Friday, 6 March 2020

Part 4 : A Burdened Love

Abhi (In a serious tone) : Armaan, I think before I continue retelling this incident, I think it is vital it is vital that you recollect as much as possible of what happened before you left for Singapore, because there are parts of this puzzle which I am finding difficult to understand. Maybe something you remember may make sense of this story, because maybe it was an accident, or maybe it was intentional. I am a little confused.
Flashback (3 days earlier-Armaan returns from home with some news)

Riddhima: 'Armaaaan' she said in a sing song voice as she heard him enter the house. Dinners ready .I'll be out the bath on the in two minutes sweetie. Check on Aahana she's sleeping in the nursery.

Silence

Riddhima (confused): Hmm she muttered to her self he didn't reply with his usual 'Okay baby hurry up I missed your beautiful face' I do hope everything is okay.



Riddhima came out the bath feeling a little apprehensive. The lovely warm feeling she had just two minutes ago due to long hot bath had evaporated. All that as left was anticipation which was filling her body.

Riddhima ( Putting up a cheery voice) and heading towards the dining room: 'Hey Armaan.' No reply Hmm where is he. I'll go check the nursery

She saw Armaans silhouette standing above Aahana's cot. He was gently stroking Aahana's hair, as she stirred in her sleep. A smile played on Riddhimas lips. 'Armaan' she whispered not to wake Aahana. Putting Aahana to sleep was like running cross country. Impossible in other words. Not that Riddhima minded she loved spending time with her Angel. It was utter bliss. After an arduous two years of  fight, panic, and injustice her life had finally settled. She had the perfect house, the perfect family, the perfect life. It was one word PERFECT. 'Armaan' she whispered again. Still no reply- she was getting a little worried. She went behind him and put her arms around his waist. Armaan 'kya hua? 'Why are you so quiet?' Still no answer. She turned around and cupped his face. 'Sweetie what's wrong?'

Armaan (after a long pause): 'Hmm nothing Riddhima' he said not meeting her gaze. He walked out the nursery.

Riddhima quickly followed him out of the room highly confused and apprehensive. Something was definitely wrong. Riddhima stood in front of him and cupped his face once again.

Riddhima: 'Armaan what's wrong your silence is scaring me?'

Armaan (very slowly) 'It's just.'.. How would he tell her. He knew it would upset her. Having to go to Singapore for three whole days without the two most important people in his world spelled out TORTURE. However he knew he would have to tell her, so he may as well get it over and done with. 'Well... It's ... It's just that...'

Riddhima (Getting impatient) 'Go on Armaan it's just that ... elaborate'

Armaan : 'Dr Shashank ne...'

Riddhima: 'Dad ne kya kiye. Did he taunt you again. ( Quickly thinking Oh No! I hope he didn't hear that bit, other he'll find out about Muksi and Atul spying for me. Then we'll be busted.) Armaan. Bolo na..elaborate...'

Luckily he hadn't heard about the taunting. Armaan (reluctantly giving in and saying): 'Sir ne mujhe select kiya Singapore jaane ke liya to represent Sanjeevani...PAUSE...For three days'.

Riddhima was dumbstruck. If Riddhima were married to anybody else then that would mean good news but she's not married to any body else. She is married to Armaan Mallik so it made a vast difference. Shashank was never raazi for their marriage. At one point he had been the foundation of the rooting problems between Armaan and Riddhima. He tore Riddhima away from Armaan. Caused problems between them. Made Riddhima misunderstand Armaan. She very nearly broke one of the  worlds most beautiful relationship due to a string of manipulated secrets and lies. But  he forgave her. Armaan forgave everyone. It was just his nature. Armaan was naive when it came to relationships. He forgave anyone and everyone as he yearned family, warmth and security. But Riddhima knew her father still didn't like her marrying Armaan. He was so sneer about it. He made it as difficult as possible for both of them. After finding out the truth (secret will be revelaed in a part coming soon )Riddhima was willing to break all ties with her father, but it was Armaan who made her realise how important the role of the father is. Not just as the breadwinner of the family, but for assistance, guidance and support. All things Armaan missed out on his childhood due to his abusive alcoholic father. Armaan ensured that Riddhima and Dr Shashank never broke ties. Such a shame Dr Shashank never understood this. He was ALWAYS finding faults in Armaan. Riddhima forgave her father under Armaans words, but she always knew that her father was not happy with their relationship. He wanted to make them as miserable as possible. She put up an act in front of Armaan that she had forgiven him, but deep down anger embittered her towards her father for nearly breaking her away from the one the loved most. Armaan on the other hand was, is and still will do anything to attain peace and blessing from his father in law. He refused to call him Dad until Dr Shashank genuinely accepted their relationship. He knew Dr Shashank was not a bad person, he just wanted what was best for his daughter; Armaan certainly did not fall under this category in his opinion.

Riddhima looked at Armaan making him gaze into her deep brown eyes.

Riddhima : 'Armaan bus teen din. Turn that frown upside down. Why are you so sad?'

They hated staying apart from one another. And that too for three days. Nevertheless she plastered a fake smile and tousled his hair as if she was pacifying a little child. She knew she couldn't break down, because that would only dishearten Armaan and that was the last thing she wanted.

Armaan (looked up at her and said):' I suppose, but still Aahana is so small. You will be on your own moreover it is Padma Mums  third year death anniversary in two days.'

Everything was happening at such a wrong time. Dr Shashank was known as a man never to mix his personal and work life. But he was forever taunting Armaan whenever he got the chance at work. Armaan never told Riddhima, but hello this is Dr Riddhima Armaan Basket Mallik. She had her spies Atul and Muskaan situated in base Sanjeevani. They gave her regular updates. Armaan was oblivious to all this. Armaan never took Dr Shashanks words to heart, he was his senior alongside his father-in-law after all. But Riddhima sensed foreboding . Why did he choose Armaan out of all people, I mean Rahul was also working on the Singapore Sanjeevani project. She let these thoughts pass. Maybe for once Dad has realised Armaans capability, she thought to herself.

Riddhima: 'Armaan lets just forget all this now, lets have dinner. You must be hungry'

Armaan still wasn't okay on the idea of leaving Riddhima and Aahana and that too at the time of Padmas death anniversary. Riddhima would need him the most, but work was work. He silently followed Riddhima into the kitchen and helped set the table. Riddhima kept trying to make conversation with Armaan, but he was not having it. He just replied in low toned monosyllables. The occasional 'hmm' 'yes' or 'no'. She remained unsuccessful. Riddhima sensed Armaan was in no mood. She hated it when aspects related to work were brought into the house. However. she did her level best to divert Armaans mind, but alas no response.

Armaan wasn't his usual self. After dinner they resumed to the garden as they usually did after dinner, It was a cool summers night. Not a cloud in the sky. Silver orbs for stars lit up the sky. Monsoon season was about to start in approximately two days. Both Armaan and Riddhima proceeded to their cherished spot in the garden, which was sitting under the old oak tree. When they had first moved into the house after their marriage Armaan and Riddhima had carved their initials with their house keys like two young school children having fallen in love for the first time. Normally they would lay under the stars gazing at them and talk about anything and everything. However today Armaan lay his head on Riddhimas lap and wrapped his arms protectively around her waist. Riddhima knew Armaan was feeling a insecure. She gently drew infinity signs circling backwards and forwards with the tips of her fingers on his forehead, gently putting him to sleep. She felt his embrace loosen slightly as he fell asleep. She sighed gently as she looked at her sweetie sleeping innocently in her lap.

Flash Back End

Hannah Sophia

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