Monday, 5 February 2018

Part 31: Remember this (Arsh ff)


Armaan stopped his car at the front door of the garewal mansion and jumped out. The butler opened the door and greeted him armaan smiled at him in greeting but his mind was focused on his lunch date with shilpa. His steps quickly ate up the floor as he made his way across the foyer to outside courtyard as he was told shilpa was there. His mind went over the past few days which had been funfilled and full of love, rahul-muskaan wedding he'll remember it for the rest of his life.
The night of the mehendi ceremony he and shilpa had left the festivities inside and stolen some time outside in the starlit night. When they had managed to untangle from one another they had stayed
outside breathing in the night air perfumed by the scent of flowers that grew in the garden. They sat on the balustrade of the balcony facing the gardens illuminated by the light of the moon. Armaan had his arm around her waist while shilpa rested her head on his shoulder, they sat close enough so that they touched from waist downwards, shilpa nuzzled the side of his neck with her nose making the arm around her waist tighten.
Shilpa without raising her head: I love you armaan!
Armaan brought her body in closer contact with hers: I love you too! (his fingers splayed across the bare skin of her belly) times like these I feel as if we are the only people in the world, and there is no conflict no troubles waiting for us.
Shilpa smiled: I know the feeling but when I'm with you nothing else is important.
Armaan looking down at her: is that why you didn't tell me you were paying for the wedding.
Shilpa raised her head and looked at armaan: honestly! I forgot! I wanted to tell you but with the preparations and stuff it just slipped my mind.
Armaan continued to look at her face searching her eyes: at times I feel as if I don't know you!
Shilpa seriously: just b'coz I didn't tell you about this!
Armaan shook his head: since you recovered your memory you've changed shilpa, there are new and different facets to your personality that I never knew.
Shilpa raised her hand and cradled his face: armaan! We all have baggage of our emotions and past experiences, the shilpa I was when I met you was only one part of me. A part which I had always hidden from people when I was the complete me but with you armaan I can be me just me(she looked into his eyes her heart in her eyes for him to see) you say that you feel that you don't know me but I feel that you are the only person who knows me.
Armaan looked at her earnest face seeing the truth of her words in her eyes and gathered her in his arms holding her close to his heart and whispered in his hair: its just that at times I feel that I don't know stuff about you and that makes me feel uncertain.
Shilpa pulled back enough to look up in his face: then ask me! ask whatever you want to know!
They stood there and continued to look into each other eyes when suddenly they could hear a voice calling out their names: Armaan! Shilpa!(shilpa continued to look at him a moment longer then leaned closed and kissed him on the cheek. She turned and walked towards the person calling her leaving a thoughtful armaan behind)
Much later when the guests had left and shilpa was making her way through the empty hallway her mind going over the conversation with armaan, she made her way once again outside on the terrace that looked over the gardens. As she stepped out she sensed rather thans see armaan who was leaning against the building in shadows. Shilpa turned towards him as he walked out of the shadows towards her, he raised his hand smoothing the hair away from her face.
Armaan peered in her eyes: tired?
Shilpa smiled: yes! My feet are killing me!(before she had completed her sentence armaan swooped her up and deposited her to sit on the balustrade)
He bend down and slipped off her golden sandals from her feet gently rubbing her feet, he stood up straight and looked at shilpa who was looking at him with a smile. He raised his hand and gently caressed her hair taking is hand down her neck to rise again to her ears. His fingers lightly played with the weight of the earings after which he gently took off the earings she was wearing. Shilpa sighed and tilted her head back feeling free from the weight of the jewellery she had been wearing.
She felt armaan's lips at the base of her throat lightly nipping their way up to nibble at her chin making her smile as she clasped his head to her front. Shilpa turned her head giving armaan the opportunity to nuzzle the spot under her ear laughing breathlessly: I wanted to ask something!
