Hello Shello reader fellow! That was the lamest greeting,sorry. BBUUTT, Since I am very happy today and today is a UTTERLY BUTTERLY Important Day, so you all must forgive me. I've completed the part, you read that First, then comes the "Special Day" mention :D :D And by golly, the part has turned out huge. Hope you guys will like it :D
Part 17 : Everything and Nothing
here!",she said excitedly as she hugged him at the door. Relieved, Armaan
laughed a little and hugged her back. He had been absent-minded and low all
throughout the ride, thinking of Riddhima's words. Damn, he had wanted to say
so much. But..he had just muttered a 'good night' and walked off, leaving her
alone. He knew it hurt her, because it hurt him more. He knew that she wouldn't
give up and he knew that he couldn't give up too. But now after seeing Muskaan,
he felt a little lighter.
here.",he smiled softly at her. Muski pulled him inside the house and
closed the door,while he flopped himself down on her couch. She sighed and
walked up to him. "So, what should I get for you?"
raised his eyebrows, "You're gonna make me something? Are you okay?"
scrunched her nose, "Shut up. I am in a good mood today. I just saw Titanic a
curiously followed her as he walked towards the kitchen,"That's a Tragic
movie..and it made you happy?Woah,Women are strange."
spanked him once, "I know its tragic.", she let out a breath, "But Sad things
are My stuff now-a-days. I'm always listening to Sad songs, seeing Sad movies,
reading sad books, and making myself Cry. Somehow..",she fidgeted with her
cup, "Crying helps."
face fell at her answer and he stood by her, unsure of what to say. Once more
in his mind, he hit Rahul for being so insanely-insensitive and a jerk, for
leaving a gem like Muskaan..Shattered. He began,"Muski.."
try.", she said slowly, starting her microwave to heat up the coffee. Once
more, he was at a loss of words. He hung his head low, mustered up courage, and
looked at her. The microwave beeping cut out their silence, and she moved
mechanically, pouring the coffee into the cups, pretending to be busy with
them. But Armaan knew better.
fine.", his tone changed, rising to a much cheerful one, "Are you just making
me stand here or serve me that yucky coffee?",he pretended to scrunch his
nose. Muskaan's hands at once stopped working mid-way and she turned to give
him a signature Muski-special glare.
crossed her hands in front of her chest, "My coffee is yucky isn't it..And you
know without tasting it? Wow.", she raised her eyebrows, sarcasm dripping
through her words.
course.", he said matter-of-factly,and then casually went, "Because just look
at it." They both peeked in curiously, and after a few seconds, Muskaan
looked at him. He raised his eyebrows, and she burst out laughing, making him
join a while later.
said in fits of giggles, "How are you So Stupidly..Cute!" He smiled.
to make you smile, Princess."
hero..You always know how to cheer me up, no?",her laugh subsided and her
lips curved up in a smile.
on yaar Muski..you yourself called me 'hero'..So I have that talent na!Can't
really deny it!",he replied smugly.
hit his arm playfully,"Idiot.",before going into the living room.
protested from the kitchen,"And who will serve me coffee?"
it with your talented hands, Dr. Armaan 'hero' Mallik!",she giggled as she
replied. Armaan grinned and shook his head as he picked up the coffee cup and
walked towards the sofa where she was sitting and sipping her coffee. She
smiled as he took a seat beside her.
started slowly. "How's everything going,Armaan?"
in?",he raised a eyebrow.
know, Patients, Work Stress, Riddhima...",she trailed off.
had to gaze at his coffee for some moments before collecting his answer,"Um..Good.
There is no work stress, come on Muskaan. We all are there, interns are
working, its going smoothly. About Patients..Well,they are just the way they
were always-Some Good, Some recovering, Some Struggling, and some going strong
even in their fight."
the other one?"
other one?",he asked,puzzled.
I asked you about three things, and you answered about two. What about the last
part of the answer?"
looked at her silently and then slowly said,"She's good."
me one thing, duffos.",she started,"Are you happy while she's
you ever think..that maybe you're hurting her?"
head hung low immediately, guilt flickering across his face,"I know I'm
why are you doing this?",Muskaan said,putting her hand on his.
let out a hasty breath and stood up,"Muski..Please. Can we not talk-"
up. We're having this conversation Right now.",she said determined.
