Saturday, 29 June 2019

chapter 6 A : Deception

Riddhima sat with her eyes closed gathering her thoughts together. This was a big step for her and she didn't want to ruin it. Finally when she felt as if she was ready, she opened her eyes and looked at Armaan who was now sitting across from her on the same floor as she was.

 Okay. This is it. It's time to tell the truth.

"Now before I start anything. I just want to apologize for everything that I did to you. I didn't mean to yell at you the way I did. I mean you were trying to help me and all I did was push you away. You didn't deserve any of that and for that I'm really really sorry."

 Armaan could see the sincerity with which she was apologizing and he knew that she was being honest. She meant what she was saying.




"It's okay Riddhima. I understand. It's fine. I forgive you."



"You do?"



"Yeah. I mean if I were you I probably would have done the same."



"Thank you. That means a lot to me"



"So is that all you wanted to say to me?"



"No. That was the easy part. What I'm about to tell you is what you deserve to know. It's what you have wanted to hear from me for the past year."



"And what's that?"



"The truth."



"Riddhima. It's okay. You don't have to tell me. "



"But I want to. I can't keep this in any more. I need to tell you."



"Are you sure? Because there is no pressure."



"I'm sure."



"Okay...if it will make you feel better then go ahead. I'm listening."



She looked at him one last time and seeing that she had his full attention. Riddhima began to tell him her story.





-Flashback-



My name is Riddhima Gupta I'm 24 years old. I was born here in New York. I'm the Daughter of Dr. Shashank and Padma Gupta. I'm one of two children. I have an older sister Anjali. She's married to Atul Joshi a doctor and they have a 5 month old baby girl named Sameera. I was the younger one and so I was what is referred to as the spoiled one. I always got what I wanted. It didn't matter what it was or how much it cost in the end I would get it. I guess it wasn't really my fault. I mean I had grown up seeing my parent's doing everything in their power just to make me and Anjali smile. They never wanted us to grow up thinking that our parent's didn't love us. My life was perfect. I mean I couldn't ask for anything more. I had a wonderful family that loved me and would support me in everything and a job that was like a dream for me. I was a field reporter for a local news channel. Ever since I was little I would constantly talk and tell stories about anything. My parent's would get fed up at times listening to me. They thought I was going crazy. But as I grew older they realized that I had developed a passion for writing and telling stories. I still remember the first time I had appeared on TV. I was so excited and nervous. I had butterflies in my stomach. I don't know how I had gotten through that moment but if it hadn't been for my family I would have never made it. My parents had never been so proud of me. It was like I had won an award. After that day everywhere I went people would recognize me. I felt like a celebrity. People would complement me on how much they enjoyed watching the news all because I was there. I was on cloud nine. I had never been so happy in my life. But little did I know, that the once fairy tale life that I was living was about to turn into a horror story.



Riddhima paused as a lone tear escaped her eye. It had been a while since she had recalled her past. She had forgotten how much she missed her life that had once belonged to her. Just recalling those old memories were starting to open up old wounds that she had tried to heal. It's okay. I can do this. She thought as she once again took a deep breath controlling her emotions and continued on with her story.



I had just come home from a meeting where I had been told that I was chosen to travel to India to cover the upcoming election. I was so excited. It was my first time that I would be traveling to a new place. I had never been out of the states. And so for me this was like a whole new world. I remember telling my parents as soon as I saw them that I was going to be leaving in a matter of a few days. They had at first tried to stop me from going as they felt that it was a little risky for me as things in India at the time weren't in control. There were bombing's going on and people were dying. My parent's were very protective of me and they couldn't see me in any danger.



"I'm sorry beta. But I will not allow this! I will not let my daughter get caught up in that mess. You are not going and that is final!"



"But Dad! This is a once in a life time opportunity for me! And it's not like I'm going alone. My whole crew is going with me! And I promise nothing will happen. Please Dad! Please!"



I pleaded with my dad for hours and finally after a lot of persuasion he finally agreed to let me go. And so after 2 days I was on a plane to India. It wasn't until I had come back a week later that I received the one news I had never thought I would ever hear. My parent's had behind my back found me a perspective groom. I can't tell you how much it hurt that my parents had hid something as serious as marriage a secret from me. I had cried so much after hearing that. I didn't talk to my parents for weeks. I was so hurt. I felt like my life was being pinned down and I couldn't pick it up. It wasn't until I had met him that I felt as if maybe there was a way to get my life back. That maybe a new door was about to open. But little did I know that I had just opened the door for the devil.



