Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Part 7 : CLOSURE?TO BEGINNING

 She looks at him blankly. Then the expression changes to puzzlement. "Armaan?" she whispers. She still has not comprehended the meaning. But it is giving her a bad signal. "What do u mean?"



" Riddhima. . .Shilpa is ur real sister. . .and . .and the man in the picture here, is ur biological father. .". He told it very softly yet firmly. He looks at her expression changes from confused to puzzled then astonishment and then to anger. " Armann. . .What kind of sick joke is this?"



 He looks startled. She thought it as some joke!!!! " No. .Riddhima, . .Why should I joke with u? And that too in such a matter?" he retorts. He then presses one of his hands in her to make her believe." Riddhima. . .I am telling u the truth. . .Shilpa is really ur own sister and he, ur father. Ur family. ."he said in a deep voice.





She looks at him for some time to see if what she is hearing is really a truth and not some kind of prank on his part. But his eyes only depicted honesty and sincerity. And as a reaction to it her brain stooped working for some time. She just looks blankly at the picture. 'She is my sister?. . .Shilpa is my sister. . .' is all that her mind is repeating and everything else gets blur. Some minutes past like that and the truth starts to slowly sinking in her whole being but she did not move, nor made any comment. Armaan gets worried seeing her like this. He tries to talk,



" Riddhima?" . There is absolute silence. He can hear his heart violently thumping in his chest. " Riddhima. ." This time he shakes her. But she does not move her eyes from the picture.



"How did u know?"  The question come so suddenly and so low and calm that he becomes confused that he heard it right.



 "What?" He asks to confirm.



She looks up at him. Her eyes are depicting thundering turmoil but her face is devoid of any emotion." I asked , how did u know it? Armaan?" comes the question back. He is now getting afraid of her non chalice.



 "Sid told me. ." he tries to sound composed.



 "Sid?." She looks shocked. Now where does Sid come from? As long as she remembers Sid has not visited them even once after She and Armaan got together. He just called once after their marriage to congratulate them and that's it. He then changed his number telling that he will himself contact them once he is ready. And they let it be, knowing he needs time and didn't had pressed farther. But then when did Sid told Armaan all this? .



 " Yea. ." he nodded.



"  when?." She mouths the question she is thinking.



 "Umm.. In past.  Wo   . .actually"  He struggles answering the question .It is more tough than he actually thought.



She is more puzzled 'from past? So how long actually he knew it ?' Is it possible that he knew it before their marriage? And have not told her! "No . . .No. . .it can't be. ." she tries shrug off the bad intuition but his gestures simply showing how much un-comfortable he is on her question. It shows he didn't want to answer this question. But now she has to know. Her suspicion is now at it's edge. She stops him with her raised hand and asks " Actually from when u knew about it?" Her eyes are cold but her voice is stern. Infact so stern that he looks up at her eyes startled.  He saw her eyes demanding him the answer. He can't meet her eyes and lowered his ones..



He knew that is coming. He clears his throat " Umm. .Almost . . from 2 and half years. . ." he replies almost in a whisper.



 Her heart sinks. She stands looking at him for sometime to comprehend what he said. This can't be true!! He can not hide this from her.  She can't even think that her Armaan can hide this much vital information from her.  'Vital' heck, This is about her damn LIFE . HER IDENTITY and he had hidden it from HER ???. Why? Is he thought it is not important for her to know? her anger rises. "And u didn't told me?"her eyes are reprimanding him. He tries to pacify her putting his hand on her cheek but she jerks it off.. "You know it for so long but u didn't thought of telling me?" her eyes accusing him.



 he becomes alarmed at her action but nonetheless he tries to comfort her ."Ridhhima . . .it's not like that. .I. ." but gets cut off.



 "It's not like that. . .it's not like that, then WHAT IT IS LIKE?"  She shouts " U knew that I have a sister. . .u knew who my real father is. . . u knew it all along. . .but u didn't feel like telling me. .WHY  Armaan? Didn't u think I have a right to know this?" she is infuriated at his answer. Gut of this man!!! He is still trying to defend himself after hiding her identity from her for so long; after keeping her in dark for ages. How could he? Did he not understand how this going to affect her?? Hurt her?



" Yes Riddhima. . .I know. . I know that u have the right know it all. I was. .I was just looking for the right time. . ." He tries to reason.



" Right time?" she smiles sarcastically " Yea right , Armaan tell me, have u not got any right time in this whole 2 and a half year. . .it's a quite long time u know. . do u think I am that fool to believe you?." He knows she is right in her place but he had other compulsion. He was bound.



" No. Riddhima . . .pls. . .believe me." He pleads.



