Sunday, 26 November 2017

Part 6 : Remember this (Arsh ff)

Muskaan pulled armaan back: relax armaan! You got to her in time. She's fine now.
Armaan looked up at her: no thanks to me! I pushed her to this state.
Muskaan: armaan!
Armaan: no! I'm no better than the guys who tried to kill her in the first place. What sort of person am I ? I'm a doctor I save lives but I handed her the knife to slit her wrist.
Muskaan heard his pain: why did you then? You took her home yourself then what changed?
Armaan stared ahead: I don't know! I just wanted to help her make her smile, see her reclaim her life and then that day when rahul reacted to shilpa moving in with me I panicked and I messed up everything.

Muskaan quietly: why did you panic?
Armaan closing his eyes: its stupid! But I didn't want her to get any wrong idea about us. Instead of dealing like a mature adult I reacted like a juvenile.
Dr. Keerti walked out and Armaan stopped: she's fine for now. The bleeding had slowed by your quick thinking but she has lost a lot of blood so she is quite weak. Dr. Muskaan I'll need you to take over her case and analyze her mental state. Dr. Armaan I have a good mind to take you off her case and not allow you take her with you home.(armaan's face paled) give me one good reason why I shouldn't.
Armaan: b'coz I know I screwed up but the truth is we all know that I'm the only guy whom she'll respond to. We have a bond and I can help her get better.
Keerti: do you think the bond will remain the same after this incident? Will she be willing to let you help her? 
Armaan went quiet for a second: I believe she will!
Keerti looked at his face and saw determination: ok then! Keep me posted anything else?
Armaan: yes ma'am! I need a months' leave effective immediately. I need to be with shilpa.(dr. keerti agreed and armaan posted himself in shilpa's room waiting for her to wake up)
Shilpa sat in Muskaan's office with her looking at her with her inquisitive eyes. Shilpa fidgeted with the long sleeves of the shirt she was wearing hiding her wrists. Muskaan smiled at shilpa: so how have you been feeling?
Shilpa lifted her gaze: fine! Dr. Armaan has been taking care of me.
Muskaan arched her brow on shilpa calling armaan, dr. armaan but continued: so how does that make you feel?
Shilpa thought back to when she had woken up in the hospital a second time and seen armaan sitting in a chair next to her bed. His hair was mussed, jaw unshaven and his clothes were covered with blood, her blood. She had blinked trying to clear her blurry vision to be sure he was actually there. Before she could move armaan was next to her: you're fine now! How do you feel?
Shilpa closed her eyes against the worry she saw in his eyes: I'm fine!
Since that time armaan had become her shadow, she stayed in the hospital for a week to give her body time recover from the abuse she had done to her body. Also she was going through therapy with muskaan, on her recommendation she was released into armaan's care. Once they reached armaan's home, armaan had picked her in his arms as she was still weak to walk on her own.  He had carried her to her room and deposited her on the bed. He left the room and came back with fresh juice making her drink it and then told her to rest.
A pattern developed where armaan took care of shilpa in every way possible. He prepared healthy meals  for her, made her rest properly and slowly shilpa started to regain her strength.   
Shilpa looked up at muskaan who was waiting for her to respond: I don't know? At times I feel nothing then at times I feel a well of anger rise inside me.
Muskaan: anger at what? Or whom?
Shilpa guiltily: Dr. armaan!
Muskaan gently: shilpa! you don't have to feel guilty! You are entitled to your feelings. Have you talked to armaan about how you feel? (shilpa shook her head in negative) well then you should.
Shilpa surprised: but he has been so kind! How can I tell him that his caring for me now is making me want to slap him across his face.
Muskaan laughed: well not exactly in that manner but you do need to get these emotions out in the open but with the concerned party. (looking at shilpa's doubtful face she smiled) why don't you give it a try and then when you come to meet me you can tell me how it went.
Shilpa left muskaan's office to find armaan talking to keerti sensing her arrival armaan turned and looked at her clinically making shilpa teeth on edge. Before armaan could ask her how she was feeling keerti asked shilpa a question distracting shilpa and giving muskaan the chance to talk to armaan.
Taking armaan on the side: so armaan how are you and shilpa doing?
Armaan with his gaze on shilpa: I don't know? She doesn't talk much.
Muskaan rolling her eyes: have you tried talking to her?
Armaan tearing his gaze away from her: I really don't know what to say. I have tried making small talk, about tv, movies, what she would like to do, like to eat? Stuff like that.
Muskaan mumbled something uncomplimentary: try talking about things that are important. Armaan have you ever asked her why she slit her wrist.
Armaan hung his head: why would I ask a question of which I already know the answer.(looking ashamed)
Muskaan squeezed his shoulder reassuringly: try! You might not need to know but she might need to know the answer herself. (she stopped as shilpa showed up and they left)
