Sunday, 22 September 2019

Chapter 19 : Dangerous Desire (AR)

Fallen Apart

Everyone's heart stopped hearing Riddhima. The little ray of hope their heart had was destroyed by Riddhima.

"Riddhima? Tum-tumne aisa kiya? You-you were our friend right? Toh phir yeh sab kyun?" asked Anjali. Riddhima crossed her arms and looked away, indicating she was least interested in the conversation.

"Main toh soch bhi nahin sakti thi ki tum aisi hogi. Humne toh socha tha ki tum... Lekin tum toh ek giri hui ladki nikli." Said Niki.

"Chhi! Mujhe toh vishwaas nahin hota ki maine tujhe apni behen maana. Thank God Mama-Papa yahaan nahin hain. Warna unhe iss baat ka pachhtaava hota ki tu unki beti hain." Muskaan spoke in sheer disgust. Riddhima gave her a cold look and rolled her eyes.

"Like I give a damn." Everyone in the room once again were disgusted by her. Armaan came forward and looked at her.

"Ms. Riddhima Gupta. You are fired." Riddhima scoffed.

"Mr. Mallik. Tumhe shayad yaad nahin hoga, lekin maine iss company ke saath ek contract sign kiya hain jiske rehte tum mujhe yahaan se nahin nikal sakte."

"Atul. Humne Riddhima ke saath jo contract sign kiya hain usse lekar aao." Atul nodded and went out.

He came back after 5 minutes and handed him the papers. Not breaking eye contact with her, he held the papers in front of her and tore them apart and then threw them at her face.

"I want this cabin cleared in 20 minutes. Everyone back to work. Now!" The crowd was cleared immediately. The others just shook their heads and left.

"Twenty minutes Mr. Gupta." Saying this, Armaan left the cabin, but definitely not before giving her a nasty glare.


Two people were sitting in a dark room, talking about the recent happenings in Mallik Empire.


"Haan. Armaan ne Riddhima ko office se nikaal diya."

"Lekin aisa kaise ho sakta hain? Riddhima ka uss office mein Armaan ki secretary ban kar rehna humare muksat ke liye bohat zaroori tha! Armaan ne usse nikaala kyun?"

"Armaan ne Riddhima ko unn CCTV Footages mein dekh liya tha."


"Yes Sir."

"Damn! Ab humare plan ka kya hoga? Sab chopat ho gaya." There was pin-drop silence in the room as the boss thought of another plan.

"Itni aasaani se main haar nahin maanunga.a I have another plan." He told the guy the new plan and both were satisfied with it.


Armaan was in his little gym, punching the bag in front of him ferociously.

"Riddhima? Kya-kya Armaan sach keh raha hain?"


Armaan punched the bag harder.

"Like I give a damn."

He kicked the bag hard.

"Ms. Riddhima Gupta. You are fired." Riddhima scoffed.

"Mr. Mallik. Tumhe shayad yaad nahin hoga, lekin maine iss company ke saath ek contract sign kiya hain jiske rehte tum mujhe yahaan se nahin nikal sakte."

Everything kept playing in his mind. He felt like setting the world on fire. He trusted her more than anyone and she backstabbed him. He was shattered, broken. As if all the happiness was drained out of him... once again. He held the bag in his hands and looked at it as if it were to be Riddhima. His eyes fell on the clock and saw the time he gave her was already up. He looked at the window for a moment and walked to it.

From the height he was at, he saw the tiny figure of Riddhima putting the keys of her scooty in its place. As she took the scooty out, he saw her bag fall of her shoulder and she bent down to pick it up. He saw her wiping something off her face. Was she crying? But again, he couldn't tell. He wanted to look away, but couldn't. His eyes kept following her until she didn't disappear completely out of his sight. He turned around in anger and stood in front of the bag, cursing himself for a billionth time.

"Riddhima Gupta. I hate you. I hate you!" He shouted and punched the bag harder than ever and saw it swing from left to right.


Muskaan sat on the floor behind the small couch. She was crying badly. Her heart simply refused to accept Riddhima was at fault thought her mind replayed her harsh, dagger-like words.

The door clicked open and she sensed Rahul coming in. He looked around for Muskaan. He knew she's gonna be very upset because her best-friend-cum-sister had broken everyone's trust.

"Muskaan?" He called out softly. Muskaan turned her head and saw Rahul looking around worriedly.

"Rahul." She whispered. His eyes flickered to the couch and he immediately rushed to her. He held her face in his hands started to place fervant kisses all over her face. She immediately hugged him and cried even more. Rahul rubbed her back soothingly.

