Monday, 13 April 2020

AR os : Miracles Happen

Part (c) :Forever won't be Long Enough

"You know na,Anjie...I have always loved Riddhima..She's always been the one.."

I didn't know how to react.His words seemed to fill my senses and it echoed through me,sending shivers down my spine.He loves me..He loves me..I could chant it a hundred times if I wanted to.Blood rushed up to my cheeks,my hands started shivering as I struggled to hold on to the door.My mind processed his words,my heart thumped loud in my chest.I wanted to run and hide somewhere,cry and laugh together,hold him tight..but at that moment,I had to listen. My Di's voice answered.

"I know..",she sighs,"I wish...you'd stopped her,Armaan."
"I should have..",his voice came as a muffled reply,"But then when she said that the biggest mistake of her life was to love me..that she hated me because although she didn't want it..she fell in love with me..I..I had no hope left,Anjie.Her outburst at me,the pain in her eyes..everything stunned me in that moment.I felt I was..dying..",his voice broke,"She didn't even look back once..."


My senses were slipping away.His words hit me like a hard blow,and I realised what I had lost.Questions buzzed in my mind..When did he start loving me?Why had he told me that he loved Di,then?Di knew?They were getting married to each other,knowing the fact that he loved me..If that is true?Did Di love him?I stayed stuck to the wall,hearing more.

"Maybe she was scared,Armaan..that you'd break her heart again.I knew that she loved you,you had almost guessed it..We only wanted her to confess..But the way that happened..",I heard her patting his shoulder,"I don't think any of us expected it..",Di answered.
"She h..hates me..",he whispered back.
"No she doesn't..she's being stubborn,as usual.You know how she behaves when she is trying to hide something?Believe me or not..She still has feelings for you.Oh Come on,Armaan..Did you talk to her?"
"Not once.Twice.She wasn't ready to listen..She thought I was noticing her when she looks like a GIRL. Hell,Anjie..she doesn't even realise that even in her most tomboyish attires,I found my girl there..I found the most beautiful person there,and I didn't hesitate,I knew I was in love with her.She couldn't read my eyes..she doesn't want to...She doesn't trust me,Anjie.."
"She will.You have to keep trying..What happened three years back was a blow to all of us,especially her.I know how much you tried to call her,but she'd never pick up.I know she'd never reply to your messages...I know how upon bringing in your name in our conversations,she'd change the topic..Because it hurt her,affected her.All the walls that she had been building around her broke down upon your mere name,Armaan...Its because she loves you,more than she realises..She is scared,scared of breaking herself all over again.."
"So scared,that she wouldn't even talk to me once?",his voice rose and broke,"I was her best friend,Anjie..we were brought up together.There wouldn't be a day without her in my life,and then there were 3 years between us,now..Just because she is Scared?"

I found myself sobbing.Silent warm tears spilled down my cheek as I realised that whatever Di was saying was true.My sister had proven she knew me best.And Armaan...he was bringing all of it out now.After 3 long years of wait..finally I hear everything I wanted to..his love for me..that he loved me even in my tomboyish state,that he missed me,that it hurt him to stay away from me.I closed my eyes,questioning destiny,when finally I was finding my love back..Why was it separating it away from me?He was getting married to Di..I was losing him..

Di sighed,"Tell me what she told you."
"She thinks that I'm getting married to you.And that I'm breaking your heart...that I am playing with both of your feelings..and..that we were best friends,she doesn't know me anymore..and that she has a boyfriend.."
"Wait.Wait wait.What?Boyfriend?"
"Yeah.Her boss,Rohit.When I was talking to her,her phone rang,it was him calling.When I asked her if it was someone important,she replied it was..her boss,and her boyfriend.I knew one thing,Anjie..the way she was speaking about him..she didn't love him.So when she went to the washroom,I sneaked into her room and stole that guy's number from her mobile and called him.Threatened him to leave her,I'm serious,Anjie..if he doesn't,I'm gonna..KILL him.",his voice was angry. I could almost guess his eyes now,red in anger,his jaw probably clenched.
"She was lying.",it wasn't a question or a thought...it was a statement that Di said. I could imagine him twisting his head round to look at her now.
"How are you so sure?"
"I know.Oh Come on,Rohit Khanna,the CEO of Global Tech,is married to Varsha Shah,i.e.,now known as Mrs.Varsha Khanna.Their interview came out on a magazine a few days back.Rohit looked seriously decent types,you know..one woman man wala?And Do you seriously think Ridzi is so stupid,she'll date a MARRIED guy?"
"Why would she lie to me?",his voice was enveloped with suspicion.
"Its simple.",Di was probably shrugging now,"she didn't want you to talk to her more.She was closing the topic."
"And she thinks I am getting married to you."
"I'll talk to her.",she replied in a crisp,firm tone,"But you have to go now,Armaan.If Atul comes to know..",she chuckled softly.
"Ya..I'm going."

