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Hello Guys, I'm back with the updates.. Aftre a longgg time.. I hearty thanks to all of you for your valuable comments and appriciations...Special thanks to :Mitzi for being my inspiring beta reader; Nehu, Rucha for your pestering cum motivation ;) I am very thankful for that.. And thanks to Cherry for patiently listning to my babbling and ranting about this update.
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"Sorry Doctors I can't help you in this." Divya adjusted her glasses.
"Please Dr. Divya, just for once. " Dr. Muskaan implored again.
Two weeks had passed since Dr. Divya joined Sanjivani. She was very kind, supportive, caring and very friendly with her interns. Her charming personality and caring nature helped her in developing a good rapport with not only her colleagues (of course excluding Dr. Aditya Jaiswal.. And there was a strong reason for not getting along with him.. Despite her best efforts in the last six years, her feelings for him still continued to go unrequited and he still remained oblivious to her feelings for him.. For that reason, she decided to keep a safe distance from him rather than getting a heartache..) but also with all her interns (certainly excluding Dr. Nikita Malhotra.. And she knew the reason behind Nikki's unfriendliness.. Love brings jealousy, insecurity, possessiveness amongst all the other feelings. For that reason she decided to give her time.)
"Well Doctors, I would definitely help you if you could please provide me a single genuine reason why I should interchange your duties."
"Ma'am.. Umm actually I.. " Rahul looked at Muskaan and searched for a genuine excuse.
"Doctors, enough!" Divya lost her patience," Now please get back to your duties."
"Oh Com'on Divs, don't sound like an old school teacher." A cheerful voice interjected. Divya's heart skipped a beat at that voice and she stiffened her shoulders to look unaffected. Why the hell had she agreed to help Abhi when she very well knew how hard it would be to work at close quarters with Adi. She chided her heart.
Adi stopped beside her and spoke charmingly, "What's big deal in interchanging duty, Divs.. Just for one day.. Don't you remember our internship period? How you used to literally plead me and Abhi for interchanging your duties with ours to get rid of your hopeless romantic patient.. What was his name.. ummm.. haan, Daniel Cox!" Adi teased her. Divya looked at him dumfound. Muskaan and Rahul giggled and their giggling irked her. She jerked her head towards Adi and warned him, "Stop it Ad.. Dr. Aditya Jaiswal."
Adi ignored her warning and continued, "And remember one day he'd even tried to propose you with the ring. And you were like..." His voice trailed off and he laughed out loud.
"Shut up Adi. Enough of your nonsense." Divya was all riled up.
Adi, Rahul and Muskaan almost jumped to their feet at the tone of her voice.
"Hey chill Divs! What happened?" Aditya sobered.
"Don't call me Divs. I hate that name. Everything is just a joke for you, right." Divya was finding it difficult to hold back her temper. Why the hell did she fall for this insensitive jerk?
Adi looked at her in disbelief. He wasn't getting why she was so worked up. He was a charmer but she always seemed immune to his charm. This woman was beyond his understanding. He saw her eyes turned little misty and he got anxious. Was she crying?? But for what? Oh God! It was all the more difficult to understand her.
"Divs..I mean Divya.. I was.. I.." Adi baffled. She ignored him and struggled for her composure. Taking a shaky breath, she shifted her attention to the other side, "Doctors, I want you to get back to your duties Right now." She ordered in a stern voice, turned on her heels and left.
Adi stood perplexed at his spot for a while. What was wrong with her? He wondered.
"Machhar kahi ka. Tuje to kisi ko convince karna bhi nahi aata." Muskaan scolded Rahul.
"Han jaise tuje bada convince karna ata hai, janglee Billy kahi ki." Rahul replied in an even tone.
"Guys, stop it." Adi spoke, massaging his temple," And tell me one thing. Why was she furious on me?"
Rahul shrugged his shoulders but Muskaan gave him a meaningful look," Dr. Aditya, you really don't know why was she angry?"