God's Sake,Muski.",he turned with a air of frustration, "You all know
Talking it out will NOT make me change my decision. I Love Her, and I know she
loves me back. I know she's here for me-I know I'm hurting her. But..Its-Its
just so that she stays happy. Is that so hard to understand?",he said in
shook her head, "Really..Armaan. How stupider can you get. Happy? Do you
seriously think she'd be HAPPY to live without you all her life? You really
think- that she can go on smiling and laughing and moving on in life, when all
she knows, that she can never picturise a future without you? I know..Damn this
sounds like a lecture-type dialogue from any Hindi movie, but its true! Armaan
she can NEVER move on..because.."
should be able to answer that!",she said, "You tell me..Why didn't you
move on all these years?"
rolled his eyes, "Seriously now I can't believe-"
shrugged, "I didn't feel like, I guess. And anyways,I didn't find
let's just say Riddhima didn't find anybody else too?",she suggested
come on. She found Sid. Sid-how can even forget him? Muskaan Sid is the perfect
guy for her. He'd take care of her as much-maybe more-than I would."
crossed her hands in front of her chest as she stood beside him, "You could've
found someone equally good-if you came out of your beloved little shell that
you'd made. Anyways tell me. Would you have moved on if you'd find somebody who
was..Perfect for you?"
didn't answer. He kept quiet, and looked away. Would he have moved on? Would he
forget her? It seemed as if his senses had gone numb. He was not being able to
say anything. Would he be able to love again?
sighed beside him, "Its simple. You wouldn't. Armaan it doesn't matter if you
get hurt in love, or be away from the person. If once somebody is silently
fixed in your heart, its impossible to remove her."
closed his eyes and fisted his hand and opened his eyes again,"Muski..you
don't I understand, Armaan?",she questioned,"Armaan you aren't the
only one who's alone...and away from the one you love, you know."
looked at her at once and bit his lip, "Sorry. Sorry Muski-I didn't
doesn't matter.", she retorted back irritably, "Its not about me, its about you
two. Armaan tell me one thing-do you regret it? Falling in love with her, being
with her, then..leaving her?"
do you mean?"
mean..Do you wish it never happened? Do you wish you never fell for her in the
shrugged, "I guess. I mean I don't want to hurt her...and.."
know..",her eyes glistened, "I..I don't regret any of it. I don't regret
falling in love with Rahul, because I know it was the most beautiful moments of
my life..The most beautiful feeling, and it has made me strong. In a way weak
and hurt too, but I still find myself smiling when I think of him. I know that
I'd never love anyone else..And maybe..Just maybe if he comes back..",her
head hung down. The conversation had taken a different turn- Armaan knew that
Muskaan was thinking of her state when she was talking about Riddhima. In some
way or the other, she understood what Riddhima was going through.
he comes back?", he asked silently.
let out a sigh, and that was all for him to understand.
closer to her on the couch, he let his arm go round her shoulders and gave a
slight squeeze. Muskaan smiled at him for a while, thankful to him that he
hadn't started to debate about her decision. That was the thing she loved about
Armaan. He was really protective, but on the other side, he understood too. She
knew he could have asked her thousands of other questions as to why and how
could she forgive Rahul if he came back, but didn't. And for that, she would
never stop thanking God for sending such a friend for her.
know", she sat up, her voice teasing, "If I hadn't fallen for that idiot, I
could have married you. You're kind of good."
eyebrows rose as he caught her mood instantly. Smiling, he pretended to look
serious. He knitted his eyebrows together and put a finger to his chin, and
looked at Muskaan from head to toe, as if seeing whether she was a suitable
candidate for marriage or not.
I wouldn't marry you. You're too fat for my liking.", he clicked his tongue.
had an urge to giggle but coughed, "Ahem. Ahem. Of course. Why would you marry
me…when all you have eyes for is a certain Basket..."
rolled his eyes, "Muskaan Chadda.."
Mallik…",she went in the same tone as his, "Come on. Admit it. You're a mess
without her. In fact, you both are messes without each other."
he stressed, "As if."
Look who is talking. I wonder, who was that, who was agitated, and angry and
all disoriented when his dear little best friend suddenly went home without
telling him?",she raised her eyebrows.
lips began to curve into a smile. Memories always set him smiling, and when it
was especially happy ones, idiotic ones- ones he wished would come back again
in his real life, he just couldn't help but smile. Unconsciously, his dimples
Hoyye!",Muskaan was back to herself again, nudging him by his elbow.
laughed and got up, "Muski..What's for dinner?", he said, changing the topic.
glanced at the clock which said 9:00 pm. Armaan was there for over one and half
hour. Of course he'd be hungry. But she had other plans.
