Saturday, 21 July 2018

Chapter 61 : I'll Love You Longer Than Forever - AR FF

Previously On...

Armaan convinces Muskaan to go with him for the reunion.

He also convinces Anjali to go on a date with Atul.



Chapter 61

"Ho gaya! Finally, Armaan exclaimed, sitting on the steps of the fire escape beside Riddhima.


Riddhima raised an eyebrow in question. "Kya ho gaya? She asked.


"Arre, Rahul Muskaan aur Atul Anjali ko milane ki full setting karke aaya hu main, Armaan explained.




"Achcha? Riddhima sarcastically. "Zara main bhi sunoo kya kiya tumne.


Armaan grinned smugly at her. "Toh suno. Muskaan reunion mein aane ke liye maan gayi. Aur Anjy bhi Atul ke saath date pe jaane ke liye maan gayi hai.


"Seriously? Riddhima asked disbelievingly.


"Seriously, Armaan answered.


"Lekin... Lekin yeh sab hua kaise? Riddhima asked.


"Dr. Armaan Mallik kuch bhi kar sakta hai! Armaan replied, upturning his collar.


Riddhima rolled her eyes at him. "Khudki tareef karna achchi baat nahi hoti hai, Dr. Armaan Mallik.


"Ab kya hai na, Basket, Armaan started to explain, putting his arm around Riddhima's shoulder and pulling her closer. "Tum toh meri tareef karne se rahi. Isliye main khud hi apni tareef karke khush ho jata hu.


Riddhima laughed at that. "Tumna, Armaan... She started.


"Maina kya, Riddhima? He asked her, cutting her off.


"Tum poore paagal ho! She exclaimed affectionately.


"Tumhaare pyaar mein, Armaan completed, kissing the top of her head.


"Tum koi mauka nahi chodte na, flirt karne ka? Riddhima asked rhetorically.


"Kli, Armaan clicked his tongue. "Itne mushkil se toh mauka milta hai. Woh bhi waste kardu? No ways.


Riddhima smiled exasperatedly at him and kissed his cheek.


"Waah, waah, Armaan smiled. "Aaj bada pyaar aa raha hai.


Riddhima shrugged her shoulders and rested her head on his shoulder.


"Armaan, ek baat poochu? Riddhima asked.


Armaan nodded his head.


Riddhima hesitated a little before asking. "Woh, college mein tumhaari jitni bhi girlfriends thi... Armaan smiled at that. His baby was so insecure at times.


"Haan? Armaan asked.


"Haan... Toh woh sab bhi wahaan hongi na? She asked.


Armaan shrugged. "Shayad.


"Toh... Tum... Tum promise karo, ki tum kisi ke saath flirt nahi karoge aur kisi ko bhaav nahi doge, she ordered.


"Achcha? Armaan asked.


"Haan, she said derisively.


"Tumhe bhi nahi? Armaan asked sarcastically.


"Armaan! Riddhima exclaimed, swatting his arm.


"Oyye hoyye, Armaan laughed, kissing her nose. "Itni possessive? Not bad, Basket.


"Armaan. Please. 2 minute ke liye serious ho jao, Riddhima begged.


"Arre, agar main serious ho gaya, toh phir tum tension mein aa jaogi. Aur tumhaari aankhon ki water tank bhi shuru ho jaayegi. No thanks, He replied mischievously.


"Armaan, please! Riddhima begged.


"Okay, okay. I'm sorry, he finally agreed. "Tum na, poori ki poori basket hi ho. Itna bhi nahi jaanti ki tumhaare alawa kisike baare mein nahi sochta main.


Riddhima smiled on hearing that.


"Pakka? She questioned.


"Pakka, Armaan replied. Then, he placed his lips on hers and kissed the breath out of her. Pulling back, he rested his head against hers.


"Basket, main jaanta hu ki kahin na kahin, tumhe iss baat se problem hai ki tum meri life mein pehli ladki nahi ho, Armaan stated. Riddhima tried to deny it but he shushed her.


