Monday, 6 August 2018

Chapter 69 : I'll Love You Longer Than Forever - AR FF

Armaan pulled back immediately, knowing Riddhima would be extremely embarrassed as it is. Riddhima didn't like being so intimate in public. The only few times they'd kissed even when they weren't alone were in Paris. After coming home, Riddhima had strictly told Armaan that she didn't want a repeat of those few times, especially in front of their friends. She remembered just how much Anjali & Muskaan had teased her after Colessa's wedding. Anjali had even gone as far as asking Riddhima if they'd done it and Riddhima's face had burned as she'd stuttered out a no before running away. So, yes. After that incident, Armaan was absolutely forbidden from kissing her in front of an audience.

 Everyone was looking at the couple in complete shock, not knowing what to do. Even Armaan's college friends were surprised cause they'd never seen or heard about him kissing a girl. He'd flirt with girls and hug them and on occasion, kiss their hands or cheeks, but never one on the lips.

Neha was fuming. She couldn't believe that Armaan had actually done that. In public. She'd never seen him kiss anyone else before. So, why now? Why this girl? She wasn't even that special. Just a stubborn know it all who thought she was so much better than anyone else. Just looking at her made Neha so mad. Now, seeing Armaan kiss her, it was worse.

"ARMAAN!" Riddhima screeched, embarrassed. "Kya kar rahe the?" She swatted his arm.

"Ouch!" Armaan whined, rubbing the spot she'd hit. She'd used a lot of force. "Kya karta main? Tum toh chup hone ka naam hi nahi le rahi thi. Toh bas maine..."He trailed off, shrugging.

"Armaan, tum... Tum... Tum..." Riddhima didn't even have the words to say.

"Main main main kya?" Armaan asked. "Aisa kya kar diya yaar? Itna bhadak kyu rahi ho?"

"Aisa kya kar diya means what? Armaan, hum akele nahi hain," Riddhima yelled, exasperated.

"Oh! Matlab akele ho toh main kar sakta hu?" He asked cheekily.

Riddhima blushed a bright red at his words, and turned around, hiding her face in his chest, as she whacked his back. Armaan grinned at his shy baby and immediately slipped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer.

"Shee, yaar, Armaan!" Nikki interrupted. "Kuch toh sharam kar."

Armaan just laughed. "Isme kya sharam. Apni girlfriend ko hi kiss kiya na? Kisi aur ko thodi!"

"Girlfriend?" Neha asked, surprised. "Yeh tumhaari girlfriend hai?" Pointing towards Riddhima.

"Haan. Kyu, tumhe koi problem hai?" Armaan asked a little rudely.

Taken aback by his tone, Neha stammered, "Na... Nahi. Muj... Mujhe kya problem hogi?"

She couldn't believe it. So, not only was Armaan okay with kissing someone now (he hadn't ever done that before), he was also okay with the labelling! When they'd been in college, Armaan had never let any of the girls he'd dated call him their boyfriend and he never referred to any of them as his girlfriend either, unless they'd been dating for more than a month, which was not very often.

And this girl! This, little nobody, who was God knows who, was his girlfriend? Why? Really, what was so special about her? Ever since she'd arrived she had demanded the attention of almost every man in their group and Neha didn't like it. She wasn't even that pretty! So, why were they all falling at her feet to impress her?

"Good," Armaan replied snidely,"honi bhi nahi chahiye."

"Armaan..." Riddhima reprimanded gently. He looked at her with a what did I do?' look and she just glared at him. Armaan shrugged his shoulders carelessly. He wasn't going to apologize for being so rude or blunt with Neha. She needed to understand that she needed to back off. He wasn't gonna date her.

"Wait..." Rakesh said. "If you're dating, why did you come with different people?"

"Ummm... It was... It's kinda complicated," Armaan replied, smiling sheepishly.

"How complicated could it be? Matlab, aisa kya hai?" Rakesh questioned.

"Rakesh, yeh sab sirf ek plan tha. Taaki Rahul aur Muskaan apne differences sort kar sake," Riddhima explained calmly.

"Oh. Is that all?" Rakesh asked, looking pointedly at Armaan who nodded.

"Okayyy," Rakesh drawled. "So. Rahul aur Muskaan? He asked. "Muskaan wohi ladki hai jiske baare mein tum baat kar rahi thi, Riddhima?" He asked.

Riddhima nodded. "Haan. Main Muskaan ke baare mein hi baat kar rahi thi. Kuch waqt se un dono ke beech mein bohot tension chal rahi hai. I just hope ki woh dono ek baar baithke baat karein aur sab sahi ho jaaye."

"Don't worry, Ridzy. Tu dekhna. Aisa hi hoga," Nikki said, trying to instill hope in Riddhima. She hugged Riddhima around the waist and rested her head on Riddhima's shoulder. Riddhima smiled at her in gratitude before squeezing Nikki's hand and placing her head on top of Nikki's.