Adi narrowed his gaze and shrugged, "Of course not."
Muskaan shook her head in annoyance," Tum na sare ke sare mard ek jaise hote ho. Heartless and hopeless." She gave a hard stare to Rahul and strode from there in a huff.
Adi gave Rahul a quizzical look but Rahul shrugged his shoulders again. Adi stepped forward and put his arm around Rahul's shoulders. "I tell you buddy, Never try to understand a woman. You'll lose all your sanity." Adi murmured.
"But she doesn't fall in that category." Rahul replied as a matter of fact.
Adi gave him a disgusting look and made an annoyed sound" Dude that was indeed a pathetic joke." Rahul smiled and winked at him. Adi sighed and made up his mind to find out the reason behind Divya's annoyance.
Abhi disconnected the call and stretched his hands lazily. He sighed blissfully and leaned back in his chair. Finally.. finally everything was going great. .in the personal life and also in the professional life.. Oh Nikki !." He murmured her name ecstatically.
As if God heard his thought, Nikki barged inside his cabin even without a knock, as usual. She stood before him and crossed her arms in a huff. Abhi couldn't resist a smile at her posture. He cleared his throat and got out from his chair, "Umm Nikki.." Abhi started.
"You should be Dr. Abhimanyu Modi." Nikki cut him off.
"Huh?" Abhi puzzled and put his hands on his waist.
Nikki shook her head, blew air and spoke, "Yes. You heard me right. You should be sorry. So say it. I'm waiting."
Abhi intrigued by her posture for a moment. She was looking hell angry and damn irresistible. But firstly he needed to find out why she was angry.
"Excuse me! Would you please enlighten me why would I need to say sor.. umm to apologise?" Abhi asked with hands on hips.
Nikki made a strange noise at that, a short huff of air and shook his head in disbelief. She gave him a hard stare and started, "Okay Dr. Abhimanyu Modi, Start counting! You need to say sorry for not answering my call from the last one hour. Sorry for dozing off yesterday night without even wishing me a proper good night. Sorry for not calling me in the early morning and apologising for such reckless behaviour. And sorry for not remembering that you need to say sorry." She finished it and took a long breath.
Abhi was stunned for a moment. Did he really need to apologise for what she ranted? Yes it was true that he had dozed off yesterday night on the phone'. But he was dam exhausted yesterday night.. He had made a futile attempt to cut off the conversation but she wasn't paying any heed to his yawning.. She kept on jumping from one topic to another and he didn't even realise when he lost track of her babbling and sleep took over and he fell into a deep sleep.. And when he got up in the morning, he found himself already late for his board meeting. He even skipped idea of shaving... Unconsciously, Abhi rubbed his jaw.
"I can't believe this." Nikki threw her hands in the air, "You need to think so hard to utter five simple letters " S O R R Y" to your to be fiance." Nikki blurted and immediately bit her tongue. Red colour started creeping on her cheeks.
"Umhm!" Abhi found a perfect opportunity to turn the tables on her " I didn't know we are getting engaged, Nikki." Abhi rounded the table, stood before her and crossed his hands.
"D.. don't Nikkii me." Nikki stammered, "Umm you don't love me anymore." Her heart was doing thump up and she didn't know what she was babbling in her nervousness.
Abhi raised his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulder. "What?"
"Haan. You know I'm upset, yet you have neither said sorry nor hugged me." She bit her tongue again.
Abhi coughed hard and gave her a shocked look, "Nikki we are in Sanjivani."
Nikki looked at him in disbelief "So? You are saying it as if you have never hugged me in Sanjivani earlier." Now it was Abhi's turn to blush. That was a swift reply. He opened his mouth and then decided otherwise. Without wasting a minute, he stepped forward and embraced her.
"Thik hai. Ab sahi hai?" He asked smilingly.
"Mehrbaani kar rahe ho?" Nikki spoke mockingly and smiled. Since he wasn't facing her it was safe to smile.