Armaan was busy exploring the curve of her waist and hip as his hands roamed from the waist to the small of her back: later!(he growled)
Shilpa's lashes fluttered closed as she gave into the senses he evoked with his touch. As armaan's hands continued their exploration from the small of her back to trace the line of her spine to then up to her shoulder blades which he was free to touch as the blouse had literally no back. Shilpa also feathered her hands down to his masculine neck, as their lips met in a tangle of tongues, the world seemed to burst around them in a sensual explosion. Each touch, each exclamation took them to another level of sensual delight, without any conscious thought shilpa had managed to undone the buttons to armaan's Kurta. She placed one of her hand on the smooth skin of his chest, the temperature rising as she continued to explore. Her other hand managed to reach under the kurta to touch armaan's muscled back making armaan groan as he angled the kiss deeper.
They had to come up for air, as they broke apart both looked at one another trying to control their breathing. Armaan lightly rubbed at shilpa's swollen bottom lip which was wet and soft from his kisses, shilpa looked back at armaan surprised at how quickly passion had overtaken both of them. She smiled as she admitted to herself how heart breakingly handsome he looked with his hair tousled with her hands and eyes smoldering with passion.
Shilpa: I wanted to ask what are you giving rahul-muskaan as a wedding gift.
Armaan was more interested in biting that enticing bottom lip of shilpa but knowing her instead answered: I'm actually giving them a 4 day honeymoon package to a resort to goa. (Shilpa couldn't suppress the smile that had formed on her lips so she pursed her lips) so what are you giving them?
Shilpa tilted her head and looked speculatively at armaan: that's what I wanted to talk to you about! Its more like a gift for rahul …
Armaan intrigued: what is it?
Shilpa: I'm planning to gift half of the garewal property to rahul!(armaan looked at shilpa in amazement) what the hell I'm going to do with all of this? Plus all of this also belongs to him, the house is going to be jointly owned by both of us. So what do you say?
Armaan had been listening to shilpa explain very seriously, when she ended a smile came across his face as he gently cradled her face in his hands: this is the shilpa I know! The one I love (he hugged her close to him)
Shilpa closed her eyes as he held her, they stayed like that for a little while. Shilpa kept her eyes shut when she felt armaan pull back slightly and look at her, armaan murmured: you should be in bed!
Shilpa's arms tightened reflexively around him as he opened her eyes: I'm not sleepy! I was just thinking!
Armaan smiled: what were you thinking?
Shilpa very seriously: I was wondering which aspect of you do I love. Is it the Dr. Armaan I met the first time I opened my eyes from the coma. Or do I love the kind hearted guy who took a total stranger to his house b'coz she had no place to go. Or maybe when you were a wonderful friend to me when I couldn't even remember my name. But the problem is this that I loved you even when you were a jerk. Or do I love this doubter more?
Armaan looked at her sitting there looking at him with serious eyes: what are you saying?
Shilpa raised her hand to his cheek: I'm saying that I love each and every aspect of you armaan. I love you! But you seem to have doubts about me so I was wondering how about you get to know shilpa malhotra.
And that's what they had been doing through out the wedding, getting to know shilpa. Armaan realized that shilpa hid the softer side of herself from people in general, the only people she was open with was rahul-muskaan, armaan and his family. She had no boundaries where he was concerned, she loved him completely. He still remembered the wedding ceremony she had looked amazing in a gold lace lehenga with a deep red dupatta.
One look at her and armaan had no idea whether he complimented muskaan or not, truth be told he had no memory of the wedding all he remembered was shilpa. Throughout the ceremony armaan had eyes only for shilpa, he cherished the meaning of each ritual each promise rahul-muskaan made by looking at shilpa's expression. When shilpa had gifted the property to rahul-muskaan on their reception, the happiness on her face looking at rahul's stunned expression armaan would remember forever.
Armaan shook his head at his foolishness as he made his way to shilpa in the courtyard, he acknowledged his insecurity. He didn't know why but when he was away from shilpa doubts started to come to his mind. His steps were light and he had a smile on his lips as he reached the courtyard and walked straight to shilpa who had her back towards him. He smiled brilliantly as he thought over his plans for today and the weight of the ring in his pocket burning a hole.
Armaan stopped as he saw Steve standing next to shilpa and they were arguing.
Steve: tell me! you are joking!(when shilpa stayed quiet) have you lost your mind? You are honestly going to throw your life away!
