Thursday, 18 July 2019

Part 5: How to Kill your Husband

Riddhima was getting ready in afternoon when Armaan came to the room wearing a grey 3 piece suit which looked like it was especially tailor made for him, which probably was considering armaan's bank balance! His hair was spiked with little gel giving him windswept look, oh my...talk about looking delicious. Riddhima could even smell his fresh shampoo scent which smelt a little minty- which actually perks up your morning and along with that there were notes of a fairly earthy smell- a hint of lavender and citrus. Damn it when did I do PHD on men's shampoo? Riddhima thought bewilderedly and to her utter horror she could even recognise armaan's cologne smell which reminded her some dark forest. Eeekkk stop it riddhima! Block your nose, you are officially loosing it!



"Looking hot wifey" Armaan said whistling as he shamelessly checked her out. Arey uski biwi hair yaar!

"Ready Armaan? I thought it would be convenient if we both leave together for office" riddhima ignored armaan's comment.

"I am ready sweetheart...but for our honeymoon" Armaan said winking as riddhima gawked at him from the mirror. She was wearing a knee length pencil skirt which complimented armaan's suit and a white shirt with 3/4 sleeves.the shirt was nicely tucked in the skirt and she wore a black waist coat to enhance her appearance. Her hair was pin straight and glossy from all the mousse and hair sprays. She looked at him with incredulous black eyes which had volumized thick curved eye lashes and forest green contacts.

"You.must.be.kidding.me! what is this? A real marriage that we have to do couply things?" riddhima asked incredulously not being able to take the 'morning after' shock. Not that they did anything last night!

"Technically yes this is a real marriage if you forgot your vows already Mrs Mallik. Until the contract remains, you are my lawfully wedded wife and vice versa"

"Oh give me a break. What's up your sleeves Armaan? Why the sudden honeymoon?" riddhima barked while folding her arms in indignation.

"Honeymoon always 'suddenly' comes after a wedding wifey and we need to make dad believe that this is a real marriage and we're seriously committed" Armaan explained calmly.

"so going on a honeymoon will make us a committed couple now? What an idea brainbox!" riddhima replied sarcastically and Armaan rolled his eyes.

"No but it will help dad believe in our sham which is still technically a marriage so why not enjoy a honeymoon or two while we're at it?" Armaan was back in his cheeky mode and riddhima shook her head.

"What will you do if I refuse?" riddhima asked while rolling a tongue in her  mouth and Armaan gave his usual cocky smile.

"Pick you up and take you myself I guess." Armaan finished casually and riddhima didn't doubt that he won't do it. "I've done it before and I can do it again" Armaan continues while looking at the bed and riddhima remembers how he man handled her to sleeping on the bed, which wasn't all bad she had to admit. The mattress was bloody soft or what

 "Till homicide do us part Armaan" Riddhima threatened Armaan with a tight smile and Armaan looked at her awkwardly.

"You hate me don't you wifey. OY VEY what did I do god that my wife wants to kill me?" armaan's stabs himself with his fist dramatically and riddhima smiles at his usual antics.

"I like you Armaan but I don't think I could eat you in one go"

 "Hey you know my friend called me yesterday and told me that he's getting a divorce. When I asked him what's wrong, he said that his wife haven't talked to him from the past six months." Armaan told riddhima.

"Then what did you say?" riddhima asked with narrowed eyes.

"I told him to think once again...wives like that are hard to get" Armaan finished and riddhima glared at him.

 "There are three kinds of men who don't understand women- young, old and middle aged." Riddhima said sighing melodramatically

"You know when I get married again; I'll tell my second wife not to wear a veil on our wedding. I want to see what am I getting!" Armaan snapped while marching out of the room in annoyance.

"I LOVE GETTING MARRIED, IT'S SO FUN TO FIND THAT ONE PERSON YOU WANT TO ANNOY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE" riddhima screams at Armaan's retreating back when he suddenly stops and turns around to look at her intensely at her choice of words 'rest of your life', "or atleast until I'll get divorced" riddhima quickly changes her words and Armaan shakes his head and leaves the room with a bang of the door. Isse kya hua? Abhi to thik tha, jeez these husbands get angry so quick. Huh as if I care!

