan knew instantly that he'd been drinking too much " Rohan ! You're drunk ! Cmmon leave it and lets go " he snatched away the bottle from his hand
" Cmmon Armaan ! I'm not drunk. See I'm perfectly okay " Armaan could see how okay he was he was swaying on his seat. He tried to make him stop and go to the room. What was wrong with everyone today ! But Rohan refused to budge " No. I'm not leaving. Not without her anyway.." Armaan stood there stunned
" Not without her ?! "
" yes. Not without her. But.. She think I'm not serious. Can you
believe it ! I'm not serious ! I came all the way from Germany for her and she
says.. I'm not serious ?! You know I fell in love with her first time I saw her
and... And.. How can I see her with someone else ! No. I'm not giving up "
Armaan's heart sank but Rohan was just too drunk to think or say anything
straight. He again tried to make him go to his room " yaar Armaan, why does this
happen to me ? I know I did some stupid stuff but for the first time I got
serious for someone and she thinks that I'm childish.. Kiddish, not mature
enough ! " suddenly Ridhhima's words rang in his ears " what the hell man ! I
bloody manage one of the top finance companies. Don't I ?! "
" But I think she likes you, don't she ? Then what's the problem ? " he
" Yes , I know she likes me... Loves me " he said swaying from side to side " but yaar Armaan she still hadn't said yes." his head jerked up hearing it ' so Ridhhima hadn't actually said yes to him.." he felt a ray of hope " I swear Armaan I'll not go to my favourite strip club more than twice a year.. What the hell. I'll never go there at all, I'll be all mature and understanding the way she likes.. Just ..just tell her to come back to me... I want her to know that even I want someone who loves me, have a nice house.. Have kids "
" Kids ?! Rohan you aren't even married and you've already started dreaming about kids ! You know naa they are a huge reponsibility and you won't be a free man like now " he knew what he was saying was evil but anything to keep Ridhhima with him was just for him.
" I don't care man. I'll do whatever it takes. I've told Ridz too that
I'll be a changed man . Completely. Bas ek baar wo meri life main aa jaaye. I
promise i'll start speaking hindi all the time ,I'll shift to India permanently
and even worship all the bollywood hunks ! " and with that Ridhhima's words
echoed back in his mind.
" Rohan. I think it's enough for today. Come let's go to your room "
and he forced drunk and reluctant Rohan back to his room where he passed out
immediately... He came back to his room and found Ridhhima sleeping soundly, he
lay down beside her, but sleep was still
Miles away from his eyes.. He kept tossing and turning, her words ,
Rohan's words kept echoing in his mind.. He gave after sometime, sleep won't
come easy today. He got up and went to a drawer.. The rummaging sound broke
Ridhhima's slumber opening her eyes he found him swallowing the pills. She
wondered what happened, concern took over " Armaan, kya hua ? Why did you take
the pills ? " she asked
" Don't worry Ridhhima, just couldn't sleep. It's okay. You go to sleep. Good night " with that he turned his face away and switched off the light, leaving her staring at his face confused...
The next day morning went in a blurr. And though she wanted to ask him the reason he took the pills for she couldn't find the time or the opportunity. Moreover she'd to rush to hospital for an emergency case... Armaan on the other hand sat on his chair, with his head resting back and fingers steepled he was deep in his thoughts...
" Whatever I heard from both yesterday cannot be a lie... Rohan was drunk but he wasn't lieing.. But he said Ridhhima hadn't said yes to him yet.. And even if she'd talked to his parents that doen't mean anything till she gives her consent " he sat up " yes, it's now or never I have to talk to her straight and directly ask her what she thinks about me... About us..." with that he picked up his phone and dialled her number
Ridhhima was juggling with reports ,emergency cases of a major accident ,patient files and Rohan who dropped in either for some work or for some advice as Swati wasn't feeling well and he was acting like any freaked out would-be-papa-soon husband would be... It was during this time she heard her cell phone ringing, looking at the name that flashed she prayed that he'd have called at some appropriate time.. balancing her phone between her shoulder and ear she picked it up..
" Hey Armaan "
" Hey Ridhhima.."
" Kya hua Armaan ? Kuch kehna tha kya ? " Though she was dying to talk to her yet the timing could not have been worse. She rushed from one room to another checking patients reports hurriedly " Armaan, I'd really like to talk to you but can we talk after some time I'm kinda busy right now "
He wanted to protest ,shout that he couldn't rest, sleep coz of her and she was worried about work ! but all that came out was just a small okay, but he couldn't keep the phone down and said quickly " Ridhhima.."
" Haan bolo..."
" Wo, wo..."
" Haan Armaan bolo, main sun rahi hun..." bit impatient plus she saw Rohan rushing to her. Maybe swati was throwing up again. She signalled him that she was coming over
" Armaan suno, Rohan mera wait kar raha hai, hum ghar par mil rahe hain naa shaam ko ,tab baat karte hain, okay.. bye." and with that she disconnected the call. Leaving him immensely sad. For a while he sat there feeling dejected, but then suddenly he was filled with rage
" Why ? Why ? Rohan had to come at all... Everything, just everything, is going wrong." A voice then spoke up.. " Cool down Armaan may be it's a sign that you and Ridhhima are never meant to be together " " no that can't be Manali main jo hua..." " Don't be fooled by that. You still think that there's any hope for you, any chance at all ! Wake up man, Did she said anything to you, did you say anything to her. No. You missed the opportunity Armaan Malik which Rohan grabbed immediately. Why are you disappointed now, I think someone said he wanted Ridhhima to be happy..." " Yes I do..." " Then be ready, It seems the time has come to let her go... Forever..."
He was again drenched in cold sweat.." let go of Ridhhima.." but then his face hardened with sudden resolution.. " enough now. He was not going to suffer anymore, he'll be strong.. And he'll let her go... If that's what she wants "
He picked up the phone again and dialled a number, he waited for a
moment before speaking " hello.. Mr. Prajapat... It's Armaan Malik here... I
know you have not contacted Ridhhima, this time I have some work for you...
Yes... I think i might.." he sighed and corrected himself " I need your services Mr. Prajapat... The
terms and conditions remain the same they were before... Send them as soon as
possible..." with that he slumped back on his chair, closing his eyes... He was
left with no other choice...
In the evening when he drove Ridhhima and Rohan back from hospital he was unusually quiet, but it hardly mattered Rohan looked exceptionally happy and so did Ridhhima. Whole way back they kept talking and he just kept the flow going on with his monosyllables.. Before he took the major step he had to clear out everything with Ridhhima and Rohan.. But with Ridhhima first...
" Ridhhima..." He calledseeing her walking towards the room. Rohan stayed back, he got a call, it was time ,she stopped at the stairs... " Ridhhima I wanted to talk to you. pehle baat adhuri reh gayi thi. I want to tell you, ask you something... It's very important..."
" Haan bolo Armaan.." She stepped down now, facing him in anticipation
" Wo.. Wo actually..." He inhaled deeply.. " It's time Armaan, cmmon say it..' " Ridhhima actually maine.."
" Ridhiiimmaaa..." suddenly came a loud yelling noise, and before she
knew she was wrapped in a bear hug by Rohan. Armaan just stood there stunned and
was totally surprised when he was wrapped in a bear hug too...
" Ridhhima I won.. We won ! We won ! And guess what double ! Yes yes yes ! " he jumped like maniacs and Armaan was totally dumbfounded seeing his crazy actions. Ridhhima too was washed away in his enthusiasm and was happily jumping on the spot..
Calming down a little Rohan turned to Armaan " well, you see Armaan I got the investment deal in Sanjeevani.. And.. To tell you the truth, I was hiding something from you. Remember what I said to you in the car that day.. Well it's about that and now it's time that the deal is signed and sealed..." he looked at Ridhhima " Ridhhima we've to go to Bangalore tomorrow for a day and there we'll get things finalized " he hugged Armaan again " thanks Armaan ,you know you've been my life saviour... We will explain everything to you after this trip.. I hope you can give me just a day more..." Armaan was speechless and could barely manage a nod, forcing a smile on his face.. His words ' we'll explain ' rang in his ears blacking everything else...
Ridhhima had no time for him now, they were now joined by Sammy and were busy planning for the next day. He left them ,and with heavy heart walked back to the room. Their reaction left him with no doubt that his decision was right. It broke his heart but he'd already shed so many tears that his eyes felt dry... He spent another sleepless night thinking, dreading about the future.. Without her...
The next morning he was trying to make a knot in the tie and it stubbornly refused to obey him, after his fifth attempt he kind of gave up. Exasperated, he expelled a sigh and stood before the mirror with hands on his sides, glaring at the tie as if it will tie up itself ,scared of him. Unfortunately, nothing happened and he was still standing with a big frown. He even considered stomping on it to make it work his way but that would have just spoiled it, and he wanted to do it himself this time. Without Martin and Ridhhima... Especially her... Now that he know... He closed his eyes, even to think about it was hard. He couldn't even manage to speak the words in his mind how he's going to see it all happening before his very eyes... With great difficulty he'd consoled himself...
He was just wondering about yesterday when Ridhhima entered the room. Just one look and she knew immediately that it was usual tie war going on... Grinning lightly she came to him
" Armaan.." his thoughts were broken with her soft voice but he said nothing just kept looking at her " kya hua ? phir se tie, hmm.. tum to rehne he do, mujhe nahi lagta tumhe kabhi tie bandhni aayegi.." she came over to him straightening his collar. He forgot his fears with that brush of fingers on his neck, hitting himself mentally he thought " what are you thinking man.. See, she's right here before you and she obviously cares for you plus don't forget she had not yet said yes to Rohan.. but what Rohan said yesterday... Does she.. Is she the one he was talking about..?? " his heartbeat raised at the thought
The knock at the door put a brake on his thoughts
" Madam, Rohan sir is calling you downstairs... And he said to come immediately " that was the last straw. Everywhere. Everytime. It's Rohan, Rohan and Rohan...
His temper shot up immediately and before she could even reply to Martin he pulled away the tie still hanging around his neck." Armaan kya hua ? Tum kahan jaa rahe ho ? Breakfast ? Aur tie.."
" Rehne do Ridhhima, mujhe bhuk nahi hai aur tumhare jaane ke baad main kya karunga... Tum jao Rohan wait kar raha hai... He needs you more " she was surprised at his cold tone but he was out of the room before the words from her mouth
She just stood there wondering what happened to him he never went without getting his tie done by her " Yeh Armaan ko kya hua ... Main bas ek din ke liye hi to ja rahi hu... Aur Rohan isko bhi tasalli nahi hai " she frowned, he just spoiled their moment together
That day he didn't stop for breakfast. He feared he might punch Rohan straight on his face. Plus he needed time.. To control himself... to make himself understand that Ridhhima might ,afterall, not choose him...
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Recap : Ridhhima gets jealous of Sammy and gets angry on Rohan. Armaan doesn't like it a bit. She calls him for lunch which turns out to be a group affair. her talks with Sapna lead to misunderstanding. Rohan and Swati's secret is unveiled... Armaan calls Prajapat and remains distant from Ridhhima. Rohan declares that he's won and ask her to join him on a day's trip to Bangalore...
Floating on that beautiful expanse of the white fluffy clouds all Ridhhima could think of was being with her life.. with Armaan, holding hands with only love for each other in their eyes... She felt blissful as he wrapped her in his protective loving embrace... She didn't knew what being in heaven felt like but it couldn't be better than this...
She sighed, wishing that some fairy tales were true... Where she and Armaan would be prince and princess in love. An involuntary smile made it's way on her face. Sitting there in the plush leather chair of the plane, she pondered on the past few days. She'd have loved to sit with Armaan and pour her heart out ,already missing him terribly.. But unfortunately this could not happen. As a representative from Sanjeevani she was asked to accompany Rohan to get the signatures of the remaining board members. She was delighted to hear the news first not because she got to go with Rohan but coz she thought Armaan would come along and they can have much delayed conversation. She was hugely disappointed when he refused saying that he'd loads of work to do... and she couldn't find anything to say that could change his mind...
He left her worried, without having his breakfast. She tried his number but he refused to pick it up. She knew if there was anyone to blame for his behaviour it was she herself.. It was after reading the diary that she felt kind of... secure, that he isn't going away and she wouldn't even think of being away from him and in this sense of security which enveloped her, she unknowingly took him for granted.. Without realizing that she's hurting him even more... Instead of making him sure that she loved him... would be by his side at all costs, she got just too involved with Rohan and his problem which, of course, was bound to cause some problems. But what she didn't anticipated was it's magnitude. Moreover, when she did try to say something there were always distractions, sometimes situations... sometimes people. But now she knew, very well, the problem, the reason and what it was like to handle a sullen angry Armaan... She sighed, that's enough now.. enough of her carelessness and stupidity. Now no more of it. She felt eager to finish off the work and go back to him ... To tell him that she was his.. For eternity...
Smiling again imagining the time when she, his princess, will be in his arms with all the love in the world for her...and all her love for him... exhaling a sigh, she pulled out her ipod, a soft song played out... She checked her ipod again, she'd almost forgotten that this song was there too... It brought back so many memories... It was the same song, one of his favourite she remembered clearly, that was played at the time they danced together at their reception party..
Everything I do by Bryan Adams.. It brought out all the magical momets they spent together the time they fought.. The time they laughed... Cried.. Or just were there by each other's side... It seemed each and everyword was telling about the life they had till now, of what he'd done for her till now and lot more...
It took hardly an hour for them to get all the formalities done. Rohan excused himself ,taking Swati along. It was time that he settled few things, Ridhhima gave them their much needed privacy ,she too was eager to talk to Armaan. Sammy took leave from them heading for the spa.
Pacing in the lobby trying Armaan's number for the hundredth time, she cursed the recorded voice which repeated 'out of coverage area' everytime. Her loud curses made some heads turn but she hardly cared. It was then someone spotted her...
