Thursday, 19 July 2018

Chapter 60 : I'll Love You Longer Than Forever - AR FF

  Previously On...

The concert happened. Everyone delivered amazing performances.

Armaan & Riddhima decide to use Armaan & Rahul's college reunion as a way to get RaMusk back together.

Chapter 60

The next morning, Armaan entered the hospital reluctantly. He had promised to Riddhima that he would talk to Muskaan and convince her to go to the reunion with him. The reunion was supposed to happen in a days. He knew he needed to start buttering Muskaan up from now if he wanted her to go with him. She was very demanding and once she found out how desperate Armaan was to take her, he knew she wouldn't make it easier.

Armaan sighed. Why was it always him who got roped into stuff like this? Granted, it had been his idea to take Muskaan to the reunion and make her jealous of all the female attention Rahul was sure to garner at the event, but did he have to talk to her too? He did come up with the plan, didn't he? Riddhima could have talked to Muskaan in his place. The chances of Muskaan agreeing to Riddhima were far better than his. Girl solidarity and all that.

He shook his head as he entered the locker room and laid down on the bench in the middle, formulating a game plan on how to tackle the situation.

"Morning, Dr. Mallik, Riddhima greeted, smiling widely as she entered the locker room.

Armaan looked up with a huge smile on his face, ready to greet her before he remembered that she was the reason why he was in this current mess and his smile turned into a frown.

"Good morning, Dr. Gupta, he greeted her stiffly and got up from the bench, opening his locker with a lot of force.

Riddhima looked at him, confused at his mood swings.

"Armaan, ab yeh subah subah kya naya drama hai tumhara? She asked him.

"Oh! Drama? Main drama kar raha hu? Armaan asked scowling.

"Aur nahi toh kya, Riddhima responded. "Har roz ka hai tumhara. Kuch na kuch karte rehte ho.

"Maine kya kiya yaar? Tum bina baat ke aise shuru kyu ho jaati ho? Bas yahaan baithe kuch soch raha tha. Ab agar aapka hukum hai, toh woh bhi na karu, Rani sahiba, he taunted.

"Ugh! Tum na Armaan, tumse toh baat karna hi bekaar hai. Ek toh already itni tension hai. Muskaan toh tumhaare saath jaane convince karna hai aur tum yahaan timepass kar rahe ho! Riddhima ranted.

"Oh, hello, madam. Main yahaan timepass nahi kar raha tha. Muskaan ko pataane ke tareeke hi soch raha tha, Armaan replied.

"Oh, Riddhima replied, looking sheepish.

"Haan. Oh, Armaan replied smugly.

"Toh? Kuch socha? She asked.

Armaan nodded thoughtfully. "Kya? She asked impatiently.

"Main soch raha tha ki uske saath thodi movies dekhne chala jaunga, he replied, as if it wasn't a big deal.

"Armaan! Tum aur Muskaan wali Bollywood movies? Riddhima asked surprised. Everybody knew that Armaan wasn't particularly fond of Bollywood movies and he especially hated those stupid masala movies that Muskaan loved to watch. Sure, he would watch one every once in a while because some of them were a good laugh, but not always.

"Ab aur kya karu? Manana toh hai usse. Koi aur choice nahi hai! Armaan cribbed.

"Kise manane ki baatein ho rahi hai? Muskaan asked entering the locker room.

"Oh... hi... hi Muskaan, Armaan fumbled, startled at seeing her. Riddhima elbowed him in the ribs. "Ow! He shouted. He turned to Riddhima and glared at her and she just shrugged.

"Ab batao bhi. Kise manane ki baatein ho rahi hai? Muskaan asked again, standing in front of them.

When neither of them spoke, she said, "Tum dono ka firse jhagda hua hai kya? Hero, kya kiya tune iss baar? Muskaan turned to Armaan questioningly.

