Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Part 23: Love Me always

Shanshank looked at her as if he had been slapped hard on his face. She wanted to go back?? He could his plan failing, he needed to act fast.

"Go back to see that guy?? Riddhima he just threw those divorce papers on your face and you want to go meet him? For what? " Shanshank asked her raising his voice.

Riddhima closed her eyes. She knew this was expected. But right now meeting him was more important and besides the man standing in front of her was the one actually responsible for creating such a mess in her life. Armaan had been just a pawn in his game…..but why….this question she failed to answer. With me?? His own blood?

Answering back in a small but a firm tone she spoke.



"Yes papa I want to see him. To ask him why did does he want to divorce me. What wrong have I done? Why did he marry me in the first place if he wanted to divorce me within months?"

"He married you for this money…… Riddhima….this power…this empire that I built….."

He furiously added specifying on each word…..it was true…he had the money….the power and his empire which he had built after so many years of hard work. The successful chains of hospitals all over the country and his own company manufacturing the drug and medicines. He had cleverly divided this will in a way such that despite Riddhima having control over it he still could have an upper hand over everything and to make things work his way he had used Armaan as his pawn. He saw a lot of himself in that boy. The same fierceness, the driving ambition…to achieve nothing but the best. He could rest in peace with Armaan under his thumb. But his plans faltered. That toad of a boy changed his path. This Riddhima was responsible he could guess. She somehow had managed to change his thoughts and he….such a silly weak hearted man….allowed himself to be changed by a woman.



"Yes Riddhima.....I know its terribly hard to digest but its the truth Betaa....it was all a game for him"

Shanshank added.....yes a game alright but i was playing not him.....Armaan you have disappointed me he thought.

When Shanshank heard him requesting to divide his control with Anjali…and Rahul he had decided to take matters in his own hands. It was high time. First step was to keep him away from Riddhima. She was still in control of everything…unknowing to her…the power she held. He had to keep her under him….change of plan as Armaan ad failed him. Ask him to give away his years of hard work he had put in to maintain this to those common freaks??

Wasn't Anjali rebelling him enough?? Marrying that Atul Joshi…..how could he ever forget…the son of Om Joshi…his arch rival? How could he ever forget his past dealing with Om Joshi??

 He had banished her forever…seeing she failed him….and turned his attention unwillingly to Riddhima, whom he had never even bothered considering in so many years. But now….this Armaan….was going on the same track. He should have been licking my shoes for the boost I gave him….or else knowing their family history he would have remained a common man all his life….just like his brother. Both the brothers are fools. That elder one…falling for Muskaan….Atul's so called sister….God knows from where Om had adopted her and he brought her up as his own child.

How could Armaan be so foolish and fall? He could have made him the sole owner of this empire…..but he couldn't control a woman….let her grow on him, stupid boy. What control he will have over this empire? Now I need to take control and keep Riddhima with me. Who knew ….the girl I detested will be so very very important now. Life plays such games he thought looking at her.



"So you see Riddhima beta…he told me you loved him, and also since it was Padma's wish that you marry there…in that house I agreed. But then he asked me to put everything under his name….I was shocked! How he knew that I was going to put everything on your name is still a mystery to me…..but then I said that I will make him the second…after you instead of myself. "



"But papa why did you even agree to marry me off if he was forcing you to give everything to him?" Riddhima asked quietly.

"Because he said you loved him and….."

"So you could have asked me right? You told me it was mom's last wish and you too wanted the same hence…I agreed Papa you should have atleast asked me?"

Riddhima looked at him now waiting for his answer. She knew she had cornered him. Now you have to spill the beans Papa she thought.

Shanshank looked at her feeling his anger slowly building up. Why was she cross questioning him now? The meek little Riddhima who never had ever back answered him was actually questioning his moves? This was all because of the guy Armaan he grimed.

Walking towards her he placed his arms around her lightly hugging her and spoke in a tone as gentle as possible.