"It's okay. Tum bhi jaanti ho aur main bhi, ki agar main tumhaari jagah hota toh ab tak toh maine un ladkon ki taange tod di hoti, he tried to make a joke.


"Lekin, woh sab ladkiyan important nahi thi, Basket. Kitno ka toh main naam bhi bhool chuka, chehra toh ek ka bhi yaad nahi. Us waqt, main bohot alag tha. Mom dad ki attention paane ke liye bohot ulti seedhi harkatein ki. Lekin kabhi bhi, unme se kisi ladki se bhi maine bilkul pyaar nahi kiya. Aur tum? Tum toh jaan ho meri. Duniya mein sabse zyada pyaar karta hu tumse. Manaa ki tum meri life mein pehli ladki nahi ho, lekin I promise, aakhri tum hi ho, he vowed.


Riddhima smiled at that, a few tears escaping her eyes. Armaan kissed them away.


"Unless, he continued, "agar humaari beti hui. Fir no guarantee. Shayad main usse tumse zyada pyaar karu.


Riddhima hugged him tight on hearing this and hit his back. "Har waqt mazaak karte rehte ho! She blubbered.


Armaan hugged her close to him ans said, "Achcha baba, sorry. Sabse zyada, humesha sirf tumse hi pyaar karunga. I promise.


Riddhima was really touched by his words. How was it that he always knew what to say to her? He understood her so well.


"Yaar, tum dono fir shuru ho gaye? Kabhi toh break le liya karo! Rahul said, exasperated. He'd been searching for Armaan to talk to him about the reunion.


"Abbe! Aa gaya, kabab mein haddi, saala, Armaan cursed. Turning to Rahul, he said, "Tum logon ko pata chal jaata hai kya ki main Riddhima ke saath hu? Hamesha koi na koi aake poore mood ki band baja deta hai. Aur waise bhi, agar tujhe nahi dekhna toh muh udhar kar lena. Maine bola kya dekhne?


"Armaan! Riddhima scolded him. "Kuch bhi bolte ho.


"Riddhu, tu bhi kisse baat kar rahi hai? Yeh toh hai hi besharam, Rahul commented.


Armaan scowled. "Kaam kya hai yeh bol, he told Rahul.


"Oh, haan! Rahul shouted, suddenly remembering why he was looking for Armaan.


"Yaar, ek baar reunion ke baare mein baat kar le? Rahul asked.


Armaan looked at him, confused. "Arre, usme baat kya karni hai? Tu aur Riddhima saath jaoge, Armaan made a face at that. Just because it was a good idea, didn't mean he liked it. He wanted to be the one to take her. "Aur main Muskaan ko leke aaunga.


"Haan, lekin fir kya? Agar Muskaan ko kuch farak nahi pada toh? Rahul asked, worried. "Agar kisi ladki ne mujhe thoda sa bhi bhaav nahi diya toh? Fir Muskaan kyu jealous hogi?


Armaan laughed. "Tu kitni tension leta hai, yaar. Kuch nahi hoga, sab achche se ho jaayega. Main hu na? Have no fear when Armaan is here.


Rahul, seemingly satisfied, nodded.


"Ho gaya tera? Armaan asked him. He nodded again. "Good, Armaan said. "Ab jaa.


Rahul laughed. "Saale, bilkul besharam hai tu. Jaa raha hu.


When he went away, Armaan turned back to Riddhima with a smile. "Chalo, finally chala gaya.


Riddhima shook her head. "Armaan, tum poore pagal ho.


Armaan grinned at her. He was leaning in, ready to kiss her when her pager rang. Armaan pulled back with a resigned sigh. "Lo, aa gaya bulava.


Riddhima smiled apologetically. "Sorry, she said, checking her pager. "Baad mein milti hu. Saying so, she pecked his lips before rushing out.


"Meri love story mein itne villain kyu? Armaan asked, looking up. Shaking his head, he also resumed his duty.


