Friday, 7 February 2020

Part 7 : I See You!

Armaan stood stunned as he looked at the sculpture shilpa had created of him. It felt almost like looking at himself in the mirror, he looked critically at it, she had combed his hear back from his forehead. The style was not something he had been keeping since he had come here but was a usual for him in the business world.

Shilpa waited for him to respond as she stood there with her hands clasped behind her back. Not able to take the suspense any longer: Ammy! Say something!

Armaan glanced at her: its unbelievable!

Shilpa couldn't help but smile: you like it!

Armaan: you've done a mind blowing job but…

Shilpa: uhuh! But ….

Armaan: its too perfect! The nose! The mouth! Its too good looking!

Shilpa couldn't help but laugh: fishing for compliments?

Armaan laughed a self conscious laugh: no! but I'm not this perfect!

Shilpa in all seriousness: to me you are!

Armaan looked at her his heart skipped a beat at her words, shilpa flushed as the silence between them stretched. Shilpa felt her heart accelerate not sure what his reaction was, she heard him moving around, then steps approaching her.

Armaan was fighting a battle inside himself, he wanted to tell her how he felt but was scared that he'll spook her. Then finally gathering courage he stepped to her: Shilpa!

Shilpa lifted her head and waited for him to respond, armaan drew nearer and took her hand: Shilpa!

Shilpa drew in a breath: yes!

Armaan opened his mouth but at the exact moment maasi walked in from behind: Ammy beta! When did you come?

Armaan almost cringed but smoothed his expression and smiled at her: just a few minutes ago!

Maasi looked at armaan holding shilpa's hand: is something wrong?

Armaan almost rolled his eyes but managed to check himself: we were just about go to the park.

Shilpa surprised: we were?(in response armaan squeezed her hand and immediately) yes we were! Just let me get my stick and dupatta and then we'll leave.

Maasi gave them a look which made it clear that she was far from fooled but said nothing. Soon shilpa was ready and they finally made their way to the door. They made it down the steps and were about to start walking when armaan took shilpa's hand in his own and held firmly.

Shilpa stood there not sure why he was holding her hand, Armaan tugged at her hand: comeon lets go!

Without a word shilpa started to walk as she realized he wanted to hold her hand, she could feel the heat rise in her cheeks but stayed quiet. Armaan was never into hand holding, but he held onto shilpa, his grip strong he walked with her to the park in silence.

They entered the park and made it to their favorite bench, finally armaan had to let go of her hand which he did reluctantly. As shilpa sat armaan remaind standing looking at her, taking in the flushed cheeks he smiled. He was about to say something when there was loud cheer from some kids on the swings. Intrigued shilpa asked armaan: whats happening?

Armaan: the kids seem to be having a great time on the swings!

Shilpa expression turned wistful: swings! They are so much fun! Especially if you go really high!

Armaan laughed: you sound just like a kid!

Shilpa flushed: I do have a weakness for them!

Armaan: so what are you waiting for? Lets go and you can swing to your hearts content!

Shilpa shook her head: no! its ok! I really can't mange it very high on my own! Lets talk about something else!

Armaan frowned: what do you mean? Do you need a pusher?

Shilpa sighed: Ammy will you plz let it go! This is so not important!

Armaan: its important to me! You need a pusher! Well I'm a champion pusher! Lets go! (he grabbed shilpa's hand and started pulling her in the direction of the swings)

Shilpa: Ammy! Stop! I didn't mean for you to do it! There is no need to go to so much trouble for this! (armaan stopped suddenly making shilpa bump into him)

Armaan turned to her: trouble? Shilpa I want to do this for you!

Shilpa opened her mouth to protest but could manage: Ammy!

Armaan: Shilpa! I want to do this! Come! (he again took her hand and pulled her towards the swings, once there armaan called to the kids) hey guys! Could we have one of the swings!(amidst looks from the kids he explained) your shilpa di wants to have a go!

Kid: sure di! Take mine!

Shilpa smiled: thanks sweety! (armaan helped her to the seat and waited till she was seated securely)

Armaan to the kids: ok guys! I need some help here so what do I do?( making shilpa laugh)

Shilpa: you said you were a champion pusher!

