After dinner, Armaan reluctantly made his way to the car, holding Riddhima's hand firmly in his, their fingers intertwined. He knew their time today was about to end as Riddhima had to go home.
He helped her in the car & then got in himself, hesitantly starting the car. He drove single handedly, with Riddhima's hand still in his over the console. He was driving slower than usual, a fact that hadn't gone unnoticed by Riddhima.
"Kya hua Armaan?" she asked him, sensing his unease.
He sighed before saying a soft, "Nothing"
"Armaan..." she probed him, her tone suggesting she knew better than that.
"Main tumhe chodkar nahi jaana chaahta", he finally admitted.
"Armaan bas raat bhar ki baat hai, hum kal subah milenge na", she told him.
"Phir bhi Riddhima, bb main tumse ek pal ke liye bhi door nahi rehna chaahta", he said, "I miss you."
"Armaan, abhi toh tum waise bhi mere saath chal rahe ho na, Maa tumhe dekhke bohot khush hongi. Fir hum raat mein sone se pehle bhi toh baat karenge", she reasoned.
Armaan sighed & nodded.
They reached Riddhima's house in no time, or that was how Armaan felt.
They rang the doorbell & Naina opened the door.
"Achcha hua aap aa gaye Di! Padma Aunty bohot tension le rahi hai kyuki aap subah se baahar hai", she said.
"Haan woh main aur Armaan thoda ghumne gaye the", Riddhima said, but Naina wasn't listening as she was too busy staring at Armaan & blushing.
Armaan smiled politely at her, not knowing what to do. Riddhima though wasn't liking this. She was just about to tell Naina off when Padma shouted, "Kaun hai Naina? Riddhima hi haina?"
"Haan Maa, main hi hu", Riddhima replied & hurried inside.
As soon as Padma saw her, she started firing questions like - Where were you? Who were you with? Why didn't you call?
"Arre Maa, saans toh lo. Woh main aapke liye surprise laane gayi thi", Riddhima replied.
"Surprise? Kaisa surprise?" Padma asked confused.
"Aisa surprise jisse dekhkar aap bohot khush ho jaayengi!" she exclaimed, before covering Padma's eyes & shouting, "Surprise, aa jao."
"Riddhima! Paagal ho gayi hai kya? Ye aankhon se apna haath hata! Aur aise 'Surprise aa jao' chillane se surprise nahi aata", Padma told her daughter, as if she was speaking to a 3 year old.
"Mera aata hai. Aap rukiye na", she said.
Once Armaan was there, Riddhima uncovered Padma's eyes.
On seeing Armaan, Padma's eyes flooded instantly.
She hugged him to her for a long time, unable to believe it was him. Armaan hugged her back, touched to see the love Padma held for him.
"Kaha tha na maine, sab theek ho jaayega! Magar tu kahaan meri baat sunta hai?" she scolded him, only like a mother could.
Armaan immediately held his ears and said, "Sorry."
"Haan haan theek hai. Ab aisi shakal mat bana. Main tujhe aise dekhke pighalne nahi waali", she said.
"Arre Ma, maaf kardo na please! Galti ho gayi. I love you, na. Pleaseee", he said like little kid.
"Jab main keh rahi thi Armaan mat ja, tujhe rokne ke liye ro rahi thi, tab toh nahi yaad aaya tujhe ye sab. Ab bada sorry bol raha hai", she said, turning his ears.
"Aaahhh. Ma kaan chodo na, bohot dard ho raha hai!" he exclaimed.
"Kaan chodu?" she questioned.
He nodded vigorously.
"Theek hai. Par meri ek shart hai. Abse tu meri har baat maanega. Aur agar aajke baad aise gayab hone ke baare mein socha bhi, toh teri khair nahi. Samjha?"
"Pakka promise", Armaan said & Padma let go off his ears.
"Waise beautiful, aap aur aapki beti ye sab rehearse karte ho kya? Ye aapki beti ne mujhe aisi hi dhamki di", he said playfully.
"Hat badmaash. Zada jhooth mat bol", Padma replied.
"Kya? Sab toh sach bola. Riddhima ne mujhe aise hi dhamki di. Aur Ab aap beautiful ho toh wohi bulaaunga na", he said.
"Armaan tumhe thodi si bhi sharam nahi aati na. Maa ke saath flirt kar rahe ho!" Riddhima said, looking scandalized.