It had been a long, tiring day and Armaan just wanted food, sleep and some alone time with Basket, not necessarily in that order. After their meeting in the fire escape, which had been interrupted by Rahul and then ruined by the pager, Armaan hadn't had time with Riddhima. He'd sneaked into her ward twice, but was forced to leave quickly when he saw Dr. Keerti passing by, who Armaan was sure was keeping an eye on him so he couldn't meet Basket. And, they'd also met for lunch and then snacks during break time, but the entire gang had been present then. Sure, Armaan had loved spending time with his friends - they'd all been busy with the concert and with so much to do hadn't spent quality time together. It was also a nice change that him and Riddhima were not the topic of discussion like always. News about Atul & Anjali's date had spread through Sanjeevani like wildfire and the whole place was abuzz with excitement.


Poor Atul looked like he was about to die. He didn't know whether to be excited or nervous about the upcoming date. Historically, stuff had always gone wrong whenever he tried to impress Anjali, so he really wanted this date to go well. He'd have to talk to Armaan and get some tips.


On the other hand, Muskaan was very mad at Anjali because of this date business. Now, she'd lost to Armaan and she would have to go to that stupid reunion with him. She very well knew that even though he was taking her as his date, her Hero would never be able to spend time without his Heroine, so then, he'd disappear with her and then she'd be stuck with Rahul.


She was cursing her fate about this when Anjali asked her what was wrong.


"Kya hua, Muskaan? She asked.


"Kya hona hai yaar, bas Armaan ke reunion function ke baare mein soch rahi thi, Muskaan sulked.


"Usmein sochne ki kya baat hai? Bohot hi exciting hoga! Tu Armaan ke saath bohot enjoy karegi, Anjali reassured her.


Muskaan scoffed. "Us Majnu ki aulad ko Ridz ke alawa koi dikhta hai kya? Mujhe akela chodke agar woh poori raat uske peeche pada raha na, mere toh poore mood ki aisi taisi ho jaani hai. Kameena, ek toh mujhe blackmail karke leke jaa raha hai. Actually na, galti meri hi hai. Main hi aa gayi na uski baaton mein. Bohot image, image kar raha tha, uski toh aisi waat lagaungi ki sochega maine kyu Muskaan ko poocha! She ranted.


Anjali burst out laughing when she heard this. "Tu kyu tension le rahi hai. Abhi aur Nikki bhi toh rahenge wahaan. Tu Nikki ke saath baithke gossip kar lena.


Muskaan brightened considerably on hearing that. "Yeh achcha idea hai. Aisa hi karungi.


Here, both Rahul & Atul were extremely worried and were annoying Armaan.


They were both pacing around in the locker room while Armaan sat on the bench and saw them. Often, they'd collide into each other, sigh, and then resume pacing. Armaan kept quiet, just watching them, but he was getting really irritated.


"Yaar, tum log bologe ki baat kya hai? Jabse aise chakkar maar rahe ho, mujhe tum dono ko dekhke chakkar aa rahe hai, Armaan complained.


"Abbe, yaar, Armaan, tu meri problem nahi samajh sakta! Atul exclaimed.


"Kyu? Kyu nahi samajh sakta? Armaan asked.


Sighing, Atul sat beside him. "Kyuki tu toh ekdum cool, yo dude haina. Tujhe kabhi ladki patane mein issue thodi hua hoga. Toh tu kaise samjhega meri problem?


"Tu bolke toh dekh, Armaan insisted.


"Ek toh itni mushkil se Anjali date pe jaane ke liye maani hai. Ab agar date pe kuch gadbad ho gayi toh? Yaar, pichli baar sab galat ho gaya tha. Agar is baar main Anjali ko achchi waali date pe nahi leke gaya na, toh fir woh mere saath kabhi bahaar nahi jaayegi! Atul exclaimed.


Armaan laughed.


"Oyye! Meri yahaan band baji hui hai aur tu has raha hai? Kaisa bhai hai yaar tu! Atul accused. He got up from the bench, but Armaan put his arm around Atul's shoulder and made him sit again.


