Monday, 26 November 2018

Chapter 11 : Where Did I go Wrong

Riddhima and Armaan were both leading completely different lives after their separation.

While Riddhima remained indoors during her pregnancy, Armaan had still been working tirelessly in his office, Riddhima tried hard not to allow her past life affect the current while Armaan didn't even make futile attempts to get over the sorrow, day by day he found himself more depressed and perplexed, with also no success in figuring out what offended Riddhima so much to leave. Deprived of happiness, his personal affairs began to affect his work.

 Repeatedly he was found yelling his head off to the employees or colleagues, though he would make up to them later on, there was particularly nothing to improve his state of mind. The company had lost many projects and if measures were not taken to make better the situation immediately, the company would go into losses. Armaan's mother finding the need to intervene in the business, she did so. The company steadily came back to stability again.

 Time and again Armaan would tell himself to calm down and convince himself that Riddhima had left because of the torture she had been bearing living with his mum.

 He was not convinced.

 Finally at the end of desperation he made up his mind to go and find her. While packing he happened to find a diary in the closet of their room.

 During the days of her pregnancy Riddhima was well taken care of by Neha, she was fed nutritious food, given good company and provided comforts, but Riddhima found herself just eating for the baby, she wasn't eating for herself, she no longer tasted the food she ate, having nothing to do but rest Riddhima's mind kept wandering to the past and present, constantly those screams by Riddhima due to nightmares would wake Neha and Adi and they would have nothing to say or do but console her.

 Neha had expected that over the period of time Riddhima would cope up. Countless times where Neha would talk about a various range of topic hoping to keep Riddhima's mind engaged in the conversation, but to no avail, mostly she found herself talking to the walls while Riddhima had unintentionally drifted away to an unpleasant world of her own.

Adi helped as much as he could in diverting Riddhima's mind, being newly married to Neha he had to fulfill new duties; however he figured that whenever he conversed with Riddhima about the corporate world, she would respond enthusiastically and soon he found himself discussing various projects, charts, financial decisions of the business which Riddhima enjoyed thoroughly. He noticed that Riddhima was naturally talented, by birth itself she was gifted with corporate abilities, they were inbuilt, and she would suggest solutions to improvise his business without apt attention, solutions which would not have occurred to him even if he racked his brains overnight.

One day he suggested to Neha that once Riddhima delivered she should resume her education and complete her graduation so she could soon involve with him in his business. That way she would be engaged in work at all times. It was a swell idea, and it seemed to happen just the right way.

Soon Riddhima delivered a beautiful baby girl – Ahana. The name Ahana had its significance, its first A stood for Armaan while the ending A stood for RiddhimA.


While Rahul and Muskaan were doing their secret investigations which were getting startling results, Armaan was on the other end extracting Riddhima's details and house address from the records.


Alan Roy was young - no more than 30, fair skinned, tall, strong built with a perfect face cut, he comprised as smart, talented with a never say die spirit running through his veins, he was also Adi's high school friend and co-partner in business. In a very short span of time he and Riddhima had become the good friends because he had been a frequent visitor at Adi's residence. He was fun to be with and quite unintentionally or effortlessly with his witty sense of humor he made people laugh, especially Riddhima. She enjoyed his company just as she enjoyed being with Neha and Adi.

This did not go unnoticed and soon like expected by Neha and Adi, Alan confided with Adi that he had taken a liking for Riddhima. Having no choice Adi explained Riddhima's current situation giving all the details about her past life. Alan had been stunned to know that Riddhima was married and even more stunned to know that she was the mother of an infant, however the next day he thanked Adi for letting him know the truth. He also stated that all this didn't matter to him, what had happened was Riddhima's past; he was determined to be her present and that Ahana would be no hindrance.

One late evening while Alan and Riddhima had been working on the company accounts a sudden cry of Ahana interrupted them. Neha and Adi had gone for a marriage function and hence Riddhima ran upstairs to pacify Ahana. Discovering that Ahana had finished her sleep for the time being she got her downstairs.

"Sorry Alan" Riddhima said, for the interruption.

Alan replied, "That's alright" his face lighting up at the sight of Ahana, "We could take a break" he added, and carefully took Ahana in his arms. Ahana liked this new stranger who she saw often. She smiled, her cheeks dimpled.

