"Rukhsana...Antara...Jaldi aa jao, Khana tayaar hai" a women called from inside the kitchen.It was for the third time she had called,yet no response.
Auntie woh dono ghar par nahi hai...Avastika said while coming inside.
Ghar par nahi hai...toh kaha hai dono??? sabreena asked her with a questionining look.
Worry crossed Avastika's face as she didn't know what to answer.
Before Avastike could say anything.
'Khaala'...someone called sabreena from behind.
Sabreena turned back to look and she saw Rukhsana coming along Antara.
sabreena was Rukhsana's Aunt(as mentioned in earlier updates).
Rukhsana gave her a weak smile."Kaha reh gayi thi tum dono...kab se bhula rahi hu"...said sabreena.
"Khaala...wo...woh...hum dono bus thoda tehalne gaye the" Rukhsana said while looking towards Antara who was gazing towards the floor.
"Acha...acha..thek hai...ab chalo aur khana kha lo varna thanda ho jayega...aur ha Avastika...tum apne shauhar ko bhi bhula lo"...Sabreena said while moving out of the kitchen towards the dinning hall.
Avastika let out a big sigh! when sabreena left the kitchen...Rukhsana patted on Antara's shoulder gesturing her to move forward and have her food.Antara looked up and said "Mujhe bilkul bhukh nahi hai...tum log jao aur kha lo "...Anyone could make out that she had been crying for a very long time due to her swollen eyes.
Rukhsana shook her head and said.."aisa kab tak chalega Antara...tum khaogi nahi toh tumhari tabiyat aur bigad jayegi"...Tears started forming in Antara's eyes, she didn't know what was happening to her and why she was getting all weird feelings which were strange to her till the moment she met him...!!!
"Do din ho gaye hai humhe yaha aaye hue Antara...na tum dang se kuch khaa -pee rahi ho aur na aaram kar rahi ho...please aapne aap ko takleef dena band karo"...Avastika said while caressing her hair. When Antara couldn't handle it anymore,she hugged Rukhsana tightly and started crying her heart out.Rukhsana hugged her back and tried to calm her down..After some moments Rukhsana pulled her out of the hug and said with a sigh!..."Antara meri baat dyan se sun...wo...woh thek hoga..." Antara choked on hearing that.Rukhsana knew that this was the thing that could ease her pain...this was what she wanted to hear.Avastika understood what Rukhsana was trying to do...so she proceeded further by saying..."Antara...mera dil kehta hai...woh jaha kahi bhi hoga...thek hoga...!!!
Both Rukhsana and Avastika's eyes moistened on remembering the past moments.
Their trance got broken when Antara spoke while sobbing..."Mujhe bahut ghabrahat ho rahi...ek ajeeb si beachaini hai dil mein"...
"Tu dar mat Antara...sab thek ho jayega...chal thoda khana kha le"...Rukhsana said.
"Tum dono jao... main abhi aati hu" she said while controlling herself.She didn't wanted to hurt them more so she agreed to have food.Avastika and Rukhsana smiled when She agreed and walked towards the dinning hall,giving her some privacy to compose herself.
It had been two days since the last time she saw him.She had an unknown anxiety and didn't have any answer to her strange feelings.Everything she felt was totally new to her...
She couldn't forget anything about him, the person who saved her life for three times.Whatever pain she went through in those horrific 24hrs of her life got overshadowed today by the worry and concern towards him.
Everything changed since the moment he took that bullet on his chest while saving her life.It seemed like he was fighting with the destiny everytime in order to save her life.
There was something which was drawing her towards him with each passing second.
A sudden urge was creating a havoc in her heart , just to get one glimpse of him...
All she wanted to know that whether he was fine or not.She clutched her fist tightly while closing her eyes and a lone painful tear escaped her eye.All the memories of him flipped through her mind again and again...and everytime all memories got stuck at one moment...
The moment when she felt him...
The moment when she saw his dimpled smile...
The moment when he gazed intensely towards her...
The moment when he kissed her...!!!
Her breath hitched a bit and slowly she raised her fingers to touch her cheek,where he gave her the strongest memory of him.
She didn't wanted to remember, whatever had happened after that because she still couldn't bear it and yet again all the memories flooded through her mind.
Raghu was still holding her in his grip when he fell unconscious,his head still resting on her shoulder.
Antara's eyes widened in shock seeing him like that but before she could react.She heard numerous gunshots being hit on the door...and with a loud bang the door got opened.
