Monday, 24 June 2019

chapter 2 : Deception

She glanced at her watch impatiently for the last time as her irritation was beginning to get the best of her. She had been sitting on the local park bench for the past half an hour waiting for this Riddhima girl to arrive. Armaan had texted her the day before saying that he was going to bring Riddhima to the park near by around 11am so that they could meet. Muskaan had gladly agreed and being the punctual person that she was she had arrived exactly at 11. But little had she known that she would have to play the waiting game. Muskaan was known for being on time for everything. She didn't like to be kept waiting. Ever since she was young she had always been told by her parents to be early for things as that showed you were a responsible person and that you respected the value of time. Everyone around her knew that fact about her and yet they still made her wait. She just didn't understand why everyone tired to figure out new ways to annoy her. Why couldn't they just be truthful and not drag her along. She had better things to do.

 Okay seriously! If He doesn't show up in the next 5 minutes then I am going! I don't have all day here to sit and wait! I have other things to do!

 Muskaan looked around the park hoping to spot Armaan and sure enough a minute later she saw him walking towards her with a woman she assumed to be was Riddhima.

"Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! I know. I know were late. But I couldn't help it! I got held up at the station."

"You know there is something called a PHONE! You use it to communicate with people so you can tell them when you are running LATE!"

"I'm said I'm sorry! I promise never again!"

"Fine. But only because you are Rahul's friend!"

"Thank you Muski! I love you!"

"Yeah yeah yeah. Enough! Now introduce me to your friend."

"She's not my friend!"

"Whatever! Are you going to introduce me or not?"

"I am! Muskaan. This is Riddhima. And Riddhima This is Muskaan."

"Hi Riddhima. Nice to meet you."

Muskaan smiled at her warmly as she extended her hand for her to shake. But instead of getting the usual hand in return to shake Riddhima just stood there motionless.

Okay. I guess she's not in the mood.

"Um..anyways why don't you sit down Riddhima and we can talk."

"Yeah. Riddhima have a seat and you can talk to Muskaan while I go and make a phone call. I'll be back in a bit."

And with that Armaan excused himself and walked away from them allowing Muskaan to do her thing with the hopes that Riddhima would at least talk to her.


"So...What happened? Did she say anything?"

He stared at her waiting to hear a response. After he had left Muskaan alone with Riddhima his mind had constantly been distracted. He had kept thinking if his idea had worked or not. He wanted to know if Riddhima had opened up to Muskaan or not. He didn't know why but it had been eating him up alive. He just wanted to know. And so after escorting Riddhima back to her cell Armaan and come back to his office to talk to Muskaan. But it seemed from the expression that Muskaan was currently displaying that she was deep in thought and wasn't paying attention to him.


"Huh? Oh sorry. What did you say?"

"I said! What happened with Riddhima? Did she say anything?"

"No. I tired Armaan. I really did. But she just wouldn't say a word. I mean I kept on talking and talking and she just sat beside me and looked at me as if I was crazy. I didn't know what else to do. I mean I'm usually able to make people talk and yet she has her guard up I guess."

"Dammit! I really thought this would work. Now what am I going to do!"

"I don't know if this will help or not but...

"But what?"

"Why don't you try to be her friend?"

"Her Friend? Are you crazy! Why would I want to be her friend?"

"Let me ask you this. You're the only person that she has had the most contact with since she was arrested right?"

"Yeah. So?"

"So...if you try to become her friend maybe she will feel more comfortable talking to you and maybe she will open up."

"I am not doing that! You know what happened last time...and I don't want to go through that again. I won't be able to handle it."

"I know. I know Armaan. I understand but that was the past. I know it's not going to be easy but if you really want to save her life then you are just going to have to do it. It's the only way."

"Why are you so annoying?"

"Because..I'm Rahul's girlfriend. So something was bound to rub off."

"Yeah. I guess your right. I'll try to be her friend."

"That's the sprit. Okay I better go. I have to meet my mom for lunch. So I'll see ya later. Bye."

"Bye Muski. And thanks again for your help."


And with that Muskaan got up from her seat leaving Armaan alone with his new task.

