I can't let your hands be tainted with blood, Bharti.
It's too late, Armaan.
No it's not. We can run away from here. Somewhere far, where it is just me and you. Please!!
I'm really sorry!!Ho sake toh mujhe maaf kar dena...
Ek baar gale nahi miloge Bharti??
Bharti turned away to go but turned back and rushed to Armaan's arms. She hugged him, feeling his warmth, closeness and passion like never before. He kissed her hair and wiped her tears but by then the cops came and voiced out for her. Bharti was handcuffed and soon she was led to the police jeep. Armaan looked on from the terrace, watching her leave. He went inside her room,where the photo frame of her's and Naina stood by the bedside. He hugged it and began sobbing hard, continuously, not knowing what to do next.
Just then, Armaan opened his eyes. He felt his face,tears having dried. He must have slept for some time,he assumed. The call had awakened him. He picked up the call without answering, wondering who was calling Bharti late at 2:30 am.
Bharti,it's me, Naina's uncle from San Diego. Naina has been really missing you lately and was expecting a call from you today since it's her birthday. Payal had called her just now and she was happy for a while but after that,she had been waiting for your call. She hasn't eaten much at all in waiting for your messages. I urge you to just send a video message or anything to cheer her up. Please call back Bharti.
Armaan hung up instantly. He was shocked to know about Naina's whereabouts. He couldn't digest the fact that Bharti had laid out her cards so perfectly in such a way that Naina wouldn't be slightly affected by her plots.Bharti had hatched her perfect primary plot so many months or even years ahead such that she gradually let each of her colleagues and friends go from her life and now she expected Armaan to let her go as well. That was why she surrendered herself. To the cops.
She can't do this to me now. Not after the 6 years nor after all the misunderstandings have been cleared. She can't leave me like this.Mayank. He would know everything. He can help me. I need to trust him in this matter. No one else can help me apart from him now.
As Armaan left Bharti's home,heavy rains poured over him,soaking him in his grief. His tears were evident to any stranger on the deserted streets. He hailed a cab and headed to Mayank's place. Mayank rushed to the door upon seeing a devastated Armaan by his doorstep and invited him inside. Niharika offered him hot chocolate to calm him down before both of them began to converse with him.
Niharika:Armaan,tum bahar kya kar rahe the??Tumhe aaraam ki sakh zaroorat hain na..
Mayank:Nihar,let him calm down first hmm? (Niharika nodded)Baarish bhi bohat tezi se chal raha hai..Lagta hai bohat bada toofaan aane ko hai...
Armaan: Please Mayank aisa matt bolo..I mean..
Mayank:Tum agar mann halka karna chahthe ho toh..Tum Niharika se baat kar sakte ho..I'll be in my room..
Armaan:Mujhe tumse baat karna hai,Mayank..We've always had our share of differences but right now I really don't care..All I need is your help and I can only trust you with my deepest feelings..I'm lost,confused as ever. Bharti.. (coughed and took a deep breath before continuing) She has been handcuffed by the cops. She called them home and she surrendered.
Mayank:What???She did not...She did not,right??
Armaan:I'm coming from her place...
Mayank:Idiot..You were there and you didn't stop her???
Armaan:You think I didn't????I even offered to go along with her..I proposed to her tonight but everything's gone berserk. She had called the cops way before I had reached there. Mayank,did you know anything about her wanting to surrender?? (Mayank shook his head)
Mayank:I would never let her do that at any cost...Instead I would have taken all the blame on me..It was only because of me that she had to do this. Years ago I had told her to not even think about Radhika,her death and to start afresh..That both of us needed a new lease of life but how would I have known that Radhika's death would have affected her so badly that her life had depended on avenging her death,regardless of the vow she made to me..Damn it!!Damn it!!! (buried his face in his palms and shook his head in despair) Armaan,we've got to get her out..I won't let her do her nonsense this time round!!Enough is enough!!
Niharika:But Mayank..What about the evidence?