It was Machmach who shot at the lock point of the door as it had got jammed.
MM got shocked seeing both of them in that state.
MM ran towards them and pulled Raghu out..He carried Raghu to nearby bed and made him lie on that. MM jerked Raghu while calling his name, he patted his cheeks but there was no response.
Antara who was still in same posture kept staring at Raghu's lifeless body.Fresh tears sprang out of her eyes and enormous painful flames burned her heart..When she tried to get up and reach out to him, she fell down back on the floor with a thud...She was totally numb at that moment.
By the time Rukhsana,Avastika,Pakiya and chotu entered the room...and everyone was devastated seeing the horrific view in front of them.Rukhsana and Avastika rushed near Antara while Pakiya and Chotu made their way towards MM and Raghu.
Raghu's eyes were still closed with lips being parted, his chest wound was bleeding profusely.
MM took glass of water and sprinkled some of water droplets on Raghu's face.Raghu squeezed his eyes and then opened slowly...First his vision was blurred and later everything started clearing away.
MM told Pakiya to bring the doctor from downstairs as fresh blood was oozing from Raghu's chest.After saying that MM pressed his hand on the wound site from where it was bleeding...Raghu gasped out loud when MM applied the pressure.
On hearing him gasp Antara choked while crying badly...She attempted to get up again but was about to fail when Rukhsana and Avastika held her tightly by shoulders...making her stand at last.
Even in painful uneven breaths,his eyes kept searching for her.It didn't take much of the time when he heard painful sobs and soft footsteps approaching towards him. His head twitched in that direction and he finally got to see her.Just one glimpse of Antara was soothening his soul.His heart ached when he saw her swollen red eyes...He never a wanted a single tear in her eyes.
On the other end Antara met his eyes and they had an eyelock..In the same instant something transferred between them.It felt like she was apologising for her mistake...she was feeling guilty and responsible for his present condition and in return his eyes were consoling her...
Some moments passed and their eyelock was broken when the doctor entered.Antara's gaze followed the doctor while Raghu kept on staring at Antara.
As the doctor started examining, MM gestured something towards Pakiya and chotu.They both nodded in response and walked away from there.Pakiya came near Avastika and Rukhsana and told them pack their things as fast as they could... as they needed to vacate this place very soon...while chotu went outside the cottage to check where things had gone wrong.
Outside the cottage, there was no sign of Swaminathan to be found but there were marks of dragging someone's body. Swaminathan found the opportunity to slip into the house in that tight security was when Raghu went to take some rest during the wee hours.
After examining Raghu,the doctor told to MM..."Dekhiye...Chot zyda gehri nahi hai...inhe jo goli lagi hai...vo inke ek rib mein ja kar phas gayi hai...usi ke karn inhe saans lene mein itni dikkat mehsoos ho rahi hai...Inhe pehle ek behoushi ka injection dena padhega tabhi main goli nikal paogi..." On hearing that Raghu got irritated and spoke even in being pain..."eee...Doctor tujhe goli nikalne ka hai...mujhe behoush karne ka nahi...jaldi se goli nikal kyuki apun ke paas jyada time nahi hai"...with that he tried getting up but MM made him lie again by saying..."Arre Bhai...kya kar raha hai...yeda toh nahi ho gaya hai tu...jab injection lagega tabhich to dard nahi hoga goli nikalte time...samjne ki koshish kar..."
Raghu smirked and replied while looking towards Antara..."Iss duniya ne bahut dard diye hai...chalo ek aur sahi.."
On hearing that Antara's heart sank and more tears made their way... MM got worried and interupted by telling the doctor to start the procedure without sedating Raghu, however Doctor gave him pain killer shots before taking out the bullet.
MM removed Raghu's shirt and vest...Antara's face flushed and she lowered her gaze seeing his bare upper body.Raghu could feel her embarrassment so he gestured MM to take her away.MM nodded in agreement and went near her..Antara was still looking towards the ground when MM said..."aee...Antara...tu chal yaha se...teri tabiyat vaise hi thek nahi hai aur agar ye sab dekh liya toh seh nahi paayegi...kahi aur hi na kharab ho jaye teri tabiyat".
Antara got more weak on knees anticipating the upcoming act.A shiver ran through her spine and she started sobbing more.Unwantingly She turned her back towards Raghu and started moving towards the main door.She could feel his piercing gaze on her.
Once she was outside the room, MM closed the door behind her.
