Thursday, 12 October 2017

Chapter 21 : I'll Love You Longer Than Forever - AR FF

The next morning, Riddhima woke up surrounded by warmth.
Armaan's arms were wrapped snuggly around her, his face buried in her neck and their legs tangled together. Her own arms were around his waist and her head was resting on his chest, listening to the steady beating of his heart.
She smiled and snuggled closer. The movement caused Armaan to stir, his arms tightening around her as if he was afraid that she would go away.
Riddhima shook her head at that thought. As she was capable of staying away from him, she snorted at the thought.

She lay like that for a long time, enjoying their closeness and basking in his warmth and love.
Armaan opened his eyes to the most beautiful thing in his world. He was sleeping with his arms around Riddhima, the two of them pressing into each other. She was already awake and looking up at him with so much warmth and love and... in a way only she looked at him, the look that made him feel like the luckiest man on earth.
"Good morning," he whispered, afraid that the noise would ruin the moment.
"Good morning," she whispered back.
He smiled and leaned in to kiss her. She pressed her lips to his and their lips moved together in the softest brushes.
"I love you," she whispered, when they let go.
"I love you, too," he replied.
"Ab kaisa lag raha hai?" he asked her sometime later, the two of them still wrapped up together.
"Armaan, choti si chot hai, main theek hu," she replied.
"Koi choti chot nahi hai. Hospital mein ho na tum?" he asked rhetorically.
"Armaan, Dr. Kirti ne kal kaha tha, sirf precaution ke liye mujhe observation mein rakha hai. Main bilkul theek hu," she replied.
Armaan nodded petulantly.
"Tum itni fikr mat kiya karo. Har baat mein tum itni tension le lete ho. Agar aisa hi karoge na, toh yeh saare baal bohot jaldi safed ho jaayenge," she told him, trying to make a joke.
"Riddhima, har baat mein mazaak karna zaruri nahi hai," he told her, his voice taut.
"Armaan? Kya hua? Tum aise kyu keh rahe ho? Main toh sirf tumhe..." she trailed off, not knowing what to say.
Armaan shook his head remorsefully at the pleading tone in her voice.
"I'm sorry," he whispered, burying his face in her neck.
"It's okay. Batao mujhe, kya hua?"
He shook his head slightly, indicating that he didn't want to talk about it.
"Armaan, kya hua? Mujhe nahi bataoge?"
"Kuch nahi hua hai, Jaan. Tum bas aise choti baat lekar baith gayi ho."
"Armaan, agar nahi bataana chaahte toh theek hai. Kamse kam aise jhooth toh mat bolo."
"Main jhooth nahi bol raha, Basket. Bas thoda thak gaya hu, isliye..."
"Phir jhooth. Armaan tumhe itna toh jaanti hi hu ki bata saku kab tum jhooth keh rahe ho aur kab sach. Aur tum mujhse kabhi jhooth bol paaye ho jo aaj bol paaoge?"
Armaan shook his head, smiling fondly on hearing her words. He really had never been able to lie to her. Convincingly, that is. She always saw right through him, causing all those fights and arguments that they just inevitably had constantly.
"Armaan, main dekh rahi hu. Kal raat se tum itne pareshaan ho. Kya hua? Mujhe pata hai ki tumhe meri fikr ho rahi thi, pehle. Lekin ab toh main theek hu. Sab theek hai. Toh phir tum aise?"
"Kuch nahi hai, Jaan. Maine kahaa na."
"Armaan, tum mujhse apne dil ki baat share nahi karoge? Aur waise bhi tum ho ya main, baat toh ek hi hai na? Tum hi hamesha kehte ho na ki Armaan aur Riddhima do jism ek jaan hai? Toh meri jaan ko takleef mein dekhkar mujhe bhi toh takleef ho rahi hai."
Armaan smiled and leaned into kiss her. "I love you," he whispered against her. She just smiled in return.
He leaned his forehead against hers. "Tumhe hamesha meri har baat itni aasaani se kaise samajh aa jaati hai?" he asked aloud, in wonder.
"Us hi tarah jaise tumhe meri har baat samajh aa jaati hai," she replied.
He smiled and kissed her again.
"Ab batao, kya hua?"
"Accident ke baad main bohot darr gaya tha Riddhima. Tumhe zyada chot nahi aayi thi, lekin tumhe dekhkar ek second ke liye toh meri saans hi attak gayi thi. Thank God Rahul wahaan tha. Agar tumhe kuch ho jaata toh..." he trailed off, unable to complete the thought, shaking his head in horror.
"Haan, lekin kuch hua toh nahi naa. Main theek hu."
"Thank God," he whispered again, kissing her head.
"Nahi Riddhima. Agar tumhe kuch ho jaata toh pata nahi mera kya hota. Ek baar tumse alag ho chukka hu. Ab phir se nahi hona chaahta. Aisa sochkar bhi darr lagta hai. Agar tumhe kuch ho jaayega na, toh main marr..." he couldn't complete his sentence as Riddhima placed her hand on his mouth before he could.
"Tumse kitni baar kaha hai. Aisi baatein mat kiya karo. Kabhi kabhi buri baatein bolo toh sach ho jaati hai Armaan."
"I'm sorry," he replied, kissing her hand. "I love you."
"I love you, too."
And then, she kissed him.
Sometime later, they had resumed their previous positions. Her head on his chest, his on her shoulders. Her arms held onto him tightly and he had one arm carelessly on her stomach while his free hand played with her hair.
She had never felt more blissful. He had never felt more in love.