Abhi shook his head "Uhu" His smile widened.
"To fir kaho!"
"Abhi, when you hug someone whom you love you should say 'I love You.' Nikki spoke teasingly. She felt so relaxed and happy in his arms.
Abhi's breath caught in his throat as he felt Nikki's warm breath on his chest when she spoke. Holding her like this in Sanjivani was not a good idea. He took a long breath and spoke hoarsely, "I love you Nikki."
Nikki smiled victoriously. "That's better." She whispered. Before Abhi could understand what she had said, she stepped back, gave him a quick peck on his cheek and got out from his embrace.
Abhi rubbed his cheek with his thumb and faked annoyance," Dr. Nikita, don't you think you missed out something?"
"You haven't said sorry yet." Nikki challenged shrugging her shoulders. Not giving him the pleasure of hearing what he wanted.
Offer was tempting but uttering sorry wasn't that easy. Abhi opened his mouth to say something but Nikki cut him off.
"Abhi, what are you going to wear tonight?" She asked excitedly.
"What?" Abhi puzzled for a moment. Then he advanced a cautious step towards her plastering a wicked smile.
Nikki noticed a wicked glint in his eyes and she faked an annoyance to hide her embarrassment" Abhiii." She rolled her eyes and continued, "Abhi I meant to ask what are you going to wear in Armaan's engagement ceremony?"
"Oh that.." Abhi made an annoying sound.
"Don't tell me you are not coming." She probed," Armaan would.."
"Well Nikita, I'm coming there. Of course not for Armaan. I just don't want to disappoint Dr. Shashank and Dr. Ridhima." He finished genuinely.
Nikki looked thoughtful for a moment. Then she shrugged her shoulder," Oky whatever! Tell me na what are you going to wear? Sherwani?" She asked excitedly.
"Shervani? It's not my engagement." He made a face. Again he found another opportunity to embarrass her further, "well, on a second thought it's not a bad idea. We should.." He stepped forward.
Nikki stepped back blushing hard, "Shut up Abhi." Unthinkably, she put both her hands on his chest to stop him from advancing further towards her. Abhi's eyes fell on her hands and she followed his gaze. His lips twitched again and she quickly removed her hands. "Ummm ..I think i Gotta go now." She bit her lower lip nervously. And in a fraction of a second she turned on her heels to leave. As she reached near his cabin door, she held door knob and turned again, " Abhi, please don't be late in the ceremony. I'll be waiting for you." She smiled at him shyly and left.
Abhi stood there for a while smiling blissfully.. Life seemed so beautiful when she was around him. He released a long sigh and ruffled his hair. Abhimanyu now get back to work. He rubbed his throbbing heart.
It was past seven and Nikki's eyes were glued to the main entrance. She was surrounded by her group, yet she was feeling very distant. Where are you Abhi? She pouted and fidgeted with her chunni. She was dressed in a cream coloured lehnga choli. Today she had taken extra effort to look prettier in the party. She got many compliments already, yet she was fishing for more. That too only from one person.. She smiled at that thought. Suddenly she felt knowing gaze on her face and she looked straight into the eyes of that 'one person'.. He was standing at the main entrance and his eyes were roaming over her from head to toe. She knew she was looking pretty but as she saw pure admiration lurked in his eyes, she felt all the more confident about her look.
On the other side, Abhi was trying hard to keep his emotions under check. She was standing just a few feet away from him and was looking more beautiful than anything he had ever seen. She was looking pure angelic and rush of emotions went through him. He took a deep breath and shook his head. Resisting an urge to reach for her and take her in his arms, he forced himself to look in the other direction.
"Arey Nikki, wo dekh Modi bhi aa gaya. Ye Billy uncle kab ayenge?" Muskaan made a face and continued," Ye Modi bhi na, aaj bhi suit buit mai aa gaya. Koi ethenic traditional kapde nahi pehn sakta tha. Boring kahi ka. " She ranted and Nikki snapped out from her thought.
