Thursday, 20 June 2019

Part 4 : The Green Blue Hues (AR ff)

Two hours later. Heathrow Airport.

 Riddhima and Muskaan are sitting in the airport lodge. Riddhima is biting her nails nervously, with anxiousness written on her face while Muskaan is clearly looking tensed too. Muskaan puts a hand on Riddhima's shoulder.



Muskaan: Riddhima…don't worry…she will be fine..



Riddhima nods, still biting her nails. Looking towards the booking counter, she suddenly stands up.



Riddhima: Armaan…!!!




Armaan and Rahul are coming towards them, discussing something amongst themselves. Armaan is looking very tense, and they both come and stand next to the girls.



Muskaan: hey…what happened…?? Booking ho gai???



Rahul: yeah….booking bhi ho gai n boarding pass bhi mil gaya…



Muskaan: chalo thank God!!! When's the flight??



Armaan: in an hour…(biting on his lower lip to hold back tears)



He feels someone holding his hand and clasping it tightly. Looking down, he sees Riddhima holding his hand. He looked up to see her looking at him, giving him a small smile. Looking at her stressed face, he makes an effort to smile himself.



Armaan: (whispers to her) I am fine, don't worry….



Riddhima: shut up!! You are not fine and I know it….stop lying to me..!!! (she says, slapping him lightly on his face)



As she sees tears well up in his eyes, she herself gets tears in her eyes. She had never seen him cry, he was her support stand. To see him today in such a state broke her heart. Without caring about Rahul and Muskaan being there and about everyone sitting in close proximity, she at once pulls Armaan to herself and gently puts her arms on his back. Though taken aback wit her sudden movement, Armaan gives in to her embrace and puts his arms around her tiny waist too, and buries his face in her shoulder. The tears he had been trying to hold back since the time he had gotten to know about the bad news flew from his eyes. She pulled him closer to her and let him cry. The moment was so dear to both of them, that Rahul quietly led Muskaan away from the scene, to let them both dwell in this sudden sad news. After some time, Armaan backed out of the hug. His face was tear stained and his eyes were blood shot. Riddhima looked at him, tears spilling out of her eyes too and she slowly put up a hand to his face and cleaned away the tears. Armaan smiled at her gesture.



Riddhima: please don't cry Armaan….or else I will start crying too….please..(making a crying baby face, because she WAS crying herself too)



Armaan: awww Ragz….(puts an arm around her) its okay…don't cry….see.. I am not crying now, am i???



She looked up at him and smiled too. He cleaned away her tears on her cheek with his thumb.



Armaan: How many times have I told you not to cry?? You look drastically ugly…(giggling)



Riddhima slaps him lightly on his arm



Riddhima: shut up!!!



Armaan: owwww!!! Stop hitting me….ab jar aha hun tab to marna band keroo….(rubbing his arm where she had hurt him)



She at once looks at him and a fresh on-load of tears well up in her eyes. Biting her lower lip, she looks down, making a sad face.



Riddhima: I will miss you…(simply)



Armaan smiles and puts an arm around her



Armaan: I will miss you too….don't worry I will come back soon…



Riddhima: (looks up into his eyes) promise??



Armaan: yeah…promise!!! Now smile….(pinches her nose and they both laugh)



Just then Muskaan and Rahul come there.



Rahul: hey Armaan…I guess you should get going….boarding's started…



Armaan: yep…(picks up his bad and looks around) okay then..i will see you guys…(smiles)



Muskaan: yeah…(puts a hand on his shoulder) Armaan, don't worry. Auntie will be fine. We all will pray for her…



Armaan: yeah…thanks…(smiles and lightly hugs her)



Then he looks at Riddhima and smiles again, and lightly hugs her too. Patting her cheek lightly he says: take care!!!



Then he walks over to the boarding area with Rahul.



Armaan: Rahul….



Rahul: yep!! (looks at him)



Armaan stops walking and looks at him, and then looks back at Riddhima who is looking at him and smiling, talking to Muskaan



Armaan: take care of her for me, huh???



Rahul smiles and nods



Rahul: don't worry dude…she is in safe hands….



Armaan: I didn't have time to talk to her…but I want her to move in with Muskaan till the time I am not back…Dave and Nance would be heading out for Greece in a week's time….I don't want her to be alone in that house…..



Rahul: I don't think she will agree….(muttering)



Armaan: then make her….dont worry I will talk to her over the phone…but persuade her too…I don't want that bast*** Vivek to even come within a 1000 metres radius of her…you know what happened the last time….



Rahul: yeah man….okay no problem…I will make her agree to moving in with Muskaan…anything else?? (raising his eyebrows and smirking)



Armaan: yeah…keep an eye on that bast*** too….anything happens, buzz me asap….cuz I swear this time if he does something, I will seriously kill him….last time Dave dragged me away or I would have killed him…( a flash of anger passes through his eyes)



Rahul: Armaan….(puts an arm around his shoulder) you don't need to worry about her till I am here….I will take care of her….



Armaan smiles: thanks man!! I guess I should go then…(he hugs Rahul) take care…bye!!