He was just looking at her, just staring and loving and feeling and loving and wondering how in the world was this beautiful woman his. He was sure that he wasn't what she deserved, because she deserved so much more - she deserved the world and the sun and the moon and the stars and just about f**king everything that had ever existed. But she chose him - him with all his incompetencies and flaws and mistakes. He knew he didn't deserve her but god damn it, he was never letting her go.
He loved her more than anything else. She was the most important thing in his life. He started and ended with her. She was his sunrise and sunset and the night and the sun and the moon and the stars and the earth. She was everything. She gave his life meaning. Without her, he was just a blip in the world worth nothing. But, with her, he was strong and passionate and loving and someone who could make a difference.
As he lay there, trying to put into words, just how much he loved her, he realized that he couldn't. He couldn't think of one word from infinite words in the world, no combination of any of those 26 letters, enough for him to express the way he felt about her.
And then he thought, maybe, just maybe, that's the reason that she had chosen him, that she loved him, that she was his. Because he was sure he loved her more than anyone else could ever love anyone. And maybe that was enough. He couldn't give her the sun and the moon and the stars. But he could give her his love, all of his love, every part of him, to her, everyday for the rest of their lives. Maybe that was all she needed, anyway.
So, he lay there, reveling in the fact that she was his and he was hers and that they were just perfect. And that if he had to stay like this forever, not moving, not saying anything, not doing anything, he was pretty sure it would be the best thing in his life.
"Armaan, hum Rahul se milne kab jaa sakte hai?" Riddhima asked, breaking the quietness in the room, completely unaware of the beautiful and amazing thoughts going through his head.
He turned to sound of her voice and looked at her in surprise. Like he couldn't believe that she was here, with him. Maybe he couldn't, because he was just so lost in his own world, thinking about her, that he could hardly remember anything else.
"Tumne kuch kaha?" he asked, finding his voice.
Riddhima just laughed and shook her head.
"Main pooch rahi thi, hum Rahul se milne kab jaa sakte hai?"
"Pata nahi," he replied, "Main dekh kar aata hu woh jag raha hai ya nahi."
Riddhima nodded.
He moved to get up, but she just tightened her arms around him. He grinned widely, shaking his head.
"Jaan," he whispered, reverently, "Tumhe Rahul se milna haina?"
She nodded.
"Toh mujhe usse dekhne jaana padega."
She nodded her head again. "Jaanti hu," she whispered.
"Toh agar tum mujhe chodogi nahi, toh main kaise uthunga? Aur agar main nahi utha, toh usse dekh kar nahi aa paaunga. Phir tum usse milne kaise jaaogi?"
"Mujhe bas aise hi rehna hai, hamesha ke liye. Hum aise reh sakte hai?" she asked cutely.
He was amazed at just how in tune they were. They even thought the same way now, apparently.
"Rehna toh mujhe bhi hai, Jaan," he whispered softly, "Lekin Rahul se milna bhi important haina? Tum uske liye tensed ho aur main jaanta hu woh bhi bohot tension mein hoga."
Riddhima nodded her head in a resigned manner. She let go off him, pouting the whole time. Armaan found it so endearing that he couldn't help but kiss her. She smiled into the kiss, wrapping her arms around his neck and deepening it. They broke apart when they couldn't breathe.
He stood up and pecked her lips once more. Just as he was making his way to the door, it opened and Dr. Kirti stepped in.
"Good Morning," she greeted them. They smiled in return.
"Riddhima, ab tum kaise feel kar rahi ho?" she asked.
"Main achcha feel kar rahi hu, Dr. Kirti," she replied.
Dr. Kirti smiled on hearing the words and started with her check up. She did so thoroughly, making notes. She seemed satisfied with the results and smiled.
"Dr. Kirti? Hum Jaa - Riddhima ko ghar kab leke jaa sakte hai?" Armaan asked after she was done.
"Sab theek lag raha hai. Kuch ghante aur observe karke hum final decision le sakte hain. I think aaj shaam ko hum discharge kar paayenge," she replied.
Armaan and Riddhima looked at each other and smiled widely on hearing this.
"Dr. Kirti, Rahul kaisa hai?" Riddhima asked.
"Rahul bhi theek hai. Unke fracture ke alawa koi aur badi chot nahi aayi hai."
"Kya main usse mil sakti hu?"
"Of course. Ek baar unke attending doctor se check karke, tum unse milne jaa sakti ho."
"Thank you, Dr. Kirti," she replied.
Dr. Kirti nodded and made to leave.
"Thank you, Ma'am," Armaan said as he escorted her out the door.
Armaan turned back to Riddhima, grinning.
"Shaam ko discharge, huh?" he asked, smirking.
She nodded, smiling widely.
He leaned in and kissed her forehead.
"Armaan, Rahul," she said.
"Main dekhkar aata hu," he replied.
She nodded, "Thank you."
"I love you," he said, kissing her.
"I love you, too."

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