Wednesday, 27 May 2020

part 71 & 72 : Arman aur Riddhima ka safar

Part 71 

Once she had felt a bit fresh and looked decent she decided to go down to meet the guests. As she neared the living room the voices could be heard but she still could not make out who it was until she got to the bottom of the stairs and was met with a shocking surprise.

Padma: Lo Riddhima bhi agayi...

Shashank: Come Riddhima beta...we we're just waiting for you...tum hare liye ek bohot acha rishta aya hain...

Riddhima stood rooted to the spot as all heads turned to face her but one; and she felt a shiver go down her spine as he slowly turned to face her with a smile...



 Padma stood up and walked Riddhima to the sofa opposite the guy who was there to see her; her heart beat raced rapidly and she could hear the thumping of her blood in her ears as she looked up to see him wearing a sick smile; as much as she thought of how to get out of this situation she couldn't as this was such a huge shock that she could not even force a smile as his mum started to speak.

Aunty: Riddhima beta...how are you...you're looking very pretty... – smiling like a Cheshire cat - ...I was talking to your mother the other day and the only thought that ran through my mind was for you to be my daughter-in-law...

Uncle: Haan...and after all you two have known each other for a long time...

Simran: You both look so cute together...Riddhima and Vivik...how sweet... – to her brother but out loud

Riddhima looked up suddenly as she heard the two names being called together; Vivik sat opposite her with an evil grin on his face which made Riddhima shiver within as her heart raced even faster.

Padma: Main iss rishte se bohot khush hoon...

Aunty: Main bhi...aap ki beti hamari beti banegi...and she won't be going far from you...

Uncle: That's right...only about five steps away... – laughed

Shashank: Woh sab toh theek hain...you both know each other for a very long time...you can almost say that you've grown up together...you both know everything about each other...and you're good friends...

Vivik: Yes uncle what you're saying is right...but...with your permission I would still like to talk to Riddhima in private before we take this any further...

Shashank: Of course...you have every right too... – turning to Riddhima - ...jao...take him into the conservatory...

Riddhima was still in shock and had not heard what was being said for the past ten minutes but Simran stood up and walked towards her lifting her off of the chair and dragging her towards the conservatory with Vivik following them. They settled down and Riddhima's head was buzzing as she could not believe the situation that was taking place right in front of her eyes.

Simran: I'm so happy... – hugging Riddhima - ...you're now going to be from Riddhima Didi to Riddhima Bhabi to me...I can't wait for this wedding...we're going to have so much fun...and even more when you come and live with us...haina bhai?

Vivik: Sim leave us alone for a minute...

Simran: No bhai...you can have your private time after the wedding...

Vivik: I said leave us... – strictly

Simran: That's not fair bhai...

Vivik: Simran NOW... – loudly

Riddhima jumped from her thoughts as he raised his voice and Simran sulked. She got up and walked away sticking her tongue out at him as she left but this didn't bother him. Instead he was now smiling his evil grin in Riddhima's direction again who once again felt a cold shiver down her spine as he moved closer to her.

Vivik: Hi babes...surprised...?

Riddhima whipped her head around to look at him suddenly feeling very scared.

Vivik: Sorry...I should've let you know before...but then I would miss this look on your face wouldn't I?

Ridz: What do you want? – pronouncing every syllable

Vivik: Do I have to tell you this as well...? – smirking - ...You're so smart I thought you would've guessed by now...

Ridz: This is not possible...I won't let this happen...

Vivik: Oh come on babes...you knew we we're going to be together in the end...and yes I have done my research...I knew that **** could never keep you happy...I had told you from day one...that you're only mine...he never loved you...he just wanted the attention back then...

Ridz: Shut up...

Vivik: The truth hurts doesn't it...but you have to accept it...how much did you care for him...how much did you do for him...and what did he give you in return... – grinning madly - ...a broken heart...

Ridz: It's not like that...

Vivik: That's exactly what it is...but I'm not like that...I've always loved you and now you're going to be mine...

Ridz: No... – sharply

Vivik: Yes you will...don't you remember...I've told you before...you're mine and only mine...and now it's time to take our relationship further... – holding onto her hand

Ridz: - pulling her hand away from his – ...No way...we can never be together...I won't let this happen...

