Tuesday, 19 March 2019

part 40 : Tumhare hum

I take a taxi to get to Armaan's house. When I arrive, I notice the beautiful house has two cars parked in the garage. I think nothing of it and ring the BELL. When the door opens, I am shocked to see who is on the other side. It is RIddhima. She smiles at me and says, "Hi Riddhima, come… Armaan was expecting you." I nod and slowly enter the house. I turn to Riddhima and ask, "Do you two live together?" Riddhima laughs, "Of course Riddhima, usually married couples do live together." My jaw drops, "Armaan never told me you two were married." Armaan interrupts, "That's because Riddhima and I like to keep our professional and personal lives separate, although it's kind of hard since she is always arguing with me at the hospital." Riddhima smacks Armaan over the head exclaiming, "I do not! You always start it Armaan! Anyways didn't you have something important to tell Riddhima." Armaan looks serious at this point and says, "Let's talk in the study." I nod and follow Armaan into the study. I start looking around at the numerous books and then turn my attention over to Armaan.

We both sit on the couch and I ask, "So what did you need an opinion on? At first I thought it was about Riddhima, but I can see it's clearly not because you two are already happily married." He awkwardly laughs and then slowly starts, "Riddhima there is something you need to know, something from my past that still continues to haunt me." I immediately become interested and ask, "What is it Armaan?" He gets up and stands in front of the window looking out at the rain pouring. He continues, "It was my fault Riddhima… I was the one that asked Armaan to break up with you…" I scream, "WHAT?!" He says, "I'll tell you everything from the beginning… It all started the when Armaan and I were hanging out with Prem, Josh, and Lakshya. We were getting bored so Josh said, 'Armaan, I challenge you to make the first girl to enter through that gate fall in love with you.' That's when you walked through the gate wearing a yellow churidaar, looking so beautiful and pure. I wanted to protest because only I knew how much I liked you. When Armaan saw you he immediately said, 'No way guys I can't. Just look at her… she's too innocent.' Then Josh, Prem, and Lakshya started to tease Armaan. He reluctantly agreed and I became really upset. Soon Armaan became friends with you and he formally introduced you to Prem, Josh, Lakshya, and me. I was happy just being friends with you, but the more I saw you with Armaan… the more jealous I became. You started showing interests in Armaan and then you both started dating. I became really depressed because I couldn't see you with him anymore."

"You told me one day that you were going to tell Armaan that you loved him and I told you not to, but you didn't to listen to me. I was upset that day and Armaan noticed. He asked me why I was acting so strange. I told him that you were in love with him and that he would only break your heart. That's when I let it slip that I was in love with you. I begged him to break up with you so harshly so that you would come to me for comfort. He didn't want to break up with you though. I kept telling him how heartbroken you would be to realize this was all for a challenge. He thought it over and felt that I liked you more than he did. He finally agreed after swearing on our friendship."

"When you told him that you loved him, he tried to make you hate him... just for me. I hired that girl for him so that you would turn your love into hatred and it would be easier for you to move on. You were heartbroken though and I tried to comfort you and be the one you would turn to for help in getting over Armaan, but you moved away. After that, Armaan would barely say two words to any of us. He held us responsible for hurting you because the truth was that you grew on him and he actually liked you. He felt really disgusted with himself after that and distanced himself from all of us… I lost a good friend because of my stupidity… It wasn't Armaan's fault… it was mine... I was selfish."

"You must be wondering why I'm telling you this now… Armaan told me in the hospital that he didn't want you to hold me responsible for the break up. He told me you didn't know that it was all because of me. He took the blame all upon himself when it wasn't his to take. I don't want you to hold Armaan responsible for my mistakes Riddhima. I've seen the way Armaan looks at you… he's madly in love with you and I can see the same love reflecting in your eyes as well. Love never dies Riddhima. If you want to hold someone responsible for your break up then it should be me. Armaan would have never broken up with you if it weren't for me. I was so blinded by my love that I failed to see how much Armaan had grown to like you."

Armaan turns around to look at me while tears continuously stream down my face. In a harsh whisper I ask, "HOW COULD YOU ARMAAN? I TRUSTED YOU AND YOU BETRAYED ME! YOU KNOW WHAT ARMAAN, ARMAAN CAN ALSO THINK FOR HIMSELF! HE MADE THE CHOICE TO BREAK UP WITH ME ON HIS OWN… NO ONE CAN REALLY FORCE YOU TO MAKE THAT CHOICE! HE'S NO BETTER THAN YOU ARE!" Armaan reasons, "Riddhima I know you're upset, but just for once please think about it from Armaan's perspective… if your best friend said she was in love with Armaan eight years ago, would you not sacrifice him for your best friend?" I grab my purse and storm out of the house saying, "Good-bye Armaan!"

