Friday, 7 June 2019

AR os : Escaping the hell

Escaping the hell- story of a young British Pakistani girl

-what if that hell is your own family?

I never saw my dad this furious; he looked like he's going to kill her, my big sister. Damn she just refused to marry a guy double her age. I mean like what the hell? How could they even expect her to marry at the first place, she's just 16 and that too with some uncle who is 40 years old. Are my parents blind or what? Just because a few aunties said that my sister has turned out to be a beautiful woman and a few guys are eyeing her in a bad way, my parents thought to get her married. I mean like hello we're living in 21st century but no one cares in Pakistan. Now I know why my parents were so keen to go on a holiday to Pakistan. Crap I feel trapped. I shouldn't have left Britain; now I can't even do anything. My British passport will get treated like trash in this village of Pakistan. But right now I feel sorry for my big sister who is expected to marry a 40 year old widower uncle. But I trust the feisty blood of my sister; I know she'll never sacrifice her life like this.

'Oh Allah help her', I prayed clutching my religious locket around my throat. My heartbeat increased with time. I just couldn't see my sister surrounded by my uncles and dad who are threatening her.

"MEIN AAKHRI BAAR POOCH RAHA HOON, KAR RAHI HAI SHAADI YA NAHI?" my dad screamed while towering her. Using his male figure to intimidate her to the core, but my sister was also a British born and us British are not the kind of people who can get intimidate like that by any Pakistani dad.

"NOOO I WON'T DO IT. YOU CAN'T MAKE ME MARRY A MAN WHO IS MUM'S AGE. WHY DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?" she screamed back and her tone matching my dad's. Volcano in her eyes and tears prickling like lava, but she wasn't going to back off.

Whispers spread around the front yard as the so called bystanders heard a daughter "disrespecting" her father by refusing to marry a guy her father chose for her and not only that but she also raised her voiced in front of him.

My dad's nostrils flared as he heard people raising fingers at his upbringing.

"dekho to sahi, agar beti to aaj sahi seekh dee hoti to aaj vo uske baap ki baat na taalti. Arey agar mein aaj apni 10 saal ki beti to bhi shaadi karne to bolu na, to abhi shaadi karle aur uff tak na bole. Huh yeh England shingland jaakar bacche angrezo ki tarah ho jaate hai. Muje to sheikh sahib ke liye bura lag raha hai. Sola saal ki larki haath se nikal gayi."

"haan haan kitni batameez hai"

"agar meri beti hoti to abhi tak usse goli maar deta, sheikh sahib to kayar aur buzdil ho gaye hai, angrezo ke beech reh kar."

My dad couldn't take it anymore. How dare his daughter disrespect him like that? How could she refuse to him? I gave her birth so it's my decision what happens in her life.

"SHUT UP YOU PEOPLE. STOP ADDING FUEL TO THE FIRE" my sister tried to stop the bystanders to pass anymore comments.

"dekho yeh taalim di hai sheikh sahib ne unki beti ko, ki baro ke saamne unchi awaz se baat kare", an aunty whispered to the person standing next to her and they blindly agreed.

I don't know how but I had a feeling that if my sister doesn't shut up now then my dad will do something terrible to her. I could just see the intention in his eyes. And before I could think anymore, I saw dad picking up an axe lying nearby and drived it straight into my sister's throat in front of my eyes.

"AAAHHH" that was my first reaction as I felt blood splashing on my face. I closed my eyes as a reflex; didn't want to see what happened to my sister. I just couldn't see her in the state I was expecting her to see. Even while writing this my hands shake just thinking about my sister's body lying on the ground with her chopped head on her left.

"AAA AALIYAAH AALIYAAAHHH", I cried her name out and touched her body. I can still feel that shivers I got when I first touched the dead body of my sister. My tears weren't coming out, I was just too scared. I thought that if I cried and fought for my sister that moment, they will kill me as well. I never felt so powerless and helpless like that before. Suddenly I felt a jerk at my arm and saw my dad pushing me aside and away from aliyah.

