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|Meant To Be #4|AR|SpecialPreview-Page 129|(12th May)|LAFUpdt-Pg130| (Page 57)

Rhea.KaJen Goldie
Rhea.KaJen
Rhea.KaJen

Joined: 12 June 2010
Posts: 2358

Posted: 06 April 2012 at 11:39am | IP Logged
Can u give us a FULL chapter? Please?

vidu87 IF-Dazzler
vidu87
vidu87

Joined: 02 June 2010
Posts: 4442

Posted: 09 April 2012 at 11:57am | IP Logged
awesome
luvd it
thnx 4 d pm
cont soon pleashhh
..Maitree.. IF-Rockerz
..Maitree..
..Maitree..

Joined: 16 March 2009
Posts: 6464

Posted: 09 April 2012 at 8:26pm | IP Logged
Hello Shello reader fellow!LOL 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
 
"You're 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.
 
"Yeah,I'm 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?"
He raised his eyebrows, "You're gonna make me something? Are you okay?"
"Uffo,Armaan.",she scrunched her nose, "Shut up. I am in a good mood today. I just saw Titanic a while back."
He curiously followed her as he walked towards the kitchen,"That's a Tragic movie..and it made you happy?Woah,Women are strange."
She 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."
 
Armaan's 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.."
"I 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.
"Okay 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.
 
"Oh.",she 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.
"Of 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.
"Armaan!",she said in fits of giggles, "How are you So Stupidly..Cute!" He smiled.
"Just to make you smile, Princess."
"Thanks hero..You always know how to cheer me up, no?",her laugh subsided and her lips curved up in a smile.
"Come on yaar Muski..you yourself called me 'hero'..So I have that talent na!Can't really deny it!",he replied smugly.
She hit his arm playfully,"Idiot.",before going into the living room.
 
"Hey!",he protested from the kitchen,"And who will serve me coffee?"
"Take 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.
"So.",she started slowly. "How's everything going,Armaan?"
"Everything..As in?",he raised a eyebrow.
 
"You know, Patients, Work Stress, Riddhima...",she trailed off.
Armaan 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."
"And the other one?"
"The other one?",he asked,puzzled.
"Armaan I asked you about three things, and you answered about two. What about the last part of the answer?"
He looked at her silently and then slowly said,"She's good."
 
"Tell me one thing, duffos.",she started,"Are you happy while she's around?"
"Yes.",he answered honestly.
"Don't you ever think..that maybe you're hurting her?"
His head hung low immediately, guilt flickering across his face,"I know I'm hurting her."
"Then why are you doing this?",Muskaan said,putting her hand on his.
 
Armaan let out a hasty breath and stood up,"Muski..Please. Can we not talk-"
"Shut up. We're having this conversation Right now.",she said determined.
"For 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 one breath.
Muskaan 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.."
"Because?",he questioned.
"You should be able to answer that!",she said, "You tell me..Why didn't you move on all these years?"
 
He rolled his eyes, "Seriously now I can't believe-"
"Answer.My.Question."
He shrugged, "I didn't feel like, I guess. And anyways,I didn't find anybody."
"So let's just say Riddhima didn't find anybody else too?",she suggested casually.
"Oh 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."
Muskaan 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?"
 
Armaan 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?
Muskaan 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."
He closed his eyes and fisted his hand and opened his eyes again,"Muski..you don't understand."
"What 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."
He looked at her at once and bit his lip, "Sorry. Sorry Muski-I didn't mean..."
 
"It 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?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean..Do you wish it never happened? Do you wish you never fell for her in the first place?"
He shrugged, "I guess. I mean I don't want to hurt her...and.."
"You 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.
 
"If he comes back?", he asked silently.
She let out a sigh, and that was all for him to understand.
 
Edging 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.
 
"You 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."
His 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.
 
"Naah, I wouldn't marry you. You're too fat for my liking.", he clicked his tongue.
She 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..."
Armaan rolled his eyes, "Muskaan Chadda.."
"Armaan 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."
"Pul-ease.", he stressed, "As if."
"Ha-ha-ha. 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.
 
Armaan's 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 deepened.
 
"Oyye Hoyye!",Muskaan was back to herself again, nudging him by his elbow.
Armaan laughed and got up, "Muski..What's for dinner?", he said, changing the topic.
She 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.
 
"Um. 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.
"Really?",he asked. She nodded.
"And…which 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.
"No. YOU HAVE TO GO. Go, Go, Go. I am not sharing my pizza."
"Which one?", he insisted.
 She folded her hands in front of her chest and frowned, "Pepperoni Cheese."
He laughed, "And YOU think I am going!"
 