" Mrs. Malik ? " an old man came to her. He looked bit hesitant, unsure if he was right. She turned and for a moment stared at the face, trying to recognize him, the man overcame his confusion first and smiled broadly. Now sure that he was right. " Dr. Das... Remember..? "
Immediately recognition dawned on her " Dr. Das ! Of course ! I'm sorry I.."
" It's okay, it's been a long time " elderly man's warm smile and genial words swept away all her embarrassment. They talked generally, she told her reason to be there and he told her that he was here for an international medical conference which was held annually " so, how's your husband ? " he asked
" Oh he's fine now, I was just trying to call him but this network.. " she rolled her eyes
" I was asking about his 'other' problem Ridhhima " said Dr. Das
,it turned out that he knew Shashank well, who wouldn't, this brought
her in the circle of closer acquaintances..
She now understood what he was talking about. How can she forget that horrific day " well, not much improvement there ,but I came to know about something that's clearly the reason behind his fear " she explained
" So you found out the cause. Then what's the problem ? "
" The thing is Dr. Das that.. We haven't talked to him about that. Nobody at home does. It's kind of unwritten rule, we don't want to disturb him. So though we know the cause, the situation is still as it is... Moreover, I don't think that this would be all.." she said, worried.
" You know Ridhhima, you couldn't have come on a better day. " the old doctor smiled at her puzzled look " do you remember my friend I talked to you about that day " she nodded, remembering " well, he's here for the meet and I'd be glad to introduce you to him. I assure you that there's no one more qualified or experienced enough to handle your problem " Ridhhima immediately consented, anyone that could help Armaan was worth meeting...
They walked into a large hall where a group of about no less than 200 people were assembled, all assorted from India and abroad. She could see some well known faces of medical field and some people from media were also there, busy in their own discussions, chats and eating.. Ridhhima followed Dr. Das floating through the crowd, till they reached to a small group of four...
" Shishir.." Dr. Das called, the man in navy blue suit turned " I'd like you to meet Dr. Ridhhima Malik " they shook hands ,Dr. Das continued " do you remember few months back I told you about someone who was terribly scared of the doctors and hospital "
" Ah yes, now I remember. Armaan. Right " Ridhhima gave a nod, amazed that he remembered " how do you do Dr. Malik ? " he gave a warm smile. Dr. Shishir Goswami, was a well known name in the psychiatric world. The man was in his mid fifties, tall roughly near 6 feet, quiet fit, bit plump, for his age, she admitted to herself that his well groomed appearance automatically knocked off few years making him look younger than he was. His clean shaven face with grey hair bushy mustache warm black eyes and gentle features gave him a young grand pa look that could make anyone trust him. Moreover, there was a kind of aura around him that gave an air of unmistakable intelligence, wiseness and insight... Few minutes with him and Ridhhima felt that she'd finally found someone who can help Armaan. Really.
Excusing themselves from the crowd they came out to the lounge. Ridhhima explained him everything what she saw and came to know about from Virendra and others, about that horrific incident. The doctor listened to everything patiently. There was silence as neither of the three spoke, Dr. Das looked at Shishir, who took a sip from his glass of juice, waiting for him to speak and so was Ridhhima...
" So doctor " she broke the silence " do you think you can help him get rid of these nightmares ? "
" Nightmares ?! " Shishir put his glass down ,he was back from
his meditative self " I don't think he's suffering from nightmares at
all Ridhhima "
She was surprised " he isn't ? " she looked at Dr. Das who, by the look on his face, was confused too " but Dr. Goswami.."
He sat up straight cutting her short " will you answer some questions for me ? " she nodded " does he normally wakes up during these nightmares sweating heavily ? " she nodded a yes " his heartbeat accelerated and he often screams or mumbles in sleep " her eyes widened hearing it, that was exactly how it was with him " how long does it take him to calm down afterwards ? "
"About 10 to 15 minutes or longer.. If he doesn't takes the pills.."
" Pills ! Hmm.. And did he ever told you what he see in those dreams ? "
" No. He said he doesn't remember. Though he once said that there are voices.. Someone screaming and people laughing but nothing apart from that. I asked him ,trying to make him remember but he just got frustrated and..." she trailed off
" Hmm I can understand. I know what his problem is ."
" You do ? " Ridhhima looked hopefully
" Yes, I do. And your answers just confirmed my doubts. What
troubles him Ridhhima are not the nightmares. They are.. Night Terrors "
For a moment none spoke, then Ridhhima whispered out " night terrors.. But.. But what's the difference ? " she asked gaining more control
" Not much, yet awful lot. Mostly people categorize them with a same term ' Nightmares ' owing to their lack of knowledge of this particular problem and psychologic field " she still looked perplexed " let me explain... Clinically speaking a Nightmare is a vivid ,frightening dream that usually results in the dreamer waking up with full or partial recall of the dream itself. It occurs during REM sleep i.e; rapid eye movement sleep, arousing feelings of intense ,inescapable fear, terror, distress or extreme anxiety that usually awakens the sleeper. Whereas, night terrors are the heightened form of nightmares, they by contrast occur during non-REM sleep, what we call deep sleep and the reaction of the sleeper is much intense than the one who saw nightmare.."
Now the things started to seep in her mind " they strike children much more than adults but as we see in case of Armaan, this problem started from his childhood itself and was never sorted out. These dreams.. They occur at the time of insecurity, emotional turmoil , depression or as in case of Armaan.. A traumatic event... It is very rare that a person suffering from night terrors remember anything and if they do, it's quiet vague "
" But that happened years ago, and papa said that they consulted best psychiatrists but nothing helped.. They left it saying that with time they will go "
" Yes, I know ,we tend to believe on the phrase time heals, but not everything and apparently the rule doesn't apply to everyone either. I won't say that they were wrong, maximum times children overcome this problem by adolescence but if the condition persists then professional help is required. Armaan's problem was fresh at that time and it's impact was deep, it still is, but you see that was more than 15 yrs ago, from that time till now there have been many path breaking discoveries, moreover I think they might have rushed with things in order to know the reason which instead of bearing results averted him to any kind of help. Especially in this case of PTSD"
" PTSD ? You mean post-traumatic-stress-disorder " the doctor nodded in affirmation
She sighed " I think you're right. Who knew that dreams could cause so much problem "
" You know Ridhhima hum aksar in baaton ko gaur se nahi dekhte yeh soch kar ki bas ek sapna hi to hai ,aur jyadatar mamlo main yeh theek bhi hai. Magar Armaan ka case un saare cases main nahi aata. And of this, I am sure, he was not duly treated of his problem which has now become chronic, without any professional help it's only going to get worse..."
" What about the medicines that he was subscribed ? I personally don't think he should depend on those for long, one of them is sleeping dose, and though he doesn't take them regularly but gets pretty agitated when I deny them "
" So you are regularizing his medication.. That's good. And very wise of you. Those medicines instead of helping him could be one of the cause of his problem, they can have side effects too. The tranquilizers can effect the sleep pattern and more you take the sleeping pills more habitual one'll become and the dosage will increase with the time making one dependent on them and you know it isn't a good thing. Moreover, they are not treating the problem, they're just suppressing it "
She exhaled deeply " what if we just leave everything as it is ? If we don't make him recall then he won't have to worry about anything. No recalling. No nightmares. No problems "
" You of all people should know Ridhhima.. I know that looks like an obvious solution but this would be the worst thing you could do " a troubled look cross her face " you're forgetting that no one is trying to make him recall those things and yet he have those dreams " he bent forward a little, steepling his fingers with elbows resting on knees " Insaan ka dimaag ek bahut hi complex machine hai, aur aksar yeh do alag levels par kaam karta hai..hamare mann ko contradict karta hai, aur yeh mann aur kuch nahi hamara sub conscious mind hi hai. kehte hain na dil kuch kehta hai aur dimaag kuch... To aksar aise haalat main jab yeh ladai bahut badh jaati hai to body ka defence mechanism auto pilot par aa jaata hai "
" Main kuch samjhi nahi.. "
" Batata hun... Kuch baatein hain jo hamare dil dimaag par gehra aur kabhi kabhi hamesha ke liye nishaan chhod jaati hain... Unme se kuch achhi baatein hoti hain aur kuch.. Buri... As in PTSD, to aksar wo baatein jo hamein takleef de sakti hain emotionally ya mentally, ya deti hain.. Unhe hum apne dimaag se duur rakhna chahte hain aur yaad karne se katrate hain..to wohi baatein jinka hamare dil dimaag par bura asar ho sakta hai hamara auto pilot brain humse duur rakhta hai... Aisa aksar dekha gaya hai major accidents ke baad, jahan us insaan ko accident se pehle ke kuch minute yaad nahi rehte, magar aksar wo us haadse ko sapno main baar baar dekhte hain. Armaan ke saath bhi kuch aisa hi hai.. Kuch hai jise uska dimaag use yaad karne se rok raha hai... Aur uske dimag main do level par ladai chal rahi.. "
" Ladai ?? " Dr. Das asked
" Haan ladai.. Uska conscious mind aur uska sub conscious mind.
Jab wo active hota hai, yani jaaga hua hota hai to uska conscious mind
control main rehta hai, constantly yaad dilata rehta hai ki use kya nahi
sochna, kin cheezon ko avoid karna hai, aur jab wo relax hota hai yaani
jab sota hai, sub conscious takes on the hold, jo use wo baatein yaad
dilata hai jise wo force kar raha hai bhuulne ke liye... Kuch log
Ridhhima, jo apne mann ki baatein kisi ke saath bahut kam share karte
hain ya apne tak hi rakhte hain unke saath yeh problem aur jyada badh
jaati hai.. Unka sub conscious mind wohi baatein dohrata rehta hai, unke
saamne laata rehta hai.. Yeh baatein kuch bhi ho sakti hai.. Unke sabse
gehre raaz, koi haadsa, unki insecurities, ya unki feelings kisi ke
" To kya Armaan mujhse kuch chuupa raha hai, us hadse ke alawa ? Wo kisi baat ko le kar pareshaan hai ?? "
" Umm tumhari baaton se to aisa nahi lagta. Wo tumse kuch tab chuupayega jab use khud yaad hoga ki use chuupana kya hai, rahi pareshan hone ki baat, to wo ho sakta hai, and I won't be surprised if he is. Waise wo tumse baatein nahi sirf triggers chuupa raha hai.. Aur tumse hi nahi apne aap se bhi.." She looked at him like he was speaking alien, the doctor continued " Use wo sapne tab aate honge jab uske saamne triggers aate hai "
" Triggers ?? "
" Haan. jaisa tumne bataya it's not everyday but quiet frequent "
she nodded " that's coz there must be something around him that
triggers off those memories.. Wo baatein, jagah, cheezein ya phir wo
haalaat ya phir log ,jinse wo baatein ya to seedhe seedhe judi hui hain
ya koi connection rakhti hai..." many things flashed before her eyes,
his room , those pics, blood, hospital... Suddenly she knew...
The doctor turned, his black eyes staring back at her gravely "
And knowing one incident is like barely scratching the surface... There
can be... There is.. lot more that we hardly know..."
Sitting in the plane heading back, Dr. Shishir's words kept echoing in her mind. He clearly stated that if left unattended the condition will only become chronic. He'd advised both therapeutic and pharmacutical treatment.. The former bearing more fruitful results but only if the cause was known.. Which, in Armaan's case was missing... The doctor had assured her that with step wise process they can make him recall what excatly happened during that time that causes these night terrors and can treat him for it.. But for that she'd to made him agree to visit him... And that was in itself a huge task...
But Ridhhima was resolved. She'd had two major tasks in hand. First, she'll make him know her feelings for him. No more time to waste and then take him to Dr. Shishir. She couldn't bear to see him in any kind of pain and suffer... For any reason, even for her...
Determined Ridhhima stepped into the house. It was indeed a great day. Swati finally agreed to come back to Rohan, then meeting with Dr. Shishir gave her a hope to finally get Armaan rid of his problem and above all.. She was ready to pour her heart out, declare her love to him. She almost ran expecting to meet him in the room...but was informed by teasing Muskaan that he still wasn't home. She'd hit her head, in her excitement she forgot that it was just late afternoon and he would be in the office, but then thought she'll wait and give him a surprise in the evening. In the mean time Rohan declared a grand party to be organized in the light of his twin success. To which everyone agreed happily...
She waited eagerly for him to come, restless she couldn't keep herself from calling him but the cell was switched off and Kavita informed her that he was busy with meetings which were lined up almost one after another. Disappointed a little, she asked her to make sure that her message that she was back and wanted to talk, reach him no matter where he was. Now all she could do was to wait...
Meanwhile to kill the time ,she talked to Sapna who informed her that Chirag was back from Sanjeevani Mumbai. This added to her happiness, he was suddenly transfered to Mumbai some time back and now with his return their gang will be together again, though she knew it was something related to Aditi's parents not getting ready for their marriage but the true picture wasn't clear still. Brushing away the thoughts she then chose a dress for the special evening ,changed the flowers, again, and prepared all of Armaan's favourite dishes... hours later finished with everything, she noticed that he'd still not called. Kavita confirmed that she delivered the message telling him to call immediately soon after her call. Ridhhima was surprised that he still didn't but then she knew he was busy not to forget sullen and did he ever think of anything before his work !. She sighed, it seemed she'd to wait for the angry prince to come back. The only relief was that there was not much time left for him to return...
How wrong she was... 6 turned to 7. 7 to 8 and 8 to 9... And then
finally came the much awaited call. Desperate to hear his voice
Ridhhima rushed to the phone...
" Armaan. Tum ab call kar rahe ho, pata hai hum kabse aaye hue hain, maine kitna try kiya tumhara phone magar.." she ranted on, here she was dying to see him, talk to him and all he could think of was work !
" Ridhhima, listen. I'm sorry. I was busy. You know I have loads to do." he sounded preoccupied
" But Armaan.."