Vivik: Oh really...and what exactly are you going to do to stop this? – calmly with a smile

Ridz: I'm going to go in there right now and tell everyone that I refuse this proposal...

Vivik: Oh no you won't... – holding her hand again

Ridz: You can't force me...

Vivik: You're right...I can't force you...but I know you won't refuse...

Ridz: And why won't I? – angrily

Vivik: Because the moment you say no...I'll tell everyone the reason you're refusing...

Ridz: The reason is because I hate you...

Vivik: Oh really... – sarcastically - ...in my eyes...the reason is that you we're having an affair with Mr. Armaan Malik...you were running around behind your parents back for over three years and breaking all limits...maybe you won't be mine...but just think about your family...your sister's family...the bond they have will be broken...and it'll be all your fault...can you see the two families falling apart...did you ever think about what your sister will think...you will be the reason of the family enmity...

Riddhima thought for a moment as the seriousness of this situation hit her like a hard brick against her forehead but he carried on making it worse.

Vivik: And if I'm not mistaken...your sister's in-laws works in your dad's company...don't they...Armaan also works there...? – smiling evilly - ...Think about the loss in business when they begin to hate each other...then what will you do babes...will you be able to handle the guilt of breaking this relationship?

Ridz: You wouldn't...

Vivik: Wouldn't I? – leaning back in the chair with a huge evil grin

Ridz: Don't... – on the verge of tears

Vivik: Then there's only one solution... – sitting up again - ...just accept this proposal and let these two families stay in peace and happiness...what do you think?

Ridz: - silent thoughts – ...Ab main kya karoon...I have no other choice...I have to do this...for mama and papa's happiness...dii's happiness...Vikram Uncle and jiju's job...and Armaan's success and love...there's no other option...I have to make this sacrifice for my family and loved ones...

Vivik: So what have you decided?

Before she could say anything Simran walked back into the conservatory.

Simran: Okay that's enough private time...mummy's calling you both... – turned around and walked away

Vivik: I guess I have your answer... – holding her hand he pulled her up - ...let's go...

They walked back into the living room hand in hand and everyone smiled happily as they got their answer.

Aunty: Ab main bohot khush hoon...

Shashank: In our next meeting we'll fix a wedding date...

Uncle: Definitely...

Shashank: Padma...sweets...

Padma got up happily and went into the kitchen returning a few moments later with a plate off meethai and everyone took turns to feed the new couple and each other. A while later they decided to leave; everyone was happy and looked forward to meeting again. Vivik took this opportunity to grab her hand again and Riddhima had no choice but let him as all eyes were on them. To Riddhima's advantage they left quickly but she felt a little faint as she followed her parents into the living room.

Padma: I'm really happy...Vivik is a nice boy and the best thing is Riddhima won't be going far from us...

Shashank: I know...we'll see her everyday...kyun my princess...?

Padma: I can't believe we found such a good rishta by just sitting at home...our Riddhima really is lucky...

Shashank: That's true...

After some time they had dinner but Riddhima found that she could not swallow any amount of food that she placed in her mouth as her parents' conversation carried on over dinner. She felt terrible and there was no one she could share her thoughts with but herself. Once they had finished eating Riddhima offered to tidy up so that she was on her own and she didn't have to hear Padma's feelings about this rishta, she tidied up and made a quick escape to her room. As she entered she suddenly felt very faint like the ground beneath her feet was moving, she quickly moved to her bed and fell onto it, closing her eyes as everyone's words echoed through her mind.

Shashank: Tum hare liye ek bohot acha rishta aya hain...

*

Aunty: I was talking to your mother the other day and the only thought that ran through my mind was for you to be my daughter-in-law...

*

Simran: You both look so cute together...Riddhima and Vivik...how sweet...

*

Padma: Main iss rishte se bohot khush hoon...

*

Simran: I'm so happy... – hugging Riddhima - ...you're now going to be from Riddhima Didi to Riddhima Bhabi to me...I can't wait for this wedding...we're going to have so much fun...and even more when you come and live with us...haina bhai?

