Monday, 9 December 2019

Part 4 : The Stranger (AR mini)

 Believe in Happy Endings and..Beginnings

Riddhima's POV:

It hurts So much. Even after 2 damn whole months,It hurts so much. Why does he even exist? I have to college,I have to see him.Why? I can only ask myself thousand of times a  day,Why? Why did I fall in Love with him? Even if I did,Why can't I forget him? Its my life,My heart..I can throw out anybody out of it,Right? No,Not him! I try so much,remind myself  practically every second,that he was nothing to me,even if he was..He is nothing now,and won't be ever. But all the more,my world seems to come to have come to a Full-stop. I hate  myself,now. Why did I ever let him kiss me? Maybe I'd life with the fact that he didn't love me..But after the kiss,It only feels like I was just another fling to him,a timepass. How could I  have let HIM,take my heart away..The boy who had practically won everyone's heart at college? Am I So Weak?


Thousands of questions,and I still have no answer.Its just because of that ARMAAN MALLIK. His name now seems like poison.My eyes sting with tears,my head hurts,and I feel asif some  arrow pierces my heart.I feel terrible ALL THE TIME. My favourite dishes don't cheer me up,nor Muskaan's blabber about Rahul,or her poor jokes,nor do my favourite books,Not even MH! I  know,this boy has created a mess out of me. I try,I try..But I don't succeed.In Not thinking about him,I mean. I look at my books,The images of him helping me to take notes flashes in  front of my eyes.The flowers,remind me of the rose he gave me the day Rahul-Muskaan went on a date,to say a thank you.I am totally avoiding the colour Red now,since its his favourite  colour and mostly..we danced and kissed that day.In short,I am in a mess. My Conclusion.

Maybe Hell Would've been better,Wouldn't It? Ofcourse. I mean,More than getting angry at him,that HE broke my heart,I blame myself. The mess I am in,Its because Of ME. I believed  that even if Armaan is a stranger,Falling in Love with him is Perfect...'Coz we have a connection of Hearts! Bah! There was NEVER a connection. It was always one-sided. I don't  understand,why Rahul's left his side..He's his best friend,na? Rahul says Armaan had never done this before. He'd flirted..But would make sure he never hurt anybody. I want to shout at  everybody,HIM especially,why me? Then,Why Me? Out of All People? What the hell did I do to earn such a TERRIBLE heartbreak?

"Riddhima..I need to talk you,now.",It was Rahul.
"Rahul..",I looked up,shaking my head,"Can't we talk later..I have to be in the library for a while..Notes.."
"Cut the Crap,Riddhima.We all know what Damn notes you're taking.Lets Go."

He spoke in low tones but angrily,I could understand that he was in no mood for jokes.So we left the library and went to a empty classroom,where Muskaan was waiting for us.
"Rahul..Are you..",she hesitated,holding his hand. He gave a stiff nod to her.
"Yes.She needs to know.Whatever it may cost.",he spoke in a firm voice.

I sat down on a chair,confused.What were these two upto? And why the hell are they so nervous?Is it about Armaan? I stiffened at the thought.

"Rahul..",I began,but he cut me off.
"Riddhima..I want to tell you something.Its about Armaan.Yes I know you don't want to talk about him,but you need to know Riddhima..you need to know,Why,he told you he doesn't  believe in love.You may ask me 'Why now'..but Riddhima,Muskaan and I kept this topic closed 'coz we thought it'd hurt you.It'll hurt you even now..But its high time you need to stop  blaming him.You are surprised,right?That I am supporting him..It is his fault,Riddhima..but not the way you think.He was my best friend,and I know him better than anyone  else..Riddhima,Armaan has a past.",he paused,after saying it all in one go.

I looked at him.

"A past..that he never talks about..The past which left him shattered and that's the reason he told you he doesn't believe in love..That's why he's still not convinced if he loves you or  not.."
Rahul gave me a questioning look and I nodded slowly.I need to know..that if Armaan was in love with me,why did he tell me that he doesn't even believe in Love.No matter how much I  deny,he still matters to me..Everyone knows that.

