Thursday, 8 February 2018

Chapter 55 : I'll Love You Longer Than Forever - AR FF


           

Previously on...
Armaan and Riddhima go to the beach. They come home and Armaan receives his first birthday surprise.

Chapter 55

Armaan was speechless. There was no other word for it. Of all things in the world, this was not what he was expecting when he walked in the door.

For all he bragged about having done in life, he'd never ever had a surprise birthday party. When he was a kid, his parents were always busy in their own lives to ever make time for a party, and so, his birthday consisted of a gift which they'd give to him at breakfast, which was also where they'd make him cut a cake and then everyone went about their day as if there was nothing special about it. Their breakfast was a nice tradition as far as family traditions went, but he always wondered what it would be like to have a party. His parents never forbade him from inviting anyone over, and they wouldn't have objected to a birthday party, but somehow, Armaan never had the heart to have one for himself. He loved going to his friends' parties but never had one of his own. His friends often questioned him about it but he always said that he liked to spend the day with his family, even though he spent it all alone.
Padma Mom was the first to hug him, pulling him out of his thoughts. "Happy Birthday, Armaan," she said, kissing his cheek.
Then, everybody took turns to wish him a happy birthday and Armaan accepted all hugs and slaps on the back and kisses grinning widely.
"Okay! Agar sabne Armaan ko wish karliya ho toh ab cake kaate?" Shashank asked.
"Main lekar aati hu," Riddhima answered, smiling mischevously at Armaan. He didn't know what to make off it. But, when she came out with the cake, he knew.
                         

The cake was out of his dreams, he was sure. He'd told her once, about the kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, if he ever had a party. When they were kids, Mario had been all the craze and many of his friends had those special Mario themed birthday cakes for their parties. Armaan had told about how he had always wanted one of those for his own celebration when he was a kid. And Riddhima, being the sweetheart that she was had fulfilled his wish.
In that moment, all Armaan wanted to do was huge Riddhima forever. She was such a love. He didn't have words. First, she'd thrown him a surprise party and now, she got him his cake. How could this girl be so perfect? Armaan thought to himself.
It was a loud affair with everyone shouting and laughing and hugging. All the important people in his life in one room, celebrating him. He didn't think this would ever be possible. But, it was happening and he was so happy that it was.
When it was time for presents, Armaan tried to refuse, vehementaly, but no one listened. He got a plant from Atul, which was predicatble but, it was an ivy shrub. Armaan didn't really understand what it meant, but Atul explained that ivy symbolized long friendships. Friendships that lasted decades and decades. Armaan was touched by the gesture and gave his Champ a nice, tight hug as a thank you. It was even more important because Armaan knew this was from Atul's own nursery and that he hadn't just gone out and bought it.
                       

Anjali gave him a watch. It was a Rado. An effing shiz Rado. Despite his numerous protests about not being able to accept such an expensive gift, Anjali didn't budge.

                         

Abhi and Nikki got him a framed photo of Armaan and Nikki from ages ago and a whole lot of sweaters. According to Nikki, Armaan loved wearing them when he was in college and you could always see one on him, even during the summer (in one way or another). So, Abhi suggested they get a bunch of those to go with the frame.
Rahul got him a guide on How To Keep Your Woman Happy' that everyone had a laugh over as Armaan rolled his eyes. He was Armaan goddamn Mallik. He didn't need this schmoozy guide to learn how to keep his Basket happy.

                             

Muskaan got him a set of ShahRukh Khan movies ranging from DDLJ to Chak De! to Dilwale. She stated that Armaan really needed to appreciate that hunk of a man and she promised to subject him to movie marathons quite often in the near future so that he could learn how amazing SRK is. Armaan shuddered at that. Sure, he like SRK as much as the next guy but he couldn't bear to marathon his movies. No way! By the evil glint in Riddhima's eyes, he knew she was planning to help Muskaan achieve just what she wanted. He didn't really know what he was going to do about that one, but filed it away to think about later, when he wasn't surrounded by so many people.
Shashank and Padma got him a set of pens and a new stethoscope. They were all engraved with his initials. AM'. Armaan knew that that was what Anjali and Riddhima got once they started at Sanjeevani and he loved that they got him the same things. It was their way of saying that he was truly a part of the family now. He thanked them profusely and took their blessings once again.
The interns had all picthed in to buy him an engraved certificate that declared him to be the World's Best Boss'. He chuckled at that and promised them that it would find a place of honor in his office.
                         

