Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Part 20 & 21 : Armaan aur Riddhima ka safar

part 20

The whole month passed with the gang busy in their revision; they usually did group revision sessions where they would all go to the library, sit in their corner, covering the tables with papers, books and notes. Occasionally they would get the odd whisper to keep their voices down as they read out loud trying to shout over each other.

Armaan and Riddhima sat next to each other studying a maths paper together; every now and then Armaan would purposely put his hand on the book so that he could touch Riddhima's hand; and she would blush and slap his hand away. Suddenly they were all disturbed by an outburst by Nikita.

Niki: Aaarrrgghh! I can't do this…

They all looked up from their books to her with curious looks.

Ridz: What's wrong?


Niki: This stupid database crap!...I just don't understand how to get a primary key and put the data into descending order…I mean…why do we need to put data into descending order...why can't we just leave it in the order its in...its so stupid and pointless… - annoyed she threw the book down

They all start laughing when she had finished rambling on.

Rahul: Niki…tum bhi na…

Abhi: Yeah why did you take the subject if you can't handle it...its so simple…all you need to do is highlight the data and click the descending arrow…dumbo!

Niki: Oi Modhi...I wasn't talking to you…so shut up!

Abhi: I can't believe you didn't know that…why don't you just quit...it's better than failing…

Niki: - threw a book at him – …SHUT UP!!! - loudly

Abhi: – ducking – …Shut don't go up…prices do!

Muskaan: Guys! Stop it…NOW…Abhi that's enough!

At the same time Rahul's phone beeped; he had received a message as well as an annoyed looked from the librarian. He read the message and started laughing then he looked around the table at everyone's faces which wore eager looks.

Rahul: Sunn…

Bade: Arre chote…kya soch raha hain?

Chote: Film ka naam soch raha hoon…

Bade: Film ka naam?

Chote: Haan…agar Monish Behl ki beti aur Om Puri ka beta ek film kar rahen hain…toh film ka naam kya hoga…

Bade: Mujhe kya maloom?

Chote: Aasan hain…

Bade: Tu bol…

Chote: Behl Puri…

They all started laughing out loud until the librarian came over and told them to be quiet or leave.

Armaan: Lol…that was a good one…haha…

Muskaan: – whispering – …Behl Puri…haha…

Niki: Chal guys…let's go…I've had enough…

Rahul: Yeah this is doing my head in…

Ridz: But…exams are in three days… - worried

Armaan: – shutting the books in front of him – …Yeah and I think we've done enough revision all month…especially you…so we'll be fine…

Ridz: Armaan we still have another paper to do…

Armaan: Later…let's go guys…

They all stood up; putting books away and grabbing their bags and coats.

Abhi: Hey smarty…why are you worrying…you're so clever…you know everything… - to Riddhima

Muskaan: He's right Ridz…don't worry…we can revise again tomorrow… - smiling at her

Ridz: Okay fine…- looking around for her coat

Niki: Yeah…my brain needs a rest…

Abhi: What brain?

Muskaan: Oh…please don't start again… – walking out with Rahul

Niki: It's him… – not wanting to be left with Abhi she caught up with Rahul and Muskaan on their way out

Abhi stayed back with Armaan and Riddhima who was being all lovey dovey with each other; Armaan helped Riddhima to put her coat on and then they walked out of the library hand in hand.

They had walked for a while, dropping some of the others home on their way until there was only Armaan, Riddhima and Rahul left. They chatted and chattered in the cold night as they walked through the main road.

Rahul: I can't wait for these exams to be over…

Armaan: Me too…I've been having nightmares…

Rahul/Ridz: What? – laughing

Armaan: I'm serious…they're really scary...I'm sitting in the exam hall, my table is full of papers, I have one pen and the ink has just ran out and the invigilator is walking towards me with a scary look…I swear man…it's crazy!

Rahul: Don't worry…I can believe that…I've had similar nightmares before…

Ridz: You guys are mad! – laughing

Armaan/Rahul: It's TRUE!

Ridz: Okay…Okay…I believe you…I'm lucky I don't have those kinds of nightmares…I would freak out!

Armaan: I know you would… – smirking

Rahul: Okay guys…I'm off…I'll see you tomorrow…

Armaan: Later!

Ridz: Bye!

