Lots of AR fluff. God, that was awesome! <3
Armaan meets Emma.
Who is she though?
And the winner for guessing correctly is...
(Hahaha! You'll have to read to find out!)
"Armaan?" Emma asked, looking surprised as well.
"Yes, who else?"
"It's so good to see you," she said, pulling him in for a hug.
"You too," Armaan replied, hugging her back. Spontaneously, he lifted her up, making her laugh.
"Put me down, you goof," she said, struggling to get down.
"Nah," Armaan replied, holding her tighter so she couldn't escape his hold.
"Armaan Mallik, I demand that you unhand me right now, young man," Emma said, trying to use her intimidating voice.
She failed, unsurprisingly.
"You should know that this voice doesn't affect me as much after all these months, Em," Armaan replied, finally putting her back on her feet.
"Thank you," she said, her voice oozing sarcasm.
"Oh! You're most welcome."
"How are you?" She asked him, looking a little worried and immensely concerned.
"I'm good, great, in fact."
She raised an eyebrow questioningly.
"No, for real. I'm great. I'm really, really very happy right now."
Emma smiled at the honesty that was dripping from his voice.
"I take it you found her then."
"I sure did. But did you expect anything else put of me?" Armaan replied, his voice extremely cocky.
"You can let go off the fake cockiness, boy. We both know you were shit scared of leaving because you weren't sure of what was in ahead for you."
Armaan sighed. "Yeah, I wasn't. But now, I am. And I have you to thank for that."
"Me? Whatever for?"
"You're the one who believed in me, in us, even when I didn't. That's why."
"Oh, hush you. I didn't do anything apart from giving you a push in the right direction."
"Yes, you did. And you did more than that as well. So, thank you."
Emma just scoffed.
"Um, guys, not to break up the whole happy reunion hug fest, but I'm kinda feeling a little left out over here," Nate commented.
Armaan just stuck his tongue out as if he just remembered that Nate was here as well.
"Sorry, man. Come, let me introduce you guys. Nate, this is..."
"Dr. Emma Wright, I know. Anyone who wants to be something in psychiatry knows who she is, Ammy," Nate commented dryly.
He stuck his hand out towards Emma. "Nate Peters, an honor to meet you, ma'am."
Emma took his hand. "The pleasure is all mine."
Nate smiled and lifted her hand up, placing a kiss on the back of it.
"So, what can I get you?" He asked.
"I'll have a gin and tonic."
"No, you most certainly won't," Armaan interrupted before Nate could place her order.
"Armaan! I'm a big girl. I can look after myself," she replied.
"I'm sorry, but I'm not buying that. We don't need a repeat of the night - that - shall - never - be - mentioned again. Besides, I have someone I want you to meet."
"Don't tell me? She's here!?" Emma asked, excited.
And, she legit squealed on Armaan's nod.
"What are we waiting for then? Let's get going. I have to meet her."
Armaan smiled brilliantly, offering her his arm. She took it and both of them made their way to the table.
"Next rounds on me," Armaan called to Nate who nodded, smiling.
It seemed that Riddhima had found some of the other doctors who they'd met previously, and was talking to them quite animatedly when Armaan and Emma found her.
"Oh! She's so beautiful, Armaan," Emma sighed.
"The most beautiful woman I've ever seen," Armaan replied.
"You're so cute," Emma said, pulling his cheek.
"How many times do I have to tell you to not call me cute?" He asked.
"And adorable," she said, ruffling his hair.
"Hey! Leave the hair alone!"
Emma put her hands up in surrender.
"Are we going to stand here all night or are you going to actually introduce us?" Emma asked after sometime.
"Come on along," Armaan said, pulling her into the crowd.
"Basket!" He called as he reached their table.
"Hey!" She greeted him.
"Kahaan they? Kabse wait kar rahi hu," she asked.
"Tumhe kisi bohot special air important insaan se milaana hai," he replied.
"Kaun?" She asked, confused.
"Chalo, milwata hu," Armaan said, making her leave the table.
"Armaan kaha lekar jaa rahe ho?" She asked.
"Arre baba, tum chalo na. Abhi milata hu."
Finally, they reached a table which was occupied by a lady. A lady who Riddhima would recognize anywhere. A lady who she worshipped. Who she was thankful for every single day of her life. Who gave her her Armaan back. Dr. Emma Wright. Armaan's psychiatrist, who helped him heal. The one who attended to him back in Canada when he was there for his treatment. For Riddhima, this woman was God sent.
"Armaan..." Riddhima whispered, not knowing what to say.
"Come on," he took her hand in his, entwining their fingers and pulling her forward.
Riddhima, however, stood rooted on the spot.
"Kya hua?" Armaan asked, concerned.
Armaan looked at her and it wasn't difficult for him to read her. She was nervous and excited, all at once.
He pulled her into his arms, kissing her forehead.
"Hey, it's going to be okay. Tum itni tension mat lo. Woh tumse bohot waqt se milna chahti hai. Trust me, she's super excited."
"Really?" Riddhima asked, her voice stating her disbelief.
"Really, really," he replied, kissing her head.