 "How Armaan ?. . how? . . .just tell me how can I believe u? U have already done this to me so many times. . .haven't u?" he has no answer to it and she continues, "I was a fool to believe u have changed. . .u promised me u won't keep anything from me. . .u promised Armaan. . .but still u hide so much from me. . .u even hidden my identity from me. . .tell me now Armaan ,how can I believe u. . .do u have any answer? Why are u silent?" And she shook him. She is feeling hurt, pained and betrayed by the very person she loves. It's paining her to no limit and the pain is coming out in the form of anger.



 He doesn't has any answer. How would he? She is right. He has done that to her so many times. She is bound to feel like this .he has nothing to do other than plead ." Riddhima. . .I. .I wanted to tell u. . ."  His eyes are misty.



"But u didn't Armaan. . .u didn't." came her hurt reply. She is choking at her words. Her eyes are getting watery. Her world is crumbling.



He can't see her like this. He comes and takes her in his arms to console her. He looked at her eyes pleading. "Busket. . .pls, trust me. . " But she pushes him off violently.



" TRUST U?. . .HOW MANY TIME SHOULD I TRUST U?" She is shaking in anger, " Every time. . .Every single time I trusted u , U broke my trust. . .and u are again saying me to trust u?" . . .
 He had not thought that the damage will be so severe.  That she can be hurt to the extent to not trusting him. But he can not blame her. He has again cheated her trust. He had made her go through all that pain again and he hated himself for that .But he has to clear this out. "Busket. . .I tried to tell u. I really did. But. . .I could not .I was compelled. . ."



" You are compelled." Sarcasm is dipping from her words, " of course Armaan. . .u r Compelled . . .u r compelled to hid me MY identity. . .U are compelled to let go of MY sister after knowing very well the truth . .u are compelled to broke my trust. . .isn't it?"



  " No..Riddhima. . ." he tried one more time but again gets cut off



" Tell me Armaan. . .ok for a minute let me believe that u are COMPELLED to hid ME all this. But u are not compelled to Shilpa. . .So why didn't u stop her ?  Why did u let her go?" She wants the answers and wants that very badly now.



 . " I didn't knew all this at that time. . .I came to know only after she left." He told her earnestly. If he had knew it before would he let her go before confronting Riddhima? Hell no. But will she be able to understand that?



She pauses for a moment as if taking in his answer then she continues" Ok, let also believe that. . .but then when u came to know it have u tried to talk to her ? To make her come back? To let her tell me all this? Have you? Or surely u haven't find it important enough?". She asks harshly. Her last words are filled with sarcasm.



 " No Riddhima.Thats not true. . .I tried to contact her. . .but she did not let me talk to her. . .believe me,I have tried. . ."  His voice is pleading her to believe him but she is so much infuriate that his pleading have no effect on her and it only make her dam of patient broke .



" How could u?. . .How could u lie to me Armaan , even now?. . .U are trying to say she did not wanted to came back to me, Her OWN sister? Why I am finding it all fake Armaan? Why did I getting the feeling that u have not tried ur best?.  .Infact I have the feeling that u have not tried at all otherwise she would have definitely came back to me. . ." Her eyes are blazing accusation. She was numb to everything else other than her accusing brain which is not letting her go out of the thought of him betraying her trust.





 He becomes shocked at her accusation. Did he have hurt her so much that she is questioning his intention? "Why should I do that Riddhima? . ." He is now exasperated as well as tired of trying explaining her. She doesn't even giving him any chance to defend.



" I don't know ." she shouted . "May be. . .may be U don't want her to come back." He is stunned. He does not know where it is heading but he did not having a good feelings at all. She continues "Yes. .that is the truth. . .u didn't want her to come back. . .and I want to know the reason. . ." She does not know if she is making any sense. She just wants to yell at him, shout at him, to blurt out whatever comes to her mind. She even does not want to feel what her words were doing to Armaan. All she knows at that moment that she is cheated and that too by the very person she loves.



He feels defeated. His own mind now is rising questions to him 'Is she right? Have I not tried that much?' But his heart knows that is not true. He had tried. But he also knows that she is not in a position to understand now .He has to pacify her, calm her fast. That should be his foremost priority. He grips her shoulder. "Ok .Fine. . .May be. . .May be I have not tried my best. But I don't have any bad intentions Busket. . .I might had  thought she needs time and space to gather herself at that time . . .so may be unconseousely, I have given her some slack. . .but now .we can try again .and this time we can try it together. . .and I am sur. ." he goes on with a hope to make her understand but There is something in his speech that caught her attention more than his hope.



"Gather herself ! !Gather herself from what Armaan?"  and he stops abruptly. So much so that that it felt like as if some fuul speed car have applied its brake with all possible force.  Armaan mind and tongue stopped working as soon as those words came out of her mouth. He curses his big mouth for blurting things at wrong time. Now what he is going to tell her?  He starts struggling in his mind what to tell her.