Rahul turned the corner and walked home while Armaan and Riddhima carried on walking. Armaan walked Riddhima to her house flirting and joking all the way until they reached the estate but Riddhima made no effort to leave Armaan so quickly. They stood near the entrance talking to each other. After a while…

Ridz: Okay…I'm gonna go now…

Armaan: – held her hand – …Wait a bit…

Ridz: Armaan…I'm getting late… - making a face

Armaan: Thodi dheer ruko na... - bringing her closer to him

Ridz: Armaan... – moving away – …please... – sweetly

Armaan: Fine… – annoyed

Ridz: Give me a call when you get home...

Armaan: Kyon? - confused

Ridz: So that I know you've reached safely...

Armaan: Aww...you're soo sweet...I wish I could take you home with me right now... - moving closer

Ridz: - moving him back – …Chal bye…

Armaan: Not so fast...where's my goodnight kiss? – cheekily

Ridz: Armaan! No...someone will see us... – looking around

Armaan: So what? – quickly kisses her on the cheek

She looked at him in shock then ran away blushing madly.

Armaan: Hayee! So cute... – leaning back on the wall watching her as she disappeared in to the house



Finally it was the 12th of February; the gangs last exam. Riddhima woke up bright an early that morning; she sat up in bed and shivered. It was a cold morning plus her nerves had kicked in; she got up, had a shower and was getting dressed when her teeth began to chatter.

Ridz: Oh no... – closing her eyes – …please God make this exam go well...

She got dressed quickly and walked down the stairs slowly trying to memorise her notes. When she got into the kitchen Shashank and Padma were already having their breakfast. So engrossed in memorising her notes she forgot to say good morning to her parents as she sat down at the table and sipped her tea.

Shashank: Arre...yeh kya…no hi, hello...good morning? – amusingly

Ridz: Oh...huh…I mean...good morning mama…papa...

Padma: Kya huwa Riddhima…aaj itni chup chap kyon hain?

Ridz: Mama...its...my last exam today...I'm just a little nervous… – slowly

Shashank: Oh...toh yeh baat hain... – looking up at her – …Riddhima tum bilkul fikar maat kar...all you need to do when you get there is close your eyes, take a deep breath, pray for courage and begin...then you'll pass with flying colours...

Ridz: Thanks papa... – smiling for the first time that morning

At the same time the doorbell rang. Padma got up to open the door.

Ridz: Armaan hoga... – she gulped down her tea then got up grabbing her bag – …main chalti hoon...

Shashank: Bye beta...don't lose hope...just concentrate...all the best… – while hugging her

Ridz: Thanks...bye papa... – leaving the kitchen

Padma walked in with Armaan at the same time.

Padma: Arre...yeh kya…breakfast toh karke jao...

Ridz: It's okay mama...we'll be late...

Armaan: It's okay Ridz we can wait a bit...

Ridz: Nahi Armaan...I don't want to be late...

Armaan: Theek hain...let's go...bye uncle, bye aunty...

Ridz: Bye mama...bye papa… – putting her coat on

Both: Good luck...bye…

They left the house and got into the car; Riddhima had become quiet once again.

Armaan: Good morning Armaan...how are you today...oh I'm fine...thanks for asking...and how are you this morning? – looking ahead and talking to himself

Ridz: - who was really nervous looked at him and whispered – I'm sorry...

Armaan: Nervous?

Riddhima shook her head.

Armaan: It's okay...a little nervousness is allowed… – smiling

Ridz: Armaan...I'm really scared...I didn't revise well for this exam...I was too busy with the others that I didn't get any time to revise for this one...

Armaan: Don't worry...you did some revision...that should be okay...and really...this is only a mock exam...it's not the real thing...

Ridz: That's true... – slowly

Armaan: So don't worry...you'll be fine...

Ridz: Hope so...

They arrived at school a few minutes later and met up with the others; the girls shared their nervousness while the boys were laid back about the whole thing. At nine they went in for their exam, all wishing each other luck.

After two hours they walked out of the examination room. They all cheered and sighed but Riddhima; she was the last to walk out of the room; she took her time, still in deep thought about the questions. The rest of the gang was almost half way down the corridor when Armaan and Muskaan both noticed that Riddhima was missing; they stopped and turned around.

Muskaan: Ridz? What's wrong?

Ridz: - looking up she noticed that she was behind – …Kuch nahi...

She caught up with them and they made their way to the common room; they huddled around the comfy chairs and chatted generally.

