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Those 24 hours...

This part is in continuation. I would advice you to read the previous part One fine night! before reading this part.

The next morning Vinay woke up to his one of the most horrible mornings. The front page of the dailies featured the news of Natasha being kidnapped in the eerie of the night. She had gone for a movie last night with her friends. Who could have done this? Being a sincere police officer, he had a huge fleet of enemies but nobody dared touch his love, his fiancée till date. He was digesting the news that he got a call on his mobile phone. With trembling hands, he managed to pick the call. He heard a raucous voice from the other end. ‘If you want her back, hand over all the papers you have against Uday Sharma. You have twenty four hours before the court’s hearing tomorrow. Give me the papers, you will get her back in return or she will not see the tomorrow morning’s sun. Her fate lies in your hands!’ The next sound he heard was that of a click. He now understood who the culprit was. He had to take some action quickly. The time was running and was of essence. He thought of meeting with Uday Sharma personally but later brushed away the thought.

He knew that if he would be meeting the business tycoon, all he would be doing just a waste of his time.
He slipped out of his nightwear to wear his uniform. While pocketing his wallet, he was lost in the photograph of Natasha in the front pocket of the wallet. He recalled a verse from a poem she dedicated to him when he was about to return from his training. Staying away from her was evident that time. Eleven months of separation was a way long time for them. The lyrical verse ran through his mind vividly:
The slender crescent moon
Lightning the starry sky
One more sleepless night
O my love, see you soon!

couple hugging each other
Image credit: here

He flipped the purse shut before depositing it carefully in the back pocket of his trousers. He knew what to do, Natasha, I am coming!

Near the grassy terrain of the Yamuna River in the East Delhi, the land was quiet except the local trains and the Metro train filling the air with sounds. A few meters away stood erect a weather beaten wooden structure. The entrance door making creaking sounds because of the inclement weather. Inside sat a girl on the chair. With her mouth wrapped tightly with cloth, blocking her ability to speak or most probably to scream. Her tender arms were clasped tightly to the arms of the chair with the help of a rope. Her frame too was looped with several layers of a fabric rendering her motionless. Maybe the killer didn’t want to take a chance this time. With her auburn hair glistening in dim light, Natasha woke up her eyes slowly. She was tired, her arms numb because of the tightened packing restraining the blood supply to her upper limbs. Being a police officer’s fiancée, she learnt many tricks and being gifted with quick reflexes, she was fast responding. The moment she woke up, she started the efforts to untangle herself. Ayub Khan, her kidnapper barged in from outside. Probably the noise from the shifting of the chair alerted him.

‘Once the papers are in our hands, I will finish you and Vinay together with my own hands!’ He growled. Natasha gave him an angry stare as she swung her head trying to remove the small tuft of hair that covered her left eye. She was trying to say something, maybe some expletives but the cloth on her mouth was a hindrance. ‘I like your attitude girl! Why you are after that stupid slave of the government? He can’t even breathe if he is not allowed to on his own! Look at me. I am the king of my own deeds!’ He extended his arms on his sides expressing the sheer pride. He was intercepted by a phone call. ‘Wait a minute, I will be back.’ He winked as he walked out of the room to pick the mobile which was ringing incessantly. The screen was blinking the name Uday. Without waiting for another ring, he picked the call. ‘Is the girl all right?’ He inquired. ‘Yes. Till now she is doing fine.’ ‘What if he comes to know about her whereabouts?’ Uday smelled fear from the other side of the line. ‘Twenty four hours he has to save her, out of which half of the time is gone. Do you think he will make a mistake of putting her life in danger? Call him now and ask about his decision.’ Uday bellowed and hung up. Ayub strode inside to check for the girl. On sensing the situation being fine, he made a call to Vinay.

‘What have you thought, girl or the papers?’ Vinay confirmed that he will be handing the papers to Uday.

‘Good decision. Remember, love is nothing in front of fame. Power is everything!’ Feeling relaxed, he unscrewed the quarter of Royal Stag and gulped down half of it in one go. Being near to river in this inclement weather, only a drink could save his butt from getting frozen. At about nine in the night, a sudden thud woke Ayub up from deep sleep. He froze on seeing Vinay in front of his eyes with his pistol, a 9mm 1A with the barrel of it facing Ayub, something which he didn’t expect at all. ‘H….how did you get here?’ Ayub's voice trembled. In the meantime, a constable was gestured by Vinay to scan the place thoroughly for accumulating all clues which could be used against Uday and his accomplice Ayub. ‘I will answer the question in the while. So you are the pawn in the game of chess?’ Vinay pressed the barrel hard on his exposed chest. After the constable rescued Natasha and after sensing situation under his control, Vinay thought of answering Ayub’s question.

‘First of all you did a mistake of calling me from your mobile which could be traced very well. Secondly, you called me with lot of noise from the background that too of trains. Now it leaves me with limited number of choices.’ He paused for a while. ‘Now if I would have been at your place, I wouldn’t have kept the kidnapped victim in a crowded place. So it leaves me with more limited number of locations after filtering out the other crowded railway stations.’ After the justification, he gestured the constables to carry him off.

He glanced at the edge of the ill-lit room where Natasha stood. She was feeling heavy because of the drug which was injected by Ayub. ‘Are you all right?’ Vinay looped his right arm around her waist providing support to her swaying frame. She gave a weary nod. Vinay unfurled his arm, taking her face between his palms, he whispered, ‘Listen, I am here. Now everything’s going to be all right!’ With her hand in his, he carried her out with him. Along the way, he recited the same verse which he recalled when he left from home:

The slender crescent moon
Lightning the starry sky
One more sleepless night
O my love, see you soon!
Love is superior to all, Ayub. Hope you understand this fact someday.

Disclaimer: This is purely a work of fiction. All the characters depicted in the story are born out of author's imagination. It's resemblance with any person is purely coincidental.

Click here to read O my love, see you soon! 


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