Arjun had seated himself on the
steps outside Riya's house all day; he looked around the place. The shrubs were
neatly trimmed; wild colourful flowers, predominantly beautiful roses, graced
the path to the house and a huge wooden swing hung at a far corner of the
He rested his head against the shut door and recollected an incident
from the past;
He had walked into the house,
weary, after having been away on a case for over a week and had been greeted by
an empty house.
He had panicked as always and had scanned the entire house only
to find her crouched on her knees in the garden.
She had been pruning a rose plant
attentively; Arjun looked around and realized that his garden had received a
make-over in the last week.
Gone were the wild grasses; the lawns were neatly
trimmed; a blend of white and red roses now adorned the garden.
He couldn't help but smile at her
efforts and plopped down next to her.
She was surprised to find them there at
first and then leaned in to peck his cheek; he kissed her back and motioned towards the rose plant in front of her.
She smiled, "Roses.. Aap ko pata
hai, mujhe roses bohot pasand hain.. Mere dad kaha karte the, ki yeh sabse
aasaan tareeka hota hai, kissi ke chehre pe muskaan lane ke liye..
Aur main chahti hoon, ki aap
humesha muskurate rahein; isliye dekhiye, charon taraf maine roses plant kiye
Arjun smiled and wrapped his arms
around his crazy wife, "Riya, mere chehre pe muskaan lane ke liye, roses ki
zaroorat nahi hai; woh toh tumhe dekhte hi aa jaati hai.."
She snuggled into him and dragged
him to the swing; he was surprised to find it there..
It was decorated beautifully with
creepers wound around the ropes holding it in place.
They had often spent their
evenings on the swing, cuddled into each other's arms, watching the stars shining above.
A whiff of cold air happened to
bring him out of his reverie; he couldn't help but smile at the similar scene
in front of him; he glanced at the swing and wondered if she reminisced those
His head shot up when he heard
the gates click open; she walked into the gates; cradling a sleepy girl in her arms!
His eyes widened in surprise as he slowly rose
from the steps, holding on to the door knob, afraid that his knees would give
He let his eyes wander over her
form; she was dressed in a knitted mauve shrug; with a pair of woolen
leggings. A flowery scarf covered her head; her rosy pink cheeks; realised that she hadn't changed a bit!
He narrowed his eyes and looked
again; her eyes had lost their twinkle though!
Riya stood there, frozen in her
tracks; he was here!
He had come for her! She glanced
at him top to toe; he still looked the same.
The deep brown leather jacket rolled
up to his arms, revealed his lean, muscular frame; the 5'o clock stubble
grazing his cheeks, only added to his rugged appearance.
His gun-metal black eyes stared
straight into hers; she realized they still held the piercing gaze.
He stood there, with his arms
crossed over his chest, gazing at her with such raw emotions that made her weak
in the knees.
She lowered her lashes, not being
able to withstand his accusing gaze anymore and was grateful to her daughter,
who had squealed with excitement.
Baby Ariya rubbed her sleepy eyes
and saw a figure standing in front of her house; with a stern face.
up at her mother and followed her gaze; it ended on him. She narrowed her eyes
and looked at him carefully; her gaze oscillated between the two of them and then
she squealed aloud to grab their attention.
Riya jerked out of her reverie,
smiled at her and put her down on her feet.
Ariya sprinted across the snowy
path leading to the verandah and tugged at his denims, eyeing him with glee
evident on her face.
Arjun blinked his eyes and
glanced at the little girl, who seemed to be very excited upon meeting him.
His eyes darted off to meet
Riya's; he needed to know if his suspicions were indeed right.
his unspoken words, as always and simply nodded her head.
He fell on his knees and gently
cupped her face; the school teacher's words rang in his ears, 'Mrs. Rawte
yahan apni beti ke saath rehti hain; Ariya naam hai uska!'
His analytical brain sprung into
action, 'Ariya.. Arjun-Riya.. Ariya!'
She flashed a dimpled smile at
him which seemed to melt away his turmoil; he crushed her tiny form to himself
and hugged her.
Ariya flung her arms around his neck and hopped onto his knees,
snuggling into her father's embrace.
Arjun couldn't believe that he
was indeed holding his daughter in his arms!
He tilted his neck and looked at
her; she was beautiful; she had her mother's facial features and her dimpled
He closed his eyes and ran his fingers through her hair, relishing the
feeling of fatherhood.