"Riddhima beta….I know this must be terrible for you. It's all my fault baas. I pushed you into this and now see…..Armaan's true colours are surfacing and you the one getting hurt in this event. I will make him pay for every tear he gave you" Shanshank tried changing the topic and averting her questions by trying to sound as if he was emotionally supporting her.

Riddhima pulled back hastily and spoke, "No papa atleast let me meet him once; I want to ask him why he is doing this? Is money that all that matters to him and me…..?" Riddhima tried again though she it was in vain.

"No Riddhima you aren't going anywhere…..he will shown his place…..and still if you insist then you will sign those divorce papers now….right now….and I will come along with you so that we can throw them on his face"

Shanshank spoke sharply now feeling tired of convincing her.

Riddhima shuddered silently hearing what he said. It was better to drop the matter now or else………silently she turned back and headed for the stairs. Looking at her going up Shanshank smiled at his victory.

"Beta" He called…."I am with you Riddhima…..Armaan betrayed you…but am here with you…don't worry"



*****************************************

Riddhima entered her room listlessly as Shanshank's words still echoed in her ears.
Sitting down on the floor with her back against the wooden edge of the bed she hugged her knees as she felt tears unknowingly form and roll down. Why am I crying she thought? Didn't I know this was coming? But atleast I know the truth she thought.
 And Armaan is with me, he said so that he loves me and that he is there for me. But what if his love fades away? What if he feels that now he no longer feels the same? No no he won't. Ridz he loves you. Yes he does but what if I commit a mistake or displease him? Haven't all those whom I loved been snatched away? Dad was never mine, mom went away and di rebelled?
 I was always left behind. But now Armaan is there with me. And I don't need to fear and yes he won't leave me. He can't. He loves me. Riddhima tried hard convincing herself. Everything will be fine she thought. Yes and Armaan is there with her through thick and thin. Wiping her tears she flipped open her cell. Placing the cell to her ear.

"Hello? Armaan? I love you Armaan. Sorry for creating a misery for you by reacting the way I did. I am sorry. You still love me na?"

Armaan cocked up his brow. Is this his Riddhima? She was asking him a childish question like this??

"Riddhima? Are you alright? Why are you saying sorry yar? See anyone else in your place would have reacted in a similar manner. It's a shock that's hard to digest. And you think by reacting the way you did my love for you will fade out? Riddhima honey never, I love you and will always will. "
Riddhima felt herself turning red not on hearing him but she now realized what she asked him. Smacking her forehead ….I am so immature she thought.

"Helloo?? Honey you there?" Armaan spoke now getting worried with what was going on.

"Yes Armaan I am sorry for asking such questions….it's just that…"
 Riddhima stopped. How was she to tell him that it was mental insecurity that was forcing her to ask such questions? What explanation do I give him she thought?

"No you don't need to explain me anything honey "Armaan spoke as if answering her question.

"Riddhima listen…..I am coming there….ok no matter what. We need to clear up things and now…." Armaan spoke firmly. She needs me he thought.

"No Armaan…" Riddhima got up alarmed "You cannot come here….if papa saw you then he will….."

"No he won't do anything" Armaan told her flatly. The control was still in their hands and the old man couldn't yet do much….not till he was with her….Armaan just feared leaving Riddhima alone with him….he might make her sign or do any such thing as he had slyly made him do which might have a disastrous consequence.

"No Armaan don't come here please….."Riddhima gripped the phone tightly. She didn't know what she thinking….she was terribly confused…she didn't know what she wanted or why she was crying. He was there with her and yet she was so apprehensive….why?? Because I fear he will leave me too. Whatever I love is always taken away.
Armaan sighed not knowing what to do.....he needed to calm her first.

"Ok Riddhima....I won't come happy?? But sweetheart remember am always there with you and I love you more than my life. Now it's already pretty late....please eat something before you go to sleep"

Armaan frowned deeply as she cut the call. Something is definitely wrong he thought. She hasn't behaved like this at all in these months....then why this suddenly. I need to see her as soon as possible Armaan decided....whether she wants to see me or not.