I walk out into the pouring rain, speechless. Armaan's words continue to play through my mind. The truth was that I would do anything for Muskaan if she asked me to. I hated to admit it, but Armaan was right. I wipe my tears away as I realize I took out my revenge on Armaan for no reason. He didn't really deserve all the pain I caused him. I know I would do the same thing if I were in his position, I couldn't really be upset with Armaan for that. He was after all just being a good friend. I suddenly end up at the beach and notice that the rain has become a very light drizzle. I sit down on a large rock in front of the picturesque ocean and think of all the pain I went through when Armaan broke up with me. I was so devastated because I always thought he returned my feelings. I feel so disgusted with my self for even thinking about getting revenge now that I know the truth. All I have ever given him is so much pain. His eyes always begged me to express my love for him, but I couldn't because our past held me back. Now I come to know that the grudge I had been holding for eight years was for nothing. Why didn't he ever tell me the truth? But I wonder if I would have believed him… probably not. I never tried to see it from a different perspective than my own. Armaan wasn't the selfish one… I was.

Tears run down my cheek as memories flood my mind. All that happened eight years ago isn't something I can hold a grudge about now, but that's how it all started… because of the promise I made to myself."ARMAAN TUMHE BHI ISS DARD KA EHSAAS HOGA EK DIN!! I PROMISE!!!" I remember how happy he was when he proposed. "Riddhima I love you, I am in love with you. I know there can be no one better for me than you. You have stolen my heart and although I know you are not in love with me yet, I know there will be a day when you will be… so I ask you today, to trust my heart and marry me. Will you Riddhima Gupta marry me?"

I was so selfish that I didn't care about anyone else's feelings, but my own. I knew that it would hurt him, but I had to get my sweet revenge. I rejected him so harshly, so cruelly. My response is automatic and cold, "No." His smile turns into an immediate frown, "Did I do something wrong?" I glare at him, "YES ARMAAN! YOU DID EVERYTHING WRONG! I DON'T LOVE YOU AND I NEVER WILL! I HATE YOU ARMAAN MALLIK! DO YOU GET THAT? I HATE YOU!"

He then challenged me into this marriage after I had broken his heart. What did I really expect would happen? Somewhere deep down, I knew he wasn't the type to let this go so easily. I had this coming the moment I made the plan to break his heart. "Get ready to be Mrs. Riddhima Armaan Mallik!"

He took advantage of my weakness, the way I took advantage of his. He forced me into this marriage because I left him no other option. "Now the way I see it is that you've got three options! Option One, marry me and have the baby. Option Two, you don't marry me and I end up telling you're parents about your pregnancy. This one is going to get messy since the parents you love so much will probably end up throwing you out of their lives. Also, you're father has a weak heart, so it's not wise to put him through that! And finally, Option Three, you can try having the baby aborted, but the key word is 'try' because there is no way in hell I would let that happen to our child. Along with that, I plan on telling your parent's everything anyways! Now if you ask me I would go with option one, but that is just me! So now, what will it be Riddhima?"

I remember when I agreed to marrying Armaan for the sake of our child. I would do it again for the sake of my child… if I had actually conceived one at the time. The happiness that radiated from my parents faces was reason enough for me to say yes. I close my eyes acknowledging what I am about to do as I let the words escape my mouth, "Yes, I'll marry Armaan…"

He was so guilty and vulnerable on our wedding night. The tactics he chose to get me to marry him were nowhere near honorable, but he was confused and heartbroken. He saw a ray of hope and decided to pursue it. It hurt me a lot to know that I was tricked into thinking I had a child growing inside of me, but he was scared to lose me. Now that I think about it we are more alike than I realized. 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 in front 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…"

After he lied to me, I said anything and everything possible to hurt him just like he hurt me. 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. After that he completely changed from being his normal self to a man of few words. He was so guilty and regretful for everything that he always tried his best not to get in my way.

All these horrible memories of the pain we caused each other. It is my fault that all of this happened. I played with his feelings… his emotions thinking that he deserved everything I gave him, but he didn't. I am wrong this time, not him. I pushed him to that extent, which caused him to do all of this. I never viewed any of these instances from his perspective, but now I can clearly see why he did all that he did. It was all for me in the end. I look away from the ocean and notice that my watch shows it is two o'clock in the morning. I wipe my tears whispering, "I'm sorry Armaan… main tumhe samaj hi nahin paaye." I get up and walk on the sidewalk, quickly hailing a taxi to go back home… back to Armaan.


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