Sunday, 10 May 2020

part 47 : Arman aur Riddhima ka safar,

He walked around the bench as everyone stood up, he made his way towards Nikita and stood two inches in front of her, he bent his head down to look into her eyes.

Abhi: May I congratulate you…I.T…U…UNGRADED!

Everyone stood in shock watching Abhi's behavior towards Nikita. A single tear fell from her eyes onto her cheek and Abhi smiled widely at her in this condition…

Abhi: F.A.I.L.U.R.E…Failure…

 Rahul: C'mon Abhi that is enough...stop it now...

Ridz: Abhi why are you being so mean?


Abhi: Calm down guys... – turning to them - ...you all think that I had come here early to get my results...definitely not...I was eager to see hers...

Armaan: But Abhi...this is not fair...

Abhi:  Please Armaan...just a minute...I'm not finished yet...I still have a lot more to say... – turning back to Nikita who was sobbing - ...actually I'm just getting started...never mess with me...like I said...all my words came true...and yours? – smirking - ...Empty and hollow...just like you...useless...I told you to quit...it's better than failing...but of course...Miss Nikita Malhotra...listens to no one and thinks she's the best...it's all been cleared up for you today...now you know exactly what you are...A FAILURE!

Muskaan: Abhi...stop this right now... – angrily

Abhi: No Muskaan...I won't... – turning to her - ...today I'm not going to listen to anyone...today is my day...

Ridz: But what are you getting from doing this?

Abhi: I'm getting a lot...and please guys...none of you need to say anything to defend her... – looking around at their curious faces - ...you guys have forgotten but I haven't...

Rahul: Forgotten what?

Abhi: I haven't forgotten that day...it's still clear in my mind...six years ago... – turning to Nikita who knew what he was talking about - ...six years ago...what you did to me...

Muskaan: Abhi just forget it now...that was a long time ago why are you bringing it up again...just stop it...

Abhi: I won't... – looking at each of them - ...that day you all stood there watching her insult and embarrass me in front of the entire year group and not one of you opened your mouth to stop her...and now it's my turn...and none of you will say a thing... – turning back to Nikita - ...that day I made myself a promise...that I would prove you wrong...and that day is here...I have proved you wrong...I passed... – holding up his papers - ...with flying cololurs...and you? Failed! – making her look up at him with tears rolling down her cheeks uncontrollably – ...That day...I plucked up the courage to tell you my feelings...I had rehearsed my lines a whole week in advance and when I finally decided to talk to you...you insulted me...

Niki: ... – through tears – Ab...I... – hiccupping

Abhi: Save it... – harshly - ...I'm not finished yet...I still remember those words clearly six years later...you had called me...illiterate...foolish...failure...geek...ugly...low standard... – spat on the floor - ...you had hurt me really badly...but still I thank you... – she looked up - ...because of you I'm stronger today...I'm good looking...and I have proved myself... – holding up his papers again - ...now we know who is the illiterate and who's the smart one...so thank you...you have made me the person I am today...and also showed your true colour...but one thing I have to say to you...Actions Speak Louder Than Words...so the next time you want to challenge someone reflect on your ability before you do...

Nikita broke down finally she sobbed uncontrollably before turning and running away from the gang. Muskaan and Riddhima did not bother looking back at Abhi but ran after Nikita; they caught up with her outside of the school gates. Muskaan called out her name but she carried on and Riddhima held onto her hand to make her stop. Nikita turned and broke down in Riddhima's arms who hugged her tightly to console her; Muskaan tried to calm her down by rubbing the side of her arm.

Ridz: Niki...sshhh...calm down...

Nikita stayed like this for sometime sobbing uncontrollably with hiccups; then she moved back looking down still in tears.

Muskaan: It's okay Niki...

Niki: - sobbing - ...I...I do-don't...do-don't want...t-to talk to...any-anyone...

Ridz: Niki it's okay we're here for you...

Niki: Na-nahi...pl-please le-leave me...le-leave me al-alone... – turning around

Muskaan: Niki... - sadly

Niki: I...ne-need to be on...on my o-own...

Ridz: Are you sure...

Nikita nodded and they told her it was okay; she left without looking back. Muskaan and Riddhima shared a worried look.

Muskaan: You think we should leave her alone in this state?

Ridz: I don't want to leave her like this but I think she needs some time alone...

Muskaan: I hope she'll be okay...I can't believe this is happening...

They turned to walk back to the guys, as they neared the gates the boys were walking towards them. Muskaan and Riddhima looked angrily at Abhi who shrugged as if nothing serious had happened.

Abhi: C'mon guys...please forget it now... – casually - ...let's go to the mall...

