Jiya:Why not,Mayank?When she executed the whole thing, you expect all of us to be in favour of her and glorify her?
Mayank:It is better if you stay quiet,Jiya. You have zilch idea of the pain we both went through for the past 6 years..and now!!This is a hospital so stop creating a scene here. We didn't ask you for a cover up...Your friend here did!!(Mahi looked at him in dismay)So keep your mouth shut!!(brought Bharti away from Jiya,Mahi and Raj but before both Bharti and Mayank could talk, Sudha and the doctor called her)
Sudha:(hugged Bharti and informed her)Armaan's condition is critical, Bharti. Will you be by his side for some time, talk to him?
Bharti:Me,Mom?I don't think..
Sudha:No arguments, Bharti..Remember how he was there for you in your hard times..When you struggled in the hospital as well;he was there for you. It's time for you to be loyal to him now. I know it's a lot different then and now but it will mean a lot to me.
Bharti:(withdrew from the hug)Anything for you, Mom..
Bharti closed the door of the ICU where Armaan was laid, unconscious and infused with painkillers and antibiotics. He looked so pale and tender.His head had been bandaged. Bharti slowly mustered the courage to walk from the foot of the bed towards the head of the bed, near Armaan. Bharti sat on the seat provided and looked at him. The fan rotating above blew Armaan's sheet a bit, making his bosom bare. She recollected how he got shot unexpectedly by Gaurav and how he collapsed in her arms right after she had shot him. She closed her eyes instantly, not being able to look at Armaan in the eye.
'You should not have ever known about mine or Radhika's past. If you had known, you should not have ditched me like that or interfered in my mission. This is what I had feared. I will never want to inflict any pain or harm to you but you would have never listened to me. Aaj bhi tum meri baat na jaane sunn rahe ho ke nahin...Tum bas theekh ho jaao Mom ke liye aur mujhse door ho jaao,bas yehi hai dua meri..Aaj tumhe khush hona chahiye ki sab kuch khatam ho chuka hai meri zindagi mein..Aur jaldi meri yeh parchaayi tumhari zindagi se door hogi,jaise main kabhi tumhaari zindagi mein thi hi nahin..Jaise bohat saare log chahthe hain..Aur tum apne career banaa paao jaise Mom chahthi hain..Yeh yaad rakhna ki main kabhi tumhaari zindagi mein thi hi nahin..Sab kuch pehle jaise aur tumhaari kareebi dost,Jiya,Raj aur Mahi besabri se intezaar kar rahi hain tumhaare theekh hone ka..Alvida Armaan,hamesha ke liye..'
Bharti stood up and slowly walked towards the door but just then, she felt as though she heard a voice. She stopped and saw Armaan voicing out for Bharti. Just next to him, she saw KK.
KK: Tum kyun ro rahi ho,Bharti? (Bharti wiped her tears)Ab bhi tum apne aapko saza dene ki soch rahi ho?Tumhe bhi toh pyaar karne ka haqq hai..Che saal beet gaye aur tumhe aur Mayank ko bhi...
Bharti:Mayank...Oh my God..Mayank.. (Bharti didn't notice Armaan having opened his eyes already and seen her going out)Mom,aapko andar jaana chahiye.. (Sudha was surprised and rushed inside to see a conscious son back in shape and called for the doctor but by then, she no longer saw Bharti or Mayank and grew a little disappointed)
~By the beachside~
Mayank and Bharti were watching the waves while having seated on top of his car. They had been silent for quite a while, ever since they both abruptly left from the hospital.
Bharti:Ab kuch bolo ge bhi ya bas aisi hi time pass ke liye mujhe yahaa par lekar aaye ho?
Mayank:Hum baat kar rahe hain?Maine socha ki pehle maafi maanglo uske baad hi..(saw Bharti glaring at him)
Bharti:Kya main tumhaare galaa dabaadoo??
Mayank:(hugged Bharti and smiled)Bharti, I don't know what I'd do without you. But you should have never gone through any of this on your own. At least you should have confided in me.
Bharti:Jisse maine by chance sab kuch baat diya tha usne mera saath chod diya toh tum kya ho?
Mayank:Main woh shaks nahin hoon...Main Armaan nahin hoon..
Mayank:Jaanta hoon main tujhe...
Bharti:Khayr,chodo woh saari puraani baatein..Ab hum phir se shuru karenge humaari dosti...Banoge na meri dost?
Mayank:Uske pehle tumhe meri baat sunni hogi...
