Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Part 43 : Armaan aur Riddhima ka safar

Riddhima stood and watched until the car drove out of sight, she smiled through watery eyes before turning around and walking towards the front door searching for her keys in her bag. Unknown to her that entire scene was witnessed by someone sitting in a car parked outside her house and was fuming. He got out of the car slamming the door behind him making her turn around in shock. The keys dropped from her hand hitting the ground with a sharp noise as she watched him walk towards her. Her heart was racing as he stopped in front of her, she felt pained to see him after two long weeks, but he stood there enraged.

Ridz: Arm...

Armaan: – cutting her off - Riddhima... - the anger in his voice was clear

Riddhima shivered on this heated day to see him standing there in this position, talking through gritted teeth and frowning at her in anger.

Armaan: I don't believe you would do this...



 Riddhima looked at him in shock as he looked down at her like she had betrayed him. Opening and closing her mouth, stuck for words she stared at him with disbelief but before either of them could say anything the front door opened and Padma stood there with a big grin on her face welcoming them both in. Armaan walked in first, still in anger at Riddhima but smiling at Padma.

Armaan: Hi Aunty...how are you... – giving her a side hug

Padma: I'm fine...but I've missed you so much...two long weeks without you...it was very boring...

Armaan: I know...I missed you too...but it's a shame not everyone is like you... – referring to Riddhima

Padma: Kya matlab? – making a face

Armaan: Kuch nahi Aunty...

Padma: Arre...Riddhima tum abhi bhi wahan kari hain...come in... – giving her a hug

Ridz: Hi mama... – slowly

Padma: Why didn't you call Sid inside... – walking her towards the living room with Armaan following

Ridz: Woh...he wanted to get back before it gets dark...and I think it was best for Dhruv not to stay...

Padma: He's okay? It was hard na?

Ridz: Very... – feeling sad thinking about Dhruv but as she entered the living room she was met with a pleasant surprise

Anji: Hi Ridzi...welcome back... – getting up and hugging her

Ridz: Hi dii... – hugging her, very happy to see the Maliks' sitting there

Nandani: Kaisi ho Riddhima beta...how was your trip?

Ridz: Bohot acha tha Aunty...

Vikram: Shashank was just telling us about your Ba and Chachu...it's good that you went with them...

Anji: Is everyone's okay over there...I haven't seen them all since I was five...

Ridz: Yeah everyone is fine...Ba talks a lot about you...and so does Keerti Chachi...

Shashank: Dhruv was okay?

Ridz: It was a bit difficult...that's why Sid decided to go back right away...

Padma: Aur Naina nahi ayi...

Ridz: Nahi mama...she was a bit busy...but I'm missing them all already...we had so much fun together...

Armaan sat there watching her completely stuck for words; he watched as his entire family greeted her, chatted away with her and how happy they were to see her. He suddenly felt like a complete idiot for doubting her just because he saw her hugging a guy, instantly his mind had started working overtime about the things which could've happened over the two weeks he was away, he didn't stop for one instant to think maybe they were just friends or related, but being a fool he was he had doubted her and suddenly felt extremely sorry for talking to her in that way and being angry on her not giving her a chance to say anything. He was deep in his thoughts when he heard his name being called out from a distance making him break out of his thoughts and looked up.

Shashank: Kya huwa Armaan...bohot chup chap beite ho...something wrong?

Armaan: Huh? – looking up - ...Nahi...kuch nahi... – forcing a smile

Shashank: Are you sure?

Armaan: Yes uncle I'm fine...

Atul: He's just missing his friends back home...had too much freedom for two weeks... – laughing

Nandani: Very true... – turning to Padma – ...you all were not the only ones who didn't see Armaan for two weeks...

Padma: Kya matlab? – laughing

Vikram: He was never at home...always out and about...with his friends...

Atul: Come back to reality bro...

Armaan: Very funny... – as they all laughed, he was still quite serious about the little face off he had with Riddhima half an hour ago

Ridz: - getting up – Main abhi ayi...

Padma: Haan...go and freshen up...you must be very tired...

Riddhima went up to her room, as she closed the door behind her she suddenly felt very empty, sitting down at the edge of her bed she looked into space thinking of the past two weeks, every moment that she had spent thinking about Armaan, the times when she had almost forgotten about him and the times when he had not answered her calls. Atul's, Nandani's and Vikram's words echoed through her mind as she closed her eyes.