Great! Just great! Now I have to become her friend! And how am I going to do that? She doesn't even respond! It will be like talking to a wall. I mean the last time I was friends with a woman it didn't end well. And since that day I promised never to be too close to a woman. And now I have to do it all over again. Man! I am so screwed.

Muskaan glanced behind her one last time as she walked out the door and smiled. She could see her idea had worked. She had purposely told him that she had tired her level best and failed. She knew he would get frustrated and would end up doing whatever she said. After all she wasn't a therapist for anything. She knew how the mind worked. And if she wanted to clear her doubts that Armaan may have developed feelings for this Riddhima girl then she had just been given all the proof she needed.


He watched as his best friend paced back and forth in front of him mumbling to himself.

He had never seen Armaan so nervous about a woman before. Armaan was the kind of person who could charm a girl without even trying. He was the outgoing one. He wasn't scared of anything. Hell he could take a bullet for someone without even thinking. And yet his best friend who was a great police officer, who fought with criminals, was having to think twice about how to be friends with a woman. Rahul almost couldn't help but stifle a laugh. This sure was one side of Armaan Mallik that he had never imagined existed.

"Will you stop? You're going to be fine. She's not going to bite you!"

Armaan who had been lost in his thoughts jumped in his skin as Rahul's voice resounded into his ears.

"What you mean I'm going to be fine? No I'm not! I can't be friends with her! It's not going to happen! You know what happened last time!"

"Armaan you can't let the past keep coming in the way. What happened then is over with. Okay fine. Don't be friends with her. Don't get the information you need. Don't bring any justice to her. Let her die."

Armaan stopped pacing as Rahul's words hit him. What the hell was he about to do? How could he let his past come in the way? How could he give up on someone he was trying to help? That's not what a police officer did.

I can't believe myself. I can't give up like this. I can't let the past interfere. I need to be strong. I can do this. I can be friends with Riddhima.

"Okay. I'll give it a try."

"That's what I like to hear. Best of luck!"

"Thanks. I'm going to need it."

Okay Riddhima. Let's be friends.

As he watched his friend leave the room Rahul couldn't help but smile. He couldn't believe Muskaan had been right. If she had not called him before Armaan had arrived he would have never been able to see what she meant. His best friend had unknowingly developed an attachment to Riddhima. He would have never thought a day like this would come again. After what Armaan had been through in the past Rahul had been worried about him. He hadn't seen him show so much concern about someone in a long time. But now that he was seeing it Rahul prayed that it continued. After all he only wanted to see his best friend happy.

If what Muski and I are thinking dude is right, then I couldn't be more happy. I know right now it seems like things aren't going your way but I'm sure you'll be able to fix everything. You always do. Man I just hope we are not wrong about this. I just want to see you happy man. I just want to see you happy.


He stood outside her cell trembling in his skin. It had been a long time since he had last tried to be friends with a woman. He tired to avoid it at all cost. After what he had been through in the past he had promised himself he wouldn't go down that road. As it only lead to pain. He had tried to drown himself with his work as much as he could so that the idea of even talking to another woman would evade his mind. But little had he known that there would be a time where he would be put into such a situation that he would have to start over. He now had to for the sake of Riddhima and his job learn how to bond with a female all over again.

Okay. Deep breath. I can do this. I can be friends with her. I can talk to her. There is nothing to be scared of. Like Rahul said...she won't bite me. She's only a woman. She's not a monster. What's the worse that could happen? She won't say a word? But then I'll have to think of something else? No. Be positive. This will work. This has to work. I've tried everything else. Okay Armaan. Go for it. Just be yourself. Don't think about anything else. Just go in there and talk to her and everything should be fine. And remember don't treat her like a criminal. Treat her like a normal person you meet at a coffee shop. Okay. Okay. Best of luck. Omg. I can't believe I'm going to do this. God help me!

And so with a last silent prayer Armaan put in his keycard opening her cell door and walked in ready to start his mission be Riddhima's friend. As the door closed behind him enclosing him in the room his heart began to beat rapidly inside his chest as if it was a speeding train. His feet that were used to constantly being on the move where now glued to the floor refusing to move. If it had been any other person he would have gladly went ahead without any hesitation. But the fact was that it wasn't just any person it was Riddhima and she was a female who he now had to become friends with at all cost.


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