*

Vivik: I've told you before...you're mine and only mine...and now it's time to take our relationship further... – holding onto her hand

*

Vivik: You we're having an affair with Mr. Armaan Malik...you were running around behind your parents back for over three years and breaking all limits...maybe you won't be mine...but just think about your family...your sister's family...the bond they have will be broken...and it'll be all your fault...can you see the two families falling apart...did you ever think about what your sister will think...you will be the reason of the family enmity...



Ridz: - crying silently - ...Kyun...why is this happening to me...why...why...why...why do I have to go through this pain...don't I deserve to be happy...why should I sacrifice myself...I have a life too...I have feelings...I have dreams...then why can't I live my own life without having to think a million times...why is this happening to me... – sobbing

Riddhima curled herself up into a ball shaking uncontrollably as she let her thoughts out. Her head was throbbing with pain and her eyes were bloodshot red; she was now hiccupping with every word she took and she looked a mess.

Ridz: If I'm my parents' princess don't they see what I want...can't they feel my pain...I love them so much I just can't open up to them...I don't want to hurt them...I can't hurt them...aur dii...I love her so much and all I want for her is happiness...if I refuse this rishta she'll know that I lied to her about Armaan...I've never hide anything from her and if she finds out she will hate me...Vikram Uncle and Jiju will be mad at me...their business relationship will be effected as well as their family ties with us...Armaan will hate me even more that I let this happen...

She sobbed louder into her pillow as these thoughts ran through her mind; she was now holding onto her head and crying nonstop as she found other reasons which worried her.

Ridz: Why has this happened...what have I ever done to anyone...I've never hurt anyone...then why am I hurting so much...everyone has forgotten me...I don't exist any more...everyone is too happy in their lives to think about me...they've all received their share of happiness and love...and I haven't got anything...I don't deserve anything...I hate myself...

She cried herself to sleep soaking her pillow with her tears. Her nightmares disturbed her sleep and she kept tossing from side to side as they got worse and she had no power to fight back; she jumped up sweating and panting as usual with her head pounding with pain and her eyes stinging. She leaned against the head rest and controlled herself but she felt too weak to sit up; she lay back down and stared up at the ceiling as her thoughts and nightmares haunted her yet again.

Not in her senses Riddhima stood up and got dressed while her thoughts ran through her mind for the zillionth time making her feel worst than ever. Niki: We are with you...we're your best friends and we will always be with you…

She walked aimlessly out of her room, down the corridor and down the stairs to the front door, without a single creak it opened and she made her way out into the cool night. Armaan: Ladka yeh kehta hai ladki se…hooton pe khabi khabi hasi se…aya hoon dorr se…karne main dosti…haath milalo ajnabee se…jaana lo, manna lo, chehra mera…pehchanlo…

She walked zombie like around the estate and out onto the unusually quiet main road; her footsteps leading her to nowhere in particular but that was the last thing on her mind. Anji: Kya?...Main tumhe kaise bhool sakti…pagal hogaye hain kya?...Tum toh hamesha mere saath hogi…mere yaadon main aur mere saath…

Leaving the main street she walked on and on as her nightmare flashed in front of her eyes yet again and suddenly she felt slightly uneasy and stumbled over her feet but managed to grab hold of a near post to control her fall. Armaan: Kyon ki…I can't see you cry…

Riddhima began walking again amongst the familiar streets but still she had no idea where she was going. Vivik: Nothing's over…I love you…and your mine

After a long time of walking without purpose she did not notice that the sky was slightly brighter and day had broken but she suddenly began to feel very weird; You were desperate weren't you…?

There was endless fluttering in her chest which was followed by a racing sensation which she just couldn't understand. Armaan: Don't ever say that again…you're so good to everyone…even to people who doesn't deserve your niceness…you are the sweetest person I've ever met…

Within a few moments she felt normal again and she sat down by a nearby bench looking around at her surroundings but she still it didn't register in her mind of her exact location. Anji: Aaj se yeh sab rona band…from now on you are going to concentrate on your studies and have fun…no more thinking about all of this…okay?

Words from the past flashed in her mind continuously; Armaan: I love you Riddhima…I love you…

Aww...you're so sweet...I wish I could take you home with me right now...