He let go off her and held her hand again.
"Hey," he greeted Emma softly.
"Emma, there's someone I want you to meet. This is Riddhima, my Basket," he whispered.
"It's so great to finally meet you," Emma said, pulling Riddhima in for a hug. "I've heard a lot about you. Feels like I've known you all my life."
"Heard all good things, I hope," Riddhima replied, laughing nervously.
"The best. But, with Armaan, did expect anything else?" She asked rhetorically.
Riddhima smiled and shook her head. Of course she didn't.
Riddhima and Emma talked for sometime, both of them getting comfortable with each other every passing minute. It wasn't that difficult. They were too alike to not get along, according to Armaan.
"Hey, Armaan, what about those drinks now?" Nate asked, appearing out of nowhere.
"Where have you been?" Riddhima asked.
"Don't ask," Nate replied, shuddering.
"Did Erica make a move on you?" Riddhima asked with narrowed eyes, her body language that of a tigress.
Nate sighed. That was cue enough for everyone at the table to know that Riddhima had guessed right.
"How dare she! That attention seeking, good for nothing, home wrecking skank!"
"Ridzy, relax. We talked, she got the message, okay? She knows I'm off limits."
"And she's only realizing this now?"
"You know how she is. She thought she had a chance."
"I'm sorry, but I have a hard time believing thinking that she had a chance, knowing that you're married and very much head over heels for your wife!"
"No! Don't you go making excuses for her! It's time we had a talk again. She needs to remember to stay in her limits. The whole, 'it's - their - responsibility - to - stop - because - they're - the - ones - who - are - married' bullshit isn't going to fly with me anymore!"
"Riddhima, calm down." It was Emma who spoke.
"Oh!" Riddhima gasped, just realizing that Emma was still around. "I'm so sorry! I'm not usually this bitchy, I promise," she mumbled, covero g her face with her hands.
"I know," Emma replied. "And you don't have anything to be sorry for, trust me."
Riddhima mumbled incoherently into her hand.
"Gentlemen, can you give us a few minutes?" Emma posed it as a question, but really, she was demanding the boys to leave them alone for a while.
Emma sighed and sat beside Riddhima.
"Riddhima, it's okay," she said, forcing Riddhi.a to remove her hands from her face.
"No, it's not. Honestly, I am so embarrassed right now."
"You don't have to be embarrassed about standing up for your friends, Riddhima. Never. I think it's an admirable trait to have."
Riddhima smiled at her. "Thank you."
"Oh, please! You don't have to thank me for this!"
"You know that's not what I meant," Riddhima replied softly.
"I know. And, you don't have to thank me for anything else either."
"Of course I do!"
"No, you really don't."
"You don't understand, Dr. Wright. This whole life, I owe it to you. I have a lot to thank you for."
"Firstly, it's Emma. And secondly, you don't owe me anything."
"You're the one who brought Armaan back to me. You gave me my life back. My Armaan."
"As you said, he's yours. You don't have to thank me for bringing him back to you."
"But, I do. Emma, this is really important to me, okay. So can you please, just listen?" Riddhima requested.
"Of course. Go ahead. Whatever you need to say. I'm here to listen."
Riddhima nodded gratefully.
"You know, when I woke up, after... Everything had happened, the first thing I expected to see was Armaan by my side, making sure I was okay and assuring me that everything was fine and telling me that he loved me over and over again. But, that didn't happen. Instead, my father told me that Armaan had left me, forever. That he thought I wasn't good enough for him anymore. At first, I thought that it was one of his more harebrained ideas, trying to pull one over me. So, I waited, thinking that he would come to his senses and come see me. But, that didn't happen for a long time, way too longer than I expected. And that's when the reality began to set in. Truthfully, I was broken. I tried to hate him, trust me, I did. But, I was never able to, not for one measly second. And I hated myself for that. I mean, what kind of a person was I? Loving the person who hurt me most? The one who left e when I needed him the most? I questioned myself, everyday, but was never able to understand why I never hated him. And then, I overheard my parents talking. That's when I found out about his nervous damage. It was then, you know, that I understood."
"What?" Emma asked.
"Why I was never able to hate him."
"Why was that?"
"Because, my brain may have forgotten, but my heart never did. Not for a second. It never believed that Armaan would leave me. That he didn't love me anymore. My head was messed up, but my heart? That was in the right place all the time. I was just too busy listening to my brain to think from my heart. And, in Armaan's case, I've learnt the hard way that listening to the heart is the best way to go, because the mind is always wrong about him. After all those mistakes, I'd never learnt, had I?"
"That's not true, Riddhima. You were hurt. You thought what any sane human being would have."
Riddhima just shrugged.
"You know, the day I found out about the truth was the happiest day of my life. I was so determined to get my Armaan back. Even after all the misunderstandings, the arguments and the lies, I was getting him back. And I couldn't have been happier."
Emma nodded, smiling. She was glad to see that Riddhima loved Armaan just as much as he loved her. Almost.
"Then I found him and I found that note," Riddhima continued. Emma nodded, knowing exactly which note she was referring to. The one where Armaan had asked her to forget him.