The girls looked at him in disbelief but their boyfriends signalled to them to leave the matter for now. They all got into Armaan's car and made their way to the mall; as they got there they settled down in their usual spot by the fountain, the girls mood was slightly off as they saw Abhi's smile but he asked them to cheer up as they had passed all their exams.

Abhi: Let's forget about the past now...school is over...and our lives start from here...can you believe it? – excitedly

Armaan: I know man...it feels weird...

Rahul: What are we going to do now...holidays are over and its back to reality...we need to think ahead...

Abhi: And that's where I have a surprise for you guys... – smiling secretively

Muskaan: Surprise?

Abhi: Yep... – looking around at each of their faces - ...I've been offered a job in America!

Armaan: WHAT?

Ridz: HOW?

Rahul: WHY?

Muskaan: WHEN?

Abhi: WOAH!!! – backing up – ...Calm down guys...I said surprise not shock... – laughing, then looking at their expression and settling back down - ...alright...I'll tell you...do you guys remember when we met up in Hyde Park when we decided to go to Barbados I mentioned how my dad was talking about getting serious about my career...that's when they started talking about it at home and I told them I needed time to relax and enjoy my holiday...okay now let me answer your questions... – to Armaan – ...yes...I got an IT Assistant job in America Now York... – then to Riddhima and Rahul - ...My uncle lives there...dad talked to him about my IT skills and they decided to call me over for a job... – turning to Muskaan - ...I'm leaving in two days...

All Four: What...So soon...But...OMG...

Abhi: - laughing – C'mon guys...it's about time we got serious about our lives...and I'm ready for this...

They all sat there in silence watching him and taking in the news which they had received.

Ridz: - finally breaking the silence - ...I'm happy for you Abhi... – smiling

Abhi: Thanks Ridz...

They congratulated him as they realised this was a big opportunity for him and they also needed to get serious.

Abhi: Another surprise is...that I'm throwing a party tonight...you're all invited...I want to celebrate my success and also a farewell party...so I hope you can all make it...tonight at nine at the usual club...

They said they would come then they decided to go home; Abhi said he had to do some shopping before he packed so he said bye and left the gang who were still in shock. Riddhima asked them to come around to her place, Armaan drove them there while they discussed the events of the morning and filled in Armaan with Abhi and Nikita's past. He was shocked to hear that Abhi actually had feelings for Nikita back in year eight but Nikita had a crush on an older student and thought of Abhi as a young boy who had no ambition or skills in anything, at the time he was a bit scruffy and not good looking and needed a lot of help with his studies. Nikita embarrassed him in front of the entire year group and since then the pair had been arguing.

They arrived at Riddhima's place ten minutes later and all got out; they walked into her home to meet Padma who was busy cooking in the kitchen.

Padma: You're back...how did it go? – eagerly

Ridz: It was good mama...

Armaan: Not just good aunty...it's brilliant...we all passed... – smiling

Padma: Congratulations... – hugging Riddhima and Muskaan

Muskaan: Thanks aunty...

Padma: Why don't you all go and relax in the living room or outside in the garden if you want...the weather is really nice today...

Ridz: Ji mama... – then to the others - ...let's go into the garden...

They walked through the living room and conservatory to the garden door, settling down on the patio in the deckchairs and bench; they enjoyed the sunshine and chatted away.

Muskaan: I'm still in shock...I can't believe so much has happened in just a few hours... – dazed

Ridz: I know...how did this happen...I mean...Nikita's results...and Abhi's behaviour...I mean...something that happened six years ago...he kept it in his heart for so long and today he let it all out...and then suddenly he's going away after causing such a big problem...I don't believe this...

Armaan: C'mon girls...stop thinking about it like that now...I mean...what was supposed to happen has happened...and there's nothing we can do about it now...

Rahul: You're right Armaan...there's nothing we can do about it...we just have to think ahead and move on...

Armaan: Definitely...Abhi is serious about his career...and I think we should start too...

Rahul: Why don't you girls phone up TFI and find out what's happening...

Ridz: Yeah...thanks for reminding us...I forgot all about that...

Riddhima pulled out her phone from her bag and rang TFI; now that they had received their results they had to secure their placements for their courses. Riddhima had no problem with this as her place was secure from the moment the fashion show had taken place but she thought it was wise to give them a call. When she was finished she handed the phone over to Muskaan who had also applied at TFI, she spoke to them informing them about her results which they were happy with and told her that her place was confirmed and filled her in with the details of their starting date. Ending the call both of the girls hugged each other excitedly and couldn't wait to get started.