Riddhima was packing her bags when suddenly her phone rang and saw her mum's name on the screen. Oh man hope I am not in for some emotional drama. Beta pati parmeshwar hota hai and falana and dhikna

"Hello mum, look before you start-"

"I am going on my second honeymoon" riddhima nearly dropped her phone and caught it just in time. BRRR she shook her head and tried again,

"Sorry what did you say? I am hearing crazy things these days" riddhima chuckled blaming her defective hearing

"You heard right! Me and Shashank decided to give our marriage another go and I suggested that we go for a holiday...you know like a honeymoon" padma went on and on like a shy bride and riddhima kept making weird faces and asking god whatever has she done to get these kind of horrific shocks at such tender age? She wouldn't have been more shocked to see a baby do baba ramdev yoga then right now! That's just a height now. Height of craziness people do when they are going through middle-aged crisis.

"Err...enjoy I guess. I seriously don't know what to say. Err...hope you can rekindle your love again?" riddhima said honestly.

"You know riddhima I recently read that love is entirely a matter of chemistry" padma said happily

"That must be why your husband treats you like toxic waste" riddhima said it before she could stop and then bit her tongue. "I am sorry, I didn't mean to say it like that."

"Riddhima kabhi to shadi ke baare mein acha bol diya kar! Even you're married now" padma huffed and riddhima thought for a moment.

"By all means marry. If you get a good husband, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher" she chuckled as she expressed her good views towards marriage.

"Acha beta? Haha chal bata bata teri shadi kaisi chal rahi hai? Tu settle ho gayi?" padma asks and riddhima thinks about her married life.

"We are very happy mum, we finally found the secret of happy marriage. We'll take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. He will go on Tuesdays, I will go on Fridays."

"tera kuch nahi ho sakta riddhima, acha chal mein rakhti hu. Ab to honeymoon se aa kar hi baat karenge. Bye bye" padma said delightfully and riddhima seriously prays to god that this time her dad changes and come.

"Honeymoon se yaad aaya, even we're going somewhere"

"Ah isn't that just delightful. Well have a fun time and we'll meet after you come back. I'll try to talk your dad into forgiving you as well. Waise tune thik nahi kiya aise shadi karke."

"Why don't we talk about this after you come back from your supposed honeymoon. Oy vey." Riddhima sighs and put the phone down. Abhi issi umar mein yahi dekhna baaki reh gaya tha!

**************************************************

"Where are we going Armaan? Hope there's some nice sea side  there" riddhima asked excitedly thinking about a holiday...err honeymoon is also a holiday right?

"Actually yes. There is a nice sea side there and how do you like Mediterranean islands?" Armaan asked keenly as if talking about his favourite toy. Riddhima's eyes widened in excitement.

"I love it! I always wanted to visit a Mediterranean Island. Like sacchi!"

"Cool then wifey cuz I own a private island there called L'ile de Gattaya in Tunisia. It's one those unspoiled Mediterranean islands with sandy beaches and evergreen woodlands. The island is covered in thick pine forest inhabited by deer and wild goats, as well as rare species of birds and animals, the mile-long island near the port town of Budva is surrounded by steep cliffs plunging into the azure water and carved with picturesque lagoons. It's absolutely breathtaking  and I fell in love with it the first time I saw the island." Armaan finished with a glint in his eyes and riddhima knew that it's one of the few things Armaan love in this world with all his heart.

"I can't wait to see your island. Hey you know agar mein apni mummy ko kahu na ki Armaan ne couple of million pounds ka island buy kiya hai. She'd snort and say "itna paisa waste karne ki kya zaroorat hai? Isse acha to kisi public beach par holiday ke liye chale jao". Agar unka bas to chale na to muje and meri beheno ko public swimming pool mein bhej de saying "agar nahana hi hai to swimming pool mein hi naha lo, sea side jaane ki kya zaroorat hai?" jeez mera khandan ek number ka kanjoos hai" riddhima finished chuckling as she remembered her family.

"Sasuma ko bolna tha na ki public swimming pool mein bhi jane ki kya zaroorat hai? Agar nahana hi hai to ghar mein bathtub nahi hai kya?" both Armaan and riddhima cracked up at riddhima's mum's stinginess. The height of kanjoosi!

