Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Part 14 : Remember this (Arsh ff)


Shilpa realized she had been staring at the page for the last ten minutes of the book she was supposedly reading. She shut book and rubbed her eyes with her fingers and thought how she had made a mess of things. It had been a month since she started her new job but the last day at the club had blighted what she had expected this new beginning to mean.

On the last night of working at the club, she had left the club amidst good byes and best wishes as she made her way home. She was nearing her apartment when she felt being watched again, she stopped on the steps of the apartment building and looked back and saw nothing. Shilpa shook her head and blamed it on her over active imagination. She went in the building and started climbing the stairs quickly, every shadowed corner threatened to have an intruder.
Shilpa was now running as she made it to her floor, she put her head down and ran straight for her apartment. As she turned the corner she turned her head to look back and missed the figure of a man standing on her doorstep. By the time she turned her back infront it was late and she ploughed directly into him.
The man in questions hands shot out to grab her to stop her from falling making shilpa scream. Shilpa struggled to get free from the hold her mind registering a man's hand grabbing her as she screamed again a hand clamped around her mouth effectively smothering her scream.
Shilpa's eyes had tears gathering in them as she struggled to get herself free. She drew in a deep breath through her nose and recognized the fragrance, she would've recognized him anywhere. She drew back slightly and looked up at the face of her captive and sagged in relief.
Armaan stood there with a shocked expression on his face trying to hold her against him with one arm the other over her mouth. Armaan relaxed his hold on her as he saw recognition flash into her eyes, he slowly took away his hand from her mouth. Shilpa felt his hold on her relax and threw her arms around him in relief, she hugged him as hard as her arms could managed and burrowed her face in his chest and inhaled his smell to calm her jangling nerves.
Armaan didn't know what was happening but was going to find out: shilpa! whats wrong?
Shilpa not letting go: nothing!
Armaan: if nothing is wrong then why were you screaming and why aren't you letting me go?
Shilpa immediately let go of him making armaan curse at himself for saying anything in the first place. Shilpa turned towards the door unlocking and walking in with armaan close behind. Shilpa threw her bag on the table and walked to the kitchen to get some water armaan waited for her to come back and then asked her: shilpa! you haven't answered my question.
Shilpa: armaan its nothing! I just got spooked while coming home alone. That's all, now I'm ok. You tell how come you are here.
Armaan looked at her not sure whether to believe her or not: I swapped duty with rahul wanted to come earlier at the club but got held up so decided to come here. I hope you don't mind!
Shilpa smiling: don't be stupid! Let m get you something to drink.
She came back with a plate of snacks and placed it in front of armaan and then got him a cold drink. As she was setting the glass on the table, the phone rang making shilpa jerk in surprise. She stood there with trepidation on her face as the phone continued to ring, armaan looked up at her: aren't you going to get that!
Shilpa nodded her head and started for the phone when it stopped ringing, she sighed in relief and turned back towards armaan when it started to ring again. Shilpa's hand twitched in reaction  she wanted to run across the room and throw the phone out of the window. Feeling armaan's gaze on her she made herself cross the room and pick the phone: hello! Hello!
Armaan could hear the fear in her voice but didn't understand the source of it all he knew was she was scared of something and she was hiding it from him. His eyes narrowed as he saw panic bloom in her eyes, he quickly strode to where she stood and took the phone from her: hello? Hello? (when no one answered)he quickly disconnected the call and turned towards shilpa)
Armaan: start talking shilpa! tell me whats happening here?
Shilpa: nothing is happening armaan!(she turned away from him only to be jerked back towards him)
Armaan: don't lie to me! I can see you are scared of something or someone but unless you tell me what it is I can't help you.
Shilpa angrily: has it ever occurred to you that may be I don't want to tell you, may be I don't need your help.
Armaan: you still haven't answered me!(Shilpa had her back to armaan and shut her eyes, her eyes flew open when armaan pulled her around to face him) answer me!
Shilpa looked into armaan eyes and realized he was not going to let it go, hesitantly at first shilpa started to tell armaan about feeling watched and the rest up to today's events. Once she finished her story she looked up at armaan to see his reaction. All through the story armaan had been looking intently at shilpa, his gaze not wavering from her face for one second. Now he stood there with a muscle twitching at his jaw and when he saw spoke shilpa could hear the restrained anger: and you are telling all of this to me now!
Shilpa swallowed: armaan! I still don't know if there was anything to tell. I talked to muskaan and …
Armaan: great! That's just wonderful! You tell muskaan about it but not me.
Shilpa had never seen armaan so angry before: armaan! Its not like that. I didn't want to bother you.
Armaan cutting her: shilpa! forget everything else that's between us but we are suppose to be friends. If you can't tell your friends your problems then who else
Shilpa with bowed head: I'm sorry armaan I didn't do this to hurt you!
Armaan ignoring her apology: all this time you've never seen anyone (shilpa shook her head in negative)
Shilpa looking at his serious face: what? Do you think I am imagining all of this?
Armaan hesitated for a second: I don't know shilpa! you yourself are not sure! (doubt creeping into his voice)
The moment of hesitation did not go unnoticed by shilpa: you don't believe me! (shock and disbelief coloring her voice and face)
Armaan: don't be stupid! I didn't say that! Its just that we can't be sure! But that does not mean we are not going to take precautions. I still can't believe you were stupid enough not to tell me.
Shilpa didn't know why but the way he kept saying stupid was grating on her nerves: stop calling me stupid! If anyone is stupid here its you. What do you mean you cant be sure, what? Am I lying? Making the story up to get attention! Or has my brain finally given up and gone crazy!
Armaan was mad enough to spit: what do you want me to say?
Shilpa equally mad: that you believe me! or is that too much to ask? Poor shilpa she finally gone crazy! That's what you believe! Isn't it!
Armaan: you are mad! (making call on his cell)
Shilpa who stood in shock hearing his words: whom are you calling?
Armaan hardly spared her a glance: muskaan! You are not staying here alone! Don't even think of arguing!
Shilpa wanted to hurt him physically but resisted the urge: don't let the door hit you behind when you leave (she turned and went in her room, shutting the door behind her)
Some time later muskaan came over and knocked on shilpa's door, shilpa let her in and saw to her dismay that armaan had left. Shilpa told herself that she didn't want to see him as she didn't care for his attitude. Muskaan tried talking to her but shilpa refused to listen.
It had been a month since that stupid night and things had turned bad. They were not talking, even though she felt his presence at times at the bookstore. If he was not there himself he usually sent rahul or muskaan to keep an eye on her. Shilpa knew she was in the wrong, she had been terrible to armaan and she was being totally unreasonable.
Shilpa sat behind the counter in the book store and felt her life dull and color less.
Kyun Pholon Ke
Khile Khile Rang Ud Gaye

