Saturday, 29 June 2019

Chapter 4 : Numb

It was a rather chilly Friday night and instead of sitting indoors and being with family or going out to a club with friends like regular people did. Armaan was walking along the silent narrow roads of his street. It was pitch black outside and the only source of light that was peeping through was from the tiny golden light bulbs shinning inside the lamp posts. Ever since he had moved to the city he had developed a habit of taking a walk at night whenever he wanted to clear his mind. Today was one of those days. It had been almost a month since Armaan had been treating Riddhima. And in the past month she had shown a lot of improvement. She had started to move parts of her body and had even begun to speak in monosyllables. Armaan had never been happier in his life to see Riddhima wanting to regain her life back. After all he had fallen in love with her and really wanted to tell her. But it seemed as if he was never meant to do that. It seemed as if God had played a sick joke on him that he never expected to be apart of. He looked around him as he sat down on a bench near by and seeing the emptiness and darkness of the street he was once again reminded of the events that had occurred in the past few days. He couldn't comprehend what was going on? Why did things have to change in a matter of seconds? Why couldn't they have stayed the same? How he wished he could turn back time. Armaan closed his eyes as his mind once again reeled back to that very day everything changed.




 -Flashback-



5 weeks had gone by since Armaan had returned from his trip. He had thought that he would be able to handle his work load but little did he know that he would be bombarded with a pile of pending work. He had been so busy that he hadn't even gotten the time to sit with Riddhima and talk to her. He had begun to make it a habit of at least spending an hour of his day just having a conversation with her about anything. He wanted her to feel as if she had a friend who would be there for her when she was feeling down. He had learned from Atul that if a person who was in a coma found a person who they could trust that they would begin to feel a sense of security with that person and would be encouraged to get better at a faster pace. It was finally a Sunday and lucky for Armaan he had the day off and yet he had decided to spend it with Riddhima. He had missed talking to her and had decided to visit her at the hospital and have lunch with her. That way he would not only get to talk to her but he would also get to see how she was. Walking up to her room's door he was about to open the door when the sudden voices from inside caught him off guard stopping him in his tracks.



"So we meet again! I told you we would be back!"



"GO!"



"Aww you want us to go! We will. Don't worry. We just wanted to know WHERE is SHE?"



"NEVER!"



"Fine. You don't want to tell us. Don't. But you can't stop us from finding her!"



"DON'T!"



"Good bye!"



As the figures from the room began to walk towards the door Armaan ran to the side wall and hid behind it. He couldn't believe what he had just heard. Who where these people? How did they know Riddhima? And who where they looking for? Who was She? He had to know. He didn't want anything happening to Riddhima. Peeking from behind the wall Armaan noticed that the two people he had seen walking towards the door had left and came out of hiding. He then walked towards Riddhima's room once again and this time without wasting another second he walked in to her room. He saw her sitting up with a lost expression on her face as if she had seen a ghost. He could tell that she was disturbed and so he decided to take it easy on her.



"Hey Fruit loop! How are you? I know you're probably surprised to see me. I actually had the day off today but I thought why not have lunch with my favourite person."





He looked at her face hoping for a reaction but it seemed to have failed. She was still looking into space.



Now what do I do? She's not paying attention. Maybe I should just let her be. I don't think she's in the mood to listen to anything I have to say right now. I should go.



"Oh god! I'm so sorry fruit loop! I just remembered something I have to do! So I guess we can't have lunch together! Man that sucks! But I promise to make it up to you! Okay. I better go now! See ya later!"



He looked at her one final time hoping for a reaction but when it didn't come he knew it was time to leave. And so squeezing her hand in a reassuring gesture he got up from the chair he had pulled from the side of the room and began to walk out of her room when he suddenly heard her voice stop him in his tracks.



"Wait!"



Armaan who was just about to turn the door knob turned around in his spot and looked at her.



I guess she's ready to talk now. Okay Armaan. Get ready.





"Yes fruit loop? Did you need something?"



"Come."



"Okay hold on."



Armaan walked back from the door and resumed his place in the very same chair he had just abandoned a few seconds ago.



"Okay. I'm back. Go ahead. What did you want?"



"Talk."



"You want me to talk?"



"No."



"Oh I get it. You want to talk to me?"



"Yes."



"Okay. What do you want to say?"



"Eva."



"Eva? Who's that?"



"Daughter."



"Daughter? Who's daughter?"



"Mine."



He stared at her dumbfounded to the extreme. She...she... she had a daughter? When did that happen? She didn't look like a mother. But then again he didn't know anything about her past so maybe it was possible.



"You have a daughter?"



"Yes."



"Where is she?"



"Home."



"Home? Who's home?"



"Mom."



"She's at your mom's house?"



"Yes."



Okay. This is getting to be really weird. She has a daughter who lives with her mother. Wow. What a day. I can't believe this is happening! I'm in love with a single mother? Never thought that would happen. But how do I know she's not married. She didn't say that? Well why don't you ask her *******! Okay I will!



"Umm..Fruit loop? I don't know how to say this but...umm... where is...where is...where is your...your...husband?"



"Home."



"He's at home? Who's home?"



"Girlfriend."