They were sitting in armaan's private jet which was taking them to L'ile de gattaya. Riddhima looked around the interior of the plane and mentally appreciated the cream leather seats on which they sat facing opposite each other. The cabinets were dark oak giving a heavy contrast and cosy ambience making her sink in her seat as she relaxed. Armaan looked at her loosing up and felt annoyed. Here he was extremely turned on by her that he couldn't even sit properly without making a fool out of himself and she was relaxing! Talk about unfairness. His trousers were extremely tight below his waist and he could feel blood rushing down south. What is it about riddhima that can turn him on like that on the drop of a hat? Was it her long smooth legs or her slender waist which was hiding at the moment behind her business suit. He didn't even wanted to go above her waist otherwise he knew he'd burst right here and take her in a cave man style. Man what was wrong with him? He don't do caveman! He's acting like a desperate high on hormone teenager. His sudden turn ons were making him edgy, even in the morning when he saw riddhima in their bedroom, only god had known how turned on he was and she wasn't even letting him come close. What the hell! He will make sure that he takes full advantage of the honeymoon...and make it a real honeymoon in it's true sense. He smirked thinking of ways to make riddhima's edgy as well. If he couldn't get any peace, then she shouldn't as well, after all she is the one because of whom his trousers are feeling so tight all of a sudden.

"My friend called me today morning and he said 'my wife's an angel'" Armaan started a conversation with a lopsided smile and riddhima opened her eyes to look at him.

"aww how sweet!" riddhima said sarcastically

"I said you're lucky, mine's still alive" Armaan cracked up seeing riddhima jerk up into her backfiring mood.

"Mum also called today morning and I told her 'I found a man just like Papa'. She said, 'so what do you want from me? sympathy.'" Riddhima lied making up stories. She'd said worser things, but why dig up old dirt?

"I read an article recently in newspaper about how many words a women use in a day is 30,000. But in the case of a man it is 15,000." Armaan said cheekily to riddhima and riddhima smirked,

"the reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men" riddhima replied. Armaan turned his head to riddhima,

"What?" he asked cheekily and riddhima rolled her eyes.

"I am impressed; I've never met such a small mind inside such a big head before"

"Dripping sarcasm"

"Sarcasm helps keep you from telling people what you really think of them"

***********************************************

The island of gattaya: an exotic picture book paradise. Palm trees, laden with coconuts bow to the waves gently lapping on the shore. Huge butterflies and tiny hummingbirds flit colorfully through the rainforest which covers the interior of the island. The weather was cool though a few drops of summer still lingered in the air but the sky looked like it was ready to splash. So much for asking for a sun! The sand was a endless shimmering expance of white cushioning ocean's white frothy waves crashing on the shore which was decorated with soft sand bed and debris. Riddhima stepped in the soft sand and felt her feet sink in the coolest of sand. She blinked when she felt sand swirling through the wispy air, dancing in the breeze. Bliss, pure bliss this was.

"It's not really a good weather to have a splash in riddhima. We'll come to the beach when the sun's out. Let's go. It looks like it's going to rain" Armaan took riddhima's hand and manoeuvred her out of water.

"aww but muje khelna tha. It's been years since I came to the beach and this is like...oh my beautiful. Like our private haven"

"don't get any ideas. Divorce ke baad alimony mein mein kuch nahi milega" Armaan said chuckling as they both made their way towards the beach house.

"haan haan to muje tumhari phooti kodi bhi nahi chahiye"

"riddhima, now we're going to play the quiet game"

"Go to hell Armaan"

"see you there" he winked and riddhima smacked his arm as they stepped in the beach cottage and stopped in their tracks. The cottage was simply a massive room with a small bed which riddhima thought suspiciously looked so close to a single bed. There was small kitchen on other side of the room, a two seater sofa in front of bed and a bathroom with ancient shower in other corner. All in all it was a love nest for a couple drowned in love. But here riddhima felt like drowing her richy rich husband in the nearby ocean!

"kamine, itna paisa private jet mein udaya, private island kharida aur us HI-FI private island par iss jhopde ko rehne diya. PAISE KHATAM HO GAYE THE KYA THODA BADA BED KHAREED NE KE LIYE" riddhima stormed around the house and Armaan blocked his ears.

"wifey have you heard of a married joke called 'shadi ke pehle- Darling tum nahi toh main nahi' Aur main nahi toh tum nahi! Aur shadi ke baad-  Aaj ya toh tu nahi ya main nahi!!'?" Armaan asks riddhima and she turns around on her heels.

