Auther note : One week left to see the wonderful babies
He stared at her with a smile plastered on his face. He could stare at her all night. Wasn’t she pretty? His wife was a baby-faced strong headed woman, with his baby in her womb.
“Neil, she has all the right to know about tomorrow, Mithali had said to him, and he had just nodded his head in a no. He couldn’t risk anything with Avni. He was lying to her, in fact cheating her, but it was for her good.
The laptop screen’s light was the only the source of light in the dark room and the only source that helped Neil see Avni’s face.
“Neil, light! Avni mumbled in her sleep. He didn’t pay heed to her. If he would switch off the light, he wouldn’t get to see her, and he wanted her to be his last memory.
“Neil and Mithali, humare paas pakki khabar hai! Woh terrorist ussi factory mein function kar rahe hai, and they can attack Mumbai anytime. We have to eliminate them at the earliest. The DCP had informed him and he had just nodded in approval.
“So here is the plan. Tum aur Mithali unn arrested terrorists ko disguise karke unke hide out mein jaaoge.
“Yes, Sir! Mithali and Neil had chorused with confidence in their voice.
“Wahaan pahuchke hume signal do, the backup will be with you. He had proceeded to tell his plan.
Neil knew that this was the deadliest mission till death, but he would do anything for his country, like any other officerBut till date, he didn’t mind taking a bullet on him for his country, his family was strong enough to let him go, but today, he had his wife and his child. Avni wouldn’t bear people leaving her now. After losing Ayesha, the girl was strong, he knew, but he had seen her become vulnerable when it was about himself. He didn’t want to leave Avni, in this beautiful stage of their life. Actually, he didn’t want to leave her ever. He didn’t fear death, he feared that Avni would be alone.
“Baby, kal ke baad, shaayad aap Papa ko kabhi naa dekho, but remember, Papa loves you, a little more than he loves your Mumma. Aap Mumma ka dhyaan rakhna, thikh hai? Unhe strong banane mein help karna, unse dher saara pyaar karo. He said as he caressed Avni’s eight-month baby bump.
Avni groaned in her sleep. She was way too tired after the grand baby shower his mom and Bebe had organized for her. Neil held her hand and she smiled. He kissed her forehead.
Avni woke up to find her husband awake. She freshened up and expected Neil to wait outside the washroom and ask her several times if she needed anything, but was surprised when she opened the door after a warm bath. He wasn’t there. “How insensitive, biwi ki parva bhi nahi hai. She mumbled as she wiped her hair.Great! Now I can’t even wipe my hair. This Neil has pampered me like anything. She mumbled and called out to Neil. He entered the room in a few minutes. She handed him the towel and he took it from her. As he wiped her hair carefully, she stared at him through the mirror. He was staring at her back, with an emotion she couldn’t really name.
“Neil, sab thikh hai naa? She held his hand and looked up. He nodded and smiled. “Sab thikh hai wifey. He kissed her hair parting and she looked up.
“Neil, sach-sach batao, kya hua hai? She knew something was amiss. From yesterday, Shweta was more nervous around her, Bebe and Prakash would check on her every now and then, not that they never did, but their faces were grim when they did so. They would share worried glances with Neil. And Neil? He refused to leave her side and kept telling her that he loved her. She loved the attention she was getting, but today, she had sensed trouble behind that attention.
She held his hand firmly and tears gathered in her eyes. She fluttered her eyelashes in the hope that he wouldn’t see them, but he gently wiped them away.
“Main bhi kitna paagal tha, tumse chupa raha tha. Meri wifey toh sabse strongest hai, she wouldn’t fall weak, will she? He smiled sadly.Kya chipa rahe the? She asked him and Neil sighed.
“Avni, main aur Mithali aaj ek mission pe jaa rahe hai. West Mumbai mein humne do terrorists ko arrest kiya tha, aur hume orders mile hai ki hum unke associates ko arrest karne aaj West Mumbai ke ek factory mein jaaye. Waise toh I would have gone on this mission without any worries, but wahaan ki situation ki hume koi idea nahi hai. This can be very dangerous Avni, the chances of my return are 10 percent.
Avni looked at him in horror. She almost felt betrayed. They were on a verge of separation, and he didn’t even let her know? But at present, she needed to assure Neil that all would be fine.