"dur reh iss batameez se warna kahi tu bhi iske jaise na ban jaaye aur muje tera bhi sar kaatna pare." I got so scared that I just hugged my knees and nodded to whatever he said. I swear, if he would have told me to get married to that 40 year old man that time in front of aaliyah's dead body, I would have gotten to married to him without saying a word. I have never felt that kind of fear before. I wasn't that upset about aliyaah's death that I was scared of my family that time. I could see some of the eyes on me but I just looked down. Too scared to even look up. My dad marched proudly upto my big sister's dead body and spat on her beheaded face. I couldn't believe what I saw next. I saw the crowd cheering and clapping their hands at what my dad just did.

"hame aapse yahi ummeed thi sheikh sahib. Aaj bhi kisi larki ki himmat nahi ki vo apne baap ki baat taale. Yeh beti to ganda khoon tha. Acha hua maar dala. Ab kal uthke koi bhi beti apne baap ki baat nahi talegi."

"haan haan sheikh sahib aapne bilkul sahi kiya. Maan na parega, aaj bhi aapke haath nahi kaape apni beti ka gala kaat te waqt. Aisi himmat sab mein nahi hoti. Wah wah"

My dad's head proudly went up as he cleaned his blood stained hands with my mum's dupatta. Oh my god, I didn't even feel the presence of my mum all this time. Not even when her elder daughter got beheaded in public by her own husband and she is letting her husband clean his blood stained hands with her duppatta. She didn't even spoke a single word. I am ashamed to call her a women, I thought she'd understand my sister's pain, but I guess all women here are brought up that way.

"shanno chai banade zara. Bari thakan mehsoos ho rahi hai. Aur haan iss kamini ki laash ko bhi kahi gutter mein daal dena. Isse to kabar bhi naseeb nahi honi chahiye." My dad said to my mum who was listening to his commands with her head bowed down. Soon all the bystanders chacha and chachis dispersed away and I was left alone with my mum and my other younger 4 sisters who were also too shocked to react just like me.

My mum came up to me and harshly pulled me up while brushing her tears away which were flowing continuously. I felt really bad for her, she saw her own husband killing her daughter and she couldn't utter a word as women aren't allowed to speak here in front of men.

"chal ab bethi bethi uska muh mat dekh. Mar gayi vo. Bohot chapar chapar zabaan chalti thi na uski, dekh tere abbu ne uska sar hi kaat diya. Agar tum logo ne bhi apne ammi abbu ki baat nahi suni to aisa hi hoga.", she said with a glassed face.


1 week has passed since that incident and the house seemed unfazed. My mum buried my sister secretly as my dad was against it. At least she has a bit of guts. Mum pretends as if she forgot she ever had a 16 year old daughter, but I have seen her crying under her pillows. I couldn't even imagine how helpless she must be feeling at that time.

One afternoon, I was sitting in my small bedroom staring into space which I have started to do a lot since we came on a holiday to Pakistan. I was reflecting on my 15 year old life when suddenly, my mum came in the room with her expressionless face and kept red salwar kameez on my bed for me. She kept her hand on my shoulder and I knew something bad is coming because in this one week, my mum didn't even looked at my face properly, never mind keeping a friendly hand on my shoulder. I shrugged her hand off me and stood up.

"is something wrong?" I asked her unsurely. Nowadays I don't even know what is happening around me. I just want to go back to England.

"beta yeh kapre pehenle. Kal teri sagai hai." I just felt as if someone woke me up from me sleep by splashing ice cold water on my face.

"Kal meri kya hai?" I still couldn't believe they could stoop this low. Damn I didn't think this was coming. I am just 15.

"Engagement" all my doubts got clear. Now even I will get married to some old guy who will rape me every day of my life and I won't be allowed to take a sigh of pain as well. And if I speak out a word, then I will be beheaded like my sister as well.

"With who?", that's all I could muster up. I was picking my words carefully. I didn't want to die like my sister, but I don't want to marry at the age of 15 as well.