He cut her short " I'll be late Ridhhima. Don't wait up for me. Bye " with that he disconnected the call. She felt like crying but then thought what all he'd to go through, this consoled her a little. After all ,soon everything was going to change...
" I will wait for you Armaan. No matter what you say..."
It was late at night and she was eager to see him again. Waiting
for him she picked up a magazine but tired from all traveling, running
around and not to forget of all the excitement, she dozed off..
Inspite of all this ,the soft click of the door was enough to wake her up, opening her sleepy eyes she saw Armaan coming in careful in actions. He probably had seen her asleep and didn't wanted to disturb but she was awake now..
" Armaan, tum aa gaye . Kitni daer laga di " she sat up
" It's okay Ridhhima tum so jao, it's late. " he sounded tired
" Armaan.. I.. " she debated if she should tell him now.. He looked quiet tired
" Ridhhima can we talk tomorrow. I'm too tired right now " she nodded, she was right he looked dead tired. consoling herself that tomorrow would be better time to make him happy, she lay down again. Armaan came few minutes later and as soon as his head hit the pillow was asleep. For quiet sometime time she kept caressing his face with her eyes, longing to touch him ,wrap him in her arms and love him like there would be no morrow but... Overwhelmed with her feelings she crept closer to him, so close that he was just a turn away... And then, smiling to herself, closed her eyes waiting for the sweet morning to come, till then decided to do with dreaming about him...
Ridhhima woke up with the sound of alarm ringing, she quickly switched it off so as not to disturb Armaan. He came in very late yesterday night and was obviously very tired, what's with him and work !. Turning toward him she found him sleeping on his stomach, his face turned towards her.. clutching corner of his pillow as if scared it will run away and was frowning in his sleep. She, for a moment, was concerned about him and streached her hand to caress him, to smooth his frowning face but he stirred and turned his face to the other side...
Sighing she covered him up properly ,but kept on staring his back half expecting him to turn and pull her in his arms but... He was still sleeping... And she was daydreaming. Shaking herself out of wishful thinking she got up and went to freshen up...
Armaan frowned, confused, he was walking on a lonely path there was no one around and wind blew strongly with a whistling sound... The sky was grey and occasional lightening felt omnious.. His heart pounded loudly... Something was wrong ...
Something bad was going to happen. And then, he saw someone. She was standing at the far corner of the road, he ran towards her... She turned and streaching out a hand smiling at him, he was relieved ... . Now everything will be fine... But... What's this ?!!! A hand grabbed her other hand and it pulled her farther and farther, away from him .., he ran ... Calling out her name..
" Ridhhima... Ridhhima.." She didn't uttered a word but her eyes... They were pleading to him to stop her... He ran after her, almost crying... Fists clentched... But distance instead of decreasing kept on increasing... He couldn't do anything... That shadow was taking her away from him..
Twisting his head from side to side he suddenly sat up with a jerk...
" Ridhhhimaa..." He shouted out, his hand streached out as if to hold hers. Hearing him shout she came rushing in the room.
" Armaan... Armaan kya hua ? " coming in quickly she sat by his side. Seeing him so, worried her. He didn't uttered a word .. And was panting lightly, she asked him what happened but he didn't uttered a word, not knowing what else to do, she quickly hugged him, securing him in her arms... Feeling her arms around he felt like his life came back to him. Slowly he too held her, encircling her waist he kept his head on her shoulder.. Holding her tight not wishing to let her go away anywhere now... His life depended on it...
Riddhima didn't said anything, she knew he needed her, her comforting... she ran her hand in his hair at the back of his head caressing it gently and with other stroked his back,trying to calm him as if he was a baby who just woke up seeing a nightmare... She was bit worried though, his nightmares have returned. It was a long time since he had woken up like this. She wondered what is it that was worrying him now... It couldn't be anything about that room or did anything happened behind her of which she don't know ?
Armaan on the other hand was much relaxed now... Ridhhima was here with him... at home, there was no one to snatch her away from him... Her soft hands stroking him were so comforting... He wondered what it will be like to wake up every morning in her arms with all her love only and only for him...
" Ridhhima main tumhe khona nahi chahta... agar tum mujhse duur chali gayi to main jeete ji mar jaaunga..." He thought "Ridhhima.. Tum...yahin ho naa ? " he spoke up after a while...
" Haan Armaan, main yahin hun, tumhare paas..." Still not letting
him go. She smiled a little, relieved " Kya hua Armaan koi bura sapna
dekha ?Hmm..." he just nodded " Kya wohi purana waala.." He shook his
head... She broke the hug gently and looked at him... keeping a hand on
his face lifted his face to her " Wo nahi.?? Phir...?? " She remembered
what Dr. Anand had said ' jo log apni feelings ko apne mann main bahut
gehre se chuupa kar rakhte hain aur kisi ke sath yahaan tak ki apne aap
se bhi chupate hain wo feelings is tarah se unka subconscious mind unke
saamne laata rehta hai... Yeh unke sabse gehre raaz ho sakte hai, unki
insecurities ya phir unki feelings kisi ke liye...' she thought again "
Agar yeh purana sapna nahi tha to phir..? " She decided to ask him...
" Armaan kya dekha sapne main ? " remembering well what Doctor told
her, talking always helps. Armaan on the other hand fell into thought "
Bataun ki nahi... Kya kahunga ki main darr gaya tha ki koi tumhe mujhse
duur le ja raha hai... Magar yeh main use nahi keh sakta ... She doesn't
love me aur main uski khushi ke beech nahi aana chahta..." He now
looked away from her and in a partly cold tone spoke out.. " Kuch
nahi... Mujhe.. mujhe yaad nahi..." he got off the bed " Mujhe tayaar
hona hai aaj ek important meeting hai..." and without even a glance he
walked away ...
Ridhhima was surprised " Yeh achanak Armaan ko kya hua... Kuch baat to hai jo use pareshaan kar rahi hai... Lekin Armaan mujhse itna duur duur kyun rehta hai?? Akhir baat kya hai... Main jitna uske paas aane ki koshish karti hun wo utna hi mijhse door hota jaata hai... Aur aaj ... Lekin aaj wo mera naam le kar chillaya tha... To kya.. he is feeling insecure about me ?? Oooh Armaan plz .. Kuch to bolo. Mujhse kuch to baat karo... Bhagwan plz mujhe mera purana Armaan lauta do... Jo mujse jhagdta tha, ladta tha pareshaan karta tha... Har baat mujhse karne ko tayar rehta tha.. Chahe mujhe sunna ho ya nahi... Plz. God " she silently prayed, her thoughts inturrupted by the knock on the door. It was Martin " Madam breakfast..? " His words brought her back to present.. " Huh.. yeah I'm coming..." sighing she got up to get his breakfast ready...
Though he sat on the breakfast table talking, laughing, yet she could see that he was avoiding her. He hardly spoke to her after that morning incident and didn't even let her do his tie, he wore one of the tied ones by Martin, ready even before she could go back to him. It was quiet disappointing and frustrating. She found him alone for a while in the room and tried to talk but he refused to keep the phone down and listen to her, she had to give up waiting when Muskaan's loud call reached her... And since then he'd not even asked her what was it that she wanted to talk about ! He was rather busy animatedly talking to Sammy.
Rohan told him about his successful deal and the party that night, Armaan congratulated him trying his best to smile genuinely but it seemed quiet tough. He wanted to get out of there, it felt suffocating...
" Armaan.." Rohan called " I.. Ehem " he cleared his throat " Armaan I wanted to tell you something.." Armaan's heartbeat rose " um actually it would be good if we could talk it in the evening. I want Ridhhima and someone else to be present that time.. And Armaan I'm really sorry man but we've.. Me and Ridhhima.. been hiding something from you " ' I think I know what you're hiding..' Armaan thought " and.. I want you to know everything now.. I would've told you earlier but.. Things were'nt settled then and I wanted to be sure so..." Rohan was terribly nervous but Armaan just listened with straight face, little did Rohan know what havoc his words were creating in his heart..
' So Ridhhima has decided...' he thought " it's okay Rohan I'll
talk to you later today... Aaram se " with that he walked out to his car
,he was about to sit when Ridhhima came rushing
" Armaan.. Armaan. tum bata kar bhi nahi ja sakte the " she panted, out of breath
" You knew I was about to leave Ridhhima. Bolo kya hua ? " she was taken aback at his cold tone and a grave face
" N..nothing, it's just.. tumhe yaad hai naa aaj shaam ghar par party hai to.. To I was wondering if you could come early today " she looked expectantly " I want to tell you something.. Important "
He still looked at her coldly " Rohan had asked me this already. Don't worry I'll be there. After all it's such an 'important' news " giving a brief look he drove off.
She exhaled " Sadu ! " then hit her head smiling " my sadu, cutest sadu. I Promise Armaan main aaj tumhari saari narazgi duur kar dungi. I'm sorry jaan bas aaj shaam tak aur wait kar lo " smiling to herself she walked in
The day passed by somehow and as usual Armaan was late.. The guests started pouring in and Ridhhima was talking to someone when Rohan pulled her aside asking if Armaan was back..
" Ridhhima I'm nervous ,aur Swati bhi nahi aayi hai abhi tak... I'm sure aaj mujhe bahut maar padne waali hai..." he looked around smiling nervously at guests
" Don't worry Rohan, he's not that scary " she grinned
" Oh plz ! just because he doesn't dare to speak anything before
you doesn't make him less scary.." Ridhhima laughed at it, they didn't
notice that right at that moment Armaan stepped in, standing right
behind them " plz. Ridhhima promise me that you'll be my side when I
tell him everything..." Armaan froze hearing it ,seeing Rohan holding
her hand in his and Ridhhima smiling at him.
" kya batana hai mujhe ? " they were startled at the sudden voice
" Uh kuch nahi " she elbowed Rohan
" Haan kuch nahi.. Wo.. Wo kya hai na Armaan guests aane shuru ho gaye hain aur tu ab aaya hai. Sabko batana bhi to hai ki.. Ki is party ka reason kya hai " He grinned foolishly , Armaan just stared at him whereas Ridhhima rolled her eyes glaring at Rohan for being such a chicken. He pleaded her through eyes begging for some more time and she agreed but this was well observed by Armaan who blankly looked at them ,though a jaw muscle tightened and he clenched his fists to control himself
" Umm Armaan tum ek kaam kyun nahi karte tum ja kar fresh ho jao aur change kar lo, tab aa kar aaram se baat kar lena.." She said rescuing Rohan. Giving a brief look at Rohan he walked away to his room.
" Pheww thanks Ridz, bas let me gather some himmat " Ridhhima hit his head lightly and gigling followed Armaan
' Cmmon Ridhhima yahi waqt hai just tell him evverything put his mood right.. Aur Rohan.. Chalo uaka bhi thoda kuch bata dungi baaki wo khud Swati ke saath Armaan se clear kar lega.." Smiling to herself, trying to control her racing heartbeat she rushed to the room to catch sometime alone, before something else disturbs them...
Entering the room she finally found him ,alone. Bent down he was tying his shoelaces.. For a moment he was stunned to see her looking out of the world in that beautiful saari.. But soon controlled himself
" Tum yahaan ? " he asked, not expecting her to be there
" Haan.. Wo Armaan mujhe tumse kuch zaruri baat karni thi..." she stood there feeling nervous and hugely shy
He got up and moved to pick up his jacket " Rohan ke baare main "
She was surprised " Rohan ke baare main ?! " then she remembered
that of course he didn't knew ' her ' reason to be there but then
thought to put a stop to this Rohan matter and this would probably give
her time to steady herself " h.. haan, actually Armaan.. Rohan loves
someone " he still turned to her " and things were difficult first but..
Now she'd finally agreed " his heart for a moment stopped beating.. He
turned to her
" I knew she would " his tone cold
" Y..you knew ?? " she said surprised
" Yes I knew. All along. What do you think ? agar tum mujhe nahi bataoge to mujhe pata nahi chalega, I'm neither blind nor a fool. Waise bahut bahut mubarak ho.. I hope you are very happy now.." he couldn't help being sharp here. Ridhhima could sense the sting in his voice and all her nervousness flew away giving way to confusion
" Armaan, ho kya gaya hai tumhe ? and why do you think we'd think of you like that. Kya tum apne dost ke liye khush nahi ho. ? " she just couldn't understand... If he knew everything then why's he so.. Cranky. Acting all weird... And why didn't he said anything before...
He smiled sarcastically so now it's ' we ' he turned to face her " Kya tum khush ho ? "
She was totally confused, his eyes.. They looked so pained, but why ?.. May be she knew why.. Because they kept him in dark " yeh kaisa sawaal hai Armaan ? of course I'm happy, Rohan is your dear friend aur main maanti hun ki maine tumse yeh baat chhupa kar galti ki but I thought ki Rohan ko ek mauka milna chahiye aakhir wo.."
" Of course he's in love and trying his luck. Hai naa." he didn't let her complete. She stood rooted ,never expecting him to be so angry " well, I hope ab sab theek hai.. And yeah don't worry about me. Ek naa ek din to mujhe pataa chal hi jaata naa, what's the big deal then... Magar is baat ka mujhe afsoos rahega Ridhhima ki yeh baat tumne mujhse chupayi. Kya maine tumhe kabhi kisi baat ke liye roka, kuch bhi karne se manaa kiya aur tumne tum dono ne mujhe itna paraya kar diyaa... Aur kehne ko main tum dono ka 'best friend' hun.." he just couldn't contain himself any longer
" Armaan I'm sorry. Plz meri baat to suno, aisi baat nahi hai main tumhe pehle batana chahti thi magar tab baat kuch final nahi thi aur Rohan chahta tha ki wo khud apne pyaar ko haasil kare, maine sirf usko ek mauka diya ki.." trying to explain.. But things certainly were not going the way she thought them to be
" Haan Ridhhima wo to main dekh hi raha hun, tumne usko to mauka diya magar mujhe nahi..."
She was shocked to hear it " Armaan tum baat samjah nahi rahe..."