Nikki "hmmed" casually and again looked in Abhi's direction. To her utter disappointment, she found him chatting cordial with Dr. Shubhanker and 'Dr. Divya'. She muttered inaudible under her breath. When Abhi had entered the hall, she was too occupied in studying herself in his eyes; it took her a minute to register his attire. He was looking devilishly handsome and hell stylish in his coffee coloured shirt and black blazer. She didn't know that she was drooling at him like a teenage girl when Ridhima nudged her.
"Umm Nikki, are you okay?" Ridhima's teasing tone caught her off guard and she coughed hard to hide her embarrassment. "Ahem.. haan.." Nikki cleared her throat.
"Where are you, Billy? Everyone is here except my 'so called father'. Dr. Shahshak has already asked me for more than 50 times. What am I supposed answer him?" Armaan hissed in his cell.
"Calm down Armaaan. I'm on my way. I'll reach there in half hour. Now don't disturb me. I'm driving." Billy replied in an even tone and disconnected the call.
"Billyyy." Armaan barked but the line was already dead.
"What happened Armaan? Is everything alright?" Ridhima and Nikki asked concernedly. Adi also walked towards them and stood beside Armaan.
"Billy.. He will take more thirty more minutes to reach here. What am I supposed to say to everyone, basket?" Armaan massaged his forehead worriedly.
"Oh God, Armaan you want me to talk to papa?"
"No basket. I'" Armaan sounded worried.
"Arey itni si baat! Dude, don't worry. I've got an idea." Adi spoke cheerfully and grabbed Nikki's wrist, "Com'on Nikki. I need your help." Adi dragged her on the stage even before she caught her next breath. He took a mic in his hand and announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please."
Nikki somehow released her hand from Adi's hold and her eyes searched for Abhi through the crowd. As she found him, her heart again started doing double take. Though Abhi was talking to Divya, his eyes were curious to know what was happening on the stage.
"Our friend Armaan is feeling little nervous tonight." Adi started, "hence his best buddy Nikki is going to sing a beautiful song to boost his spirit. So here I present Dr. Nikita Malhotra." Adi finished and handed over the mic to her. Nikki was stunned for a moment as she heard the sound of applauds. She looked from Adi to mic and back to Adi.. "Sing" Adi smiled at her and stepped down from the stage. He stood beside Armaan. Armaan put his arm around his shoulders and spoke genuinely," Thanks dude. You are a life savior."
"Anytime dude" Adi punched him in his chest.
Nikki stared at mic dumbfound for a moment. She felt nervous and fidgeted with the mic. Again her eyes met Abhi and she found him staring at her with a pair of admiring and tenderly eyes. Abhi mouthed "sing" and gave her his most alluring smile. Nikki's heart jumped in the excitement and she squared her shoulder. Smilingly, she closed her eyes. Even with closed eyes she felt his gaze on her face and she started singing the song that was now more close to her heart "Resham se labon ko Marmari bahon ko chhoo lene do na sanam.. She sung that song with all her heart.
Abhi was flabbergasted; he couldn't believe what he was hearing. His feet were glued to the place and all of sudden he was feeling all sick. The song brought back all those gloomy memories that he was harboring inside his heart from so long. It was Sonia's birthday when he had sung this song. He was very happy that day. Of course it had nothing to do with her birthday. The reason behind his happiness was his achievement. He was awarded for the best intern and most promising young professional award that day. Top of that he was selected in Dr. Rustana's team. It was the most honorable and prestigious position for any Jr. Doctor. And soon he was going to take a part in Dr. Rustana's most ambitious project. His father was very pleased with his achievement. For the first time in his life his father had patted his shoulder and hugged him like a loving father and not like a stranger. He was feeling at the top of the world. His father had lots of expectation from him. And these expectations had turned Abhi even more ambitious. He had made a strong determination not let him down. For that reason, he had even agreed to get married to Sonia. Just to fulfill his father's dream. Abhi's father had dreamt of getting position of a dean in one of the highly reputed hospitals in which Sonia's father was a trustee. He never knew that he had bargained for his life when he'd agreed for it. Sonia had cheated on him, played with his emotions.