"the same guy your sister was suppose to marry. He's more than happy to marry you and you have to think about your family's reputation as well right?" I have never met more selfish people than them before.

"huh h..haan" words just weren't coming out of my mouth. The fear of getting killed started overpowering my brain again. I was just agreeing to whatever they were saying. By the way mum he's not a guy, he's a 40 year old Buddha. I need to run man before I either get killed by my dad or I marry a man who's nearly triple my age. Ya allah ab tu hi rasta dikha.

"yeh lo jamai raja aa gaye", my mum sounded pathetically sweet. Oh my god the man looks like my dad. I feel sick.

I saw my supposedly would be husband entering the room with my 3 uncles laughing over some joke and he was blushing. Eeww gross.

"acha mein chalti hu, aap log baate karo. Ab yeh aapki hi bahu hai" my mum excused herself and went out of the room leaving me alone with all these people I have never met like this before.

"naam kya hai tera?", he asked me with such a manner that showed his male domination.

"r..rihana." I stammered with nervousness and fear. He looked so gross to be a husband. He was really fat with stomach flab's falling out. He was stinking of stale body oder and he reeked of fag. He was really old and uh uhm ugh UGLY. I know I sounded harsh but it was like seeing my dad.

"bhabhi to abhi se Sharma rahi hai. Suhaagraat mein kya hoga. Hahahaha", his old friends cracked a sick joke and he started to eye me in that bad way. When I looked at him he licked his lips. I wanted to puke right there. There was no way in hell, I am marrying this beast. No wonder my sister rebelled in such a way. I would have as well if hadn't seen my sister dying like that. My eyes got foggy and mind went blank. The only thing I knew was that I have run. Run for my life.

Suddenly he kept his dark hairy hands on my thighs and I flinched and pushed his hands off which infuriated him.

"teri to. Shaadi ho jaane de phir dekh ta hu kaisa haath hatati hai. Suhaag raat ko nichod dunga tujhe. Haath hatati hai", he spat and stormed off leaving me alone. I could still feel his presence in the room. His stinking smell was still lingering around. I wanted to die, but only tears came out. Suddenly my stomach churned and puked everything out next to my bed. I just vomited thinking about what he just said.

I took my bag pack and shoved in all my clothes and essential stuff and hid the bag under my bag. I decided to run away as soon as I get the first opportunity. There is no point arguing. I put some oil on the front door to prevent it from creaking when I'll open it. When I run, I want no sound and the creaking door was bound to make a lot of noise.

As soon as everyone went to bed at night, I got up and checked around the house.  Seeing that everyone's asleep and my way's clear, I opened the front door and thankfully it didn't creak, so without wasting a single second  I closed the door behind me and ran out of the house. I didn't knew I could run this fast. I remembered that I had my passport with me. Now I just somehow have to reach Lahore and let the British embassy know about my situation. Then no one can tie me down to marry this old man. I will be free and never see Pakistan's face ever again.

I ran for about 2 hours without stopping for a single second. In school I couldn't even run 100 metres without coming last in the race and here am running like an athlete from the past 2 hours. I guess when you have to run for your life, you can even win an Olympic race. Soon my all my energy got drained out of me and I just fell on the dusty ground of my village. The dust told me that I am still in my village and if I do any delay, I will be caught and will either get killed or get married to that old man. Suddenly thinking about him, I got my energy back and I started to run. But I knew that if I don't stop or take a break then I am more likely to pass out and faint. So I sat under a tree and started to breath heavily. I couldn't even catch up with my own breath, that fast I was breathing. I looked around to check that I wasn't getting followed or anything.  I took my water bottle out and emptied the whole bottle. I was that thirsty. I rested my head on the tree trunk and decided to rest for 5 more minutes. I didn't even had the energy to keep my eye lids open. So I closed them and I guess I fell asleep '''''.


I jerked out from my sleep as I felt cold water on my face.