The 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 first!'
 
***

Riddhima 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.
This was her token of appreciation for her best friend.
 
The 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 strange.
 
Slowly 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.
 
"Sid?"
As if woken up from a sudden dream, he looked at her startled.
"Oh. It's you.", he said rather surprised.
"Sid what's wrong?", she asked, putting a hand on his shoulder as she sat down beside him. He shook his head slightly.
"Nothing. I'm…I'm just missing her."
Riddhima 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.
"What's this?", she asked. He sighed.
"She left it in my cabin the day I was leaving for Mumbai."
 
Without 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.
Love, Megha.
 
"I didn't even listen to her.", his guilty voice made her look up, "And now look at me, I have everything…and yet, nothing."
"Why didn't you try to talk to her? I mean..Call her?", she asked gently.
He 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?"
She 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?"
 
He 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?"
 
"Sid 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."
He 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."
 
"Megha isn't that foolish."
"How do you know?", he spun around as Riddhima quickly bit her tongue, "Have you met her?"
"Um,..no. 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."
"What the hell Riddhima!", he said angrily, "When it comes to me, Leave it! And all you want to talk about is you!"
"No…I was just saying that…I have a surprise for you."
"Really?", now that got him going. Riddhima nodded. "Whoa, show me!"
"Not today, you grinning fool. Wait for it.", she winked and got out of the room.
 
Riddhima 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.
 
She 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-
 
"Ow!",came 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.
"Are 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.
"…I 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.
"Riddhima!", he said, keeping his hands on her shoulders, "Enough!"
She looked at him guiltily, biting her lip.
 
Satisfied 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?"
She 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 lightly.
She frowned, "Why are you laughing?"
"You look so cute when you look like that. I wonder how you handle it, always frantic about for little little things."
"You're not a little thing, Armaan.", she raised an eyebrow.
"Yes, I am a big thing. I'm already 27, you know.", he grinned at his own silly joke.
 
"Speaking of 27…", she cleared her throat, "Sid's turning 27 tomorrow."
He looked up from his file, "Yes. I know…Have you planned anything?"
"Uhm…yes, his surprise. And I guess a party…"
"At your house?"
"No.", 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."
"Then where?"
"The Party Hall of the Spice hotel. He often meets his friends there."
"Oh that's a nice place. That's where Nikki and Abhi had their reception.", he agreed.
 
"I need your help."
"Yes?", he looked up with interest, "What role do I play?"
"Since 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."
"Al right…but what's the surprise?"
A light mysterious smile spread over her face, "Oh. You'll see."
 
***
 
It 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 cabin.
 
"Yes Anjie, you paged me?", she said breathless.
"Yeah.", 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."
"Oh God, yes. Thanks Anj. I'll just hurry."
 
She 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.
 
Luckily 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.
 
It 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.
 
"Excuse me!", said the girl.
The counter attendant looked up from the phone.
"Please hurry up, I want to ask something!", she said impatiently.
Finally the counter attendant kept the phone and said politely, "Yes mam, how can I help you?"
The youngster took a breath and said, "Is the Delhi to Mumbai flight on time? AI6443?"
 
Riddhima's 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.
 
"Um, mam…I'm sorry, but due to bad weather conditions, the flight is delayed by 30 minutes.", the attendant said.
"Oh 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.
"Are you sure the flight is delayed by an hour?"
The attendant looked apologetic, "Yes mam, we're really sorry for the delay. But the flight cannot leave Delhi till the skies are clear."
 
She 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.
 
*Flashback*
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.
 
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 else!"
 
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.
"I..I...couldn't tell him.", she managed out, "What would I say if he asked why so suddenly?"
"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 slowly.
"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 home."
There was a pause while he considered it,"Okay fine. But you gotta come back. Nothing's going right."
"Why?",she laughed 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 miss you."
 
"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..
 
"Uhm,I...I…",she 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, Armaan..'
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 a chocolate.
"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 Shashank Uncle?
"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 you later."
"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.
 
 
 
"Yes, Armaan?", she said, receiving his call.
"Erm, 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.
 
Riddhima 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 the announcement.
 
'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 cooperation.'
 
"Armaan you can take Sid to the hotel now.", Riddhima smiled.
"Uh, sure na?", he asked hesitantly.
"Yes, Sure. Just remember to text Nikki to bring the girls. I'll be there in twenty minutes."
"Okay. See you then.", he cut the call.
 
She 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 enthusiastically.
 
Riddhima smiled contentedly, her surprise was finally ready to roll Sid over.
 