Armaan: well I'm a champion at pushing people around! And get the work done!

Shilpa amazed: you lied!

Armaan frowning: no! I just omitted some details!(hearing shilpa laugh he smiled)

The advice came from all directions and armaan took all to heart, he started by gentle pushes. Then slowly he increased the force making the swing go higher than before. Shilpa felt the wind push her hair forward as the pace of the swing increased. She threw back her head and felt the wind rush over her making her feel as if she was flying. Everytime the swing went up she felt as if she could touch the sky.

Shilpa felt her heart fill with joy and she couldn't help but laugh in sheer delight. Armaan was being very conscientious about his work as the pusher when he heard shilpa laugh. What stopped him was the absolute happiness he heard in the laughter. He wanted to see the look on her face, the need to see her made him walk to the front to look at her.

As he stood infront he saw shilpa through her head back and laugh again in pure pleasure and Armaan was lost. He realized in that moment that this is what he wanted, for shilpa to be happy like this, always. He stood their dumbfounded because he wanted to giver her the world and didn't know from where to start.

One of the kids yelled from his own seat: shilpa di! When you go up kick out with your legs it will make it go higher.

Shilpa was having the time of her life and she wanted it to never end, so when the swing was going in it forward motion she kicked out with her legs. But instaed of finding empty air her feet came in contact with a human body.

Armaan was so lost in his thoughts that he completely forgot where he was so when shilpa swung towards him he was totallu unprepared for the kick he received.

Armaan: oooph! (as he felt the kick, in reflex his hands clamped around shilpa)

Shilpa in shock: Ammmyyy!(she felt herself slipping of the seat and onto the person she just kicked)

Armaan saw the horrified expression on shilpa's face but couldn't do anything to stop her from falling so he did the next thing. He took the brunt of the fall so that shilpa landed on top him. As armaan thudded against the ground he felt the air whoosh out of his lungs as shilpa landed on top him.

Shilpa lay there frozen and then she realized she was ontop someone and she could feel and hear him trying to wheeze a breath in.

Armaan croaked: Shilpa! Get off me!

Shilpa instantly horrified: Ammy! Oh my god! Are you alright?(she immediately slid off him as armaan startedto wheeze and cough)

Shilpa sat next to him and lightly patted him on the back: are you ok? Do you need any water? Ammy? Say something?

Armaan looked at shilpa's worried face and started to laugh, shilpa confused: why are you laughing?

Armaan still laughing: you should've seen your face when you kicked me and now! Your eyes went huge in horror!

Hearing armaan laugh shilpa also started to laugh, both laughed so hard that they collapsed on the ground with tears rolling out of their eyes. As they still laughed shilpa realized that this was the first time she had armaan laugh so openly. She couldn't help herself her lips curved into a smile as she heard him laughing, without conscious thought she reached out and placed her hand on his chest, feeling the laughter rumble.

Armaan felt her touch as a brand on his chest and he stopped laughing as he looked at shilpa.

Shilpa: this is the first time I've heard you laugh so openly. I was listening to it reverberate in you chest.(she drew back her hand as she realized what she was doing)

Armaan reached out and grabbed her hand and placed it back on his chest making shilpa flush: I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard maybe it's the company I'm keeping nowadays.

Shilpa smiled: maybe its aslower pace of life for you! Away from the pressures of the work and all.

Armaan lay flat on the ground and looked at her: no its you! You make me happy! (shilpa blushed not sure what she was suppose to say. Armaan looked at her flushed face) you're so beautiful shilpa! I wish you could see yourself through my eyes.

Shilpa felt her breath get stuck in her throat as her eyes stubg with tears for no reason: I wish I could see you armaan! Just one little glimpse of you! (her lips trembled as the pain of not being able to see this one guy speared through her who in a very short time had cometo mean so much to her)

Armaan heard her pain and understood it, but his refused to accept it, it kept murmuring there had to be a way. The both fell silent as already both had revealed a lot of their feelings they had no intention to divulge. Armaan looked at shilpa and knew that he loved her more than anything in the world. He would do anything to make her happy and before he had stood clueless how to to give her the world, now he knew what he had to do.

Armaan: lets go back home!