The sound of applauds brought him out from those gloomy memories. All of a sudden, Abhi felt all dizzy. He felt as if he would collapse on the floor at any moment. His eyes glinted with rage and the tears threatened to spill out. He needed fresh air desperately. Taking a deep breath he made his way out of the hall by taking long strides.
On the other side, Nikki opened her eyes and found him stormed out from the hall. Warning bells rang noisily in her mind and she pursed her lips nervously.
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Atul, Muskaan, Anjali ran up on the stage to compliment Nikki. "tu to badi romantic nikli Nikki. I've never heard this song before." Muskkan inquired.
"But I've heard this song before." Adi too joined and spoke with gritted teeth. Nikki saw his eyes blazing with anger but right now she was more concerned about Abhi.
"Excuse me. I'll be right back." She handed over the mic to Muskaan and ran off from the stage.
Adi started following her but Divya seized his wrist and stopped him. She dragged him in a corner and frowned, "Where do you think you are going Adi?
Adi jerked away her hand and muttered furiously, "None of your business."
Divya's eyes narrowed with fury. Hurt wrestled with anger as she spoke," Stop making fool of you, Adi. It's a high time now. You know in your heart why she chose to sung that song. Adi, try to understand. She is running behind Abhi and you are running behind her. But look behind you.. for once.. To find out who is following you. Adi. It's.." She threw her hands in the air as her voice trailed off. Shaking her head wryly, she left from there.
Stunned, Adi stared her for a moment. Hell with her and hell with everyone. He wasn't concerned who is running behind whom.. Right now he needed to confront Ms. Nikita Malhotra. He muttered an oath under his breath and massaged his aching temple.
Nikki found Abhi making his way towards the parking lawn. She ran behind him and grabbed his hand, "Abhi, what happened? Where are you going?" She inquired fretfully.
Abhi jerked his hands out from her hold and grabbed her by shoulders, "Shut up! Just shut up! Don't you dare to ask me anything, Nikita. Just leave me alone." He pushed her away.
She stiffened, her nerves were scraped raw and her own temper strained to the breaking point. Why the hell he was so furious for no reason. It was just a song.
With the last effort to sound polite she asked, "Abhi, what's wrong? I thought you'll like it if I.."
"No. No. Damn it. No." He held up his hand and fury blazed in his eyes "I told you not to dig in my past, didn't I? Who told you about this song? Dam it who? Adi? Divya? I'll never forgive if.."
"No wait." Nikki shook her head promptly. "Neither Adi nor Divya. I found that song on my own.,Abhi. You remember that day you gave me your laptop and..."
"Oh God!" Abhi rubbed his temple in exasperation. "Oh God, you were sneaking on my things behind my back?" He asked in a low threatening whisper. He sounded hoarse and Nikki shivered at his tone of voice. There was something amiss.
Abhi was trying with all his might to control his temper. But the strain was taking its toll. She stood there rigid and his throat ached with the need to roar. "Dam it answer me?" Abhi exploded.
Nikki stiffened, her frayed temper sending bright spots of warning color to her cheeks. She clenched her hands into tight fists, fighting back the tears, "Abhi, please stop it. I wasn't.. I never.." She was finding it difficult to speak and her voice trembled.
Abhi stepped forward and grabbed her shoulders again. She cried out in shocked alarm. In her panic, unthinking she put her hands on his chest. Abhi's gaze went on her hands and then it slowly lifted to her face. When his eyes met with hers, her eyes looked frightened and watery. Rigidity left his jaw and his gripped loosened. He felt a distinct change in his heart and his eyes softened a bit. But the change was momentarily. His mind registered back the reality and when he spoke again his voice was steel cold, "Listen Nikita and Listen me carefully. I don't like anyone.. I repeat anyone digging my past behind my back." Abhi grounded out in the most dangerous threatening tone. Yet not releasing her from his grasp.