When she was about take one step forward,she heard his loud painful moan.It felt like her heart was stabbed million times.She turned back and touched the door with her palms but She didn't have the courage to open it.Her heart sank when she heard another painful gasp of his...
Antara slid on to the floor while palms still touched the door.She was crying like hell on hearing those painful moans..Suddenly something caught her eye,she got herself on knees and saw gunshot holes on the door.She peek through that and her widened in shock seeing Raghu's chest full of blood while his hand clutching to the bedsheet.A painful scream was about to escape Antara's mouth when she tightly covered her mouth with palm and ran away from there as she could bear that devastating view.
Everything was arranged and packing was done.Pakiya made Antara, Avastika,Rukhsana and Avinash sit in one of the cars..Antara's eyes kept flickering towards the Attic where Raghu was there but soon the cottage started disappearing as the car sped away from that place.Antara tried to protest to stop the car but Pakiya didn't as it was Raghu order to leave.
When Swaminathan wasn't found at the place where he fell down...Chotu informed Raghu regarding the same.
Raghu understood things were fishy and situation was more complicated than what it looked.He immediately changed the plan and the result was that Antara was being taken back in the reversed direction...from where she had travelled two days back.
Suddenly they all heard a ear deafning blast and whole cottage was turned into flames.Antara screamed and tried to get down from the moving car but Rukhsana and Avastika held her tightly.
Her heart burned to ashes thinking about him...and then they all heard one more car following them.
She didn't know who was following them but she was lost in his thoughts..These few hours had completely turned her life upside down...and A stranger had occupied an important place in her life.
She felt soul less thinking that she lost him forever because of her mistake..She continued to get drowned into the river of guilt until her trance got broken when she jerked as car came to a halt after hitting the breaks.
Rukhsana helped Antara to come out of the car and they were standing on the ground where there was big H mark imprinted.
The overview of the sorroundings and the chandra river flowing through the area along with a helipad announced to them that they were in the town of 'Khagling' (also known as 'Sissu'). Suddenly harsh winds started flowing, ruffling Antara's hair wildly and with a loud ear deafning sound helicopter appeared above the helipad and finally came down and made a halt.Pakiya told Avastika to leave towards the helicopter and get seated along with Antara,Rukhsana and Avinash.
Raghu knew such inevitable conditions could prevail so he had kept this as his back up plan and made all the necessary arrangements to execute the plan.All three of them started moving towards the helicopter.Rukhsana gestured Antara to come forward and join them.All mixed emotions flowed through her,she didn't understand what was happening to her...a lone tear escaped her eye and she stepped forward..
It was then...when a strong arm encircled her waist and dragged her behind one of the cars.She gasped by the sudden act and started breathing heavily...It seemed some what strange yet familiar embrace...
"Dar gayi thi..???" he spoke huskily...on hearing his voice her heart jumped and started fluttering..She closed her eyes and started getting calm while his grip tightened on her.He said again..." Jaa rahi hai toh mera ek kaam jarur karna...they both remained silent for some moments..He spoke again with deep intense voice " Meri zindagi ab tere hatho mein hai...uska khyal rakhna " with that he turned her... making her face him..He was hiding so much pain under his smile...she looked at his chest but it totally covered and zipped up by the black jacket...
Suddenly Raghu's expressions changed and he told MM to make Antara sit in the Helicopter...She was stunned and confused at the same time by his behaviour...
Antara left towards the helicopter while Raghu's intense gaze followed her.Seeing Antara's confused looks,MM felt bad for her so he spoke to her..."woh tujhe kuch nahi hone dega"...Antara got startled on hearing that..MM ignored her reaction and spoke again.."Kuch toh khaas hai tere mein, ki apun ke bhai ne apni Jaan ki parwa kiye bgair tujhe bachaya...varna aaj tak bhai ne aisa kabhi nahi kiya aur woh bhi kisi chokri ke liye...nah"
With that he made Antara sit and helicopter made its way to next destination...Ladakh.
On insistence of Rukhsana..Avastika and Avinash had accepted the invitation of staying at her Aunt's house as it was safe from everywhere else for now on...
It had been two days in Ladakh and still Antara didn't had any clue regarding werebouts..It was becoming difficult with each passing second.
"Antara...jaldi aao..khana thanda ho jayega" Rukhsana called her from dinning room.Antara's trance got broken and with a sigh she walked out of the kitchen towards the dining hall.
To be continued...
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