Rahul: I'm so glad that's over...

Muskaan: Me too...

Ridz: But how did you think you did on the last test?

Muskaan: Crap...I completely flopped that one!

Ridz: Really?

Abhi: Yeah same...I was so not ready for that one...

Armaan: I was not ready for any of them… – laughed

Everyone laughed and agreed.

Ridz: But guys...we did so much revision...so our exams must've been good...

Niki: Please guys...exams are over...no more conversations about exams...I don't want to hear the words exam and revision for the next six months…

Abhi: Just because you know you flopped!

Muskaan: Guy's please...not now...

Nikita went quiet and turned away but it went unnoticed by the gang as the conversations started up again.

Armaan: Well...this counts for a party...

Rahul: Yeah you're right...

Muskaan: We can think about party later...for the moment let's get out of here...we don't have any more lessons so it's pointless hanging around here...

Rahul: Okay...let's go...

They decided to go to the mall to chill for the rest of the day; Nikita had made an excuse and went home...
................................
part 21

Two days later Riddhima woke up with a bright smile on her face; she jumped out of bed and ran into the washroom to have a quick shower; she came out a while later and got dressed extra special today. She did her make up and put on her usual jewellery before making her way down stairs and just as she walked into the kitchen...

All: Happy Birthday!!!

Shashank and Padma were standing the nearest to her while Anjali, Atul and Armaan stood by the breakfast table. Riddhima stood rooted to the spot, shocked at this pleasant surprise; her closest loved people were standing right in front of her and the breakfast table was filled with flowers instead of the normal breakfast; she stood there still very shock.

Ridz: Yeh sab? – slowly almost chocking on her words

Padma: Tere liye... – walking towards her – …Happy Birthday beta... – hugging her

Everyone took turns to hug and wish her but Armaan; who stood back and waited patiently to spend the entire day with her. She thanked each person with a hug and by the time she got around to Shashank she had become a little emotional; while hugging him tears welled up in her eyes and she held onto him, he understood her situation and allowed her some time to control herself. When she had finally moved back a little he looked down at her and smiled.

Ridz: I'm sorry... – wiping her tears away

Shashank: Arre...sorry kis liye…it's okay...hota hain...ab kush ho ja...it's your birthday after all...

Ridz: Yes papa... – wiping her cheeks and smiling

Anji: C'mon now...cheer up lil sis... – handing her a bouquet of flowers – …this is for you...from us…

Ridz: - takes the flowers – …Thanks dii... – hugs her

Anji/Atul: Happy Birthday…

Ridz Thanks Jiju...

Padma and Anjali moved all the flowers into the living room and set the table with breakfast. They ate together and after some time Shashank and Atul left for the office and Armaan and Riddhima left for school. The car journey was quiet except for the sweet love songs playing on the radio; one after the next, "Zara Si", "Bolna Halke Halke" etc. At the moment the song that was playing was, "Teri Ore", Riddhima smiled and looked out of the window, Armaan noticed this and smiled.

Armaan: So cute...

Ridz: Kuch kaha? – turning to face him

Armaan: Yeah…

Ridz: Kya?

Armaan: You're soo cute...

Riddhima blushed.

Armaan: I love you...

Ridz: I love you too...

Armaan reached over and held her hand; he brought it up to his lips and kissed it gently. After some time they arrived at school; they got out of the car and walked hand in hand in to the building and all the way to the classroom where they met Rahul and Nikita.

Niki: Hey Ridzi... – hugging her – …Happy Birthday!

Ridz: Thanks Niki! – all smiles

Rahul gave Riddhima a side hug and Armaan glared at him and he instantly released her.

Rahul: Happy Birthday Ridz...

Ridz: Thanks Rahul...

As soon as Rahul let go of her Armaan moved to stand between the two of them; today she looked extremely beautiful that he felt insecure

Armaan: So where are the others? Muskaan? Abhi?

Rahul: Muskaan is on her way...

Niki: And as usual Mr. Abhimanu Modhi is late...

Abhi: You might want to rephrase that... – walking towards them

Niki: Talk of the devil and there he is...

Abhi: Oh were you talking about yourself as usual...? – smirking as he leaned against the table

Niki: Shut up...

Rahul: Guys please...not first thing in the morning...

Ridz: Yeah...please don't fight today...

