Zoya Siddiqui, for the first time in her life, throws caution to the wind and goes to Ireland chasing after something she thinks she needs. Aditya Hooda, a man on a mission, is running away from something. A long plane ride and an unexpected storm, lands them miles away from where they thought they had to be. Forced to stick together, due to circumstances and by happenstance, will these two, who always seem to be at loggerheads, find their destiny?
Disclaimer- a part of this story is loosely inspired from the 2010 movie "Leap Year."
Slightly AU- The core/family relations follow the show. Some relationships will be altered which will be explained in the fic. Also, the professions have been altered to fit with the narrative.
Hope you enjoy reading and do let me know any thoughts/views. Any kind of feedback will be massively appreciated! Thank you.
Index (Links) :
Chapter 1 - To Dublin - Feb 10 (post below)
Chapter 2 - A Meeting - Feb 10-11 (page 3)
Chapter 3 - A Diversion - Feb 11 (page 6)
Chapter 5 - Rain and Roads - Feb 13 (page 12)
Chapter 6 - From The Past - Feb 13 (page 15)
Chapter 7 - Finding Shelter - Feb 14 (page 18)
Chapter 8 - Dinner and More - Feb 14 (page 21)
Chapter 11 - Back on the Road - Feb 16 (page 28)
Chapter 12 - We are here - Feb 16 (page 32)
Chapter 13 - Kindred Spirits - Feb 16-17 (page 36)
Chapter 14 - In Mumbai - Feb 17-18 (page 41)
Chapter 17 - A Red Dress - Feb 22 (page 50)
Chapter 18 - Of Texts - Feb-March (page 53)
Chapter 19 - Work and Plans - Mar-Apr (page 59)
Chapter 21 - A Meal for Two - Apr (page 63)
Chapter 22 - A Second Chance (page 69)
Chapter 24 Part 1 - The Future (page 76)
Chapter 24 Part 2 - A Journey (page 76)Edited by ErisedWitch45 - 2019-03-19T01:40:51Z
Chapter 1 - To Dublin (Feb 10)
Zoya Siddiqui clutched the handle of the luggage trolley harder and tried to calm herself. She looked around the small Dehradoon airport- crowded places made her uneasy.
"The flight to Delhi is delayed by half an hour," the voice of Yash, drove her out of her thoughts. He went on, unaware of her slightly damp eyes, "There's visibility issue there due to fog. I just hope I don't miss my connecting flight to Dublin."
Yash Arora was her boyfriend of a year who ran a small event management company in Mussoorie (a small hill station some 30kms from Dehradoon city). He had shifted from Mumbai around that time, and had met Zoya when his company had organized the 22nd birthday party of her younger sister, Noor.
Yash used to say that he fell in love at first sight with her. Zoya, who was quite shy, did take some time to open up to him. Slowly they became friends and one day, he confessed his love for her. That was a year back and now, he was off to Dublin for 2 months to meet his family- his mother, Madhu and sister, Mahi, something which he did every year. After they started dating, this was the first time she was seeing him off.
He took her hand in his and lightly squeezed it, "I wish you hadn't cancelled your ticket. You still have the visa. You want to rebook a ticket, now?"
Initially they had booked the trip together- as a holiday but as the trip neared, Zoya got cold feet and canceled her ticket.
She shook her head, "Don't be crazy. You know I am scared of flying. From here till Delhi I can still manage but the 9 hour flight to Dublin..."
There was something else, too, which gave her cold feet about the trip to Dublin- Yash's family. Zoya was not acquainted with his family in any way- mainly because Madhu didn't approve of their relationship.
She did try to extend her hand of friendship once, when Mahi had snubbed her, over the phone- making it crystal clear to Zoya that she was not welcome, not in their house, not in their life and definitely not in Yash's life.
She would have backed off, she wanted to. She didn't feel like being a cause of divide between Yash and his family but Yash had stopped her. He had assured her that he wanted her in his life- even if his own mother was against their relationship.
Yash made a clicking noise with his finger and thumb, which jolted her out of her thoughts. "You seem to be lost today," he teased her. "It's Valentine's in 3 days. I had so much planned for the day and our vacation. I really wish you were coming with me."