" Haan ab mujhe baat kahan samajh aayegi, agar itna hi samajhta to shayad bahut pehle sab jaan gaya hota..." She tried to speak again but he raised his hand silencing her " mujhe aur kuch nahi sunna aur naa hi samjhna hai, mere liye sirf yeh kaafi hai ki mere do sabse achhe dost khush hain.. Aur tumhe fikar karne ki koi zarurat nahi hai maine sab tayari kar li hai..."
" Tayari ?? Kaisi tayari ? " unable to make out what he was talking about
" Maine.." but he was interrupted by a knock at the door ,it was Sammy and Muskaan who'd come to call her. They had no choice but to drop the conversation and she reluctantly went away with them...
Armaan watched her go, but turned away when she turned back to look at him. He couldn't bear to watch her go ,but knew he had to be strong.. For himself, for her... He took out the papers from his bag and looked at them again... A lone tear rolled down his eyes.. wiping it off he placed the papers on the bed with a note.. He knew he could not bring himself to give them in her hand...
By the time he came down for the party many guests had already arrived and everybody was busy enjoying themselves. Bracing himself he was prepared to face the situation stoicly, this shouldn't be difficult he said to himself, especially when he had been preparing himself for it for past two days... The surprise element was the presence of Abhimanyu and Niki...
" Hey Niki.." he hugged her warmly and then looked at Abhi " surprised to see you Modi " Niki rolled her eyes thinking there they go again.. Excusing herself she went to look for Ridhhima
" My friend invited me Malik. Any problem.." he stepped forward
" It's Rohan's party. If he want you here then what can I do. I guess I can tolerate you for one evening, I'll just pretend that you're not here "
" Don't worry I'll be doing something similar. And by the way, it wasn't Rohan I was talking about.. I was talking about my new friend who invited us here... Ridhhima " Armaan's mouth fell open hearing it.. " now will you please continue to be invisible. I have to hit someone named Rohan Kashyap badly " with that he left a stunned Armaan to look for Rohan..
Moving about among friends and aquaintances Armaan couldn't help but smile at the thought that she could just charm her way through anyone. Who would've thought that Modi would regard Ridhhima as his friend !. She surely knew some magic spells to put on people.. How he wished if he knew any.. Then probably he wouldn't have to let her go.. The thought saddened him but he hid his feelings putting up a brave smile.. His thoughts again floated back to the time when he yelled at her in the evening, how rude he was to her.. How bad she must've felt... he mentally kicked himself for behaving in such a manner, if she wants to go then he must respect her decision . He can't force her to love him... With this realisation he decided that he would apologize to her for his behaviour and would let her be happy...
He started looking around and finally found her talking to someone.. He was again left stunned... She looked so pretty... The way she smiled.. His heart skipped a beat just looking at her. A soft smile spread over his face and a peacefulness flowed in his body, how he wished if he could just hold her, wrap her in his arms and stay like that forever... Everything else stopped when she laughed.. but the spell broke when he realised how he behaved this evening, along with that came the feeling that was haunting him...
'Don't be selfish Armaan, let her go. Let her be happy the way she wants to be ' came the voice ' but what about me ? ' ' you'll live...' ' would that really be life ? Without her..' but there came no reply. Slowly he walked upto her. She was surprised first, unsure if he was still mad at her...
Holding her hand he took her to a less crowded corner " Ridhhima... I'm sorry. Mujhe tum par aise chillana nahi chahiye tha... I acted total jerk.." Ridhhima let out a sigh of relief. At least he wasn't angry anymore and she could see that he was genuinely feeling sorry " Please forgive me.. Main bhi pata nahi kya kya karta rehta hun magar really, mera tumhara dil dukhane ka koi irada nahi tha main bas..." he didn't knew what else to say
Ridhhima smiled. She knew he had upset himself more than her. She gently took his hand in hers, surprising him " it's okay Armaan. Hota hai kabhi kabhi... Aur meri galti bhi to thi naa... I should've told you before but Rohan.." his smile faltered and that soft feeling vanished with Rohan's name " but I wanted to tell you something important.. Basically we both wanted but tum ek kaam karo pehle Rohan se baat kar lo.. You already know the thing but it would be nice agar tum khud usse pehle saari baatein clear kar lo.. I'll join you two soon " he nodded, she gave a gentle squeeze to his hand and with a warm smile turned away to go... She was gone few steps when she called again " And Armaan.."
" Yeah.. "
" I hope tum uski baat samjhoge.. Just listen him out first, you'll inderstand why he didn't told you before... And Armaan.. Plz don't beat him up for that. He's already scared of you " he just nodded hardly able to understand what she meant by that last request
" Beat him up ?? how can I beat him, he's already killed me " smiling ruefully he moved away to look for Rohan
He found Rohan talking to Niki, who looked kind of concerned... And apologetic..
" Hey Niki. Can I talk to Rohan for a sec "
Rohan groaned, hitting his forehead with his fist " It's just not my day. Why God ? " he looked up Niki left giving a gentle pat on his shoulder. He saw Armaan standing right next to him and smiled foolishly " hey Armaan "
" Hey.." then he looked at him carefully, he was caressing his shoulder and back of his neck " what happened ? "
" Nothing, just Abhi.. For not telling him before " he rubbed his shoulder leaning by the bar table.
" What ?! Abhi knows ?! " he was shocked. He saw Niki talking to Abhi, rather scolding, with one of her ' I'm-not-amused-with-what- you-did ' faces " you told him ! "
" No, I was talking to Ridhhima and he kind of overheard. He didn't even let me finish explaining ! " he rubbed his neck
" That's none of Modi's business. It was right that you talked to me first " but then he sighed " but I guess it's okay, waise bhi use pata to chalna hi tha.. waise I came to talk to you.. Ridhhima told me that you have few things to clear up "
Rohan forgot all his pain and turned around, resting his elbows on the bar counter " well yeah, Ridhhima told me that you know.." Armaan didn't said anything " I would have told you before Armaan but I wasn't sure if she would agree with me... And I wasn't willing to let her go, but I wanted to do this on my own.. Fight for my love "
Armaan could not bear to listen any more " yeah I know... It's terrible to let someone you love, go right before your eyes.. Promise me Rohan that you'll always keep her happy, will be there for her no matter what happens "
Rohan looked back at him " I promise Armaan. I almost lost her and trust me that was the scariest thing ever.."
On the other hand Ridhhima was passing by the corridor for an errand when she heard someome yelling, following the voice she found it was Sammy... With the threads of talks she could make out that she was angry on someone for something and she could guess who it could be...
" It's over ! Do you understand ! And don't you ever dare to bring that pathetic face of yours before me or I'll punch it so hard that you won't be able to recognize it. Go to hell ! " with that she slammed the phone shut
Ridhhima now came forward " Sammy ! What happened ?! " Sammy looked startled but then to Ridhhima's surprise.. She smiled at her.. Broadly
They walked back to the party where Sammy explained her breakup "
It's okay Ridhhima he was such a confused soul anyway ,if he can't
stand up for me.. Decide what he has to do, who to choose then I'm not
the one wasting my time over him and anyway he may be cute but I'm not
dumb so I dumped him " Sammy was so relaxed that Ridhhima wondered what
she was " Phew thank God. good riddance ! " Ridhhima was both amused and
" But that day you said you like him "
" Yeah, that day but not now, how can I love him when I get bore with him... You know I want someone.. Someone.." She looked around searching for words and then saw Rohan and Armaan talking at the bar " like... yeah, Armaan ! " Ridhhima's heart stopped beating for a moment
" Armaan.." Ridhhima didn't like that look in her eyes
" Yeah, see. he's loving, caring successful, bro likes him and
he's so funny, lively..." every adjective she used made a hole in
Ridhhima's ship of heart, drowning it... Whereas Sammy rattled on "
lekin lagta hai bhagwaan ne achhe ladko ki manufacturing hi band kar di
hai.. Huh.. Neway.."
Rohan on the other hand smiled broadly when he saw Swati standing with Anjali, Niki, Ridhhima, Sapna and Sammy " isn't she the most beautiful thing ever "
Armaan turned and saw Ridhhima chatting with the group " yeah, she is " a soft smile played on his lips
" Waise thanks Armaan. Ab jab tu keh hi chuka hai ki you have no problem to mere dil se ek bahut bada bojh utar gaya ... Thank you so much yaar, I thought you'd beat me up for this..." He gave him a side hug and was obviously very happy and excited... Armaan on the other hand was very heartbroken " yaar pehle main darr raha tha ki pata nahi mera faisla sahi hai ya nahi after all yeh puri life ka sawaal hai aur phir darta tha ki kahin wo mujhe reject na kar de, but I didn't wanted to give up without trying "
" Hmm you did the right thing after all she deserves the best... At least better than me..."
Rohan jerked his head to his direction " Huhh.?? You??? Main kuch samjha nahi ?? "
" Kuch nahi bas I want best for her..."
" And you got it dude. Promise "
" Rohan..just take good care of her "
" Ofcourse yaar I will... After all saari khudai ek taraf joru ka bhai ek taraf..." he winked at him. Armaan spat out his drink
" What ??? Bhai ?? "
" Are you ok ?? what happened?? Maine aisa kya keh diya ?? "
" Idiot, main kabse Ridhhima ka bhai ban gaya ?? "
" Ridhhima ?? Maine kab kaha ki tu Ridhhima ka bhai hai, you wierdo ?? "
" But.. But you just said saari khudai ek taraf and whatever..."
" Yeah of course kaha tha after all my wife would be like your sister in law naa, magar main yeh bhabhi ko kyun kahunga ?! Meri to kuch samajh nahi aa raha tu keh kya raha hai.."
" You ..you.. don't you love Ridhhima..?? "
" What ??! " Now Rohan choked on his drink " Main aur Ridhhima... Tera dimaag to kharaab nahi hai ?! Wo meri bhabhi hai ! my friend !just like a sister to me ! Where the hell you got this idea from ! "
" But you ...tune to us din.. And itne dino se you both were like together and today you said you wanted to tell me something you were hiding and Ridhhima said she wanted to tell me something.." he spluttered all confused
" Armaan you idiot ! You got it all wrong I love her . See " he
held his face in his hands pointing it to the group before their eyes
" Ridhhima ! "
" Tujhe Ridhhima ke alawa koi aur nazar nahi aata kya ?! bevkoof uske saath dekh "
" Who ? Sapna ! She's married ! "
" aooww that hurts ! "
" You deserve it. You king of idiots ! Sapna nahi idiot uske saath , in blue dress "
" Oh my god Anjali ! She's married and hugely Pregnant ! weirdo "
" And now you are a certified fool ! Not Anjali you jerk ! Swati.. It's Swati.. My love, my wife for second time and the mother of my soon to come child ! "
" What ?! "
" Yes you moron ! I thought you said that you know ! But
considering your recent acts of certified foolishness I take it that you
know nothing " Armaan was still dumbfounded by what he came to know.
Ridhhima didn't loved Rohan ! Rohan loved someone else and what the hell
did he mean by second time wife and soon to come child ?!
" let me explain..." and Rohan narrated everything from the beginning clearing away all the misunderstandings "... And all along tu yahi soch raha tha ki it's me and Riddhima !.. Jerk "
Armaan held his head in his hands " oh my God what a blunder ! "
" What's wrong with you man !? Can't you see that she has eyes only for one moron and that's you. I really wonder what she's seen in you " Rohan made a disappointed face, but Armaan felt ecstatic. He felt like being on seventh heaven and hugged Rohan tightly " hey ! We are in public ! Control man " Armaan, too happy to say anything just swayed him left to right " isn't Rahul enough ?! Leave me man , I have no desire to be your jaan-e-mann number 2 " but Armaan wasn't listening he broke the hug and kissed Rohan on his cheek. Now that was just too much for him " Geroff me man ! You are nuts ! Stay away ! "
Armaan got off his seat jumping " she loves me ! She loves me ! She loves me ! Yes ! Yes ! Yes ! "
" Yeah, good morning sleeping beauty ! " Rohan wiped off his cheek
" Rohan ,I love Ridhhima ! "
" To bevkoof yeh baat tu mujhe nahi Ridhhima ko bata..." as the reality started to sink in Armaan cooled down a bit, Rohan put a hand on his shoulder. Knowing well how he must be feeling " tum dono ek dusre ko chahte ho to daer mat karo, ja kar use bol de Armaan... Go get your love yaar, she is waiting for you.." Armaan looked up at him all the misunderstandings were cleared, he gave him a quick hug
" Thanks Rohan ,love you yaar " he got up from there " I've to tell Ridhhima " he rushed to meet her but paused mid way " but this doesn't mean you're off the hook. You'll still get it from me for what you did.." Rohan groaned seeing now rushing figure
" Bhalai ka to Zamana hi nahi hai bhagwaan " he sighed looking heavenwards
He started looking for Ridhhima frantically but couldn't find her. Then he saw Sammy and rushed to her " Sammy have you seen Ridhhima ? "
Back in the room Ridhhima was done cleaning up, Sammy spilled her drink over her saari and she came back to clean it before it left a stain, breathing in seeing that there would be none.. Looking at herself in the mirror her thoughts trailed back to Sammy... She didn't like her closeness with Armaan earlier she felt secure that Sammy wasn't interested but now.. After what she came to know.. it felt kind of uneasy... But then she shrugged hitting herself lightly for getting such absurd ideas..
She was about to move out when her eyes fell on his office bag... It was shut but apparently he forgot to close it properly... Sudden curiosity gripped her ' Armaan often keeps his diary in his bag... Should I.." a naughty smile played on her lips ' cmmon Ridhhima, don't be silly, neeche party main sab wait kar rahe honge..' came the other voice ' but...'
On the other hand Sammy was enjoying teasing Armaan, who was eager to know where Ridhhima was. Which apparently Sammy knew...
