For the links to the earlier chapters – click on the links below. Chapters are listed in the order in which they were published.
The days went by quietly. Riya spent a lot of time in the front yard, working on her book.
A straw hat on her head, a floral dress and that long hair that was unkempt and unruly and well…just so gypsy – like…Armaan couldn’t help but admire the pretty little picture she made…her sitting on the table he had made with his bare hands…beautified by a vase filled with flowers and something that looked suspiciously like a floral table cloth…thank God for women!
He sat down opposite to her, gratefully sipping on the lemonade she passed to him absent – minded, a thoughtful look on her face as she punched away furiously at her keyboard.
Come to think of it, he seemed to be seeking her out more than she was. Yes, this new version of Riya no longer pursued him. It wasn’t an act…he could make this out because she seemed perfectly content and at ease with herself.
Again, that feeling of a loss that he couldn’t quite comprehend gnawed at him.
The following night, she announced she would be leaving soon.
“Thank you so much for letting me stay…I unfortunately have to go home now…before I get fired from work!”
Armaan took a sip from his beer bottle. “Sure…when do you plan to leave?”
He raised his eyebrows, a bit startled,” So…that just leaves us with tonight.”
She smiled,” Yeah and then I’ll be out of your hair..”
“Riya, just shut up!” Armaan snapped ,” Its been good having you here.”
Riya stared at him and then sighed,”I’m sorry…of course its been so much fun and so comfortable.”
Both of them took a sip from their bottles, ignoring the white elephant in the room.
Armaan got up and sat next to her.
“Why don’t you stay longer?” He asked her abruptly, almost rudely.
Riya smiled sadly,” Unfortunately Armaan,I have a child at home who is waiting for his mother to come home. I can no longer be an impulsive person and do whatever I want. Whatever I decide has an impact on his life as well. Whoever I bring into my life enters his life as well. Its called growing up.”
Armaan frowned as the true meaning of her words sunk in.
She put her head on his shoulder,”But this has been amazing…being here with you.”
He sighed. Even now, even after so long…he knew he wasn’t good for her…No…Riya and he…perhaps they were soul mates but he wasn’t right for her. He’d always known this and that’s why he’d always held himself back.
He put his arm around her and kissed the top of her head.
“Shh Armaan just hold me like this. Don’t spoil it.”