"I hope so," Riddhima replied. "Rahul aajkal bohot tense rehta hai. Aur tune dekha na, Muski bhi kitni chup - chup rehne lagi hai. Mujhe bilkul achcha nahi lagta."

"Mujhe bhi," Nikki seconded.

"Arre yaar!" Armaan exclaimed. "Tum dono phir shuru ho gaye? Sab achcha hoga. Itni tension kyu lete ho?"

"Kyuki tum nahi lete na!" Riddhima answered. "Tumhaare hisse ki bhi humein hi leni padti hai."

Abhi chuckled at that. "Yeh toh sahi hai. Tum hamesha Riddhima ko bohot tension dete ho, Armaan."

"Oye, Moody! Tum zyada bakwaas mat karo, samjhe? Aur apni biwi pe concentrate karo na. Jab dekho Riddhima ko taadte rehte ho!" Armaan replied.

"Armaan!!" Riddhima and Nikki chorussed, and Riddhima, who was standing closest to him swatted his arm.

"Ow!" Armaan complained. "Tum bas hamesha mujhe maara karo, aur kuch nahi. This is domestic violence, you know? Police station mein complain kar dunga tumhaari. Aur waise bhi, bhadakne ki kya baat hai? Sach hi toh bola maine. Tumhe yaad hai? Roke waale din, is Nikki ne hi kaha tha ki yeh Moody tumhe bohot taadta hai."

Riddhima facepalmed herself. She turned to Nikki who laughed at her helplessness. "All the best, Ridzy," Nikki joked. "Tujhe iss idiot ke saath poori zindagi nikalni hai. Main tere liye har roz pray karungi, I promise."

Riddhima blushed at Nikki's blatant teasing, but Armaan made a face at her.

"Excuse me," he said, "Aisa karne ki zaroorat nahi hai."

He pulled Nikki's arms away from Riddhima and gathered her in his own, holding her so tight he was actually suffocating her.

"Armaan!" Riddhima wheezed, a few seconds later, hitting him to get his attention. Armaan immediately realized his mistake and let her go.

"I'm sorry!" He exclaimed with an apologetic grin.

"Mujhe suffocate tum kar rahe the aur domestic violence ki complaint meri liye karoge?" She asked, glaring at him.

Abhi and Nikki laughed at the worried expression on Armaan's face while the rest of the people just watched the entire exchange in awe. They couldn't believe all this was happening in front of them.

They'd never seen Armaan behave this way with any of his girlfriends before. He only ever flirted with them. He was never like this. Playful and teasing, like he was with the rest of his friends. And, what was more was this girl was giving it right back. No woman had ever called Armaan out on his shit like this before. Generally, they were all so enamored by the fact that Armaan was giving them the time of the day that they overlooked a lot of his shortcomings. But not Riddhima. The fact was at the same time, refreshing and appalling.

They watched Armaan and Riddhima joke around for sometime, but it seemed that their fight quickly escalated and things were getting really heated. Which is why Nikki decided to step in.

"Tum dono please ab shuru mat ho jao," she ordered. "Itni mushkil se Rahul aur Muski ki fight thodi solve ho rahi hai toh ab tumhaara start ho gaya."

"Inka khatam hi kab hua tha?" Abhi asked rhetorically.

"Yeh bhi point hai," Nikki agreed.

"Haha. So funny," Armaan replied sarcastically. "Tum sabke sab seriously kitne kameene ho. Bas jab dekho mujhe aur Basket ko hi chidhaate ho. Kabhi kisi aur ke baare mein nahi sochte na?"

Nikki laughed. "Ab humaare group ke evergreen couple toh tum hi ho."

And then, it was Nikki and Armaan who started bickering. Riddhima laughed as she looked on and Abhi stood beside her, an arm around her shoulder.

"Tumhe kya lagta hai? Armaan zyada argue tumse karta hai ya Nikki se?" Abhi asked her playfully.

Riddhima chuckled. "Definitely mujhse. Uski aur Nikki ki aisi ladai toh kabhi - kabhi hoti hai. Humaari almost har roz hoti hai."

"Tum aur Armaan bohot zyada ladte ho?" Neha asked. She'd been eavesdropping and thought it was a nice opportunity to jump into the conversation.

"Um..." Riddhima looked at her apprehensively. "Excuse me?"

"Nahi... Main toh bas generally pooch rahi hu kyuki abhi tumne hi kaha ki tum dono ki almost har roz arguments hoti hai," Neha justified herself.

"Woh mere aur Armaan ke beech ki baat hai and main tumhe kuch batana zaroori nahi samajhti," Riddhima replied.

"Woh toh bas tumse baat karne ki koshish kar rahi hai. Itna rude hone ki kya zaroorat hai?" Sonia too joined in.

"Jo woh mujhse pooch rahi hai, woh bohot hi personal cheez hai. Aur main usse theek se jaanti bhi nahi. So, of course, agar main usse yeh sab details share nahi karna chahti toh usme kuch galat nahi hai," Riddhima replied to Sonia.

