Joined: 08 February 2010
New Ariya OS-Teri Justajoo
Arjun Suryakant Raute stood in front of the fact board, with his arms across his chest, seemingly brooding over the current case but his mind was far from the case. His focus was only on one person, the person sitting behind him, quietly, starring out into the space. He wrecked his brain trying to figure out the cause of her discontent. He knew he was big part of the sudden change in her behavior but he did not know how to reach out and fix things for her emotionally.
This was Arjun's biggest problem currently, being unable to tell the person, who changed his life, how happy she made him by being in his life.
Things with his deceased wife had been easier because back then he was younger, he married his wife then fell in love with her, theirs had been an arranged marriage not love marriage, before Roshni he had no experience with love, until her death he had never experienced a loss of a loved one either.
Things are different now; he has seen and experienced so many things that have made him cynical. He had stopped living the day his wife was brutally murdered. He had only one goal in life after his wife died and that was to find and kill the person who took his world away from him.
He had been moving from one duty location to another, with only one thing in mind, to avenge his wife, until the day he was called back to Mumbai by a former boss and mentor to rescue his daughter. On that day the course of his life had taken a different turn. He started to come back to the land of the living. He had tried his best to keep to himself but to his dismay no matter how much he tried to stop himself from letting people get close to him, one stubborn female had penetrated through his wall of self-imprisonment and made place for herself in the corner of his heart.
He didn't know when or how she got hold of his whole heart and refused to let it go. It may have started on the day he saw her get emotional over the honor killing case or the day she broke down after shooting and killing for the first time. It could have been the day she put the coin in his pocket and unintentionally saved his life or the day she swallowed the ball of bacteria, in front of his very own eyes, while he stood, helpless, being unable to do anything to save her from the man holding a gun against her temple.
"Raute, are you paying attention?" Rathore asked loudly.
Arjun turned towards his chief and friend and blinked to focus back on the case. "Shree, did you get the information on Mehta's ex-wife?" He asked Shree, who looked back at him with confusion then to obviously distracted Riya.
Chottu and Rathore's brows furrowed in curiosity also. They too glanced between Riya and Arjun. Finally Shree, who was closest to Riya kicked her under the table and hissed out her name. "Ri!"
Riya was startled out of her reverie by the kick to her shin and she glared at Shree before realizing everyone was staring at her. "Sorry sir," she said looking at Rathore instead of Arjun.
Shree came to her rescue. "Umm..Riya Arjun sir is asking about Mehta's ex-wife."
Riya gave him a grateful look then turned towards Arjun but did not look up from her Diary. "Mrs. Mehta divorced Mr. Mehta two years ago and moved back to Delhi, her home town."
"Why did she divorce him?" Arjun asked with almost irritated tone. He didn't know what has gotten into Riya; it was unlike her to give half of information only.
Riya looked at him with unexplained emotions in her eyes but looked away before he could interpret the emotions. "Mr. and Mrs. Mehta's marriage was not arranged marriage or a love marriage but a marriage of understanding. According to Mrs. Mehta, Rahul Mehta married her out of desperation to save his company that only her father could have saved at the time, but she ended the marriage when she realized that Rahul had been in love with a girl who died tragically and had never gotten over her and never would."
There was a pin drop silence in the room; Chottu and Shree exchanged looks at Riya's odd behavior. Since her incident with Bacteria ball there has been a change in Riya that was understandable but they could not understand what had happened in past few days to make Riya withdraw from all of them.
"She had married him because she had loved him." Riya said quietly.
Arjun stared at Riya's bent head as he processed the information in his head. He was beginning to understand the reason for Riya's changed mood.
Riya felt Arjun's intent gaze on her but willed herself to not look up at him. She breathed a sigh of relief when Rathore sir's phone shrilled loudly in the too quiet room breaking the silence and the tension in the conference room.
After a very short conversation Rathore turned to Arjun. "Raute we have to go see the commissioner to brief him on your mission.
Arjun nodded his head, glanced at Riya's bent head then followed Rathore out the room.
Chottu and Shree did not miss the expression of relief on Riya's face. They both looked at each other than at Riya with concern. "Ri, are you okay?" Shree finally asked.
Riya had been tensed and worried while Arjun went on his mission couple of weeks ago but the sparkle in her eyes and her dimpled smile has been missing since the day he came back after completing his mission successfully.
Chottu and Shree had thought things would go back to being normal, as normal as possible, with two formidable seniors, but to their dismay things were worse than before Riya's brave act that saved so many lives.