Armaan: Yep...because today is the day for love... – moving his arm around Riddhima's side

Abhi: What?? – confused

Niki: It's Valentine's Day...Armaan don't you know by now that you need to spell everything out for him...he never gets it the first time...

Abhi: Valentine's Day already... – ignoring her – …damn if I knew I would've made an effort today... – looking at himself

Niki: There's no point...it's not like anyone wants to be your valentine...

Abhi: And you think all the guys are crazy for you??

Armaan: Will you two stop it now!

At the same time their tutor walked into the room.

Teach: Good morning everyone...

Class: Good morning sir...

He took the register and was about to leave the room when Muskaan barged into the class carrying a medium sized gift bag.

Muskaan: Sorry I'm late...

Teach: Very late Muskaan...register has been taken...

Muskaan: Sorry sir I overslept...it won't happen again...

Teach: Make sure it doesn't...right get to class everyone...

Muskaan made a face behind him which made some of the class laugh as they left the room. Then she rushed towards Riddhima and gave her a big hug.

Muskaan: Happy Birthday babes!!!

Ridz: Thanks Muskaan…

Abhi: Oh flip...I forgot…I'm so sorry... – moving towards Riddhima

He gave her a big hug which lasted at least thirty seconds until Armaan had to move them apart.

Abhi: What? – looking at Armaan – …it's just a hug...kitna jalta hai tu!

Armaan: Shut up!

Abhi: - smiled – …Happy Birthday Ridz... sorry I forgot...

Ridz: It's okay...no problem…

Muskaan: - to Abhi – …If you're finished… – annoyed, he gestured her to carry on, she looked back to Riddhima and smiled – ...here...this is for you… – handing her the bag

Ridz: Aww...thanks Muski… – giving her a hug

Muskaan: Open it...

Armaan: Later...I think there's a class waiting to come in...we should go...

They all looked towards the door, a group of year sevens waited patiently for them to leave the class; they collected their stuff and left the classroom silently. They made their way towards the library as they had a free lesson for the morning; they walked into the library silently, afraid of being chucked out straight away. They settled around their usual table in couples; Nikita and Abhi argued silently while the other two couples spoke of nothing but love.

Muskaan: Happy Valentine's Day jaan... – holding onto Rahul's hand

Rahul: Ab yaad aya? – sulking – …I should've been first… – letting go of her hand (secretly teasing her)

Muskaan: I'm sorry... – holding her ears sweetly – …actually Ridzi ke birthday mere liye bohot special hain...that's why she had to be first...and from now till the end of the day it's just me...and you... – holding his hand sweetly again

Rahul: Paka?

Muskaan: Definitely...

Rahul: I love you... – into her ear making her blush

Muskaan: I love me too... – winking at him

On the other side of Abhi and Nikita sat the other love birds.

Ridz: So where's my present? – leaning against Armaan's arm

Armaan: Present...why do you want a present when you have me…am I not enough… – winking at her

Ridz: Armaan! – punching his arm playfully

Before he could reply someone stuck a bright red envelope in front of his face which made everyone looked up instantly to see Armaan's fan club standing there blushing madly. Abhi laughed out loud and Nikita stamped down on his foot to shut him up.

Armaan: Can I help you?

The little girl who was holding the card gulped, her cheeks flushed dark red and she started to speak.

Girl: Umm...this is...this is for you...

One of the other girls from behind called out "Happy Valentine's Day" and snuck behind her friend shyly.

Ridz/Muskaan/Nikita: Aww...that's so sweet...

Armaan turned to Riddhima with a confused look while Rahul and Abhi tried to hold down their laughter; but Rahul failed and let out a strong laugh.

Armaan: I'm sorry...I can't accept this...I already have a girlfriend… – holding Riddhima's hand

The girls looked shocked, even Riddhima, Muskaan and Nikita were in shock. One of the girls from behind spoke up making them all turn to her.

Girl: I told you guys...but no...all you guys were like Armaan this and Armaan that... – she walked away angrily

Ridz: Armaan...! – looking at him in disbelief

Armaan: What? – confused

The girls turned and walked away sadly.

Ridz: Armaan...tum bhi na... – she shook him off and ran towards the girls before they left

They all watched as Riddhima stopped them, the girl who was holding the card was crying. Riddhima told her to sit down, she sat and Riddhima crouched down beside her. They all watched as she explained something to the girls, after five minutes she handed the girl a tissue and they were all smiling. Riddhima and the girl stood up, she took the envelope from her, the girls left the library smiling and Riddhima walked back to the table. As soon as she reached she smacked Armaan hard on the arm.

