Friday, 19 February 2021

PART 1 : Heartbeat


"Riddhi please!!! Dena!!! That's not fair!!!"


"Kabhi nahi!!! Armaan yeh chocolate maa ne MUJHE di hai, why should I give it to you?"


"Acha? Toh tu nahi degi?"


"Nahi. Dekh Armaan, main tujhse badi hoon. Toh yeh chocolate meri. Tu khud ki chocolate laa."

 "Main tujhse badi hoon" he said, imitating her. "Tu mujhse sirf do din badi hai. Aaj tera birthday hai, do din baad mera. Aur bat to aise kar rahi ho jaise mujhse paanch saal badi ho."


"Do din toh do din. Lekin badi to main hoon hi. Waise agar tujhe chocolate chahiye toh ek kaam ho sakta hai."


"Kya? Bol na! I'll do it."


"Tu mera maths homework ek mahine tak karega. Deal?"


"Pagal hai? Ek MAHINE tak? Woh bhi yeh chchoti si chocolate ke liye?"


"Theek hai, toh mat kar, yeh chocolate main hi khaaloongi."


"Riddhi, yeh fair nahi hai okay? Aaj teri birthday hai, toh tujhe itni saari chocolates mili aur tune already teen khaali hai. Acha chal, gimme half of this one."


"Theek hai."


She went closer to him to give the chocolate. Just as she was about to put it in his mouth, she ran away, taking a huge bite of the chocolate.


"You did not just do that! Ab tu dekh. Main tujhe chchodoonga nahi."


"Ha! You'll never be able to catch me! Loser! Know how that spells? L-O-S-E-R!!!!!!!! LOSER!"


He ran behind her trying to catch her, running all around the park. Suddenly he saw her fall down and quickly rushed towards her.


"Riddhi! Riddhima! Are you okay?"


"I'm alright Armaan. Woh bas, I fell down because I tripped on this rock."


"Thirteen. You turned 13 today Riddhi, ab toh dekh kar chala karo! Look at your knees. The skin has almost come off. Ab chal, Padma aunty ke paas."


"Armaan, mujhe bahot dard ho raha hai. It's bleeding and it burns a lot and' and'"


He saw her crying and smiled fondly. She would never change. Looking at them fighting for that chocolate, people would've thought they were 5! Taking out his handkerchief, he went and sat by her.


"Sssh. Riddhi ro mat yaar. Look, I've wet the handkerchief, so just sit still and let me clean this up, okay?"


"Armaan, *sniff* tum abhi bhi bade hokar doctor ban na chahte ho?"


"Haan. Tabhi toh tum par experiments kar raha hoon."


"Ha ha. Very funny. Ouch! Aaraam se karo na! Aise karoge toh koi patient tumhaare paas nahi aayega."


"Chup! Nautanki. Aaraam se hi toh kar raha hoon. Look, it's all cleaned up now. Ab ghar chalein?"


"Haan chalo. We had fun today, hai na? Thanks Armaan."


"For what?"


"For everything. Thanks for being my best friend. I seriously don't know what I'd do without you."


"My my' you were never so senti before, is it a teenager thing?" he said winking at her. "But, you're welcome, after all I AM awesome."


"You wouldn't know if it WAS a teenager thing, would you? After all you're still TWELVE!"


"For two days okay? Then I'll be 13 too."


"Yeah yeah, whatever."


Intertwining their fingers, they walked home, forgetting the chocolate that was lying on the ground.



Armaan opened his eyes once the memory faded. White walls, white bed spread, white everything' same old.


Three months. He'd been in this hell hole for three months. And there wasn't a single day when he didn't ask God, "Why me?"


2 pm. Three hours before he saw her. She was the only thing he woke up for. At times like this, he missed his parents and Padma aunty. He recalled how Mom, dad and Padma aunty had passed away in a hit and run four years ago while coming to visit them in college. Since then it'd only been the two of them. Riddhi and him. It'd been tough but they managed. He'd finally completed medicine and Riddhi was now a major in English Literature.


He shut his eyes, as the memories took over him once more.


"Oh my God Armaan! I can't believe it! We're done with college! No more semesters, no more projects, no more of Mr. Stein's boring lectures for you! If only you'd dump Simone too, it'd be perfect."


"Shut up Riddhi. She's my girlfriend. I just don't understand? Why can't you guys get along with each other? It would make my life a hell lot easier!!!"


"Armaan. We just don't okay? End of story. I don't like her and she isn't my no. one fan either so just let it be. Anyway, I've gotta go and meet Sierra and the others. I'll see you here in an hour? Oh and if you want anything, give me a ring on my cell okay?"


"Sure thing. See ya!"


He watched her retreating back. When would she figure it out? College was over. He couldn't ask Simone to continue this forever. She was a good friend. And if he didn't love Riddhi, he'd have continued dating her. Leaning against the pillar, he recalled that night. The night that changed everything.


It was the Sadie Hawkins dance. The dance, where girls had to ask boys for dates and for a change, boys would get a chance to sit back and relax.



Simone had asked him. Of course she did. They were going out, it was expected. Still, he'd begun to feel restless with her these days. Like she isn't the one he should be with. Like, they weren't perfect together. They didn't match. Pushing these feelings aside, he accepted.


Armaan sighed as someone nudged him.


"Hey Lover boy! What's up? Thinking about "THE NIGHT"???"


"Hey Simone! How'd you guess?"


"Armaan, you have this really far away and dreamy look on our face when you think of it. A blind man could figure it out."


"I'll always remember that night Simi. It changed everything for me. Seeing her with Arjun finally made me realize my love for her and' anyway, thanks for everything. You've been a good friend."


"Usme thanks kya? Tumne mujhe uss raat hi keh diya ki tum usse pyaar karte ho. Ek saal ho gaya us baat ko. Armaan, ek saal se hum uske saamne couple hone ka naatak kar rahe hai. Ab toh confess kar do!"


"Simi, she doesn't think of me like that. Then our friendship would get awkward and I don't want that! Anyway, I'll tell her that we broke up today. Aakhir kab tak yeh chalega' I've to go find her. Bye!"


"Bye Armaan. It was fun being with you. You're a nice guy. And I hope one day, you and Riddhima are together!"


"Thanks Simi."


He walked around trying to find her when he heard Sierra's voice. He was about to ask he where Riddhima was but just then he heard her say something which gave him the shock of his life.


That was the first part! Hope u guys liked it! I'll continue based on the response!  



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