Mayank:I have been keeping tabs and as far as I'm concerned,they haven't found the weapon yet..And Bharti must have surrendered way before and that makes it easy for the cops to close the case quicker...
Armaan:Mayank I have another set of news for you..Naina's uncle called..Naina is in San Diego and Payal knew everything about it but she didn't inform anyone..It's Naina's birthday today and she wanted to talk to Bharti badly but before that Bharti had already gone..
Mayank:(shook his head)Bharti must have placed her under her oath..This is getting ridiculous!!What is she trying to achieve?I thought I just regained her trust and friendship back but what the hell is she thinking of??Sacrificing herself???
Niharika:Let me get you both something to drink.. (Armaan looked at her and nodded)
Armaan:This is not the time to get mad,Mayank...Bharti had planned this early..To let go of each of her friends one by one,turning them against her and making them abhor her so that she could leave from their lives quickly just like that...That could also be the reason why she didn't want Naina to be around her when she had planned to carry out what she had planned in mind. But how could she just do this to me or you in any matter?
Mayank was confused. Bharti had clearly told him about Niharika's condition before surrendering herself to the cops. She had staged a perfect farewell to him and he had no inkling about it at all. Bharti was supposed to tell him something else too but she kept it for some time later. He needed to meet her and get her out from there.
Armaan and Mayank were quiet for some time. Finally, Mayank decided to ask him clearly.
Mayank:Armaan,you..Aren't you like getting engaged to Shreya?Why were you even at Bharti's place,proposing to her??
Armaan:Mayank,I wanted to know once and for all if she too had felt something for me. I felt something when I got shot. Her eyes were speaking to me..It was a true connection and I just..
Mayank:And you felt that Bharti harboured a feeling so deep and indescribable and you finally let down your walls..
Armaan:Yeah... (surprised)You ever felt that before??(Mayank just glanced at him)You had a deep connection with Radhika,didn't you?
Mayank:Armaan,we should think about Bharti now.. (tried not to think about his past)She was supposed to tell me something as well but she decided to save it for later...
Armaan:Shall we go and meet her now??
Mayank:Look at the time Armaan..It's past midnight..We'll go in the morning tomorrow but....
Mayank:No,nothing...How did you come??There's no car or bike outside..
Armaan:Can I crash here tonight,if you don't mind?I can't face my Maa tonight. I'll text her.. (Mayank agreed and made preparations for him in the guest room)
~Next Day Morning~
Armaan had already woken up and was chatting with Niharika when Mayank had come back from his morning jog.
Armaan:Morning to you too..
Mayank:Have some breakfast while I get refreshed. We'll head off to the station asap.. (Armaan nodded)
Meanwhile,Raj called Armaan on his mobile. Niharika saw Raj's photo and gave Armaan his mobile. He observed a vague friction arising in Niharika and stopped her and kept his mobile on loudspeaker mode.
Raj:Hey dude we're all at your place..Where are you?
Armaan:Why?Isn't Maa around?
Raj:She was..but she had to rush off for an important meeting..so basically now me,Jiya and Mahi are at your place. We thought of giving you company but you are not even here..
Armaan:I'm with Niharika right now and your call is a bit distracting right now so call me later,k??
Armaan:Yeah..Do you mind?
Raj:No,why would I?
Armaan:Good.. (hung up and looked at Niharika)Tell me what's cooking..You two haven't patched up yet??Niharika..
Niharika:What,Armaan??There was nothing EVER between us..He..He is not worthy of my time!!I don't even want to talk about this..and Mayank knows nothing about this,k?And I don't want him to ever find out anything about me or Raj for that matter,k??(Armaan agreed)
Mayank:Heyy Armaan chale?Nihu,shall I drop you?
Niharika:I'll go off on my own Mayu..Go meet Bharti first,go!!
Bharti turned around as the lady constable brought Armaan and Mayank before us,inside the prison cell, much to her bewilderment.
God, you've got to be kidding me!!(shut her eyes and shook her head, frustrated at her games fate was playing with her)