"He's at his girlfriend's home?"



"Yes."



"So...that mean's your divorced?"



"Yes."



Alrighty then. So not only is she a single mother but she's divorced too. And her husband sorry ex husband is living with his current girlfriend. Again wow.



"Okay so let me get this straight. You are a divorced single mother of a little girl named Eva. And you ex husband is living with his current girlfriend. Right?"



"Right."



"So then what does this have to do with me?"



"Save."



"Save? Save who?"



"Eva."



"You want me to save Eva?"



"Yes."



"You want me to save Eva from who?"



"Mom."



"You want me to save her from your mom?...Why?"



"Unsafe."



"She's unsafe at your mom's house?"



"Yes."



"Why?"



"Ex."



"OH! I get it. Your ex is after Eva and so you want me to save her."



"Yes."



"HOLD ON! YOU want ME to save Eva from your ex?"



"Yes."



"I can't do that! What if he tries to hurt me?"



"PLEASE!"



"NO!"



"PLEASE!"



"NO!"



"YES!"



"YES!"



"HA!"



Aaa crap! Great. Just great. I fell for it again. I hate that!



"Urghhh! Fine. I'll go save Eva."



"Thanks."



"Hey! What are friends for?"



-Present Day-



Hearing the sound of a blaring car horn Armaan awake from his reviver. Why was life playing such a cruel joke on him. He had finally fallen in love with a woman who he saw himself growing old with only to find out that she was a single mother. If only he had known that before and maybe he would have controlled himself. He would have kept his distance. After all he didn't want to complicate her life anymore then it was now. But it was too late.  He had fallen for her and now backing away from her wouldn't be easy. Why did this have to happen to him? Why did he agree to save Eva? Why!...Because you love her his heart finally interjected. You agreed because you want to see her happy. You agreed because you don't care about the fact that she's divorced or has a child. You agreed because you truly love her.



"I guess you're right. I love her...and I'll love Eva."



I'm coming Eva. I'm coming.



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WHY! Why did I tell him all that! Why did I tell him about Eva! He's no one to me and yet I told him about the most precious thing in my life. Why did I do that! He's probably not even going to bother. He's probably just going to leave. I must have scared him. I mean he's not going to even look at me let alone fall in love with me. He's not going to want me in his life. Why would he. I'm a single mom. Who would...want me? I close my eyes as the pain of realization takes over. I had lost him. I had lost the one man that I had truly begun to love.

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"Armaan? What are you doing here? And why are you wet?"



"Sorry man. I hope I'm not disturbing you. And I'm wet because it's raining."



"No. No. I was just watching t.v. Come in."



"Thanks."



Closing the door behind him. Rahul followed Armaan inside to find out what his best friend needed now.



"So what's up?"



"I need your help."



"Again? Now what did you do?"



"I need to find Eva."



"Who's Eva?"



"Riddhima's daughter."



"WHAT!"



Seeing Rahul's shocking yet confused expression Armaan began to reiterate the event's of that life changing Sunday.

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Rahul sat back into his bean bag chair as he allowed his brain to process what it had just finished hearing. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Armaan wanted to find Riddhima's daughter! How was that possible? They didn't even know where to look? Then how in the world were they going to find her?



"Dude are you crazy? How are we going to find her? We don't even have an address? Hell we don't even know what she looks like!"



"You think I don't know that!"



"Then what the hell are we going to do?"



"I don't know! But I need to do this."



"Why? Why do you need to do this?"



"Because...



"Because what?"



"Because I love her! and...I want to be with her."



"Are you sure?"



"Yes Rahul! I'm sure."



"Okay. I just hope you know what you're doing."



I hope so too.



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A week had gone by and the search for Eva still hadn't come to an end. Armaan and Rahul had spent the entire week day and night trying to locate her. They had tired to gauge as much information from Riddhima as possible but because of her lack of speech it had only made things more difficult. It was like finding a needle in a haystack. It was just too impossible. All they had was a tiny picture of Eva that Riddhima had kept saved with her. It was the only evidence they had to help find her. It was late into the evening when Armaan and Rahul had reached yet another location they had been given after asking people in the area. They spent the entire day following directions from people who had claimed that they knew where Eva was. They had started out with a location that Riddhima had told them but after discovering that the place no longer existed they had decided to ask people as they drove hoping that someone had seen or heard anything about Eva. They had finally been informed by a passerby that they had seen a child who looked like Eva in a house down the street. Armaan seeing that as a ray of hope followed the person's instructions and drove straight to the house. Coming out of the car Armaan and Rahul took in the scene around them. They had never seen a more run down house in their life. The window's were cracking in places. The garden was un kept and it looked as if the lawn hadn't been mowed in ages. Over all it seemed as if the place had been abandoned.



"Dude? Are you sure this is the place?"



"Yeah I am sure. Why?"



"No. It just seems as if no one lives here."



"I know what you mean. But I just hope were wrong."



As they approached the door Armaan could feel his heart race. He didn't know why but he felt as if they had come to the right place. He didn't know why but he felt as if Eva was here. And so after saying a silent prayer Armaan raised his hand and knocked on the door.



 Bye.

-Tashu-

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