"Riddhima,Armaan's Mom...Well,his dad cheated on his mom when he was 10 years old..A mere 10 years old.His mom was left broken,and Armaan's dad died 2 years later,and Armaan's  mom was totally shattered.She was shaken...She hardly ate,kept staring at nothing..in short,she was in a terrible condition.Armaan was 12..He saw all of it. His mother's condition,whom  he loves like anything in this world,how she broke down.Armaan's Maasi took the most care of him.You can understand,Riddhima..He was in his in adolescene..So,he was vulnerable..He  believed in everything he saw..He came round to believe that there wasn't a thing called Love in this world..and if there is,It only leads to pain..He is scared,Riddhima..Too scared to admit  to even himself...",he trailed off softly,and I could see that tears had formed in his eyes.

I was stunned too. It sounds so bad,then,How terrible and miserable would it be to be bear!I hadn't expected this,atleast not something happening to a guy like Armaan. He always  seemed so carefree,flirtious,even a spoit brat you can say...He and suffering such circumstances in such a tender age..It sounds terrible.

"I know..",Rahul said,his voice,softer then ever,when I didn't reply,"That this is not a excuse or reason as to why Armaan hurt you...But Riddhima,he has hurt himself more than he has  hurt you..You think he's fine?No! He's not..When you were giving the cold treatment to him,ignoring him and not talking to him all these 2 months..I saw him,Riddhima..He looked the  same,The same 12 year old Armaan who was shattered.He's horribly adamant and firm,and refuses to believe that he loves you.Its long enough,Riddhima..You BOTH need to get out of  this..I've talked to his Mom..Only she can do something.."

"Rahul..",I said,without looking up,"If Armaan really loves me..He'll realise it himself.Atleast,I think so.Aunty can make him understand..but its up to him to realise if he loves me..And  Rahul,don't you think its too late..?"
"No,Riddhima..It will be too late if Armaan doesn't realize till the end of this year,Because its our final year in college! But Don't worry,I-"
"Please,Rahul..I am telling you,Its too late. My dad called me to his room yesterday..and he talked about his decision about my future..I said yes..",My throat was choking up.My heart  was breaking all over again.Tears welled up but controlling them,I sighed.

I went on to tell him what had happened.They both were shocked,just as I was.Even they had to agree,It is too late..ArmaanRiddhima...will never happen.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Armaan's POV:

Everything's changed.I've changed.My life,My world,My feelings..My behaviour..Me.She's changed it all. I don't feel like flirting anymore.Or going out to parties..Or showing off my new  things...I mean,Its feels BORING to do anything that's FUN. Its Ridiculous! When I pressumed that after confronting her,I'd feel better and get her OUT of my mind,she seems to be here all  the MORE. I mean,I've hurt her SO much...But if she's hurt,Why the hell am I STILL FEELING Guilty? I feel like its HURTING ME.

My face lights up when I think of that night..It was so perfect and beautiful..She looked like an angel.We danced,we laughed and giggled..In short,we were getting to be REALLY good  friends.Then the kiss. It felt So damn Right...And that confuses me here. Am I only attracted to her? Is it only ATTRACTION that hurts me that She's ignoring me completely at college?  She's acting as if I don't even Exist there...It hurts me.So Much,I admit It does. But why? Am I in Love With her...But,I don't believe in a thing like that..I mean,I stopped believing in it  since what happened to Mom..Tears well up my eyes to think about the incident.

Love?Love...Do I love Riddhima?Do I?

"Yes,You Do,Armaan.",I heard a voice near me.
"How Do You..",I was about to blast off at the voice,when I looked beside me and saw my mother smiling up at me.I shut up.
"Mom..",I asked,embarressed,"What did you mean?"
"You think I don't know that you LOVE Riddhima..Armaan?"
"You know her name!",I said,shocked.I didn't speak to Mom about this! I didn't even mention her name! Where the hell..?
"Yes,I do. Now don't divert the topic..Armaan,How could you?Just because of your STUPID non-belief in Love which is not even true,you hurt the girl who loves you back?How can you be  so heartless,Huh? So Idiotic? I thought my son was intelligent and sensible,and look at you!",she looked very serious and angry.
"Wait. Wait wait,Mom..How did you get to know all this?Lemme guess,Rahul?",My mom nodded,annoyed,"Fine,I know...I know I was unthinking,but yeah,I do NOT LOVE her.I don't believe  in Love..You know that !",I said,getting up from the window-side and sitting on my bed.
"Armaan...I was So wrong when I thought you were Sensible..",My mom sighed,"Beta,if Love has hurt me..Does it mean it'll have to happen in your case too?"
"Mom I don't-"
"Armaan Stop your nonsense! I'm serious..Armaan You DO believe in Love,You've led yourself to think you don't...'Coz you're scared of ending up like me.Getting Hurt. Armaan I am your  Mom,and I know you,better than you do yourself,Okay? So ADMIT it,you Love her."

