I was supposed to give you all a big long part today of this story but oh well! everything can't go as planned, as I was taken in a exhausting day. Yet I wanted to upload at least something for my awesome friends, so here it goes. Hope you have fun.
DAY 21- SATURDAY
"Are you sure you want to go back?" Padma asked Arjun.
"Yes Aunty, I am fine now, I don't even feel dizziness anymore and besides that Raj will be with me," He assured her as he packed his bag.
"But Arjun you can stay here too," Riya said. She felt really happy to have him as her friend. He was a blessing in disguise. He had haywire ways but he was mending them, he was becoming a honest man now that she respected fully.
"I know Riya, but I am paying for that place, I don't want to have fun on my money when I am not even using that place," he joked. The truth was, he felt high on emotions around her. He felt countless times the need to hug her, to kiss the rose petals and with strong determination he had resisted. He didn't not want to do anything that will hurt her and for matter of fact, he would not do such to anyone else.
His promise to her was not void, it was as true as his existence. He would respect it till his last breath and he would make sure that people around him could get some tip from him too. Convincing someone was the toughest task is the world. unless someone feels it, they won't change themselves.
In the last five days, he had felt not even once an outsider, he was accepted as a family member. When he had decided to come London, it was purely for fun. He had anticipated a fling for a month, travelling with her here and there but he had come across the harsh reality. A reality that he would never forget. Each word of Riya was engraved in his mind.
Since the he met Riya, his life became a roller coaster that he decided to enjoy being in it all the while learning something new. He had never thought that a trip abroad could change him to this point.
He had met Riya, the most beautiful woman. He had met Padma an awesome mother. He had met Aliya, the little doll.. No. His doll. Their pain hurt him like it would have hurt him if any harm on his mother.
His point of view had changed, he had started to respect woman around her? the worst and still the best was, he had eyes for Riya only. It confused him, it gave him feelings never unleashed before.
How could he feel his heart thumping so loud around her that he was sure that Aliya next door could hear it too? His eyes stuck on her whenever she laugh that he felt caught red-handed when someone had to shake him to bring him out of the reverie. He was him but not him any longer.
Being in Riya's company, he had discovered himself, the true Arjun Suryakant Rawte and he wished to remain that way the remainder of his life, because it gave him immense happiness and satisfaction. He could smile of relief.
He had not felt that when he used to have flings and take them in parties as his arm candies and then dump them. He had felt nice boasting to his friend but he didn't feel the satisfaction. But along this satisfaction, he felt the regret too for the man he had been.
Although, he was sure now that he had learnt a lot from life, so much that he would never forget. So much that he would cherish. So much that his father would be proud of him too. He was now the way his father had dreamed for.
"Arjun, you are not going without dinner tonight," Padma ordered.
"Sure aunty," he smiled deeply.
"Riya help him, I am down," her mother left.
"Is your going important?" She asked him, with her eyes scrunched as she folded his shirt.
He nodded. "Riya, see," he sat next to her on the bed and held her hands, "in about a week, I am going back,"
Her eyes bulged in the shocking realization. Arjun would not stay here forever. He was due to return in a week and it pained her. She didn't want him to go, she like having him here, with her family.
"I don't want to make myself used to all this, it will hurt me more when I am gone, and all of you too," he said dejectedly, then he smiled and flickered her nose, "but I promise you, we will meet every day and we will be in contact through whatsapp," he assured her.
"But, when you will go back, we will not be able to meet her," her eyes looking in the void, she already felt emptiness in her heart. She looked at him and found him staring at her with mist eyes, "I will miss you," she flung her arms around him.
"I will miss you too," he comforted her. He hated seeing her cry, "now stop crying, save some for next week," he teased her as they parted and he wiped her tears.
"Stop teasing me stupid," she spanked his arm.
"Oww, wild cat," he giggled.
"Serves you right," she stuck out her tongue and went out as she saw Shree entering.
