Thursday, 13 August 2020

part 2 : Life Behind A Camera

"Alright! Everyone ready? LIGHTS, CAMERA AND ACTION!"

Jennifer stood next to her patient, holding the stethoscope in her hand, she tried focussing on the file in front of her.

"Dr. Winget? We have a call for you" The nurse came into the room. Jennifer nodded, put the file back, and walked towards the reception. Picking up the receiver, Jennifer held it to her ear, and said , "hello?"

"Babe, I am so sorry about last night. Emergency at the hospital. I am really, very, very sorry. I promise, I'll make it up to you. How about tonight? Candlelight dinner, with some music and amazing food?" Karan said on the other line, as Jennifer held the receiver close to her.



She swallowed hard and said, "Nahin Karan, bohot kaam hain. I can't..."

"Lagta hain abhi bhi gussa ho. Please jaana, I am really sorry" Karan said, on the other line, but Jennifer shook her head.

"I can't Karan. I have to go" Jennifer said as she put the receiver back. If Karan had come yesterday, would she have met him? Jennifer wished that he hadn't come back. Finally she was moving on, and suddenly he came back to have her.

Shaking her head, Jennifer went on with her work.

Walking into the locker room, Jennifer was greeted with flowers surrounding the area, with rose petals on the floor. She was astounded. Who had done this? Karan? Would he have had the flowers ordered just because she was angry with him?

She could feel a smile touching the corner of her lips as she glanced around. She held the card on one of the bouquets and it read, 'I am sorry'

Grinning from ear to ear, Jennifer glanced around, spinning in a circle, taking in the smell of the fragrant roses.

"I am sorry, Jennifer"

Jennifer immediately stopped and turned to face him standing a few feet away from her. Her smile immediately left her face as she looked at him.

"Y-you?" Jennifer choked out as she looked at him in disbelief.

"Ridhima, I am sorry-"

"CUT!"

Both Ridhima and Armaan immediately stopped to see what went wrong.

"Arey baba, you have to say Jennifer. Not Ridhima! Do it again!" Mohit ordered them as surprise flittered across both Ridhima and Armaan's face.

Neither had realised that they had been thinking of each other while doing to role, and neither had noticed that Armaan had said Ridhima, not Jennifer.

********

Ridhima put the strap of her purse on her shoulder, as she fiddled around in it, to find her car keys.

She had sent her driver home early today because Mohit had asked her and Armaan to stay back and do some more scenes. Not being able to find them, Ridhima could feel the frustration building up within her.

Where had she put them?

Rummaging through her handbag, Ridhima was letting out frustrated sighs every now and then. She had assumed everyone had probably gone by now, because she had taken a long time on purpose to get changed into her jeans and t-shirt, so she could avoid Armaan. He had made it a rule to apologise to her using her name while shooting a scene for Dill Mill Gayye, every opportunity he got.

Letting out a loud curse, Ridhima fisted her hair in her hand, while the other came to rest at her hip. Where had she left her keys?

"Looking for these?"

Spinning around, Ridhima saw Armaan standing behind her, a bag slung on his shoulder, keys in his hands as he looked at her with those smoldering eyes. Ridhima immediately averted her gaze as she felt the uneasiness of being close to him again.

"Yeah. Thanks." Ridhima said, as she held out her hand, waiting for him to give her the keys, but he still kept them with himself, twirling them around on his finger.

"I need to talk to you" He stated, still looking at her while Ridhima refused to look at him.

"I don't want to" Ridhima replied, her hand still outstretched, her lips pursing as she glared at his hand to give her the keys.

"Ridhima, please look at me" Armaan said, as he stopped twirling the keys, and just held them in his hand.

"Just give me the keys" Ridhima sneered, as she tried to grab them off him, but he held them away from her.

"Look. Ridhima, I am sorry. Please, just listen to me!" Armaan said, as he tried to hold them away from her. Frustration was mounting up within her and Ridhima knew she was going to snap, if he didn't give her the keys this instant. Trying to reach up and take them once more, Ridhima did not succeed as Armaan stood on his tip-toes as to not let her get them.

