Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Chapter 6 C: Numb

"Umm...Hi."



Okay what is going on? What is he doing here?

Riddhima stared at him bewildered. She was shocked to say the least that he was standing in front of her despite the way she had behaved with him. She had thought he would still be mad at her and wouldn't talk to her for days and yet he was standing in front of her as if everything was normal. She was about to voice her confusion when he spoke up stopping her mid way.

 "Okay. I know you are probably wondering why I am here. I mean after I put myself out there and told you how I felt ,you must have never thought that I would be back so soon. Well see the truth is Rahul came over and he helped me to see that I shouldn't have acted so rashly. I should have given you a chance to at least say something. And for that I'm really sorry."


 As he finished talking Riddhima couldn't help but smile. He really was an amazing person. Here he was apologizing for telling her how he felt even after she had been so cold towards him.

Well I guess it's my turn now she thought as it seemed like he had finished what he wanted to convey.



 It's my turn to tell the truth and all of it. I just hope that he doesn't hate me after this.



"It's.Okay."



"Really? You're not mad at me?"



"No."





"Omg! I can't tell you how happy I am to know that. I was so worried that you hated me!"





"I.Don't.Hate.You."



"You don't?"



"No.I...Love. You."





"That's nice ...WAIT! Did...Did you just say that...that..you love me?"



"Yes.I.Did."



"OMG!!!!! YOU LOVE ME!!!!!!!!"



"Shhh.Eva."



"Ohh sorry. But seriously you love me!"



"Yes.But."



"But what?"



"We.Can't.Be.Together."



"What do you mean we can't be together?"



"Because. Of My.Past."



Armaan's heart began to race as her words rang into his ears. She didn't want to be with him because of her past?  What past? What was she hiding now?



"Your Past. What past?"



"My.Past.That.You.Need.To.Know."



"Okay. Then tell me."



"First.Promise.You.Won't.Hate.Me."



"I promise I won't hate you. Now please tell me."



Okay Riddhima. It's time.



And so after saying a silent prayer Riddhima handed him a dairy.



"What's this?"



"My.Life.My.Story. I. Would. Have. Talked. But.I.Don't. Think.I.Can.Relive. Those.Moments.So.I.Wrote.Everything.Down."



Armaan looked at her puzzled unsure of if he should open it or not but seeing her encouraging him on, Armaan opened it and began to read.



Dear Armaan,



I know you must have a lot of questions going on in your mind about me and I don't blame you. I mean I haven't really gotten the chance to tell you anything. And so I'm giving you this diary. This dairy is my life and it holds every single secret that I have held inside of me. I hope that after you read this that you won't hate me and will understand why we can't be together.  And so here it is. My story.





Me. Who am I? I'm Riddhima Gupta. Daughter of Padma and Shashank Gupta. Sister of Anjali Gupta. My story isn't the typical fairytale storybook. I guess you can say it was the complete opposite.  My life was never easy. I never got things the easy way. I grew up in a world where I didn't know what was around the corner. I grew up learning that wrong was right and right was wrong. I learned that if you didn't get what you wanted that you had to take it. It didn't matter who the person was in front of you. You had to snatch what was yours. I guess I was just never meant to lead a normal life. My sister had passed away at an early age after battling with cancer and I was the only daughter my parents had. I guess that was the reason why I was never meant to make friends or have a boyfriend. I was never meant to have that typical life that every girl wants. And I guess that was what I was meant to live with,



My dad Shashank Gupta. He's known as the Mob King. He has a gang of men who work for him and wait on his every move. He had power and that I guess was all he cared about. He didn't care about the fact that he had two daughters and a wife to support. He just wanted power and lots of it. Everyday I would hear my parent's fighting behind closed doors. My mom would be yelling at him to stop his criminal life and my dad would be telling her to mind her own business. I used to hide in my room while they fought and tired to keep my mind from wondering. I knew that if I tired to get involved I would have to face the wrath of my father. I guess that's why I was always afraid to disobey him. I was always afraid to let him down. My dad was never the easy going kind of person his temper was what set him apart from everyone else. Everyone was afraid to voice their opinion in front of him because they knew it was futile. He was never going to listen.





