Friday, 26 July 2019

Part 13: How to Kill your Husband

6 Months Later...

Don't make someone your everything, because when they're gone, you have nothing...

Love makes people weak... it does you know because when you love someone you give them the power to destroy you.  Now why would anyone in their right mind want to give someone, anyone the power to hurt them to such limits that wouldn't be able to stand up again? Love is just for the weak...

 Love, at times, may feel as though we are getting weaker by the minute; yet it is not love that makes you weak, rather it is the fear of losing it...



Armaan's life was in mess. Chaos perhaps. He didn't know whether he did the right thing by letting riddhima go or not. Probably right thing for riddhima, but what about himself? His dad now hated the sight of him. How could he stoop so low? He asked armaan when he found out about the contract marriage. A ploy to get company on his name. He worked so hard to become CEO of Mallik Empires, went to such limits, nearly destroyed a young ambitious girl's life and still he didn't find the satisfaction, rather he felt hollow deep down his heart. A loss-Huge loss- riddhima.

Six months has past and there is no sign of riddhima, it's like she's disappeared from his planet. When he went back to India feeling like fool and the biggest loser on earth, his dad told him about riddhima's resignation. He even tried contacting Padma but she has no idea where her daughter is, or maybe she doesn't want to tell. He couldn't tell and the frustrating thing was that he couldn't do anything about it. Why did he even let her go? But he was scared... Scared of falling in love with riddhima.

Armaan went through the worst time of his life when he saw his parent's marriage going into drains, the divorce, the alimony, the custody, and the fights. It was all too much for his little brain. And he was at such a tender age that upbringing could either make him or break him. It broke him... he used to secretly cry when his parents used to fight and he couldn't do anything about it. When finally he thought all this fights are going to be finished for once and for all, his dad forcefully took his custody and snatched a little boy from his mother. His love for his mother, his craving for her...it all made him so weak. Then he got sent to England and his mum could finally come there and spent her time with him. It was like he got his life back again, he couldn't ask for anything more. He loved his mother more than the world could ever weigh. But she died... She left him alone in an unknown country with nothing but memories and tears. That day he knew how weak love could make a person. That day he swore not to love anyone in his life. He hated being so vulnerable, so broken. It's was all because he loved his mother to such extent that when she was gone, he had nothing. Besides a rock of a heart with no emotions dwelling inside. He cringed at the words love, emotion, heart. These kind of words were not made for him. Being in control of his emotions was what he liked and he was like that was years and no one, absolutely no one could penetrate the iron bars around his heart.

And then one day riddhima came like a breeze...Fiercely independent, strong willed, untamed who carried same views about life as him, who shook his ground so bad that he got scared. She was the only women, the only person who managed to penetrate in his heart with her wit and humour, fervour and passion, personality and...love. Warning bells were ringing at a high pitch in his head. No, no, no not love. He always shied away from this emotion so why did it hurt so bad that his heart bled when riddhima left him and went away? The realisation struck him like a chill on a cold winter's night that he was undoubtedly, undeniably, hopelessly in love with Riddhima Mallik!

And now after six months of mad searching, he couldn't find a trace of her. It was like she left not as much as a footprint. He could swear to god that every night, every day, and every moment his heart would ask him- how will she be? Does she miss him like he does? Does she crave for him like he does every moment? Is she even alright? Did she get married again? No no he shouldn't go there. He will always hope till his last breath... Hope against the hope. After all the world is a small place.

Armaan was working in his India's office with CNN going on the TV in the background. When suddenly he phone shrilled to life. He missed riddhima so much that he kept her ringtone on his phone too, the one he hated the most. See love makes you a retard too. He thought amusedly as he picked up his up without looking at the caller ID.

"Mallik." He spoke in his business tone.

"I found her Mr. Mallik." A rushed voice came and armaan's heart skipped a beat. "Finally!"

It was his detective which he hired to look for riddhima. From the past six months there was absolutely no trace of her presence. As if she went off and started living on island zulu with pink panther for all he knows. Hearing that his detective finally found her was like finding an oasis in a scorching hot desert. "Where?" the words came out before he could think.

"She's in Australia, Sydney to be precise." The detective said. "Here note down the address."

Without wasting a moment armaan writes down the address and rushes out of the office calling his housekeeper and instructing her to pack his bags right this minute. Also arranges for his private jet. It was like he couldn't wait... six months of search, craving and wait will finally come to an end.

SYDNEY

Riddhima opened her wardrobe and skimmed through all her clothes. Nah bleh uh uh okayish YUP!

She finally found a pink knee length sleeveless dress and started brushing her hair.

"Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me...

Don't cha wish your girlfriend was funnn like me...

Hey don't cha-"

TING TONG

She heard her front door bell and cursed the person for interrupting her singing. On her way to the door she picked up an ice cream cone from the freezer and licked it contently.