Please Riddhima...just give me one chance to explain...if you've ever had feelings for me...even a slight bit...please give me this one chance…please…

"Just for you my love...you deserve all the happiness in the world...congratulations for entering your first step into your life's dream..."

I'm sorry...if I had come in earlier this wouldn't have happened...I'm sorry Riddhima...but I promise I will never let him get near you again...I promise...

Haan...one year...we've been together for one year...and in this one year no one has found out...so why are you worrying...just another year...let's finish our studies, get a job then we will tell them...and first of all you have to tell Bhabs that's it... we're not doing anything wrong...we're not lying...we're just not making it public...that's all...don't worry...

Hey...hey shush...Riddhima shush...this is not your fault...how could you think that?

Listen to me...this is not your fault...okay...shush...forget it... Riddhima...look at me...I'm fine...nothing has happen to me...it's all over now...I don't want to hear that word again...okay?

Tomorrow we're going to spend the whole day together…just me and you…

Listen to me Riddhima...you are the best designer...the best dress maker...the best organiser...the most hard worker...and the most beautiful model...in the world...you don't need to listen to a word of any jealous person...because they only wish they could be in your shoes...which can never happen...because there's only one Riddhima Gupta...and she's mine...so don't let them effect you...because you are bigger than them and you can do anything you want...so don't be put down by them...in fact this should make you stand much stronger...because they can only wish they were you but they can't because you are who you are...and no one can take your place...

Riddhima I've missed you so much... you have no idea what I've been going through these ten days...these two hundred and forty hours...fourteen thousand four hundred minutes and eight hundred and sixty four thousand seconds of my life...I've been going crazy without you...so don't ever leave me again...ever...do you get that...

Nervous as usual...close your eyes ...feel it Riddhima...your dream is finally coming true...not everyone is as lucky as you...but you've been given this opportunity above thousands of people to be here tonight...to show everyone your talent...win or no win Riddhima you made it till this far and you deserve every happiness...so enjoy it...enjoy it to the max...because you're a very lucky person...and I'm very happy that you're mine...all the best jaan...

Riddhima…this show is not my success but yours…when I found out that I was coming here to organise this event…the first thing that ran through my mind was you…I was going to be here with you…I was going to organise this event for you to perform…I had to make it the best for you…because I love you…

If you're feeling so guilty you should've of think of this first before setting them up...you knew one day or the other Abhi was going to come back...then why did you mess up Sid's life by dragging him into it...

Riddhima…like I said you made this mess now you clean it up…I haven't got time to waste on these tiny matters…I'm working here…I have a job to do…you sort your own problems out…if you created this problem it's your fault…don't think that I'm always going to be there to clear up your problems…I don't understand why you're meddling in other people's lives anyway…

Please Ridz…I've told you already…I'm really busy these days…I haven't got time to be messing around like before…Ridz I think you're just over reacting...

Riddhima you are over reacting now...I'm not selfish and neither am I too big for my boots...

You are the problem...miss princess just wants all the attention for herself...no one else should matter but her...you know what Ridz...I've also had enough of your badgering...your pointless phone calls...annoying text...people have a lives...they don't just sit around like you...so I think it's best that we end it...

Get out...I don't want to see you again...I hate you...

I hate you...



Sid: Ridz please stop this act…you knew Abhi was coming back…and yet you still got us into this mess…got me…into this mess…I'm not blind...I can see they still have feelings for each other and now I look like an idiot…thanks…



Niki: There's nothing left for you to say Ridz…everything is out in the open now…you knew Abhi was coming back…then why did you force me and Sid into this relationship…why were you trying to be cupid…



Armaan: I hate you...



Muskaan: I'll let you in on the surprise but don't tell him I told you...Armaan's been promoted...



Ba: All her friends have got married...she's the only one left...I think I should find someone for her...kyun gudia?



Minnie: And I'm sure you're also happily married...here shopping with your husband's money...so tell me how is my Armaan?...Or shall I say now your husband Armaan...



Armaan: Get out...I don't want to see you again...I hate you...



Sometime had passed when she finally realised where she was and started to panic thinking of how she had managed to get here; Padma: One year is almost up beta...if we start looking for someone now then we can have the wedding in summer...

