Saturday, 8 June 2019

part 7 : Come Back to Me

He glanced at the hands showing 5 am....in the alarm clock on the bedside table. It would be morning now....it was infact but still sometime to go for the sun to rise. He glanced at her sleeping soundly finally holding him.

He gently stroked her hair and stared at her. What would she do when she gets up? He shuddered thinking of various possibilities. No i wont allow her to do anything like that. She will have to hear me out he decided...I will make her understand me through my love....will take away her pain with my love.....I cant live without her....not even a second....forget a day....that one day...when she ignored me....was enough to last me a lifetime.

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Flashback 

Pushing the door open with a squeaking sound, she made her way inside her house at a snail's pace. Throwing her bag with a significant amount of force on the wooden table, she rested her lower body on the chair placed beside it sighing deeply, making it echo in the small but empty room.



Engrossed in the incident that happened a few minutes ago, she could only and only think of Armaan's words that had seemed to engrave in her mind like a stamp.

'I love you Riddhima.............its been coming since when. Trust me its not attraction that I have. Its only love. When I see you smile, I feel my eyes light up. Just seeing you itself makes my day. I just can't explain this feeling Riddhima.........Its just.........but its love I can assure you.'

'Its love I can assure you..'''I love you Riddhima''''..I love you'

Those words were making their way back in her mind every now and then as if trying to hypnotize her. They seemed adamant not to go away until she gave them a thought''''a deep thought.

'Did he really mean that? Does he really love me?' She asked herself with an enquiring tone.

'Of course he loves you Riddhima, the guy just poured out his feelings to you and you are still doubtful about them' came a brisk reply from her within.

'But, how can he love me, he barely knows me. We have been together for like what'''.a few months''''.that's it? And, he has already started loving me'''..? No, that can't be possible.'

'Why can't it be possible, you tell me, don't you hold something for him? Don't you feel something towards him''''say Riddhima'''.say.'

'Nooooooooooo, I can't' she blurted out with frustration. The river of tears had already started flowing off her eyes. Wiping off the watery droplets from her chin to control herself, she continued gasping a deep breath.

'I can't feel something for him'''..I just can't. It can't work out between us. We are like north and south poles.' She said while gasping another breath.

'He comes from a very rich family. All his life, he has been given whatever he has asked for no matter how small or big it was. And, I'''..I don't even have a proper place to live. This place''''even though I did call it a normal place the other day'''..even though, I did argue with Armaan about the normality of this area'.'''.I know deep down that this can't even be regarded as a humanly environment to live. I can't change the fact that I am poor and I have no right to be associated with a man who deserves someone of his class'''..someone who comes from the same background as him'''''.someone who deserves him. I know all this sounds clich'd but I do not deserve him.'

'So, do you want to lose a guy who loves you madly just because he is rich and you aren't? What is his fault if he is rich''...he is still human? Doesn't he have the right to love someone''''even if she doesn't belong to as you call it the 'same society'?'

'No, I can't love him. I have ma's dreams to fulfill, I need to make her proud''''I need to work on my career''''I need to make a stand of my own. I can't fall for love''''..I can't fall for him, I just can't'''''and, the way he behaved with me today''''.what was that'''''his possessiveness'''''..I can't stand that'''..I can't''''''

'Stop talking rubbish Riddhima, you are making excuses now and trying to run away from your feelings. You know that anyone in his place would have felt like that, anyone would have felt jealous seeing their love with someone else''''..anyone's heart would have broken and his was no different. Why don't you understand that'''''see it from his perspective as well.'

'I know it wasn't his fault'''''I know he wasn't wrong but this is also true that we can't be together. We just can't''''''' Saying so, she lied down on the bed with folded hands and placed them under her head in order to support it. Closing her water filled eyes making the tears which had been colorized with the mascara fall on the pillow, she consciously made an effort to fall asleep and get away from all those worries.

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Seeing the lecturer talk about 'electronic sounds', she swiftly made her way inside the class room and occupied the vacant chair beside 'Anna', her classmate. She had noticed Armaan's shocked expressions when she passed off him. She could witness the alarming look on his face on seeing her sit with someone else and not him.

Sitting together almost everyday had become quite normal for both of them. It had become their habit to sit beside each other so much that even their friends and other classmates knew about it. Everyone expected them to be with each other not only in the classroom but throughout the university and it had surprised some if not all about Riddhima's actions today. Some including Anna had raised eyebrows on seeing the change.