"Dammit Armaan! JUST GIVE ME THE KEYS!" Ridhima shouted as her hand, on its own accord, lifted up to slap him across the face. The sound of the slap echoed in parking area as she glared up at him. He looked sadly up at her, as his hand slowly, limply fell to his side.

Ridhima's chest was heaving up and down at the exertion of finally letting her frustration out, and she could feel the guilt settling in. The guilt turned into tears, and Ridhima felt everything around her break down, as she fell to her knees and started sobbing.

Why did he have to come back and ruin the perfect walls she had managed to build around her?

Why did he have to steal her heart, and then break it into a million pieces?

Why did he have to make her love him?

Why?

Ridhima was sobbing, and she could feel her throat clenching and unclenching as the pain became unbearable. Wrapping her arms around herself, Ridhima got her knees to herself, as she leaned against her car.

Armaan came and sat next to her, his shoulder just touching hers. Ridhima closed her eyes and sobbed harder. She hated him, she hated him so much. Why did he have to leave? Why couldn't he just leave her alone?

"Arma-I...I...W-wh...I" Ridhima stammered, trying to breath and subside her sobs, but they once again overtook her, and Ridhima put her forehead on her knees, her whole body shaking at the intensity of her cries.

"I am sorry Ridhima" Armaan whispered, bring his own knees and resting his forearms on them, his fingers fiddling with each other, which Ridhima had often teased him about as a sign of nervousness.

"I am-"

"DON'T" Ridhima whispered harshly. "Don't you dare say you are sorry, because I know you are not!"

"I am sorry"

"Don't!"

"I love you Ridhima"

"Shut up, Shut up, SHUT UP!" Ridhima shouted, her hands coming up to her ears to block him out, but Armaan held them away and looked into her eyes.

"I love you Ridhima Shashank Gupta. And I am sorry for all the pain I have caused you. Please, Ridhima. I am sorry" Armaan pleaded, as tears swam in his own eyes.

"You don't love me. If you did, you wouldn't have left me" Ridhima whispered.

"I love you, I always have and I always will. I had no choice Ridhima, I had to leave!" Armaan said, desperation creeping into his voice.

"That's absolute crap, Armaan. I don't want to see you ever again!" Ridhima said, as she hauled herself up, grabbed the keys from him, sat in her car and drove away.

********

Ridhima lay in her bed, her arm resting on her stomach, and the other on her side, as she stared up at the ceiling going over the previous day's events. Once Ridhima had gotten in the car, Ridhima had tried her best to stop thinking of Armaan and get to her house safely. Once in the confinements of her own bedroom, Ridhima had crawled into her bed and let the tears take over, lulling her to an exhausted sleep.

Now it was 5 am and Ridhima was awake her mind whirring at the speed of light, not letting her rest and get the much-needed sleep. She could feel the sleep behind her eyes, but every time she closed them, his face invaded her mind, and she would feel the tears prickling the corner of her ears again.

Sighing, Ridhima turned on her side and looked at her room. She had always loved being in the sun and letting it soak into her skin as she lay on the grass outside. Which is why when she had bought this house, Ridhima had made sure her room was painted a pale yellow to make sure that she was reminded no matter how tough the going got, there was always some sort of sunshine in her life. But after he left, Ridhima couldn't even stand to see the yellow in her room without being reminded of all the happy times they had shared together. Without being reminded of their midnight chats, his mischievous smiles and his teasing jokes that never failed to make her laugh.

The first thing she had done after he had left her was get her room re-painted, into a deep blue. It was to remind her of the deep ocean she had found her self to be in. With nowhere to go, she had felt like she was in the middle with the currents of the water taking her everywhere, while she struggled to stay afloat and not to be sucked into the deep blues of life.

Ridhima closed her eyes and sighed once more. Opening them, she realised it was 6. Groaning Ridhima turned to her back once again. She wanted to call in sick. She wanted to ignore him, wanted to not be reminded he was back. She wanted to forget the past few days and wished with all her heart that it was just a nightmare from which she wasn't able to get up. She wished she had never met him. Wished she had never signed up for Dil Mil Gaye, and wished that she was still a struggling actor. At least then her life would be free of this heartache. 

Sweety

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