This is my first attempt in which I’ve written a story with anyone, and it couldn’t be more awesome to write one for the first time with one of the most beautiful and a splendid specimen of a lady I have ever known in my life. So this one’s by Me, Nipath and Nidhi (Follow her blog on http://balancingdreams.blogspot.com/ ) . Hope you all like it.

Part I

He watched her sleep, stroking her head gently. A strand of her hair kept falling on her face and he patiently brushed it aside every time it fell. Zoe looked like her mother, calm, serene and silent. Satisfied, that his little angel had fallen asleep, kissing her forehead, he got up. Turning around he saw the photo at the bed side that still smiled at him. The pangs of regret of that night still haunted his soul. He wrenched his eyes away from the photo. His heart beat escalated; his forehead became sweaty, the whole night replayed in his head. He headed straight to his study, trying to find solace in the golden brown liquid that lay on his table. He poured himself a stiff one, the ice splashing the golden drops around the glass, when his promise to Zoe of never drinking again, surfaced. He left his glass untouched, and sat down in his chair. The rocking motion drifted him into thoughts as the rains started, outside his home and inside his heart.

“Where are we going Pankaj and where does this highway lead to?”

“There’s a point beyond the hill, a sun kissed spot and a glittering waterfall. I know you’ll love it.”

Saanjh gazed lovingly into the eyes of the man who treasured her, as he took her hand and pressed it into his own.

“I love the way your hand fits so well into mine.” He said, breaking her into a blush.

The Enfield bobbed up the hilly roads, the thump of the machine, drawing irking remarks from nature and its fauna, yet in all this chaos and ruckus, two hearts were at peace, oblivious into their own world.

The scenic beauty of that place, made Pankaj forget the very purpose of bringing her to that place. The air was surrounded by the calls of the mountain pigeons and the imperial sparrows, the water sparkling like blue elixir, the clear sky above them, and the wind doing its bit to make the whole setting perfect. He took her hand and strolled with her to the waterfall, not taking his eyes off her as she looked around her completely mesmerized.

Hand in Hand they stood on the side of the waterfall. Pankaj tried not to show his anticipation and fear in front of Saanjh. He tried to steal his nerves but his eyes gave away. Saanjh turned to him, wrapped her hands around his neck and looked into his eyes.

“Saanjh, I do have something to ask you”, his words barely a whisper, his heart pounding.

“And what would that be Mister?” She knew what was coming, yet she teased him.

The 6 footed man, suddenly turned half his height, kneeling on one knee.

“You have time and again made me happy, your smile brightens my day, and with you I am myself. My day starts with the thought of you and ends with you, you mean everything to me, and you’re my world and everything in it. I feel the very purpose of my life fulfilled when I’m with you and I’m happiest with you. And thus now I wish to make you mine forever.” He took a deep breath, paused, and popped the question. “Will you marry me?” He asked as he pulled out a ring and held it in front of her.

She gazed at him. The jungle behind them fell silent or they had become oblivious to everything around them. A single tear ran down from her eyes, as she nodded his approval. He slipped the ring onto her finger and hugged her, and she broke down in his arms. He parted himself from her, wiped her tears and kissed her forehead and held her close to his chest.

Part II

It may all seem to us that when the love is young, everything feels right. We can do anything, We can fight anyone, we can make it go to any crazy amount to make it all work just to have the person in our lives. We promise, we commit, we make plans, but sometimes..only till the love is young..

The thunder rumbled in the back drop, waking him up from his dream. Sweat had broken on his forehead, and he found himself short of breath. He stood upright, his breathing shallow, and the lump on his throat evident.

He combed her hair and pinned her kerchief, wiping the crumbs of her toast from her mouth. She grinned at him, showcasing a gap in her milk teeth as he picked her up in his arms. She rubbed her nose against his t-shirt and he tickled her for that. She yelped, laughing out loud, her eyes glistening. After all she had her mother’s eyes. The same eyes that drew him to her. The same eyes who delivered the judgment that night.

She played with his stubble infested cheeks, very well aware that her father did not like it one bit. He turned towards her, pretending to get angry and growled at her. She kissed his nose and kissed him on his cheek as he walked her out of the front door and set her down. The bus stood at the gate, trembling, it’s large diesel engine on.

“Bye Daddy”, she waved at him.

“Bye Baby”, he stood there watching her.

She turned her head a little sideways, looking past at him and shouted “Bye Mummy”

He froze, half expecting a reply to her call, but it never came.

He turned to see Saanjh’s photo staring at him from the backdrop, over the mantle, the greeting directed at her. Zoey must have put it there.

He turned to see Zoey leave. Waving from the bus, going away. He too raised his hand as farewell, hoping that she did not notice the single line of tear that had crept from his eyes. His body sagging, at the reminiscence of the past, and he stood, a man who once had it all, only to give it away. But this was his penance after all. That was his redemption.

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