"Ahana is your baby" Alan said, unexpectedly, observing Riddhima.

Her eyebrow twitched, "yes" she replied, nonchalantly.

She expected him to pester her with more questions, but he didn't, instead he played with Ahana, no trace of changes in behavior at all. It puzzled her.


Another week passed. Riddhima skipped Armaan's classes as much as possible, No one understood why she did it, and she was prompt in every other lecture but his. The disappointment was etched on Armaan's face.


One evening after college as Armaan started the ignition of his car another car passed in front of him. He found himself looking at Riddhima in the passenger's seat and a good looking stranger driving beside her – Alan. This stranger to Armaan picked Riddhima many times at the end of the day. Armaan's disappointment worsened, he had to talk to Riddhima, fast. But how?


"Riddhima, how do you like Alan?" Neha asked, one evening as they were cleaning the dishes. Riddhima arched her eyebrows, "what?" she asked sternly, temporarily stopping with the dish she had been drying.

"I'll put it is a different way, err" Neha said, recoiling with Riddhima's glare. "What do you think about Alan?" she reframed.

"I don't think anything about him" Riddhima replied bluntly, guessing what was coming up.

"Are you blind Riddhima? He is a hunk! You must be really blind" Neha said, aghast. "I mean haven't you noticed his advances towards you?"

"Huh? Advances" Riddhima said, perplexed, "I haven't noticed" she added then obviously.

"Look Riddhima, he knows everything about you, and he is ready to accept you and Ahana like his own. Give it a try?" Neha said, almost pleading.

Riddhima sighed, exhausted, "I've tried explaining in simple words, tons of times, that I don't want anybody else in my life, I'm done, now how do I translate it to you so you can understand?"

"I understand Riddhima" Adi said, coming into the kitchen, "don't strain your mind too much, how about you go and give Ahana some company while I do the rest of the dishes" he said.

Nodding Riddhima began to exit, on reaching the door she turned back and said, "If this makes you understand better Neha then I'd have to say no other man turns me on like Armaan does" she said, suddenly annoyed with everything. Exasperated she huffed and walked away.

Neha had her eyebrow raised, it looked amusing "Did Riddhima just say what I heard?" she enquired with Adi.

Adi laughed, "Yes she did"

"I thought I was going bananas" Neha said, going back to the dishes, "why can't she give Alan a chance?" she grumbled.

"Give it a thought Neha, would you try someone else if you were living in circumstances Riddhima is?" Adi said, slowly but deliberately.

"Of course not" she replied immediately, and then bit her tongue.

He smiled.


He grumbled; hoisting himself up the pipe had been a hard enough task, which he had done positively grunting. Now he grumbled because quite unexpectedly the balcony doors of Riddhima's room had been locked from the inside. "Just my luck" he cursed under his breath.

Over the days Armaan was deciding the best way to confront Riddhima, he found his head flooded with ideas, each idea with a countless number of flaws, finally he concluded that he'd have to do it the old times way – the window. Of course, there was one flaw in this as well, what if Riddhima screamed her head off? That would obviously awake Neha and Adi. But he had taken the risk anyway considering that this was the best plan.

Now standing on the balcony hardly 10 feet away from her his heart beats quickened, not with fear or any kind of fright that she would disapprove but with an overwhelming sense of triumph running through his veins. The time had come when he would be gathering Riddhima in his arms to start again - A new life, a better life, a life after redemption, but if only this damn door would open through a miracle.

The door remained shut, the curtains weren't drawn properly, and through the gaps Armaan saw Riddhima sleeping peacefully. How he wanted to hold her close again, he wanted the scent of her hair to stimulate him, he wanted her finger to trace his chest as they had done long before, he wanted her to snuggle into him in sleep, and he let himself gather the imaginary sensations which soon he hoped wouldn't be imaginary. They had been separated way too long. Time it came to an end he thought as he grimaced and sobered.

Unexpectedly it began to rain heavily; the wind whipped the rain strongly wetting Armaan. But he didn't care, he had just observed that either side of the balcony had windows, luckily for him, one of the windows were slightly ajar. The window was small, but he had to manage. He surreptitiously struggled wondering which way was the best to get in and after a few minutes he was there, alas, in her room.