"Champ! Armaan coaxed. "Bas itni si baat? Tu uska tension kyu le raha hai? Main hu na? Is baar, teri aur Anjy ki date main plan karunga. Koi gadbad nahi hogi, promise.


"Sach? Atul asked, pleased.


Armaan nodded. "Much!


"Wow! Thanks, yaar, Armaan! Tu mera sachcha bhai hai! Atul exclaimed hugging Armaan tightly.


"Oyye, Rahul. Ab tu bata. Teri kya problem hai? Atul asked, when Armaan parted from the hug. "Mera bhai na, sab theek kar dega, he promised, putting his arms around Armaan.


Rahul sighed.


"Abbe, Daddu! Tu kya aisi roni shakal banake baitha hai? Maine tujhe bola na, main sab sahi kar dunga? Tu tension kyu le raha hai. Ek baar Muskaan reunion pe aa jaaye, fir tu dekhna. Sab sahi hoga, Armaan told Rahul.


Rahul nodded half-heartedly.


"Aise mooh mat latka, Armaan reprimanded. "Pehle bhi tujhe bola tha, sab theek hoga. Matlab, bilkul trust hi nahi hai. Thoda relax kar!


Rahul took a deep breath and tried to calm himself. "Fine, he relented. "Lekin iss baar kuch nahi hua na, jaan le lunga teri, Rahul promised, choking Armaan a little.


"Gotcha! Armaan wheezed.


As promised, Armaan helped Atul set up for his date with Anjali. Atul was actually good in the department, surprisingly. He knew Anjali's favourite restaurant, so they made a booking for a private room there. It was Atul who suggested what artists Anjali liked and Armaan made a playlist for the evening, saving it on Atul's phone for them to listen to during the drive & dinner. To make it more romantic, Armaan suggested some good wine which he knew Anjali favoured. Because Atul was against giving Anjali an actual bouquet of flowers, Armaan ordered a chocolate hamper filled with all of Anjali's favourite chocolates and Atul was good to go.


"Thanks, Armaan! Agar tu nahi hota toh main kya karta? Atul asked rhetorically.


Armaan laughed him off. "Maine kuch nahi kiya yaar, Champ. Restaurant tune suggest kiya, gaane tune choose kiye, chocolates tune decide kiye. Maine bas teri thodi si set up mein help kardi. Aur kuch nahi.


Atul smiled at him and gave him a hug.


"Dekhna, iss baar kuch galat nahi hoga, Armaan promised Atul.


The next evening, Armaan was waiting outside the Gupta House, dressed in an immaculately, waiting for Muskaan.


                                                                 


He beeped the horn twice, but still, she didn't emerge. Sighing, Armaan went inside the house. Riddhima had, sadly, already left with Rahul. Apparently, Rahul had promised some of his friends that he'd see them before the function started and so, he'd gone early. And, Riddhima being his date, had went with him.


"Maa! Armaan whined when he saw Padma Aunty. "Yeh Muskaan kahaan hai?


"Tayyar ho rahi hai, beta, Padma Aunty replied. "Tu baith. Main dekhti hu.


Armaan smiled and sat down in the hall, cursing Muskaan under his breath.


A few minutes later, Shashank entered the hall after a tiring day of work and sat down.


"Arre, Armaan! Kaise ho? He asked, smiling at Armaan.


"Ekdum first class, Armaan replied. "Aap kaise hain?


"Good, good, Shashank replied.


There was an awkward silence for a minute or two. Though Shashank liked Armaan, he didn't really have a lot of things to talk about with him.


"Uh, he started, trying to make small talk. "I must say, Armaan, you're looking good. Riddhima ke saath baahar jaa rahe ho? He asked.

Armaan blushed but quickly shook his head. "Nahi, nahi. Muskaan ke saath, he answered.


Shashank looked surprised and gestured for Armaan to elaborate.


"Woh actually aaj humaara college reunion hai. Aur Riddhima Rahul ke saath gayi hai, toh main Muskaan ko apne saath le jaa raha hu, Armaan explained.