Nothing.", she shrugged casually as she stood up, hoping that he'd say he had
to go. But instead, he stood up behind her, cocked an eyebrow and sighed.
asked. She nodded.
pizza have you ordered today, Miss Chadda?", he asked, folding his hands in
front of his chest. She turned to him, opened her mouth to say something but
closed it again. Then stomped one of her feet. It was agitating, how he seemed
to know everything she did.
YOU HAVE TO GO. Go, Go, Go. I am not sharing my pizza."
one?", he insisted.
She folded her hands in front of her chest and
frowned, "Pepperoni Cheese."
laughed, "And YOU think I am going!"
bell rang soon, and both of them looked at each other, then dashed together for
the door. In unison, their laughs filled the empty house, along with, 'I got it
marked the date beside the present one, and gave a satisfied smile. She was so
excited, she could hardly control her excitement. She was sure the surprise
she'd planned for Sid would literally knock him out, but it was all to make him
happy. She knew, if not for Sid, she would have come so close to Armaan as she
was, if not fully.
was her token of appreciation for her best friend.
morning shined on her face, and her eyes twinkled in the light. She turned away
from the window and towards the door, and faintly wondered where Sid was.
Walking out, she was surprised to see all quiet and bathing in sunlight, but
Sid was nowhere to be seen. Usually he sat with the newspaper at this time in
the living room, or maybe singing his loud ridiculous songs. But today was
she walked towards his room and creaked open the door. He was sitting on the
window sill, his hands holding something that looked like a little paper, and
his gaze aimed at nothing particular. There was a hint of sadness at the way he
looked so lost, and Riddhima was worried. Sid wasn't usually like this.
if woken up from a sudden dream, he looked at her startled.
It's you.", he said rather surprised.
what's wrong?", she asked, putting a hand on his shoulder as she sat down
beside him. He shook his head slightly.
I'm…I'm just missing her."
understood who he was talking about and patted his hand. Then she took out the
little piece of paper which was in his hand. He didn't protest.
this?", she asked. He sighed.
left it in my cabin the day I was leaving for Mumbai."
any more questions, Riddhima slowly unfolded the folded piece of paper, which
was almost crushed. In the paper were some lines, written in quick handwriting.
It was always you, and it
will always be you. I'm Sorry, Sid…But I can't
and I don't want to let you
go this time. I love you too much to do it again.I'll wait, even if, this
time it means forever.
didn't even listen to her.", his guilty voice made her look up, "And now look
at me, I have everything…and yet, nothing."
didn't you try to talk to her? I mean..Call her?", she asked gently.
looked up, "And what would I say? 'I'm
Sorry, Megha, now I can be with you…since my engagement is broken'?What the hell would she say, Riddhi?
What would she think? That…that she is only a kind of substitute, an extra in
my life? After how I treated her when she came back , why would she even want
me back in her life?"
held up the paper, "Megha knew what you were going through, Sid. And this is
the proof that she really wanted you
to come back to her. She said she was sorry, didn't she?"
stood up and ran a hand through his hair, "Although everyone thought it was her
fault that we broke up, but it was not. At least not in my prospective. She
left me because she wanted to go to Bangalore for the big job she'd got. And it
was her only fear that long distance relationships don't work. It wasn't her
fault that she left, and even at the last moment she couldn't tell me that she
loved me. It was my fault, how easily I agreed, how I didn't try to stop her at
least once, how I disconnected myself because I thought everything was over. It
was me, who actually broke us apart. Now when she's back, and she wants us
together, how do I forgive myself so easily for finishing off everything we shared?"
come on.", she stood up too, "Everyone makes mistakes. Even…Armaan didn't stop
me when I was going to Delhi. I know he wanted to, but couldn't. But that
doesn't mean I don't know that Armaan loves me, and that I still love him."
sighed, "Your case is different, Riddhima. You two were best friends. You dated
for two years, but knew each other inside out. You guys confessed your love
too. But it's not that in my case. I
asked Megha out on Valentine's Day. We dated for a year, smiling, and blushing
crazy, getting cozy in each other's presence, but we never knew what was going
on in the other's mind. Maybe both of us
knew that we loved each other, just scared if the other person loved us too. We
never said it, we never confessed. And I'm sure, after I just let Megha go, she
was sure that I didn't love her."
isn't that foolish."
