Monday, 1 July 2019

Chapter 6 A: Numb

As the sound of his vibrating phone echoed into his ears Armaan awoke grudgingly from his deep slumber. He had finally fallen asleep after being awake for most of the night as his mind had been preoccupied with thoughts of Riddhima and Eva. He opened his eyes partly to see his alarm clock blink back 4 am. Who was calling him at this hour? Why couldn't they let him sleep? Oh well better find out who it is he thought as he grabbed his phone from the side table. Now usually Armaan would check the caller Id before answering his phone but today he was in no mood.


"Hello!"



"He he!"



"Who is this?"




"BOOO!"





"Look whoever this is I don't have time for this okay. Goodbye!"



"...Aman."



"Eva? Sweetie is that you?"



"YAY!"



Armaan chuckled to himself as he heard his 4 am caller. How cute was this kid. She was calling him at 4 am. He had never expected that Eva would be able to make a phone call and that to at her age.



"Eva sweetie why are you awake?"



"No.Shleep. Pay!"



"Eva it's not time to play baby. It's time to sleep. You play in the morning. Okay."



"No! Eva pay Aman."



"Awww. Eva I would love to play with you sweetie but you have to ask your mommy first."



"Mommy? Otay. Eva ash."



Armaan was about to reply to Eva when he realized that she had put the phone down but had forgotten to hang up and because of that Armaan couldn't believe what he heard next.





"MOMMY! MOMMY! Pake up!"



Riddhima who had been in a deep sleep awoke as she felt Eva shaking her. She sat up and looked to see her daughter staring at her wide awake with a big smile and her little green eyes shinning with mischief.



"...Eva?"



"Mommy! Eva pay Aman pleesh?"



"Eva.I.Said.Later."



"NO! Pay now!"



"Eva. Later. Armaan. Sleep."



"No! Aman no shleep."



"What?"



"Aman pake up mommy."



"What?"



"Pait. Eva jet fone."



Eva who had dropped the phone on the bed crawled away from her mom to bring the phone back. Riddhima watched as her daughter crawled to retrieve the phone and handed it to her. She couldn't believe her daughter had called Armaan at 4 am. She felt so embarrassed. What must he be thinking?  Well the only way to know that is by talking to him. And so taking a deep breath Riddhima placed the phone against her ear.





"Hello?"



"Fruit loop. Hi."



"Hi. Sorry. About. Eva."



"Oh it's okay. She didn't know."



"No.Still.Sorry."



"Don't worry about it Fruit loop. She's just a kid. And anyways I found it cute."



"Sure?"



"Yes I'm sure."



"Okay. Goodnight."



"Goodnight."


Hearing the dial tone ring into her ears Riddhima hung up the phone and smiled. He really was amazing she thought. Her daughter had woken him up at 4 am and instead of being mad about it he did the exact opposite. What he was made of she didn't know. But one thing she was sure about was that she loved him very much.





Armaan smiled as he hung up the phone. This kid was just too much. He had already fallen for her mom and now after this moment he had fallen even more for Eva.



God if you're listening please make them both mine ASAP and I promise never to annoy you again! Okay? Thankz!

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"Now this is going to be fun!"



It had been a long morning of running around and finally lunch time had arrived. Rahul who had finished his rounds early decided to have lunch with his best friend but little did he know that they would end up sitting across from each other at the table playing truth or dare. The pen that they had used to spin with had landed once again on Armaan indicating it was his turn. Rahul who loved to annoy his best friend got ready to do it once again.





"Go ahead. Ask me."



"Okay dude. Truth or Dare?"



Armaan thought for a moment trying to decide what he wanted and after a minute or two he made up his mind.





"Dare."



Rahul smirked at his friend. How he loved it when Armaan asked for a dare. It was the best thing to watch in the world. And now that he was getting anther opportunity to see Armaan in action Rahul wasn't going to let it go.



"Okay dude. Here it is. I Rahul your best friend dare you Armaan Mallik to...



"Will you get to the point dude? I don't have all day!"



"Okay. Here it is straight up. I dare you to tell Riddhima that you love her."





"WHAT!"



"Yup. You have to tell Riddhima that you love her."



"I can't do that. Change it!"



"No. Dare is a dare and you have to do it!"



"Rahul I'm not doing that!"



"Fine. Then face your punishment."

"Fine. What is it?"



"You have to tell Riddhima you love her."



"Have you gone INSANE?"



"No. I'm perfectly fine. Now are you going to do it or not?"



"No. I'm not."



"Okay then I'll tell her."



"YOU WON'T!"



"I WILL!"



"I'LL KILL YOU!"