"Oh, yes, yes! Shashank laughed. "Rahul ne mujhe bataya tha. Must have slipped my mind. Have fun!


"Thank you, Papa, Armaan replied shyly.


"Oyye, Armaan! Kya jabse timepass kar raha hai? Chal ab! Muskaan ordered as she made her way down the stairs.


She, too, was dressed amazingly.


                                                                   


"Oh! Muskaan, beta, aap bohot zyada sundar lag rahi hain, Shashank complimented.


Muskaan blushed. "Thank you, Uncle.


"Mere saare bachche aaj bohot achche lag rahe hai, Padma Aunty said, coming into the hall with Anjali, who was also dressed for her date with Atul.


                                                                   


The three of them smiled.


"Chalein? Armaan asked Muskaan. "Humein Nikki aur Abhi ko bhi pick karna hai.


Muskaan nodded and soon, they were driving away. A quick stop to drop Anjali off and they were on their way to Nikki's house. Thankfully, Nikki and Abhi were ready and came out of the house the minute Armaan honked for them. They both were also looking dapper in their clothes, Nikki's nearly visible baby bump making her look extremely cute.



               




When they reached the venue, Armaan stopped the car and helped Muskaan out, while Abhi did the same for Nikki.


Armaan was looking really nervous, so, Nikki asked Abhi and Muskaan to go ahead, promising that she would catch up with Armaan in a minute.


"Nervous? She asked Armaan, who was leaning against the car. Armaan nodded pitifully.


"Armaan, it'll be fine, she assured him.


"Nikki, main in sab se itne saalon mein nahi mila hu. And, I'm such a different person from what I was in college. Yeh sab woh cool dude Armaan ko expect kar rahe honge, jo har doosri ladki ke saath flirt karta hai. Lekin ab main waise nahi hu. In fact, I'm pretty sure, main yeh bhi bhool gaya hu ki flirt karte kaise hain, he ranted. Nikki laughed.


"Armaan Mallik aur flirt karna bhool jaaye? She asked. "Impossible.


Armaan made a face.


"Waise bhi, Riddhima ke saath toh tum poora din flirt karte rehte ho, Nikki added.


"Basket ki baat alag hai, yaar. Tu usko kyu beech mein laa rahi hai? Armaan pouted.


"Aww, Armaan! You're so cute! Nikki laughed, pulling his cheeks.


Armaan stuck his tongue out at her.


"Tu itna tension kyu le raha hai? Main hu na? Sab achcha hoga. Aur yeh mar bhool, ki tune Rahul se promise kiya hai ki aaj kuch bhi ho jaaye, uski aur Muskaan ki story aage badhegi. Ab, agar tu yahin rahega na, toh kuch nahi hone wala.


Armaan shrugged. "Yaar, kaise dost hai mere? Sabke sab bas help maangte rehte hai. Kabhi apni girlfriend ko khud nahi pata sakte kya?


"Armaan! Nikki scolded. "Chal na. Achcha chod, Rahul nahi toh Riddhima ke liye toh chal. Andar hogi woh. Rahul ke saath. Aur tujhe pata hai, aaj bohot zyada beautiful lag rahi hai.


"What? Tujhe kaise pata? Armaan asked her.


"Usne mujhe apni photo bheji thi na, nikalne se pehle. Second opinion, you know, yeh jaanne ki woh achchi lag rahi hai ya nahi, she answered.

"Matlab, mere alawa sabne dekh liya usse? Yeh Basket na! Hamesha aisa hi karti hai. Us waqt bhi jab hum Paris shaadi ke liye gaye the, usne mujhe apni dress hi nahi dikhayi thi, Armaan complained.


Nikki laughed at him. He was so adorable.


"Haan, toh chal andar. Jaake dekh liyo kaisi dikh rahi hai! Nikki told him, taking his wrist and pulling him with her.


Armaan took a deep breath and followed her inside the venue.



xxx
Love,

Prags!

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