Thursday, 14 November 2019

AR os : The Gift of Love


"Please...", her voice broke. She sniffed back her tears and desperately held on him, as tightly as she could, not wanting to let go. She couldn't. Why was he going? She wanted to stop him, but it was like her heart was getting weak. Her nerves were frozen, her knees were quivering, and she was getting defeated.

I have to go...

His voice shook her to the core. She shook her head furiously, starting to gather herself up. She couldn't let him go, not this time. Her tears poured down endlessly and she pleaded him with her eyes,"Please...", she said again. It didn't have any effect. He came closer and smiled at her with his sad enchanting eyes. Softly ruffled her hair, kissed her forehead and put his arms around her. She sniffed again.


It was the same warmth in his embrace. The same love that she yearned for. The same eyes that made her smile, the same arms that comforted her. She hugged him tighter, knowing that no matter what she did, she couldn't stop him. Just like she couldn't stop Him. She looked up and affectionately kissed his cheek. She felt like a five-year old again, lost in the trances of time, in the darkened alleys of broken promises, in the isolation of love...Then when she finds a piece of her heart, why was Destiny wrenching it away?

I love you, sweetheart, you shouldn't cry, I'm here, you know, right?

She nodded among her tears. She felt so terribly helpless. She wanted everything to work out well. Her grip loosened on his shirt as fresh tears poured down. She glanced at his shirt, it was still blood red, just like the day he'd gone. The rest of him was unruffled; it was as if he had painted his shirt himself. He smiled up at her, and she held his hands once more. "I love you..." , she whispered softly.

His smile reached up to his eyes, causing warmth to spread over her. Her tears slowly dried, and without words, he slipped his hands away from hers. She felt as if sand was gracefully passing through her. The darkness surrounded her, and she gazed till the bright light blinded her sight and then disappeared altogether. Her energy had drained out, her throat had lost its ways to bring out any sound, and she could only blink. Blink up at the darkness, seeing nothing at all, but a defeated life, a defeated herself.

She was losing herself again. She searched for her saviour, she searched for the ray of light that was bound deep down of her heart. The bright light peeked in and she held her heart to herself, waiting for him to reappear.

BANG!

The sound of the same gun made her senses freeze and she looked ahead to see him in the same position he was in. She rushed, but her feet wouldn't carry her, she tried to scream but no words came out, she frantically raised her hands, till her petite figure dropped to the ground as the bullet hit her.

***

"DAD!", she shouted to the silent surroundings. It was pitch dark outside her window but the graceful moonlight spread over her, glistening like a blessing. Removing the sheet over her, she sighed and walked over to her window. She felt the cool breeze on her face, calming her. The clock ticked slowly, indicating the time to be 3:55 a.m. in the night. What was she doing, she silently questioned herself.

She had no reason to live. Her family was gone..She hadn't known much about losing her Mom, since she hadn't even seen her.Padma Gupta, was her name...her dad talked so much about her. And now when she'd lost his dad even, she was broken. She had fallen in love, with Him...And the day they had a terrible ruckus, he was gone. Gone somewhere she couldn't find him.

Why had life been so unfair to her? Why had destiny taken away her Dad from her, whom she loved like her life, and knew that he was the only one whom she was living for? Why had He come to her life, why had they fallen in love, why had that name etched itself in her heart like that...Armaan...

The fault was hers. She had just let him go, had not even tried to bring him back. How could she? She didn't even have the strength to fight, when her Dad was in the hospital for cancer, she was all alone, and was helpless. She was weak, she knew. But for that weakness' did she have to pay such a big price? She had to lose Him and her Dad too?

She remembered so clearly, it was a rainy night. He was hurt, she knew. She shouldn't have said all that, that she thought he didn't care, that he was selfish. And all that, just because he had left her all alone and gone for a important meeting that he had, and he'd forgot to inform her. A petty issue to fight on, and she didn't even stop him. How stupid could she have been? But Armaan? Didn't he understand what she was going through and how much she needed him at the time? Just him? Didn't he understand? The doctor had just told her that they couldn't save her Dad, and she was walking in the rain, sniffing to herself. She denied, but deep down she wanted him to hug her and tell her everything was alright.