" Cmmon yaar Sammy ! I have something very imporatnt to talk to her " he begged
" Oh cmmon Armaan ! Do you think I'm a baby ? She couldn't stop talking about you and here you are searching her like mad " Armaan's eyes lit up hearing that she was talking about him " Waise planned anything special ? " she winked laughing seeing the shocked expression on his face " by the way if I tell you where she is, then what will I get ? " she asked rubbing her nails on her sleeve airily
Armaan rolled his eyes, exasperated " whatever you ask meri maa " he folded his hands " ab are you going to tell me or not ? " Sammy grinned victoriously
Curiosity got better of Ridhhima and she opened his bag looking for what she had to let go of earlier- his diary... But unfortunately ,it wasn't there.. Then something caught her eye. It was a sheet of paper, torn from his diary... Slowly she picked it up and started reading...
" That's like a good boy, I'll let you know soon what I want and by the way.. Your sweetheart has gone to clean up her dress, I accidently spilled my drink on it. She must be in the house ,in the room probably " she winked again and left him grinning widely
Armaan exhaled ,shaking his head " ye Sammy bhi naa.." and then
suddenly his smile vanished " Oh crap ! " he hit his head " Papers
Armaan ! Oh shit !! Shit ! Ridhhima room main gayi hai, agar usne papers
dekh liye to... oh God Armaan you're gone ! Run ! "
Her hands trembled as she finished reading that bit.. She couldn't belive if she'd read it correctly. The handwriting was unmistakeably Armaan's but the words... Were thay written by the same man who wrote that beautiful dream of his in that diary.. She read the page again..
" Ridhhima ko baat nahi karni to naa kare.. I've had enough of it. I'm just tired of being her friend always and now I want to free myself of these chains.. Of her... Why should I suffer all the time ! At least one thing is quiet clear now, She doesn't love me and... I don't love her either.."
She couldn't make out anything from it, did Armaan really write this ? Did he really mean it ?? She was just debating about it when her eyes fell on the papers kept on the bed... Walking slowly towards them she picked them up, opening the note kept over them her eyes brimmed with tears, her legs seemed lifeless, unable to bear her weight, she fell on the bed shocked... The paper slipped away falling on the floor...
Hum hamesha se achhe dost rahe hain... Aur yeh rishta to hamare beech tabse hai jabse hum iska matlab bhi nahi jaante the... Magar kuch rishte shayad hamesha ke liye nahi hote.. Ab wo waqt aa gaya hai jab hamein alag ho jaana chahiye.. Bahut koshish karne par bhi itni himmat nahi juta paaya ki tumhe yeh khud de sakun.. I know I'm being a coward magar sach kahun to main sirf tumhari khushi chahta hun.. Aur tumhari khushi mere saath nahi nahi hai... Isliye main tumhe is bandhan se azaad kar raha hun. Plz ho sake to mujhe maaf kar dena...
Ridhhima sat on the corner of the bed, clutching the papers in her hand... Too stunned to react in any manner... Too shocked to cry... Her world came crashing down.. Just few minutes ago she was excitedly wondering, thinking, planning... about the beautiful dream they were going to live for real.. Together... But that dream was shattered even before it could be shared... She was late.. Too late.. She lost everything... lost one person she ever loved more than herself...
Armaan panted as he climbed the flight of stairs two at a time, praying frantically to reach on time before something gets terribly wrong. All the way back he'd cursed himself heartily for his foolishness and now his only hope lay on reaching on time. Coming to the skidding halt he rushed into the room. Everything was silent, nothing stirred.. Noone was there. He took a breath of relief..
" Cmmon Armaan get those papers " but when he reached the bed he found they weren't there " shit ! papers kahan gaye ?! " he started looking around desperately " kahin wo Ridhhima ko mil to nahi gaye.."
" Kahin tum in papers ko to nahi dhund rahe Armaan " he froze hearing the voice, turning around he found Ridhhima standing before him. The papers clutched in her hand. His shoulders slumped in defeat. He was late and now he'd have to do some real good expalining
" Ridhhima.. Look, I can explain " he stepped forward
" Stop right there Armaan. Tumhari explaination maine in papers
main padh li hai " she raised the note and the torn page from the diary.
Armaan cursed himself under his breath
" Ridhhima look I'm sorry mujhe..."
" Why are you sorry Armaan, sorry to mujhe kehna chahiye jo main itne waqt tak tum par bojh bani rahi, tumhari azaadi ke beech aati rahi " she wasn't crying but was shattered
" Ridhhima ! How can you even say that ! " he couldn't bear her accusing herself " plz listen to me. Let me explain "
" Nahi Armaan let me speak today. Maine in papers par sign kar diye hain. Yahi chahte the na tum. Main bahut jald hi yahaan se chali jaungi " Armaan stood stunned hearing it " magar jaane se pehle ek baat zarur jaanna chahti hun " he just looked at her, not knowing what to say " is divorce ki wajah Samaira hai, hai naa ? "
" What ?! Sammy ?? Ridhhima.. " but she raised a hand stopping him from saying anything further " sorry main bhuul gayi thi ki ab main tumse kuch bhi puchhne ka haq kho chuki hun. After all it's your life, tum jo chahe kar sakte ho.. Magar maine bhi tumse ek baat chupayi hai Armaan "
" Mujhse ? "
" Haan, tumse.. Aur ab to shayad bahut daer ho chuki hai magar main jaane se pehle apne dil ki baat tumse keh kar jaana chahti hun, i know it doesn't mean anything to you and don't worry I'm not expecting anything in return either " he stood still, trying to figure out what she was talking about " Armaan.. I love you... I've always loved you... And it didn't happened today or yesterday... I loved you the day you held me at the airport, I loved you the day when you touched me in that room in Rajat's party, I loved you the day you fought for me, I loved you the day you stood up for me before that jerk Vivek, I loved you the day my parents took your side instead of mine.. I loved you everytime you made me smile.. The truth is I've grown with you. You made me see things, feelings I was knowingly blind to. The very first time I met you I knew that you were someone special. I just didn't realize when you became everything to me. Heavens Armaan ! all this while I loved you but the only thing was I was too dumb to see that ,to realize that... I fall in love with you every day, every moment... I love you Armaan, I love only you... I wish I could've told you this before... Before things reached to this " she raised the divorce papers..tears now flowed freely
A sudden warmth filled his heart. He finally got to hear the magical words he was dying to hear from her... For a moment the world stopped... His heart stopped beating and he forgot to breathe... Standing there he was too stunned to say anything, to react in any manner. His eyes remained riveted to her face, the eyes which were damp because of those tears which refused to stop... At that moment he didn't wanted anyting more than to wrap her in his arms, take away all her pain to tell her that he felt exactly the same for her and had been living everyday expecting to hear these three words from her... Only now his wish got fulfilled, unfortunately, not in a kind of situation he thought to be...
He sighed, covering up the distance between them he stood right before her, he couldn't bear to see her in so much pain.. He must tell her that it was all his mistake , a stupid misunderstanding on his part... Which just made him lucky.. He raised his hands to wipe off her tears but she jerked them away angrily. He was surprised " tell me one thing Armaan " he could see sudden flash of fire in her eyes " it is Samaira.. That Sammy.. Behind all this.. Isn't it ?
" Ridhhima ,you think I gave you these papers because of Samaira ! " now that he looked at her again he could she her red eyes, she must have really cried a lot. He felt terrible for making her cry " look Ridhhima I want to make it clear to you that Sammy is just a good friend and she feels the same. She practically grew up before my eyes ! "
If she was surprised then she didn't show " don't lie to me
Armaan " almost shouting " I've seen you two.. The way she's around you,
and you were no different. I'm not blind.." That was enough now, he
could not let anything come between them now, no misunderstanding..
Nothing. Covering up the small distance between them he covered her
mouth, holding her from her waist firmly taking her by surprise...
It was time that everything was cleared " now listen to me Ridhhima, and listen me clear " removing his hand from her mouth he caressed her face wiping off the tears and held her hand which clutched the lapel of his coat keeping it close to his heart " I don't love Sammy Ridhhima. If this is what you are worried about.. I've never liked her more than a friend or a friend's sister.. It was, is and always will be... you that is most important to me.. Noone can ever take your place, noone could even manage to make a place in my heart. Since I met you that day in the hospital.. I don't remember I thought about anyone else like I think of you. I wish to see you all the time ,I slept to dream about you, I craved to be with you.. To hold you, to touch you.. To be loved by you. My whole being revolves around you Ridhhima, can't imagine a day without you. You complete me, and without you there would be no me. What you said just now are the very words I was dying to hear from you.. I just didn't imagined to hear them in a situation like this.."
Ridhhima was stupefied hearing it, a part of her was ecstatic
that he and Sammy weren't together and the rest of the things were still
sinking in.. Did he just said that he loves her!.. No didn't said that
actually.. Not directly anyway.Suddenly she remembered something else "
but.. But.. You hid things from me... Why didn't you told me the truth
about Vivek before ? I know you knew it from the very begining.." she
looked into his eyes waiting for him to speak
He didn't loosened his hold and looking into her eyes spoke up " Haan yeh sach hai Ridhhima ki main Vivek ke baare main pehle se jaanta tha aur maine uski sachhai tumse chhupai, us din Germany jaane se pehle.. Tumse baat karne ke baad main soch chuka tha ki main tumhe aur Vivek ko mila dunga magar jab wahan uski sachhai ke baare main jaana to mera irada badal gaya..Main jaanta tha ki wo bahut chalak hai aur shayad tum meri baat par vishwaas naa karo aur us waqt haalat bhi kuch aise hi the..Main tumhara dil tuutte hue nahi dekhna chahta tha aur naa hi yeh chahta tha ki sachhai jaanne ke baad tum sirf apne dard se bhagne ke liye is rishte ke liye haan kaho...
Main chahta tha ki tumhe is baat ka ehsaas ho ki koi hai jo tumhe sachhe dil se chahta hai... Jiske liye duniya main tum sabse jyaada keemti ho... Main chahta tha ki tum mere pyaar ko pehchaano aur use apni khushi se sweekar karo... Main tumhare mann se Vivek ki saari yaad mita dena chahta tha... Tumse ladta tha, jhagadta tha taaki tum uske baare main naa socho... main shaadi ke naam par samjhauta nahi chahta tha, main tumhare dil main sabse khas jagah chahta tha wahi jo mere dil main tumhari hai... Us waqt bhi main tumhe Vivek ki sachhai bata sakta tha magar usse kya hota... Tum ek tute dil ke sath kya hamare rishte ko apna paati... Tumne us din khud kaha tha ki shaadi ko apnane ke alawa koi raasta bhi to nahi, chahe phir wo apni khushi se ho ya nahi... Pyaar ka kya hai ho hi jayega aur nahi bhi hua to kya... Hai naa Ridhhima yahi kaha tha na tumne " she rembered the time they were in the car and discussing about Niki's step of marrying Abhimanyu " aur main yahi nahi chahta tha.. Beech main aise bhi mauke aaye jab maine chaha ki tumhe sab bata dun magar phir tumhara udaas chehra dekhne ki himmat nahi jutaa paaya... Darta tha ki kahin tumhe kho naa duun... agar tum chali jaati to main jee nahi paata...
Maana ki maine bahut daer kar di magar sirf tumhe is baat ka ehsaas dilana chahta tha ki main tumhe har haal main chahta hun... Aur Vivek ko tumhare dil dimaag se hataa dena chahta tha... Kyunki main apne alawa kisi aur ko wahaan bardasht nahi kar sakta... Main tumhari aankhon main sirf aur sirf apne liye pyaar dekhna chahta tha... Chahta hun. Kisi aur ko bardasht karna mere liye bahut mushkil tha... I wanted to be the only man in your life... Aur isiliye maine tumhe sach nahi bataya... But I was wrong Ridhhima, tumhe iss baat ko jaanne ka puura adhikar tha.. Can you plz forgive me for this..." he looked into her eyes apologetically, she could see that he meant what he said.. She hardly bothered about Vivek ,he was so right.. She'd have been completely heartbroken and if Armaan wouldn't have been there then who knows if she could ever have seen anything positive in the world.. And for that she thanked God profusely for bringing him into her life...
She kept looking at his eyes deeply and whispered " mere dil main tumhare alawa koi nahi hai Armaan... Main to Vivek ko kabka bhula chuki hun... Tum hamesha sahi the, maine Vivek ko kabhi chaha hi nahi wo to sirf meri zid thi... Aur apni iss zid ki wajah se main apni zindagi ki sabse badi khushi khone waali thi... But tell me one thing agar itna hi darte the mujhe khone se, toh yeh kyun diye ? " she raised the divorce papers
" Yeh.." he looked down highly embarressed at his stupidity, but
he knew there was no escape now " wo actually Ridhhima mujhe laga ki..
Ki Rohan.." he explained the great Armaan theory of Rohan and Ridhhima "
I was so scared to loose you and then seeing you with Rohan all the
time wasn't excatly very assuring. But I'm sorry I've acted real jerk "
" I don't belive it ! You actually thought that Rohan and I were.. together ! were you out of your mind!? " she glared at him. Half amused half angry and full of love...
" I'm sorry.." he said in a small voice "I thought you didn't wanted me "
Seeing him so she cooled down a bit, cupping his face he made him look at her " Armaan " now softly " there would not be a single day in my life when I won't want you or love you " this brought smile back on his face " and you don't have to be sorry infact I'm the one who should be apologising. Rohan ne jab mujhe Swati ke baare main bataya to main darr gayi thi ki agar Swati nahi maani, usne Rohan ko wapas apnaya nahi.. Wo shaadi ke liye tayar nahi hui to kya hoga. Rohan jo usse itna pyaar karta hai, aur us bachhe ka kya hoga jo abhi is duniya main aaya bhi nahi hai " Armaan kept listening to her patiently " aur in sab mein main apni zindagi ko neglect karti rahi.." she caressed his face " tumhe andekha karti rahi... I'm so sorry Armaan, I took you for granted.. I made you suffer so much.."
