Imaan Ka Asar
Meera clutched her necklace tightly to her chest. She took a deep breath and whispered to herself.
"Imaan ka asar…imaan ka asar…imaan ka asar." The mantra began to pervade her whole being.
This was another leap of faith she had to face. No matter what the world said about second chances, they weren't always enough.
And in her heart of hearts, she wasn't certain if she was ready to fall in love all over again.
But she had to try.
"Meera?" A voice called out.
Meera turned to find Zeenat staring at her with a thin smile. "Are you ready to go?"
Meera smiled back ruefully. "How can I leave you, Zeenat?"
Zeenat shook her head, placing a hand on her friend's shoulder. "I will not hear of it. Rajan is a wonderful man. He will make you very happy, of that I am sure."
Meera nodded. Rajan was a great man. He had barely batted an eyelid when she had finally revealed to him that she was a widow. He had decided instead to love her with all of his heart. Slowly yet surely, she was learning to do the same.
It lessened the pain. The pain that was forever ghosting at the edges of her soul. Nothing – nothing – would ever fully rid her of it.
Yet Zeenat was right, she had come this far…and she was willing to go just a bit further.
Every decision was weighted with consequences, and she was learning that childish fear had its price.
Zeenat continued, softly touching the necklace hanging around Meera's neck "Besides, no one can ever tear us apart. Not after everything we have been through. Amir and I will only be a few miles away; you can both visit us whenever you please."
Meera raised her hand to Zeenat's swelling stomach.
"I will be here to see your little one take his first breath. I will dance and sing louder than I ever have in my entire life!" Meera promised.
Zeenat grinned, an expression Meera noticed she wore more and more often these days. "I will look forward to it, but for now you have to finish building your own new life."
Meera hugged Zeenat warmly. "Thank you, Zeenat, for everything."
Zeenat hugged her back. "There's no reason to thank me, Meera. I wouldn't have all of this if it wasn't for you. And now it's your time."
Zeenat pulled back, looking into Meera's bright eyes. "Tera aakhri imaan ka asar."