Bharti:Agar beethi baat ko dohrana ho toh please rehne do...I don't wanna hear anything,Mayu!!
Mayank:You should have at least given me a chance to explain my stand. Did you really think I had forgotten everything and befriended Gaurav just like that?Mera bhi koi wajah tha. We lost touch somehow, Bharti. You went somewhere after your studies and that too without informing me...
Bharti:Haha yeah. Guilty me..I didn't get through my papers then as it was right after Radhi's death..
Mayank:I went to Vancouver for my training and entrepreneurship program. I had a vision for the fashion industry then. Media publishing came along and soon with the hard work, Trends earned its name. I hadn't forgotten anything in the midst of fame. I networked with various influential sources and soon I found certain confidants who would do anything for me. Thus, I managed to stumble upon Gaurav yet once again and befriended him. Soon, he became a major part of my firm and we invested in Mumbai. He had no doubts of my intentions, that I was sure. But when I bumped into you at Men's Universe, things got in the way and I got caught up with a lot of things on my mind and you became my top priority. Slowly I hatched up a plan to bring him down for good by giving him more and more power over Trends but before I could implement the final few steps of my goals, you shot him and changed everything.
Bharti:I'm sorry yaar. I mean, when Armaan himself hadn't supported me and fell into his traps of so-called repentance, I really couldn't trust anyone with anything.
Bharti:I'm really sorry...I just...
Mayank:I understand..OK, no more feeling lonely or being reclusive about anything...
Bharti:Yaar,bohat bhookh lagi hai..Kuch khaana khaaye??
Mayank: Ok let me check with Niharika...
Bharti:Ek minute... (thought about telling Mayank about Niharika's condition)I need to talk about something in confidence..Letz eat some dessert and talk.
Sudha thanked all of Armaan's friends who turned up at the hospital and they all left, giving her hope of speedy recovery.
Armaan:Sab chale gaye?
Sudha:Haan,kaafi dher ho gayi hain na...Tum batao shuru see exactly hua kya tha?
Armaan:(pondered)Ab main aapko kaise batao kind jis Bharti ko aap apni beti maanthi ho usne hi mere seene mein goli chalaayi thi..Kaise aapko dobara sadma de sakta hoon...
Sudha:Armaan,tum theekh ho?
Armaan:Maa,I feel so blank..I just....
Sudha:Hmm I understand..I don't want to disturb you but I need an answer,Armu or else my heart will be under distress..Please!!Your friends told me pretty much but I want to know from you!!
Armaan:(thought)Who did they say??Did they say Bharti??Oh God..Has Maa found out everything?? (looked at Sudha)Who told you?
Sudha:Mahi and Bharti...Bharti promised me this will never happen again but I'm sure this must be the work of..
Armaan:(smiled subtly)Maa, please...Main kisi ka naam nahin lena chahtha...I just want to put this behind me for good..Maa,why do I feel so uneasy? (almost choked)
Sudha:I'm sorry Armu to say that this bullet in your chest couldn't be removed for safety reasons. Doctors said that it could create a major complication and I decided to go with the doctor's opinion. But I will talk to the doctor and ask..
Armaan:Maa,will you promise me something? I don't want this bullet to be removed!!
Sudha:What?? But why?? (Armaan pretended to close his eyes, filtering all of his mum's questions away and she couldn't stop crying)
Mayank:So?(sipped his hot chocolate)
Bharti:Mayu,(held his hand firmly)there are some things which I didn't intend on hiding from you the moment I knew about it...But then I felt clueless on how you might react and I was under the oath of someone dear to you too...
Mayank:What are you saying?
Bharti:(kept her warm cup on the table and cleared her throat)Mayu,no questions today,k?Let me say everything and hear every word and don't be mad.
Mayank:Bharti,will you stop beating around the bush?(moistened her lips as she parted them to speak)
Bharti:Itz about Niharika. I had been around for some times with her when you had gone for official trips...Remember? (Mayank nodded)Well, I took her to the hospital.
Bharti:Mayu!!!No interruptions and no questions and btw, keep your mobile shut. This is serious matter.
Bharti:(heaved a deep sigh)I was looking for some paracetamol in her drawers but I had stumbled upon some other medications which were not OTC meds. I mean, I felt suspicious and checked it up. I was pretty shocked to know after talking to her, that she had only come to Mumbai to spend more time with you. Starting a beauty salon was just an excuse. She's having a major heart problem and as a result, her heart muscle is weak. (held Mayank's hand firmly)She doesn't have... (her voice grew softer) much time...