Zoya tried to smile, so as to not let Yash see her sadness. She didn't want to see him off with tears especially when he was going to be away for so long.
"It's quite a long journey," she spoke, "take good care of your self."
He quipped, "It was quite generous of your father to buy me a business class air ticket. Maybe he wouldn't have if he knew you'd cancel later on."
She hit him playfully and smiled weakly, not having an answer for his statement.
Her family was quite a reputed one in Mussoorie. Her father, Wasim Siddiqui, ran a hotel business chain and had political ambitions as well as connections. Her mother, Roshana, was quite well known for her charity work and her younger sister, Noor, was about to graduate from college. The four of them lived together in their ancestral mansion.
Zoya had first introduced Yash as her boyfriend to her mother, who was always the supportive one. Roshana had then persuaded Wasim to accept their relationship, which he had done, begrudgingly. Roshana was quick to point out that Zoya hardly had any friends and this was the first time in years when she had found a companion who loved her.
Wasim had given a string of reasons as to why he didn't approve of Yash- he was a middle class guy who would not be able to match up to the standards of the Siddiqui. He had also said that Yash was using her for connections and finance!
Zoya, who never in her life had argued with her father, surprisingly, stood up against him at this. She didn't know where she found the courage but she opposed him and told him, with all certainty that her Yash was not like that. She had half a mind to leave her house and stay with Yash when Yash, calmly made her understand her father's natural worry for his daughter.
She was so proud of him that day- her father had insulted him and yet here he was, trying hard so as not to break her family, despite the fact that his own family never accepted her.
The announcement of an airline's status brought her back to the present.
"That's not true," she finally countered him, "Abbu likes you."
Yash grinned, "He better. I have some permanent plans for us and for that he needs to be on board." He spoke mysteriously.
"What?" His statement had made her curious. Before he could answer, the final call for his flight started.
"I have to go now. I'll be back before you know it," he quelled her unspoken fear. He put a hand around her shoulder and gave a light squeeze, "Bye, I'll see you soon."
With that he picked up his backpack and walked to the boarding gate. He turned around once and Zoya waved her hand, her eyes teary. She put on her biggest smile for him despite her tears, trying to bid him goodbye with a happy face. Slowly his figure receded until eventually she couldn't see him any more.
Zoya walked out of the airport, her eyes searching for her younger sister Noor. She spotted her, in the car, in the parking lot. Zoya made her way to the car, opened the front door and sat on the passenger seat.
"Yash's flight took off?" Noor asked casually, thrumming her fingers on the steering wheel.
Zoya pressed her head on the headrest of the seat, "Hmmm. His flight just took off. Thanks for coming with me."
"Any reason to get out of Mussoorie," Noor smiled, turning on the engine.
They were halfway back home, the car snaking on the hilly road when Zoya recalled Yash's words.
She told Noor of their brief conversation and ended with a question, "What permanent plan is he talking about? For which Abbu needs to like him?"
"Now that I think about it," Noor recalled while stopping at a red light waiting for it to turn green, "Yash asked me for your ring size a few weeks back. He insisted I don't tell you. I gave him one of your gold rings."
"My ring size?" Zoya wondered. The traffic light turned green and Noor steered the car ahead.
Noor, widened her eyes to face Zoya before quickly turning her attention back to the road, "Appi! I think he is going to propose to you."
"What!" Zoya's voice was a screech, "As in marriage?"
Noor nodded enthusiastically, "Yeah, that's what makes sense. Maybe that's why he wanted you to go to Dublin. Maybe he wanted you to meet his family before he pops the question. And that's why he asked for your ring size."
Zoya looked unsure. He knew that his family hated her. Still he wanted her to accompany him to Dublin. Did he want to take the next step in their relationship? A smile curved her lips- he did! And she had, like an idiot, canceled the trip at the last moment.
"Noor!" Zoya exclaimed, "I have to go, with him."
Noor applied the brakes to the car and it came to a screeching halt. The girls jerked forward.
"Sorry about that," Noor apologized.