As soon as I heard him getting up and the sound of advancing footsteps,I literally ran to my room,my face a mess with tears,my head buzzing with their conversation echoeing in my ears,my heart thumping with his name.I locked the door behind me,and hid my face in my pillow,as I tried to make sense of everything that Armaan had said. 'she doesn't even realise that even in her most tomboyish attires,I found my girl there..I found the most beautiful person there,and I didn't hesitate,I knew I was in love with her.' His girl..I was his best friend,his life..and he still loves me..he loved me when I was going..'Her outburst at me,the pain in her eyes..everything stunned me in that moment.I felt I was..dying..' 'She didn't even look back once..' I had hurt him when I was going.His shout to me was a shout from his heart,a shout from his soul..to stop me..I had killed both of us. 'I have always loved Riddhima..She's always been the one..' I wish he'd understood after what Di said,I still loved him.

All I wanted at that moment was his arms around me,his dimples adorned in his cheeks,his voice whispering in my ear.I need him,so much..and now that I know that he loves me..My heart accepts thats its true..What I saw in his eyes was Love,For me..that love was for me,always..then why were Di and he dating?I still hadn't found my answers. My head pained,my sore eyes were giving me away..I felt tired.

I drowned into sleep and after three years,I dreamt of him again.

***
The strong light rays reflected on my face and I sat up,remembering the last day's events.It was Di's engagement today..Not only Di's..But also his..I wondered to myself how I'd ever go through seeing this infront of my own eyes,now my despair added to the fact that I knew he loves me back.I held my head,sitting in silence for a few minutes.There was rush outside,the voices could be heard. Dad and Mom shouting to the workers,Di's morning mood swings,Mom's soothing her up,things set up and footsteps and people talking.

"Ridz?",I looked up to see Di standing in her pajamas and a loose sweatshirt,at my door.I smiled lazily.
"Hey Di...Good Morning."
"Yes!",she plopped down on the bed,"Its MY Morning!Haina?",she said,looking at me.I laughed and nodded.
She sat up now,composing herself,"I need to talk to you,Ridzi."

I was dreading this moment.I knew this was coming,after I overheard Di and Armaan talking.What would she talk to me about?Wasn't she getting married to Armaan...Engaged to him today?What would be left then?I sat silent,my head hung down.She sighed and started.

"Ridzi..I know you overheard me and Armaan talking yesterday."
My head shot up to look at her.I was stunned and shocked.How did Di know that I'd eavsdropped on their conversation?Can she read my mind..OhGod,that too?
"But..how..when..wh.."
"Ridzi you're my sister.Firstly I understood when I heard soft murmurs of sobbing.Its your childhood habit,to cry in the softest possible tones.And Armaan was speaking in whispers,so I could guess it was you..and Secondly,when I came here,you didn't question me even once as to what I wanted to talk about.That meant you KNEW I would be coming.Anyways,Ridzi..",she put a hand on mine,"I think you deserve to know the truth."
"Why now,Di?",my voice broke.

Di shifted closer to me and moved a strand of her hair backwards,"Firstly,listen.Don't speak up,Okay?I am NOT getting married to Armaan.I DON'T Love ARMAAN. I am getting married to Atul,and Armaan...well,he is not getting married.Not yet.This is a long story..It started when Armaan and I were dating..Well,pretending to be dating,to be exact."
I looked at her,unsure of how to react.My insides were half-happy,half-confused,"See,Ridzi..You were right.I still loved Atul,but he was ignoring me..I didn't know why.It hurt me,believe me..A Hell Lot.And Your stupid best friend was Hopelessly in Love with you.Not from then..from a long time back.So we planned something up,I would make Atul jealous by dating Armaan..and you confess your love to Armaan,or atleast realize it,because he was damn scared to lose your friendship if he did.We thought everything would turn out right,but when you agreed to bring us together,which wasn't what we expected..then decided to go to Bangalore,he thought it still wasn't working.Somewhere deep down I realised you loved Armaan,but didn't have the guts to confess 'coz you thought I was in love with him..So I kept quiet with both of you,and waited for you to atleast tell him the truth.But the confession came out as such a blow to us,neither he,nor I...nor anyone else,knew what to do."