 She looks at his face noticing him averting his eyes. Then it hit her like a bolt. "Armaan. . ." Her voice sounds deep in realization



Her tone shakes him from within. Does she know? But how? Is what he fearing all along, coming true? He didn't want to go there. It's a never-to trade-way for him.  He always kept his mind off this topic and locked it in a safe corner of his heart. It consists of the hurt, pain and sacrifice of a girl as well as his inability to do anything to prevent it from happening. It was pain of causing some one's heartbreak, though unintentionally but it has left him with a helpless guilt. But for now he is more concerned about Riddhima's reaction than his guilt..



" Armaan did u knew?" her voice is cold, so much  that it runs a chill through him. His doubts and fears are taking shape with every passing second.



" Riddhima. . ." he whispers still averting his gaze from her which confirms Riddhima's doubt.



" U knew it. . .u knew that she loved u. . ." this is it. Everything is out. What he has thought he has kept it from all others eyes is now out in open and that too before his Busket's eyes. He does not know what reaction it will bring. Shilpa is her sister and he is her husband or rather, the love of her life. The thought of her own sister is in love with her beloved is itself horrific. It can shatter anyone. He is fearing this all along and now he is worried for her. And moreover his hiding this fact can lead to worse consequences. So he tried to talk to her " Busket. . ."



" Yes or no?"  He looks at her eyes and saw the bulging hurt accompanied with hatred. He can not look at her eyes anymore so he lowers his eyes guiltily and nods his head in approval.



It's like someone just snatched the floor below her feet. She can't believe " U knew it. . .I can't believe u Armaan. . . U knew it all along!! "She talks to herself more than him. As if trying to make herself believe whatever happened just now. Nothing is making sense anymore. Her world goes blank.



He looks at her stunned. Now she is thinking in wrong direction. Fine, he knew that Shilpa had feelings for him but he came to know it only after she left. So, where is this 'all along' came from? Is it heading towards something more worse than he thought?" Riddhima. Its nothing like that.." he tries to  make her understand."" u r taking it wrong way. . .try to understand".



"Understand what Armaan? U knew it all the time and u kept it from me..? WHY?" She is now yelling. Understand? Her love, her life, her trust are brutally smashed by him in a minute and he wants her to understand him.



" Riddhima." He tries to pacify her holding her shoulder and she jerked it off" Ridhhima .I. . ."but was cut off



"Wait a minute .I know why. . .u had just used her for ur own benefit. . . don't u ?."she speaks with venom in her tongue.



" Riddhima.!!!!!!!" Hurt and pain was clearly visible from his eyes. It feels like she has just slapped him hard but only the scars are etched on his heart"R u insane?? Do u even know what r u talking about?" He retorted angrily and shakes her trying to make her see the truth for the last time.



" Oh yes Armaan. . .I damn know what I am talking about" she seethed. All she can remember is the past flashes of whenever she saw Armaan with Shilpa, Shilpa's eyes full of love for him and his denial to her about having any relation with Shilpa, which in this case does not sounding believable any more to her. It all feeling like a big fat lie to her over worked out brain" U have just used her to make me jealous. U knew all along that she loved u. So u just took the opportunity. . ..  The Great Armaan Mallik can never be without girls, isn't it?. . U played with her and when u saw that u can get me back, u just trashed her and made her go. . .so that I can't see this ugly deed of yours. . U have not only played with her feelings but mine too? How could u Armaan ? How could u?. . ." She is now out of control. Her every sense is getting blur. She continues "I can't believe that u can go so low. . .used an innocent girl's feeling to make ur work easy. Ur a cheap person and I hate u. . DO u understand Armaan Mallik , I bl***y hate u. . .and more than that I hate myself  that I loved a person like u. . .I. . ." she continued without realizing what was she is saying. She is uttering all rubbish what was coming to her mouth without even realizing the meaning of it. Her heart, mind and tongue are not in coordination. But as the last words reverberated in her head she stopped abruptly. Her hands involuntarily come over her mouth. As the realization of the meaning of the words sunk in, she becomes shocked. Too shocked to utter another word. What was she saying? Is she crazy? Even a crazy person could sound more sensible than her. Don't she know her Armaan enough? Then how could she even think of uttering those cheap and low accusation to him? Was she out of her mind? Heck, she is. She has just suspected the love and intention of Armaan !! Her Armaan!!!!!!  Who was with her in every thick and thin of life, whose every happiness and every sorrow revolves around her. What she had done is like blasphemy and she should be cursed for that. But now it's done. She can not take it back. Silence took over them. It's so silent that it can be cut with a knife. An unbearable guilt took over her. She can not fathom that if she herself was this much paining then how much these words would have hurt him. She can't even look into his eyes .But she have to apologies .She have to. Before it's too late. With every bit of courage she can gather, she looks at him. And the sight before her froze,

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