Atul: He's just missing his friends back home...had too much freedom for two weeks... – laughing

Nandani: Very true... – turning to Padma – ...you all were not the only ones who didn't see Armaan for two weeks...

Vikram: He was never at home...always out and about...with his friends...

Tears formed in her eyes as those dreams flashed into her mind, the ones where Armaan was surrounded by girls in clubs and he cut her phone calls one after the next. She silently sobbed remembering how he had spoken to her some time back, her heart had pained to see him after two long weeks and to come back and see him in this state made her feel terrible. Suddenly there was a knock on the door; she quickly wiped the tears away from her eyes before turning to the door. Armaan was standing there looking very sorry, Riddhima stood up and walked away towards the balcony door as he walked further into the room.

Ridz: Why did you come here?

Armaan: Uncle had asked me to bring you suitcase upstairs... – walking towards her

Ridz: You've brought it...now you can go...

Armaan: Riddhima... – slowly and apologetically

Ridz: Just go from here...I don't want to talk to you... – her back facing him

Armaan: Riddhima...please listen to me...I'm really sorry for behaving in that way with you...I had no idea he was your cousin...I just felt insecure...and I was being an idiot...

Riddhima stayed quite as tears rolled down her cheeks. Armaan put his hand on her shoulder and made her turn to face him, his heart pained to see her like this.

Armaan: Riddhima...please forgive me...I'm really sorry for doubting you...you know I hate to see you like this...please stop crying and forgive me...I'll never doubt you again...

Ridz: - looking into his eyes for the first time – You think that is the only problem...do you have any idea what you've put me through...? – tears rolling uncontrollably down her cheeks – ...I'll never forgive you Armaan...never...

Riddhima rushed away from him and went into the washroom. Armaan followed her but he was too late as she had slammed the door on him, he held onto it wondering what had happened to her suddenly. He felt horrible for doing this to her but also curious as to what the other problem was. He stood there for a few minutes quizzing himself until he realised it was best to go downstairs before the other started to get ideas.

Fifteen minutes later Riddhima walked out of the washroom after controlling herself, she freshened up and felt slightly better; she was furious with Armaan and had decided the only way to get over it was to ignore him completely. She fixed up her makeup before deciding to go down, she walked out of her room and as she made her way downstairs she heard excited voices coming from the living room and walked down curiously. She entered the living room to find Rahul's parents sitting there. She greeted them with a smile and they were really happy to see her.

Rahul's Mum: Riddhima beta how are you?

Ridz: I'm fine Aunty...all set? – smiling

Rahul's Mum: Almost...was waiting for you to come back...

Ridz: I'm here...let's begin...what date is it?

Rahul's Dad: Two days from now...and you are all invited...

Armaan: - looked up suddenly as he heard everyone speaking together – What's going on?

Atul: What's wrong with you Armaan... – concerned

Anji: You seem very loss since got back...are you okay?

Armaan: I'm fine bhabs... – forcing a smile – ...what's going on?

Nandani: Did you not hear just now? – making a face – ...Rahul's mum and dad are here to invite us...Rahul and Muskaan are getting engaged...

Armaan: KYA? – shocked – ...Yeh kab huwa?

Rahul's Dad: Two weeks ago when you guys got back from your holiday...

Armaan: WOW...I don't believe this...that's really cool...it's in two days...

Anji: Yes Armaan... – laughing at his shocked expression

Rahul's Mum: We'll we should go now...still more invitations to give out...

Rahul's Dad: Yes...it's good that we met you all here... – to Vikram - ...there's so many invitations to give out...Muskaan's parents are doing half and we're doing half...

Padma: If there's anything we can help with let us know...

Shashank: Yes...definitely...we're old friends and we should help out...not just come as guests...let us know if we can help in anyway...

Rahul's Dad: Sure... – getting up - ...okay then we'll see you...bye...

Padma showed them to the door and everyone started talking excitedly about the upcoming occasion. Riddhima chatted along with them happily not even turning towards Armaan once; she had completely ignored his presence. They had dinner some time later the Maliks' sharing stories of the past two weeks back home. Settling down in the living room to watch a movie after dinner, Riddhima's phone rang and she moved away to receive it while Armaan watched her closely. She stood by the conservatory chatting away with a big smile on her face, he looked at the smile on her face but knew inside her heart was crying and he felt terrible but curious as to what must've happened that she was being like this. She came back ten minutes later and made sure she did not once look at Armaan. A while later the Maliks decided it was quite late and they were tired from their long journey back.