Armaan: Ouch! What was that for? – rubbing his arm

Ridz: Mr. Akru Malik… – sitting down and smacking his arm again – …you're soo mean…I can't believe you just did that...

Armaan: What?? – confused - What did I do?

Muskaan: You really hurt that little girl's feelings…

Armaan: But...

Ridz: Armaan...she was really hurt!

Armaan: Kya yaar...I didn't accept it because I thought you'd be upset...

Niki: Why would she be upset if you accept a card from a little girl…I mean...it's not like you're going to date her...or having an affair with her…

Ridz: Exactly...

Abhi: It's so difficult pleasing you girls...

Armaan: Tell me about it... – rubbing his arm

Ridz: Here...- handing him the envelope – …open it...

Armaan: But Riddhima...

Ridz: But Riddhima nothing...open it!

Muskaan and Nikita laughed while the boys waited; Armaan took it from her and opened it. They all watched eagerly as he took the card out, it was white and the front was filled with red hearts, big and small. The front read "Happy Valentine's Day". Armaan opened it slowly; inside there was a cute picture of a Me-To-You bear holding a bunch of flowers. The message in the card read: "My heart beats for you!"

Rahul: Go on then...read it out... – to Armaan

Armaan: C'mon dude it's not necessary…

Abhi/Muskaan: Go on Armaan...

Armaan: Fine… – angrily – …it says "my heart beats for you"… – fast – …and it has a poem…"the smallest word is I, the sweetest word is Love and the cutest guy is You"...happy? – staring at everyone

At once Abhi and Rahul started to laugh and the girls started talking.

Niki: That is soo cute!

Muskaan: Aww...

Ridz: Armaan...that's just so sweet...you've got to say sorry to her...

Armaan: No way! This was bad enough… – pointing to the card – …c'mon guys let's go... – getting up

Abhi and Rahul didn't need to be told twice; they got up straight away.

Ridz: But where are you going?? – looking at Armaan

Rahul: We need some masculine time...get away from all this feminine stuff… – throwing his bag over his shoulder and making his way out of the library followed by Abhi and Armaan

After they left Nikita and Muskaan carried on talking while Riddhima sat quietly thinking about Armaan's behaviour; but her thoughts were disrupted as Muskaan clicked her fingers in front of her eyes.

Ridz: Huh? – coming back to her senses

Muskaan: What's up?

Ridz: I was just thinking...why did they leave like that?

Niki: Leave it...who cares?

Ridz: But...

Muskaan: Ridzi forget it...go on, open your present…

That cheered Riddhima up; the girls spent the rest of first period opening presents and gossiping. They were chatting about the latest hot topic when a bunch of roses were placed in front of Riddhima and Muskaan and a box of chocolates in front of Nikita. Riddhima looked at the roses and then looked up to see Armaan smiling down at her; she stood up.

Ridz: Armaan... – but before she could say anything else he put his finger to her lips

Armaan: Ssh...Happy Valentine's Day baby...

Ridz: Oh... – hugs him – …thanks Armaan...

Muskaan reacted the same way when Rahul presented her with flowers, a card and a small gift box. Nikita on the other hand was in utter shock when Abhi laid a box of chocolates on the table next to her, she was speechless, and she kept staring at him. He looked back at her with a confused look and shrugged his shoulders, he dropped his bag on the floor then sat down. He pulled the box towards him, opened it and started to eat one after the next; Nikita looked at him in shock.

Abhi: What? – raising his eye brow - …You didn't think I brought these for you...did you?

Niki: No… – lied – …but you could at least offer one to me...

Abhi: I don't think you need to put on more weight...

Niki: WHAT???? – screamed; bringing the love birds back to reality and shaking the entire library – …WHAT DID YOU SAY???? – angrily, throws a chocolate at him

Muskaan: Niki what are you doing...?

Niki: Muskaan! Can you believe what he said…I swear I'm going to kill him... – throwing another chocolate at him

Muskaan and Riddhima ran to her side to stop her and Rahul and Armaan ran to Abhi trying to stop him from throwing chocolates back at her. But they were too late; the librarian was faster than them. 

Lib: what on earth is going on here?? – angrily whispered

Abhi: It was her… – pointing to Nikita

Niki: It was him… – pointing to Abhi

The other four didn't bother to say anything.