Every other thought flew out of his mind and his
daughter's smiling face flashed in front of his shut eyes!
He felt her wriggle in her arms
and looked up at her quizzically; she stepped back and removed her arms from
his neck and pointed towards his stubble and then her cheek.
Arjun chuckled and drew her close
again; he kissed her forehead and hooked a finger under her chin,
hai, main kaun hoon?"
His eyes were fixed on her, his
heartbeat rose with every passing second; he hoped she knew about him.
He prayed that she wouldn't
consider him as just another stranger; that would hurt him beyond measure. He
lifted his head and looked up at her, awaiting her answer with bated breath.
Ariya pouted and turned to look
at her mother, who smiled through her tears and egged her on.
She turned to face him and hit
his forehead lightly,
"Aap Ariya ke Papa hain, Buddhu!"
Arjun let out a chuckle and
scooped her up in his arms, rising on his feet. He kissed her cheek and beamed
proudly at his daughter, "Haan, aapke Pa..Papa.."
To his surprise, his voice came
out broken and his vision turned hazy; he felt her tiny fingers on his cheeks
as she attempted to wipe the tears rolling down his cheeks.
He kissed her palm and hugged her tight,
"Aapke Papa, my angel!"
The father-daughter duo separated
upon hearing a sob and looked in the direction of the sound.
Riya had been observing the
tender exchange of emotions between Arjun and Ariya through teary eyes.
sighed and let tears of satisfaction stream down her face; having dreamt of
this moment for the past 3 years!
She gazed at them with tears brimming in her
eyes, yet refused to blink them; she wished to savour the moment in her memory
She let out a laugh when Ariya
had playfully hit him; calling him a 'Buddhu'.
A stray thought crossed her mind the very next instant and the truth came
crashing down on her!
She wouldn't be there to witness
their warmth, the next day; she was running out of time!
Her heart clenched
with unbearable pain and she spun around on her heel biting her lower lip as
sobs threatened to escape them.
Arjun heard her cry and swiftly
placed Ariya down on her feet; he had just lifted his foot to take a step
towards her, when he saw Ariya sprinting towards Riya.
She tugged at her shrug
with her baby hands and Riya spun around to gather her daughter in her arms.
She slumped on the snow, crushing her daughter against her bosom.
Ariya's face and planted tender kisses on her forehead, her eyelids and her
cheeks, before hugging her tight.
Arjun looked on quizzically; his
heart wrenched in pain at the sight in front of him. He knew Riya well enough
to understand that she was going through turmoil, yet again; he had witnessed
it several times in the past.
He clenched his jaw and fought back his tears;
silently vowing to himself.
He had dashed off to confront
Riya about her sudden disappearance; he had wanted to hold her and demand
answers from him. A part of him even wanted to hurt her, so as to make her feel
his pain and his helplessness!
Yet, today he found himself doing
exactly the opposite; his heart melted at the sight in front of him!
Riya holding on to Ariya, as if she was clinging on to her dear life!
He ached to run up to her, gather
her in his arms and soothe away her pain. He wanted her to know that he was
here for her; he had finally found her and he wasn't letting her leave him ever
Riya saw him gazing at her and
saw her pain mirrored in his eyes; her heart practically leapt out of her heart
as she realized that he still cared for her!
However, she realized the
consequences of that, the very next moment and gulped,
She couldn't hurt him
anymore; it was better this way! She had to leave him, forever!
Ariya separated from Riya and
cupped her face; she looked into Riya's red, swollen eyes and sighed
dramatically, drawing her parents' attention.
Riya stopped crying and blinked
back her tears when she saw her daughter smile.
Ariya kissed her cheek and
pointed at Arjun, "Mumma.. No crying! Detho.. Papa aa gaye.."
Riya glanced up at Arjun and
nodded her head, "Haan baby, Mumma ne aapko promise kiya tha na.."
Ariya nodded and motioned her to
place her down; she ran to Arjun and held out her arms, asking him to carry
Arjun smiled and gathered her in his arms nuzzling her nose.
Riya fished out keys and a pair
of scissors from her bag and turned to unlock the door; she examined the thick
white thread holding the two door handles together and cut it with the
She then moved to the windows opening into the garden and the
backdoor and repeated her actions.
Arjun had been observing her
every move attentively and had been stunned momentarily; She had safeguarded
her house; but against what or rather whom?!
Mentally, making a note of it,
he walked into the house behind Riya.