Placing the notebook on the desk, she opened her biro to start writing the notes. Noticing Armaan glance at her, she felt her hands tremble. His intense gaze was bringing back all the memories of last night, those happenings were starting to trouble her all over again. In order to stop herself from breaking down, she quickly lowered her gaze and started scribbling in her book. All she could think of at that moment was to find a way of ignoring him. His presence was making her uncomfortable. Seeing his face filled with all sorts of questions was making her feel nervous. They were bothering her so much that she couldn't even concentrate on what the lecturer was saying.

Making a mental note of not raising her gaze, she kept staring her book. Being unable to stop herself, she raised her eyes every now and then, and noticed him sitting with an expression filled with pain and confusion. He looked tensed and she could feel his state. She could see what he was going through and she knew that it wasn't his fault. At the back of her mind, she did feel sorry for him, but at the same time, she wanted to maintain distance from him. That's what she thought would be best for both of them; to stay away from each other.

Hearing the lecturer conclude his talk, she hurriedly closed her book and placed it in her bag. Raising herself from the chair in order to head towards the exit, she heard Armaan call from behind.

'Riddhima'

Scared of facing him, she closed her eyes with a sigh. This was the moment she wanted to run away from; facing him was what she had been apprehensive about. Opening her eyes, she turned around with a blank expression.

'Riddhima, is everything alright?' she heard his voice.

'Oh'''.hi Armaan. Yes, of course everything's fine.' She said with a quivering voice, trying her best to hide it from him.

'No, I just thought something was wrong. You seem different today. Anyway, do you want to go to the canteen? Let's have something to eat.'

'Uhh''.no, thanks Armaan. I have some work to do. I would instead go to the computer lab and finish it off. See you later in the class' She hurried off the room without looking back leaving him astounded with her behavior.

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It was 8 in the evening when their final lecture finished. Making sure he didn't lose track of her, he accelerated his motion to catch hold of her.

'Hey Riddhima, going home and that too without me? Come, I'll drop you off.'

'Uhhh''.its okay Armaan, I have to go for work now. You go home, I'll go myself.'

'But, its Wednesday today and you never work on Wednesdays. How come you are working today?'

Fishing out for some excuse, she ran her thoughts in all directions to get something sensible and believable to sound. 'Uhhh''''actually, I got this call from the librarian about today's duty, she wasn't well so she swapped my turn for today instead. You don't worry please, go home. I'll go back myself.'

'Are you sure Riddhima, I can wait for you. It is fine for me, plus its really really late.'

'No Armaan, go home. I said I am fine. I am not a child to be dependent on you for picking and dropping me off. Go back now.' With that, she turned around in the direction of the library feeling disgusted with herself for behaving like that. She could imagine Armaan's expressions even though she didn't get the time to notice his face due to the sudden chain of actions that took place. Speeding up her steps to lose his sight as soon as possible, she took a right turn towards the library.

'That was so mean Riddhima. Why did you lie to him, you don't have any work today, nobody called you for today's duty and yet you lied? Why did you make that excuse'''''why?' She had expected her conscience to raise such questions to her.

'Please don't ask me anything...............I didn't know what to do' she said in a justifying tone.

'What the hell do you mean you didn't know what to do. That guy always goes out of his way to help you. He is always nice to you and you'''.you are being such a b**** to him just because he confessed his feelings to you?'

'I am sorry but I can't behave normally with him now'''..especially after what he said to me last night.'

'Oh come on Riddhima, you know that isn't true. He loves you'''''he loves you madly'''''''and so do you''''''..'

Hearing those words made her feel as if a thunder struck her.

'I am not joking Riddhima. You do like him, don't you?'

'Please don't start that again. I told you last night that it isn't true. I don't hold any feelings for him. He doesn't have any importance in my life''''.he doesn't.'

'Oh really? If that's the case then why does it affect you so much when he isn't around you? Why do you miss him when you are not with him? Why does it make you happy when he does even the smallest things for you? Why do you wait for him to pick and drop you off? Why do you put extra efforts to look nice to him? Why Riddhima?'

'Even on that day when you were working with Kevin, why were your eyes searching for Armaan? All day you kept thinking about him''.why? Why didn't you let Kevin drop you off? Why Riddhima? I have so many examples that signify your love towards him''''''.so many'''''''.and yet you say you don't feel anything for him. Accept the fact Riddhima'''''accept it before it gets late.'

Each of those words had made her quiver, deep down inside, she knew it was all true. She knew it wasn't wrong yet she was trying to go against the truth. Those questions had almost left her in loss of words, she didn't know what to do, she didn't know what to say'''''all she could do was stay quiet.