***
 
"W*F!", he exclaimed loudly as they reached the hall, which was darkened.
"Sheesh, Sid. Have some patience, and some manners to talk.", Abhi grinned.
"What happened to the lights?",asked Atul,trying hard to pretend he knew nothing.
"Yeah 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.
 
Abhi ignored and said, "Where's Armaan?"
"Even he's invisible now?",Sid was more frustrated than ever, "Youuu-huuu, Arrrmaaan Maaalliikkk…",he called out in the dark.
 
"Shut up, Sid. And you two. I'm trying to fix the problem.", Armaan answered back in the dark. Sid sighed.
"Oh 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.
"Got 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-
"What are you girls doing here?", seeing Anjali, Muskaan and Nikkita, "It was a guy night, right?", he was perplexed.
"No, you duffod.", said Muskaan, hitting his head, "That was a excuse to bring you here!"
"Why? What's so special?"
"Um, guess you'll understand when Ridzi gets here.", smiled Anjali.
"Riddhi's coming too? But she said she has a night- ", Sid was cut off suddenly.
 
"Hi guys!",said a excited Riddhima, hurrying towards them, "Hi Siddy boy!"
"What's going on, Riddhi?", asked Sid tiredly.
"Surprise, remember? Now, close your eyes!"
"What the-"
"Close 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!"
 
There 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 irritated.
"Riddhi!", he called out.
"Open your eyes, Sid.", said a softer, gentler voice than Riddhima's. A voice so familiar, a voice that was etched in his heart.
 
Sid 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.
"Happy 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.
 
Immediately, 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?"
He looked at her, and muttered, "You're not serious. Tell me I'm dreaming."
This time the girl spoke, "You're not, Sid. I'm really back."
Riddhima pulled his cheek, "Happy Birthday baby!"
If 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.
After all of them left him, he coughed in nervousness as he was pushed in front of her.
"Megha…", he began, his eyes almost welling up in happiness.
"You don't have to say anything, Sid. It's okay. I know.", she said, reaching for his hand. He shook his head slowly.
"I, but, I…", he fumbled.
Megha laughed lightly, "Yes, Sid. I know. I love you too."
 
That 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?
 
"Okay, Cake cutting time!", Riddhima announced, rolling the tray over.
Sid 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,
"Look, cutting the cake, means you going out with Megha for dinner faster. Think about it…Only you two…", she raised her eyebrows suggestively.
"But what about the "party" ?", asked Nikki, making imaginary quotation marks in the air.
"Niks, 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!"
 
Sid 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.
He left her and said, "Yeah, I love her more!"
"I 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 friends laughed.
 
Sid 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.
 
"Happy Journey!", Armaan shouted over with the others, as the car speed over.
The whole gang was going inside when Armaan stopped Riddhima and said, "Uhm, Riddhima?"
"Yes?", she smiled.
"Thanks. For…um, doing that for him. He's really happy and deserves this."
"I know, Armaan. He's not only your friend, you know.", she said gently.
 
***
 
"Thank 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.
 
"Uh,Riddhima…I suppose you don't have your car?", Armaan asked as they reached the parking lot near his Scorpio.
Riddhima bit her lip," Oh yeah…Sid took it.  So, um…Armaan, do you mind dropping me home?"
Armaan smiled, "That's what I am here for.", he said gently, "Come on…hop in."
 
Riddhima 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.
"Oh God.", she said.
"What's wrong?", asked Armaan who was just about to start the car.
"This.", 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!'
 
"Shucks.", Armaan said, "Where is he now?"
"In 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 cell rang.
"You're a dumbass, Sid!", she said as soon as she received the call.
"Give the phone to Armaan!", he said.
"What?", she was annoyed now, "First you-"
"Will you listen to me please!", he said, interrupting her. She sighed and held out the phone to Armaan, "For you."
 
"Yeah Sid?"
"Armaan 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?"
Armaan paused for a second, thought about it, and sighed, "Fine. You'll pick her up tomorrow then?"
"Yes! Thank you bhai! Take care, Good night!", he said and cut the call.
Armaan gave back the phone to Riddhima. She raised an eyebrow.
 
"You're 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.
 
'Sorry.'
Riddhima 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.'
 
Riddhima 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.
 
"What happened?", he asked curiously.
"Ummm..Sid. He's being himself. Sent a sorry and a joke."
"Oh yeah, that's him.", said Armaan, easily digesting her lie and not suspecting a thing. Riddhima looked out at the window.
 
Sometimes life was so perfect. Wasn't it?