Lib: Bin these right now...get out...and make sure you reach here one pm on the dot to tidy this library! – pronouncing each syllable

All six scuttled out of the library quickly making their way to their lessons. After saying thanks to Armaan and Rahul one more time the girls rushed off to their textiles lesson realising that they were late and the boys dragged their feet towards their economics lesson. Riddhima, Muskaan, Rahul and Armaan kept looking up at the clock waiting for this lesson to be over and on the other hand Nikita and Abhi dreaded the end of lesson. To the lovers advantage the lesson ended quickly and they rushed out excitedly.

Niki: This is so unfair! – moaning as she walked out of the class

Muskaan: Why were you guys fighting anyway?

Niki: He called me FAT! Can you believe it???

Ridz: WHAT??

Muskaan: No Way!

Niki: Now you know why I blew up...

Ridz: That's deep...but you have to go...

Niki: I can't believe I have to spend an entire hour with that idiot!

Muskaan: Poor thing...

Niki: Tell me about it... – making a face – …I should go... I'll see you guys later...

Ridz: Bye... – gives her a hug

They walked into the courtyard and settled on their usual bench; Riddhima looked down at the beautiful roses in her hand.

Armaan: Thinking of me? – whispered in her ear

She whipped around to see his gorgeous face smiling back at her.

Armaan: Hi… – sensually in her ear making her blush, he picked a rose from the bouquet and looked at her – …I'll be right back...

Riddhima looked at him quizzically as he walked away with the rose; he walked across the courtyard with the single rose in his hand towards a group of girls. Riddhima, Rahul and Muskaan watched him; he stopped in front of the girls; crouched down on his left knee and whispered "sorry" to them holding out the rose to the little girl who was crying earlier. She smiled sweetly and accepted it; Armaan smiled and gave her a small hug making her blush and her smile widened as he whispered "Happy Valentine's Day" to her. He then turned away and walked back to an awestruck gang.

Rahul: I can't believe you just did that!!

Armaan: Well I have to do what my beloved wants me to... – putting his arm around Riddhima

Muskaan: Huh?

Armaan: Ridz wanted me to say sorry to her...so I did... – smiling down at Riddhima who gave him a hug

Rahul: Chal...let's go and have something to eat...I'm starving!

They left the school and went to a take away shop down the road to have a romantic lunch; then they made their way back to school just in time for their lesson. Rahul went to his business lesson and Muskaan to her photography lesson leaving the love birds to go to their English lesson fully lost in each other. The whole lesson went perfectly, both worked together in their own lovely world shutting everyone else out. At the end of the lesson they made their way out hand in hand. They didn't need to say anything; the silence and smiles on their faces said it all. They waited for the others near the school gates; their usual waiting spot.

Abhi: So...what now…I really don't feel like going home so early…

Muskaan: Let's go to the mall, do some shopping then party!

Rahul: Party?

Muskaan: Yeah party...firstly these exams are over...its Valentines and Ridzi's bday!

Armaan: Nice... – hugging Riddhima from the back

Ridz: I'm not really up for the mall...I'd rather go home...really don't feel like walking around with all this… – holding up the gift bag, flowers and card

Niki: No problem Ridzi...you can leave this stuff at Muskaan's place...then we can go to the mall, find something nice to wear tonight…then go back to Muskaan's to get dressed and you can drop your stuff home before going out...what say?

Ridz: - thought for a second – Hmmm...okay…

They all cheered and head off to Muskaan's house before going to the mall. When they had reached the mall the guys immediately wondered off leaving the girls to do their shopping. After what seemed like a lifetime to the guys and only a few hours to the girls they left the mall and headed back to Muskaan's place; the girls got dressed in an hour; they gathered their stuff and went to Riddhima's house to leave her gifts. The guys went into the living room while Muskaan and Riddhima went up to her room.

Ridz: I've had such a cool day...can life get any better?

Muskaan: Yeah today was really different after ages…but we still have our party...chal let's go...

Ridz: One sec... – walking over to the mirror

She wore an elegant red dress which came to just above her knee, it hugged her figure beautifully and the heart shaped neckline made the dress stand out with a halter neck and small off the shoulder sleeves. She thought for a second about how the dress may be a bit too revealing but instead it made her look like a really cute little girl. She wore her hair in a side part, one side was pinned behind her hair and the other half was left to hang loose on the front of her face. Some strands of her hair were in curls and some straight; she wore casual jewellery and light makeup.