"HUH! Wh..who is it?" my mind went blank for a second.

My first thoughts were that I got caught. Shit why did I fall asleep. I blinked furiously to see whether my fears came true or not but to my utter shock, I saw a stranger kneeling down in front of me. He had a water bottle in his hands and looked really worried. Oh my god I didn't get caught. YET. So I quickly got up wiping my face with my sleeves and gave him a dirty look for splashing cold water on me. I was about to run off when he held my hand. The fear of came back. Did I get caught?

"I thought you were dead", that was his first words. I turned around and looked at him strangely.

"is that why you threw cold water at me?" I asked looking angry. Here I don't even have a bathroom to change my clothes.

"No I mean I am really sorry about that but when I tapped you a few times, you didn't respond. So I thought uh you were dead and anyways who sleeps under a tree at this time?" he defended himself and I guess after running like maniacs I did fall into quite a deep slumber. And then suddenly I realised something.

 He had British accent. Oh my god, he doesn't look like he is from this village. He could save me.

"Who are you? Are you from this village?" I cleared my doubts first. I didn't want to make a single mistake. I didn't even know for how long I'd been sleeping. He even said something about time, so quickly checked my watch and saw that I wasted my one hour sleeping. Shit!

"hi am armaan. Hey you've got British accent. Are you British as well?" he asked looking genuinely happy. But what was he doing here? Is he lost or what?

"yeah. are you? Uh are you lost or something?", I didn't had time to waste. But I couldn't tell this boy everything or else I might just scare him away. I had to be carefully and QUICK, so I started walking and he followed me.

"yeah I am. Actually I came Pakistan with some mates to enjoy summer holidays and stuff. U know parents were like now you're old enough so you can go and chill. But then I wanted to look around the village we stayed, so I started wandering around and soon lost my way" He went on and on. gosh this guy talks a lot. And I need to run man. My parents might come any moment if they find me missing.

"okay okay. Uhmm I need to go. Can you tell me how can I reach Lahore?"

"hey I finally found someone and you're leaving me it's not like I live here or something that i know where Lahore is seriously girl, I just told you that I am lost and you are asking me. Like how am I supposed to know? But we both can look for Lahore together." Gosh can't this guy like talk in one sentence or something, he's wasting my time.

So quickened my pace.

"look I don't have time to waste so please help me reach Lahore. You don't know I am in a mess right now and I NEED to get out of here as soon as possible. Why don't you understand'"  I never felt so sorry for myself before.

"did you run away from your house?" d'uh genius. Why would a 15 year old be running for Lahore at night 2 o clock.

"yeah. But don't ask more questions. I don't have time. My family will kill me if they find me."

"look running away from house is not the only option. You don't even look old enough. How old are you?" and that just blasted my inner tolerance wall.


"oh my god. How old are you?" he looked genuinely worried.

"am 15 and if I refuse to marry then they will kill me just like they killed my sister. My dad drove an axe in her throat when she refused to marry a 40 year old. She was just 16 and now am expected to marry him to keep my family's reputation."I ended up in tears. I don't know why I told him the truth, but his eyes held so much sincerity that I just couldn't help but share my feelings with him. In the village everyone's so backwards that no will understand my thinking. He might'

"ohmigod" he whispered with widened eyes. He suddenly held my hand tight and looked at me as if I was mad. I was like what the hell is he doing?

"RUN GIRL. HOW CAN YOU WALK WHEN YOUR LIFE IS AT STAKE?" thank you god for giving him some senses.

"YOU WERE THE ONE WHO WAS HOLDING ME BACK. STUPID MORON", I screamed back as thrill and excitement ran though my nerves. The change was quite sudden something similar to adrenaline rush. The fear suddenly looked too small. I think it was armaan's presence.

 Suddenly the idea of running away with this boy sounded exciting. All my life, I haven't even touched a guy and here am running away from house with this boy holding his hand.

"you called me a stupid moron. How ungrateful" he sighed dramatically and I giggled. Suddenly I felt young again. I felt like a teenager and wanted to do all those things a normal teenager does.