Stunned into the black immobility by his words, Nikki stared at him not certain what she was listening. She opened her mouth to say something then promptly shut it again. Her mind emptied of every thought. She stared up at him and simply waited for his next move. She wasn't afraid of him or his rudeness. Not anymore. She was confident that he would never hurt her. She started breathing again. Abhi saw shattering tenderness in her eyes, trying to convince him that she cared for him. His gaze was no longer hard and indifferent but speculative. Nikki's heart lurched at complete vulnerability in his eyes. She didn't have any idea how long they stared at each other. It seemed to her that Abhi was making up his mind about something but she couldn't read what he was thinking. She was looking at him with such tender innocent eyes; he could tell from her expression that he was hurting her. She cared for him a lot and he was hurting her. That thought took his breath away. He tensed. Hell, why he was always so harsh on her. He hated himself at that moment. He needed sometime alone to gather his thoughts. Before Nikki could try to comfort him, he jerked her away, turned and left.. even without glancing back at her.
Nikki stood there like a statue, her jaw clenched. She fought against the impulse to go behind him, shake him and asked for an explanation.
"Wow, I never knew you are such a fabulous actress."Adi clapped from behind, walking into lawn where Nikki was standing.
Nikki lurched around, miffed by Adi's icy sarcasm.
"Hun?" Nikki baffled.
"So you were lying all along. You lied to me when I asked you why you were so interested in Abhi's past life. Oh Man! I was so dumb. I kept my friendship on a stake just for you.. and you used me."
Fury again blazed in Nikki's eyes and the simultaneous urge to slap the person standing in front of her. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" She demanded
Adi laughed bitterly, "Nikita, I've heard it right. You are not that innocent that you try to portray yourself. I just wanted to know why you sang that particular song. Was that sum kind of dirty joke or you.."
"I love him" Nikki cut him off, "Hear me loud and clear, Aditya. I love him. I love Abhi. Dr. Abhimanyu Modi." She announced loudly.
"What? What did you say?"
Nikki almost jumped to her feet as Armaan's infuriated voice erupted from behind, like steam hissing from a volcano. She took several deep breaths in rapid succession in a bid to stall the inevitable. She stepped back as if attempting to turn and run off nowhere.
"What did you say Nikki?" Armaan closed the distance in three long strides and asked in exasperation. Nikki blinked her eyes and then stared at him blankly. For one tiny moment she was completely disoriented. Was she having a bizarre nightmare? She had a sudden feeling that she was going to pass out there and then. She curled her fingers in the tight fists. At that moment, alone, she was facing an impossibly difficult and desperately important task. She mentally pleaded for some strength. Abhi, please come back. I need you. Please God! I need him. Her throat felt dry. She swallowed to find her voice.
Armaan rubbed his face and tried hard to control his temper, yet nothing was helping him right now. He took a long breath and asked in a dangerously intimidating tone," Nikki, answer me what did you say? Are you out of your mind? You.. you love that.. that arrogant man?"
"Armaan.. Listen.." Adi interrupted but Armaan held up his hand. "Adi please, stay out of this." He warned him.
"Armaan, I love Abhimanyu." Nikki spoke again with sincerity and braced herself for the explosive reception for her revelations.
Adi's heart shattered into hundreds of pieces. He had lost his chance even before trying. He felt suffocated all of a sudden. Divya was right. Gritting his teeth hard, he went inside before he made fool of himself.
Armaan couldn't believe what he heard. His best friend.. His Nikki wasn't making any sense to him. Love that Modi? How could that be possible? He released her hand and cupped her cheeks. His own eyes turned little watery as he spoke again "That can't be true. No. You are lying. Nikki, is he trying to blackmail you for something?" He asked concernedly.