"Have you heard about that wife who killed her husband with a bow and arrow because she didn't wanted to wake the kids up?" riddhima asked tight smile and Armaan laughed.

"Why do I have a feeling that ever since I married you, my life expectancy has reduced drastically?"

***********************************************

Armaan came out of the shower and looked around the cottage. itni shanti. Did riddhima die in some corner or what? Armaan thought with an amused expression as he scanned the empty cottage. No sign of riddhima. He noticed a pink sticky note on the fridge and went towards it. It read 'YOU DID MY HEAD IN BIG TIME. Going for a run around the island. RG'

He smiled looking at riddhima's initial. She still signs off at RG for riddhima gupta. Oh well. Suddenly his head snapped towards the open window as he heard the ear crackling noise of thunder and saw a few flashes of lightning in the dusky sky. It was evening but the grey clouds already sprawled through the sky and were pouring cats and dogs. The rain sweeps across the surrounding grass of his courtyard verges in a downpour, splattering on the road ahead. Lightning streaks across the horizon, capturing a frozen shot of The rainforest down the valley: Dark, green, terrifying.Thunder, then more lightning and another glimpse of The trees in the far east. More thunder and lightning. Austere. Torrents of rain and gusts of winds. Snapping branches and soaked leaves strewn along pavements. Disaster was written all over the place and SHIT!!!! RIDDHIMA?

"Oh my dear lord. This girl has no brains. Who goes power running in a storm?" Armaan askes himself and then goes towards the bed and pack a safety bag when suddenly his phone rings. Riddhima flashing on it. He quickly picks up the phone in urgency.

"HELLO RIDDHIMA WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU. COME HOME NOW!" Armaan screams over the thunder outside his house. There was a lot of disturbance in the background but finally he heard riddhima's broken voice.

"Armaan..." she said something but he couldn't hear as her voice was breaking due to poor signal. "am stuck... got lost...fell in the ditch" he could tell she was crying.

"riddhima LOCATION. Babes tell me the location. Which ditch? Which way did you go?" Armaan packs his back and balances the phone between his chin and shoulder simultaneously.

"I don't know but there was this narrow way of coconut trees and lavender flowers on the ground... turned right...couldn't find way back...storm...thunder...got scared...then my leg slipped and I fell-" the phone disconnected and the worse was that he couldn't even hear properly. The signal was awful and riddhima's voice was cracking. Then suddenly he remembered about the coconut trees. He knew which way she went. YES! He quickly shoved a compass, an emergency blanket, packed a sandwich and chucked in a water bottle along with a head torch and riddhima's spare clothes. He remembered her saying that she fell in some ditch so she might be injured, so he threw in a first aid kid as well. He put on his waterproof and slung the bag on his shoulder running out of the house. He quickly reached the narrow path of coconut tress where there also a lavender flower bed on the ground. He came towards the end of the path and stopped. Suddenly he remembered riddhima saying something about turning right so he took his chances and went towards right. He checked his compass and wrote down the bearings so he can retrace his steps. He was running like a maniac when suddenly his leg slipped and he fell off in an open space. It was like falling off a cliff, a dead end. He held onto a branch which came in his hand and climbed up again. the open space looked like a cliff but his vision got misty and blurred in the storm. the lights were fading away and it was getting dark. He needed to find riddhima. Soon!

"RIDDHIMAAA" he shouted her name and was hoping against the hope that she answer him back. But no such luck. His gut instints told him that riddhima must have gone left from the coconut tree path and she must have muddled up between left and right. So he checked his bearing and headed off in the left direction screaming riddhima's name every now and then. He kept running when suddenly he stopped dead in his tracks as he heard some muffled noises.

"RIDDHIMAAA" He shouted her name and tried to detect the muffled noise but the thundering was too loud.

"arm..armaan...help...am here" he FINALLY heard her voice which was coming from the valley in the far end. He ran to the steep valley and saw below it. There sitting on a nearly fallen tree was riddhima hiding her face in her hands. The tree was strangely growing out from the inner side of the valley and riddhima must have landed on it when she slipped. She could have died...

"RIDDHIMA. LOOK UP" Armaan screamed over the thunder and frightened riddhima's head snapped up.