Standing up quickly she looked around but suddenly felt very weird again as her chest began to flutter again then her heart started pounding heavily. Shashank: Tum hare liye ek bohot acha rishta aya hain...

She sat down again but her chest began to pain and it was difficult to breath. Simran: You both look so cute together...Riddhima and Vivik...how sweet...

Vivik: You we're having an affair with Mr. Armaan Malik...you were running around your parents back for over three years and breaking all limits...maybe you won't be mine...but just think about your family...your sister's family...the bond they have will be broken...and it'll be all your fault...can you see the two families falling apart...did you ever think about what your sister will think...you will be the reason of the family enmity...

Armaan: Get out...I don't want to see you again...I hate you...I hate you...I hate you...

Panicking; she stood up but felt light headed and as she looked around her surroundings began to spin and she felt herself falling to the floor...
.....................
part 72

Standing up quickly she looked around but suddenly felt very weird again as her chest began to flutter again then her heart started pounding heavily. Shashank: Tum hare liye ek bohot acha rishta aya hain...

She sat down again but her chest began to pain and it was difficult to breath. Simran: You both look so cute together...Riddhima and Vivik...how sweet...

Vivik: You we're having an affair with Mr. Armaan Malik...you were running around your parents back for over three years and breaking all limits...maybe you won't be mine...but just think about your family...your sister's family...the bond they have will be broken...and it'll be all your fault...can you see the two families falling apart...did you ever think about what your sister will think...you will be the reason of the family enmity...

Armaan: Get out...I don't want to see you again...I hate you...I hate you...I hate you...

Panicking; she stood up but felt light headed and as she looked around her surroundings began to spin and she felt herself falling to the floor...



Shashank stood anxiously by the kitchen counter running his fingers through his hair with worry lines appearing on his forehead while Padma sat at the kitchen table looking very worried and her eyes were blurred with tears.

Padma: Woh kahan ja sakti hain iss waqt... – looking up at Shashank - ...what should we do?

Shashank: It's still very early...

Padma: - looking over at the clock she read the time - ...Five past six...we've been waiting for half an hour already...how much longer are we going to wait...? – her voice shaking

Shashank: Calm down Padma...hum kuch na kuch sochenge... – trying to be calm himself

Padma: I can't be calm... – slowly becoming hysterical - ...my daughter is out at this time of the morning...she hasn't got her phone...she didn't inform us...then what should I think...if I didn't wake up to use the washroom I wouldn't even know...I saw her room door open and she wasn't there... – tears rolling down her cheeks - ...she's nowhere in the house and the double lock on the front door was left open...where can she go? – breathing heavily through tears - ...I hope she's okay...

Shashank walked over to her and placed his arm around her shoulders to calm her down as she sobbed silently.

Shashank: We'll find her...don't worry...I'll do everything possible... – then in his own thoughts - ...where could she be at this time of the morning...this really is not like her to do something like this...she didn't even take her phone...her bag...where could she be?

They sat in silence for a while both thinking of the possible places she could be but nothing came to their minds which made them worry even more. Every few minutes they would take turns looking up at the clock but still the time didn't seem to be moving and with each second their thoughts were beginning to play around in their minds. Half an hour later Padma had stood up unable to think any more and was pacing the kitchen madly.

Padma: Bas...bohot ho gaya...I can't wait any more...please call her friends...someone should know where she is...or they may know where she might be...just call someone... – begging Shashank

Shashank: Padma...control yourself...it's still very early...we can't disturb anyone at this time of the morning...it's only six thirty...

Padma: I don't care...my daughter is missing...I can't stay calm in this situation... – still crying

Shashank: I'll go and look around the estate...maybe she's nearby...

Padma: Where will you go...you have no idea where she might be...please just call her friends...someone can help us... – pleading with him

Shashank: Theek hain... – slowly - ...I'll get her phone...

Shashank walked out of the kitchen and went upstairs to Riddhima's room to get her phone. He walked back down to the kitchen a few moments later and Padma looked up eagerly as he went through the phone book and the first name which appeared on the list was Abhi, he took a deep breath and pressed the call button.