Shree helped Arjun pack his bag and said, "I wish I could keep you forever with me,"
"Nothing is forever dear," Arjun simpered.
"But the forever as long as it lasts," Shree added, "Will you keep in touch with us?"
"Of course buddy," Arjun patted his back, "We will talk everyday and I will send you online game challenges," he cheered Shree.
"Promise?" Shree's eyes brimmed with happiness.
"Promise," he confirmed.
The evening, all of them sat to have dinner, "I am told that you are going back today," Shashank said as he ate his rice.
"Yes uncle and I feel grateful to have the chance to stay with you," Arjun said gratefully.
"No it was our honor to have you here. You saved our daughter," Padma patted his head lovingly.
"She is my friend and what I did was my duty," he dismissed the thank-yous.
"And what we are doing with you, is our duty," Shashank smiled.
Arjun smiled really touched. He felt indeed really thankful to have met this wonderful family in the modern and fast pacing life of London. Something that he didn't learn in his home land, he learnt here, in abroad, from the people of his country.
"Riya, sing a song for us," Padma asked as they sat down with dessert.
"Me? Song?" Her eyes widened, her eyes bulged out.
"Yes, you are an amazing singer di," Aliya requested her.
"Wow you sing?" Arjun was surprised. He didn't know that about her.
Riya was embarrassed. She had ever sung anything before anyone else except her parents and siblings. "I do. Just pass-time," she tucked her fringe behind her ear.
"Please sing," he requested.
"Now please sing, he is our guest," Shree added.
"Alright," she said shyly and Shree brought her guitar.
She positioned the guitar and started strumming it, with her eyes closed.
"Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave?
How can I love when I'm afraid to fall?
But watching you stand alone,
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow.
One step closer
I have died every day waiting for you
Darling, don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more"
As she opened her eyes, she saw Arjun gazing at her intently, with emotions never expressed and she felt hypnotized.
"I never knew, you were such an amazing singer," Arjun applauded her.
She lowered her head, with a blush prominent on her face. "Thanks,"
He took the guitar and started strumming it, "for you Riya, a very old hindi song but you remind me of this song," he smiled.
"Yeh Dosti Hum Nahin Todenge
Todenge Dam Magar Tera Saath Na Chhodenge
Yeh Dosti Hum Nahin Todenge
Todenge Dam Magar Tera Saath Na Chhodenge"
he smiled as he ended the chorus line.
"I promise you Riya, wherever we are, you will be my best friend," he smiled and got it reciprocated back, the same assurance and the smile. He got loads of appreciation for his singing.
"Wow you sing good? How you been trained?" Shree asked excitingly.
"No.. just a hobby. I love to sing at friends and family occasions." Arjun smiled.
After half an hour, he took his leave, "I should go now, it is getting late,"
"Do come whenever you can and Riya will take you on the doctor's appointment," Shashank said politely.
"Sure uncle." Arjun simpered.
Riya's father had gone to drop as everyone felt heavy heart, already missing him. Riya sighed, she had never such a great friend, who had gone to the heights to save her, he was one and he made a place of his own in her heart.
Feeling sad, she retired to her room. As she took out her pajama, it reminded her of the conversation with Arjun, it made her blush. Changing into that, she sat on her bed, with her project file.
Aliya came in her sister's room and snuggled in the blanket, "Di, Bhai is really nice na?
"Yes Arjun is very nice," she smiled, impossible to deny that.
"He even suggested me about Aman," Aliya confided.
"What did he suggest?" She frowned with curiosity, "did he want to go and slap him?" she chuckled, knowing very well how precious Aliya was to him.
Aliya flushed, "Yes he did want that. Yet seeing how much I loved him, he resisted that urge. He told me to ignore him."
"He gave a good advice. Humans are like that only, the more you give them attention, the more they will run away. The more you ignore them, the more they will be attracted to you. So learn to balance it and with that remember, love is pure, it should be legalized before giving into the passion," Riya winked.