TING TONG.

"STOP RINGING THE BELL YOU RETARD! YOUR DAD'S NOT GOING TO PAY THE ELECTRICITY BILLS" riddhima shouted while while sticking her head out of the freezer. Jeez khane bhi nahi dete. When she finally unbolted the door her teeth froze in her ice cream while she was taking another bite.

Brown eyes met hers. Familiar brown eyes. Eyes she'd dreamed about from the past six months. Her entire body went into lock down. No no no she can't be dreaming. She's already hallucinated enough about him. Not again. She pinched herself really hard and when the image of him didn't blur into mist, she felt her world swirling around her. So it's really him! after six months! A sharp pain shot in her head and she fell backwards closing her eyes and heard a plop as the ice cream fell from her grip.

"RIDDHIMA!" armaan jumped a step and caught her just in time, before she falls and cracks open her head. "get up." He lightly slapped her face and riddhima snaps open her eyes and shakes her head. brrr

"What are you doing here?" her voice came out in a wheeze as she looked up in her ex- husband's eyes. Yes now they were out of the obligation of a contract and he's no longer her husband!

A tiny twitch in his right jaw was the sign that he heard her as he slipped his hand over her shoulder and made her stand up again. Horror strikingly his eyes went downwards on her body and a gasp left his mouth. "YOU'RE PREGNANT!"

Riddhima's hand instinctively went up to her abdomen and she lifted her chin high. If armaan thinks he's gonna have his way this time as well, then someone needs a reality check! "I am not pregnant." She denied confidently and armaan looked at her with incredulous eyes. "I have just gone really...fat."

Armaan's face broke into a smile as he took riddhima in his eyes. "OH MY GOD. I am going to be a dad!" he ignored riddhima's stupid reply and tightened his hold around her waist.

"NO NO NO! I told you I am not up the duff and you're definitely not the father of the child" riddhima pushed out of the hug and armaan grinned. "Not that there are any kids."

"Then why have you got a bulge on your stomach? How come suddenly you changed your diet to such extent that you started looking like female version of hulk." Armaan chuckled coming into her apartment. He couldn't define the happiness he felt when saw riddhima and then her bulging stomach. Suddenly he cursed himself for forgetting how they once forgot to use the protection and he didn't give that a second thought in reckless abandon.

"Not that I have to give any explanation on my diets to you, but just so you know. I got so happy that finally I got rid of you that started eating a lot in tremendous happiness." Riddhima made up stories. Oh how good she was at making up random 'believable' stories if you put her on spot but she wasn't quite sure that this story was as believable as it should have been. Why? Can't a girl get fat when her husband divorces her? In happiness offcourse. He was a good riddance.

"Riddhima quit this." Armaan became serious and made himself comfortable in her little apartment. "You're coming home with me wifey and that too now."

"Sorry was that a joke? Cuz I didn't find it funny!" riddhima picked up her fallen ice cream from the floor and dumped it in the bin. Then she brought a cloth and was about to bend down to wipe it when armaan came rushing and stopped her.

"Let me help you. Go sit down." He pulled her up carefully and she shrugged her arm out of his hold.

"No need and I can perfectly take care of myself." Chin high as she snatched the cloth from his hand and bent down to wipe the ice cream.

Armaan huffed and went into the kitchen to check on her supplies.

"Where are you going? You're an uninvited guest so act like one." Riddhima ran in front of him stop going in her kitchen. Hello this was her house!

"Let's see what my wife is feeding on shall we? I am expecting some healthy ingredients in the cupboard." Armaan said with a tight smile as he made his way in the kitchen and started opening the drawers and cupboards only to find corn flakes, rice pops, pot noodles, packet noodles and all other readymade food.

"I am going to call police if you don't get out!" riddhima picked up her phone and threatened armaan who just rolled his eyes. He wasn't surprised when he saw her so called groceries. She really doesn't know how to cook does she?

"Are you planning to kill yourself or what? You are bloody 6 months pregnant and I find Pot Noodles in your cupboard instead of celery or some...healthy food for pregnant woman." He frowned and riddhima placed her hands on her hips.

"ARMAAN LAST WARNING GET OUT OF MY HOUSE BEFORE I SCREAM THE PLACE DOWN!" and suddenly riddhima felt a kick in her womb. "oww. It kicked." She wined and gave armaan a dirty look.

Armaan made her sit down on the chair and brought water for her. "What kicked? The fatty deposits in your stomach?" armaan snapped sarcastically and riddhima looked at him indignantly.

"The baby kicked you moron." She winced in uncomfortable pain. "Kamina bilkul tum par gaya hai. Muje raat raat bhar sone nahi deta." She suddenly bit her tongue. She's got such a big mouth hasn't she?

