Wednesday, 20 March 2019

part 41 : Tumhare hum


After we enter our hotel suite, Riddhima helps me to the bed. I am about to protest, but I know she is just as stubborn as I am. I see her looking at the clock and I notice it is 6:30. Then she grabs her purse and I ask worriedly, "Where are you going?" I don't know why I even bothered asking her this because I know exactly where she is going. She is going to meet Armaan at 7 tonight. She stops in her tracks, slightly turns towards me, and says, "Ill be back soon." She closes the door and I close my eyes. I run a hand through my hair in frustration. I get out of bed and grab a bottle of alcohol as I remember Riddhima and Armaan's conversation more vividly than I had hoped.

Riddhima and Armaan had left my room to fill out my discharge papers. I got out of my bed to eavesdrop on their conversation. They are sitting close enough for me to hear and see them from behind. Armaan asks, "Riddhima can I ask you something?" She nods and fills out my information. He continues, "Is there a problem between you and Armaan?" My heart beats faster as I wait for Riddhima's response. She slowly looks up at him. He elaborates, "I've been noticing for the past week that there is so much tension between you two. It doesn't seem like a small petty fight either, but something more serious. Even though you two are physically in the same room, mentally it seems like you and Armaan are miles apart. Is everything okay with the two of you?" She looks down, which makes it obvious that she is covering up the truth. She slowly says, "Yeah Armaan we are fine." I wish that were true…

Armaan places his hand on her shoulder and I feel my own hands ball up in tight fists. I know I am being insecure, but with Riddhima I always feel insecure of losing her to another. Armaan says, "Riddhima don't lie to me, if you don't want to tell me then that's fine. I know we aren't as close as we once were." My eyes dart up at his words. She looks at Armaan and sighs, "Armaan I just… I don't know. There are things from our past that I can't seem to forget." Armaan asks, "You mean when you two broke up?" She nods, "That and other things… I could never forgive him for the pain he caused me 8 years ago. He was my first love and… he betrayed me. I can't let that go no matter how hard I try. I came into his life to get revenge Armaan, but instead I was forced into this marriage. Even now that we are married, we don't share that type of relationship even though I know he has changed… I do care about him, but love… I don't know…" My heart shatters as I hear her last words, "…love...I don't know…" She doesn't love me, even after all that has happened. I stand there with tears rolling down my face, vanishing all hope from my heart that we would ever become one again. Just then a message is sounded through the loud speakers saying, "Paging Dr. Riddhima, please report to Dr. Keerti immediately." This message is so loud that I only hear Armaan say, "Today at 7. Don't tell Armaan…"I grind my teeth in response and then hear Riddhima reply, "Yeah sure." I close my eyes realizing I have lost her once again.

I move in front of the fireplace and think back eight years to the day I first saw Riddhima. It was a bunch of us guys just hanging around, being bored as usual until Josh suggests I make the next girl to walk through the gate in love with me. I hated it when Josh made up these stupid challenges. Nevertheless, I had agreed, but as soon as I saw Riddhima enter… I knew I shouldn't do it. She looked so innocent, so pure, and so virtuous that I didn't want to hurt her. I tried to back out of it, but the guys kept teasing me about being a sissy. I couldn't take it anymore and decided to go along with it. Then I actually started to like her because she was fun to be around. I had completely forgotten about the challenge and how I was to break up with her. That is until the day I found out Armaan thought he was in love with her. I was wrong to listen to Armaan, but he was my best friend. After I had broken her heart, I couldn't stand being around Armaan and the rest of them. It was their fault that I couldn't look at myself in the mirror anymore, which is the reason we all grew apart.

When I found out Riddhima was the same one from eight years ago, I was shocked. I wanted to tell her the truth about the break up, but I didn't think she would believe me. It was just as much my fault as it was Armaan's fault. I shouldn't have listened to him in the first place. I should have told him I liked her and she was no longer just a challenge to me, but I was scared. I didn't exactly have the best reputation for being a good guy. I didn't want her to be too far into the relationship and have her heartbroken a million times worse. I was wrong though because she already was too far in… she was already in love with me. I hated myself for hurting her the way I did. She didn't deserve any of it and I have no one to blame, but myself. My life is the way it is because of all the wrong choices I made.

I chug the alcohol down, letting it burn down my throat. My eyes blur with hot tears as they threaten to fall. I notice the clock says 2 o'clock and I look back at the door, hoping Riddhima would come back soon. I can't stand thinking that she is with Armaan. If only she knew the truth… I learn back in the chair and close my eyes, wishing I could go back in time and change my past. If only it were that simple. Maybe this is what was supposed to happen, maybe I was never meant to get the love of my life. I drink the last sip of alcohol before tossing the empty bottle into the fireplace, shattering it to bits. The bottle somehow resembled the state of my heart, broken… I cry out when the pain becomes unbearable, "HOW CAN I LOVE SOMEONE SO MUCH? I COULD DO ANYTHING FOR YOU… ANYTHING… WHY CAN'T YOU SEE HOW MUCH I NEED YOU… HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU…" I bury my face in my hands and whisper, "Why don't you love me Riddhima, why?" I hear her gentle whisper echo throughout the room, "Armaan…"


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