"I feel like a teenager again" he looked surprised but then started to grin.

"You are a teenager babe."

"yeah but after listening to this marriage thing from the past so many months and the way my parents treats us sisters at home. I used to feel like am 30 year old women with too many responsibilities on my shoulder." He gave me a genuine smile. Oh my god, I just noticed how handsome he is. Like proper fit man. Was I blind or what that I didn't noticed all this time?

"hmm I can kinda understand but hey now that you're with me, why don't you live your life how you always wanted to live. Do stuff which teenagers do innit"

"what? On the streets of some village in Pakistan?" is he mad or what? How can I be a teenager here when I don't have a second to waste?

"yeah and to begin with please stop acting too mature for your age. You're just a tiny little thing and acting like an old women. Haven't you heard of something called having fun?"

"right now I don't even have time to breath and you're telling me to have fun?"

"see see there you go again. Babe we are running aren't we? We could just make this journey a bit more fun." He said with twinkling eyes which could melt anyone.

"okay so what can we do. You give me idea Mr. Genius", I said panting. I was out of breath by now. Gosh we have been running from the past  hour but thank fully we crossed the village and now we were walking in someplace which looked like woods. I felt something under my trainers and suddenly my ankle twisted and I fell on my knees.

"AAAHHH" I covered my mouth to stop screaming. The pain was unbearable for a few seconds but I had to control it. shit I twisted my ankle on the wrong time.

"crap you're hurt. Are you okay?" he kept his one hand on my shoulder and with other he checked my ankle.

"I don't know. God now how will I run?" I winced in pain as my heart was sinking just thinking about the consequences. I tried to get up and walk. I walked a few steps ignoring all the pain but thankfully I could walk.

"I think you have just twisted you're ankle, but you can't walk with such pain" can he read mind? How did he know that I was in pain? Swear down I kept my expression neutral'. I think

"no no am fine. We can't wait here and waste any time. I'll manage, lets walk" but before I could complete my sentence I was scooped up in his arms and started to walk ignoring whatever I just said!

 "are you mad. Put me down.  I can walk" I couldn't trust me. The pain was pounding in my ankle

 "shut up. God women, you talk a lot. Okay tell me has a guy ever picked you up like that in the middle of woods?" man I have never even been touched by a guy. What are you on about?

"no. I never had a boyfriend" what a dangerous topic to have while you're in a stranger's arms

"Oh my god seriously. So that means that you have never been kissed as well?" shit shit shit he touched a raw nerve. NOOO u idiot I haven't. But how I always wanted to. Sigh

"no. why is it important?" OFFCOURSE IT IS IMPORTANT but I sounded a bit offended.

"Off course. You can't be a teenager if you haven't lived your adolescent years properly and kissing is one of them." Khota! Is he trying to say I haven't got a life?

"hmm whatever. How old are you anyways?" I had to change the topic. It was getting to too hot. I mean like come on this armaan guy is carrying me in his arms and talking about kissing wasn't a good idea.

"I am 18 girly. OH MY GOD"

"what happened?"

"I didn't ask your name yet. What a stupid ass I am."

"rih..ri..riddhima", I lied. I had to. I want to start afresh now. A new beginning and a new name. Riddhima. Hmm sounds nice.

"any reasons for not telling me your real name", he looked sad. OMG how does he know am lying.

"aaa that's my real name"

"girl have you taken me for a fool. I mean you come from a Muslim Pakistani family and here you say you have a hindu name. do you think am stupid?" he kept me down. I felt a pang in my heart. We both were standing still looking into each other's eyes.

"I hate my identity. I want to start afresh now. A new start a new beginning with a new name", I poured my heart out to this stranger. But I trust him. It's his eyes. Damn them!

"Okay Riddhima. A new beginning it is. Hey so you started your new life with me holding my hand. How cool is that?" I could see the double meaning in his eyes. Very expressive I must say.