Nandani: Thanks for the dinner tonight Padma...I thought we would've had to come back and cook but really thanks...

Padma: C'mon Nandani...that's what we're here for...and I don't want to hear that again...okay?

Nandani: Okay... – smiling - ...we should go now...

Padma: Just a minute... – then turning to Riddhima – ...can you go upstairs...in my room I have a bag on the dresser...just get it...

Ridz: Ji mama... – turning and going upstairs

She got to the top of the stairs and walked down the hallway to Padma's room, as she walked in she was surprise to see a medium sized blue gift bag on the dresser, she walked curiously towards it and looked into it to see a square box and a card. She took it out slowly to see a name written on it and tears immediately sprung to her eyes.

Five minutes later she controlled herself and walked downstairs with the gift bag. They all watched her as she handed the bag to Padma who took it was a smile.

Padma: Thanks beta... – then turning to Armaan - ...this is for you Armaan...we're sorry we couldn't be with you on your birthday...I hope you had a good time...and I hope you like your gift...

Armaan: Aunty...that's so sweet of you... – giving her a hug – ...thanks a lot...I know I will love it... – looking over Padma's shoulder to Riddhima who was looking down at her feet then he moved back - ...thank you...

Padma: You're welcome beta...

Vikram: Chalo...hum chalte hain...

Shashank: Okay...we'll meet tomorrow...

Atul: Yep...back to work...good night mama...

Anji: Bye mama... – giving her a hug

Padma: Bye beta...

They saw them to the door then Riddhima made a quick excuse saying she was very tired and went up to her room. The minute she stepped in she closed the door behind her and leaned against it sinking down to the floor as the tears rolled out of her eyes uncontrollably.

Ridz: - thinking – How is this possible...how could I have forgotten his birthday...two days ago...I  can't...can't believe I forgot...

Two days ago she was having a lot of fun at the theme park with her cousins that she had not once thought about Armaan, leaving the house that morning she promised herself that she would not let his thoughts ruin her day and she had the most fun that day. Now thinking about it she remembered it had been Armaan's birthday and she had not even wished him, she felt horrible and annoyed with herself for not wishing him. She sat there for half hour while her thoughts changed from annoyance on herself to frustration thinking of how he had celebrated his birthday his birthday with his friends and not even thought about her. She stood up angrily and threw herself onto her bed crying herself to sleep.



The next morning Padma walked into her room while she was still asleep. Walking towards her bed Padma looked around the room to see it slightly messy; she moved towards Riddhima and shook her awake. She sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes until it came into focus.

Ridz: Mama... – sleepily

Padma: Yeh sab kya hain Riddhima... – concerned - ...you didn't even change your clothes before going to sleep...and do you know what time it is?

Ridz: - searching for her phone – What time is it?

Padma: It's eleven thirty...leave your phone now and take this... – handing her the house phone - ...Muskaan...

Ridz: - taking the phone – Sorry mama...

Padma: It's okay...talk to her then come down and have your breakfast... – leaving the room

Ridz: - putting the phone to her ear - ...Hello?

Muskaan: Hi Ridz...what's wrong...you weren't answering your phone and aunty said you're still asleep...is everything okay?

Ridz: - leaning against the head rest of the bed - ...I'm okay...just got back yesterday...was really tired so slept in...

Muskaan: Are you sure...you don't sound so good...

Ridz: I'm fine really...I just have a bit of a head ache...I'll be okay...you say...what's up?

Muskaan: Haan...oh yeah...I called to let you know everyone's meeting up at my place today to go through the preparations for the engagement...so you've got to come as well...

Ridz: Okay...what time?

Muskaan: Around two...

Ridz: That's fine...I'll be there...

Muskaan: Ridz...you're okay right? – concerned

Ridz: C'mon Muskaan I'm fine...don't worry...I'll see you soon...

Muskaan: Okay...bye take care...

Ridz: Bye... – ending the call

Riddhima got out of the bed, she had a shower and got dressed, she still felt as bad as she had last night as she thought back to the dream of Armaan celebrating his birthdays with his old friends and girls, she had come to the party and he had insulted her in front of everyone, tears welled up in her eyes again as she fixed her bed and opened the curtains but she did not allow them to fall and she quickly wiped them away before going downstairs.

Padma: - looking at her as she walked into the kitchen – Riddhima...tum theek to ho na...

Ridz: - sitting down at the breakfast table – Main theek hoon...mama...just very tired and I have a headache...