"No. Armaan." Nikki replied promptly. "Armaan, you will have to trust me when I say I love him and he loves me too. More that you can ever imagine." Nikki put her palms over his hands and spoke very softly.
Her words flicked against his lacerated conscience like whips. Nikki met his gaze but his eyes had turned cold, forbidden. Armaan shook his head and jerked her away. Instead of retorting with haughty fury, he nodded and smiled wryly," Love Abhi," He laughed harshly. "You are making a huge mistake Nikita." He turned back to gather his shattered emotions. His aloofness and attitude hit hard in her heart. She opened her mouth to say something but Atul's panicky voice stopped her dead in her track.
"Armaan.." Atul walked up hurriedly to them and spoke in one breath, "B.. Billy uncle has met with an accident. Fortunately Dr. Modi found him on the road. He is in Sanjivani. "
Armaan and Nikki froze to their places. Armaan was facing the worst nightmare of his life. Nikki took a cautious step towards him to comfort him but his deadly gloomy voice stopped her from advancing further in her track, "Don't, Nikki" He turned his face to Atul and spoke worriedly, "Atul, please bring the car."
Two days passed and Billy was recovering pretty fast. Ridhima was surprised to notice change in Armaan and Aditya's behavior towards Nikki. She witnessed their aloofness towards her. In fact she noticed that three of them were trying to avoid each other as much as possible. She tried to talk to Armaan but he kept mum all the time. Finally she decided to have a word with Nikki when she gets her alone.
Abhi closed his file and massaged his temple vigorously as if he'd a worst headache. He wasn't able to concentrate on anything since morning. He'd successfully managed to avoid meeting Nikki in the last two days. Yesterday she'd left a message for him which he'd ignored deliberately. As a result, he was feeling edgy and grumpy. He got out from his chair and decided to take a round in Sanjivani in the hope that he might encounter with 'the object of his edginess' and could settle down the things.
In a less than five minutes, he found himself outside the locker room. Finally he saw her. Though her back was facing him, he knew she was wretched. It was visible from her posture. He watched her in haze of pain and fought the urge to rub his chest where it ached. For a moment, he wanted to stop fighting with himself and take a shelter in her arms. Absentmindedly, he stepped forward but a shuffle from behind broke his thought. He looked around and a wave of anger engulfed him. Oh Man! Abhi, what the hell.. What are you doing? This is your work place damn it.. And why the hell everyone just disappear nowhere and leave him and her alone.. Arghhh.. Abhi, you need a psychiatrist. Hell.. He chided his mind. Frustrated with himself, he shook his head in annoyance and left from there.
Nikki heard some noise behind her back. She quickly put Abhi's photo back in her locker. Wiping her face, she closed the door of her locker. Ridhima entered in the locker room and found Nikki. She looked around and got to know that no one was there in the room except her and Nikki. Finally, she found the perfect opportunity to demand some answers from Nikki.
"Nikki, how are you?" Ridhima stood in front of Nikki.
"I'm good Ridhima. How are you?" Nikki tried to sound casual but her voice trembled.
Ridhima noticed dark circle below Nikki's eyes and her eyes were mildly reddened. "Nikki, is everything alright?" . She frowned with concern, "Nikki, please tell me something. Has it something to do with Armaan?"
Ridhima's worry reflected in her voice. Nikki stared at her for a long minute. Her emotions started turning loose. She needed to share what was going inside her. She hugged Ridhima and started crying hard. Ridhima got perplexed and held into her patience. She simply patted Nikki's back and let her cry out. Nikki somehow felt comfortable crying in front of Ridhima. After few minutes, she sobered and stepped back. Ridhima offered her handkerchief and Nikki wiped her face with it.
"Feeling better?" Ridhima asked with a reassuring smile.
Nikki shook her hand and smiled back. "Thanks Ridhima."