"Why are we standing here?"I again changed the topic. God why does he always go on dangerous topics like kissing and holding hands? Jeez!

"You're good at changing topic you know. Well there is a river behind you" I blushed involuntary. How does he always know what's in my heart?

"oh river. Lets drink water. Am thirsty" we headed for the river. There were tall grasses in our way so I went a forward holding onto armaan's hand tightly.

"careful Riddhima", hmm the name already sounds so familiar and AAH OUCH'..

"AAAHH SPLASH" our legs slipped because of wet ground and we both fell in the river. The water felt cold. I found the ground in the water. Thankfully the river wasn't that deep.

"Oh my god we're wet armaan", but mister was too busy staring at me as he held me by my waist securely. Damn I felt a blush crept up my face

"You are looking irresistible right now", and so are you my handsome stranger. OMG DID HE JUST SAY THAT I LOOK IRRESISTABLE? DANGEROUS TOPIC!

"uhm thanks. You're looking nice as well" SHIT SHIT SHIT. WHY DID YOU SAY THAT? YOU'RE SO STUPID RIDDIMA UGHHH

"just nice? You could use a better adjective you know like hot dashing or you can repeat me and say irresistible" he's so cheeky. God!

"well you're just nice okay. Now let's get out of water." I don't have time to waste you moron. My parents must be hunting for me by now. My khandan wakes up at 5 o clock.

"armaan lets run. It's 5 o clock and my parents wake up by this time. We need to find main road and get a lift" he nodded and we got out of the river and filled our water bottles. Who gives a damn right now if the water is not pure filtered H2O?

My ankle felt better now. The pain was going and bechara armaan also looked tired.

"hey I can walk now. Guess the pain subsided"

"are you sure. I don't mind picking you up" he said advancing towards me. Gosh he doesn't leave on chance to touch me or flirt with me.

"it's okay mister. I am fine" I said with a lopsided smile backing away. He made a face and then we were back on tracks.

We started running as the sunlight started to give us a better view of where we're going. But we still didn't know where the main road was. I could feel my heartbeat raising. If my dad will catch me now with armaan, he'll defo shoot me and poor armaan as well. man what was his fault in all this?

"armaan god forbids but if we get caught, then tell me parents that you were bringing me back home okay, otherwise they'll shoot you as well." he looked at me shockingly

"no ways, we're in this together and madam, I won't let anything happen to okay'' Trust me"  he whispered the last bit. His eyes held so much meaning. I trusted you the first time I saw you armaan.

"I trust you" I whispered back. crap I think I am falling in love. Am just 15 man. Ain't I bit too small? No pyaar ki koi umar nahi hoti. Isshhh. SHUT UP

"cool, lets run more faster"

We ran for about an hour. I could even imagine my abbu and my uncles looking the village for me with swords and guns in their hands.  I could even imagine them catching us and killing both of us. Or if they leave me alive then I'll have to marry that 40 year old man.

"armaan I am scared", I suddenly just stopped and hugged him tight. I don't know for how long I will be with him.

"sshh you'll be fine. I am with you", tears started to flow out of my eyes by now.

"I don't want to go back. I don't want to marry that 40 year old man. I don't want to leave you" he tightened his embrace and rubbed my back.

"I will not leave you Riddhima. Never" please never leave me armaan. Am so alone in this world. I need you. But I couldn't say all this to him. I don't want to be a burden on him. He's 18 and his life has just started. What will he do of a runaway 15 year old?

"l..lets go"

"one second Riddhima. I want to prove that I will not leave you" prove me armaan. I need that trust.

He slowly brought his face close to mines and before I could comprehend what was happening, I felt his lips on mines. It was light kiss but the way his lips held mines, I just knew it armaan will not leave me deserted. The kiss was short and when he pulled back my eyes were closed. I slowly opened them and hugged him tightly, hiding my face into his chest.

"what have you done to me Riddhima? I have never experienced all this stuff before" he said running his fingers through his hair.