"Yaar, har baar sabko aise kyu lagta hai ki maine hi kuch kiya hai? Usne bhi toh kiya ho sakta hai, Armaan replied, pointing at Riddhima.

"Please, Muskaan waved him off dimissively. "Sabko pata hai ki tu hi hamesha gadbad karta hai. Ridzy toh bechaari itni bholi hai. Woh kuch nahi karegi.

Armaan scoffed. "Aisa kuch nahi hai, Muski! Jaisa tum log samajhte hona, Riddhima waisi hai nahi. Mujhse poochu, main sab jaanta hu, he replied.

"Haan, haan, tu toh antaryaami baba haina? Sab jaanta hu, Muskaan mimicked.

"Muski chodna, Riddhima intervened. "Yeh Armaan toh hai hi useless. She grabbed Muskaan's hand and started dragging her out of the locker room.

"Oh, hello! Main bilkul useless nahi hu. Aur Muski kyu kahin jaayegi? He asked, pulling Muskaan towards him.

They started fighting, using Muskaan as their tug of war rope, pushing and pulling her.

"Bas! Muskaan thundered after a few minutes.

Armaan & Riddhima were both taken aback by her sudden exclamation and moved back, letting go off her arms.

"Thank you, Muskaan replied sarcastically, massaging her arms.

"Ab, tum dono bataoge ki problem kya hai? Kyu subah subah itna drama kar rahe ho? Muskaan asked.

Both of them looked sheepish, but didn't answer. Unable to take the silence, Muskaan huffed and turned to Riddhima.

"Ridzy, tu bata, yeh Hero tujhe fir pareshaan kar raha hai kya? Muskaan asked again.

Before Riddhima could reply, Armaan cut in. A plan was forming in his head and Armaan was categorically smug about the sheer genius of it.

"Yeh kya batayegi, Muskaan, Armaan scoffed. "Sab problem toh isine shuru kiye hai.

"Kya kiya Ridzy ne? Muskaan asked, interested.

"Haan, Armaan, kya kiya maine? Riddhima repeated, disbelieving.

"Basket ne toh aaj mera dil hi tod diya, Armaan announced dramatically, rubbing the skin over his heart as he made a puppy dog expression.

"Armaan, kya bakwaas kar rahe ho? Maine aisa kya kiya hai? Riddhima asked, appalled. The gall of this guy to suggest that she'd broken his heart! She wouldn't dream of it. She loved him so much.

"Kyu, jab maine tumhe college reunion ke liye mere saath meri date bankar aane ke liye poocha, toh tumne kya kaha? Armaan questioned her.

Ahhh, so that's what this is about, Riddhima thought, grinning. She had to admit, it was a good plan. Fighting in front of Muskaan about said reunion would lay the grounds for Armaan to ask her to come with him.

She rearranged her expression so that she looked apologetic. "I know, Armaan. I'm sorry, she said.

"Kya baat ho rahi hai? Kaunsa reunion? Muskaan asked, confused.

Armaan sighed. "Dekh, Muskaan. Tujhe sab kuch starting se batata hu. Ab kal, meri college ki reunion ceremony hai. Woh bhi yahaan, Mumbai mein. 2-3 dino pehle mujhe invite aaya tha, lekin concert ki preparation ke chakkar mein maine card dekha hi nahi. Ab aaj subah jab mujhe pata chala, toh maine turant Riddhima se poocha ki woh mere saath chalegi ya nahi, he explained.

"Oh, Muskaan nodded in understanding. "Toh achchi baat haina. Tum dono jaana saath mein. Woh teri saari college girlfriends toh jalke mar jaayengi tujhe Ridzy ke saath dekhkar, she commented.

Riddhima's sharp intake of breath at Muskaan's words did not go unnoticed by Armaan and he turned to her, his expression sheepish. "I'm sorry, he mouthed to her.

Turning back to Muskaan, he said, "Socha toh maine bhi yahi tha, Muski. Lekin yeh jo teri bholi bhali dost haina, usne already Rahul ko bol diya hai ki woh uske saath jaayegi. Can you believe it? Rahul! Armaan ranted.

