HOME: A SIDSA TS — Part II
"Aur hamaao saath Siddharth? Humaara saath nahi doge? Zindagi bhar ke liye?"
Never had his hallucinations sounded so real, nor was this a time to be dwelling on his love life. What on Earth was wrong with him?
Back to reality, Sid!
Reality, though, had other plans. There she was, still standing, back in the uniform that best suited her. Wasn't she supposed to be in her village, preparing for her incumbent wedding? No, he was surely dreaming.
"Siddharth? Puchh rahe hain tumse. Doge hamaao saath?"
A teary eyed Sanju was definitely not his imagination. Was she here for real, then? Was she here for him?
A second more, and she crashed into him, full force. The untrained SidG would have landed three feet inside the ground, but this one? He caught her easily, with equal strength.
"You already shot my soul when you left. Ab kya jaan se bhi maarne ka iraada hai," he teased.
She just hugged him tighter in return. Was she scared?
"Sanju?" He whispered. No response. His hands reached her face, meeting the one thing he could never bear.
"Sanju?" He was more frantic this time. "Kya.. kya hua? Tumhare in-laws ne kuchh kaha? Are your parents fine? Sanju at least look at me! Kya hua hai?"
Once again, she was dumbfounded by the purity this man possessed. He was the one to have been wronged, wasn't he? How, then, was he going bonkers over a few tears that spilled from her eyes?
"Wo landslide.. tera naam.. Tu.." She paused for a shuddering breath, continuing with the only sentence she could manage — "Tum naaraaz nahi ho humse?"
He laughed — a broken, childlike laughter that only he could've pulled off.
"Remember when I said that Main hoon, humesha? Koi naaraazagi, koi dard, tumhari well-being se badh kar nahi hai Sanju." He paused to wipe a tear off her cheeks. "Ab bataogi, aisa kya ho gaya ki enemies ko rulaane waali Special Agent Sanjana Dubey khud ghabra gayi?"
Her quite, broken stare seemed to be drilling holes in his soul. Was this how she felt when he pleaded his love to her?
Slowly, almost hesistantly, he stepped a little forward. "Achha nahi bataana, mat bataao. Bas ro mat please! Tumhare aansu.. I can't bear seeing you in pain," he said, wiping the fresh set it off tears from her face. "Baad mein, araam se baat karein? Let's get to work now?"
This time, she nodded in affirmative. And so they proceeded, tying a green band around the child's wrist, leaving him under medical care, reporting their well being to the team, assuring his Monu bro, and then setting off for their mission — together, as always.
The chaos had ended. Victims had been tended to, relatives had been informed, final checks had been completed. Team Parakram was back in the academy, resting after an exhausting, yet satisfactory rescue operation.
Two souls, though, were yet to find their peace.
She knew she'd find him there, at their own Soulmate spot. She just wanted to give him some space before another round of emotional turmoil.
He knew she'd come, eventually. He sat, gazing at the stars, trying to evade the multitude of questions attacking his heart and soul.
That's how she found him an hour later — lying on his back, arms behind his head, serene on the surface and turbulent on the inside.
"Aasmaan mein toot-te taare dhoondh raho hai kya?"
"Jab apne personal taare ko aasmaan chhodte dekh liya, to un shooting stars ko dekhte rehne ka kya hi matlab!" He offered a barely-there smile.
"Anyway, tum yahaan kaise? Kahi tumhara fiance bhadak na jaaye. Yeh aise raat ko, paraaye mardo se milna and all? Pasand nahi hai usko!"
"Waise, bataaya nahi tumne. Academy ko to permanent goodbye kar ke gayi thi na? Phir Manju ki — Oh, I'm Sorry! APNI — duniya chhod ke is duniya mein.. how? No majboori's now?"
Strike three. She couldn't listen anymore. She couldn't stand there, looking in those eyes full of pain and unsaid accusations, when all she was accustomed to was love and partnership.
"Sab chhod aaye hum." It started with a whisper.
He turned to face her, reluctant, yet attentive — almost inquisitive.
"Nahi haraa paaye apne dil ko hum. Tod aaye shaadi. Ma Baapu ko bhi Sorry keh aaye."
He could feel the hope returning. He just didn't want to latch himself to it, yet.
"Tune kaho tho na.. ye taare.. raah dikha deto hain? Bas yoon samajh le ki Special Agent Sanjana Dubey ko bhi raah mil gao. Apne wajood ko pichhe na chhod paaye hum."
A little smile creeped up his lips, "You know what, I'm happy. Mere liye na sahi, kam se kam apne liye to stand liya tumne! I'm happy for you, Sanju!"
"I don't wanna give up," she remembered. And now, he didn't want to hope. She could see it bright and clear.
"Tujhe pata hai hummein himmat kab aayi?" She walked to stand beside him. He waited for her answer.
"Bala ka phone aao tha. Utha na paaye to message karke ek list bhejo thi," she shuddered at the memory. "Landslide ki khabar thi. Aur.. " she paused again for a breath. This was too difficult.
And so, he made it easy for her.
"Mera naam dekh ke dar gayi thi?" He questioned, tone as soft as a caress. She couldn't help the welling up of her eyes, yet again. When did she turn into such an emotional mess? She didn't know. Nor did it matter. He was safe, alive. She could touch his face and reassure herself. He was here, safe and sound.
"I love you too, Sanju," he whispered before planting a kiss atop her head. And she knew that they were free — two souls, surpassing mundane worlds, dancing their way through burning meteors.
A little too long, but hope y'all like it!
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