Shilpa waited for him to explain this sudden desire to leave but when he didn't answer she got up to leave. They walke back home in silence both engrossed in their own thoughts, at the door shilpa turned to him: are you coming in?

Armaan: no! not today but I'll see you tomorrow! Bye!

As he left shilpa stood there wondering what has happened that Ammy had left so abruptly but couldn't think of a reason.

Later in the evening Armaan was talking on his cell phone: give me a staright answer! Is it possible! (after hearing the other person) when are you coming here?(pause) good! Then I'll see you day after tomorrow.

He threw the cell on the table as the call ended and stood at the window thinking, he knew he might be overstepping his bounds but he couldn't stop. He looked at the clock and sighed thinking that he'll have to wait till morning to see whether he was right or wrong.

In the morning he left earlier than usual for shilpa's house hoping to catch her before she started for the day. He reached her house and knocked at the door, a surprised maasi ji opened the door: Ammy beta! You're early today!

Armaan smiled: is shilpa home?

Maasi: of course! Comeon in!

Shilpa was in the kitchen when she heard the voices and came out: Maasi! Who is it? (then she heard him) Ammy?(clearly surprised) this early?

Armaan smiled at her tone: I told you I'll be coming over!

Shilpa shook her head: yeah but…(then stopped) ok! Forget it! Sit! Will you have some breakfast?

Maasi: why don't you both sit down? I'll get some breakfast for both of you!(she turned to leave)

Armaan: plz don't! plus I want to talk to both of you! Its important!

Shilpa: what is it Ammy?

Armaan looked at Shilpa and then Maasi: just hear me out! I've talked to an eye specialist, a surgeon and I've talked about your case! He won't know for sure till he had looked at your files but he has dealt with some difficult cases and he works with some cutting edge technology which has transformed a lot of lives. He's going to be here tomorrow!

There was silence in the room, Armaan looked at maasi who was looking at shilpa who sat in the chair her face looked as if made of stone. Armaan looked at maasi: maasi ji! Say something!

Maasi clearly uncomfortable: beta! You shouldn't have! (she looked at shilpa and then at armaan) its actually….

Shilpa cut her: how could you? Ammy? You didn't even ask me once! Just went ahead and talked to a doctor about my case! Do you even know my case, Ammy?

Armaan knew he had it coming: Shilpa! I know you are angry! But I only meant to help you!

Shilpa: help me Ammy? I'm blind not mentally challenged that I cannot make decisions for myself!

Armaan: shilpa, I …

Shilpa: don't! do you honestly think I have never tried! That I like being dependent on people or that I needed you to come and find me a doctor!

Armaan looked at her face and saw the hurt and the fear: Shilpa listen to me!(but she stood up to leave, armaan went to her and grabbed her by the shoulders) no wait!

Shilpa: let me go! I don't want to talk to you!

Armaan: no! I know I've hurt you shilpa but I never intended to! I know I've come into your life just recently and I am not judging you or your decisions! I'm sure you must have tried everything but I was only trying to help.

Shilpa: doing what? Pushing?

Armaan: didn't I tell you! I'm a champion pusher! I make things happen! But plz understand when I say that I'm sorry! That I had no intention to hurt you! I just want to give you an opportunity that you might not have explored before.

Maasi finally spoke up: Shilpa beta! There is no harm in going for a consult!

Armaan: shilpa! The doctor I'm talking about has done a lot of experimental surgeries and had got some great responses. What can we lose? But there is so much to hope for!

Shilpa took a shuddering breath: hope can be a very painful thing!

Armaan: then don't hope! I'll hope for both of us!

Maasi: plz shilpa! Give it a chance! Lets just hear him out!

Shilpa could feel herself weakening but still made a last try: why are you doing this, Ammy?

Armaan looked soberly at shilpa: because there are things that I want to say to you! Things that I want to hear from you but before anyof this I want to look you in the eyes and for you to look me in the eye and know!

Shilpa: know what?

Armaan: I'll say it when you'll look me in the eye!

Shilpa: what if I can never?

Armaan: at least we tried! But shilpa I'm not going to give up hope! Because in my heart I know and I'm willing to give it a try! Are you?

Shilpa looked indecisive but then armaan reached out and held her hand giving her silent support that she needed: lets start with a consult!

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