Muskaan: If you're done checking yourself out can we go down so Armaan can check you out... – cheekily

Riddhima blushed; she picked up a cushion and threw it at Muskaan who ducked and smiled.

Ridz: Chal... – walking out of the room smiling

They walked down the stairs in the dark.

Ridz: Why is it so dark? – she thought, reaching to the bottom of the stairs she switches on the light

All: SURPRISE!!!

Riddhima froze; she was so shocked to see so many people in her living room. The place was decorated with streamers and balloons. There was a cake in the middle of the room and presents on the coffee table. Rahul and Abhi pulled party poppers making her jump. She heard people laughing and as she looked around the room she saw, her mum, dad, Anji Dii, Atul Jiju, Nandani Aunty and Vikram Uncle, all her friends and Armaan. She was still in shock when Anjali and Padma came to hug her; she was still looking at Armaan who winked at her making her jump back into reality.

Anji: Surprise! – giving her a side hug

Ridz: Dii... – finally coming back to her senses – …yeh sab...

Padma: Tumhare liye...Happy Birthday my baby... – hugging her – …come...

She led her to the middle of the room, Abhi dimmed the lights and Atul lightened the candles on the cake.

All: Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday dear Riddhima...Happy Birthday to you...

Her eyes welled up with tears; this was the loveliest surprise ever; so unexpected. Having all her most loved people in one room was all she wanted right now. She was so happy; she was brought out of her thoughts by loud clapping sound. Padma wiped her tears and she heard Rahul and Armaan...

Rahul/Armaan: Make a wish... – hooted

Riddhima smiled; making a silent wish she blew out the candles. She cut the cake and fed Padma, Shashank and Anjali. Atul feed her some cake then everyone else took turns. Abhi smudged a little on her nose and Armaan teased her by putting it in front of her mouth then quickly ate it; Riddhima made a face then Rahul gave her some cake. They each gave her the gifts which she accepted whole heartedly. They had dinner then the young ones danced to music while the two old couples settled down in the conservatory with cups of tea.

Riddhima danced along with Nikita and Muskaan not noticing the disappearing act of Armaan. Sometime later Rahul asked to dance with his lady love; who happily accepted. Riddhima looked around for Armaan; scanning the room but could not see him she decided to get herself a drink so she went into the kitchen. Moments later when she returned she saw Nikita in his arms dancing to a romantic number. She silently fumed watching the silly smile on Armaan's face; but it didn't last long as a huge smile appeared on Riddhima's lips seeing Abhi's hand being held out to her. She took this chance and they danced to the song Tera Hone Laga Hoon. Seeing this act of hers Armaan felt a pang of jealousy but he kept his cool as they were not ready to announce their relationship to the others just as yet.

After sometime Rahul, Muskaan, Nikita and Abhi left once again wishing her and she thanked them for the beautiful surprise and the gifts. Soon after they had gone the Malik family also decided to leave; Padma, Shashank and Riddhima walked them to the door and watched as they left. Armaan winked at her and she stuck her tongue out at him making him laugh; they said bye and left. Once again in the living room Riddhima thanked her parents for the surprise birthday party. With help from Padma she took the gifts up to her room, she got a beautiful salwar suit from Nandani Aunty and Vikram Uncle, a new watch from Shashank, a necklace from Padma, Atul and Anjali bought her a Me-to-You bear with a 17 key and some jewellery, Nikita bought her an iPod shuffle, Abhi and Rahul got her iTunes voucher and a book which she had been going on about for ages and Muskaan had given her the gift bag in the morning. She thought of everything that had happened that day while she got dressed for bed.

It had been such a lovely day; it couldn't have been any better; she thought as she jumped into bed. She picked up her pillow to fluff it up as she yawned. She was about to place the pillow back into position when her eyes landed on a tiny square red box. She picked it up curiously and opened it; inside were two small circle shaped diamond studs.

Ridz: Wow! – whispered, seconds passed just by looking at them, a smile appeared on her lips – Armaan!

She quickly reached over for her phone and sent him a message. Three seconds later her phone beeped; automatically pressing the button she read the message

"I love you too jaan <3"

She kissed the phone and drifted off into a peaceful sleep with sweet dreams of Armaan...


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