His name was Aryan Khanna. He was a business man I had been sent to interview as his company had just opened a new clothing store in New York. At first he seemed like a very shrewd person. He was always full of himself and I didn't like that one bit and I had hoped that we never met again. But it was as if destiny was playing games with me. I ran into him once again at a local restaurant I had gone to with a friend of mine. I don't know what had gotten into me that day but I had actually allowed him to sit down at my table. And funny enough we ended up having a great time. I didn't know what it was about him but I had somehow started to fall for his charms. He was slowly growing on me. He made me feel things I had never felt before. I didn't know what to call it at first but by the end of seeing each other for about a month it ended up being love. I had felt as if I had found that person that I wanted to be with forever. And stupid me I kept falling into his trap. I had become like his slave. I did everything he told me to. He asked me to move in with him. I did. He asked if he could make love to me. I let him. It was like I was living in a dream. I didn't want to wake up. I wanted to keep sleeping. But I guess it was time for my alarm clock to ring. My dream had shattered and I woke up.





I had woken up early that day feeling strange inside. I didn't know what it was. I felt weak and dizzy. I climbed out of bed only to feel my body give way and I fell to the floor. I guess Aryan had found me for the next minute I woke up with a doctor infront of me smiling from ear to ear. I sat up slowly and wondered what had happened. The doctor some how understood and answered my question that was clearly all over my face.



"Congratulations. You're pregnant!"



I stared at the doctor as if he had just spoken a magic word. I couldn't believe it! I was going to have a baby! I looked at Aryan who was standing behind the doctor and he was smiling just as hard and seeing that made me happy too. I thought that I had just received the most amazing gift ever. Aryan after that day took so much care of me. I could tell from his expressions that he was over the moon. He was more excited then me. After all he was going to be a father. And I was going to be a mom and I couldn't wait. It was nine months later that I gave birth to my little boy Samay. He was the most beautiful baby in the world. I can't tell you how he made me feel. It was like I had just been given a new lease on life. They say that some times god gets a little lonely so he takes one of us to be with him. And I guess Samay was one of those people.





On December 12th 2009 a day that will haunt me for the rest of my life. I had just gotten up after a nap and gone to check on Samay in his nursery when I heard a conversation that destroyed my life forever.



"Don't worry baby! It's all going as planned. She's so stupid. She actually thinks that I love her. I mean who would love her! She's so ******* ugly! I'm telling you baby. She had no idea that the only reason I ever slept with her was so that I could get her pregnant and take the baby. And now that the baby is here I'm going to take him while she's a sleep and come straight to you. She will never know what hit her. And by the time she even realizes what happened we will be long gone."



I stood there frozen as I heard Aryan talking on the phone. I could feel my heartbreak into pieces. How could he do that to me? I thought he loved me. But no. I had been taken for a fool. I had been played around with like a puppet. Well I wasn't going to let him take my son. No I wouldn't let him take my Samay away. And so I had bragged into the room and confronted him right there and then. I yelled and screamed at him for destroying my life. I told him that there was no way that he was going to take my baby away from me. And so I pushed Aryan away and picking up Samay from his crib I began to walk out of the room when Aryan grabbed my hand and pulled me back with such a force that because of it I lost balance and Samay who was resting against my chest went flying into the air and within seconds hit the floor. The next thing I knew I was being taken away in hand cuffs for the death of my own child. After that day everyone around me even my family disowned me. Everyone hated me. They acted as if I didn't exist anymore. And that was when I realized that I was indeed a murder.





-Flashback Ends-



As she finished narrating. Riddhima could feel the tears that she had tired to control flow down her eyes. She had finally done it. She had finally told her story. Now all she had to do was tell him how she felt. She didn't care if he didn't love her back. She just wanted him to know. She looked up at Armaan who was staring at her with a blank face. It was like he was trying to absorb what she had just told him.



"Um...Armaan?"



"I'm so sorry Riddhima. I can't believe you went through all of that. I wish I could have done something. But I'm glad that you finally told your story. And I want you to know that I am here for you and now that I know the truth I will make sure you get the justice you deserve."



"Thank you Armaan. Thank you for listening to me. For letting me tell you my story. But there is one more truth that I still need you to know."



What's that?"



"I don't know how to say this but...Armaan...I...I..I Love you."



Armaan stared at her bewildered. Had he just heard her right? Had she just said that she loved him? Was this a dream?



"You..You..Love me?...How?"





"I don't know. I never thought that after Aryan I would be able to ever fall in love again. But when you came into my life you showed me that life gives you second chances. That you shouldn't give up on yourself. You thought me that there are still people in this world who care. All I know is that I love you."



"Riddhima. I don't know what to say. I mean this was really unexpected.  But you don't know anything about me. I mean I just learned about your past."



"I don't care! Just tell me! Do you love me or not?"



"How about this. Since you just told me about yourself. Let me tell you about myself. And if after hearing it all you still love me. Then I will answer your question. Is that okay?"



Riddhima thought over what he had said and after thinking for a few seconds she made up her mind.



"Fine. Go ahead."

I'm sorry Riddhima that I'm making you wait. But you need to know about me. I do love you but I don't want to jump into anything until I know that you are okay with my past.

And so just as Riddhima did Armaan took a deep breath and slowly began to tell her his story.


Tashu

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