Joined: 02 July 2012
He feels dizzy. There is a sudden commotion around him. Some call out his name while some shout. But only one voice cuts through the chaos. Only one voice rings in his soul. The almost angelic, gentle voice. But the voice is terrified, in pain. He wonders why. And then as his head strikes the ground, it hits him.
He is shot. In his chest.
He cannot see her, but he knows that she is near. He senses her presence, her sweet smell. In a swift motion, she is by his side, cupping his face in her tender fingers. He blinks rapidly, but his vision is blurred. It hurts him- not the pain from the bullet, but the thought that she is in pain. He wishes to do something; he tries to raise his hand to wipe her tears but is not able to.
It's strange actually... They say when you are dying, your entire life flashes in front of your eyes. But he sees nothing, except her. He imagines her beautiful face, her innocent eyes, her soft lips, and her long, shiny hair. Every moment, every time they spent together flashes in front of his eyes. For once he wishes it wasn't like this. For once he wants to live... It never bothered him before, the prospect of dying... The day he swore as a police officer, the day itself he knew that he will have to die some day. But he didn't care because he never had a family. In fact his sister who was his only family too left him years ago. So, he didn't care anymore.
But now, he does. He cares because he is in love. The realization is sad actually. All this time, he was with her and he never confessed his feelings. He never told her how much she meant to him. How much he wanted to feel her soft lips on his, to make love to her, to grow old with her. But he forgot that not all dreams come true.
She now shifts closer to him. She kisses his forehead softly, caresses his face. Her tears soak his shirt. But again, it doesn't matter. As long as he gets to die in her arms, it doesn't matter.
It doesn't hurt anymore. The pain has subsided, he already feels numb. A part of his brain tells him that he is dying. And then another part nudges him to tell her. Tell her that he loves her. That maybe they were never meant to be together, but still tell her anyway. It might hurt her later, when he is gone. But she is strong and brave, she will get over it, she will move on in her life. Everybody does, she will too.
He opens his mouth several times but nothing comes out of it. But he doesn't give up. He may be dying but he is not going to die before he tells her. So, he draws in a deep breath, summons all his strength. In a final attempt, he lets the words loose.
"Rash-Rash-Rashmi..." He still could not see her, but he could make out her faint outline as she hovers over him.
"I...I...I love you..."
And with it, Randeep takes his final breath.
An angelic voice calls out to him. It takes him a moment to recognize that it is her. But... Isn't he dead? Oh... Wait... He must be in heaven. It is heaven. Yeah.
The voice grows stronger. Okay, now he is surprised... what the hell is happening?
He can now hear other voices too. His cop mind tells him that there are 3 more people. Wait... people??
At this, his eyes open up on their own accord. But before he can make sense of what is happening, a frail body wraps around him.
"Oh, thank god, thank god, that you are okay... I thought that I lost you..." he hears her say. He quickly realizes that the "people" are actually a doctor and a nurse who are about a meter away from him and in deep discussion; there is a police officer too.
Rashmi is saying something but he doesn't understand. He was dying... no, he was dead... then... ah, he's too confused.
It is over a minute but she does not let go. It feels good to have her wrapped around him. Her heartbeat tells her that she is alive. He is alive. They are alive.
And then it comes back in a rush. Shahana being taken by the police, Rashmi stealing a look at him and smiling shyly, Shahana snatching the gun from the officer's belt and then... then it becomes a blur.
Rashmi pulls back a little, fighting the tears that threaten to fall.
"I remember Shahana pulling the gun, but what happens after that?"
She sits by his bedside, takes his hand in hers and begins, "Shahana aims at me but before she shoots, you push me away and take the bullet."
There is silence as the whole incident flashes in front of her. She shudders with fear.
"You know, I thought that I lost you," she repeats again. Her voice reflects calm but he can sense her anguish. God, he is amazed by the depths of her strength.
"Mr. Rathore, I assume that you are feeling well?" The doctor speaks for the first time.
Randeep, who was oblivious to the doctor's presence, turns in his direction and nods his head.
"Good... after you are done, I would like to conduct some tests," he says and the doctor and the nurse along with the officer take leave.
Randeep realizes that he still has her hand in his. He runs his thumb over her hand, reveling in her touch.
Suddenly, Rashmi pulls back her hand and looks at him with a troubled expression.
"Wait... you don't remember being shot?"
"Uh... no... why?"
"You don't remember what you said to me before... before you became unconscious?" Her voice rises by an octave.
She looks like she is going to burst. But somehow she manages to compose herself. Though when she speaks, he is left stunned.
"You don't remember the most important, the most precious thing that you said?" Tears well up in her eyes, leaving Randeep perplexed.
"No Rashmi, but what's the matter?"
"And you have nothing to say... nothing at all?"
"Rashmi... I don't know what you are talking about. Please..."
It takes her a moment to digest the fact. "Randeep, I think I should go... yeah..."
Randeep watches her leave. Rashmi's frustration both shocks and amuses him. Oh, he feels like a drama queen right now.
She is about to open the door when he yells, "I love you, Miss Lalloo."
Rashmi turns in her place, her face mirroring her amazement.
"What?? You wanted to hear this only, didn't you?"
But before he can say anything else, Rashmi covers the distance between them as her lips crashes on his. All pent up emotions, worries, anxieties fly out of the windows and for once, they lose control. Her hands grips in his hair and his land on her waist as their frenzy gives way to a more thorough exploration. Their kiss deepens and they are in a different world altogether.
Finally, the need for air separates them. Foreheads touching, eyes closed, they listen to the sound of their accelerating heartbeats.
"It was beautiful," he mutters. At this, Rashmi opens her eyes, a redness spreading in her cheeks. Fortunately or unfortunately, she too is absolutely in love with this man.
The police officer standing outside, chuckles.
"I guess I will leave this little detail from the report... Though on second thoughts, maybe teasing Randeep sir won't be that a bad idea."
And giving one last look to the pair of lovebirds, he shakes his head and walks away.
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