"Turn around, please" Zoya requested her. "I have to go to Dublin."
Zoya bit her lower lip, feeling giddy in her stomach; "Yash had planned this trip with me. It would have been our first holiday. I should be with him."
"Appi," Noor laid her palm on Zoya's shoulder, "you need to relax and think properly."
"That's what I always do!" Zoya's voice was getting higher with excitement, "I always think, never act. I think and think and think and then I end up not doing anything. This is the first time in my life when I want to do something impromptu."
"Going abroad is not-"" Noor began when Zoya interrupted.
"I have a tourist visa and my," she fumbled in her hand bag and found her wallet, "my credit cards and cash. If we hurry, I might meet Yash at Delhi airport and we can go to Dublin together!"
"Are you sure?" Noor asked, a bit skeptical. Doing things last moment was her thing, not the always-cautious Zoya's style.
"I am," Zoya exhaled, "Now please, take me back to the airport."
"You'll call me as soon as you reach Delhi," Noor instructed her elder sister who had just purchased a ticket to Delhi, "No, call Yash first, before he boards his Dublin flight."
Zoya nodded, re-checking her hand bag- she had a wallet, which had some credit cards, thankfully she was carrying her passport. She had her cellphone but she had left her charger at home. She made a mental note of buying one at the Delhi airport.
"Abbu will kill me if he finds out I let you travel alone like this. You hardly leave the house on your own and now you are going to Delhi!" Noor muttered, concerned.
"No, don't tell him that," Zoya interrupted her, "He'll be needlessly worried. Just tell him I went with Yash."
"Without any luggage?" Noor questioned.
"Tell him it was spontaneous and that I will buy what I need at the Delhi airport and the rest in Dublin." Zoya suggested.
Noor looked unsure, "Are you sure?"
Zoya took her sister's hand in hers, "I have never been more sure in my life. This is like an adventure, my first one. Please help me with it?"
Noor smiled and hugged her sister, "Anything for you. Just be safe and keep in contact."
Zoya nodded, "I will." She hugged her sister a final good bye and dashed off to the boarding gate.
In her excitement of surprising Yash, Zoya had forgotten about the fact that she had to fly now. The Dehradun to Delhi flight was less than an hour but Zoya could feel each second ticking by. Thankfully the seat next to her was vacant and she clutched the armrest as hard as she could whenever there was even a slight turbulence.
"All for Yash, all for Yash," she chanted repeatedly, like a mantra. She was grateful when the flight touched Delhi. The 50-minute flight was much smoother than what she was expecting. The easy part was over. Now she had to board the 9-hour Delhi to Dublin flight.
As soon as the flight attendant announced that the mobile phones could be used, Zoya turned hers on and dialed Yash's number. She desperately hoped that he was still in Delhi airport. His phone was not reachable. She looked at her wristwatch- it was 8:00pm. His Dublin flight was supposed to leave at 8:30pm. Maybe he was in the craft but it had not taken off.
The moment the gates of the flight opened, Zoya pushed past the other passengers who gave her an annoyed look and rushed to the airline ticket counter. It was 8:15pm by the time she reached the counter to buy a ticket.
"The 8:30 one to Dublin," Zoya panted at the saleslady.
"Sorry Ma'am but you cannot board that plane now. Boarding counter closes 1 hour prior to flight time. Maybe you could take some other flight? We have one departing at 4am in the morning," the saleslady offered.
Zoya counted the hours to the next flight- 7 hours. Yash would already be in Dublin by then. She could easily meet him at the hotel they had booked, she decided.
She just needed to board the flight at 4:00am, make a 9-hour journey and then- her train of thoughts came to a stop. 9 hours! On a flight! ... Without Yash. Would she be able to?
"Ma'am?" the sales lady addressed her.
"Umm..." Zoya clenched the dupatta of her white suit tightly. She had never ventured out of Mussoorie alone and she would now go out of the country...
"Ma'am, do you want a ticket?" the sales lady asked again, her tone somewhat annoyed.
Zoya took a deep breath, "Yes."
She was going to Dublin, alone.
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