Riya threw her bag on the couch
and walked into the kitchen, only to return with two glasses of water; she
handed over one to Ariya and held out the other one for him.
Arjun pretended to
ignore her presence in the room and sipped water from Ariya's glass after she
He saw a flash of hurt across
Riya's face and reprimanded himself mentally.
Riya held out her arm and
motioned Ariya upstairs; Ariya frowned and snuggled into Arjun's chest.
Riya's eyes teared up at the
sight and she turned around, not wanting Arjun to witness her tears yet again.
He, however mistook her actions and whispered to Ariya, "Beta, jaao Mumma ke
paas.. Aur fatafat fresh hoke aao.. Papa ko aap se bohot saari baatein karni
Ariya smiled and threw her arms
around Riya's neck, she spun around, held Ariya and walked upstairs, not
looking back at him.
Arjun took off his jacket and walked
to the fireplace;adding a few logs and lit the fire. He looked around the house
silently admiring the interiors. The interiors were kept simple, the furniture
looked ordinary yet elegant, roses stacked in several vases across the living
room; the house exuded a warmth of its own!
His eyes fell on a huge
portrait hanging on the wall and walked towards it; the fire behind him
illuminated the wall and he saw two pretty faces smiling at him.
It was a
life-sized portrait of Ariya planting a kiss on Riya's cheek.
His fingers grazed across the painting and a lone tear fell out of his eye;
had missed out on being a part of their happy family!
He heard Ariya call out to him
and turned around, wiping the remnants of the moisture from his face and walked
up to them. Riya had noticed his tears, but chose to remain silent, for now!
Ariya dragged him to the portrait
yet again and pointed towards the portrait, "Preetty na?"
Arjun chuckled and kissed her
forehead, "Very Pretty!"
She held his hand and motioned
towards the two frames of his left; he stepped closer and realized that he
hadn't noticed them before.
The first one depicted two figures; an elderly man,
in an army uniform with his arms wrapped around a dimpled Riya in her graduation
Arjun couldn't help but smile at
the picture; her smile had actually reached her eyes; he'd never seen her so
He wondered who it could be and turned to his daughter; she seemed to
understand his confusion and pointed towards the picture, "Yeh Nanu hain.. aur
He smiled and looked up at Riya,
who looked away; however something held his gaze. She still had his silver
He hadn't realized when Ariya had tugged at his sleeve; his mind had
drifted back to the moment when he had put it on her, moments before he had
claimed her body and soul!!
Ariya's words fell on his ears
and he snapped out of his reverie; he looked up at her quizzically to make sure
if he'd heard right.
She lifted his chin and made him face her; "Papa.. woh
dekhiye, Ariya ke Mumma aur Papa.."
Arjun's eyes darted off towards
the painting within a fraction of a second; there it was; a picture of them,
taken on their wedding day!!
Riya dressed in a pink georgette saree, with her
happiness evident from the twinkle in her eyes, while Arjun stood behind her,
with his arms wrapped around her waist.
He felt something tug at his
heart and clenched his eyes shut! Riya saw him do that and mistook it for his
They had a quiet dinner, with
Ariya eating out of her father's plate, while Arjun lovingly fed her.
cleared the kitchen and had walked out into the living room to carry Ariya to
bed; the sight in front of her froze her.
Arjun was singing a lullaby to Ariya,
patting her head, while she smiled and rested on his shoulder!
She felt the familiar stinging
sensation in a corner of her heart, yet, steadied herself before she could face
She held out her hands to take carry Ariya and was rewarded by a glare
shot her way.
Arjun had walked past her and
climbed upstairs. He neatly tucked her into bed and walked out leaving the
bedside lamp on.
She saw him descending the stairs
and sighed inwardly; she knew he wouldn't let her escape without answers this
To her surprise, Arjun walked to the couch, grabbing a glass of water and
settled against the cushions. She walked to the window and leaned against it.
Arjun glanced at her and decided
it was about time!
He cleared his throat, alerting
her; she walked to the couch and sat down next to him.
He turned to face her and spoke,
"Toh, kiss naam se bulayoon tumhe; kyunki tum meri Riya toh ho nahi, hai na?"
She was shocked at the
indifference in his voice, and hung her head, "Kya fark padta hai, aap yahi
samjhiye ki main Riya hi hoon.."