Shilpa retorted back: what life are you talking about, steve? Since my father's death I had no life!
Steve who had been pacing stopped infront of shilpa and glared: then what about everything you had worked for? Your job? Your thesis?
Shilpa laughed harshly: your acting as if there is no life here! Who says I'm not going to work there are a lot of opportunities here, especially with my qualifications.
Steve running a hand through his hair, rumpling his golden locks: you are making a mistake shilpa! you arre ruining your life! And for what?
Shilpa smiled looking at his worried face: its my life! And I'm doing it for love! (saying that she walked off leaving a disgruntled steve behind)
Steve cursed as he turned and saw armaan standing there looking intently at him.
Steve tried to smile: hey! I'm leaving today! Shilpa just went to check for driver.
Armaan lookedstoically at steve: why were you two arguing?
Steve shook his head: she's gone mad! She's going to throw everything away just b'coz she has found some roots here. Sheer stupidity!
Armaan could feel dread settle in his stomach: what are you talking about?
Steve surprised: she didn't tell you! She works as a risk analyst in Meryll Lynch earning almost 50 k to  top it up she is also working on her doctorate, once she is done with it her salary package is going to go up to 100k per month.
When armaan stayed quiet he continued: all of us, her friends who have known her since college are there, her whole life is ther and she is going to leave everything! for what?
Armaan looked at the agitated face of steve: you love her don't you?
Steve stopped his pacing as he looked into armaan's eyes: yes!(then changing the subject) maybe I should give her some time she'll come around herself.(after a pause) may be you could talk to her(looking intently at armaan)
Armaan stood feeling as if his heart was being squeezed with a hard fist before he could say something shilpa came back. Her gaze lighted on armaan and a smile bloomed on her face as her eyes shone with love for him. She tore her gaze away from armaan: steve! The driver is ready!
Steve looked at her imploringly: you are not going to change your mind?
Shilpa smiled at him: I'll come and visit you guys soon.(she hugged him close)you take care of yourself.
Steve closed his eyes as he pressed his face in the curve of his neck, while armaan looked on with a sinking feeling. Steve pulled back and place a kiss on shilpa's forehead, he then turned and left for the airport.
Shilpa stood for a second looking after him then turned and smiled brilliantly at armaan: let me grab my purse then we can get out of here.
Before she could leave armaan grabbed her wrist effectively stopping her: why didn't you go back with steve?
Shilpa looked at armaan with surprise: leaving you? Why would I ?
Armaan looked into her eyes knowing what he was going to say was totally wrong: steve was right! You should've gone with him!
Shilpa looked at him confused: why would I go with him?
Armaan avoided looking in her eyes: you and steve are more suited to one another. He's part of your world!
Shilpa's brows furrowed in confusion: what the hell are you saying armaan? What world? You are my world armaan! This is my world!(she looked at armaan with wide eyes as comprehension dawned) armaan look at me (when he continued to avoid her gaze she grabbed his arm making him face her) how can you say that? How can you even think that I would leave you!
Armaan looked at her with shuttered eyes: I think you need time to think things through!
Shilpa felt the cold finger of dread crawl down her spine and she reacted with anger: don't put this on me! if you have doubts then say so!(she wanted to shout but managed to keep her voice in check her chest heaving with suppressed emotions)
Armaan finally made eye contact: I need to think things through!
Shilpa felt as if the world had gone mad around her: what are you saying armaan? I love you! Nothing has changed then why do you need to ..
Armaan: we are not the same people shilpa! there are a lot of differences between us I don't think this is going to work.
Shilpa stilled, her breath froze in her lungs: you don't mean that!
Armaan shook his head his heart thudding painfully as he looked at the shocked expression in her eyes: I mean every word! We need some time apart to think things through!
Shilpa could feel her breath hitch: I don't know why you are doing this armaan? But I'm not going to let you do this to us! I'm not going to give up on us b'coz this matters.
Armaan turned away from her: I think we should not meet anymore!(he started to walk away)
Shilpa stood there and called after him: I'm not going to give up armaan! You'll have to face me armaan I'm not going to give in.

Amani

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