************************************

Riddhima turned about feeling the dampness on the pillow. She had been crying.....she didn't know what was happening. She had prayed and sobbed not knowing why she feeling so insecure about everything suddenly. All images from her past had kept flashing......she had doll.....Bella she used to call it....never could put her down .....Mom would say she was Bella's mother...and then in a week....she lost it....she didn't how...where....but it went away.....and she never found it ever again.....and then hadn't she been taken away from mom and put away in the boarding?? But mom would come to meet her every week and she was happy.....she would always take her out and bring goodies from home....Riddhima never felt so happy.

Then came the worse nightmare....papa came to pick her one day and said mom is ill....and when she reached home.....Riddhima closed her eyes clutching the bedcover tight as she recollected seeing Padma in the hospital bed....her pulse fainting...and the machines beeping and then....silence....

Her life changed again.....but not the people around her....she would come home to see Anjali fighting with Papa...while she would cry sitting near the balcony. And then dint was she beaten unfairly during her entrance exams?? She had worked the hardest she knew and yet......wasn't she always left out in her school termed as an introvert?? Wasn't she ridiculed at always only because she preferred reading then talking mindlessly?? And what about Papa?? Hadn't she always craved for that little love and affection from him?? Which never got.....passing the entrance to medicals she was sent away....?

Riddhima felt her head spinning as all this came flooding back.....all the events currently going on had unlocked those doors in her mind which she tried to keep away from so many years. Thinking all this made her scary....paranoid....she became unknowingly insecure and hyper. She shuddered and shied away from the thought of being happy. And then when she finally passed with flying colours hoping to make her papa now proud of her.....he didn't even ask her what she got. Instead got her married saying it was mom's wish. And then came Armaan....she had met him before....she faintly smiled remembering their dance...but he was so engrossed in his own world that he barely noticed her, not that had expected him to notice.....in that short span she found him way to charming and too good for her taste. She had this instant crush on him but she knew that was all. She could not even imagine talking to him forget encouraging anything more.....but fate played up and he walked in her life again....as her husband.

She initially shied away from any feeling....she feared it....but then she fell so deeply in love that couldn't hold back and .....and he....he simply made her lock up all her shuddering  thoughts and built around her a world which she could only dream off.....and she lost herself willingly in it.

It wasn't that she was the most unluckiest person.....she knew that everyone couldn't have everything....but these things had affected her so greatly...she didn't know why that she was now paranoid. She couldn't have one more piece of her heart.....Armaan cut away....it was too painful to think off. But he wasn't going anywhere leaving you she argued. Touchwood she whispered thinking this......Armaan don't go away ever......she cried feeling silent tears rolling down as she closed her eyes.



**********************************************

****THUD*****

Riddhima woke up with a start looking around. It was about to cross midnight and she didn't know when she drifted to sleep. She looked about frantically trying to make out the source of the noise she had just heard. She saw a black outline, the shadow lying still. He slowly got p, his built clearly visible despite the darkness. Riddhima shivered and picked up the fruit knife from the fruit basket and hid behind the curtain shivering. She was ready she thought....surprised by her own pluck. Should i ask who it is?? Climbing my on my balcony at midnight?? No one decent obviously.....look at my Armaan...poor guy doesn't even know how to climb pipes....OMG he is coming here....Riddhima calm down....you have a knife....but what if too has one??

As he came closer Riddhima clutched her curtain tightly. Her room was separated from the sprawling balcony by curtains and now she stood behind them waiting and scared. If she uttered a word he might become aware. OMG what should I do? As he stood near the edge just a small step separating the balcony and room Riddhima lurched forward.

Suddenly she found herself being gripped her hands held behind her as she struggled. The knife was almost getting out of her hands....falling.

"Leave me" she hissed. "I'll shout"

"Easy wild cat"

Riddhima stopped hearing the voice.

"Armaan?"

Jia

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