"You can only kill me if you catch me!"



And before Armaan could do or say anything Rahul jumped from his seat and darted out the door.

Armaan whose brain was still trying to understand what had just happened finally caught up and without wasting another second he got up from his chair and ran for dear life.

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"No! I pull mommy!"



"One. More. Spoon."



It had been a good 20 minutes since Riddhima had begun to feed Eva her lunch and she still wasn't done. Eva was the only kid in the world who would take her time eating. Most children her age scarfed down there food in seconds so they could get on with other things. But Eva. She was the opposite. She loved to enjoy her food.



"Nooo! Mommy! I pull!"



"Okay. Fine."



"YAY!"



Eva clapped her tiny hands together as she finally convinced her mom that she was done. She couldn't believe how easy it was. Her mommy really was too easy. Was her friend Aman like that too? Eva then wondered where Aman was. He was supposed to come and play with her? Eva then looked toward her mommy about to ask her about Aman's whereabouts when her attention was diverted towards their room's door as it flung open and in ran a panting Rahul trying to catch his breath with an equally out of breath Armaan standing beside him. Eva seeing her friend Aman began squealing in delight.



"AMAN!"



Riddhima who had been busy trying to clean up the mess Eva had made turned around hearing the door fling open.



"Are.You.Both.Okay?"



"Yeah were fine."



Rahul replied as he found his voice before Armaan could interrupt. He wanted to get the dare started before anything happened.



"Then.Why.Are.You.Out.Of.Breath.?"



"Oh because Armaan wanted to tell you something."



"Oh.What?"



"Yeah tell her Armaan. Tell her what you have been dying to say!"

Armaan who had been standing beside Rahul praying that he wouldn't open his mouth froze in horror. What the hell had just happened? How could Rahul do such a thing! He was so going to kill him!



"Me? No. I didn't have anything to say!"



"Oh come dude. Don't lie. Tell her."



"I'm telling you Rahul I have nothing to say!"



"Okay fine. Don't tell her. I will."





"NO! I'll tell her!"



"That's like a good boy. Now you tell her what you wanted to say and me and Eva will wait outside."



And with that Rahul walked towards Eva, picked her up and walked out of the room leaving Armaan and Riddhima alone.



Armaan stood in his spot trying to control himself from killing Rahul as he watched him leave the room. He couldn't believe Rahul had gotten him to do this. Why did he have to say dare! What was wrong with telling the truth? Stupid game! Stupid Rahul! Armaan could feel his heart and mind fighting with each other. His mind was telling him to make an excuse and run while his heart was telling him to face the music.



Oh god! What do I do now? She's staring at me waiting for me to answer. Why is this happening to me? I mean I knew a day like this would come sooner or later but I didn't think it would happen now!  I guess I better just face it and tell her the truth. I have to face the music. I owe it to her. But what if she doesn't love me? What if she hates me? The only way you will know is if you ask her. I guess you're right. I'm just going to have to tell her and deal with the outcome.



And so taking a deep breath Armaan prepared himself for whatever came his way.



"Umm...Riddhima...I...I don't know how to say this but...I...I...I love...I love you."



He looked at her as he finished telling her the truth. She was still staring at him dead in the face with a blank expression that he couldn't figure out. He tried to look into her eye's hoping that he would find an answer but when he did he saw nothing. Her eyes were as blank as her face.



Why isn't she saying anything? Why is she looking at me like that? Omg! She doesn't love me. I just screwed everything up! I moved to fast for her liking. I told her my feelings way to fast. Dammit! I'm such an idiot! I should have known. I mean she's a single mom. She must have recently gotten divorced and I without even thinking jumped on her. Urgggh!!!! I hate myself! I better leave before I make things worse.



"I'm sorry Riddhima. I better go."



Armaan looked at her one last time and walked out of her room lest she saw past his tears that threatened to fall at anytime.

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 Riddhima sat motionless as his words rung in her ears. Had she just heard him right? Had he just told her that he loved her?


Did he just tell me that he loved me? Omg! I can't believe this! He just told me he loves me and what did I do? NOTHING! I sat here and stared at him like a dummy and didn't say a word. I can't believe I just did that to him. I broke his heart completely. I'm such an idiot! He has done so much for me in these past months and instead of telling him that I love him too I go into silent mode. Nice one Riddhima. You're amazing. You should get an award for this. But what do I do now? I need to make it up to him. I have to tell him that I love him too. But how... I know. The next time I see him I'm just going to tell him everything. I'm not going to stay silent. Yeah. That's a good idea. Now all I have to do is pray that he will still want to see me and doesn't hate me.

Tashu

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