I kept silent.Digesting my mother's words. She's Right..I am afraid of Love. I remember having terrible nightmares after Dad left us,and I still have...Recently in these 2 months,I have  always seen Riddhima in place of Mom,I hurt her..It makes me want to cry. I stayed numb with the realization. I had Loved Riddhima right from the moment she met me. That's why the  attraction(that never was) was So Strong,that's why I kissed her and no one else...That's why It hurts when she ignores me..Thats why I was so concerned about her,of her feelings  after the kiss..Why She hadn't responded...That's why I was So protective of her..Oh God..

"But..But..",I stammered,still fighting with my heart and mind,"It only happens in Films..",I fumbled with words,and I'd spoken after a Long pause.
"You Really Think That?",My mother smiled at me,standing in front of me. I looked up but stayed silent.
"Armaan...",she said,fondling my hair,"You are one of the luckiest person alive,you know that? You've got someone whom you love and who loves you back..You're losing that person? Why?" I whispered,"Mom..",my tears wanted to give way. It was a long time since My mom and I had a heart-to-heart talk and she fondled me with love.
I got back My mom,Because of Riddhima?And I've hurt her,So Much...And Myself too,in the process..I am a damn idiot..SUCH a damn idiot.I want to Kill Myself,NOW.

I hugged my Mom tight and whispered,"I don't know what to do..",my voice soft,I felt my mother's soothing hands ruffling my hair. I looked at her and she smiled,"You admit now?"
I smiled back,"Yes...Your buddhu Armaan is finally in love with a girl,Mom.." My mother laughed. Her tinkling laugh seemed to linger in the air,and It made me feel so happy..I hadn't heard  my mother's laugh for so long..It felt like ages I got my Mom back,Really back with me..Its like the best feeling of the world!

"Talk,Armaan...Only if you talk to her,will you be able to know how she feels."
"Mom She doesn't talk to me..She avoides me,She hates me Mom!",I said,standing up.
"No,beta..She's hurting herself..She doesn't want to show you that you've affected her life..Thats just how girls are!",she shrugged.
"Uff",I said,annoyed,"Thats why they say Girls are complicated."
"Lets get back to the topic,Armaan...What do you think you should do?"
"I don't know!"
"Armaan...You should do something that she's forced to talk to you and has no other choice..Like doing an assignment together or something.."
"Mom..Why would she agree?"
"She wouldn't agree I know,But Armaan..When will your impression on teachers come into help?"
My eyes went wide. I know I have a fab impression on my teachers and they'd easily keep Riddhima as my assignment partner if I wanted.But My mom agreeing for something like this...It  was Unbelieveable."Are You Serious?",I asked her,surprised.
"Yes.Totally.",she confirmed.
"What if Riddhima wants to change me as her partner?"
"Make sure she can't.",My mom winked at me,shocking me further and starting to walk towards the door to my room.
"Mom!",I stopped her before she could leave.She turned,"Yes?"
"I Love You.",I said,smiling..and meaning every word. It felt perfect,saying to my mom what I yearned to tell her.
She smiled back,"I Love You Too..Now go,you have loads of work to do.You have to tell Riddhima what you told me."
I nodded.She left the room,leaving me all to myself.
"Oh,Armaan?",My mom peeped in once more,I turned to look at her,"If Life wasn't Filmy,then..How are Films Made?",she asked me a rhetorical question,winked,and left.I shook my head  and smiled. My Mom can be so unpredictable sometimes.