Armaan grinned before he could control himself he kneeled on his knees, bent his head and kissed her. She tried backing off but he pulled her closer but placing his hands behind her neck and kept kissing her until she was dizzy with desire and was clinging on to him for support. He finally lifted his head and carefully pecked her bulging abdomen.

"Why did you come now armaan?" confusion written all over her face.

Squatting in front of her, he tugged her restless hands to his chest. "Isn't it obvious?" he lifted her arm, kissed her wrist. "Because I love you." The words spilled out of his lips as easy as water. Not so difficult was it? Not when you meant it with all your heart.

He saw her jaw drop open. He saw the same love reflected back. But there was also a pain in her eyes and her hands. "I shouldn't have let you go that day, nor acted like a dumb- ass moron. You're right I am the biggest kutta kamina on this planet. But...

 "Loving you is the second best thing ever happened to me." armaan nuzzled his nose with her and riddhima fisted her palms to control herself. No not love! She's already been hurt enough because of that four letter word.

"Armaan it's too late now. I want to have nothing with you. Getting involved with you was the second biggest mistake of my life." Riddhima said poignantly and looked at him accusingly.

"Just of interest, what was your biggest mistake?" he asked while tucking a strand of hair behind her ears.

Riddhima looked away as she felt tears brimming in her eyes. Gosh these pregnancy hormones are really getting on her nerves. She even cried last night while watching twilight? Riddhima Gupta who didn't even cry when her dad got eaten by a shark cried watching twilight when Edward and Bella confessed their love. "Loving you..." She whispered emotionlessly. Now she wasn't scared of telling him what a fool she'd been for falling for a jerk like him! This is just the punishment she's bearing for falling for armaan.

Armaan's heart did a double take, if that was even possible. Knowing something yourself was different but hearing those words actually from riddhima's mouth was a completely a different experience. He's never been the emotional types but when swear to god he felt something wet around his eyes. Was he crying? Damn this girl has managed to change him inside out and that too for good.

"Aren't you going to ask me that if loving you was the second best thing that has ever happened to me, then what's the best thing?" armaan asked with a smile and riddhima just made a face and looked away. "Finding you was the best thing." He answered himself. "I went mad looking for you. You don't even know how much craved for just a glimpse of yours."

That caught her attention. She looked at him with watery eyes. "I can never forgive you. Just go away and leave me alone. It took me a long time to accept the truth and now you suddenly come like a this changing the platonic of my life. Again!"

He ignored the stab in his heart and continued. "What do you do for a living? Surely you do some kind of a job?"

Riddhima knew that if armaan knew about her lowly job, he will never approve of it but hey now he has no right over her or her life. "Not that it's any of your business but I work in Red's bar."

"Red's bar." Surely they'd eat a girl like her alive in that kind of place. "Are you out of your mind? You're so heavily pregnant and you work in a place like red's bar. Have you any idea what kind of reputation that bar has got? It's in the worse part of the town as well." Astonishment and bewilderment written all over his face. His jaw twitched in anger.

"Some of us can't be choosy and some of us need hard earned cash to make the ends meet, to pursue our dream." Riddhima said acidly. "And now I can't really expect to get a job as a model with this bulging stomach can I?" she finished on a sarcastic note.

He knew that explaining her at this point would be absolutely pointless, riddhima is one stubborn species. He should deal with her carefully.

"Okay. I am leaving right now." Armaan said calmly. "But I'll come again and trust me wifey, I've always got my eyes on you." Armaan said winking as he stood up and left the apartment leaving a shaken riddhima behind. What is with this guy that he leaves her so jittery? His mere presence...

Controlling her emotions she stands up and get out another ice cream cone from the freezer she got ready for work. Man what if armaan follows her there? Without a doubt she knew armaan would never approve of her working in such a place and in such a condition. She was over 6 months pregnant for goodness sake.

She could still remember it as if it happened yesterday. It was next to impossible for riddhima to live in India after whatever happened. She had to start again otherwise she wouldn't be able to live. So as starters she resigned her hot shot position in Mallik Empires recklessly and moved to Sydney. A new life and a new beginning was her motto. Before she could even get some sort of constancy in her life, another shock came when she saw her fate taking a new turn on her pregnancy test report. It was armaan's child and that was all it mattered. Now she can have her mini version of armaan for the rest of her life. It was her baby, she will be a mother. The feelings were too overwhelming but being riddhima she is, she coped with all her problems just fine. Now when she was finally getting some constancy in her life, armaan came life a breeze and blew down her house of cards which she ever so carefully made from the past six months. He know about her pregnancy now and she was sure as hell that he will not sit quietly about it. I don't know what god wants from me? I am seriously sick and tired of all these changing happening around me.

Riddhima slung her handbag on her shoulder and left her apartment off to her job.



"Six beers, two tequilas, one rum and Coke" riddhima recited the order to herself as she filled her tray with drinks and started making her way to the bunch of rowdy guys wishing her skirt was a few centimetres longer.