My mom on the other hand is the complete opposite. She was  always there for me and di. She's the one who actually cares that we existed. She's the one who supports us whenever we have tired to do anything. She fight's for us when my dad is against us. If it hadn't been for my mom I probably wouldn't be alive right now. I know that must be alarming to hear but for me that's the truth. That's the reality that I have to live with. It's something that I still to this day have nightmares about.  I still remember how it had all started.



I had just gotten home from a long day at work. I was a second grade teacher. I loved being around children. They brought a smile to my face. They helped me to forget my worries. I still remember walking in through the door on that unusually cold Thursday to be greeted by complete strangers. I was used to seeing the odd man around the house but that day I didn't know that one of them was there for me. It was only after that they had left that I was told by my father that he had agreed for me to get married to the son of the man who had come to see him. I had felt my world crumble in an instant. I wanted to shout and scream at my father but I couldn't. I wasn't given that right. After all being a girl in my house was frowned upon. I had waited until my father had left my room until I was able to allow my heart to weep. I don't remember how long I had cried that day. I only remember waking up in a ball on the floor with a wet shirt.





My life after that day was never the same. A week later I had been married off to a complete stranger. He is now my ex husband. But at that time he was all I had.

His name is Rohit Kapoor. His father Kabir Kapoor was in the same business as my father. I had learned from Rohit that the only reason he had married me was so that his father and my father could join hands to make a new partnership. I never felt so used in my life and yet there was nothing I could do. Little did I know that Rohit and my father had plans of their own.



It was months later when I found out I was pregnant with Eva. I had never been so happy. I was finally going to feel loved. I remember telling Rohit that he was going to be a father. I wish you had been able to see his expression. He had the biggest smile I had ever seen. I had almost begun to think that he was changing and would actually love me. Rohit mostly didn't seem to care that I existed. He would only come to me when he wanted something or he was in the mood to make love. I had learned early on in my marriage that I was basically his slave. It was my job to do as he commanded. But with the news of me being pregnant with his child I had almost for a fleeting moment hoped that he would change and accept me as well as the child that was growing inside of me. But like all things in my life I had spoken to soon. Rohit didn't change. He kept to his ways leaving me all alone.





Finally the most joyous day of my life came. I gave birth to my Eva. She was and still is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. Now usually the husband was supposed to be in the room with the wife but Rohit? Well he didn't bother. He had instead of being with me had gone out with his friends. He felt that seeing his own child wasn't important enough to stay back. I had again cried that day for hours. I had cried not only for myself but for Eva. She was going to grow up with out a father. I had come home the next day with a day old Eva in my arms to be welcomed by no one. I had come home to an empty house and I wasn't surprised either. I had figured out from the moment I had announced that I was pregnant that I was going to be a single parent. I don't know how I got through anything after that point if it hadn't been for Eva. She was my reason to live. She gave me the strength to keep going. And if it hadn't been for her I probably wouldn't have escaped.





I hope you're still reading this Armaan because whatever I have told you so far has been very difficult for me to even write. You are the first person that I have told my story to. I have never had the guts or for that matter courage to tell anyone but what I'm about to tell you now is the biggest truth of all. I don't know how you are going to take it but I pray that after you read what you are about to read that you won't...hate me.