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Getting off the bus, she made her way towards her street. Progressing steadily in the direction of her house, she noticed him standing there with his head facing the ground, taking support of the faded wall with his right leg while extending the other leg to maintain his balance.

Perceiving her shadow form on the ground, he raised his head and moved forward showing his acknowledgement.

'Armaan''''.what are you doing here?' She was surprised to see him there at this hour.

'I came to talk to you Riddhima. What's wrong with you? Why are you behaving in such a way with me?'

'Armaan please go away, I don't want to talk about anything.'

'I won't go away without your answer. Why are you ignoring me like that? Why aren't you even talking to me properly? You have to tell me Riddhima.'

'Armaan'''''I said go back. Leave me alone please. I don't want to talk about it.'

'No Riddhima''''''I said I won't go without sorting this issue today itself. Is it because I told you what I feel about you?'

Riddhima felt her eyes moist hearing a mere reference to the talk about the last night. She felt all those emotions building up which she had kept inside her.

'There is nothing like that''...nothing Armaan.'

'You are lying now''''the fact is that you are ignoring me. And, I can't bare this behavior coming from you. I can't see you stealing glances from me, I can't tolerate this air of awkwardness between us Riddhima.'

Without letting him finish off what he had to say, she started heading towards the door. Seeing her inconsiderate mannerisms, he promptly reached for her with eyes full of anger and gripped her tightly pinning her against the door.

'What do you think of yourself huh? I have been telling you what I feel about you and you'''.you are behaving like that with me?' He gripped her tighter through her shoulders making her scream out of pain.

'Ahhhhh''leave me Armaan. Its hurting me.' She said in a painful tone trying to release herself from his hands.

'What about my pain Riddhima? What about the pain you have given me? I have been suffering all this time thinking about you'''thinking what wrong I did''''thinking how to explain to you how much I love you.'

She could see the pain his eyes, all his sufferings were clearly visible to her. His eyes showed her what he felt for her and how much he was ready to do for her.

'Tell me Riddhima, don't you feel anything for me? You have to tell me today'''.Enough of running around, you have to tell what you feel for me. I won't let you play with me like that, tell me. Don't you feel attracted to me?'

Swallowing the saliva that had built up in her throat, she opened her mouth to reply to him in a determined manner.

'No, I don't feel anything for you''''''.'

Hearing that, he flexed her hand and twisted it while repeating the same question. 'That's a lie Riddhima. Don't you feel attracted to me? Don't you like me? Tell me''''.don't you love me?'

'Ahhhhh'''''.leave me Armaan. You are not in your senses. You are not realizing how much pain you are giving me. I said leave me.'

'I won't leave you until you accept what you feel for me. I know you like me, I know you feel attracted to me. I know you love me'''.you do love me Riddhima, why don't you say it?'

The high intensity of the moment didn't let her realize when the tears had made their way off her eyes. Taking all the mascara along them making her face look as if taken from a black and white movie, they were flowing at a very high speed, so much that she couldn't stop them even if she tried her level best. She couldn't understand which pain was hurting her more, the physical pain or the emotional one, which she had been trying to hide for sometime now.

Seeing her cry, Armaan immediately released her out of his grip and looked her in a state of shock as if realizing what he had been up to only now.

'I am so sorry Riddhima. Please don't cry. I don't know what got over me. I love you so much and I just can't seem to explain you how deep my feelings are for you. I don't know how to make you understand how much I love you. Seeing you ignore me like this isn't easy for me, trust me. I have been longing to talk to you all day today and seeing your ignorance has been the most severe thing on me. Please don't punish me like that. Please.'

Seeing her sobbing without saying anything, he continued.

'I don't know how to make you fall in love with me damn it'''If you don't want to talk to me'''.fine'''..I won't bother you but at least don't ignore me like that.'

Without getting a response yet again, he said with a shriek of frustration 'Alright, you don't want to say anything, I will leave you''''..happy? I am going Riddhima''''..I won't bother you from now on''''..don't worry I will stay away from you even though I love you a lot and mark my words, no one can love you this much'''''no one Riddhima''..'

Twirling around, he headed towards his car; tears rolling down his cheeks coming from the rejection from the very own person he loved the most. He felt his world falling apart. Unable to bare the shock, he somehow managed to reach his car and opened his door when he heard her say''.

'I love you''''''..I love you Armaan'''''I love you.'

Jia 

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