His blood boiled at her audacity;
he inhaled a sharp breath and glared at her,
"Itne saal mujhe meri beti se door
Riya fought back her tears and
walked to the window, "Majboori thi!"
Something snapped within him and
he reached her in two steps; he spun her around abruptly and grabbed her arm,
"Enough of your lies! Ab tum chupchap mere sawalon ke jawab dogi.. Aur iss
baar, koi kahani nahi; sirf sach!"
She flinched at his words
momentarily and stood still. He grabbed her other shoulder and yanked her close
to himself, "Kyun chali gayi thi, tum?"
Riya mustered her voice and
whispered, "Mera farz mujhe aapse door le gaya.."
Arjun let go of her shoulder and
grabbed her wrist; she looked on confused and before she knew it, he had
twisted it behind her back.
She swallowed her gasp and clenched her eyes shut.
He spat out yet again, "Farz, my
foot! Tum ho kaun? Ek behrupiya, jo naam badalkar meri zindagi mein aayi aur
phir ek din mujhe dhoka dekar chali gayi.."
He twisted her arm a bit harder
and whispered close to her ears, "Who the hell are you?!"
She winced in pain and bit her
lip preventing her sobs from escaping; his words hurt her more than the grip on
He saw her not responding to him
and pulled her closer, crashing her against his chest,
"Tumhare baare mein toh
pata nahi, but I had loved you! I really did..
Aur tum bass ek din aise hi sab
chodkar chali gayi.. Ek baar bhi tumhe mera khayal nahi aaya?"
She gritted her teeth and balled
her fists, the pain was getting unbearable; she had to put an end to it or it
would end up consuming them!
She prepared herself for his
wrath, mustered courage from every single cell of her body and freed herself
from his grip.
She stepped back a couple of
steps and glared at him,
'Nahi.. nahi aaya, mujhe aapka khayal.. Aap samajhte
kyun nahi hain, mujhe kissi ka khayal nahi hai.. Toh kya hua agar maine apni zindagi ka faisla apne hisaab se liya.. So what!!
He stood there motionless as her
words fell on his ears; he couldn't believe his ears, 'Had he really lost
She stepped close to him, "Aur aap
kis pyaar ki baat kar rahein hain?
Pyaar.. Aapne kabhi mujhse pyaar kiya hi
nahi.. Agar kiya hota, toh teen saal nahi lagate mujhe dhoondhne mein.."
She cursed herself mentally as
every word escaped her mouth; she needed him to hate her!
She needed to kill
Riya, for Lavanya to be back.
She was aware that she was trampling over his
innocent heart yet again; but she needed to do it; his heart needed to be numb!
Or he would shatter completely and would never be able to compose himself
looked on with a blank face as her words slowly relayed to his brain; he
struggled for words and managed to whisper a single word, "Riyaa'"
dug her nails into her soft palms, and attempted to gain strength from her
No! He had to stop calling me that! "
"Main Riya nahi hoon.. Nahi
hoon main aapki Riya! Itni si baat aapki samajh mein nahi aati..
love, your concern was all a farce! You never loved me; you married me coz you
You kept me as your wife, because you needed a woman to satisfy your
you needed a woman to take care of your house, while you were busy
throwing away your life each day..
needed a woman to heal your pain after your wife had died! You.."
stood there trying to make sense of her words; every nerve in his body throbbed
when she'd humiliated their relationship.
A surge of rage shot through him,
when she ridiculed his love for her; he balled his fists to resist himself from
breaking something down!
then he heard her mention Roshni; that was the last straw!
He spun around and
grabbed her by her shoulders and pinned her against the wall.
flinched at his touch and that angered him further,
"You think, I never loved
you? You think I used you? Tum mere baare mein itna ghatiya soch bhi kaise
sakti ho, Riya?"
clenched her eyes shut and grabbed the scissors from the nearby table.. She held the pointed end of the scissors and dug it into her palm
She couldn't hurt him anymore; Why was he being stubborn?!
He still called her Riya; after all she had done and said! She couldn't take it
anymore.. She had to put an end to it!
move; one masterstroke and he would let go of her willingly; she sent out a
quick prayer begging the heavens to forgive her; for her next words were going
to ruin everything!
wriggled in his arms and gripped the sharp end of the scissors tighter; she
felt blood ooze out of her palm and sighed.
glared at him and looked him in the eye,
"Kyun, sach kadva laga aapko, ACP
Pyaar karte the aap mujhse, toh aapki beti bhi aapke pyaar ki hi
nishaani hogi, kyun?"
looked on bewildered with the fact that she had actually dragged their daughter
in the midst of the ugly fight; he had just parted his lips to respond to her
when her next words kicked him in the guts!
