Tuesday, 18 June 2019

part 17: Come Back to Me

"Riddhimaaaaa" he cried out supporting her as she collapsed into his arms.Picking her up Armaan swiftly carried her straight into her room and gently laid her on the bed. 



"Riddhima? Open your eyes sweetheart" Armaan gently patted her cheek and touched her forehead. Feeling it hotter then normal he got up and went out flipping out his cell.



"Hello Dr Atul?"



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Armaan stared at him worriedly pacing around the room as Atul bent over Riddhima examining her. Placing the stethoscope aside he glanced up at Armaan. He had immediately called Dr Atul over remembering him from their last visit with Riddhima. Rahul had told him he was treating Riddhima as she felt a bit off past few days blaming it on weakness and poor eating habits.



"Armaan relax, it's just that same viral infection down rounds of the entire city. You know this changing whether and transition etc……don't worry. She well be fit and fine within three days. Ok tonight she might get a high fever but by tomorrow it should die down" 


"Are you sure doc?" Atul looked at him sitting down besides her on the edge of the bed and taking hold of her hand.


"Yes Armaan. I am very very sure." He comforted him as Armaan looked at her worriedly.



"Then why did she faint? It was my fault, I know…….my fault again…." He mumbled alarming Atul.



"Armaan" he shook him gently but firmly.



"Armaan she fainted because of her weakness. I feel she hasn't been eating properly and hence as the infection caught her it affected her immune system and caused the weakness to sink in further. Hence she collapsed. She should be up in some time. Give her some lemon juice and all…."


"That I will surely…" Armaan nodded.



"I'll wait here till she gets back…" Atul smiled looking at him holding her hand and patting her forehead.


"Hey guys what happened?"



Atul glanced up to see Rahul entering. 



"What happened to Riddhima? She was looking off today since morning. I offered to drop her home too but she refused. Rahul I am feeling a bit feverish she told me, guess it's the viral" Rahul spoke in one breath as he entered.



"Yea it is…..hence I called Dr Atul immediately……you know he treated her last time too. I am going to make sure she eats well now" Armaan added firmly not getting up.


"Yeah I guess…." Rahul stopped seeing Riddhima stir.



"Oweeee" Rahul saw Armaan immediately slip his hand around her shoulders and lift her up gently supporting her head with a pillow.



"My head hurts" she whined opening her eyes slowly and looking around.


"Huh? Dr Atul? Rahul? What happened?" 


"Riddhima you sort of collapsed because of extreme weakness and your head is hurting as your viral infection is at peak and you have low blood pressure because of not eating anything for practically whole day" Atul spoke up as she looked up at him wide eyed. 


Slowly adjusting her eyes she saw Rahul standing a few feet away folding his hands across his chest and looking at her sternly. Stealing a glance at Armaan ;Riddhima felt cold. He was looking at her with a fiery expression. He looked worried, annoyed and stern at the same moment.



"Armaan why don't you get some lemon juice and something to eat"Atul suggested.


Nodding he got up giving Riddhima one last glance. As he walked out Atul silently closed the door behind him.



"Riddhima honey are you alright?" he asked in a concerned voice.


"Yea ok, just feeling terribly weak, my head hurts"



"Yea weakness, Armaan is getting something. Don't worry"



"Yea….but Dr Atul you are a psychiatrist…..and Armaan mistook you to be a general doctor because of that day…."



"Yea I understood…" he smiled.



"Riddhima but being a doctor we do know these basics, hence I didn't feel the need to call anyone else as you merely have viral. If I found it alarming I would have immediately called another doctor."



"Oh ok…." She gave him a feeble smile.



"ThankYou" she mumbled.


"No worries…….but I must say you are really doing a great job with Armaan. He seems to be improving greatly. His progress seems marvelous. I knew you were the solution" Atul glanced up at Rahul who nodded.



"Yea….but he still gets his attacks" she mumbled 


"Oh he will but I feel its effects are lessening. He seemed completely normal to me" he smiled.


"Oh he behaves extremely normal when he is fine, like takes care of the place, and helps me with cooking and gardening and always greets me….." Riddhima paused feeling her cheeks go warm as she rattled of. It now came to notice how well Armaan had been taking care of her rather then she taking care of him.


