...Continued from the last issue.

Sana rolled her eyes in disbelief. ‘You’re not serious.’

Ishaan’s face was solid, his voice sincere. ‘Trust me.’

She broke into a laugh then. ‘You really think I’m that stupid? I was naïve then, Ishaan. I’m not the same girl anymore.’

‘What, you think I’m lying? You think I just randomly decided to walk out of your life one fine day?’

He was mad, she could tell. And even though all that he was saying sounded ridiculous and right out of some stupid thriller flick, she knew he couldn’t possibly lie. Yet, she was hurt enough to not show it.

‘Basically, yes. If you think I believe your stupid lie, you’re wrong. Go fool someone else, Ishaan. You did a mighty fine job of it with me.’

He held her hand and looked her in the eyes. ‘Shut up.’ He said. ‘I wanted you more than anything in this damn universe. And I don’t care if you believe me, because that won’t change a thing. I left, because me being around you simply meant more danger for you. I’d rather leave and see you happy than stay and put you at risk.’

She only heard the last sentence. ‘Happy?!’ She bit out. ‘You think I was happy? I was miserable every single minute of every day that you were away. But of course, why would you care? You’d rather believe some stupid theory and walk away.’

‘Stupid little theory? Tell me something, do you remember the number plate of the truck that was behind us?’

She thought for a second. ‘Um, no.’

‘I checked. That number plate was never registered. It was fake.’

Sana had goose-bumps. ‘What?’

‘I knew what I was doing, Sana. I was handling the car well enough. The truck…I don’t know, it was acting weird. It kept following us all throughout the highway. I tried maintaining a distance. Hell, I even changed the route. But no, it kept following us. I didn’t think much of it, thinking maybe I was imagining things and the alcohol was blinding my senses. It wasn’t, Sana. Of course, I had no idea when it hit us. But the next morning when I gained consciousness, I remembered all of it. It was never an accident. It was all planned. All of it.’

Her face grew red. ‘How can you be so sure?’

‘It was just a hunch initially. You know my ego. I could be stupid with my life, but never with yours. I’m a lot more alert when I drive with you next to me. I just knew that I couldn’t have been responsible for the accident. And then I remembered the truck. I tried hard to remember the number. It just didn’t come back to me. And then it hit me. The last four digits are the same as my phone number. 1276. And then it came to me slowly. MH01AB1276. That number never got registered.’

She stared at him in shock. He had always had amazing memory. She knew he was telling the truth. She was sure of it. Even after all this time apart, she knew she trusted him completely. How or why- she didn’t know. But then again, their relationship had never really been typical.

‘Ishaan…’ She began to say, when he cut her off.

‘I know all of this sounds crazy, but you need you to believe me. I’ll apologize for the rest of my life if that’s what it takes, but please, please, just listen to me.’

She didn’t even know what to say. For the second time in less than fifteen minutes, her world stopped around her.

‘Tell me.’

He stood there, feeling helpless, wishing he could take all of this away, and just hold her close for as long as eternity lasted. But he knew he couldn’t. There were bigger things at stake here. And what he said then, changed their lives forever. Again.

‘They’re coming back for us.’

To be continued…

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