He walked over to the boarding area, and then turned for a final time to see his best friends standing there, waving at him and smiling, barring Riddhima. He waved for a last time and then pointed at Riddhima and with his hands made a smile on his face, to tell her to smile. She smiles and nods her head, and he finally turns and walks over the boarding line towards the plane.



………………………………………



"Armaan!!!"



Armaan turned around in the midst of the thick crowd on the airport. He was so lost, he hadn't been here for the past 3 years and he had no idea who had come to pick him. Looking around, he tries to figure out who had come to take him when he sees his elder cousin, Shubhankar, walking towards him. Mustering a smile on his face, he finds himself pulled into a hug by his elder cousin-cum-brother. Hugging him back, he smiles.



Armaan: where the hell were you bro, I was looking around for you everywhere…



Shubhankar: sorry kid…was stuck in the traffic….(looks at his luggage) that's all you got? Good then, lets leave asap…this heat is killing me…



Armaan: I can imagine…(raising his eyebrows)



They both walk over to Shubhankar's car and put Armaan's luggage in the back and finally they are on the way.



Armaan: so…..what happened to Mom?? (looks at Shubhankar, a bit scared, biting his lip)



Shubhankar looks at him



Shubhankar: she suddenly started having the fits again….she hasn't had those since she started with the chemo…she was doing really well…the doc's were thinking that it could work out pretty well….but suddenly those attacks and stuff…and then one day she blanked out and when she came around, she couldn't recognize any of us…



Armaan: WHAT??? MOM LOST HER MEMORY?? (in shock, he couldn't control his voice)



Shubhankar: No, she hasn't…will you calm down?? (puts a hand on his shoulder) Look, Armaan, I know this is very hard and all…but the bottomline of the thing is, the docs are gonna operate day after tomorrow. And that is why we wanted you here. Cuz the only person she remembered during that memory-loss attack was you…



Armaan's eyes filled with tears. He made his fists into punches to control the pain that was slowly overtaking all his senses. He couldn't believe so much had happened and no one had told him.



Armaan: I cant believe you guys kept so much from me…I mean, how could you? I am her son…!!! (at last he blurted it out)



Shubhankar: I know Armaan, we should have…but Chachu didn't want you to know, you were giving the final papers of your masters…we didn't want you to….



Armaan: (cutting in between) those bloody papers were not more important than my mom!!! What if something had happened to her?? How would I have forgiven myself for not being here…huh???



Shubhankar: I know kid…look I am sorry I didn't tell you…but no one wanted you to know….it wouldn't have helped eitherwise…and believe me, your dad could not have taken the stress of your reaction along with Chachi's illness too….



Armaan listened to him and sighed



Armaan: maybe you are right…and what's done is done!! Anyways…where are we going now…? Hospital??



Shubhankar: yes…we are going to the hospital…almost everyone is there, except Dadi and Minnie…and Imaan….they are at home…



Armaan: okay then….



…………………………………………



Armaan and Shubhankar enter the hospital and go towards the neurology ward. As soon as Armaan turns the corridor, he sees his whole family sitting in the corridor. His elder sister, Divya, her husband Arjun, his Taya and Tayi (Shubhankar's parents), his to-be bhabhi and Shubhankar's fianc Keerti and Shubhankar's yunger brother Atul. As he walked in, every one turned to look at him and stood up at once to greet him.



He slightly smiles and bends down to touch his Taya's and Tayi's feet and take their blessings, and then hugs them. He side-hugs Keerti and Atul, and hugs Arjun, who he takes as his elder brother. Then he turns towards Divya.



If there was one person Armaan was really close to after Riddhima, it was his elder sister Divya. She was 10 years older than him, and he regarded her with great love and respect. He used to call her 'D" normally, and whenever he wanted to irritate her, he called her Apo, which made her feel really old and pissed her off.



Divya: Armaan…(puts a hand on his cheek, with tears in her eyes)



Armaan: hey D….(he pulled her into a hug, and let his tears flow for the first time while she hugged him back tightly)



Separating from the hug, he looks at her.



Armaan: how is she D??



Divya: Armaan, baby, just don't worry too much…she is fine…just a bit too weak…she will look different from when you last saw her….but the good thing is that she will get operated in a few days and the docs will take out all the tumor once and for all…then Mommy's gonna be okay….(musters a smile on his face)



Armaan: yeah?? (with hope in his eyes)



Divya:  (smiles at his innocence) yeah….and you don't need to worry, no one has taken your position from you….you still are her favorite….



Armaan smiles fully this time, his dimples showing



Divya: there!! That's what I wanted to see….now cheer up, you mommy's old boy and smile….



Armaan: where's Dad?? (looking around)



Voice: I am here son…



Turning around, he sees a good-looking and still charming at his age man, with a good height and clean-shave. He was exactly the way Armaan remembered him, yet there was a new aura of sadness around him that depressed Armaan. However, it was great to see his dad, whom he was pretty close to, though not as much as his mom.



Armaan: hey Dad…



 Kiran

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