"Oye, main koi flirt nahi kar raha. Ab woh tumse zyada khoobsurat hai toh jalo mat, Basket", he replied, cheekily.
"Besharam kahi ka, sharam naam ki cheez toh bhagvan di hi nahi", she mumbled under her breath.
"Chal tu ekdum sahi time pe aaya hai. Baith aur khaana kha le. Dekh toh kaise sukhkar kaanta ho gaya hai mera bachca. Wahaan tujhe kuch khana nahi dete the kya?" Padma asked him.
"Arre Maa, wahaan aapke haath ka khaana nahi mila na, isliye. Ab aap mujhe khilaoge toh main ekdum pehle jaisa ho jaunga. Theek hai na?" he asked.
"Haan sahi kaha. Tu na Armaan, roz yahin aa jaana khaana khaane", Padma said.
"Arre Maa, roz kaise?" he asked.
"Main tujhe pooch nahi rahi, bata rahi hu. Ab dekh main kaise tujhe hatta-katta banaati hu. Kitna patla ho gaya hai. Haina Riddhima?" she questioned.
"Haan Maa, agar thoda aur patla hua na, toh dikhega hi nahi!" Riddhima replied sarcastically.
"Riddhima..." Padma said in a warning tone.
She instantly quitened down & Armaan smirked at her.
"Maa khaana phir kabhi khaunga. Abhi mujhe bhook nahi lagi hai. Aur mujhe late bhi ho raha hai", Armaan said.
"Kuch nahi Armaan, baith aur khaana kha", Padma reprimanded.
"Arre par Maa, mujhe Atul se..." he trailed off when his phone started to ring.
"Haan Champ, aa raha hu 10 minute mein...Nahi, nahi pakka 10 minute...Arre kahin mat jaa, aa raha hu main, bye."
"Maa, Atul mera wahaan wait kar raha hai, main phir aata hu khaane pe", he said.
"Arre tu Atul se bolde tu usse baad mein milega", Padma said.
"Par Maa, maine khaana kha liya hai. Abhi mujhe bhook nahi hai. Aur itne din ho gaye hai Atul se mile. Main kal aa jaunga. Pakka", Armaan tried to reason with her.
"Par halwa toh khaale. Dekh tera favourite waala hai", she insisted.
He just smiled and agreed.
He reached for the bowl, but Padma beat him to it.
"An itne dino baad mera bachcha yahaan mere paas kha raha hai, toh khilaungi bhi main hi", she said.
Armaan was deeply touched by the love she held for him. This motherly love was foreign to him. Sure he knew that his mom loved him, but she never showed it by doing things like this.
He controlled tears with a lot of difficulty & opened his mouth so she could feed him.
Riddhima noticed the exchange & couldn't help but smile. She knew how much this meant to Armaan, he had been deprived of love all through childhood & he was one of the people about deserved love more than anyone else in the world.
So she vowed to herself to do just that. She would love him truly, madly, deeply & completely for the rest of her life. He wouldn't feel unwanted for the rest of his life. She would make sure of it.
Padma was still feeding Armaan & he was eating, like a kid who was eating his favorite candy.
"Itne pyaar se toh kabhi mujhe bhi nahi khilaya Maa. Aaj aapko Armaan pe bada pyaar aa raha hai", Riddhima said.
"Riddhima..." Padma reprimanded.
"Arre rehne do Maa, kuch log hote hi jealous hai. Ab Maa mujhe tumse zyada pyaar karti hai toh main kya karu?" Armaan said cheekily, a huge - ass smirk on his face.
"Aisa kuch nahi hai. Aa Riddhima, main tujhe bhi khila deti hu", Padma said, trying to make peace between the two of them. She never understood how these two could love each other more than life & still fight like kids all the time.
Naina was watching the whole scene unfold in front of her in awe. It appeared as though Armaan was really close to the Guptas. Close enough to call Padma Aunty Maa. It felt as if Padma loved Armaan like her own son.
And Armaan was so different than he had been at the hospital. He was laughing & joking. Behaving like a normal person. Naina had figured that Armaan wasn't a total monster after the encounters with Dr. Atul & Dr. Nikita. But this was just amazing. It was as if this wasn't Armaan at all. Like he was some clone of him. Maybe Armaan was just serious about his job. Which was good & absolutely necessary considering that he was a doctor & people's life depended on him. But she still couldn't picture Armaan behaving like a normal person, laughing & smiling & enjoying dinner with his family.
