Wednesday, 13 March 2019

part 34 : Tumhare hum


The car comes to a halt and I look around to see we are at the hotel instead of at the Mallik Mansion. I wipe away my tears angrily and scream, "What the hell are we doing here?" Armaan says secretively, "You'll see, now come on!" I look at him like he has lost his mind and fold my arms across my chest. He sighs, dropping his head against the headrest behind him. He slowly turns his head towards me and says, "Riddhima, it's wasn't my idea okay! It was my parents idea for us to spend the night here, now come on." He gets out the car and opens my passenger side door saying, "Don't make me pick you up!" He inches closer and I point my finger at him, warning, "Don't you dare touch me!" I get out the car in frustration and we go up in the elevator. It is quite awkward going up in the quiet elevator with only the two of us. Soon we arrive at the top most floor and Armaan opens the door to the beautiful suite.



I walk in hesitantly and look around the room to see candles lit and places along the walls. There are maroon and white drapes over the canopy bed with silky maroon satin bed sheets. There are rose petals tossed all over the floor and on the bed. Soft music plays in the background as a gentle breeze passes through from the open window. I see that Armaan is nowhere in sight, he must have went to explore this gigantic suite. Good riddance! After looking around the suite for a few minutes, I go over to close the window because I start feeling chilly. As soon as I close it, I hear a husky voice from a distance saying in a depressed tone, "Riddhima…"

I turn around and to see Armaan looking apologetically at me. My anger starts to rise again as I see him. He say, "Riddhima I'm sorry…" I narrow my eyes and bitterly say, "You're sorry? That's all you have to say for yourself? Do you think that I will forgive you for forcing me into this marriage by a simple apology? It's not that easy Mr. Mallik!" I turn around in anger and hear him say, "I'm not sorry for making you marry me Riddhima, but I am sorry for how I made you marry me…" I refuse to turn around and he continues, "I love you Riddhima, but you don't seem to understand or rather don't want to believe it. You're giving us both heartache by staying away from me. I know you're just as much in love with me as you were eight years ago, but you'll never admit to yourself. I can't change what I did in the past Riddhima, I can only hope to change in the future for the better…" I snap, "You forced me to marry you Armaan, how can you say that you changed? You're still the arrogant jerk you were back then. I just hurt your ego, and you wanted to make my life a living hell because of it!"

He spins me around holding onto my arm tightly saying, "Why don't you understand I love you dammit! You mean the world to me! Even though, you gave me so much pain, I can't stop loving you! You're on my mind, in my heart, and I can't just let the best thing that happened to me walk out of my life. I know it's selfish of me, but life without you won't be worth living! You wanted me to suffer alone, but I know that you're suffering too! I just need you to know that no matter what happens I'll always love you. I know that there will be a day, when you will not regret marrying me, but that day isn't going to be today…" I look at him unsure of where he is going with this speech. He stands infront of me looking weak, sorry, and full of regret. His head hangs low almost as if he is gathering courage to reveal something. He slowly brings his eyes to level with mine and says, "You're not pregnant Riddhima…"

My eyes grow wide in shock and my anger reaches an alltime high. As soon as the words start to register in my mind I yell, "WHAT?!" He doesn't look surprised by my reaction. I walk closer to him and hold onto his sherwani shaking him, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT ARMAAN?" He grabs my hands to stop me from shaking him and says, "You're not pregnant Riddhima!" He walks over to his coat pocket and takes out a yellow envelope, throwing it on the bed. He says, "Those are the real pregnancy reports… Kunal Kapoor is a friend of mine and he owed me a favor. He made false reports so that you would think you're pregnant. It was the only way I could corner you into marrying me" I look at the papers clearly stating the results are negative for pregnancy. I stutter, "No you're lying! I-I was having m-morning sickness…" He looks at me with guilt and says, "I placed vomit inducing medicine in your food at the office. Think about it, if you were pregnant with my child, why would I drop you so many times during the sangeet… You're not pregnant Riddhima… I'm sorry for everything"

I glare at him angrily as tears stream down my cheek. I walk towards him, anger written across my face. I slap him across his face and yell, "HOW COULD YOU LIE ABOUT MY PREGNANCY? I'LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR THIS! I'LL ALWAYS HATE YOU ARMAAN AND YOU WILL NEVER SEE THE DAY I FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU, NEVER! YOU'RE DEAD TO ME ARMAAN MALLIK! NOW GET OUT!" I storm across the room and yank open the door. He looks at me sadly, as he holds onto his cheek saying, "I'm sorry" while leaving out the door.
I shut the door and press my back against it, sliding down to the ground. Tears roll down my cheek and I bring my legs closer to my body so that I can bury my face against my legs. I wrap my arms tightly over my knees and sob violently. I rub one hand over my stomach, where I thought my baby lived. I can't believe he would do something so inhumane, I expected a lot of things from him, but never this. He likes playing with people's lives. He forced me to believe I was pregnant and made me face a deliemma I was never in. Some would think I should be happy that I'm not pregnant, but instead I feel like my baby just died. The only thing that kept me going is my precious child, but now I have nothing to live for. My child was never inside me to begin with, yet my mind refuses to reason. My heart hurts the most; my heart completely trusted Armaan, but he shattered it into a million pieces. He continues to give me even more pain than before and I didn't even think that was possible. All he has ever given me is pain, and that's all he is ever going to receive. He will never be happy with me, I'll make sure of it!