Abhi: Hello? – sleepily

Shashank: Abhi...its Shashank uncle speaking...I'm sorry to disturb you so early in the morning...

Abhi: - recognising the voice and coming to his senses – Ji uncle...it's okay...but what's the matter...is everything okay?

Shashank: Actually I'm calling to ask you something... – hesitating

Abhi: Go on uncle...what's the problem?

Shashank: Umm...do you or Nikita know where Riddhima is...?

Abhi: Woh...umm...Riddhima? – coming to his senses slowly - ...Kyon?

Shashank: Umm...when we woke up this morning she was not at home...she hasn't taken her phone with her...and we don't know where she is...do you have any idea where she could be...like her favourite place...or something...

Abhi: Nahi uncle...I really don't know where she could be...I'll ask Niki and get back to you...maybe she knows something...

Shashank: Thank you beta...please let me know if there's anything...

Abhi: Yes uncle...don't worry...we'll let you know...I hope we find her soon...

Shashank: I hope so too...

Abhi cut the phone and looked over at Nikita who had just walked out of the washroom and was making her way towards him with a smile.

Niki: What's wrong...today you woke up without the alarm or me having to pester you... – smiling

Abhi: Umm... – looking at her seriously - ...actually Niki...I just got a phone call...

Niki: Who from...it's so early...

Abhi: It was Shashank uncle... – running his fingers through his hair nervously

Niki: What's wrong...? – curiously

Abhi: He said that Ridz wasn't home...like she left home in the middle of the night...he was asking if we know where she is...

Niki: What...? – in shock - ...Ridz ghar par nahi hain...at this time... – worrying - ...where could she have gone...?

Abhi: Pata nahi...you don't know anything about this?

Niki: Of course not Abhi...if I knew I would let you know or her parents...I have no idea...I hope she's okay... – panicking slightly - ...what if something happened... – covering her mouth

Abhi: It's nothing like that... – holding onto her shoulder - ...now you don't worry and just think where she might be...then we'll call back...

Niki: I'll...I'll call Muskaan...

Nikita grabbed her phone from her dresser and quickly dialled Muskaan's number, holding it up to her ear as she heard the first ring; she bit her lip in worry as she suddenly thought of how to break this news to Muskaan.

Rahul: Hello? – calmly

Niki: Hi Rahul...is Muskaan there?

Rahul: Umm...yeah just a minute... – calls out to Muskaan then back to the phone - ...Niki is everything okay?

Niki: Uh...umm...not really...can I talk to Muskaan...

Rahul: Okay she's here... – handing the phone to Muskaan - ...here its Niki...

Muskaan: Hey Niki...what's wrong... – curiously

Niki: Muskaan...there's a problem...we just got a call from Shashank uncle...he said... – mumbling a bit - ...Ridz wasn't home last night...when they woke up this morning she wasn't there...

Muskaan: What??

Niki: Haan...that's what I thought as well... she hasn't got her phone and no one knows where she is...I was wondering if you know anything...

Muskaan: I have no idea...the last time I spoke to her she sounded fine...but then when she talked about the break up with Armaan she sounded upset...

Niki: That's probably what's bothering her...do you know where she could be...

Muskaan: I really don't know...but I hope she's okay...I'm really worried now...

Niki: Mein bhi...I don't know what's going to happen...do you think we should tell Armaan?

Muskaan: Umm...yeah I think he should know...I'll give him a call...

Niki: Fine...if you know anything call Shashank uncle...they're really worried...

Muskaan: Yeah I will...I'll talk to you later...

Niki: Okay bye...

Muskaan ended the call and turned to Rahul who had already heard everything; he placed a comforting arm around her knowing what she was going through.

Muskaan: Woh kahan ja sakti hain? – worried

Rahul: Don't worry...we'll find her...

Muskaan: I hope nothing has happened...she was so upset after her breakup...I should've gone over to see her...she went through everything on her own...and took all that stress...I should've been there for her...but I...

Rahul: - rubbing her shoulders - ...Muskaan...don't worry everything will be fine...you just control yourself...you need to be strong...

Muskaan: I know Rahul...but she's my best friend and I left her on her own when she needed someone the most... – close to tears

Rahul: Muskaan...calm down...it's going to be okay...I'll call Armaan...