All the way back to home both armaan and shilpa were lost in thought going over their conversation with muskaan. Once home shilpa went to her room while armaan got busy in the kitchen preparing dinner. By the time dinner was ready armaan had decided that he would try and be more communicative with shilpa. He called shilpa over for dinner, she came out of room looking sullen as she made her way to the dinning table and sat down. Armaan spooned food for himself and then passed the dish to shilpa and watched her put very little food for herself.
Shilpa pushed her food around on her plate under the watchful gaze of armaan. Armaan watched her for a little while: if you want something else to eat I can make you that.
Shilpa looked up at armaan: I didn't say anything!
Armaan trying to control his impatience: you don't have to! For the last fifteen minutes you've been playing with your food instead of eating it.
Shilpa put her fork down with a clatter: well! I'm not very hungry!
Armaan gently: you need to eat! Otherwise how will you get your strength back. Don't you want to get well, don't you want to get your life back.
Shilpa looked sharply at him: not as eager as you seem to be!
Armaan sharply: what is that suppose to mean?
Shilpa arched her brow: what do you think I meant?
Armaan narrowing his eyes: are you implying that I want to get rid of you!
Shilpa surprised: I'm not implying anything! Your behavior speaks for itself. First you couldn't be bothered whether I lived or died and now this whole caring routine.(her voice full of scorn)
Armaan quietly: you're saying I'm faking it!
Shilpa: why else would you bring someone to you home to stay and then forget everything about them. But you know the fault is mine I trusted you to understand but how could you when you don't believe me.
Armaan his voice hurt and angry: I've been a jerk I admit but that doesn't justify your actions!
Shilpa: are you questioning my actions?(her voice rose an octave) you have no right?
Armaan getting in her face his voice and eyes impassioned: I have every right! I'm the guy who brought you back from dead twice! I'm the guy who blew air into your lungs and pumped your heart until it started to beat on its own. So don't tell me I don't have a right to question you! I have every right when your actions threaten your life. I have a claim on your life. Its not your's alone.
Shilpa with tears in her voice: that's why you treated it as it was of no consequence. Just like every one else, like I don't exist. You don't believe me nor do you care!(she turned her face away blinking back tears born of frustration and hurt)
Armaan closed his eyes against the pain he heard in her voice of which he was partly responsible. He moved back in her line of vision only for shilpa to turn her face the other way. He again moved in her path and before she could move away, grabbed her by the shoulders and made her face him.
Armaan: Shilpa look at me!(when she refused he lifted her chin) look at me!(pair of green eyes filled with hurt and tears looked up at him, his heart twinged against the hurt he saw reflected in those eyes): shilpa I know I have behaved like a jerk and whatever reasoning I'll come up with will not erase the hurt I have caused you(shilpa lowered her eyes hiding her thoughts and emotions from him) but (making her lift her lashes and look at him again) I have never doubted you! You think I don' believe you but the truth is shilpa I believe in you ! never doubt that!
Shilpa didn't know why but those words made the tears that she had been trying to hold at bay fall. She blinked her eyes to stop them but the first of them was followed by another one and then another. Armaan saw the tears flowing down her face and felt pain in the vicinity of his heart. He breathed slowly as he wiped her tears willing the pain to ease.
Shilpa looked into his eyes and felt as if he felt her pain, she saw a reflection of what she was feeling in his eyes. Pain, disbelief, but the desire to believe in him and his words b'coz he was the only one who kept the storm at bay.
Shilpa asked him in a voice which shook with emotion:  how can you be sure?
She couldn't continue as it was too hard to ask the question her lip quivered and she pursed them holding her emotions in but armaan understood. He looked at her eyes which were swimming with tears and knew what she wanted to know: I know! I know b'coz I know you! You know whom to ask for help.
Shilpa looked at him as if he had lost his mind: how can you know me when I don't know myself?
Armaan smiled gently: I know b'coz when you were you! Before you had lost your memory when they brought you in the hospital you talked to me. Do you know what you said?
Shilpa just looked at him and armaan continued: you said "help me!" you were not giving up! You looked up at me when before you were unconscious, you opened your eyes and directly looked into mine and asked me to help you. I think that shows a great presence of mind as you knew I'm the best guy for the job( he ended with an arrogant tilt to his head making shilpa roll her eyes and armaan smile as he saw the old shilpa peek through the despair that had engulfed her)
Armaan sobered up: trust me!(looking deeply into her eyes) give me a chance! I won't let you down!
Shilpa didn't answer immediately but instead looked intently at armaan as if looking into his soul. Armaan looked back at shilpa letting her make her own decision and felt relief when shilpa looked into his eyes: I'm hungry but I don't want to eat what you've cooked.
Armaan couldn't help but smile in relief and at her spirit, he picked up the phone: what do you want to have?


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