"But, honestly, how could he expect me to forget him just like that? I was angry at him, you know. Before I understood, that in Armaan's warped mind, this made absolute sense. But, I wasn't going to just let go, was I? Armaan wasn't the only one who got to call the shots. So, I decided to throw that stupid note out of the window and wait for him anyway."
"You were waiting for him?"
"Would have waited my entire life," Riddhima replied proudly.
"Thankfully, you didn't have to."
"Yes, because of you. Because you believed that he could beat it. Because you believed that our love was strong enough. That he was strong enough. That's why it's important to me. If it hadn't been for you, I would still have been waiting, hoping that one day, he would come back to me. And I don't even want to think where he might be," Riddhima said, shuddering at the thought.
"So, you see. You gave us both our lives back. Our happiness. Our strength. Everything. We owe it all to you. And I'm just thankful for you every single day, because if it hadn't been for you, we wouldn't have been where we are today," Riddhima said, tears falling freely from her eyes. Emma was sobbing too, and the two women hugged each other, drawing g comfort from the other.
"Thank you," Emma said, "For loving Armaan the way he deserves to be loved. In the time I've known Armaan, I've found out that he is a pretty special person and it takes a lot to love him the way he deserves. And you do. So, thank you."
"I leave you guys alone for one minute, and you convert this happy meeting into a sob fest! Do all you girls have water tanks in your eyes, waiting to be unleashed?" Armaan asked jokingly, trying to lighten the mood as he came back.
"Shut up, you insensitive idiot," Riddhima said, swatting his arm.
Armaan held up his hands, making the symbol for peace in surrender.
"Good talk?" He asked, sitting down.
The ladies nodded.
"Great. Let's eat then, shall we? I'm famished."
"Of course you are," Riddhima replied, rolling her eyes. "Let's go."
"Emma's great," Riddhima told Armaan as they lay in bed.
"Yeah?" Armaan asked.
"Good. Mujhe pata tha, ki tum dono ko ek doosre ki company bohot achchi lagegi."
"Woh tumhaare liye bohot important haina?"
"Unki wajah se hi aaj hum saath hai, toh obviously woh bohot important hai."
"Main jaanti hu. Lekin main kuch aur poochne ki koshish kar rahi hu."
"You admire her," she stated.
Armaan nodded. "Of course I do. Tum kehna kya chah rahi ho?"
"I feel like... unka opinion tumhaare liye bohot matter karta hai. Right?"
"It's just, she's like kind of my sister. Itne time mein unhone mein mujhe bohot support kiya hai. Jitna ek therapist ko apne patient ki help karni chahiye, usse kahi zyada. Emma and Ron, they've been my support system for the past few months."
"Haan, Emma's husband."
"Oh. Mujhe nahi pata tha tum unse itne close ho," Riddhima replied, surprised.
Armaan nodded. "Yeah, actually beech mein kuch time main unke saath unke ghar pe bhi raha tha. Unki beti hai, Rose, bohot hi zyada cute hai. Girlfriend hai meri."
"Achcha?" Riddhima asked, smiling.
"Hmmm," saying so, he pulled out his phone and showed her a picture. It was him and a cute little kid sprawled on the sofa, fast asleep. The girl, who Riddhima assumed to be Rose, was sleeping on top of Armaan, her head nuzzled into his chest as she drooled all over his tee shirt. Armaan's arms were wrapped around her to stop her from falling off the couch. They looked insanely adorable.
"This is Rose," Armaan told her.
"She's so pretty," Riddhima sighed, caressing the picture as she imagined Armaan with their kids. Cue, the sighs. She couldn't wait.
"Ek baat batao, Rose ke liye mujhe chodne ka plan toh nahi bana rahe na?" She asked him playfully.
"Tumhe kaise pata chala?" Armaan asked, looking appropriately appalled.
"Armaan!" Riddhima shouted, swatting his head.
"Arre baba! Mazaak kar raha hu. Matlab maine bohot socha, aur bohot hi close competition tha, lekin end mein maine tumhe hi chose kiya."
"Achcha?" Riddhima asked.
"Haan," Armaan replied, turning and lifting himself up, supporting his head on his elbows.
"Hamesha," he said, kissing her.
And another update!
I am on such a role! :D
*Pats self on the back, proudly*
Though, this chapter is kind of meh. It wasn't how I personally envisioned the first meeting of Riddhima and Emma to be, but no matter how hard I tried, well, this was the best I could come up with.
This chapter might undergo change if I'm struck with some inspiration, so be on the lookout. Obviously, I'll PM if that happens! :)
And, Paki and Urvi, those Smartypants! They guessed correctly about Emma's role in the story! So, congrats you girlies! <3
In other news, Jamie Lawson'r first album came out under Ed Sheeran's label, The Gingerbread Man! (Which, co incidentally is also Ed's label's first album.) And, it reminds of Ed sooo much! Go, check it out if you're a massive, massive Ed Sheeran fan like me! I seriously love that man! His music is amazing! <3
Happy weekend, you guys! Leave me your thoughts on this one!
Loads of love,
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