do you know?", he spun around as Riddhima quickly bit her tongue, "Have you met
Obviously not. I errmm-guessed. Yeah.", she gave a quick nervous smile, "What I
want to say is, Sid. Leave this. I want to tell you something."
the hell Riddhima!", he said angrily, "When it comes to me, Leave it! And all
you want to talk about is you!"
was just saying that…I have a surprise for you."
now that got him going. Riddhima nodded. "Whoa, show me!"
today, you grinning fool. Wait for it.", she winked and got out of the room.
couldn't give him a chance to call her back. She could let out the surprise if
she'd chattered more with him about Megha. Hitting herself mentally, she
quickly shouted a 'I'm leaving!", as she collected her bag and dashed out to
her car. Turning on the engine, she was off for Sanjeevani.
was surprised how familiar the whole place had become in just 3-4 days. She
loved the chirpy children, the gentle and the rough and the strong patients,
the hardworking interns, the open corridors, the rustle from the canteen, the
always busy work…and..obviously, Armaan. Riddhima suppressed a giggle at her
own thought. Just when she was humming to herself and walking ahead, she looked
up from her dream world and-
his voice from behind. Armaan stood rubbing his arm, her elbow had hit it when she
hadn't noticed. Riddhima bit her tongue, and quickly ran up to him.
you okay, Armaan? ", she asked worriedly, holding the file he had dropped, "I'm
so sorry! I was so stupid, I didn't look and walk...come on why are you
standing!..", she went on with her rant without letting him speak, and
literally dragged him up to his cabin.
should have looked up! I'm Sorry…I didn't mean to, I mean I was preoccupied.
And you..", she kept the file on the table and kept on explaining.
he said, keeping his hands on her shoulders, "Enough!"
looked at him guiltily, biting her lip.
she was quiet, "You just didn't see. It just hurt my arm a little, but it's
nothing major. Infact not even a cut. So quit blaming yourself. Okay?"
gave a cynical look to him, still biting her lip. Armaan let go of her
shoulders and noticing her expression, put his hand on his chin and laughed
frowned, "Why are you laughing?"
look so cute when you look like that. I wonder how you handle it, always
frantic about for little little things."
not a little thing, Armaan.", she raised an eyebrow.
I am a big thing. I'm already 27, you know.", he grinned at his own silly joke.
of 27…", she cleared her throat, "Sid's turning 27 tomorrow."
looked up from his file, "Yes. I know…Have you planned anything?"
his surprise. And I guess a party…"
she shook her head, "He's at home most of the time. All his work is on his
laptop only. He seldom goes out, and at night? Nada."
Party Hall of the Spice hotel. He often meets his friends there."
that's a nice place. That's where Nikki and Abhi had their reception.", he
need your help."
he looked up with interest, "What role do I play?"
I have to prepare for his surprise, you'll have to bring him there. And others,
the decoration, cake and invitations are handled so it's okay."
right…but what's the surprise?"
light mysterious smile spread over her face, "Oh. You'll see."
was almost 7pm before Riddhima knew. She
was still attending a patient when her pager beeped. Giving quick instructions
to the nurse, she handed over the file and left the ward, hurrying to her
Anjie, you paged me?", she said breathless.
Anjali said, "I'm going to pick up Nikki and Muskaan, and the guys are bringing
over Sid. It's already 7, so I thought I might as well remind you. You have to
get ready for your surprise, right? Armaan's already left."
God, yes. Thanks Anj. I'll just hurry."
gave Anjali a quick smile as she opened her lab coat and hung it on her hand as
she walked out of the room. Checking her phone a last time, Riddhima was happy
to see that Sid hadn't called, but the time was 7:10 pm already. She took a deep breath to calm herself and
got into the car swiftly. And she was speeding towards the Mumbai airport.
she had chosen the road which didn't have much traffic, and she thanked the
Good Lord graciously for preventing traffic and making her journey faster. The
night was a little damp, and soothing winds, neither hot nor cold gushed across
her face from the window and made her hair fly over her neck, tickling her. The
weather was almost…romantic. Riddhima smiled to herself. At least someone would
be really happy today, even if that someone wasn't her, or Armaan.
was 7:30 pm when Riddhima reached the airport gate. Five minutes to the
Delhi-Mumbai flight to land. Biting her lip, she hurried on to the
interrogation counter. A pleasant looking
thin girl stood at the counter, deeply engrossed in calls. The national airport
was quite filled, with only a few seats left in the waiting room. There was a
constant sound of rustling footsteps and announcements, and people mumbling among
themselves. Riddhima sighed. She looked back at the girl who was still talking
on the phone, looking quite serious, when a girl strode past Riddhima and in
front of the counter. The girl looked like a college student, probably 20 years
old. She banged her hand into the counter.