At the same time Shashank walked out onto the patio to witness this.

Shashank: What's going on here...some seem very happy this morning... – smiling

Ridz: - looked up – Papa... – rushing to him she gave him a big hug - ...papa we passed... – handing him the papers

Shashank: - scanning it – Congratulations...I'm very happy for you...

Ridz: Thanks papa...

Shashank pulled up a chair and sat with them as Riddhima settled back down on the bench next to Muskaan and the boys sat up on the deck chairs.

Shashank: Looks like you all have done really well... – they nodded – ...congratulations...

Muskaan/Rahul/Armaan: Thanks uncle...

Shashank: Well...I also have some good news for you guys... – they looked at him curiously as he walked into the conservatory for a minute and came back out with two files

Ridz: Yeh kya hain papa? – curiously

Shashank: This is for you two... – handing one file to Armaan and the other to Rahul

They looked at it in shock then looked up at him with smiles on their faces; Armaan and Rahul looked at each other excitedly.

Armaan: Khushi Events Contract... – slowly

Shashank: I have seen your work not once but on several occasions...and I am very impressed...I have had a thought on this and don't worry I'm not just hiring you both because you're my daughter's friends...or relatives...or family friends...but I because I like your work...I have had references...heard about your work experience Rahul and overlooked your work experience Armaan...and now looking at your results which I expected anyway...I have decided to offer you jobs...I hope you both will accept happily...

Armaan/ Rahul: - stood up and looked at Shashank with smiles on their faces – Yes Sir!

Shashank: That's what I wanted to hear... – smiling and getting up - ...well I hope to see you both at the office one week later for an induction and we will decide when you can get started...for now enjoy yourselves...go out and celebrate...you all deserve it...you've all worked very hard...

All Four: Thanks...

Shashank left them standing outside with shocked looks and went inside. They looked at each other with shocked expressions then they all cheered excitedly and hugged their partners.

Armaan: I don't believe this... – separating from Riddhima

Rahul: I know...just sitting here we got jobs!

Muskaan: You guys are so lucky...Ridz...your dad is the best!

Rahul: He really is...I'm so happy... – smiling widely

Ridz: I'm also very happy for you guys...I didn't have a clue this was going to happen...

Armaan: He asked me two days back at your engagement but at the time I was a bit confused...

Muskaan: And...now you have the job...

Rahul: And you guys have your place at TFI...

Ridz: What can we say...Life is Beautiful! – smiling

They sat down and chilled for some time then Padma told them to come in as lunch was ready. After eating Muskaan and Rahul decided it was time to go home and inform their parents, they said they would meet up with them later in the evening at Abhi's party; Armaan also left as there was a call from his home.

Riddhima went up to her room after seeing them off; she decided to call Nikita and see if she was okay; she answered her phone and had seemed slightly better, she thanked Riddhima for her concern and Riddhima said she would come around later but Nikita said it was okay. When she had ended the call her phone rang one after the next as she had everyone congratulating her, Anjali, Atul, Tannu, Sid, Naina and Dhruv. The afternoon was spent on the phone as she spent time chatting away with each one of them. She spoke for a long time with Tannu asking about how her results had gone and the same with Sid.

Later on when all her phone calls had finished she decided to get ready for the party. She had a quick shower and got dressed into a black top, white jeans and a silver belt, with a bit of makeup and jewellery and having her her hair out nicely. Half an hour later Padma knocked on her door as she was looking at herself in the mirror. She told her that her friends were waiting downstairs for her; she grabbed her purse and made her way downstairs. Saying bye to her parents they left the house and got into Armaan's car, the two girls in the back chatting away excitedly.

They arrived at the club within fifteen minutes to see it was already in full swing and Abhi was having a great time dancing with a group of girls who they recognised from school and the community. The girls settled down in the longue chairs while their partners went to get them drinks. Abhi noticed them sitting there after ten minutes and walked over to them.

Abhi: Hey guys...when did you guys get here?

Rahul: About fifteen minutes ago...

Abhi: Sorry...but why are you sitting here like a bunch of lemons...

Muskaan: That's not nice Abhi... – making a face

Abhi: C'mon I was just joking...but why are you guys sitting here...it's time to celebrate...we've passed...and you guys should be having fun...

Armaan: He's right... – getting up - ...we should be celebrating...we just got jobs... – to Rahul

Abhi: What? – surprised – When?

Rahul: Ridz's dad offered us both jobs at Khushi Events...

Abhi: That's so cool man... – clapping them both on the shoulders – ...congrats!

Armaan: Thanks...