"Riddhima..." , his voice came from behind her. She didn't look behind. She didn't have the courage to show anyone what state she was in, not even him. "Come on'You'll get sick, lets go home'" , he said.
She moved his hand away, "Go away,Armaan'",she said hoarsely, walking further.
"Riddhima why are you doing this to yourself? You know how worried Uncle is?"  , he pleaded.
"Why Do YOU Care? Just Go Away from my life..NO ONE CARES! I'm ALONE and HAPPY! DON'T SHOW YOUR SYMPATHY!", she yelled at him, warm tears spilling down her cheeks.
His expression hardened, "You think its SYMPATHY ? "
"I said, GO AWAY!"
"Forever?" , he asked in a tone that masked his emotions.
"FOREVER! GO!" , she yelled once more in finality.

And he was gone, somewhere..She didn't know. She wanted to find him, but where would she look? She had gone to every place possible , his relative's home, his Mom's house, his old farmhouse, his college, his workplace, his company branches..He was nowhere. NO-WHERE. He was just gone.

She hadn't realized how early time flew by. She was just standing by the window and staring at the moon and stars, thinking  how they'd fallen in love with all those..Held hands and kissed, danced and cuddled. She felt so defeated. Her dream had been disturbing, it was not every day that she had a nightmare, that also about her father. She remembered what her Dad had said when he had breathed his last, " Don't lose him "

"Happy Birthday Ridzy!",she heard her best friend's voice behind her and smiled, surprised. There they were, all her friends, Nikki with a cake and others with gifts. She was 22, she thought faintly to herself. And she had forgotten her birthday, like every year. He would plan a date for her..They would go out to dinner together..He would tell her he loved her..

"Ridzy! Happy 22,Sweety!",her friends wished and hugged her one by one. It was almost morning. 5:02 am . She remembered how he'd be the first one to wish her. Her Dad too..it had been a month since she lost both Armaan and her Dad, and she was celebrating her birthday afterwards. She didn't deserve it.

***

The day passed by in a jiffy. It was dizzying..All the light and happiness, partying and smiles, gifts and adorations..It all looked so incomplete without her Dad's jokes and Him..His blue eyes, his husky voice..She wanted all of it. Blinking back her tears, she smiled at her friends.

"Riddhi..",she heard a voice and her heart thudded hard. She turned and without seeing the person she hugged her tight, crying softly in the warm embrace.
"Bua..",she choked out. Her Bua patted her back and ruffled her hair, she was closest to Riddhima after her Dad. Smiling up at her, she understood what Riddhima was going through.
"Happy Birthday beta'",she whispered and Riddhima wiped her tears and gave her a long look of sadness, loss and pain. Her Bua ran a hand through her hair and whispered,"Chal..Tera gift baki hai..."

She nodded among teary eyes. Bua led him to the courtyard, where a big shiny black SUV stood, proclaiming its glory . She gasped, she had pestered her Dad so much to get that car. Her tears resurfaced, and she looked at her Bua. Her Bua smiled. "Yeh le..",she whispered, handing her a letter.

My Dear Riddhima,
I know you are surprised to get this car you always wanted. I am sorry, sweetheart..I may not be there when you receive it, but I promise it's for the sake of your Bua. She is giving you this car. It is not my gift.
I shall not say much, because you know I can't talk much. I just want to say, A Very Happy birthday ,and my baccha. Live many more years, grow more beautiful, just like your Mom. Smile and face the world, for I am just by your side. I Love You Darling.
I have very less to pen down. I don't have any gift for you, except one I thought you might like. It is very precious to you, I know. It is like your life..I'm gifting you something rare, something one in a million. Make sure you don't lose the gift. Never Ever do that.
I Love You. Happy 22nd Birthday. Enjoy your day, my baccha, and remembered your Dad is still there with you. In your heart.
Now I suppose you look up to your gift .
Love, Dad.

She looked up with moist eyes. He silently emerged from behind the car, looking as handsome as ever. His blue eyes sparkled at her with love, with yearning. No words were required. They stood looking at each other , saying things they both wanted to hear. A month's separation had made their love stronger.

After what seemed like ages, he held out his arms to her. Crying, she enveloped herself in him, feeling herself live, feeling her heart thud with happiness, with the love she'd wanted. She felt herself to be stronger, her tears spilled, but she knew that if she spoke, she wouldn't just stop today.

"Armaan..." , She said.

"I was so stupid, Riddhima..I'm so sorry, I should've known you needed me..."

"I need you now.Forever.", her voice choked.

"I Love you..",he said as she just placed her lips on his.

They both got their life back. Her father was still there as he'd said..In her heart. And he'd given her the gift she knew she would never ever lose. She would keep that gift in her, like a pulse to keep her alive.

Her father had given her her life. Her father had given her the Gift of Love.

***


Love,
Maitree.

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