He held her hand that cupped his face " hey look at the bright
side. Agar yeh sab nahi hota to kya pata tum abhi aur kitna waqt leti
yeh kehne main aur tab tak to mera dum hi ni.." she cupped his mouth
stopping him from saying anything further
" Ainda aisa kabhi mat kehna." scared to hear it " Tum meri jaan ho Armaan, tumhare bina jeene ka main soch bhi nahi sakti " raising herself a little she kissed his forehead " I promise Armaan abse chahe kuch bhi ho jaaye, you'll be my first priority " Armaan's smile now streached from ear to ear.. " but mister how'll you explain this " she raised the diary page before his eyes...
" Yeh, wo actually us din main bahut gusse main tha.. Tumhe yaad hai jab tum ghar chali gayi thi and didn't talked to me... Tab I thought you didn't wanted me aur tab.." he looked at her sheepishly " but now that you've said that you love me.. To I guess it's all right "
Ridhhima chuckled through her misty eyes, she didn't knew what to do with him. Hug him ,kiss him or just keep looking at him..she wiped off her happy tears " But stupid tumne mujhe pehle kyun nahi kaha ki you love me... Main kabse yeh sunne ke liye taras rahi thi..." She hit him lightly with smile on his lips and tears in her eyes..
He too smiled nodding, eyes getting misty " hmm I'm sorry.. Mujhe pehle keh dena chahiye tha.."
She nodded smiling through her tears " Stupid ! moron ! Ab bhi aise hi khade rahoge kya ? Do I have to remind you that you're still not saying it..."
He chuckled " yeah that reminds me of something. Just a sec. " he ran to the wardrobe room and came back within minute " though I wanted this to be different and in much better circumstances and place but I don't want to delay any further " he bent down before her on one knee and took her hand in his " Ridhhima, I remember the day we met. You stole my heart and made it skip twice. You have been the highlight of my life. When I sleep, I dream of you, when I work, we work together, when your heart beats, mine beats with yours. We have been friends for some time now; but I think we were lovers from forever.. not one day has gone by without me thinking of you. I think of you, and the biggest smile comes across my face, I feel warm all over and my heart still skips a beat for you whether we're on the phone or just in the same room. Sweetheart, just looking into your eyes still makes me feel like the first day we met. I have the same dream we both want, and that's to love each other, be with eachother forever. I fell for you so long ago. And I want it to be like that forever " he took out a white rose from the inside of his coat " to say that I'll always be there for you " she accepted it smilingly, he then pulled out a yellow rose " I will be your best friend for ever.." lastly he pulled out a red one " and this sweetheart.. to say that I love you more than words can say... would you accept me , your silly husband, to be your soulmate for eternity ? "
Over whelmed with emotions Ridhhima hugged him tightly ,tears of
joy and love flowing freely from her eyes " yes yes yes.. I will.. For
forever. I love you.."
He hugged her back, wrapping her tightly in his embrace. He kissed her forehead.. Holding on to her making sure that it wasn't a dream... Today was the best day of his life.. He finally got his life.. His love.. Breaking the hug lightly, he put something around her neck.. It was the same necklace that she found in the locker " it should've been here long before " he smiled lovingly and kissed her forehead
Amidst all this Ridhhima's eyes fell on something, wiping her joyous tears she asked smiling now " Aur in divorce papers ka kya karun ? "
Grinning a little, Armaan took them from her hand and tore them away into small bits.. " We don't need these, ever..." he turned to her " But I definitely need something..." holding her face in his palms he brought her closer.. Till his lips brushed with hers... Ridhhima's heartbeat raced knowing what was coming but she was ready, more than willing for it.. And then he claimed them in a deep passionate kiss which conveyed all his love, his longing, his feelings for her. Ridhhima could feel it in his kiss, she responded with equal fervor trying to take away all the pain she'd caused him and instead fill him with all the love she has... He pulled her even closer to himself, if possible, her fingers ran into his hair pulling him close, urging him to go on.. His hands moved around her waist and thousand butterflies flew in her stomach.. His touch felt like fire on her bare skin and they completely fell into each others spell... It seemed they wanted to make up for all the time lost in one go... Only the lack of air made them pull apart, but they stood there in the middle of the room with heads joined, smiling... Feeling blissful and contented.. To have each other.
The kiss put a seal on their promise to each other... Two soulmates were finally together, despite of all odds... For forever...
" I love you " he whispered
She hid herself in his chest, crimson, her breathing ragged and unable to meet his intense gaze " I love you too " she said feeling ecstatic
She ran her fingers softly through his hair as he buried his face in her stomach, lying on the floor taking in that beautiful fragrance, his hand encircling her waist holding her tight. Neither of them spoke. they both were quiet but their hearts were doing the talking, Ridhhima kept caressing his hair to assure him that she wasn't going anywhere. She knew his greatest fear would be to lose her and she wasn't going to leave him alone.. The kiss they shared told her everything he felt and had been through.. Love, happiness,pain, insecurity, his fear.. she wanted to take away the latter three and fill his heart with love and happiness...
She saw him totally comfortable in her lap, a small smile playing
on his lips... He looked so relaxed ,like a heavy burden was now off
his heart.. And that was true indeed. She caressed his face again, how
she's longed to hold him in his arms especially after today morning...
But now she has all of him only for her and she could fulfill her desire
to her hearts fill. Brimming with love she brought his face closer to
her and planted a soft kiss on hs cheek. Armaan opened his eyes smiling
" Oye hoye.. I guess today is my lucky day " he kissed her hand lovingly, caressing her blushing face
" waise what got into you today huh "
" bas aise hi, tumhare bharose rehti to ab tak wait hi karti rehti " she pulled his cheek trying not to blush at his comment
" Waise I still can't believe ki you really said that, I mean it
feels like a dream " he looked deeply into her eyes " main bahut darr
gaya tha Ridhhima.. I thought I've lost you.. You don't want me in your
" heyy budhhu ! " she said softly caressing his face " if there's anything I ever wanted in this world, then it's you.. And I'll make up for all the time we lost in stupid things.. I promise "
" Sach "
" Muuch " she smiled back
" Toh you see we missed a lot on 'being together' " he said
cheekily " you know you've given me such a hard time since that day I
saw you in the pool.." Ridhhima's mouth fell open
" Armaaann tum.. Tum na.." blushing profusly she just couldn't find words to say " mujhe pata tha ki tumhare dimaag main yahi sab chal raha hoga " she hit his arm
" Arre don't tell me you're so sharif huh. I know you too couldn't keep your eyes off me " he added smugly
" ha ! main tumhari tarah besharam nahi hun " lying
" Achha, koi baat nahi main to hun, aur abhi thodi daer pehle
tumhari sharam kahan gayi thi jab you.." Ridhhima turned deepest shade
of red but didn't knew where to hide he just refused to budge from her
lap " oye hoye ! Jaan I can't tell you how tempting you look right now.
To chalo ab isi baat par apne hot handsome husband ko ek kiss de do
jaldi se. That one was too short "
" Armaann hato tum... You're really shameless ! " she tried half hearted attempt to get him off her lap
" Not till I get what I want and I know you want it too " he grinned, Ridhhima couldn't say a word coz it was indeed very true. He raised himself slowly and cupping her face brushed her lower lip with his thumb, Ridhhima forgot to breathe, her eyes closed with his sensuous touch.. She could now feel his hot breath on her face and then.. His lips claimed hers..
Her hands moved in his hair encircling his neck, his hand found the skin of her waist and explored it with his sensuous fingers, blazing a fire wherever they touched... The kiss deepened and got more intense.. With both of them loosing their senses to each other... Trying to pour out all the love they had though it.. His lips then diverted their attention to the softness of her neck leaving a trail of kisses he moved from the crook of her neck to her shoulder blades to her lower neck, his hand explored her back quickning her heartbeat.. It was such a new feeling for her yet it felt so right.. Armaan carried on as if he'd found a treasure, she completely mesmerised him gripping all his senses and now if he remembered anything, it was her.. The love of his life, in his arms.. who was now his ,for forever...
They would have stayed there like that if the shrill voice of
Armaan's cell phone hadn't disturbed them. Breaking away he held her
close, both trying to gain back some control... He smiled warmly kissing
her forehead whispered I love you to her again. She didn't said
anything just planted a small kiss on his lips bringing on that million
dollar dimple smile on his face..
Finally he picked up the phone after it got disconnected twice !
As they were *ehem* busy. It was Rahul asking him where he was and to
come to the party soon. Reluctantly they moved down but this time
holding hands, with real smile on their faces and hearts full of
happiness... Armaan didn't let go of her hand for a single second and
she knew that he was still trying to accept the fact that she was his..
After all what he'd gone through it would take him some time to realize
that it is all true.. For real. She squeezed his hand conveying her
assurance through unspoken words of eyes... He blinked softly knowing
well what she meant and accepting it...
When Rohan saw them he knew in an instant that now all was well. He could very well see that in the way they looked at each other and held each other's hand moreover the rosiness on Ridhhima's cheeks was proof enough that now everything was clear and all right between them
" So, all is well that ends well " he gave a side hug to Ridhhima
" Thanks Rohan. Jalan ke maare hi sahi in janab ne kaha to " she gave a soft glare at Armaan who ran a hand through his hair grinning sheepishly
Rohan laughed out " yeh to aisa hi hai, waise I never can thank you enough for what you did for Swati and me "
Hearing that Armaan stepped forward " and that reminds me " he placed his hand on Rohan's shoulder pressing it painfully hard " that I haven't had a word with my dear friend about what he told me today and haven't even congratulated him properly " Rohan gulped looking around for help but to his horror Ridhhima didn't even looked at him and Swati, she waved a hi at Armaan !. The ladies then got busy admiring Ridhhima's necklace hardly bothering with their husbands, especially Swati " hey Modi ! " Armaan shouted " I'm going to have a word with Rohan. Care to join ? "
" Why not Malik. Anyway I'm not fully satisfied with our earlier talks "
Rohan's eyes widened with horror seeing the evil grin on their
faces " Swaaattii, Ridhhimmaa, Niiikkkii.. hhee.." they covered his
mouth and carried him away from there
Few minutes later they all were sitting togetheragain. Swati was basking in the love and care that was being showered on her. With Anjali giving her tips to selfcare during pregnancy and others urging her to eat. Poor Rohan sat there with an ice pack nursing a black eye, rubbing his aching body. He thanked his stars that Swati came for his rescue but she wasn't soon enough. Just one request from her and they let him go ! And there he was crying to have some mercy but did they listen ? No ! Great friends huh !
" Hey Rohan, why are you scowling man ? " Armaan teased him
" yeah Rohan, you should be happy. See you won a big time from both of us. I just realized that you were first among us to fall in love, first to get married and now first to be a father ! You should be soo proud " Abhi joined in with Armaan in the teasing session
" Cmmon guys " Ridhhima came and sat down next to Armaan " ab aur kitna pareshaan karoge use "
" Oye shukra manaa ki tujhe sahi time akal aa gayi warna aaj to tera bharta ban jaata " Muskaan added, and among all this happy bickering Armaan didn't let go of his chance to hold Ridhhima's hand under the table. She looked wide eyed at him pleading him to let it go as everyone was around but he just shook his head smiling shamelessly.
Coming closer he whispered " I'm not letting you go now. Ever. And sweetheart, you're trying to free your hand, what are you going to do when i'm going to hold you completely " Ridhhima blushed badly hearing it and just could not meet his eyes. She dropped the idea of freeing her hand ,though she hardly wanted to free it at first place, but she just prayed that none see it or she'll die with their teasing...
But in her heart she couldn't thank God enough for bringing him into her life, looking into his eyes she found an endless ocean of love.. his heartbeat spoke of only one name and that was hers... The moments they shared back in the room were something she would cherish for rest of her life...for a moment she thought she'd lost him forever, but then things turned out to be just fine..
Ridhhima's other worry got solved when she was left surprised when Sammy came to her asking about Rajat, saying that she found him cute ! Ridhhima grinned, and praised him with whatever nice things she knew about him, which were not many.. explaining her his love for pranks. Sammy to her surprise found that very interesting and Ridhhima could not wait to hear something interesting and hillarious soon...
She was lost in the world of happy thoughts when there was an announcement from the DJ inviting all the couples on the dance floor
" And this song ladies and gentleman is dedicated to all the people in love "
All the people started applauding. Armaan got up and extended a hand to her with eyes brimming with immeasurable love , she accepted it gladly..
The music started with the soft romantic song from John Denver- You fill up my senses
" You know Armaan this is my favourite song.." Looking meaningfully at him
" Really, it's beautiful " he whispered, she didn't knew whether it was for the song or for her. His eyes never left hers... As song came to end he looked at her intensely holding her close, Ridhhima rested her head on his chest feeling protected in his embrace and he was all warm and fuzzy. something told him that this is it, life couldn't get any better... He had his life back, in his arms with all her love only and only for him...
The song ended and for a moment they didnt realized but when the
crowd started clapping and they broke apart, eyes still not leaving each
other. They knew they were connected a little more today.. They were
still lost into each other when suddenly there was a scream.
Everybody turned arond to see who it was. Ridhhima froze when she saw Anjali clutching her stomach. There was something very wrong..
Everybody rushed to her " Oh God diii ! " but Anjali was wincing with pain " Armaan we need to rush her to the hospital " he nodded and quickly rushed to bring the car. Atul was all panicky seeing Anjali in pain.
Soon they were on their way to hospital. Armaan drove at the superfast speed with Abhimanyu accompanying him and Ridhhima and Atul comforting Anjali. The others were left to take care of the guests with assurance that they would be informed about everything and called if required..
Soon they were near the hospital and Armaan seeing the red cross was drenched in cold sweat. His expressions didn't went unnoticed by Ridhhima.. Unknowingly he slowed down, his heart beat accelerated and horrible things flashed before his eyes, screams filled his ears and he could barely control the steering. He wanted to stop but Anjali's screams made him very much aware that he cannot. Somehow he managed to enter and stop before the gates. Everyone rushed out and soon Anjali was wheeled inside..