Muskaan stopped short on hearing this. "Seriously? She asked Armaan.

"Seriously, he replied.

Unable to fathom what she'd just heard, she turned to Riddhima to confirm. "Seriously, Ridzy? Pakka? Maine theek sunaa na? She asked.

Riddhima nodded slowly. "Haan, Muski. Maine Rahul ko promise kiya hai ki main uske saath jaungi, Riddhima replied.

Muskaan looked at her disbelievingly, but before she could say anything, Armaan demanded her attention again.

"Wahi toh, he continued. "Soch, ab Basket ne manaa kar diya hai toh main kiske saath jau? Tujhe pata haina, college ka sabse zyada hot aur happening hunk tha main. Ab, agar iss reunion function mein meri koi date hi nahi hogi, toh meri toh saari izzat paani mein mil jaayegi.

Muskaan nodded in sympathy.

"Muskaan! Armaan exclaimed suddenly, smiling as if he'd explained Einstein's Theory of Relativity to the world. "Tu chalna mere saath!

"Kya? Muskaan shrieked, surprised. "Main?

"Haan! Armaan replied, nodding emphatically. "Dekh, Nikki bhi function mein aane waali hai, Abhi ke saath. Aur Riddhima toh Rahul ke saath ja rahi hai. Toh tu chalna mere saath! Please! He begged.

"Main kyu? Muskaan asked again.

"Abhi toh tujhe itna bada bhaashan diya, Muski, Armaan replied. "Meri image ka sawaal hai yaar.

"Abbe, agar tujhe apni image ki itni hi fikar hai, toh Anjy ko le jaana apne saath. Mujhe mat pakaa, Muskaan declared dismissively.

"Anjali uss din Champ ke saath date pe jaa rahi hai! Armaan blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

"What?! Both girls screamed on hearing this.

"Haan, Armaan replied, sounding confident this time. This was perfect, he realized. He could persuade Anjy to go on a date with Atul that day after he explained how he was using that excuse as a ploy to get Muskaan to go to the reunion so that he could work on getting her back together with Rahul. Muskaan would be there and Champ would get a chance to spend time with Anjy. Win - win. Perfect.

"Anjy, Atul ke saath? Tu na, poora ka poora sathiya gaya hai, Muskaan told Armaan.

"Arre nahi, yaar! Sach mein. Anjy ne Champ ko bola ki woh uske saath ek last date pe jaayegi. Agar iss baar usne sab theek kiya toh shayad uski baat bann jaaye. Itni minnaton se maani hai. Please, Champ ki love story ke baare mein toh kuch soch! Armaan rambled.

"Hero, tu mujhse jhooth toh nahi bol raha na? Muskaan asked him.

"Jh... Jhooth? Armaan asked, his voice disbelieving. "Main?

"Haan, tu. Muskaan replied.

"Tu mere baare mein aisa sochti hai? Armaan cribbed. "Dost, dost na raha, he sang dramatically.

"Oyye, dramebaaz, zyada nautanki mat kar, Muskaan scolded. "Main Anjy se hi poochungi, she announced. "Mujhe tujh pe bilkul bharosa nahi hai.

Armaan got scared for a moment. He hadn't had the time to convince Anjy yet. But, putting up a brave front, he answered. "Haan, haan. Theek hai. Agar tujhe mujhpe itna hi shak hai toh jaa poochle apni Anjy se. Lekin, agar woh sachme Champ ke saath date pe jaa rahi hogi, toh tujhe mere saath reunion pe chalna padega. Done? He asked.

"Done, Muskaan agreed easily. She was completely sure that Armaan was fibbing. "Abhi hi jaati hu, usse poochne.

"Abhi! Armaan & Riddhima exclaimed, worried.