Muskaan nodded through tears while Rahul took the phone and called Armaan but it rang several times before it went to voicemail. He tried a few times but there was still no answer making Muskaan worry even more.



Armaan had just left his room and was making his way downstairs; as he got to the bottom of the stairs he could hear muffled voices coming from the kitchen and he walked to the door until the voices was a bit clear.

Vikram: This is not like Riddhima...what has happened suddenly... – to Atul while Nandani comforted Anjali

Nandani: Anjali beta, don't cry...everything is going to be okay...you need to be strong for your mama...she needs you...

Anji: Par woh kahan ja sakti hain...she didn't tell anyone... – through tears - ...she left the house in the middle of the night...anything could happen to her if she's out on the streets...no one knows where she is...

Atul: Anjali... – putting his arm around her - ...we'll find her...you just calm down...kuch nahi hoga usse...she'll be fine...

Nandani: Here...have some water... – she handed her a glass of water

Armaan stood rooted to the spot as this conversation replayed in his mind; he stepped backwards slowly and left the house quietly as the seriousness of the situation hit him.

Armaan: Riddhima...where are you? - to himself

He started walking towards the main road as the conversation of their last meeting flashed into his mind and he thought only of her.

Armaan...you're so stuck into your work that you don't see anything that's going on around you...

You're not putting any effort into this relationship...you're always working...you've forgotten me and you have no time for me...it seems like I'm the only one who's trying...and I'm tired of running around after it...because it's just one sided...so why should I bother...?

Armaan...does this relationship mean anything to you anymore? ...Do I mean anything to you?

We haven't spoken to each other for over a month and you think that's normal...? We haven't met for over two months and that's normal...? Not wishing me on my birthday or even a single text is normal for a couple...? This is all normal for you...

I've really had enough now Armaan...because you haven't got time...for me...for us...for our future...you have other priorities which do not include me...

Suddenly he felt ashamed and scared about Riddhima's disappearance; he silently prayed to find her soon and safe as he left the main road and turned into familiar streets where he spent time with Riddhima before. A while later he made it to the park; now praying desperately to find her; he scanned the area but it was bare and he carried on walking a little further to the quiet areas where they usually spent time alone.

As he neared their bench he saw a crowd gathered there and an ambulance. His heart raced and legs moved without permission as he rushed to the scene. Just as he made his way to the front of the crowd he saw a the stretcher being placed into the van and he rushed to the door quickly spotting a body lying there unconscious, he scanned it to see it was a lady wearing black trousers and a pale beige top, he noticed a very familiar silver bracelet dangling from her wrist and his heart thumped against his chest.

Armaan: Ex...excuse me... – stammering to the paramedics - ...can...can I just...just have a look...

Meds: Do you know her...?

Armaan: I...I think...think so...

Meds: Come in...

Armaan walked into the van and got a sudden shock even though his heart had already known it was her it finally registered in his brain after seeing her face. He grabbed her hand as tears filled his eyes to see her in this condition and he could barely speak.

Meds: Do you know her?

Armaan nodded his head but could say nothing. The van took off and Armaan's ears were filled with the sound of the loud siren as they sped down the streets towards the hospital but he could not take his eyes off of her pale face. Once he had got his voice back he gave the paramedics a brief history but he also did not know what the problem was which made him worry even more.



They got to the hospital within minutes and Armaan watched as Riddhima was strolled away into A&E; he followed her but let the nurses and doctors do their job. His eyes did not leave her face as he stood at the side of the room thinking about her in this condition; wires were attached to her body and machines beeped continuously but she was still unconscious. After some time she was shifted into another room; the door was closed on Armaan while the doctors treated her. Armaan paced around the waiting room as his mind filled itself with millions of questions.

Armaan: Why has this happened...Riddhima...suddenly like this... – looking back at the closed door - ...but what exactly happened...why did she leave home in the middle of the night...what was the problem? – questioning himself continuously - ...Did...did she have an argument with her parents...? Did something happen to her? What was the reason... – running his fingers through his hair - ...how did she get to the park...what was she thinking...did someone... – he stopped that thought and shook his head looking back at the door

He sat down on a nearby chair and ran his fingers through his hair once again as his thoughts carried on making him think only about Riddhima.