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Chapter 35



Armaan

I walk out the room slowly and wander down the hallways of the hotel, completely heartbroken as tears run down my face. I enter the empty elevator and close my eyes. All I see behind those closed eyelids is Riddhima's tear stained face and the hurt that reflected in her eyes. She was devasted and I knew it. At that moment it had dawned on me, that this was probably the most horrendous thing I could ever done to her. I don't know what possessed me to do something so cruel and heartless. I walk around the lobby and then walk into the bar. There are a lot of people partying in there, but I didn't care. I just wanted to drink myself into a stupor because her words cut through me like a knife. I deserve it, but it still hurts. I am wrong, I know it. I am absolutely selfish, I know that as well; but I couldn't help it. My love for her makes me do stupid things like pressure her into marriage, lie about the pregnancy, even… Nothing can be done about this now, all I can do now is wallow in my misery and think of a way to fix this.



The bartender hands me my drink and I chug it down, feeling the burning sensation traveling down my throat. A tear escapes my eye as I feel the hope of ever being with Riddhima washing away. How could I mess up this badly? I really don't know what I expected her reaction to be, but just looking at her made me realize what a huge mistake I made. I grab another drink and sling it down my throat. At the mandap, when I said sorry to her I was referring to the fake pregnancy. At that point in time, I truly was sorry and there was nothing I could do to make up for what I had done.



The day after I had found out about Riddhima's revenge is when this plan popped into my head. I may have been slightly intoxicated when this idea came to mind, anyhow, I started to slip vomiting medicine in Riddhima's lunch at the office so that she would have a reason to go to the doctors. I went to visit my friend, Kunal, who owed me big time. He reluctantly agreed to make up some excuse in order to get Riddhima's main physician Dr. Sheetal Singhania out for the day. Meanwhile, I started to watch Riddhima's every move so that I know ahead of time when she thinks she is ready to go to the doctor's office. When that day finally came, I called Kunal and he managed to get rid of Sheetal for the rest of the day, leaving only him to be able to do Riddhima's check up. He made up fake reports for her pregnancy and gave the real copy to me. When he submitted the reports to his secretary he called me to tell me that Riddhima is now aware of her "pregnancy" and that's when I forced my parents to come with me to the Gupta Mansion to ask for Riddhima's hand in marriage for me. At the time I was happy with the plan, but watching Riddhima crumble was devastating even for me.



When she came home that day and saw me and my parents lounging around in her livingroom, she became even more stressed. I could tell by the look on her face and it hurt me to know that I was hurting her. I continued with my plan and left her no option, but marriage. I knew the whole time that I was killing her on the inside, but the only thing that kept me going was the fact that one day we could look back at this and know that this was for the best, that this was for our future. If I had the slightest doubt that someone could love her more than me, then I would have happily let her be, but no one can love her more than me. I've made mistakes in the past. I've listened to people I shouldn't have. I've done a lot of things I'm not proud of, but this marraige that had to happen. I had to get her to marry me, without her I'm a no body, a lost soul. She may not realize it, but she needs me just as much as I need her. I know I have hurt her beyond belief, but time will solve everything.



In that twisted mind of hers, I know she is planning to give me hell, but I'm prepared to take it. I'm prepared to take it all like a man. There are no more tricks up my sleeve, no more lies, no more deceit, no more revenge. I just want her to know that I really do love her and am truly sorry for the amount of pain I have given her. I promise that the time will come when I will be able to give her all the happiness in the world, all that she deserves and more. All I have to do is wait, and I will even if it takes until the end of time.



I grab the drink in my hand and turn around on my chair, facing the crowd of people. Some girls start eyeing me and signaling me to join them on the dance floor. I look at them boredly and decide to take a walk outside. I pay the bartender and grab another beer to keep me company in my solitude. Water droplets start to fall onto my face, I look up and feel the rain pouring down harder against my face. I walk to where my car is parked and lay on the hood, ignoring the downpour. I start drinking my beer, wanting to forget my personal problems. Afterall, what are my problems compared to Riddhima's, nothing. What she is going through is way worse. Her tear stained face continues to haunt me throughout the cold lonely night. The tears continuosly stream down my face as her words echo in my ear, "HOW COULD YOU LIE ABOUT MY PREGNANCY? I'LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR THIS! I'LL ALWAYS HATE YOU ARMAAN AND YOU WILL NEVER SEE THE DAY I FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU, NEVER! YOU'RE DEAD TO ME ARMAAN MALLIK…" I'll never forgive myself for this, for giving her pain, for giving her tears, for giving her even more heartache, but I do know that I will see the day she falls in love with me…

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