Ridhhima was left hanging in between. She knew well that this is not the place he would ever want to be but right now she couldn't leave her sister either, but then she made up her mind she'll keep her promise to him she'll not leave him alone " Armaan " Ridhhima cupped his face " Armaan listen to me. kuch nahi hoga. Trust me " He stood out of the car unable to move a step ahead. Ridhhima could see his fear on his face she came by his side and slipped her hand in his holding it firmly interwining her fingers with his. He stared at her hand, then looked up at her... " Trust me. I won't let you alone, even for a minute. I'll be by your side every second.. Everything will be okay " She smiled at him giving a gentle assuring squeeze to his hand and then.. At that time he felt she was right... everything had been just right till now.. And it will be, from now on... she was there with him and he'd nothing to worry about.. To fear about... he'll be just fine...
Feeling assured he followed her inside. Thankfully the maternity
hospital Atul had choosen was free from anything that could make it look
like a hospital. From inside it was rather like a hotel, with reception
desk and everything plus their were happy baby pictures all around with
mothers holding their bundles of joy. The atmosphere was minus the
pungent smell of hospital and the only thing that remotely made it
hospital like was the doctors nameplates and directions showing which
section was where. The silence of the late night was broken only by the
crying babies who probably were hungry ,wet or were simply demanding
Ridhhima straightaway took him to the family room, which was quiet spacious with comfortable looking couchs, an LCD and tables which had magazines strewn on them. It was empty. No anxious father or relative was pacing up and down waiting for the news. Ridhhima noticed that throughout their small walk Armaan didn't uttered a single word. Closing the door she turned to him
Holding his hand ,she caressed his face " Armaan, I know you're not comfortable at such places, but trust me kuch nahi hoga. See I'm here with you. We'll soon be back home okay "
Armaan looked into her eyes, he could see that she was really worried. He mentally kicked himself, here she was ,all worried for him when she should be with Anjali who right now needed her more. And besides what can happen here ! He can surely bear this place for few hours. Thpugh his heart knew that he was lying to himself yet he fought away those thoughts.. Exhaling a sigh, he kissed her hand gently " Ridhhima, I'm absolutely fine. You should be with Anjali, she needs you much more than me right now. I'll be okay, don't worry. I'll meet you here in a while " he smiled assuring her. It took him some time to convince her that he'll be okay and she can go to Anjali, to which she finally agreed but not before telling him thousandth time to take care and let her know immediately if he even slightly felt uncomfortable. He agreed to her every instruction. Giving a quick peck on his lips she moved out.
Ridhhima knew well that he could not bear the sight of hospital, it will just evoke those horrific memories leaving him miserable, and she didn't wanted to make him go through with that pain again but right now she had little choice ,she just prayed that everything goes okay...
Walking around in the room Armaan switched on the TV to divert
his attention from the place and soon he was engrossed in a documentry
On the other hand the doctors informed that there was slight complications with Anjali and she was required to stay in the hospital for atleast two days. Ridhhima was again in a fix. Atul's parents were abroad and her parents weren't in the town either. Moreover Anjali was terribly scared for the baby and wouldn't leave Ridhhima or Atul. Ridhhima prayed frantically that everything goes well with her sister...
It was almost an hour later that the door opened and Abhimanyu stepped in. Ridhhima had told him that Armaan was here and she wanted Abhimanyu to just check upon him. Abhi found it odd but nevertheless complied by her wish " Malik, what are you doing here ? Cmmon don't you want to meet Anjali ? "
The television no longer was able to pacify him and he was again his nervous self " Is she okay ? " he asked
" yeah, doctors said that there are some minor complications, nothing that can't be handled but she has to stay here for a day or two. Atul and Ridhhima are with her, she was really scared.. But it's all right now " Armaan nodded, atleast now they can go home " but you should see those babies in the nursery. God they are so cute ! Niki would never have left that place " he grinned to himself " hey you wanna see ? " he asked all excited to go back again
" No, thanks. I'm fine here "
" Cmmon Malik ! Look around the place.. Get some info. After all we'll be here for the same reason.. Someday " Armaan looked at a smiling Abhi, he could not make out what he was so happy about ? on the other hand it took every bit of effort on his part to stay calm and not run from this place.. It was then Abhimanyu saw Armaan's ashen face and realized that there must be something wrong..
" Armaan.. What happened ? Is there something wrong ? " it was probably those rarest of rare moments when Abhimanyu addressed Armaan by his first name rather than by his surname
It was a moment before Armaan spoke " nothing's wrong.. I just
want to be alone.. And try not to remind me where I am.. I.. I'm not
comfortable in hospitals " Armaan closed his eyes resting his head back
on the couch. Now Abhimanyu understood why Ridhhima was so worried.
Abhimanyu woke up with someone almost shouting, he'd dozed off while watching TV.. He sat up squinting, adjusting his eyes to the surrounding. It was then he saw Armaan twisting in his sleep screaming, he was apparently seeing a nightmare.. And then when he was just about to wake him up Armaan woke up screaming, he was panting and sweating... Abhimanyu was worried when he didn't got any response from him and rushed to call Ridhhima.
Ridhhima when heard about Armaan rushed to him, mentally cursing herself for making him stay there.. When they reached the room he was bit calm... She rushed to him and hugged him immediately " Armaan, are you okay.. Kya hua hmm " she didn't cared who was around all that mattered to her right then was Armaan, she rubbed his back caressing his hair, comforting him " I'm sorry Armaan.. I'm sorry. Mujhe tumhe yahaan akela nahi chhodna chahiye tha.."
Finding her near to him he breathed in with relief, getting more comfortable he managed to speak up " It's okay Ridhhima.. I'm fine.. It was just a stupid dream " she knew he was just trying to tone down things. She then decided that it would be wise if she sent him home " Armaan, it'll be better if you go home.." she then added hesitatingly " Armaan, I think i'll have to stay here with di, she's not that well and just won't let me go.. Upar se mom dad bhi yahaan nahi hai aur jiju ke parents bhi baahar hai.."
" It's okay Ridhhima. I can understand, tum bekaar hi pareshaan ho rahi ho. I'm just fine, I'll wait here for you. We can go back in the morning "
" No Armaan " she said firmly, not willing to risk him with any more of those nightmares " You're going back home. We can handle things here. I want you to go back home and take good sleep okay " she said caressing his face " I'll see you soon tomorrow " he tried to disagree but she refused to listen to anything " I'll just call Abhimanyu and he'll drive you home okay "
Giving a small peck on his lips she went out looking for Abhimanyu who slipped out of the room knlwing that they might need some privacy. She explained him everything asking him to take Armaan home to which he readily agreed. Thanking him Ridhhima returened back to the room " Armaan, cmmon lets go. I'll see you out " he got up to go ,when she held his hand stopping him. Pulling him close she agin cupped his face " promise me Armaan, you're not going to take any pills on reaching home " his eyes flashed up at her, he wondered how come she knew that he was thinking on the same line, to just pop up a pill and go to sleep " promise me Armaan " she repeated
" I promise, but tell me how am I going to sleep without pills and more than that without you "
She smiled " oh you will.. Just remember this.." and with that she put her hands around his neck pulling him close and covered his lips with hers, giving him a long loving assuring kiss. she smiled through the kiss when she found him responding to it, his hands encircling her waist.. on the other hand as soon as Armaan felt her lips on his ,he knew that he would indeed have the best sleep tonight, if he could manage to steal away a moment from her thoughts.. From her touch.. And from the magical kiss...
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First Love Letter
Recap :- Ridhhima meets Dr. Shishir. Armaan ignores Ridhhima, comes with divorce papers. Rohan clears everything with Armaan. AR confess. Anjali gets unwell and is rushed to the hospital.
Armaan stirred sleepily, hugging his pillow even tighter. A soft smile played on his lips... He'd been dreaming all night about her. She was so right, he'd not even once thought of that dreary place nor any horror haunted him... For once there were no screams, no flashes, no nightmares... It was just Ridhhima.. Everytime. Everywhere. Especially after she gave him a reason to think.. dream about something...
For a while he just stayed there, replaying yesterday's events yet again, filling his heart with the warmth of love.. He rolled over to her side stretching his hand hoping against hope to find her there but.. The emptiness by his side made him realize that she wasn't.. Sighing he slowly opened his eyes, it would be after a long while that he would wake up without seeing her face first thing in the morning..
But what was that !! He sat up straight, shocked. How could it be ?! Ridhhima ! She was there ! Sleeping , no, she was smiling at him.. He rubbed his eyes and on opening them again he saw the truth...
Ridhhima wasn't there. He was daydreaming. Hitting his forehead at his stupidity he got off the bed and at the same time two things happened... His cell phone started ringing and his sneezes made it clear that they missed him terribly. After all ,Ridhhima had played villain keeping them away from him, until now.. Sneezing non stop he picked up the phone to hear what he was longing to..
" Good morning " she said lovingly
*sneeze* Good * sneeze* mor *sneeze* ning *sniff* sniff* "
" Armaannn, just one day, no. one night, I was away and see you are back to your ways. I'm sure tum raat ko theek se covers le kar bhi nahi soye hoge " she blasted off immediately. He looked at the bed there were no covers on it.. Coz they were on the floor. How the hell did they land there ?!
" Kya yaar Ridhhima, tumne subah subah daanta shuru kar diya. Instead of saying that you miss me ,love me and giving me a good morning kiss, you are worried about stupid sneezes !. You know I sneeze all the time " he complained. Ridhhima chuckled ,she could imagine his cute pouting face " not when I'm there.." glad that he couldn't see her blushing at his morning kiss demand
He sighed " yeah, but you see you're not here and how's Anjy ? " he tried to divert the topic before she could scold him further
" Di is fine now and so's the baby, she'll be back home today or by tomorrow for sure. But she'd to be very careful there are chances that baby might come before it's due date "
" Wow you're going to get promoted yet again "
She laughed " and so will you mister Uncle " both were relieved that there was nothing serious to worry about
" Ridhhima " he said softly " I'm missing you.. Terribly. I miss seeing your face first thing in the morning, to hear your good morning ,to see your smile.." Ridhhima's heart filled with warmth of his love over the phone " when are you going to come back ? " now impatient
" Armaan, I miss you too.. But you know naa.." she said softly " I'd be there with you rather than being anywhere, and you were the one who asked me to stay over, remember "
" hmm " he knew she wouldn't have stayed over if he hadn't told her to, but he couldn't keep her away from Anjy especially during this time " but I miss you... Maine to socha bhi nahi tha ki jab main tumse apne dil ki baat kahunga wo raat mujhe tumse alag ho kar bitaani padegi. Not fair yaar.. "
She laughed " aww don't worry I'll be back soon, now you go and get ready or you'll be late " he was still unwilling to keep the phone down. Ridhhima paused for a moment wondering how to ask " Armaan.. Uh, did you have good sleep.." worried about his nightmares
A naughty smile spread on his face " sleep !? Do you really think I could sleep after what happened yesterday. And over that, the thing which you gave me to think about.. The reason to dream.. It instead kept me awake for a looong time " he grinned ,knowing well that she'd be crimson on the other side
He wasn't wrong. She'd been infact feeling suddenly very shy and conscious. Yesterday, overflowing with emotions that too in a particular situation she'd not cared for anything, but now the thought of what he said and.. Did.. made her blush badly, she had hard time controlling her heartbeat which went haywire everytime she thought of the loving tender passionate kisses they shared. She could hardly think of anything else all night long. A soft smile, it seemed, got plastered permanently on her face... She tried to control herself when Atul caught her smiling to herself which she brushed off saying that she was thinking about the baby... It cooled down a tensed Atul too who couldn't help but smile and talked non stop on what he and Anjy have planned for the baby...
It took a lot of self control before she could call him, yesterday night changed something, in a good way of course, she now felt so relieved that finally she got what she desired the most.. The scary feeling of loosing him was now replaced with that soft fuzzy feeling of being in love... But the thought that they would now be sharing husband wife relationship in all it's true sense gave her butterflies..this was entirely new for her, the closeness.. the feeling of belonging and the fact that she had complete right over him.. That he now truly belonged to her... is totally hers.. gave her the feeling of being on cloud 9.. it felt so right. and one thing she was sure of was that this is where she belonged.. But the physical intimacy was still something new and everytime she thought of it, heat rose to her cheeks with that so visible blush...
But she just couldn't control her heart that longed to see him or at least hear his voice for now.. She decided that she'd be casual in her conversation but now that he'd said it aloud all her control went down the drains ,she just longed to be back in his arms feeling the warmth of his love, of that feeling of security that enveloped her.. That feeling of being complete and content... how she longed to kiss him again, to tell him that she miss him terribly and love him like crazy... only now all the words deserted her, if only thoughts had wings she'd be right there with him...
" Hey agar meri itni hi yaad aa rahi hai to why don't you come back " his voice brought her back from her thoughts.
" Armaann, you are incorrigible.. Tumse kisne kaha ki mujhe tumhari yaad aa rahi hai " trying to control herself
" Don't lie to me Ridhhima, I know you too well.." and he was so right " but seriously, it's okay. I know Anjy needs you there and.. And I'm sorry, but... I don't think I can come there again.. I'll see you at home then "
She knew he must be feeling terrible for not being there by her side and she knew that he already went a step ahead when he came there for Anjy's sake. She wasn't going to push him any further " Armaan " she said softly " you don't have to be sorry, I can understand, and so does di and jijs. So don't you ever feel sorry or bad about it okay " this made him feel better " achha I'll be back home lekin shayad thodi daer ho jaye.."