Muskaan: And we got our places at TFI... – happily

Abhi: Congrats to you guys too...I knew Ridz had got the place but I'm really happy to hear that Muskaan...wish you guys all the best...

Ridz/Muskaan: Thanks...

Abhi: Now we have more reasons to celebrate...your job...my job...we passed...the girls got a place in TFI and I'm off to New York...c'mon let's go dance...

Rahul pulled Muskaan up and Armaan held his hand out to Riddhima which she accepted happily. They went onto the dance floor and danced throughout the night enjoying themselves. Muskaan and Riddhima missed Nikita a lot and they whispered about it at the counter as they went to get drinks leaving the guys on the dance floor. They felt really sorry for her and decided to meet up with her tomorrow but as they spoke their partners joined them and their conversation was stopped. Sometime later they went back onto the dance floor until it was very late and the club was almost ready to close down. Armaan gave them all a lift home spending some time alone with Riddhima before letting her go.



The next day was spent in relaxation; Muskaan and Riddhima had made a trip to see Nikita who was in a very bad state. They give her time to be emotional and let her feelings out until they both consoled her and once she was calm she had asked them what everyone is doing with their lives.

Muskaan: Woh...I got my place at TFI...

Niki: Congrats... – hugging her, she was happy for her friend

Ridz: Armaan and Rahul got a job at Khushi Events...

Niki: That is really cool... – smiling sadly

Muskaan: Aur... – looking closely at her not wanting to ask this question but knew she had to - ...what are you planning to do?

Nikita looked from Riddhima to Muskaan sadly with a small smile and tears welled up in her eyes but she avoided the question.

Niki: And... – slowly - ...Abhi?

Riddhima and Muskaan shared a sad look not knowing what to say to her.

Ridz: Umm...woh...Ab...Abhi is...Abhi is going to America tomorrow...

Niki: - her head snapped up and looked at Riddhima – Kya?

Ridz: Uh...umm his uncle got him a job in New York as an IT Assistant in a big company...he's leaving tomorrow...

Niki: - the tears which were welled in her eyes spilled out and ran down her cheeks - ...I'm happy for him... – sadly

Muskaan put her arms around Nikita who sobbed silently. Five minutes later she controlled herself and wiped her cheeks; she smiled slowly and looked at her friends.

Niki: I'm happy for all of you...

Ridz: Niki...just forget everything now...I know it will take time...but why don't you try something else...something which you enjoy...

Niki: Nahi Ridz...now there's nothing left for me...this is where I belong...here...at home...nothing else...

Nikita cried her eyes out and the other two consoled her. They didn't leave till late in the evening when Nikita had showed them that she was fine and was very happy she had friends like them. They walked away from her home sadly thinking of how to help her.



The gang waited with Abhi in the departures lounge the next afternoon. It was time for him to go and he had asked for all of them to come. Since the incident between him and Nikita when they received their results he had not mentioned her at all and no one dared to say her name in front of him not sure of what he would say or do. They chatted away excitedly, the guys telling him to have lots of fun there meeting new people and new girls which he seemed the most excited about.

Half an hour later there was a call on the speakers over head for passengers flying to America to check in. He stood up energized and turned to his friends, the guys were happy for him but Riddhima and Muskaan looked slightly sad, Abhi looked at them and shook his head with a smile.

Abhi: C'mon guys...I'm not going away forever...I'll be back next year...

Rahul: One year? – teasing - ...Is that it...wish you could go away for longer...

Abhi: - punching him on the arm – Shut up... – turning to the girls - ...alright I've got to go...

They walked him to the check in desk and Armaan gave him a manly hug wishing him the best.

Armaan: Have a safe flight...

Abhi: Thanks... – moving over to Muskaan

Muskaan: - as Abhi gave her a side hug – Don't forget us... – sadly

Abhi: I won't ever forget you guys...

Rahul: Yeah...we'll see when you bring back a white lady... – smacking him on the back

Abhi: - smiling sneakily – That sounds like a good idea...

Abhi walked around to Riddhima and gave her a warm side hug as she was very quiet, she hated saying goodbye.

Abhi: My little one... – hugging her tight

Ridz: I'm going to miss you... – sadly with tears

Abhi: Going to miss you too... – smiling down at her

Armaan: - moving Abhi's arms form around her – Okay that's enough...they're waiting for you...

Abhi: - laughed at him - ...Kitna jalta hai tu...it's just a hug...you'll never change... – picked up his bag - ...okay then... – sadly but with a smile – ...take care guys...

All: Bye...take care...keep in touch...

They watched as he checked in and walked through the automatic doors, turning back he waved to them before disappearing out of sight.

Ridz: - thinking – Moving on...

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