Armaan: - praying silently - ...Please make her well again...I can't see her like this... – tears sprang to his eyes

He leaned back into the chair and rested his head on the wall as he continuously prayed for her to get better. Time passed by with Armaan pacing up and down the waiting room; sitting and standing; leaning against the wall and staring at the closed door until he felt something vibrate in his pocket. He looked down and took out his phone; there were three missed calls and he took a closer look to see they were all from Rahul. He pressed the call button and held it to his ear; the first ring had not even stopped when Rahul immediately answered.

Rahul: Where are you...do you have any idea what is going on...why don't you answer your phone...? – angrily

Armaan: Rahul...

Rahul: I don't want to hear any apologies...

Armaan: Rahul just listen to me...

Rahul: I've been trying to call you all morning...

Armaan: I'm sorry...my phone was on silent when I left home this morning...but I...

Rahul: I said I don't want to hear it...where are you anyway?

Armaan: Rahul...I'm...

Rahul: Have you heard about Ridz...do you have any idea what everyone is going through...? – fuming - ...But I bet you don't care...you have no feelings for her any more right... – furious - ...you're probably at some venue for some project or the other...that's all you have time for these days right...you don't care where she is...or how she is...I don't even know why I even thought of calling you...

Armaan: Rahul please...

Rahul: Please what Armaan...I'm sorry...I'm wasting your time right now...

Armaan: Just listen to me Rahul...I'm at the hospital...with Riddhima...

Rahul: - was silent for a moment - ...What?

Armaan: Yeah...I'm at the hospital with Riddhima...when I found out this morning I went to look for her and she was in the park...she was being taken into an ambulance...I came with her...she's in the hospital...

Rahul: But how...I mean what happened? – in shock

Armaan: I don't know...by the time I got there she was in the ambulance...I have no idea what happened...the doctors are with her now...

Rahul: Are you okay...? – slowly

Armaan: Hmmm... – was all he could say

Rahul: I'll let her parents know...

Armaan: I'll call them...

Rahul: I'm sorry Armaan...

Armaan: I'll talk to you later...

Rahul: Bye...

Armaan cut the call and thought for a second of how he was going to break this news to her parents but he knew he had to do it; he should've done it earlier. He searched for her landline and pressed call; holding the phone to his ear and heard it ring once; it was picked up a moment later and he heard a familiar voice, he thought of how to break the news.

Shashank: Hello...

Armaan: Umm...hi uncle...

Shashank: Who's speaking...?

Armaan: It's...Armaan...uncle I...

Shashank: What's wrong...you don't sound so good...

Armaan: Uncle...Rid... – his voice was breaking - ...Riddhima is in hospital...she's with the doctors...

Shashank: We're coming...

He cut the call and Armaan was once again left to look at the closed doors behind which investigations were being carried out on an unconscious Riddhima. Yet another half an hour passed until the doors finally opened and out came the doctor, Armaan quickly stood up and walked towards him.

Armaan: What is wrong with her...? – impatiently - ...Is she okay?

Doc: She is quite serious at the moment but we are still carrying out checks...

Armaan: What's the problem...?

Doc: She was extremely stressed out...she was suffering from hyper tension...it seems like this was going on for months...as we don't know her exact history there is very little we can say right now...

Armaan: But will she be okay...? – worried

Doc: She's still unconscious...not exactly in a coma but we'll give her another twenty four hours...if she does regain her consciousness then we'll come to a conclusion...excuse me...

The doctor walked away and Armaan watched as he went; as he turned he saw Shashank, Padma, Anjali, Vikram and Nandani standing there. Padma looked as if she was going to pass out any minute and they helped her to a seat while Vikram rushed off to get water for her.


Armaan: - thinking - ...Yeh sab mere wajah se huwa hain...she was stressed out because of me...I have led her to this situation...I can't believe this is all my fault...she loved me so much...and all I did in return was have her lying on a hospital bed...unconscious to the world... – praying silently - ...please make her well again...Riddhima...please wake up...wake up and punish me for all my wrong doings...but please wake up... – his eyes filled with tears

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