"same. I guess these are teenager hormones" he frowned at my statement

"or maybe it's love".  Maybe I have started loving you. Maybe' I love you

"there is no such thing as love.", I said walking fast again. I know am lying but this wasn't the best time to tell discuss this love thing and also I have trust issues!

"we'll see about that missy" confident eh?

Suddenly our footsteps stopped as we heard some noises and honks of cars.

"are we near the highway?" my heart fluttered with happiness. Am finally escaping, escaping the hell.

"I guess. YESSS LETS GO", armaan dragged me to the main road and to our utter happiness there were lots and lots of vehicles.

"ARMAAN WE'RE OUTT. YEEESSS", I hugged him tight. I felt as if I could breathe with a relief again. We soon halted a truck and climbed in it. Armaan's phone finally caught signal and he told his friends about his whereabouts and told them to meet him in Lahore.

We both lay of the heaps of hay with me resting my head on armaan's chest. The place where I always wanted to be. He also kept his arm around my waist. We both were just living the moment.

"you still don't believe in love" he asked. Will he ever stop?

"shut up armaan. Let me sleep. I am tired"

"jhooti, you do believe in love don't you" how does he always know whats inside my heart?

"hey I didn't knew you can speak urdu as well?"

"will you stop changing the topic?"

"I am sleeping armaan. Stop bugging me", I said closing my eyes and he started to grin.


I jerked up from my comfy sleep as the truck came to a sudden halt.

Did we get caught or what? These were my first thoughts.

"Riddhima wake up, we're in Lahore." Ya allah tera laakh laakh shukar. I thanked my god, that I finally reached my destination.

"are we at british embassy?" my happiness knew no boundries.

"yes meri jaan" my heart skipped a beat. What if armaan really stays with me forever?  Stop dreaming madam.

As soon as we jumped out of the truck, my legs froze to its place. There stood my dad and uncles with my would be Buddha husband. I don't even know his name. And I don't even want to know.

I clung onto armaan so tight that my nails dug deep into his arms. My family was standing right in front of me with rage and furiousness in their eyes and guns in their hand. Before we could run, I saw him shooting in my direction but he missed by an inch and the bullet hit the truck instead. The noise of bullet created a racket and before he could rectify his mistake, 4 guards from embassy came running and held his arms. Armaan pulled me out of that area. We saw the police van coming and taking them away.

I hugged armaan and cried in his arms. All my problems are gone now. Gone forever. But what if armaan also goes? I will be alone now.


I sat in the british airways with armaan. We're going back now. I testified against my family and I guess they'll rot in jail now. Good! Even my mum will be free and my sisters won't have to go through what aaliyah my big sister had gone though. I am going to start a new life in Britain now. And I want armaan in my life. I am going to stay in some kind of hostel until I am 18 and don't start earning money. I know life won't be easy but now I am a free bird.

In the plane I met armaan's all friends. They were awesome, just like armaan. But still no one can take my armaan's place. No one'

"so Riddhima do meet us. It was so nice meeting you", muskaan, one of armaan's friends came and hugged me. I didn't want them to go. I never felt this lonely before. We were all at the airport and bidding adieu. They all slowly went away and I sat on one of the seats on airport with a heavy heart as a lone tear escaped my eyes. Armaan went away. Forever. I hid my face in my palms and started to cry.

"you said you'll never leave me."I whispered to myself.

"and I told you to trust me", my head jerked up and blinked furiously to clear the blur. There he was kneeling down in front of me, just like he was when we first met.

"armaan." I whispered as he touched his forehead with mines. Tears were flowing furiously through my eyes.

"Riddhima" he looked intently through my eyes. Goosebumps appeared at the back of my neck

"Don't go "I whispered finally poured my heart out, but still not fully.

"I would never leave you. I went to get my bag silly" he said wiping my tears. A relief spread through my heart. That loneliness disappeared with armaan's presence.

"Promise?" I acted like a small child but that time I so needed that reassurance badly.