***

So there! Comments  and likes needed people Embarrassed Incase you're still wondering why I am so happy,check the post below Tongue (Oooh, I am in a emo mood today) LOL. Love you all <3 <3
-Maitree.




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..Maitree.. IF-Rockerz
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..Maitree..

Joined: 16 March 2009
Posts: 6464

Posted: 09 April 2012 at 8:29pm | IP Logged
10th April

Today is a Really Special Day! Way back in 2011, on THIS very day...I had started this FF, my love, my Meant to Be. Yes, Its the first anniversary of MTB! So its a joyous, happy, wonderful and important day <3 On this occasion, I want to thank all of my readers for supporting me throughout and reading and liking and commenting <3 A Special Thank you to my ST (Spammer Team) : Trish, Amal, Zarqaa, Radzy, Geet, Medzi,Rhea :D Next to the longest commentators - Radzy, Amal, Sanaa (oye, you have comments left :P) And to the others of course : Ishi (Tu kahan che? I miss you! But your comments have always been valuable), Ankita (You know you rock), Aanya (so glad to see you commenting even though 12th grade's breathing down your neck), Neha (Cupcake :D), Poo Di, Pooja, Rida (hahahahaha :P), Yusra ( LOL :P), Mahua (Lazy Bum), Pranishta, Sunita, Rabia, and everyone else..You all make MTB. Make me. <3 And A BIG HUG to all of you for that.

Meant to Be has given me loads of things- Awesome friends, a talent to recognise, a recognition in a virtual world, and also loads of love and support. Thank you all. I hope this support and love stays forever. I promise, hereby, to make you tarpao more for updates and the final AR reunion, but keep you entertained because loads of twists are coming on. So stick on, and enjoy the ride. Keep loving Meant to be, Your Armaan,Riddhima,Nikki,Muskaan,Anjali,Abhi,Atul,Siddhant,Megha,Rahul (whoops,did I speak too soon? :P),Padma,and Shasha- Sorry Sorry, keep hating him. LOL. Enjoy the update, and remember, I'm never going to stop writing, and expecially MTB! And I won't even stop pestering you guys if I have the time.

Loads of love and happiness,
Maitree.

P.S. Since today is MTB's first anniversary,  so along with your comments, I would like to know what gift you would like to give your favourite character in this FF for this occasion. Put on your thinking caps! Mention your favourite character (ONLY ONE) and mention the gift you want to give...And And And, PLEASE COMMENT ON THE PART, Like it And Edit your reserves those who have 'em :P Waiting for the replies :)

P.P.S. I would mind getting a gift either, I am the author yaar, Kuch toh credit do! ROFL

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Posts: 6464

Posted: 09 April 2012 at 8:30pm | IP Logged
Check this Depressing thing out ( The note in this page )
http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=2904324&TPN=22



Edited by ..Maitree.. - 09 April 2012 at 8:30pm

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Posts: 2358

Posted: 09 April 2012 at 8:37pm | IP Logged
Res.


*Edited*

MAITREE!!! :D
First of all,



Its been a year!! :D
U wanted this to be a surprise nahi?
But tune mujhe khud hi toh bataya hai.. LOL

Wow.. This FF is such a beautiful one.. I love each and every bit of the story.. <3

Coming to the chapter,
I knew that Megha was the surprise.. I'm sure everyone did too.. :P
That was really sweet of Riddhima.. Really.. :)

Awww.. Armaan's so sweet.. <3
And Sid?
Yaar.. I love Sid in this story.. :P
Tu kitna acha likhti hai yaar.. Makes me smile most of the times.. :)

And now, coming to the note,
Yes.. ST!! ;)
You're welcome! ;)

Woah! Favourite character? Woh bhi ek hi?
You're kidding right?
Okay fine.. If I had to choose my favourite character from MTB, it would be Riddhima.. and so my gift for her would be to help her get back with Armaan (obviously) ;)

And Maitree?
Thank you for updating this.. LAF bhi update karde?
Please?

Love,
Rhea


Edited by RheaKSG4eva - 09 April 2012 at 9:06pm
..Maitree.. IF-Rockerz
..Maitree..
..Maitree..

Joined: 16 March 2009
Posts: 6464

Posted: 09 April 2012 at 8:50pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by RheaKSG4eva

Res.


Kameeni. Like bhi nahi kiya, wish bhi nahi kiya. Tongue

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Posted: 09 April 2012 at 9:08pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by ..Maitree..

Originally posted by RheaKSG4eva

Res.


<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" color="#660099">Kameeni. Like bhi nahi kiya, wish bhi nahi kiya. Tongue</font>


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