me!", said the girl.
counter attendant looked up from the phone.
hurry up, I want to ask something!", she said impatiently.
the counter attendant kept the phone and said politely, "Yes mam, how can I
youngster took a breath and said, "Is the Delhi to Mumbai flight on time?
head shot up. That was the exact flight she wanted to ask about. Frankly, it
was even time for the flight to land. Was it late? Almost groaning to herself,
she waited for the reply.
mam…I'm sorry, but due to bad weather conditions, the flight is delayed by 30
minutes.", the attendant said.
man!", exclaimed the girl with utter disappointment and frustration and took
out her phone. Riddhima finally got past her and kept her hands on the counter.
you sure the flight is delayed by an hour?"
attendant looked apologetic, "Yes mam, we're really sorry for the delay. But
the flight cannot leave Delhi till the skies are clear."
nodded and sat down on a chair. 30 minutes, half an hour?!? Riddhima groaned
now. What the hell was she going to do for an hour? She took out her phone and
texted Nikki that she'd be late, and that they should handle all the
preparations. Digging in her bag, Riddhima found she simply had nothing
interesting to do. Sighing, she looked around. Somehow suddenly, the airport
looked different. A rush of memory, and that was all it took to make her smile.
30th July, 2002.
A lump formed in her throat as
she watched. He was grinning at her from the picture, and she was clearly worn
out as she was looking at him wearily, as if begging him not to click the
photo. He was in a light blue shirt, like her, and she remembered that's
particularly why he'd wanted to click the photo that day – they matched.
Riddhima stared at the picture blankly, unsure of what to feel. After realizing
her love for him, she broke every day, knowing…that maybe, he'd never fall for
Her phone ringing brought her
out of her train of thoughts. It was her cousin. Wiping her tears hurriedly,
she fixed herself and received the call. Firstly when she said, "Hello?" no one
spoke, but she heard screaming in the background. There was loud music, she
recognized Linkin Park's Numb in full volume, and Nikki's voice was instructing
someone loudly over the music. What was happening?
"Hey.", finally Nikki spoke.
"Niks, what's up?",
she asked in a worried tone, hearing all the screaming in the background.
"Oh God, Ridzi. Come back,
seriously. Why the hell did you have to go?!", she sounded exasperated.
"Why? What happened? Is
everything all right?"
"No! Everything isn't all
right..Shit man, you didn't even tell him you're going?"
"Didn't tell who?"
"ARMAAN MALLIK, who
Riddhima bit her lip from the
other side. It had been almost three weeks since she had come to Shimla to her
parents, and obviously Armaan was back from his training in Lucknow. They
talked almost every night when he was there, but she didn't have the courage to
tell him she was here in Shimla. She knew there'd be thousands of questions
jumping on from the other side, and she couldn't even lie to him. And now he
must be very angry, that she wasn't coming to college from the past five days
since his return. She literally pitied Nikki.
"Say something!", her
cousin's frustrated voice broke in.
him.", she managed out, "What would I say if he asked why so
"You could have told him
thousands of things like someone's sick, or better, you were missing your
parents because you have never been so far away from them before...anything
man!" Riddhima rolled her eyes.
"Nikki.", she sighed,
pulling her pillow to her chest,"He catches a lie so easily!"
"Ridzi..", her tone
was kind of tired as she continued, "He's a mess. A Real Mess, and I've
never seen him like this before. He's getting all of his schedules wrong, he's
not playing basketball, he's distracted in class, he's silent in the canteen,
he's shouting and screaming like mad when anything goes wrong in the fest
practice..I mean Ridzi, this way we guys won't get to participate in anything!
The fest goes down the drain..and Princy is angry!"
"Give the phone to him,
will you?", she said softly, bringing a hand to her head.
There was some noise, and sound
of his voice, the continuous thump-thump in the background and then finally
some silence. She waited patiently but he refused to speak.
"Armaan?", she asked
"Where are you?", his
gentle, yet firm, tired and exhausted voice asked.
"Shimla.", he sighed.
"And you didn't think it
was important to tell me?", now his voice was rising.
She took a deep breath,"I
was just about to.."
"Fine.", he cut in,
"If you think I am not that important that you tell me where you are and
when you went and why, then don't tell me. But I have to say this. Come
back.", he ended softly.