"Rahul... Ri-Riddh-ima ai-aisa... kaise kar sakti hain?"

"Mujhe nahin pata Muskaan. Kuch samajh nahin aa raha." Rahul had a few tears in his eyes but managed to blink them away. Muskaan broke apart from him and looked at him.

"Rahul... Ri-Riddhima aisi nahin hain. Ma-main jaanti hoon usse. Woh-woh jhooth bol rahi hain. Rahul... please kuch karo na. Tumhe pata hain na Riddhima aisi nahin hain. She's lying. Woh kuch chhupa rahi hain. I know it!" Muskaan completely broke down. Rahul couldn't see her like this. He held her face and placed his lips over her, kissing her softly and taking her pain away.


Niki entered Abhi's cabin, expecting him to be there, but was surprised when she didn't find him there.

"Abhi?" She called out but received no answer.

"Oh God. Where did Abhi go? Yeah. Let me call him." She took out her phone and quickly dialed his number, but it was swtiched off.

Nik was scared now. Abhi never kept his phone switched off unless he was very upset. She suddenly realized something and knew where he could be. She quickly went out of the office and drove off.

She stopped in front of Blue Lagoon, one of the famous clubs in Mumbai. She rushed in and looked around. As she had expected, Abhi was sitting at the bar, having drinks after drinks angrily. She quickly rushed to him and held his arm.

"Abhi! What are you doing? Chhodo isse!" She tried taking the drink from him but he pushed her away.

"Niki! Tum... tum jao yahaan se."

"Tumhe liye bina main kahin nahin jaane waali. Chalo."

"Niki maine kaha na. Go away." Niki knew Abhi won't come like this and there was no point in arguing with him so she just sat down beside him.

"Abhi. Mujhe pata hain tum bohat upset ho. But drinking like this is just ridiculous."

"Niki. Humesha aisa kyun hota hain? Jab bhi lagta hain ki sab kuch theek hone waala hain, tab sab kuch galat kyun ho jaata hain?"

"Pata nahin Abhi. Shayad kismat mein yeh hi likha hain."

"Lekin Niki. Why always us? Why Bhai? Ussne kya kiya hain?"

"Abhi. Bhagwaan humesha achhe logo ki hi pareeksha leta hain. Aur dekhna. Sab kuch theek ho jaayega."

"I can't believe Riddhima aisa kar sakti hain. Mujhe toh laga tha ki Riddhima ek achhi ladki hain. But she turned out to be b*tch like others."

"Pata nahin Abhi. But I think she's innocent."

"Kya? Tumhe sach mein lagta hain ki Riddhima innocent hain? Riddhima ne sab ke saamne yeh sach accept kiya hain ki she's the culprit. Didn't you see woh humse kaise baat kar rahi thi? How can you still think she's innocent?"

"Hmm... you're right Abhi."

"Dukh toh mujhe Bhai ke liye ho raha hain. Humari galti ki vajah se Bhai phirse toot jaayega."


"Niki. Armaan Riddhima ko pasand karne laga tha. Usski soch finally badal rahi thi. Lekin issne toh phirse Bhai ko tod diya hoga."

"Mujhe pata hain Abhi. Lekin woh kehte hain na. Jo bhi hota hain, achhe ke liye hi hota hain."

"Maybe you're right." Niki smiled.

"Ab chalo. I don't want to take a drunkard home!" Both giggled at this and Niki dropped Abhi off.


Armaan finished his drink in a go. He was sitting at the bar having drinks after drinks while his friend, Oldie, kept filling drinks up for him. He knew something had happened. Something big and devastating.

"Care to share?" Oldie asked while filling up another set of drinks for Armaan. He looked up. "Heartbreak?" Armaan shook his head.



"From who?"

"Riddhima." This caught Oldie's attention and he set the glass down.

"Want to talk about it?" Armaan sighed.

"Even she turned out to be the same. Just like the others. A bloody gold digger. A person in disguise." Oldie didn't say anything and just listened to him. His silence indicated Armaan to go ahead. He told Oldie everything. Starting from his talk with Ram and ending with Riddhima leaving the office.

"Oh." That was all he could say.