Rahul grinned and spoke up.


"Looks like Armaan is behaving much better then normal" 


He stopped grinning on getting a dirty look from Riddhima.


"Well he is alright, till he isn't reminded of the past….like if we argue or I scold him he……" she stopped feeling a bit guilty. For all the times she had snapped at him…..but then he wanted to close on the distance between them and that was something she just wasn't ready for.


"Yes I understand….don't worry Riddhima, he will be fine soon….." Atul smiled.


"Infact that's what we wanted to discuss, now with Rahul here its even better…."


"What?" Riddhima looked up at them both curiously.



"Riddhima he can't possibly spend his entire life being at home. I know he would love too seeing how much he adores you but still. Hence we decided to give him a chance again to rebuild his career" he stopped looking at her expressions.



"But….but that means throw him away in that world again?' Riddhima asked feeling a sinking feeling which she didn't know why she felt. Obviously one day would come when he had to restep in that world. 



"Yes, Riddhima see you can't keep him like this all your life. He has to rebuild his life again right?"



'Yes…." She absent mindedly answered.


"So Riddhima we thought it was best that Rahul offered him some new contract and asked him to work with him. In that way he would be under Rahul constantly and he could keep an eye on him too" Atul suggested.



"Yea that would be great." Riddhima nodded unable to understand why she wasn't really feeling happy about this. After all this was what she wanted .Him to be back to normal and start living his life again. Then he would go back to his routine and leave her alone. This was what she wanted right? Then why was she feeling so miserable about it? But then.......Armaan would probably go back to his nature, old habits sie hard as they say, this wasnt a habit, it was his nature. He was so very loving and caring when he wanted too. The same cycle would repeat. Right now he was in need of her, hence he was naturally drwn in towards her all over again but once this need would vanish.....................




"Ok then Riddhima ask him to drop down to my office day after tomorrow. As you aren't well I am sure he won't leave you and come tomorrow. So day after once you feel better tell him to come along. We will work on the details and see what we can do………"



"Oh ok….." before she could complete the door opened nd Armaan walked in holding a tray.


"Here I am back. Riddhima you better get ready as I wont budge from here till you finish all I have brought" he looked at her sternly as he put the tray on the bedside table.



"Armaan I guess we will leave….I have given Riddhima some tablets. Taking those doses regularly she should be fine in two days…" Atul smiled.


"Oh ok…." Armaan nodded.


"Take care Armaan…..I wont say that to Riddhima as you are there for her" Rahul grinned as he left the room.


Armaan walked in closing the door behind after the biding goodbye to Rahul. He sat down besides her on the edge of the bed and picked up the glass from the tray.



"Riddhima come on drink this up" he ordered as she glanced up and tried sitting up. Feeling his arms around her she held her breath as helped her sit up and smiled.


"Come on drink. I have added a spoon of honey too, I know you like that…" he smiled as he held up the glass in front of her.



Riddhima felt him tucking her strands of hair behind her ears as she gulped down the liquid from the glass. She stared at him as he silently took the glass from her hands once she finished and picked up the plate from the tray. Holding a spoonful of rice he spoke.


"Riddhima come on eat…" 



"She opened her mouth as he fed her. She couldn't help but notice how lovingly he fed her and each time she coughed he patted her gently and immediately gave her the glass of water.



"Armaan baas. I cant eat anymore" she moaned in between.



"Omg Riddhima you have not even finished half of it. No wonder you are such a weakling. I have to start feeding you regularly now….. this is too much" he mumbled holding yet another spoon near her mouth.


"Armaan I full" she whined.


"Shutup and eat, I won't allow you to leave it this time….collapsing because of weakness. You know how worried I was…." He glared at her.



"Armaan enough .You aren't supposed to baby sit me ok. I can take care of my self. If I am ill it's my problem…not yours. So just stop….." she snapped back.


"I know it's your problem Riddhima, but much as you want me to stay away I can't help making it my worry too…..when I saw you fainting…."



Riddhima bit her tongue as he put down the plate back on the tray and got up.



Holding back his hand she whispered.


"I am sorry…." she whispered, her green eyes gazing intently into his.



Armaan gazed back and turned. Kneeling down beside her he took hold of her hand. Riddhima gazed at him in amazement as she saw tears in his eyes.