The atmosphere inside the club oozed of sweat, cheap aftershave and testosterone. There was a lone pole dancer in the corner doing her thing to a bad music coming from a poor sound system. Riddhima's throat felt scratchy with raising her voice over the noise. To worsen her pain, the club was one staff member short. Well she was doing just fine, just a few more hours in this night club with sleazy men in cheap business suit mentally undressing her from his corner table and she was out of here. She was 6 months pregnant for goodness sake! How can anyone stare at her with such dirty gaze as well?

She offloaded the drinks on the sleazy's table. "How about a night at my place after the shift finishes? I am sure you can still enjoy sex with that bulging tummy of yours." He asked her breasts as she set the glass down.

"No thanks." Booze had made him obnoxious, she noticed grimly.

"C'mon babe. We'll have a good time. You and me."

"I don't think so." Turning around to leave when he grasped her wrist. She twisted her arm toppling his drink. Liquid splashed over the table, dripping on his trouser.

"Everything okay here, riddhima?" a familiar voice behind her.

She turned her head to look over her shoulder and saw a glimpse of Armaan. She groaned inwardly. With relief, with embarrassment. "How long have you been here?" and how come she didn't notice him all this time?

"Long enough." Then to sleazy he lowered and said. "And to you I suggest you leave while you still can."

Sleazy glared at riddhima and after a moment's hesitation he left her hand and said "You'll pay for this." He didn't give eye contact to armaan she noticed but gave her a final glare, then pushed his way out of the bar.

"You okay riddhima?" armaan asked with his hand on her small back. riddhima stifled a shiver. "I am fine thank you. Please let me get on with my job."

Armaan took a step back. "Fine. Get on with it."

His chipped reply reminded her that she'd been prickly and ungrateful, rude as well. "Would like a drink? On the house?"

"Just mineral water thanks"

She saw him going back to his table and reading a file and working on his laptop alongside as she filled a glass of water and headed towards him. she couldn't remember the last time someone came to her rescue even when clearly she didn't needed one. What did armaan think that he'll play knight in shining armani and she will slip? Well he needs a reality check. Riddhima Gupta don't need anyone, particularly Armaan Mallik she reminded herself.

"There are much better strip clubs in Sydney as I am sure you know-" she couldn't help asking.

"Yes I know." An almost grin lurking around his face as he sipped his water. "But the evening's still young."

Something hot quivered low in her belly. "Unless the stripper's a personal friend of yours?" she saw his eyes narrow. "You're checking up on me aren't you? Look armaan don't bother, I am done with you."

"Are you really done with me riddhima?" his eyes went over her lips which she moistened quickly. When she didn't answer, he continued. "I'll meet you after your so called shift finishes."

"Look I don't need a minder-"

"It's a moral obligation since I don't consider this a safe working environment. And hasn't that been proven justified?"

She looked away only to catch a frowning manager angry eyes. So if was okay to get sexually harassed but when you talk with customers, it was frowned upon. "I need to get back to work."

She knew armaan was there all along, was conscious of his eyes following her everywhere for the next few hours. At one point he was smiling as he talked on his phone and she knew he wasn't discussing business- unless it was funny business. And, that she reminded herself was none of her business.

It was sometime after the midnight when the manager paid her for her shift and told her that her services were no longer required. There'd been a complaint against her that she deliberately spilled the drink on him. So she was sacked for the damage the customer has caused! What an unfair world

"Yeah yeah I don't even want to do this job. Have you seen this place? Only rapists and paedophiles come here who perve at a pregnant girl. YOU CAN TAKE YOUR JOB AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR A**" riddhima stormed out of the bar while slamming the door behind her. "sala kutta kamina, oh god make sure he burns in hell!"

She met armaan just outside the bar leaning against a pole. "I'll walk you home."

"Why are you still here? Ek baar mein baat samajh nahi aati kamine? Mera blood pressure high mat karo!" she snapped while swivelling her head towards him. eyes all wide.

"You think I'll leave you alone at this time of the night without ensuring that you're safely reached your home?"

She pulled her coat tighter, straightening her back and walking fast. "I can take care of myself."

"Yeah right, alone at midnight in this seedy area!" he mocked. "Where's your car?" he asked while looking out in the parking lot.

"I don't own a car and I happen to live in this seedy area." Her eyes burnt with contempt.

Great along with all her list of criticism, now she thinks of him as prejudiced as well! He couldn't decide whether that thought annoyed him or amused him.

"How do you get home?"

"Public Transport-"

"I'll drop you home."

"It's-"

"Non-negotiable." He placed a silencing finger against her lips.

Her heart leapt at his touch and the skin burnt. Damn why does she still feel like this for him?

"Non-negotiable riddhima." He rubbed his thumb over her lower lips. "So get used to the idea quickly."

saniya

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