Riddhima,I thought,I will get you back.You're my angel..The person who got my Mom back,filled my life with happiness,taught me Love..How could I let you go,My saviour?Not  anymore...ArmaanRiddhima will happen.Thats a promise.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Riddhima's POV:

"Good Morning Sir.",I wished Mr.Bakshi,our Management Tec. Teacher,along with others as he entered the room.
"Morning Students..As you all know,your exams are coming and you need to do your final assignments.You all can choose your partners,please..and soon.Let me know,too.",he said.
Within a matter of seconds,everybody had a partner,except me.I glared at Muski and Rahul and they shrugged.

"Um..Riddhima,you don't have a partner?",Mr.Bakshi said,noticing me.
"No sir..I can-",I tried to say,but he cut me off.
"Ah,Armaan! Come Come! No,don't worry..you aren't late.Do you have a partner?"

I looked to see Armaan looking good as usual. He isn't distracting me,No,No,No. Keep away,Riddhima.

Armaan shook his head,"No sir."
Our teacher clapped his hands,"Great ! I mean,then Riddhima can be your partner! Okay,Riddhima?"
"But sir-",I tried to protest,but he cut me off again,"See Riddhima,you don't have a choice..Its a rule to have partners on your assignment and its your finals,so,Okay,dear?"

I saw Armaan flash a dimpled smile at my direction.I didn't smile,to suppress the feeling of my heart fluttering to see his smile after so long,I shot a glare at him.His smile didn't disappear.

"Okay,sir..",I sighed,and Armaan came and sat down beside me.
WHY? WHY WHY? WHY he,ONLY HE,had to be my partner? No one else could be? I hate this,I am feeling happy,again! WHY ? I should not,after what he did to me!He passed a smile again  as he sat down,and my heart fluttered,much to my Frustration.URGH!

"So..Our Topic,Riddhima..",he said,trying to start a conversation.
"Management Companies in India and its Branches.",I snapped back at him,trying not to talk.
"Um,Ok...But..I wanted to talk to you..Its about something else.."
"Armaan,our finals are near and we have to talk studies.Do you want to do that?"
"Yeah,but,just listen to me once,Its important.."
"Our Assignment,Armaan..",I looked at him coldly,"Is MORE Important.You want to take the notes from the library or I will do that?"
"Riddhima,could you please keep the conversation of assignment aside?I wanted to talk to you-"
"I'll take the notes,Armaan.You do the final presentation.",I got up swiftly as the bell rang.

I didn't hear what Armaan wanted to say.I don't want him around me.I'll talk to him rudely,give him the cold treatment.I won't let him use me as a fling again.No,Mr.Armaan Mallik,that isn't  happening again.Does Armaan love me? I stopped walking down the coridoor at my thought..Rahul said he was,he wasn't realising it..His mom could solve the problem..He looked happy  today..He smiled at me and was trying to tell me something...NO! NO,Riddhima,You can't let yourself into his charms again! Maybe Armaan will never fall in love with me..Or will he?

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Armaan's POV:

As I saw her walk off,My hopes went into vain.Her cold behaviour,her rudeness,her glare...God its hurting more now!I muttered a 'Shit' in my breath. It wasn't working.This "talking" idea.It  won't work at college,I understand that..because Riddhima will keep diverting the topic. And Plus,She wouldn't come out anywhere with me !! What Do I do? What DO I DO FOR  CHRISSAKE!

I saw Rahul and Muskaan passing by me and giving me a confused look. I even lost Rahul 'coz of my stupidities! Rahul was my-OK WAIT ! I got it,RAHUL !! RAHUL..If I can convince  Rahul,then maybe I can manage out a plan and help out of him!! The thought made me smile..I watched as Muskaan left Rahul to catch up with Riddhima and Rahul was going the other  way.

"RAHUL ! Ruk !",I called out. He stopped,stunned and annoyed,too.
"What is it,Armaan...?I don't have time for nonsense."
"Please,Rahul..Please,Its about Riddhima...I have feelings-"
"Armaan,Its Too Late.",he said,coldly before going away.
"Wait ! ",I stopped him,"Its never too late..Listen please,please yaar Rahul.."
"Armaan,CAN'T YOU HEAR ME?I SAY ITS TOO DAMN LATE!"
"Why?",I asked,surprised at his outburst.
Rahul sighed,"Armaan..",he started softly,"Riddhima is getting married."

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To Be Continued..

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Love,
Maitree.

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