"I will.", she
answered,"Day-after tomorrow. And shut up idiot, you know you're
important. It's just that, I felt like coming. All right? I...was missing
There was a pause while he
considered it,"Okay fine. But you gotta come back. Nothing's going
lightly, "Is Mr.Efficent falling short of his abilities?"
"No, it's just
that...",pause, "I am a mess without you."
Riddhima froze, seeming to take
in the words. Again he had rendered her speechless, and she dared to think it
meant more than just in literal meaning. He meant he was a mess without his
best friend, of course. Or could it be..?
"You know I feel so dumb,
so stupid. I've been shouting at everybody all week, without realizing I was
just venting out my anger. My baskets just wouldn't happen. And you know the
most idiotic thing..I never felt I was missing you so much since the day I came
to college and didn't see you here. Man I was so excited, that after two weeks
I was meeting you, and suddenly, bam. You don't come to college. And Nishi and
I were watching Kuch Kuch Hota hai together, and this part comes up, you know
the one where Kajol is leaving because she found out she loves SRK, and he is
trying to stop her? I know it's dumb but I felt so empty watching that scene. I
"I miss you too.",
she said truthfully, trying to control her voice.
"And I thought you're in
love with me and that's why you're not here. Is that the reason?", he said
it so seriously that she gulped down her saliva. Did he know? Had Nikki told
him? Had he guessed? Was he angry, disappointed, or was he breaking it all? God
what would he..
stammered to get out a answer. From the other side, came his sudden laughter.
"Basket. It feels so Good.
Uffo..I was joking..God!",he laughed again, oblivious to her who heaved a
sigh of relief. Her mind had instantly answered back, 'If only you knew,
She laughed uneasily with him,
and changed the topic immediately, "So, how is the fest practice going on?"
"Oh God, that's a disaster. I
mean, everyone's furious with me. I guess, now that I've vented out to you, I
have to make it up to them. Anyways, all our friends have handled it pretty
well. But, I have a complaint."
"Yeah?", she said, reaching for
"Firstly, stop eating that
chocolate. You'll get fat.", Riddhima opened her mouth in astonishment, "And
the complaint is, well…if you've forgotten, you are one Princy recommended to
work with me to handle our batch. And you're only invisible!"
She held her head, "Armaan, I
told you I'm coming back soon…"
He chuckled, "Chill. I was just
teasing you. B-T-W, is everyone back there alright? My lovely Padma aunty, and
"Yes, Everyone here is absolutely
awesome. Busy in pampering their daughter. ", she giggled.
He didn't reply at once, but
then his loud voice could be heard, "YEAH,COMING!"
Riddhima understood he was in
the fest practice, in the auditorium, and of course, everyone needed Armaan Mallik.
"Basket-", he began.
"It's okay Armaan, I'll call
"Yeah, and you better come back
soon, I'm waiting! Bye!"
Not waiting to hear her saying
goodbye, Armaan had cut the call. She gazed at the phone for two seconds- what
was she doing? Like a coward, she had ran home. What was this- a movie, a
cheesy daily soap? Armaan needed her,
she was his best friend, above all. She would be there for him, as she always
was. He was right; she needed to cater to her responsibilities too. She
couldn't just run, she had her life to live, a dream to fulfill. So what if it
was unrequited love? Maybe and just maybe- she would make sure, that nothing
could break their friendship.
Slowly she walked to her
computer and switched it on. She grumbled at the low speed, and finally when
all the little windows had been closed, Riddhima opened on to Photoshop. She
started blending all of Armaan and her photographs into a collage, and although
it was something that made her remember Armaan all the more, it was also something
that made her smile.
Armaan?", she said, receiving his call.
Riddhima…I just called to ask, are you done with your surprise? I mean, we guys
are trying…but Sid being Sid, is getting agitated because of our 'clothes'
excuse. We've told him we would be going for a 'guys' night, but now since
we've told him to change at least 6 times, he's getting angry. We can't delay
him anymore...So…", he sounded so tired.
wanted to ruffle his hair and hug him. She always did that when he was stressed.
He loved her doing that. She shook her head at the line her thoughts were
taking him. She took a breath and was going to say something but then she heard
'May I have your attention
ladies and gentlemen, the Air India flight number AI6443 coming from Delhi to
Mumbai has landed. We are sorry for the delay and Thank you for your
you can take Sid to the hotel now.", Riddhima smiled.
sure na?", he asked hesitantly.