"Haan, kyu? Tune hi kaha na ki usse poochlu. Toh pooch lungi, Muskaan directed her words towards Armaan.

"Nahi, nahi, Armaan told her. "Tu abhi usse nahi pooch sakti.

"Kyu? Muskaan asked.

"Kyu? Uh... Kyu? Armaan pretended to think. He turned to Riddhima. "Basket, Muskaan Anjy se abhi kyu nahi baat kar sakti?

"Kyuki... Kyuki... Riddhima stammered. "Uh, mujhe kya pata? She finally replied. "Main bhi toh abhi bas 5 minute pehle aayi hu. Mujhe nahi pata, she told Muskaan.

Muskaan turned to Armaan again, her eyebrow raised. She was so sure that she'd caught Armaan in his lie. The thought made her smug.

"Tu Anjy se abhi nahi mil sakti kyuki abhi woh... Abhi woh surgery mein hai! Armaan finally burst out.

Muskaan looked unconvinced.

"Arre seriously, Armaan told her. "Jab main aaya tha na, toh woh bas surgery ke liye jaa hi rahi thi.

"Pakka? Muskaan asked.

"Haan, baba. Ekdum pakka. Woh waapas aayegi toh tu usse baat kar lena, Armaan assured.

Before Muskaan could ask anything else, her pager beeped, causing her to abandon the discussion and leave.

"Thank God! Armaan exclaimed as soon as she was out of the room. "Aaj toh bach gaye.

"Armaan, Riddhima began. "Tum Di ko kaise convince karoge Atul ke saath date pe jaane ke liye? She asked.

Armaan smirked at her. He pulled her on the bench and put his arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer.

"Basket, sweetheart, he started, "simple si baat hai. Aur kuch ho na ho, Anjy maan jaayegi jab hum usse apna plan batayenge. Ki hum yeh sab Rahul Muskaan ke liye kar rahe hai.

"Hmmm, Riddhima answered. "Baat toh sahi hai.

"I know, Armaan replied. "Ab hum log baad mein baat karenge kyuki Muski Anjy se mile usse pehle mujhe milna hai. So, bye! He kissed her cheek and ran away.

"Idiot, Riddhima muttered findly before getting to work.

Here, Armaan was finally able to locate Anjy after half an hour.

"Anjy! He exclaimed. Anjali turned to him. "Hey, Armaan! Kaise ho? She asked.

"I need to talk to you. Urgent hai. Abhi chalo mere saath, Armaan ordered, pulling her hand.

"Armaan! Kya hua? Anjali asked Armaan dragged her away. He found a secluded spot in the hospital and pulled Anjali in.

"Um, kya kar rahe ho? Agar tumhe thoda confusion ho raha hai, toh let me tell you, main Anjali hu, Riddhima nahi, Anjali joked.

"Haha, very funny, Armaan replied sarcastically.

"Tha toh, Anjali answered.

"Yaar, hum yeh joke - joke baadme khelenge, abhi mujhe tumse bohot important kaam hai, Armaan pleaded.

"Tumhaara aur Ridzy ka fir jhagda hua hai kya? Anjali asked.

"Yaar! Tum sabko hamesha kyu lagta hai ki hum dono ka jhagda hua hai? Armaan whined. Seriously, his friends always assumed that was what was wrong.

Anjali shrugged. "Toh phir problem kya hai? She asked.

Armaan took a deep breath and explained the situation to her. How, he was planning to get RaMusk back together, the reunion, their idea to make Muskaan jealous, Armaan and Riddhima's drama to get Muskaan  to agree to come, her insistence that Armaan take Anjali instead and finally, how he'd told Muskaan that Anjali was supposed to go out with Atul the same day.

"So? Anjali asked. "Isme main kya karu?

Armaan looked at Anjali as if she'd finally lost it. "Kya karu ka kya matlab? Obviously, tumhe Champ ke saath date pe jaana hai. Aur kya?

