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Aakhri Deedar, Aakhri Alvida

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Aakhri Deedar, Aakhri Alvida

She stands atop the flight of stairs, a fierceness in her eyes that Om does not recognize. Her words are strong and harsh and she is pushing forward with each step, driving Mukesh Mehra back with the power of her truths.

"Mein zinda thi, Mukesh."

What? What is she saying?

"Sandy!" Om calls out in shock. These weren't the lines they had practiced late into the night time and again…

She is driving onward, ignoring every shout they throw at her. Determination is clear on her face and Om can see that there is history here that even he does not know. But he was there, Sandy wasn't. How does she know all of this? How does she inspire such fear in the man who had been gloating only seconds before?

"I said shut up, I'm going to shoot you!" Mehra calls out angrily, trying desperately to stop her volley of accusations.

Sandy, no!

Om doesn't have time for words. He snaps out of his unfathomable thoughts and lunges at Mukesh before the bullet can reach Sandy.

They struggle violently and she stands watching, unafraid. Om's mind is buzzing and the sense of déjà vu he has adjusted to over the past few weeks intensifies. It reaches a fevered pitch, and soon his punches are not even his own.

Suddenly, flames surround them and he is overcome by a great terror. Each ember licks at his skin, singeing him. He wants to faint or run. The OK he knows would never be caught dead near such an inferno.

But these circumstances are far from usual and he knows deep in his heart that he has to save Sandy. He has to conquer his downfall before he loses her forever. Walking through the flames, he refuses to cringe as the fire catches his sleeve. He is not the same man he was before. He is not that weak.

Om picks up the gun that is lying abandoned on the ground. He shoots Mehra in the leg without so much as a regret. Mukesh Mehra falls to the ground before he can lay a finger on Sandy.

Om feels like he is watching it all from behind his own eyes, almost like he is watching a legend come to life. His finger trembles on the trigger. It's over now. Done. Finally. He struggles to breathe and his heart is beating faster than he ever thought possible. This isn't an action scene in a silly movie; this is far more exhilarating. Liberating.

It's time to end it all. Right here, right now.

But there's a twist to this act that Om could never have predicted.

Because she stops him. She claims Mukesh as her own. Only she will have the right to kill him, to finish the deed.

But…?

He has no time to comprehend. In the blink of an eye the chandelier falls, tearing Mehra from their lives. And suddenly Om understands. This isn't Sandy, it can't be. How?

Om turns to find reality in his doubts. Sandy and Pappu are standing behind him now, watching, and it is undeniable. He knows the truth.

Shanti.

She turns to him, knowing that he will believe the unbelievable. Realizing what they have accomplished; they have achieved the impossible.

The tears fall from her face. He hopes beyond anything that they are tears of joy, that her trials are finally over. Because Om understands. He understands her pain, her anger, and all of the torture she has been through.

All he can do is wave meekly. As always, he has no words. She has already heard everything that is unsaid. Shanti had been there the whole time, helping him. In ways he will never even know.

She gave him the life he had always wanted. Om had found the love of a good friend in Pappu, something he had never had the luxury to have. And… he had found someone he could never live without.

Sandy…

Om hears Sandy, the real Sandy, move toward him.

He can feel the spirit of Om Prakash Makhija slowly melt away, having tasted a strange peace. He has earned his freedom, his release. The weight on his soul has lightened.

And he can see Shanti glide toward the light without a moment to waste. Suddenly she feels so far away from him, bathed in a bright brilliance that he cannot tear his eyes away from. Like a distant angel returning home. Her story has come to an end. She will reunite with her lover in her world and her time. Om Kapoor watches, mesmerized at the sight, as Shanti is spirited away.

He hugs Sandy, thankful that he has found what Shanti had meant to give him all the while. Grateful that the story of Om Prakash Makhija and Shantipriya has brought Sandy into his life.

"Om, I'm sorry." Sandy pleads to him guiltily.

Om Kapoor shakes his head. "I'm not."

Sandy looks at him with regret and confusion and another realization dawns swiftly upon him. She did not see it. None of them did.

Om Kapoor alone received this gift from another lifetime.

"Thank you, Sandy." Sandy had given him strength when he had none; she had given him faith to fulfill his destiny. She had given him a purpose. Sandy had given him love.

"For what?" She whispers.

But she isn't the only one he is thanking. "For everything."

Om Kapoor smiles for the first time in ages, a real smile. Not weighted with false pride or feigned to lure some elusive prey. He is happy to simply hold Sandy in his arms. Because this time he will make sure she doesn't leave. This time it will all finally be right.

He knows now that this is their happy ending.