"Pakka promise, acha ab asli naam to bata do" I fell back on my seat laughing.



"RIDDHIMAAA ARE YOU READY OR NOT. GOSH THE PROM WILL END WHEN WE'LL REACH THERE. YOU'RE TAKING THE PISSS" armaan shouted and banged on the bathroom door. Gosh this guy I tell, not even I bit of patience. I mean like come on am only hour late. Not much!


It's been 3 months now. My life has been so weird. I mean there is time when I hang out with armaan and his mates and I feel over the moon. But then there comes time when I feel so lonely in this 1 bedroom kitchen hostel room. Sometimes I wish that I just tell armaan what I feel about him but I don't want to lose his friendship. I can't even put in words how badly I fell in love with armaan over these past 3 months. He's everything I want in a life partner. But does he like me in that way as well?  It's so confusing and that's where everything goes weird. Today armaan's college has arranged a prom night for all the leavers and armaan has asked me out as date. I bet he did that so I don't feel lonely and come to the party. He's just too good for me. Am simply a mere 15 year old runaway! He deserves better.

"then you can come and stay with me" he joked but sometimes his jokes sound so serious.

"dream on moron" I laughed but only I knew how fast my heart was beating that time.

I came out of the bathroom wearing a strapless red dress which reached up till my knees. Before my parents never let me wear anything less than a full sleeves top and loose jeans and now am living just how I always wanted to live. The government provides me money every week and if I need anything expensive, then armaan buys it. he could just read my eyes; take this dress for instance. When I was secretly admiring this dress in the shop, I don't know when armaan saw me and next day I found it on my sofa as his gift. One more thing I got to learn about armaan is that he hasn't learn to take a no for an answer.

"you're looking enchanting Riddhima" he always finds new adjectives to describe me.

"you're not looking bad either" haha I can never praise him properly

"god! I so need to buy you a dictionary for your poor vocabs"


We both reached the prom night and linked up with the rest of the gang. Later armaan asked me for a dance stealing me from everyone.

we swayed slowly to the soft tunes playing in the back ground and armaan's intense stare was doing wonders to me.

"what are you looking at" I asked blushing. I just couldn't take his gaze

"you. You still don't believe in love?" are we having this topic again? Sigh

"why do you always start this topic armaan"

"because you don't get it"

"what?" I asked looking confused.

"we met like people meet in fairytales. I charged in and rescued you. We both spent a night of our life together escaping from that village of yours. We promised each other to stay together always. You still don't get it Riddhima" he took a frustrated sigh. OHMIGOD IS HE TRYING TO SAY?

"armaan do you me?" I finally gathered confidence

"D'uh genius! We were meant to be together"

"armaan" I whispered as I felt tears welling up in my eyes. All these days I wasted thinking over stuff whereas armaan was already in love with me. What a dim wit I am ughhh

"forget it Riddhima", he started to go when held his arm and pulled him back with a jerk. Before he could say anything more, I kept my lips on his and gave him a full mouth kiss. That kiss held everything, my love, my promise, my stupidity and my strength. he broke the kiss and held my face into his hands.

 "First say what I am dying to listen"

"I love you" oh lord it felt so right.

"I love you too" with that he kissed me back. I couldn't believe my ears. He loves me too. Oh my god I was dying to listen to those words from his mouth.

"never leave me armaan. I'll die without you", I said breaking the kiss. He kissed my forehead.

"miss Riddhima who just got a new life. Will be my girlfriend? Then after a few years my wife? And then after a few years the mother of my kids and then after a few yea'" I locked his mouth with mines before he could finish his long rant.

"you talk a lot"

"do I take that as a yes then?" he asked grinning.

"uhmm sochna parega" I said laughing as he hugged me back.

"too bad, you don't have an option here"

"I love you"

"I love you too meri jaan. Acha ab to asli naam to bata do. You didn't even tell me at the airport" he said pouting.

"awww" I laughed pulling his cheeks

Fairytales do come true sometimes' mines did!


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