"Main aur Atul ke saath? Anjali scoffed. "Never.

"Anjy, please, yaar, Armaan begged. "Rahul aur Muskaan ko saath laane ka yahi ek tareeka hai.

"Look Armaan, I'm all for getting Rahul and Muskaan back together. Tumhe jo help chahiye, I'm ready. Lekin isme yeh sab karne ki kya zaroorat hai? Anjali asked him.

"Arre, I've already told Muskaan na. Ab agar tum aur Atul nahi jaoge, toh fir woh poochegi ki maine usse jhooth kyu bola toh hum kya karenge? Armaan asked.

"Lekin, Muskaan ko kaise pata chalega ki main aur Atul bahaar gaye ya nahi. Woh poochegi, toh hum bol denge ki hum gaye the. Sachme jaane ki kya zaroorat hai? Anjali shot back.

Armaan smiled sarcastically and put an arm around her shoulders. "Dekho, Anjy. Let me explain. Maine Muskaan se kaha hai ki tum Atul ke saath date pe jaa rahi ho. Atul. Humaara Champ. Ab, jab woh kuch poochegi, tum toh sab easily handle kar logi, lekin Atul? You think woh itni easily jhooth bol paayega? Armaan asked her.

Anjali hit her forehead. "Yeh toh maine socha hi nahi! She exclaimed.

"Main hu na, yeh sab sochne ke liye, Armaan cribbed.

"Matlab, Atul ke saath date pe jaana hi padega? Hum Muskaan ko koi aur bahaana nahi de sakte? Anjali asked. It wasn't that she didn't want to go out with Atul, never. She really enjoyed Atul's company and he always made her feel so special. But, their previous dates had been disastrous and she didn't want a repeat.

"Ab toh maine already bol diya hai, Armaan replied. "Please, Anjy! Maan jao na.

Anjali thought for sometime before finally relenting.

"Theek hai, baba. I'll go, she answered.

Armaan's face lit up at her response. "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! He exclaimed. "Mujhe pata tha. Tum pakka maan jaaogi. Armaan hugged her tightly.

"Yeh sab yahaan kya ho raha hai? Armaan, tu kyu Anjali se itne chipak raha hai? Atul asked, seeing them together.

Armaan pulled back immediately.

"Kuch... Kuch nahi yaar, Champ. Bas aise hi, Armaan replied.

"Armaan, tu sach sach bata. Meri Anjali pe line maarne ki koshish kar raha tha? Atul asked. "Bhool mat, Anjali teri bhabhi hai.

"Champ, yaar! Armaan exclaimed, moving to stand beside him. "Bhai hai tu mera. Tere saath aisa thodi karunga. Aur tujhse kitni baar kaha hai. Anjali meri bhabhi nahi, saali hai.

"Achcha? Aur saali teri aadhi gharwali hai? Atul asked sarcastically.

Armaan shrugged. "Dekh bhai, tu meri Anjali se door reh, samjha? Atul commanded.

"Shut up, Atul! Anjali exclaimed.

"Champ, bhai, main toh sirf Anjy ko isliye hug kar raha tha, kyuki main bohot khush hu! Armaan explained.

"Achcha? Aur is khushi ka kaaran? Atul questioned.

Armaan turned to look at Atul, and with the most serious expression he could muster, said, "Bhai, teri saari minnatein kaam kar gayi! Anjy ne abhi khud mujhe kaha. Woh tere saath date pe jaana chaahti hai!

"Kya! Atul shouted, shocked.

"Haan, mere bhai, haan. Tu sahi sun raha hai. Anjy tere saath date pe jaana chaahti hai, Armaan said again in the ksot melodramatic tone he could muster.

"Sach Anjali? Atul asked, shyly, turning to her.

Anjali merely nodded.

"Armaan! Mere bhai! Mera sapna poora ho gaya, yaar! Atul exclaimed, pulling Armaan in a tight hug.

Armaan smiled. His work was done.


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