"Armaan..." her voice was shaky. He bent down and stretched out his hand but she was too far below to reach, so he took his chances and jumped in the valley... "WHAT ARE DOING ARMAAAN?" Riddhima suddenly screamed seeing Armaan jump in the valley but luckily he landed on the tree too next to her. He grasped a branch to hold on to and with other hand he slowly pulled riddhima towards him. She crawled into his embrace and started crying her eyes out.

"are you okay?!" he asked while holding her tight with one hand.

"I got so scared, I thought I was going to die" she hiccupped and he saw her trembling face in a streak of lightning. Now it was total darkness and they couldn't see a thing. Armaan carefully took out a head torch and wore it.

"do you realise riddhima that this place is called a VALLEY not a ditch!? What if you'd have fallen a few inches away from the tree? You'd have died, have you got any idea how scared I got?" he shouted and riddhima just sobbed in his chest, both holding on to eachother, sitting on a tree in a middle of valley. Great start of a honeymoon!

"shut up will you?" riddhima snapped.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Your Highness, should I go get you your coffee and tea now?" Armaan snapped back sarcastically. They both started at each other with angry eyes.

"aise waqt mein bhi kamine ka sarcasm nahi jaata. Is that why you saved me? so that you could tell me how stupid I've been?" riddhima asked with one indignant sob.

"I haven't saved you yet sweetheart rather I have jumped in the death hole myself" he swore under his breath. "okay now lets stop fighting warna hum dono yahi mar jayenge aur hamari aatma hamesha ke liye amar ho jayegi inhi valleys mein" Armaan joked to lighten up the mood and riddhima smiled.

"ab mar ke bhi tumhare saath rehna parega? OY VEY we better get out this tree." Riddhima said while crawling towards the root end of the tree with Armaan following her from behind.

"riddhima try to grip the stones and rocks and go up. I am behind you don't worry" he said pushing riddhima up the hill. She held onto branches, rocks and whatnot and finally reached the top of the valley. She rolled on the flat ground and waited for Armaan to come up which he did after a while. "let's go" he said while pulling her by her hand.

"ouch, I scraped my arm when I fell" she moaned in pain. He sat her down and opened his bag. First he took his emergency blanket out and wrapped her with it.

"your clothes are soaked. Take them off" Armaan ordered while digging in his bag to take out riddhima's spare top and raincoat. Riddhima's eyes widened in shock.

"NO!" she said adamantly and Armaan gave her one look and did the honours himself. He pulled her top over her head and to her utter shock, he even unhooked her bra. Without a change in expression, he made her wear dry top and a rain coat. Then wrapped the blanket around her again. "you shouldn't have done that you know!" riddhima said between clattering teeth but was utterly glad that he made her wear dry clothes again. So what if your contract husband saw you half naked? No big deal!

"Riddhima bilkul chup. And here show me your arm" Armaan took her bleeding arm and pulled up her sleeves so he could clean the wound and then plastered it. "okay now eat something. You must be hungry" Armaan pulled out a sandwich and riddhima grabbed it with both hands.

"thank you, I was starving"

"anytime wifey" he said smiling at her.

They made their way back to the cottage all thanks to armaan's initiative to bring a compass and note down the bearings from time to time. When they finally opened the door of the cottage Armaan flipped open the switch but no light came.

"I think the fuse blew off. I'll go change it" Armaan was about to go outside again when a trembling riddhima held his arm between her shaking fingers.

"jaane dona. Subah mein thik kar lena, waise bhi sone ka time ho gaya hai"  riddhima drops her blanket and hugs Armaan. "don't leave me now" she murmured while nuzzling in his neck for warmth.

"Do I look like I want to leave?" he said while bringing her out of the hug.The fragnance of the cold night clung to his clothes, his skin. Leaning up on tiptoe, she breathed him in, right in the little hollow at the base of his neck. Dizzy with his scent. His proximity, she dropped her head on his chest.

Her whole body throbbed with anticipation, yet she felt as light as air, as if the slightes puff would blow her away.

Cupping her face in both hands, he tilted it towards him, and what view she was treated to. A strong jaw etched in the moon's silver glow, hair damp from the rain, drops of water rolling down his face. Eyes that could make a girl forget how to breath. So much for self preservation!

He whisked a thumb over her lips, just once. "What do you want riddhima?"

saniya

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