Sure. Just remember to text Nikki to bring the girls. I'll be there in twenty
See you then.", he cut the call.
picked up her bag and put it over her shoulder, shoving her phone into it
hurriedly and closing the chain. Very soon, the passengers who had landed
flooded the airport, and Riddhima looked for that one face who she had come
for. And she found her. She was looking too, and on seeing Riddhima, she waved
smiled contentedly, her surprise was finally ready to roll Sid over.
he exclaimed loudly as they reached the hall, which was darkened.
Sid. Have some patience, and some manners to talk.", Abhi grinned.
happened to the lights?",asked Atul,trying hard to pretend he knew nothing.
exactly!", he said, annoyed, "These people I tell you! And Abhi oye,don't teach
me manners after how you all made me change 6 times. Impossible! Made me dress
up for a 'guys' night, as if I am getting married!", he snorted.
ignored and said, "Where's Armaan?"
he's invisible now?",Sid was more frustrated than ever, "Youuu-huuu, Arrrmaaan
Maaalliikkk…",he called out in the dark.
up, Sid. And you two. I'm trying to fix the problem.", Armaan answered back in
the dark. Sid sighed.
God, send the lights. PLEASE.", Sid said audibly again, and almost immediately,
the lights came on. All the three boys beamed at Sid, who was taken aback by
the sudden brightness, and then grinned triumphantly.
your wish fulfilled?", came Nikki's voice from behind Armaan. The boys now
looked away, because they all knew, that Sid's next question was-
are you girls doing here?", seeing Anjali, Muskaan and Nikkita, "It was a guy
night, right?", he was perplexed.
you duffod.", said Muskaan, hitting his head, "That was a excuse to bring you
What's so special?"
guess you'll understand when Ridzi gets here.", smiled Anjali.
coming too? But she said she has a night- ", Sid was cut off suddenly.
guys!",said a excited Riddhima, hurrying towards them, "Hi Siddy boy!"
going on, Riddhi?", asked Sid tiredly.
remember? Now, close your eyes!"
your eyes I said!", Riddhima scolded back and Sid agreed with a sigh. He closed
his eyes, "And don't open them till I tell you to!"
was a rustle that Sid could hear, some giggles and hushed whispers of the boys'
voices, and a whisper of 'go', and five minutes past. Sid was getting
he called out.
your eyes, Sid.", said a softer, gentler voice than Riddhima's. A voice so
familiar, a voice that was etched in his heart.
slowly opened his eyes. The whole hall was empty except him and his surprise.
In front of his eyes, stood a girl, few strands of her hair falling over her
face, and the rest tied back, she was in a royal blue evening dress, her brown
eyes warm behind her purple half-frame glasses that made her look beautiful,
and her face alight with a smile that made his heart thump like he'd never
known. Shock, surprise and disbelief washed over his face. He could find no
words to say.
birthday Sid.", she said, simply, and then in a swift motion, leaned over and
kissed his cheek. Sid's eyes were wider
than they previously were. He watched, stunned into silence as she came back to
her original position and took a breath.
his friends almost came into the hall and almost knocked him over. Giving a big
pat on his back, Riddhima asked with a grin, "So?"
looked at her, and muttered, "You're not serious. Tell me I'm dreaming."
time the girl spoke, "You're not, Sid. I'm really back."
pulled his cheek, "Happy Birthday baby!"
this was a different situation, Sid would protest Riddhima pulling his cheeks.
But today, he didn't. As he hugged all of his friends who wished him, he
silently mouthed, 'Thank you' to her. Riddhima blinked.
all of them left him, he coughed in nervousness as he was pushed in front of
he began, his eyes almost welling up in happiness.
don't have to say anything, Sid. It's okay. I know.", she said, reaching for
his hand. He shook his head slowly.
but, I…", he fumbled.
laughed lightly, "Yes, Sid. I know. I love you too."
little piece of words made Sid go pink in his ears and he smiled, keeping his
hand over hers and looking at her, his eyes glistening and twinkling in
happiness. Who thought, that cheeky, always funny and crazy Sid, would go
speechless in front of someone?