" You mean I won't see you before leaving for office ! " he almost shouted out " not fair yaar ! why it happens with me all the time ?! " and dropped on the bed lying flat
" Stop complaining Armaan ! Abhi to itne samjahdar ban rahe the. Chalo get up and get ready and remember don't leave without having breakfast, main Martin ko call kar deti hun he'll get everything ready.. Okay. chalo now be a good boy and get going warna phir chillaoge " he'd no choice but to obey. Reluctantly he got up again
" Fine ! But what do I get for being so nice " she exhaled exasperated, he was such a baby. " ab kya chahiye "
" My good morning kiss " he said rather demanded immediately. Her eyes widened with surprise demand
" Armaaann, I'm in the hospital " heat again rose to her cheeks, did he had to remind her of kisses ! now she'd again have to control her erratic heartbeat. Her eyes scanned the lobby to check if anyone was there, what if someone find her blowing kisses over phone, that would surely give the hospital staff something to talk about that day.
" So ? I don't know, I want my kiss or.. Or.." he thought for some threat " yeah.. Or I won't eat anything. Bhuuk hadtaal, that's it " she sighed, he won't let her any other way. But did she wanted other way.. Perhaps not.
" Just let me come back. I'll.." threatening him half heartedly
" Yeah, tum wapas to aao phir tooo.." he left that sentence hanging with naughty tone " now stop blushing and give me my morning kiss " He was right again, she couldn't help but smile. Finally giving in to his demand she blew a kiss over the phone but could one satisfy him.. So she ended up blowing no less then hundred !
Armaan had hard time after talking to her over phone. Everywhere he turned, everywhere he looked, he found her standing before him. Whether it was exercising, watching news, seeing his face in the mirror which turned out to be hers ! She was everywhere. He almost jumped seeing her smiling at him naughtily when he stepped out of the shower. She even winked ! Checking him out !
He groaned " Ridhhimmaa plz come back soon. Before I go completely crazy "
Standing before the mirror he was struggling with his tie. Yes, again. Remembering her, missing her. Martin's help was denied today, he wanted to spend time with beautiful thoughts of hers till she was back in his arms plus he was seeing her everywhere and was worried if he end up hugging and kissing Martin thinking that it was her ! Horrified, he shook himself out of that weird thought and went back remembering her. Especially the latest morning conversation, how he wished that she could wish him good morning in person rather than over phone... But that had to wait till evening.. It was going to be one looong day...
Disappointed at the thought he undid the tie, starting with it again " Ehem.. Need any help ? "
" Oh no, not you again ! " looking up in the mirror he slumped his shoulders. There she was again, standing by the door of wardrobe room with that most beautiful smile of hers.. Shaking his head he mumbled to himself " you're not real. It's just a dream. It's just a dream.." But when he looked up he found her still looking at him somewhat nonplussed.. " You're still here ! I told you naa, go. I'll be late " he knew if he didn't shake himself up soon he'll land in trouble coz of this.
Her mouth fell open hearing it " Armaan ! You want me to leave .Fine. I'm leaving. Now don't you talk to me " He jumped as if struck by lightening. The voice ! It can't be a dream ! He turned around immediately ,rushing he stood before her blocking her way.
Ridhhima looked at him with a non amused expression, she'd rushed back home as Muskaan and Rohan came there to be with Anjy and Atul. Thanking God for the opportunity she rushed to meet him and was so eager to surprise him that she grinned whole way back imagining his reaction on seeing her, he wasn't expecting to see her till evening. Rushing to the room she found him, as expected, busy with his tie. Only this time he was ,to her surprise, smiling ! Then realized that he was thinking about something and this time she knew what it was. The thought again filled her heart with love. At first she just wanted to rush and wrap him in his arms but then stood there watching him, wondering how he manage to look so handsome all the time ,everytime she looked at him her heart either skipped a beat or raced like an F1 car... He was rolling the tie. For a moment she couldn't understand what he was doing, but then realized that he was trying to put a knot !. One thing she was sure now, he couldn't learn to tie the knot in this lifetime ! But then grinning she thought, what's the need when she's here. It was then when she offered her help, his answer surprised her. He asked her to go away ! Saying she wasn't real ! What was he thinking, did she looked like a ghost or something ! She'd turned to check, little angry, here she'd run all the way back for him and he was asking her to go away coz he'd get late ! Of all the girls in the world she had to be the one to get a workaholic husband. Huh. She looked up 'god I need to have a word with you'.
On the other hand ,still doubting about whether he was dreaming or awake he raised a finger. Riddhima raised her brows questioningly eyes following the finger, wondering what he was up to and then bringing it close he poked it on her shoulder.
Ridhhima just stared at him unable to make any sense of his action, wondering if he was okay. He then held her hand with a smile mixed with surprise and shock that became wider by second, his senses confirmed that he wasn't dreaming. She was indeed real, she was there. As soon as this thought sank in, his heart jumped with joy.
" Ridhhima ! You're real ! " and then without another word took her in a rib crushing hug... " you're back ! You said evening ! And I was dreaming.. you were in the room in the gym and now you're here for real ! " he shook her from side to side overflowing with happiness..
She was taken by surprise with that sudden breath knocking hug but then realized that he was truly very happy to see her and that rambling was just his feelings fighting to rush out in one go. Laughing, all anger forgotten and happy beyond words she wrapped her arms around him squeezing him into a love filled hug.. Immediately feeling the contentment. Could life get any better...
He lay there on the bed with his head resting in her lap ,her soft fingers ran through his hair. As the initial shock of the surprise subsided they just stood there in the loving embrace of each other. He had thanked God profusely for bringing her into his life.. And she just could not put into words how it felt.. But being in heaven would feel no less than this. Of this, she was sure...
" Ridhhima " he suddenly opened his eyes, breaking her chain of thoughts " now that everything is okay I think we should set some ground rules "
" Ground rules ?! " She asked " what kind of ground rules "
" mchh yaar ab you're officially, really, truly mine, to being a wife you have some responsibilities towards your husband naa " adding with an innocent face, she smiled at his antics " Let me explain okay. First thing. I want is to see your face first thing in the morning. No matter what and no excuses what so ever " She laughed hearing it " oh I see, okay boss. Anything else ? "
" Just listen naa, it has just started. Second, I want a good morning kiss everyday without fail "
" Ohh I see, someone is getting greedy.."
" Just wait and listen.. and as many as I want " he winked naughtily.. She hit his head lightly blushing " whaatt, agar tum dogi nahi to I will take them myself. And they have been left pending for so many months, I have to recover them too. Now you decide " She rolled her eyes hearing it
" And what if I'm not in a mood hmm "
" Oh don't worry about that I know how to make your mood " He said huskily, kissing her hand " and trust me it's just the beginning " she turned crimson " oye hoye.. I just love when you blush like that.. but for now let's come to rule number three.. You're going to make me dinner everyday " She smiled at that agreeing " And I want head message everyday "
" Done "
" And you won't stop me from eating ice-cream "
" O..huuh , no way mister " She was about to say ok when she realized what he'd asked " tumhari marzi ab nahi chalegi, tumhe kya dena hai aur kya nahi that I'll decide okay " He tried to argue but she quietened him
" Fine, but then you have to tie up my tie everyday. And, give me a good night kiss too.." he almost forgot that
" This is more agreable... And now may I put some of my rules.."
" Of course "
" Thank you your majesty. First, you're going to make me your special coffee everyday. Even when we fight " remembering the last time he was angry he didn't make her that. He agreed. " Second, you must say I love you atleast thrice everyday.."
" And you have to give me a kiss after that " he added, she shook her head but agreed
" And you're not going to have those medicines until I say so.." his smile faltered hearing it
" But Ridhhima.."
" Plz Armaan, promise me. Trust me I won't let anything happen that you'd need them " he fell quiet for a moment " Armaan..." caressing his face she made him look at her " please.." finally he nodded agreeing to this demand too. She felt so relieved, not a day had passed when she hadn't thought of Dr. Shishir's words and she knew she had to make a start right from now..
Just then his cell phone buzzed, it was Kavita, his secretary. In his happiness he forgot everything about work, there was an important meeting for which going by the clock, he was already late. The call brought Ridhhima back from her dreamland too, she had to be back with Anjy. But neither was willing to go...
" Armaan, utho.. You'll be late for the meeting " running her fingers in his hair ,she made a half hearted attempt to make him get off his lap.
" what yaar.. I'll just cancel off the meeting. I don't want to go " with that he snuggled closer, now resting his head on her chest " let's stay here.. All day " his hands ran over his waist, raising her heartbeat. His lips planted soft kisses all over her neck trailing down to her shoulder.. She held him close ,all senses lost. His masculine scent drove her crazy... He pulled her close, even tighter almost lying over her..
She was now his.. There was nothing between them except love and they both knew that how they have longed for each other... It was time that the distance was covered. Loosening the hold a little he looked into her eyes.. She could see the passion.. The mad desire.. The love and longing in them and at that moment she wanted nothing but to give him whatever he wanted.. To make him sure that she was his and he was her life... That there would be nothing.. No one ever more important than him in her life...
And this was very well conveyed by their eyes.. The words had but
little significance right then.. He could see that she had given him
her consent, though mute... At first he wasn't sure how far he should
go.. Heather she would be comfortable or not and he definitely didn't
wanted to rush in to things... To impose himself.. But he was just
unable to control himself right now . His dream was now fulfilled.. He
had the love of his life right there in his arms and the best thing..
She loved him equally. Smiling a little at the thought he whispered " I
love you.." she didn't said anything, there was no need... Cupping his
face she brought his face closer and covered his lips with hers.. A
groan erupted somewhere in his throat and they fell in the magic of that
Their mouths explored each other love.. Hunger .. Desire making them senseless and crazy.. He deepened the kiss.. Rolling over with her in his arms his fingers trailed to the bare back moving.. Exploring her with his sensuous touch.. pinning her under him not letting go, his hands slowly trailed up to explore the forbidden boundaries, when their moment was interrupted by the constant .. Irritating buzz of her cell phone..
She would have hardly paid any attention to it if the caller hadn't been persistent on disturbing them.. After it rang again getting disconnected for the second time, they broke apart.. Reluctantly, breathing heavily.. to see who was the villain now..
It was Muskaan...
Muskaan- the intruder, called to give her another good news. The
doctor told that they could take Anjali back home that day itself and
now that she was feeling fine she wanted something nice to eat, refusing
to let baby even taste the sickly hospital food ! Ridhhima could
imagine her sister, She could throw real tantrums in perfect healthy
state and at present she could drive anyone up to the wall. Muskaan was
real patient and understanding, having endured the similar condition.
Ridhhima thanked God that Muskaan took over or Anjali would have surely
make her crazy. But that also meant that she'd to leave immediately..
And doing that was going to prove even more difficult than handling moody Anjy..
She wasn't wrong at all. Mr. Husband was totally against leaving her, to even let go of her. It took her lot of cajoling to make him understand, only the thought of hungry cranky Anjy in the hospital made him break his resolution.. And thanks to Sameer who called again, to inform that the meeting could not be postponed to any other day..
" But I want you back here before I come home. Okay " reminding her yet again
" Haan baba, main aa jaungi. Waise bhi Di would be going back home and Uncle aunty , mom dad will be back soon too. Ab to khush " she combed his hair with her fingers as he stood before her pouting. So unwilling to go and let her go. Holding her hand which cupped his face he nodded, kissing it lightly
" I'll miss you " she smiled hearing that. Raising herself a little she rubbed her nose with his.. " me too.. Bas thodi daer aur hmm, and remember, I love you... Very very very much " that brought his million dollar dimple smile back. Holding her close he inhaled her beautiful fragrance, it always felt so soothing.. Kissing her cheek lightly ,he brought her closer giving a peck near her lips and whispered softly " I love you too.." and covered her lips with his, in a kiss that sang of all his love and longing...
Time was really moving at record slow speed today. He let out a sigh, for past one hour he'd been blankly staring at the executive who was telling.. Who knew what was he saying anyway.. his eyes were kind of tuned to look at the watch which seemed to have stopped working ,and had to control his urge to jerk his laptop just to make sure it was functioning fine. He thanked God that nobody asked for his opinion on anything particular ,Rahul handled everything, he even asked through his eyes if he was okay. After which he pulled back his attention... For five minutes. And then was back again dreaming about Ridhhima.
The supremely boring meeting went on for good two hours and he almost ran back in his office to call her, everyone was testing his patience today but no more. It seemed the situation on the other side was no less different. No sooner he'd taken out his cell phone it buzzed ,flashing the name of the person he was dying to hear the voice of...
" Ridhhima I think the clocks aren't working well "
" clocks are fine Armaan, it's just you who is looking at them too much " " but.."
" shh. Listen to me " she quietened him " I miss you and remember what i said in the morning " a wide smile spread on his face, how can he forget that " I love you.." he exhaled a sigh " I love you too . Just can't wait for the evening "
" and that's why I've called you " he sat up, panicking " plz tell me you'll meet me in the evening "
" Of course I will, budhhu. But there's slight change. We'll now be meeting at di's place, Rohan and Swati will be there too and guess what ! Chirag is back with Aditi and we had all so much of catching up to do still. So you come at di's place at 5 and yeah I forgot.. We're taking di back home, thank God she's all better now.."
" but what about me ?? "
" Armaann, I'll be there naa. And I'll be there with you all the time, but abhi bahut saari baatein karni hai and we need you here. Toh shaam ko Rahul bhaiyya ke saath aa jaana. Muskaan bhabhi is already with us. Okay " the news that Anjy was okay and she'll be there wih him gave him relief. And after ofcourse the mandatory kiss he agreed to meet her at Anjy's place.
He again glanced at the watch. 3 more hours to 5. He sighed it was indeed a looonnngg day...
the clock struck 5. He pulled Rahul out of his office, surprising him
by this sudden change. Rahul could not believe that his little
workaholic brother today was dragging him 'out' of the office !.
But when he came to know the reason of his eagerness he teased him all
the way to Atul's place. By that time Armaan was ready to jump out of
the car, he couldn't take any more of his brother's teasing. Rahul on
the other hand was happy for him, finally someone was successful in
putting some sense in that thick skull of his.
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