Kyun Pholon Ke (shilpa sat behind the counter staring blankly ahead)
Khile Khile Rang Ud Gaye

Kyun In Dino (she got up to shelf some books whereas she felt like throwing the books on the floor)
Khud Se Rehti Hoon Mein Khafa Khafa
Khafa Khafa

Kyun Pholon Ke (shilpa at the hospital found that armaan won't be coming on duty until after she left)
Khile Khile Rang Ud Gaye

Kyun Pholon Ke
Khile Khile Rang Ud Gaye

Jane Kaise Mulakaton Mein ( shilpa later in the evening sat in her room trying to read a book but all she could think about was armaan)
Yunhi Aisi Waise Baaton Mein (she recalled all the conversations they had shared especially the one on beach)
Kare Chote Mote Vaadein The
Isi Chote Se Bahane Se
Pakke Tujhe Kho Diya( in her head she saw that fateful night and all the hateful things that she said to him)

Meri Hi Hai Khata
Meri Hi Hai Saza (she had tears in her eyes as she wanted to hurt him and herself)
Phir Bhi Dil Kahe
Yeh Kyun Hua (closed her eyes against the pain she felt when walked past her in the hospital ignoring her)

Kyun In Dino
Khud Se Rehti Hoon Mein Khafa Khafa
Khafa Khafa

Kyun Pholon Ke
Khile Khile Rang Ud Gaye

Dhuan Dhuan Si Kahani Hai
To Bhi Aakhon Mein Bhi Paani Hai (shilpa suddenly realized that she had tears running down her cheeks, she quickly rubbed them away with the palms of her hand)
Galon Se Yeh Jo Guzarti Hai
Tere Gam Ki Nishani Hai (she realized what armaan's place was in her life as his absence was too much to bear)
Mit Si Gai Har Dua

Meri Hi Hai Khata
Meri Hi Hai Saja
Phir Bhi Dil Kahe
Yeh Kyun Hua

Kyun In Dino
Khud Se Rehti Hoon Mein Khafa Khafa
Khafa Khafa

Kyun Pholon Ke (she looked out the window of the bookstore at the rain falling outside feeling no joy)
Khile Khile Rang Ud Gaye

Kyun Pholon Ke
Khile Khile Rang Ud Gaye
Shilpa turned from the shelf where she'd been putting away the books and found rahul sitting at a table with a cup of coffee. Shilpa made her way towards him with a smile but found his customary grin absent. Shilpa felt a twinge: hey! So are you now mad at me!
Rahul seriously: no! that's your and armaan's department. I just find it difficult to see my friends unhappy.
Shilpa lying: I'm not unhappy! I'm working at a nice place, make good money have good friends who spend time with me and…
Rahul interrupting: but are miserable! Miserable b'coz of some stupid fight that you had with armaan.
Shilpa: I didn't fight with him, he was the one who…
Rahul held up his hand: shilpa! this is between you and armaan! The only reason I'm saying anything at all is b'coz this situation between you two is affecting me now. See the only thing I'm bothered here is about myself so….(giving a self deprecating smile) see everything has to be about me.
Shilpa looked into his eyes which showed his concern: why do you do that? Why everytime you show a genuine emotion you have to belittle yourself?
Rahul smiled: you are reading too much into a little statement. Don't turn into a shrink now.
Shilpa: the shrink in question is no good as she gets easily fooled by the smoke screen you send her way.
Rahul seriously: how do you know that it's a lie and not truth.
Shilpa: b'coz I know you and b'coz your eyes tell the truth, they don't lie. (shilpa leaned over and clasped his hand, they both sat their quietly)
Rahul: I wish you would let things be the way they are. I don't know if I have the strength to change.
Shilpa: rahul! You are a exceptional man (lifting his chin so that he looked up into her eyes) you are good doctor, a wonderful human being and if I hadn't been madly in love with your best friend and you with muskaan, I wouldn't have let you go. (she smiled into his eyes making him smile back at her)
Shilpa: go to her! tell her how you feel! You are not happy without her! let the past go! Its time you looked to the future.
Rahul: what if she says no!
Shilpa: she won't! but aren't you going to even try! Let the fear go rahul! It doesn't matter what happened in the past. What she said last time you met? What matters is that you tell her how you feel about her! don't let it become too late.
Rahul:  the same rule applies to you too. You and armaan are wasting time in these petty fights. I always thought you are the intelligent one shilpa b'coz armaan seems to have lost it all since the day he met you.
Shilpa started to say something but rahul stopped her: shilpa you just told me that you are madly in love with armaan but what good is that. Tell him! While you are at it sort out this other mess that you two have started. (shilpa looked at him) tell him!

Amani

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