It was a day before my accident. I had woken up early as Eva had been crying. She hadn't slept well the whole night has she had been suffering from a mild fever. I had decided that I would take her to the doctor and so I had with some courage gone to ask Rohit if he would take me. And so I had picked up Eva in my arms and walked to Rohit's room. Rohit and I didn't share a room. He stayed in his own room and I stayed in the guest room. I had just reached his door and was about to knock on it when I heard voices coming from inside. I placed my ear against the door frame and what I heard from the other side shook me to my core. I could hear Rohit talking on the phone who turned out to be my father telling him that now that Eva was born that they were going to kill me and take Eva away from me. They had planned the whole thing out. My father had promised Rohit's dad that he would get me married to Rohit in exchange for my first born child. That way my father would no longer be in debt to Rohit's dad. I had stood infront of his door shocked for minutes. I felt like time had stood still. I couldn't comprehend how my father could be so cruel. I had never been so angry and hurt. I couldn't understand why my own family was after me. I had wanted to barge into the room and face Rohit but before I could even do anything Rohit had opened the door. He had looked at me as if he had gotten caught but knowing better I had hid my anger and pretended like nothing was wrong. I then walked back to my room and closed the door behind me. I didn't know what to do. I was scared. I didn't want them taking Eva away from me. She was my baby.  Only mine and I wasn't going to let them win. I leaned against the closed door as I slowly fell to the floor. I could feel my body give way as the pain of loosing Eva erupted. It was happening again. I was being taken back into the dark. God was playing with me again. My mind was revolving in circles and the voices inside my mind were taking over. I could feel the shooting electric current in my brain once again flow through my nerves. I closed my eyes and screamed into the empty room allowing my pain to have a voice hoping someone would listen. The pain became unbearable to deal with and so I raised my hands and encompassed my head into my palms, hoping the discomfort would withdraw and let me be. I wanted this to end. I wanted to be free. I wanted answers... I wanted my life back. I wanted this torture to end.



I woke up a few hours later to see my room in darkness. I looked around me on the floor to see that Eva was still beside me. I was still a little weak but I knew that I couldn't let that stop me from leaving. I had to save Eva. I couldn't let her be taken away from me. And so without wasting even a second I picked up Eva and began to leave. As I got closer to the front door I was about to open it when I heard Rohit's voice from behind me. I can't tell you how scared I was at that moment. I didn't know what was going to happen but all I knew was that whatever it was it wasn't going to be good. I turned around in my spot and I saw Rohit standing a few feet away from me. He was looking at me with a look I didn't understand. I tried to look into his eyes for an answer but I didn't get one. I was about to voice my confusion when he walked up to me grabbed my hand and began pulling me back towards my room. I figured out from that one gesture that he must have found out that I had heard his conversation when he had been on the phone. I had tired to release myself from his grip and I tired to protest but my actions and voice fell on deaf ears for the next moment I was back in my room with the door closed in my face. How long I was in that room felt like eons. I was trapped with no way out. I had begun to think that me and Eva would never get out until a few hours later the door opened and in walked Rohit.





I once again was scared and Eva who was clinging to me began to cry. I was about to ask Rohit what he wanted but before I could do or say anything he walked up to me and tied a black piece of cloth around my eyes. I kept asking him what he was doing but he didn't answer me. He just grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the room with a screaming Eva in my arms.  I don't remember much of what had happened next as I couldn't see a thing. I could only hear. I remember Rohit saying something about how I had heard everything and that I was being taken somewhere. I then remember the feeling of being pushed into a van. I was petrified and scared but I knew that I couldn't let anything happen to Eva and so I held on to her as tight as I could. It was moments later when the van had stopped and my blind fold was taken off. I opened my eyes slowly and looked around to see that the van had been stopped near a dead road that was close to a local town. I wanted to scream out for help but I couldn't as Rohit and his men were standing right outside the van. I knew that if I tried anything that I would be caught and so I sat still and waited for them to leave. Finally after about what seemed like an hour they left the van abandoned and walked towards the town. I guessed that they were going to meet someone as they had been talking on the phone for a long time. I looked around making sure that no one was there and seeing it as the perfect chance I opened the van door and made a run for it. I didn't know where I was but all I knew was that I had to get Eva to a safe place and that was with my mom.