Mayank almost dropped his cup of cappucchino. Bharti could clearly see that he was numb with shock. She waited for some time. Mayank had to react before she could do anything. Mayank clenched his fist and looked away. After some time, he looked back at Bharti who saw his eyes moist with tears. Those eyes which didn't cry after Radhika's departure. Now, they're crying at the thought of Niharika. His lips became parched and Bharti held his palm and gestured him to drink some coffee. He did so but this time,he felt the taste to be bland.
Mayank:Why didn't she inform me?
Bharti:You should be grateful that at least she answered my questions and confided in me. If she knew that I told you, then she'll break down..She even made me promise me not to tell R...
Mayank:Why did you stop?
Mayank:I know that face...No, you're hiding something from me...
Mayank:Yes tell me....
Bharti:I'm getting late,Mayu..Drop me please??I'll tell you some other time...
~Few Days Later~
Armaan was discharged day before and he was having regular visits from Shreya,Jiya,Raj,Mahi,Bhaskar and Payal. Sudha was content with the speedy recovery Armaan was experiencing but she didn't understand why Bharti didn't come over to visit. When asked, Armaan told her that Bharti had been keeping tabs on him via calls and text messages. Before everyone left, Armaan held Shreya's hand and announced for his engagement to proceed as planned before. Shreya looked at him in dismay. She didn't know that she would have to go through with the engagement. Sudha too was surprised but she was so elated and immediately fed some sweets she had made and kept in the refrigerator a few days back. She had almost forgotten about it but now Armu had given a perfect reason to bring it out. All of his friends left except Shreya. Armaan was left with Shreya alone.
Shreya:What is your friggin' problem, Armaan? I thought we are through with this..
Armaan:I'm only doing this with a motive in mind..
Shreya:What do you mean exactly?
Armaan:You weren't there when I had felt the strong connection with her at the time I got shot.
Shreya:Her?Didn't Gaurav shoot you?(Armaan gestured to her to lock the door)I'm waiting...
Armaan:He shot me in my lumbar region..Someone else shot me in my chest!
Shreya:Kahiiin tum..OMG Bharti??She shot you in the chest??She tried to kill you,Armaan?
Armaan:I was at gunpoint and Gaurav was threatening her..She shot me reluctantly and soon shot Sid and Ved. Upon hearing Mahi's cries, she turned around but Gaurav would have shot her if I hadn't interfered. That was when I felt her connection. Her fingers were trembling and she was trying her best to hold me but I had collapsed in her arms..It was a true moment between us.
Shreya:(snapped at him)Oh hello..Mr Armaan Sinha,wake up please!!!She shot you for God's sake so ruthlessly and here you're saying you felt a strong vibe?(shut her eyes in frustration and opened instantly and thought)In all of these,why am I even with you?You are basically using me all these while and..
Armaan:I'm sorry Shreya that you feel that way..I still love her...
Shreya:Armaan,she tried to kill you...
Armaan: only because I was coming in the way of her mission..I don't know why you and Jiya don't get it...
Shreya:Ok you love her but why this engagement?Just go to her and propose for marriage..Is it that complicated for you??
Armaan:Isn't want to accept her in front of everyone,especially my mum and friends..
Shreya:Not everyone can be appeased,Armaan. When will you learn that?Sudha aunty will be really happy but I don't think the rest of your pals will be. Especially after the shooting.Even Mahi and Raj think otherwise.. I'll help you drive to Bharti's place. Just tell me when.
Shreya: dude, I didn't mean for you to get all so excited right away...
Armaan: No, I can't waste any more time...And by the way, police have been on the hunt for evidences on the trio deaths, which only we, Mahi and Mayank know is due to Bharti.And I don't know what she's gonna do next so I can't waste any further time.So come.
Shreya:(drove Armaan secretly to Bharti's place without Sudha's knowledge)I hope this will be the last time you're using me against Sudha aunty...
Armaan:(smiled as he saw Bharti's home and turned to her)You've been so much more than a friend to me and I'll always irritate you for sure so don't ever think of losing contact with me..
Shreya:(held his hand)Can I get a hug?(Armaan hugged her)Is she worth it??? (Armaan withdrew from his hug and looked at her)
Armaan:She has got no idea how worthy she is of my deep love... (Shreya smiled widely)
Shreya: Don't worry so much; she'll say Yes!! (drove off and Armaan smiled, adjusting his hair and coat)