Cake cutting time!", Riddhima announced, rolling the tray over.
passed a annoyed glare at her which clearly meant, 'Don't spoil the mood!' to
which Riddhima edged near him and whispered in his ear,
cutting the cake, means you going out with Megha for dinner faster. Think about
it…Only you two…", she raised her eyebrows suggestively.
what about the "party" ?", asked Nikki, making imaginary quotation marks in the
the party is on for us! We'll eat here, and party also. Sid can enjoy his
birthday better, don't you think?", she winked. Nikki giggled, "Sure Sure!"
enthusiastically hugged Riddhima tight, to which even Armaan had to raise an
eyebrow. "I love you!", he told her. She coughed and pointed to Megha.
left her and said, "Yeah, I love her more!"
know.", Riddhima stuck out her tongue, as Sid took Megha's hand, and said,
"Okay, cake the cut!", she bit her lip, "Sorry, I mean, cut the cake!", all her
and Megha cut the butterscotch cake together, blushing as their friends sang 'Happy Birthday'
loudly. After all were fed with the
delicious pieces, the gifts were loaded in Sid's arms, so he had to leave Megha's
hand to balance those. Armaan instructed him not to open the gifts now, but
later, and all the boys literally pushed him and Megha to the car.
Journey!", Armaan shouted over with the others, as the car speed over.
whole gang was going inside when Armaan stopped Riddhima and said, "Uhm,
For…um, doing that for him. He's really happy and deserves this."
know, Armaan. He's not only your friend, you know.", she said gently.
you sir.", Armaan and Riddhima shook hands with the hotel manager and left the
hall. The hall was literally in a mess with the cake stuffs, which the gang had
managed to smear over each other's faces and dropped also. Party poppers were
all over the place, along with food plates on the tables. They had a awesome
time, because they played who dances the best, then chatted for long, and also
ate some awesome food. Riddhima didn't force Armaan to take part in any couple
item, they both just sat with Muskaan and became the referee. But however and
whatever the party had been, it was eventful. Everyone had gone home except
Riddhima and Armaan, who stayed back for her. She found it extremely touching,
but didn't comment.
suppose you don't have your car?", Armaan asked as they reached the parking lot
near his Scorpio.
bit her lip," Oh yeah…Sid took it. So,
um…Armaan, do you mind dropping me home?"
smiled, "That's what I am here for.", he said gently, "Come on…hop in."
sat beside him in the passenger's seat, and almost immediately, a message
beeped. She took out her cell, and then put a hand to her head.
God.", she said.
wrong?", asked Armaan who was just about to start the car.
she said and showed him the message Sid had sent her.
'I'm sorry, Riddhi…I just
realized, I have the home keys with me! And the extra ones are in your room, I
saw them when I left but forgot to take it. So sorry!'
Armaan said, "Where is he now?"
Megha's hotel near the airport. That's pretty far, and it's kind of late…", she
said worriedly. It was late. It was almost 11:30 pm. Armaan nodded. Riddhima's
a dumbass, Sid!", she said as soon as she received the call.
the phone to Armaan!", he said.
she was annoyed now, "First you-"
you listen to me please!", he said, interrupting her. She sighed and held out
the phone to Armaan, "For you."
could you take Riddhima to your home for today night? I mean I know it's weird
and sudden, but there's no other way. Our friends must be tired and asleep
maybe, and it's late. Plus I can't give Riddhi the keys before tomorrow morning.
Please do me a favor and take her with you? I know I can trust you. Please?"
paused for a second, thought about it, and sighed, "Fine. You'll pick her up
Thank you bhai! Take care, Good night!", he said and cut the call.
gave back the phone to Riddhima. She raised an eyebrow.
coming to my house. He'll pick you up tomorrow.", Armaan said as he started the
car. Riddhima could feel her heart thumping in excitement, anxiety and could
almost feel her blush coming. Armaan's house? Again? Her memories made her
cheeks go pink. She didn't say a word and just looked out. It was too big a joy
to speak it out. Her phone beeped. It was Sid again.
saw the message hadn't ended there. She scrolled down through the large space
he'd left, and then saw the last line.
'-but I lied to you. The extra
key is in your bag. Last pocket. HUSSHH! Don't tell Armaan that. If you gave me
a gift, I had to give a return one, didn't I? ;) Enjoy xoxo.'
had to try hard to suppress her giggle. She muttered a 'Thank you Sid' before
putting the phone in her bag and smiling wide. Armaan noticed that.
happened?", he asked curiously.
He's being himself. Sent a sorry and a joke."
yeah, that's him.", said Armaan, easily digesting her lie and not suspecting a
thing. Riddhima looked out at the window.
life was so perfect. Wasn't it?
So there! Comments and likes needed people Incase you're still wondering why I am so happy,check the post below (Oooh, I am in a emo mood today) LOL. Love you all <3 <3