I ran for miles until I couldn't run anymore. I finally stopped near a park bench and sat down to catch my breath. Eva by that time had once again begun to cry. I figured that she was hungry as she hadn't eaten anything. I was in the middle of no where. I didn't know where to get food from and so I decided that the only way was to reach my mom's house as fast as possible. And so I picked up Eva once again and continued to my mom's house.

It took me a good 3 hours before I reached my mom's house. She at first was surprised to see me but when she saw my disheveled appearance she knew something was wrong. I then sat down with her and told her everything that had happened. I told her about my dad's plan. I told her how Rohit never loved me or cared about Eva. I told her how I had ran away from Rohit and came straight to her. To say that she was horrified was an understatement. She was angry and upset that she had let my life be the way it was. She felt bad that she couldn't do anything. She cried after that cursing herself for not being there for me. How my heart had broke seeing her I can't even begin to tell you. I didn't know what to do and so I just held her in my arms and cried. I cried for her, for me and Eva. After a few minutes had gone by I detangled myself from her. She had calmed down and I figured she was ready to hear what I had to say next. I told her that I was leaving Eva with her and that I would be back later. I told her how I was going to go to the police and tell them everything. She was a bit reluctant at first thinking that it wouldn't be safe but after I reassured her that nothing would happen she let me go.  Little did I know that I was going to be caught once again by the same man that I was trying to escape from.



Yes Rohit caught me. He had seen me in his van with his men as I was crossing a local street. His men pulled me into the van and tried to tie my hands together but this time I wasn't going to let them have the upper hand. I fought back and some how the door of the van opened and I fell out of it. The rest I'm sure you know by now.  A stranger found me lying on the floor and I was brought to the hospital. The note that Muski found was from my diary. I had written that the day I had found out about Rohit's plan. It had somehow ended up in my pocket. I guess Eva had ripped it out and hid it in my pocket so she wouldn't get into trouble. And about the divorce, Rohit made me sign the papers while I was inside the van. I didn't even know until he came to visit me in the hospital and told me.



I don't know what you feel or for that matter are thinking right now Armaan but I'm sure that after you have read all this that you won't want to be with me forget even love me. And so I am letting you go. I don't want you getting sucked into my darkened world. I want you to be happy. I want you to be with someone who deserves to be with you and I guess that someone isn't me. And so for the final time I bid you a farewell.







Riddhima.





As he finished reading her dairy he couldn't believe what he had just read. He couldn't believe she had been through so much. His heart broke into pieces just knowing how she had fought to save her child. Armaan now understood why Riddhima had said that they couldn't be together despite the fact that they loved each other. She didn't want his life to be in danger. She didn't want Rohit finding out about him. Well he didn't care! Riddhima was wrong. He loved her even more and wasn't going to let her go. And so wiping the lone tear that had escaped his eye Armaan looked up at Riddhima who was staring at him with a blank expression. He guessed she was trying to figure out what he was thinking. Well he was going to tell her. He was going to tell her everything that was in his heart.





"I'm sorry Riddhima but I can't do what you want me to. I can't let you go. I love you. And I don't care about your past. I don't care that you are divorced or a single mom. All I know is that I love you and Eva and I'm never letting either of you go."




"But..



"No buts Riddhima. Just tell me...do you love me?"





Riddhima looked into his eyes and she could tell that he meant every word that he had said. He truly did love her. He had just learned about her past and despite everything still loved her. He still wanted to be with her. Riddhima could feel her eye's begin to tear up. She had never seen so much love for her in someone eyes. Riddhima then realized how wrong she was. They could be together and they would.





"Yes."



"Then that's all that matters."



And that was all it took for Armaan to place his lips on hers and begin to softly kiss her. He didn't care. He was too happy. He had finally found that true love he had always wanted. He didn't care about anything else. After all he now had her. His Fruit Loop.

..................................................



-Tashu

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