He hadn't noticed that the few minutes of his struggle Riddhima had turned around, and now her partially bare back was facing him, one strap of her night gown now well off her shoulder the duvet drawn up to her waist.

He walked and sat down beside her, the night light set a faint glow to the room, enabling him to see her more clearly. Her delicate features were like they had always been; gorgeous and stunning, her blue night gown accentuated her curves that Armaan found his eyes gaping, she caused his senses to react in a way that no other woman had managed to do so effortlessly. He wanted to wake her up, but at the same time he wanted to remain there simply watching her sleep, the open window was now blowing wind into the room, the atmosphere was perfect.

His hand moved to adjust her strap, he hesitated, but all the same he put back the strap in its place, then gently moving upwards the back of his hand stroked her cheek. She smiled in her sleep; the reaction was almost instant, he stared, afraid to move, slowly she opened her eyes, her half open eyes saw Armaan, her subconscious mind registered it, and her lips undoubtedly said 'Armaan' so lovingly. Before he could rejoice the moment, thunder louder than ever woke Riddhima fully, she sat up, stupefied, this time not because of the thunder, but because of the man she saw sitting before her.

She gazed at him; he was considerably wet, his shirt sticking to his body, some drips of water were trailing down his chest disappearing under his shirt, he sat there, unmoving, his expression gaunt. She scrambled out of bed, taking the duvet along with her and putting it over her shoulders; she held it tight around her, shielding her skimpily clad self. She saw him standing up too; she didn't trust her mouth to speak. She simply walked to the balcony, opened it wide, the gust of sudden wind welcomed her, she shuddered involuntarily because of the thunder but keeping her voice strong she pleaded "Please leave."

That was all she said, yet her voice depicted pain. It was like the want for severance, only the severance sounded forced.

"I haven't come to leave Riddhima" he said, coming to stand right in front of her.

"Then what have you come for? Come to question my love for you? Again?" she retorted, pained anger crossing her face.

"I want reconciliation" he said, his voice calm and soft.

"Reconciliation?" she scoffed, "after you betrayed me? You must be crazy"

"Betrayed? What betrayal? You have misunderstood something Riddhima, and I don't know what it is, why can't you just tell me? Someone must have just put a false impression in front of you" he said, advancing on her, his voice was rising well against his wishes.

She did not step back.

"I am not misunderstood" Riddhima shouted, "I saw it and heard it with my very own eyes and ears, they did not deceive me if that's what you are going to say, my love for you is not fickle that somebody could lay a false impression for me to believe. I would not have believed if somebody came and told me what you did, but it was not somebody, it was ME, I witnessed everything you and your mother planned" her voice broke with strain, he eyes stung, but she bit back her tears, one tear found its way out.

"Riddhima, I did not betray you" he said confidently holding her arms over the duvet.

"You did Armaan, you did, you betrayed me, and that's the sad part" she said, her head bowed leaning on his chest, her hands clutching his damp shirt. Her shoulders shook uncontrollably as she cried. She didn't realize when Armaan pulled her into an embrace. The time ticked away, none of them knew how long they stood like that, and her sobs occasionally broke the silence.

When he sobs completely subsided he held her inches apart, tipping her chin so her eyes met his. The intensity in his eyes were so sharp, they pierced her like a thousand needles, she shook her head,  futile attempt to shake away the trance, but his eyes were hypnotic, the hypnotism held, sensationalizing. The sensuality in him the surroundings and the atmosphere were getting too much to take.

"Do you love me Riddhima?" he asked his eyes unblinking.

She nodded the slightest, enough just for him to comprehend.

He held her hands, fingers entwined, pressing them against his heart. "Good, because I love you too, more than you can imagine" he replied, softly, but with crisp intensity, giving her hands a squeeze. "And I'd never betray anyone I love so much". He waited for the words to sink into her.

She sniffed, after about a moment she looked up at him and with a firm conviction she said "Love me Armaan"

He wasted no time in claiming her lips and gripping her senses, what started with a simple kiss was now gathering impatient momentum. The duvet slipped to the floor, her body contacting with his contours, fitting perfectly. Invading her like never before she slide into an unending passionate journey with him, a journey no one but they knew off. A world where no one but they traveled, exploring the cores that they so long were deprived of, their physical needs boiled to the surface.



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