I closed my eyes,digesting the facts.That dating thing was a pretence..They never loved each other..He loved me,ME..right from the beginning.He didn't want to lose me..I meant so much to him..He is not marrying Di,he still loves me..My Armaan..How could I not have read his eyes..And I was so mean to him.I didn't take his calls,I didn't reply to his messages,I told him that it was the worst mistake of my life to love him,when it wasn't..OhGod,I feel I can die any moment.I'm sorry,Armaan..A tear slipped down from my cheek.

"Ridzi..",she said,wiping my tear and holding me close,"Its okay.."
"Di,when did Armaan start loving me..I mean,when did you..know..",I managed to speak out.
She smiled in rememberance,"A long time back.Remember before your senior prom,how Armaan didn't let any guy become your date,because he wanted himself to be the one..?"
I shook my head,"Di..Noone asked me out.Only Vishal did,except Armaan..I mean,but I thought he was just doing it as a friend.."
"Yeah,because Vishal was the ONLY one who didn't listen to Armaan when he said that you were 'booked already'..then when you put him down,Armaan was thrilled."
I gasped when she said that,"Armaan said that to EVERYONE who wanted to ask me out?"
Di nodded,"Yes..he told me,that he wasn't understanding the sudden protectiveness in him,but on the day of the senior prom,when he saw you and you danced with him,he knew he was in love.With you."
"But..But,I looked horrible! I had worn that sari..Urgh,with so much difficulties..",I said,frowning.
"You looked stunning,according to him..He said that he found a beautiful heart to love..Ridzi,he seriously loves you.From then.And Now and will forever..You can't lose him like this.."

"Is he angry?",I asked,on the verge of crying out.
"Um..No,Hurt,mostly.He said he didn't want to talk to you after what you said..that you didn't believe him."
"He hates me..",I whispered,softly.My head hung low again.
"Hey..",Di said,putting my face up,"No ways.He loves you..and your words hurt him.And now YOU have to do what you should have done earlier..Get him back."
I looked at her skeptically,asking her how to do it.She smiled,"You can.I told you already..Armaan is damn lucky to have you.."
"Thats what you meant..?" She nodded.

The door creaked open and we looked up,to see our mother standing,"You two girls..Having sisterly time,eh?Without me?"
"Ma!",Di said,laughing,as I moved my head to wipe the tear.
"What 'Ma' !! Anjali its your wedding..You need to get the haldi done! Chalo jaldi..And Riddhima,its your sister's wedding! You have loads of work to do,Come on,freshen up! We have LOTS to do,Girls!"
We both nodded and Di gave a long look to me. I knew what it implied.I nodded,with a smile.And then..I was alone.

I thought of him,again...Di's words replaying itself, 'but on the day of the senior prom,when he saw you and you danced with him,he knew he was in love.With you.' 'He said that he found a beautiful heart to love' My Armaan.He was definetely mine,and I had to make sure of that.

***

Di smiled at me from her place.It was the evening.The engagement time,and Atul would arrive any minute.Armaan was here right from the morning,helping out with everything,but constantly ignoring me.Whenever we would collide,he would give me a hard glare and leave.Whenever our eyes locked,he tore his gaze away..whenever I tried to talk to him,he would stalk off.He was definetely hurt.It wasn't working.

I scanned the place,searching for him.He wasn't anywhere.I sighed,sitting down on a chair,my eyes never leaving any place unseen.Seeing her friends tease Di,a sudden memory flashed infront of my eyes.

"Crush?"
"Um..no?"
"Love?"
"NO!"
"Okay Okay...Infactuation,Attraction?"
"DAMN IT RI !! NO WAYS!",he protested,holding his hands up,"Whats it with you?Can't you just accept that I am BORED of dating..and I DON'T want to have a girlfriend..?"
I grinned,teasing him further,"I don't accept that.Someone really special,eh?"
He glared at me and kicked the football into the goal,"Will You stop it,now?"
"Fine..I will.But you have to tell me why."
"I told you!I'm BORED!"
"No,you're not."
"Okay.",he said,giving up,"I didn't find her..A girl,you know,whom I can love.."
"Hm..Interesting.Quite interesting.So tell me,how would propose your GIRL,when you find her,that is?"

He smiled in a unknown pleasure.Turning towards me fully now,he said,"Thats simple.Quite simple."
I watched,trying my best not to let my jaw drop when he sat on his knees,"I'd sit like this,and tell her,'I know I love you and that I'd love you forever.I promise,on my life that noone,nothing in this world can lessen my love for you,only can increase it..I promise to be with you,and love you..After Forever too,'coz forever won't be long enough to have you with me.Will you be mine?' "
A rush of blood in my cheeks,and a tinge of tears,I said,"That was perfect,Armaan."

I smiled,wondering if whatever he'd said was for me.As I switched back to present,I looked around again.Around me,people were getting more excited than ever,Atul had arrived.He was no where to be seen.But suddenly I realised that I knew where he'd exactly be at the moment.