"Mujhe toh khud par gussa aa raha hain. I can't believe maine yeh socha bhi ke Riddhima baaki ladkiyon se alag hogi. Sab ladkiyaan ek jaisi hoti hain. Matlabi, aur khud garz. They just don't care about others. All they know is themself. If there is someone they love, then it's money and themself. Others don't matter to them." He finished another drink and slammed it on the marble surface. "I should leave now. My brothers are gonna get worried if I don't get home soon. Bye." Oldie smiled and waved at him.

Oldie thought about everything Armaan said. From what Armaan told him, Riddhima indeed looked like a negative character but Oldie was Oldie. His mind started to make all kinds of connections. There was tons of loopholes in the picture. After thinking about it for a few moments, Oldie connected all the pieces. After all, he had been in this profession for quite a long time, which was a secret and he prefered it that way. His lips curved up into a mysterious grin as he finally understood what was going on.

You're right Armaan. Riddhima is a person in disguise. An angel in disguise. YOUR angel. But unfortunately, you have no idea how mysterious your angel is.


Armaan entered his house around 12 at night. His coat was hanging from his shoulder and he looked weak. He couldn't help but laugh at his fate. He had started to live his life again. He was just starting to open his heart to happiness. But it seemed as if God couldn't see this.

"Bhai? Where were you? Do you realize it's almost 12? Are you alright?" Armaan looked up to see the boys coming towards him. Armaan felt bad seeing them so worried for him.

"Main theek hoon. I'm going up. I'm very tired. You should also go to bed." Saying this, he went up to his room. Abhi was angry now.

"Mujhe toh iss waqt bohat gussa aa raha hain. I just hate Riddhima! How dare she do this!"

"Gussa toh mujhe bhi bohat aa raha hain. Lekin iss waqt hume Bhai ko sambhaalna padega. I don't want him to go back into his shell."

"Atul's right. We should take care of Armaan first. He won't say anything but will suffer from the insdie. We can't lose Armaan again." Said Rahul.

"I'll go up to him. He needs someone right now." They nodded and Atul went up.


Armaan took one of his files and settled down on the couch to work on it. He just wanted to divert his mind from Riddhima. He suddenly heard a knock on the door and Atul came in.

"Atul? You haven't gone to bed yet?"

"Neither have you." Armaan didn't say anything and resumed his work. No one spoke for a while. He went and sat in front of Armaan, looking straight at him.

"Bhai I know you're very upset. But iss tarah se kaam mein ulajh jaana sahi nahin hain."

"Who said I'm upset? Main upset nahin hoon."

"Really Bhai? You're not upset?"


"Don't lie!" Atul said angrily, but calmed down quickly. "Bhai mujhe pata hain ki aaj jo bhi hua usse tumhe shock laga hain. In fact hume bhi laga hain. Lekin iss tarah se khud ko sab se door kar dena galat hain." Armaan got angry and walked to the window.

"I don't want to talk about it. Go to bed. It's very late."

"But I want to." He stood up and walked over to him.

"Humaare kal mein hua, usse toh tum badal nahin sakte. Lekin humaara aaj toh humaare haath mein hain. Please Bhai. Behtar yeh hi hoga ki hum Riddhima ko bhul jaaye. Waise bhi ab woh humaari life mein dobaara nahin aane waali. It'll be better if we forget her. Take care." Atul went out after patting his shoulder.

Armaan just stood there looking out the window. He saw lightening strike in the clouds, bringing harsh rain along.

Atul's right. Mujhe Riddhima ko bhulna hoga. Main usski harr ek yaad ko mitta dunga. Bhul jaunga ki Riddhima naam ki koi ladki meri zindagi mein kabhi aayi bhi thi.


Muskaan entered her house and looked around. The day's incidents had completely exhausted her. She could tell Riddhima wasn't at home, which confused her.

"Yeh Riddhima kahaan gayi?" She heard the door open and saw Riddhima come in.

"Riddhima? Tum kahaan gayi thi?" Riddhima rolled her eyes and started to take her shoes off.

"Maine tumse kuch puchho hain. Where were you?"

"And why do I have to answer you?" She spoke rudely and started to walked up to her room which was another big blow to Muskaan.

"Riddhima." She stopped walking and listened to her without turning around. "Kya ho gaya hain tumhe? Tum itna badal kaise gayi? Itni rude, itni mean... why? Tum toh aisi bilkul bhi nahin thi. Achaanak tum aisi kaise ho gayi? What happened?" Riddhima didn't say anything for a while and then suddenly turned around.

"God Muskaan. You're very irritating. And mujhe bohat neend aa rahi hain. I'm going to sleep." She rolled her eyes and went up, leaving a sad Muskaan behind.



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