"Armaan…." She muttered shocked.



"I….I am sorry Riddhima…it's all my fault. I am so sorry…."



"Your fault?" Riddhima asked him bewildered as he buried his face in her hands.



"Ye….you know you are so stressed because of me, and when you fainted my heart beat stopped for an entire minute seeing you in my arms. I cursed my self. It's my fault….." he mumbled 



"Armaan its just a minor cold, just viral. You aren't at fault. It could have happened to anyone right?" she gently argued.



"No…you know I was so worried. I prayed why you Riddhima, why not me? I can't bear anything happening to you….what if…." He looked up feeling tears rolling down his cheeks.



"Armaan" Riddhima held his face between her palms as they rested on his cheeks. Wiping his tears she couldn't help but smile.



"Its just a normal cold Armaan. Nothing has happened to me ok. Armaan please you can't be actually crying…….and what can happen to me when you are here taking such great care of me" Riddhima didn't know what made her say this but seeing him break down she just couldn't stop herself.


"Oh ok…..then I will always take care of you, wont ever allow anything to happen to you" Armaan smiled touching her pams with his and kissed them.



"Armaan…." Riddhima looked at him stunned. He seemed to gentle, so caring. …..



"Shh don't say anything. You need rest Ridz. I am here ok anything you need just ask me. And I am sorry….."


"For?"



"For…." Armaan bent forward and kissed her forehead gently and held her hands again.



"For….just everything…" he smiled feebly and got up picking up the tray. 


Switching off the lights he trotted out whispering "Goodnight"



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Riddhima couldn't help but stare at him in the darkness as he his head lay on her hand. He had come back and kneeled down beside her holding her hands again and sitting there till she fell asleep checking her fever every few seconds. He too soon fell asleep in the same position , resting his head on her hand.



As the entire evening's events came flashing back Riddhima couldn't help but smile. He was so changed, so gentle, so caring. He had become the same Armaan she fell in love with. Her Armaan. Minus his aggressiveness she had noticed. He wasn't exactly the same. He was willing to listen to her, give her the space she needed. He never forced his opinions on her .And would still love her in the same way. 



She gently stroked his hair with her fingers staring at him snuggled up against her hand. He could be so lovable and adorable when he wanted, but then again what if he changed? Like he did before……how could she ever forget his beastly behavior .How she wished she could reciprocate his love, he would never again suffer from his mental imbalances she knew. But she couldn't….she just couldn't. She was scared……she knew. Scared to reciprocate just as she was scared to send him back to his life. She would loose him all over again. On one hand she couldn't reciprocate his love and on the other she still wanted to cling to him hoping one day they would be together again? Would she ever get over this dilemma??



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Riddhima hummed as she cooked in the kitchen after so many days. Ever since Armaan had come he would hardly allow her to do a thing. Today was the third day since she fell ill; she felt much better today. Hence she had argued and forcefully sent Armaan to Rahul remembering her word to Rahul.


 These two days had perhaps been the best in her life atleast she thought so considering the life she had been living from past one year.…..the way Armaan had cared for her made her feel wanting to live all over again. She smiled as she recollected their argument in the morning. He so didn't want to go to Rahul....

"I cant leave you Ridz, it's just not possible" he had firmly put his foot down. After a lot of convincing and assurances from her side he had finally agreed to go for a couple of hours.


"But I will come by lunch ok" he had smiled placing a gentle kiss on her forehead.


…...It was past midday now and he should be on his way home as Rahul had promised not to keep him for too long. 


Seeing her cell flashing she picked it up.


"Ridhhima?"



"Yea Rahul? Are you done? Did he sign the contract?" she asked eagerly.



"Errm Riddhima there is a problem here…."



"Huh Rahul what is it?" Riddhima asked panicking.



"I am so sorry ridz, I didn't know this would trigger of an attack. I was just generally talking and like we just got to know that Muskaan is pregnant, so in that mood it sort of slipped out of mouth that ……."


"That?" Riddhima felt her heart sinking.



"That your child would have completed a year by now….. and......."



"No….." she whispered feeling her grip on the table edge tighten.



"And Armaan sort of left suddenly in a daze, I went out to get some files and he wasn't there, and like we don't know where he disappeared"


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jia

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