Sonia scoffed. "Just because tum Armaan ki girlfriend ho, toh attitude mat dikhao. Sab jaante hai, Armaan girlfriends aise badalta hai jaise kuch log kapde badalte hain."

Riddhima really wanted to say something about how they'd been together for 3 years and make a smartass comment at her words, but decided against it because she wouldn't get as petty as her, so she kept quiet.

"What? No comeback?" Sonia smirked, mistaking Riddhima's silence for embarrassment.

Abhi scowled at her and opened his mouth to say something, but Riddhima signalled him to keep quiet, so he took a step back. Riddhima wasn't going to create a scene in front of all these people, especially after she'd gotten so many looks for calling Sonia out earlier.

Just then, Armaan & Nikki bounded over there, with huge grins. Armaan made a beeline for Riddhima while Nikki stood next to Abhi.

"Sooo. Nikki ko ek bohot achcha idea aaya, for a change," Armaan began.

"Excuse me?" Nikki bristled.

"Nikki, one minute, yaar. Lemme talk," Armaan answered and turned back to Riddhima.

"Haan, toh main kya keh raha tha? Yes. Nikki ka idea. Aaj sleepover?" He asked, giving Riddhima the puppy dog eyes she could never resist.

"I don't mind," Riddhima answered. "Lekin..." She looked at Nikki hesitantly.

"Kya hua, Ridzy?" Nikki asked.

"Yaar, tere ghar woh... Rachna Aunty haina," Riddhima said.

"Oh, haan!" Nikki replied, hitting her forehead. "Main toh bhool hi gayi thi."

Rachna Chachi was nice enough, but Nikki was sure that she wouldn't like all these people sleeping over. When they'd all come over for the party when Nikki had revealed her pregnancy, Rachna Chachi had lamented over all the work it had required for the next week.

"Mere ghar chalein?" Armaan asked. "It'll be fun!"

"Yes. Perfect," Nikki replied. "Waise bhi, ghar pe ChachiJi ke saath Sid aur Su toh hai hi, toh woh log sab dekh lenge." Abhi nodded in agreement.

Armaan turned to Riddhima again. She smiled at him and nodded.

"Cool. Waise bhi, yahaan se main tumhaare ghar hi aane waali thi," she said.

Armaan grinned salaciously at her making her hit his arm again. "Not like that, dirty pig. Mujhe kaam hai."

"Kya kaam hai?" Armaan asked. "Woh bhi mere ghar?"

Before Riddhima could say anything, Nikki blurted out. "Oh, yes! Main toh bhool gayi thi. Tujhe yaad tha, Ridzy?" It hadn't taken long for her to understand what Riddhima was hinting at. Really, she felt like a fool for not remembering sooner.

"Of course, mujhe yaad tha, Nikki. Isliye toh mujhe jaana hai," Riddhima replied.

"Okay, cool! Ek kaam karte hai, hum log cake le chalte hain," Nikki suggested. "What say?"

"Haan! Awesome," Riddhima answered and soon, the two of them were in an in depth discussion about cakes, while the other four looked plain confused.

"Armaan, yeh dono kyu itna excite ho rahi hai? Aaj kya hai?" Abhi asked.

Armaan shrugged. "Mujhe kya pata, yaar."

"Koi important date toh nahi hai na? Tu ek baar dhyaan se soch le," Abhi advised. "Agar tu koi anniversary ya kuch bhoola hoga, toh Riddhima tujhe maar daalegi."

"Nahi, yaar. Aaj koi important day nahi hai mere aur Riddhima ke liye. Main ekdum sure hu. Waise bhi, mujhse zyada Riddhima hi yeh saari important dates bhoolti hai. Mujhe usse yaad dilaana padta hai," Armaan joked.

"Seriously?" Abhi asked.

"Seriously," Armaan replied.

"Toh fir aaj hai kya?" Abhi wondered.

"Chodna. Hum kyu tension le rahe hai? Yeh dono humein baad mein bata hi dengi," Armaan told Abhi.

"Haan, yeh bhi sahi hai," Abhi agreed.

"Uh... Armaan," Neha called hesitantly.

"Yes?" Armaan turned to her.

"Main soch rahi thi... Hum sab itne time baad mile hai. Agar tumhe koi problem na ho... I mean, if you don't mind, hum bhi tumhaare saath chale? It's been so long. We'll catch up some more," she said. She really did want to spend some more time with him. And that girl, Riddhima! She had to teach her a lesson.

"Yes! Sounds like fun!" Sonia jumped in.

"What sounds like fun?" Jai and Agastya, who'd been passing by, chorussed.

"Sleepover at Armaan's!" Neha exclaimed.

"Yes! Awesome!" Jai agreed readily.

Soon, everyone was talking about how great it would be and then Armaan had no choice but to invite them all over. This was going to be a long night.


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