Riya's brave act had softened the two strict men of ETF but Arjun's mission last week had turned things around again and they hadn't known how to behave. Everyone had walked on eggshells around Arjun and Riya ever since the day he came back and announced the results of his mission.
"Riya, please tell us what is wrong. Is it the case or did something happen with Arjun sir?" Chottu asked gently.
If only she could share with her two friends the reason for her discontentment, if only she could tell them how her world had shattered in a matter of moments. She couldn't get the words spoken by Arjun to Rathore sir out of her head.
"I can never forget Roshni Rathore, she will always have a place in my heart, and no one can take that place."
Riya shook her head, "No nothing has happened with him guys, I was just thinking about Mrs. Mehta and felt sorry for her. I guess it is hard to live with a person you love so much when they don't love you back."
Both Chottu and Shree were shocked by Riya's words. They wondered what had happened to make her lose hope so suddenly. For the past year they been witnesses to growing closeness between Riya and Arjun and thought that soon they wouldn't be able to hide what they felt for each other but things seemed worse than they initially thought they were.
Chottu and Shree did not want to reveal the fact that they knew how she felt about Arjun since she never told them, but they both had known from the beginning that Arjun and Riya had something special between them from the moment they met each other. Initially they had both disliked each other but once they started working together and getting to know each other they had realized that they had more in common than they realized. Their relationship only grew stronger during Riya's recovery phase.
Riya sighed as she remembered the long days of her recovery. When she made the decision to swallow the capsule she had been sure that those few moments were her last moments in the world but she should have realized that the man standing few feet away from her would never give up so easily. He, once again, had kept his promise and saved her life. It was during the first few days of her recovery she had realized that she felt more than compassion, more than a friendship for the man who had saved her life. She didn't love him because he saved her life twice or because he had taught her so much, she loved him because of the man that he is, kind, gentle and caring. He likes to show the world he doesn't care but she knew better.
Rathore watched Arjun frowning at his phone as he drove them back to the ETF office and wondered what was bothering his friend. He was aware of the tension between Arjun and Riya but kept out of it knowing it was inevitable considering Arjun's mission. Rathore had turned blind eye to what was happening between his two officers but he had been well aware of the growing closeness between Arjun and Riya.
He had thought things would finally get settled between the two but given the situation it was going to take some pushing from him to get Arjun to open up.
He had known Arjun for a long time and for a while they had drifted apart but thanks to Riya he got his old friend back. He wasn't the same Arjun that Rathore knew before Roshni's death but he wasn't same angry Arjun who had pushed all his loved ones away from him after Roshni's death either.
Rathore had seen the changes in Arjun since he joined ETF and realized that his friend was getting calmer by the day and realized that Riya was responsible for the recent changes in Arjun's behavior. He recalled the time they had been rushing Riya to hospital, the way Arjun had kept reassuring semi-conscious Riya that he would not let anything happen to her had made Rathore realize that Riya would make a big difference in Arjun's life.
Rathore again glanced at Arjun and sighed, "why don't you just call her and talk to her instead of glaring at your phone?" He asked teasingly.
"What do I say to her Rathore? I don't even know what is wrong with her, all I know is that she has gone quiet since the night I returned from the mission." Arjun confessed to his friend absently then he realized what he just confessed to his friend and turned away masking his face with a blank expression.
"Arjun have you ever told Riya how you feel about her?" He finally asked when Arjun continued to glare at his phone.
Arjun's head snapped around to Rathore and he stared at him with eyes wide and mouth slightly open in shock.
It's been two weeks since the incident and Riya wondered why her dad had yet not come to see her or even call her. She was afraid to ask anyone regarding her family in fear of them discovering the truth. She knew her dad loved her in his own way but he could never stand up to her stepmother. She thought that at least this time he would fight for her but it seems once again he bowed down to his wife's wishes.
She wondered if her dad even knew what has happened to her and decided to call him herself. "Shree can I have my phone please."
Shree who had been sitting with Riya looked up from his laptop in surprise at his friend's request. "Riya you need something? I can go get it for you if you want."
Riya smiled at him weakly, it has been same with everyone, as soon as she asked for something they jumped up to do it for her or get it for her but refused to let her do anything on her own. "I don't need anything Shree, I just want to call my dad."
Shree ducked his head to avoid looking at Riya and to buy time to come up with an excuse to prevent her from calling her dad. Arjun sir had given them strict instruction not to reveal what has happened when they tried calling her family.
"He knows doesn't he?" Riya asked Shree.