Padma: It's because you were out all week...you didn't get any rest...you'll be okay...just have some medicine...

Ridz: Okay mama...I'll just have a cup of tea for the moment...I don't really feel like eating anything right now...

Padma gave her some tea and she helped make lunch. They ate an hour later then Riddhima went to get ready before leaving for Muskaan's place. She left at two in the afternoon deciding to walk there as she had a few things on her mind.

Ridz: - thinking – I don't know how I'm going to face him...I know that dream will haunt me forever now...and seeing him in front of me will just...just be the worst feeling ever...what should I do...

A car pulled up next to her as she turned on to Muskaan's road. She looked up to see Armaan's car, he rolled down the window to look at her but she ignored him and walked on, quickly reaching Muskaan's house she rung the bell impatiently hoping someone would open the door quickly before Armaan got there. To her advantage the door was opened by Muskaan's mum who welcomed her in happily and told her that Muskaan was up in her room. Riddhima did not wait a moment longer and rushed upstairs. By the time she reached the top of the stairs the bell rang and she rushed into Muskaan's room to see everyone was there.

Muskaan: There you are... – walking towards her and giving her a hug - ...I've missed you so much...

Ridz: Hey...missed you too... – moving back - ...hey Niki... – giving her a hug

Rahul: Where's Armaan...didn't you come with him?

Ridz: Umm...woh uhh... – not sure of what to say

Armaan: I'm here... – walking into the room

Abhi: Welcome back dude...! - jumped up and clapped him on the back – ...How was your holiday?

Armaan: It was good... – watching Riddhima walk away from him to sit on the bed

Rahul: We missed you man...but looks like you forgot us...

Armaan: It's nothing like that man...c'mon how can I forget you guys...

Ridz: So Muskaan...what's the plan... – changing the subject

Muskaan: Yeah...okay... – settling down next to Rahul who put his arm around her - ...me and Rahul where thinking that we'll share out the jobs...there's not much to do because Yuvi has done most of the preparations...there's just the hall to be set up and when I have my awesome foursome what else can I ask for...

Abhi: What? – confused

Rahul: We decided that seeing as we had done an awesome job at the fashion show we can decorate the hall...so me and Muskaan thought that we could leave that too you four...hope that's okay...

Ridz: Rahul don't worry about it...me and Niki we'll have it all sorted...

Abhi: Ridz...what does that mean...the three of us can do it...me, you and Armaan...don't bother with her...she'll just mess it up like she does with everything else...

Niki: Ridz...tell him to shut up...

Ridz: Abhi calm down... – turning to Muskaan - ...me and Niki will sort out the hall...why don't you guys find something else for them to do...

Armaan: Rahul...I think you should leave the hall to me and Abhi and let these girls sort themselves out...that's all they care about anyway...worrying about their dress, hair and make up...they won't be able to decorate the hall...

Rahul: Guys? – standing up – What is going on?

Muskaan: Yeah what is wrong with all of you...why are you arguing like this?

Ridz: Muskaan...forget it...it's sorted...me and Niki will do the hall...have you brought your dress? – changing the subject

Abhi: Hold on...that's not fair Ridz... – getting up and coming towards her

Niki: Ridz is right...it's settled...

Armaan: Rahul and Muskaan hasn't finalised you two okay...

Niki: It's our job...you guys find something else to do...

Abhi: No way...we're doing the hall...

Muskaan and Rahul looked at each other and wondered what was going on; they walked out of the room ignoring them. Stepping outside they made up their minds before going back inside to witness the four of them shouting insults at each other.

Rahul: CALM DOWN ALL OF YOU! – at the top of his voice

They all became silent right away and looked at him.

Rahul: We don't know what has happened to all of you...and to be honest we don't even want to know... – angrily - ...we had decided that we wanted the four of you to do the hall together...because we both love Ridz's designs and how you all work together to get it made...but suddenly seeing you all like this we have changed our mind... – looking at each one of their faces - ...if you can't work together we'll just have to get Muskaan's brother to decorate the hall...seen as he has done most of the preparations already he might as well do the hall as well...

Ridz: Rahul...c'mon...we'll...

Rahul: No Ridz... – cutting her off - ...if this is how you all are now then what will happen when you're put in one hall together...Muskaan wanted this to be special...but I don't think it will be like that if this carries on...

Muskaan looked sadly at all of them then rushed out of the room, Rahul looked at them angrily before walking out after her...

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