Also, Riddhima was behaving so differently. She had never seen Riddhima smile so much before. She didn't even talk much. All through her stay with the Guptas, Naina had seen Riddhima. She never interacted much with anyone, not even her father, even though she had the reputation of being a daddy's girl. She answered questions when someone asked her something & nodded appropriately when someone was talking to her directly. But it felt as if she could care less about everything around her. And she seldom ever smiled. But today, she was smiling, laughing & making sarcastic comments.
Was it because of Armaan? That could be the only answer. But what about he being here changed Riddhima's attitude so much? Was she in love with him? No, she couldn't be. Riddhima didn't seem like the type to fall in love. She was one of those girls who believed that her parents knew best & would marry the guy they chose for her. Moreover, she definitely couldn't be Armaan's type. Guys like Armaan dated confident, sexy girls who wore mini skirts. Not sweet, innocent girls who wore Indian chudidaars.
"Ab chalta hu Maa", Armaan's voice brought Naina out of her reverie.
"Kal pakka aa jaana Armaan", Padma replied.
"Pakka Maa!" he said.
He touched her feet go take her blessings & then hugged her.
"Riddhima, Armaan ko bahaar chod aa", Padma said.
"Haan Maa", Riddhima replied, smiling.
As soon as they reached the car, Armaan put his hands on Riddhima's waist her pulled her to him.
"Armaan", she exclaimed, startled by his sudden actions.
He only smiled at her before saying,"I love you, Basket."
"I love you, too."
No matter how many times Armaan heard those words, they never ceased to amaze him & his blood started pumping in his heart, increasing his heartbeat.
"Mujhe nahi jaana", Armaan said, pouting like a child.
"Abhi toh andar keh rahe the ki Atul wait kar raha hoga! Itni jaldi nikalke aa gaye", Riddhima said.
"Haan woh toh wait kar raha hai, magar tum nahi chal rahi na mere saath!"
"Armaan...tum na kabhi kabhi bilkul bacchon jaise behave karte ho!"
"Ek kaam karo, tum bhi chalo na mere saath."
"Nahi Armaan, tumhe Atul se milne jaana hai. Main toh usse roz milti hu."
"Haan toh main bhi toh abse roz milunga na!"
"Armaan, Atul ne tumhe bohot miss kiya hai, in pichle mahino mein. Aur mujhe pata hai tumne bhi kiya hai. You guys should catch up."
"Fine", saying so, Armaan pulled her even closer if possible, no space left between their bodies for air to pass through.
He looked deep into her eyes, as if asking for permission & when he didn't notice any hesitance, he places his lips on hers for a kiss.
The kiss started soft & slow, just a whisper of their lips brushing against each other's, before Armaan pressed his lips with more pressure against hers to deepen the kiss. He licked her lips & she immediately parted her mouth to let his tongue in. He explored every part of her mouth & she did the same.
They were going heady with taste of each other & finally broke apart, breathless due to the lack of oxygen.
Armaan place his forehead on Riddhima's before brushing his like gently against hers & whispering an I Love You against her lips.
Riddhima's lips stretched into smile under his before she whispered the same words in return.
After a few minutes, Riddhima decanted herself from Armaan with a lot of difficulty and a lot of protest on Armaan's part.
"Armaan Atul wait kar raha hai. Jao ab tum", she told him sternly after many failed attempts to get him to listen.
He sighed and unlocked the car & got into it after pecking her lips & then zoomed away.
Riddhima waited until his car was nowhere in sight, before she went inside the house too.
When she went in, Naina had already retired for the night.
"Tu khush haina Riddhima?" Padma questioned her.
Riddhima hugged her hard before replying,"Haan Maa, aaj main bohot khush hu. Maine kaha tha na aap sabse, Armaan waapas zaroor aayega. Woh bhi mujhse itna hi pyaar karta hai jitna main usse. Usse bhi kayi zyada."
"Bas ab tum dono ek saath khush raho. Mujhe aur kuch nahi chahiye", Padma replied.
Riddhima smiled and hugged her once more before retiring to her room.
And, an update, as promised!
I think I'm going to stick to Saturday updates. Seems like the only day I don't have office or college or classes or any other shit to deal with and so, I can update peacefully!
So, how did you guys like it? Comment away! And don't forget to press the like button!
Topic started by DMGThings
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