Shubhankar and Kirti got him tons of chocolate. Armaan had always pigged out on those when he visited them. It was why Navneeta loved it so much when her Armaan Bhaiya was home. They'd both sit in front of the TV, watch silly cartoons and eat all the chocolate they could. Kirti informed Armaan that it would do him a world of good if he taught their daughter to eat healthy food instead of all these calories. Armaan shrugged sheepishly.
Finally, it was Riddhima's turn. She'd thought long and hard about what to get Armaan, but really, what could she give him? She'd thought long and hard about what to give him before she realized that the best present for him had been in front of her all along and she'd never realized it. But it wasn't here. Yet.
"Basket, really? Sab mere liye gifts laaye. Tum kuch nahi layi?" Armaan asked playfully. He didn't anything. The party was the best gift he could have ever had.
Riddhima shrugged. "Tumhaara gift tumhe kal subah mil jaayega," she replied.
"OOOHHH!" Everyone chorused. Riddhima blushed and Armaan smirked.
"Really, guys! Tum kabhi bore nahi hote kya?" Riddhima asked.
"Nahi," they replied, agin in unison before everyone started laughing.
Since it was later, Padma insisted everyone stay over. No one had any objections to that. They were too tired to argue.
Almost an hour later, sure that everyone was asleep, Riddhima made her way to the terrace. She already knew that Armaan would be there, waiting for her. Sure enough, he was.
"Hi," she whispered into his back, wrapping her arms around her.
"Hey," he replied, turning around and gathering her in a hug.
"Thank you," Armaan said, his voice muffled against her neck. Riddhima smiled and shook her head.
"Seriously, Armaan? Thank you?" She asked, incredulous. Armaan shrugged his shoulders sheepishly.
They both settled on the bench, wrapped up in each other's arms.
"Riddhima, seriously. Thank you."
Before Riddhima could say something, he cut her off. "Mujhe pata hai ki mujhe thank you bolne ki koi zaroorat nahi hai, lekin phir bhi. Tumhe nahi pata ki yeh mere liye kitna important hai..." He started.
Riddhima stopped him. "Armaan, main jaanti hu yeh tumhaare liye kitna important hai, okay? Tumne kabhi khulke nahi kaha, lekin mujhe pata hai ki Mom aur Dad... unhe kabhi... woh kabhi..." She sighed, unable to complete the thought. She knew Armaan didn't have the best childhood, that his parents didn't have much time for him, but she was having a hard time reconciling Mom and Dad as she knew now to the ones that Armaan abhorred.
"I know, Armaan," she settled. "Aur kyuki tumne kabhi khulke nahi kaha iska yeh matlab nahi hai ki mujhe samajh nahi aaya. Itna tumhe jaanti hi hu na main."
Armaan smiled and nodded.
"Theek hai. Ab yeh sab sad, depressing baatein karke koi faayda nahi hai. Tum batao, tumhe party kaisi lagi?" She asked.
"Bohot, bohot, bohot achchi thi!" Armaan replied, grinning widely as he hugged Riddhima tight.
"Lekin tumne yeh sab plan kab kiya?" He wondered. As far as he knew, Riddhima had been swamped with work.
Riddhima smiled. "Main aur Nikki raat mein plan karte the, hospital se waapas aakar," she explained. "Abhi bhi aata tha, you know Nikki ke saath. Aajkal woh usse ek minute akela nahi chodta. Ek ya do baar toh Sid ki mom bhi aayi thi. Kuch baar main uske ghar chali jaati thi. Abhi aata tha mujhe pick or drop karne."
"Hmmm. Toh matlab yeh sab planning bohot time se chal rahi hai," Armaan said. Riddhima shrugged sheepishly.
"Waise ek gift tumhe dena tha. Mujhe laga ki sabke saamne dena theek nahi hoga," Riddhima said.
Armaan, the horny male he was, asked, "Oh, really?"
Riddhima nodded.
Armaan dropped his voice and whispered in her ear, making her shiver," Aisa kya hai jo tum mujhe sabke saamne nahi de sakti?" He asked, kissing her earlobe.
"Armaan," Riddhima whispered, tightening her hold around him. He always had such an effect on her.
"Haan Riddhima. Bolo. Main sunn raha hu," he whispered, circling his lips around her neck.
"Armaan," Riddhima repeated, helpless.
"Hmmm," he replied, not stopping his ministrations.
When Armaan made no move to do anything further, content kissing her neck, Riddhima decided to take matters in her own hands. It was what Armaan wanted anyway. She yanked his head up and smashed her lips to his, kissing him passionately.
They kissed for what seemed forever. When it became necessary to breathe, Armaan pulled away, but not before he dropped his head to Riddhima's neck and kissed her some more.
"Hmmm. Yeh gift toh tum sabke saamne mujhe bilkul nahi de sakti thi," he said.
"Armaan!" Riddhima smacked his arm, blushing madly. "Yeh tumhara gift nahi hai."
"Achcha. Toh phir kya?" He asked, genuinely curious now.
Riddhima produced a wrapped package from under the bench. She had anticipated that they would be meeting on the terrace later at night.
Armaan took it from her and opened it quickly. Inside was a Fuzzy Moon Bear.
"Basket?" Armaan asked, confused.
"Bi ne bheja hai," she answered. "Woh khud nahi aa payi naa. Isliye."
"Oh! Thank you!" Armaan replied, hugging her again.
"Achcha chalo. Ab bohot late ho gaya hai aur kal subah hospital bhi jaana hai. Humein so jaana chahiye," Riddhima said. Armaan nodded.
"Happy Birthday!" Riddhima wished him again and placed a hard, passionate kiss on his lips before getting up and running away from the terrace, leaving Armaan in a trance.


Prags XOXO

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