***

"I knew I'd find you here.",I said,and he didn't turn.Still stared out at the garden where the dancing and stuff were happening before the exchange of rings.The terrace where we both were standing was lit up by a few lights,but could hardly be noticed by anyone.We were alone.

"What are you doing here?",he said after a long pause.His voice was tight,and clipped.Harsh.
"I came to talk to you."
He still didn't turn,"What about,Riddhima?Aren't we just done with this?You think that the worst mistake of your life was to love me..You don't trust my feelings,you think that I am playing with your emotions..Whats left?"
"Armaan..Please..I'm Sorry.I'm sorry that I was so mean to you.I know that I'm the Stupidest girl alive and maybe the most coward one too,but there's something I want you to do for me.Please?"

He crossed his hands now,and I advanced towards him,standing beside him.He didn't look at me.His jaw was clenched,his eyes looked forward,pretending asif I wasn't there.It hurt me,but I knew this was probably the last chance I was getting.I moved my hair to the back of my ear and continued,"Only you can do this..I can't..I mean,I don't want anyone else to do this for me.Because I know,You are the one made to do this."
He closed his eyes,"What do I have to do now?Go and jump into a well..?"
"No,its actually quite simple.",I paused.

He waited and I caught my breath,feeling my heartbeats rise,"Marry me?"
His eyes shot open.I knew he hadn't expected this.His head whipped to look at me,"What?What did you just say?"
"Marry me,Armaan?",I repeated,feeling my voice shaking a little.
His eyes looked stunned now,he walked back to the end of the terrace into the darkness and asked,"How..how do I know that you're sure?How do I know that you won't be like that,running away from me afterwards?How do I know that you'll be here and not go back to Bangalore,forgetting me behind?"

I smiled to myself.I knew this was coming.I picked my phone and called someone,talking loud enough for him to hear me,"Hey Rohit?Yeah,its me..I called to say that I'm taking the offer.Of shifting here to the Mumbai branch.Permanently,as fast as it can happen.Yeah,I'm sure...",I paused to hear him reply,"Why?Well..Because,I can't live without a particular someone whom I love like anything in this world,and I'm in the way of making sure that he is with me,always..even forever won't be long enough for him.Yes,Rohit..Thank You.Yes,I love him,a lot.More than I'd ever let him know that I do."

He froze on his spot,listening carefully.When I cut the call,he turned and I bet he was trying very hard to not to faint out of shockwhen he saw me with my heavy lehenga,on my knees.His jaw dropped and before he could say anything,"Armaan Mallik..",I said,my heart thumping loud but my voice holding sureness,"I know I love you and that I'd love you forever.I promise,on my life that noone,nothing in this world can lessen my love for you,only can increase it..I promise to be with you,and love you..After Forever too,'coz forever won't be long enough to have you with me.Will you be mine?",I said it all in one breath.

I could see him blinking back tears.Shit,my lehenga's work was hurting me now..Come on Armaan,answer already.I felt so damn nervous.Would his answer be no?My mind spinned at the anticipation.He advanced towards me and his lips curved into a smile.Slowly,he put his hands on my shoulders and pulled me up,so fast that I was about to fall,but he caught me.I was surprised at the sudden action,unsure of what it meant.I was starting to react when-

His lips were on mine.I was caught off-guard,but a while later,I found my hands snaking around his shoulders,pulling him to me,while he tightened his grip on my waist.We kissed for a long time,not wanting to leave each other.I kissed him back,with all the love I had in my heart,with the passion and desire kept stifled for more than 3 long years.He loves me,my heart told me.

When he finally parted,there were fireworks.Not in me,but in the sky.We'd missed the engagement.Di would kill me if she came to know.But at the moment,I couldn't care less.He touched his forehead with mine,replying within intakes of breath,"Its a yes,you stupid girl..It always was.How could you not read my eyes?"
I laughed at his answer,"Maybe I needed you to tell me."
"Riddhima..I..",he looked at me and finally said,"I Love You.I Love You so much..Forever won't be long enough to have you with me.I can't believe this happened,but I am seriously glad.I Love You..Ri,And you are Mine."
I sank into him,hugging him tight,"I Love You too,Armaan..I know I am crazzy,but I am glad that this happened NOW.Not earlier."
He looked at me,"Huh?Why?"
"Well,because..Then,you know,The gupta sisters..get married..together?"
He grinned and kissed my forehead,before advancing towards my lips once more.I realised as I held him to me..He was always mine.I was too blind to see it,and well..It was true.Miracles Happen.

***
 Love ya!
-Maitree

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