"Di, I am going," Aliya had blushed deeply and ran to her room. Her sister's talk ingrained in her mind. She would not allow Aman to get close to her even if he confessed. They needed to marry before getting on that level.
DAY 22- SUNDAY
It was quite an uneventful day, a routine day at Gupta house. Arjun hadn't popped up and everyone missed him a lot. Even though, Riya chatted with him on whatsapp and so did Shree and Aliya but still the presence mattered.
Padma was complaining, "How will he cope up without a mother?"
"True," Shashank nodded.
"Can't we call him over dinner?" Shree suggested, he wanted to play with Arjun. Arjun had been sick and thus he was strictly warned not to over exhert Arjun and he had given in.
Thus, he had dropped at the first invitation itself as he had missed them a lot too.
"Hello everyone," he greeted them.
"You didn't miss us at all right?" Padma whined.
"I did miss you aunty," he hugged her.
"Good boy," she patted his cheek and took him to feed him as apparently, he had lost some weight within a few hours? "You have become so thin."
"So true ma, feed him more," Riya teased him.
He glared at her yet kept eating. This family was one of of its kind. After dinner, he was taken with Shree to play a game.
DAY 23- MONDAY
Along Arjun, Riya had gone to the doctor, "here is your patient doctor, I hope he is done some amazing recovery?" Riya said.
"Yes, or it will be a disgrace to the regal treatment I received," Arjun joked.
"For that I will have to conduct the check-up" The doctor said and led Arjun for the check-up. Seeing the x-ray and pressing on the wound, they came back to the chairs.
"So?" Riya asked with palpitating heart, she was afraid for him. She didn't want anything wrong with him.
"He is fit as a fiddle," the doctor announced and Riya heaved a breathe.
"Thank God," she murmured.
"So I can join back my college?" Arjun asked. He had missed quite a lot but thanks to Riya he had been able to cope up.
"Yes you can. All you have to avoid is too much in front of screens for at least another week," the doctor informed him.
"Thank you," Both of them left.
Arjun had gone back to the college in the afternoon with Riya, where a surprise waited for him. A grand surprise indeed.
"SURPRISE," the hall erupted with loud squeals.
"WOW," Arjun was left speechless, the hall was decorated with banners like "Welcome back hero," "You don't need to be superhero to be human," and so on. He felt proud.
"Arjun, you have been exceptionally good, a hero" The principal praised him.
"No sir, I did my duty. But I would like to tell you all, that it was Riya's bravery that could save her," he complimented Riya, who blushed. "Not everyone can fight in such a dire situation, she did and I hope people would be inspired by her and Man would take it as their duty to stop any crime happening in front of them," he gave his speech and all clapped for him.
They had insisted him to cut the cake, he cut and fed Riya the first, "she is the reason, I am the hero," he had given the reason.
They were soon back to the classes and both of them had gained a level higher respect from their mates.
"Back to detention?" Arjun joked as he slumped on the chair.
"Seems like even after your heroism, they can't forgive us," she whined and felt relaxed to be in detention. Contrary to what detention meant, expect the first few days, it had never been a punishment for them.
"True, hey, but I am not complaining," he added.
DAY 24- TUESDAY
"I need your help," Arjun said to Riya, as they worked on the project.
"What is that Arjun?" She asked him, with a frown.
"I have not bought anything for my family, can you tell me a good mall?" He had requested.
"Sure," she had given him the mall, where she went to regularly.
And here, at 7:30, he was standing in the mall, and his head was already spinning. He had never gone to shop for his family. The only place where he went to in malls were games section or at the clothing area. He had not bothered much about others.
He definitely could not gift video games to his father or mother, they were more mature than him. He was the only grown up kid at their home.
His mother never asked him anything, a kiss on cheek or a hug would be sufficient for her and her dad, he never shared a cordial relation with him until now. He felt like buying something for them and something to gift to the Gupta's.
A big task indeed.
To be continued...
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