You know what I think of her; mere liye woh aapke pyaar ki nishani
nahi, sirf ek kamzor pal ki nishani hai jab main emotions mein beh gayi thi..
Mere liye Ariya sirf ek responsibility thi; ek
bojh, jo main pichle chaar saalon se dhoh rahi hoon..
isiliye, maine aapko yahan bulvaya hai.. Ab lijiye apni beti ko aur chale jaiye
yahan se; mujhe iss aakhri zimmedaari se bhi azaad karke!"
felt the blood trickling down her wrist and pressed herself into the wall
behind her; she had finally managed to kill Riya; the mother and the wife!
would never forgive her for this!
stood motionless, his hands slowly trailed down her shoulders and hung to his
sides; her words reverberated in his ears.
Every moment spent with her flashed
in front of him and then he heard his angel's voice, 'Papa!'
rage shot through him and he grabbed her by her arms; she looked into his red
eyes; he was infuriated!
She dropped the scissors to the floor and looked away,
not being able to withstand the fury in his eyes.
roughly fisted her hair, raising her face to meet his,
"You ridiculed my love
for you, I stayed mum; but you shouldn't have dragged my daughter into this!"
flinched when she felt his fingers digging into her waist, "You think Ariya was
a mistake; a mere responsibility!! You think I took advantage of you; I.. I used you?!"
before she could fathom his next move, he had captured her lips; she wriggled
in his arms struggling to get away; and gave up helplessly when he refused to soften
his vice-like grip on her waist.
kissed her brutally, nipping and bruising her soft lips; she even tasted her own blood!
yanked her away from himself, couple of minutes later and threw her on the
couch; as he ran his fingers through his damp hair.
hit her head against the armrest of the couch; her fingers flew to her bruised
lips and her eyes popped out wide!
She had just realized that he had ripped her
gown in the process of hurting her.
shot her a disgusted look and spat out, "So, do you feel the difference? Well
now you know how it feels to be used!!"
spun around and punched the wall in frustration; she gathered herself up and
made her way up the stairs.
heard the door shut and fell on his knees,
'What had he just done?!
insulted her; the woman he loved more than his life; his own wife!
It didn't matter anymore if she'd believed in their
relationship; he had! And now he had ruined everything!!
eyes fell on the scissors lying on the floor; he swiftly grabbed them and saw
blood droplets on the blades; he looked around and saw a few blood stains on
the couch and on his shirt.
He flung the scissors in a far corner of the room
as he realized that she had hurt herself on purpose, punishing herself for
having hurt him!
threw his head back in frustration and happened to glance at Riya and Ariya's
smiling pictures on the wall; his mind drifted back to the scene few hours back
when Riya had sobbed latching on to Ariya..
groaned in frustration, 'those emotions in her eyes weren't fake! He had
witnessed it himself; Riya loved her deeply!
fished out her letter from his wallet and swiftly unfolded it..
'Lekin aap yeh mat samjhiyega, ki main ya humara rishta, ek
Absolutely not! You were the best thing that ever happened to
'Aapse milkar main dobara jee uthi'
'Jaate jaate, aapse bass itna hi kehna hai ki, please try to
hate me; coz I wouldn't be able to live with the guilt of having broken your
'I've only ever loved you and will love you until I breathe my
'Your name is etched on my heart forever; yet, I hope that
you're able to erase mine from yours.'
'Aap humesha meri duaon mein rahenge..'
'Ummeed karti hoon, ki hum kissi aur duniya
mein dobara milenge'
gritted his teeth in agony, Riya!!! He had been such a fool!
was indeed bothering her; he needed to know..
He needed to act fast, before she
had destroyed herself!'
witnessed her turmoil four years back and had been unable to stop her from
She had left him, destroying a part of herself!
as the thought crossed his mind, what was he about to lose now?!!
Okay! I have to stop now!!
Well, do leave behind your reviews.. Waiting to hear from you.. The last Chapter and the Prologue will be posted tomorrow.. Hope you liked the update..
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NOTE: I do not own the characters.. My stories are my fantasies and are based on ideas derived from the show.. My works are only meant for members of IndiaForums and are not to be copied to other sites..
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