“Sab thikh hoga Neil, tumhe aur Mithali ko kuch nahi hoga. Tum unn terrorist ko successfully arrest karoge. I trust you, we all do. She kissed his hands.
He looked at her in devotion. Her eyes were filled with fear, yet she was telling him to be strong. He hugged her. She rested her head on his chest. He would now fight with all might. For his motherland, his family and his wife’s trust in him.
She knew her husband! He would come back! No matter how difficult it was, he would be back. Aman peeped in the messy room to see her sister sit on the bed with a photo frame. He had got it framed for her on her birthday.
It was Neil’ and Avni’s candid picture during the small party Avni had thrown after Neil had successfully solved a high-profile case. Neil was laughing at Avni who was making faces at him. Happy times!
“Di?” She came out of the reverie and looked at him.
“He’ll be fine,” He said as he sat on the bed.
“I know Aman, he’ll come back.” Toh kyun khud ko taqleef de rahe ho?” He arched his eyebrows.
“Maa, Shweta aunty, Prakash uncle, Bebe, sab aapke liye kitne pareshaan hai. Aapne subah se kuch nahi khaaya, aise kaise chalega?”
Avni’s tears brimmed with tears.
He hugged her protectively. Who said elder sisters are the ones who can be the strongest? Even baby brothers can be.
He patted her head. Both didn’t speak a word. For Avni, her husband’s return was the most important thing right now and for Aman, his sister’s health.Aman, woh thikh hoga naa?” She mumbled in his chest.
“Haan Di, woh Neil hai. Agar aapko heal kar sakte hai, toh woh kuch bhi kar sakte hai. You just need to be a little patient.”
“Patience hi toh nahi hai Aman, har waqt darr laga rehta hai.” She broke the hug and looked at him.
“Pehle yeh moti pouch lo,” he said and wiped her tears which again reminded of Neil.
“Dekho Di, aap jaante ho naa, agar Neil ki koi weakness hai, toh woh aap ho, phir aap kaise weak pad sakte ho?”
“Bahut badi-badi baatien karte ho?” She smiled between her tears.
“Aap please kuch khaa lo, mera champ ko bhuka mat rakho.” She nodded.
Neela, who had entered with a plate of food for Avni, smiled as she watched her children. She thanked and prayed the man who was busy fighting the country’s enemy.
He looked at the terrorist as he fell to the ground. Slowly, his vision went blurry. He looked at the bullet in his arm. The wound as untreated for last half hour. He saw the constable give a thumbs up, which meant that the field was clear.He thought of his love. He had promised to go back to her, but now he would probably go away from her. He didn’t mind dying for his country.
The sharp light forced him to flutter his eyelashes. Slowly he adjusted his vision. He looked at his wife who was staring at him.
“Neil?” He name sounded magic when she said it.
“Tum… thikh” he stammered.
She nodded as tears trickled her eyes. She held his right hand.
“I am so proud of you.” She kissed his palm. He smiled.
“Ouch!” She screamed. He looked at her in confusion.
“Your babies kicked. Even our babies is proud of you Neil.” She smiled between her tears.
“I missed you.” She said.
“Avvv…nni” He couldn’t muster up enough strength to speak due to the sedatives.
he nipped her lobe and kept staring into the most beautiful eyes he had fallen in love with. Even if she was completely different from his past lover, he still thought that their eyes looked the same.
Their racing heartbeat and breathing seemed to be in synchronizing with each other. She could just forever keep on staring-falling– into his eyes and not even care for the world.
She got up and he just smiled. Seeing him in front of her was heaven. She ignored his injuries, they would soon be fine. He just wanted to stare at him.
“Tum rest karo.” She said and stood up. He held her and shook his head. She sat and caressed his face.
“Main yahin Hoon.” She tried to reason with him, softly.
He nodded. He didn’t want her to go away. The fear of losing her was haunting him.
She understood this and sat there. The nurse came and injected him with a sedative so that he could fall asleep.
She watched as his eyelashes dropped slowly. She kissed him on his forehead.
As he slept, she stared at this miracle. He loved her so much that he feared to lose her even when he as the one in pain.
He was her miracle and she would love him and their children till her last breath.
Precap : Flashback from the past