Shree felt Riya's pain but could not give her any false reassurance. He looked up to say something and saw Arjun sir standing at the door watching Riya intently. He immediately stood up. "Arjun sir?"
Arjun kept watching Riya while he spoke, "Shree you are needed in the office immediately." Shree immediately picked up his laptop bag and walked out of the room in a hurry, he knew Arjun would take care of Riya.
Arjun walked towards the bed but Riya avoided looking at him. She was afraid she would breakdown completely if she saw pity in his eyes for her.
Arjun didn't say anything to her, just watched Riya for few moments. He still had hard time getting the picture of her, swallowing the bacteria ball, out of his head. He shook the memory from his head and took Riya's hand in his to make her look at him.
Riya looked up in surprise when she felt him take her hand in his. She was, in fact, shocked that he was touching her.
"Rathore called your dad after we brought you to the hospital but your stepmother said that he was not available." He said to her gently.
Riya smiled bitterly, "I figured as much sir," Riya said trying to sound as if she didn't care but she felt the pain of rejection and she couldn't help the tears that brimmed her eyes. She looked away to hide her pain from him but his observant eyes didn't miss the pain on her face nor the tears in her eyes.
Arjun wanted to go to Riya's house and blast her family for the pain they just caused her but knew that it would only make things worse for her. Two weeks ago when Rathore told him about Riya's family he had realized just how wrong he had been about Riya.
He had once told her there is a difference between being an ETF officer and a typical girl but this incident made him realize that Riya was never a typical girl. Behind her casual attitude and dimpled smile she hid a very painful part of her life that no one had known about until she was in a grave danger.
He has never had to deal with this type of emotional crisis for anyone. His own family was very loving and supporting so he has never known what it was like to be not loved and they continued to support him even now when he has isolated himself from everyone. He realized how lucky he was to have family to turn to in time of need.
Riya, after composing herself, detangled her hand from his then looked at him. She was about to ask him about her discharge when someone knocked on the door. They both looked up to see a man in white pants, white shirt and black jacket standing at the door with a briefcase and a file in his hand. Riya immediately recognized him as her dad's lawyer and stiffened.
Arjun frowned at Riya's stiff posture and looked at the man at the door. "Can we help you?" he asked the man.
"My name is Suraj Mehta and I am Mr. Mukerjee's lawyer," the man said as he walked into the room. "Mr. Mukerjee is in the USA for business purposes so Mrs. Mukerjee asked me to stop by and see if Ms. Riya needed anything." Suraj said as he looked at Riya.
Arjun's hand fisted in anger and he clenched his jaw in order to control his anger at Riya's stepmother. How can anyone be so cruel? He thought he had seen it all but this made him realize that cruel people exists in all types of societies. In that moment he made a decision that would change his and Riya's life forever.
He looked at Riya then turned to the lawyer. "Mr. Mehta you can tell Mrs. Mukerjee that Riya won't be needing anything from them now."
The lawyer looked at him in confusion and frowned. "I don't understand and who are you?"
Arjun crossed his arms. "I am Riya's colleague and a friend. "Is there anything else you needed from Riya, Mr. Mehta?" He asked the man who kept looking between Riya and Arjun.
The lawyer just shook his head in negative and walked out without saying anything else.
"You shouldn't have done that sir?" Riya said quietly, "I could have handled it my way."
"You shouldn't have to Riya," Arjun said as he turned to her.
"I am used to handling all this now, I have been doing it for a long time." She said.
Riya closed her eyes and leaned her head back on the pillow in defeat. If only he realized that he just made things worse for her not better. Now she won't get to see or talk to her father at all. Her decision to become police officer had made her stepmother so furious that she had made her father choose between her and Riya.
Riya had prevented her father from choosing by leaving on her own. She had loved her father too much to see him in pain. She hoped she could call her father and explain things to him before things could come to head. She opened her eyes and sat up. "Sir can you ask Shree to bring me my phone when he comes back please."
Arjun had been watching the fleeting expressions and wondered why she asked for her phone suddenly. "Why do you need the phone Riya?"
"I need to call my dad and explain before things gets out of hand." She said.
Arjun moved close to her and took her hand again. "Riya forget all that for now, just concentrate on getting well, we will deal with everything else later."
Riya tried to protest but he stopped her, "do you trust me?" he asked and Riya nodded her head without hesitation. "Then don't worry and do as I say." He glanced at his watch, "Chottu should be coming soon to give you company, I need to go talk to Rathore and explain things to him. I will be back this evening so we can talk." He squeezed her hand in reassurance then walked out without looking back.
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