Ridhima smiled again and asked softly," Nikki, kya hua hai? "
Nikki swallowed and started," Ridhima I love Abhimanyu. Dr. Abhimanyu Modi"
"Well, somehow I'd already guessed it. So is that a problem?" Ridhima folded her hands.
"No." Nikki replied promptly " Ridhima, he loves me too."
"Well, then what's the problem."
"The problem is that Armaan got to know about this. And he..." Nikki threw her hands in the air and told her entire story from the start. When she finished, Ridhima looked thoughtful.
"Ridhima, what do you think what should I do? To make him understand that .. that..." Nikki inquired.
"Give him some time Nikki. Give him some time. He will come around." Ridhima spoke sincerely. But the fact was that even she didn't know how to do that.
Nikki's pager beeped and her heart did a double take. It was Abhi's message for her. She hadn't seen him in the last two days. He had, tactfully, managed to avoid her and her message. Then why was he calling her now.. Was he going to.. Whatever it was.. Presently She needed to see him.. She squared her shoulder and looked at Ridhima.
"Ridhima, It's Abhi's message." She informed Ridhima.
Ridhima gave her assuring smile and spoke," Go and talk to him. Everything will be alright." Nikki sighed and smiled back.
Nikki took a long breath outside his cabin and knocked. She heard a curt 'yes' and walked inside. She found him talking with someone on his phone. His back was facing her and his body looked taut. She wondered whether he was still angry. For one hopeless moment she actually considered walking behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist and laying her cheek against the solid wall of his back. She wondered what he would do. Push her away or would turned and take her in his arms.
At the same moment, Abhi turned and stared at her with his trademark sullen look. Wrinkle appeared on his temple as he disconnected the call. For a moment Abhi found it difficult to tear away his gaze. Her misty eyes exposed her distress and it panged his heart. Suddenly image of her singing his song entered in his mind and that thought brought back a gush of anger. He suppressed his tender feeling for her. Breaking eye contact, he started searching for some file on his table to hide his own misery.
Nikki saw a muscle twitched in his jaw and she knew he was not at all regretful'Arrogant man. She frowned.
"Dr. Nikita, I've called you to inform you that we've shifted Armaan's father in a special ward. As you know Dr. Muskaan is on a leave for two days, I want you to look after him." Abhi spoke in a matter of fact tone.
Nikki wanted to throw something at him. There, Armaan was unapproachable and here, this arrogant man was throwing his attitude at her. She had enough of their arrogance.
"Armaan will not appreciate it," Nikki replied curtly, depositing her hands in the pockets of her lab court.
Abhi felt she sounded pathetic. He looked at her and narrowed his gaze," Excuse me! What did you say?" He inquired.
Nikki felt exasperated. She folded her hand and started," Just for your knowledge, I've told Dr. Armaan Mallik about my private affair. As expected, he didn't appreciate it. As a result of it, today I've lost my best friend for my love. And I've lost my 'so called love' for the reason yet unknown to me," She finished with a chocking sound. As tears welled in her eyes, she didn't stop for his response and stormed out from his cabin.
Abhi stared at his closed cabin door. She told Armaan about them. And he must have said something nasty to her. Why she sounded so miserable.. He threw file on his table. His fingers curled into fists and he clenched his teeth. What the hell.. For God's sake why he wasn't there when she needed him the most.. Abhi felt mortified. Armaan Armaan Armaan.. Enough is enough.. Nikki, now onwards you are not going to cry over Armaan Mallik.. He made up his mind and went out from his cabin in search of Dr. Mallik.
Abhi finally found Armaan in the baseball court. He was sitting on a bench with his head in his hands. Abhi took a long breath. Let's get on with it Dr. Abhimanyu Modi.. You can do it.. You'll have to do it.. A truce.. With Dr. Mallik.. For Nikki.. He clenched his jaw and shrugged again. Abhi, you'll have to do it.. For your Nikki.. His mind repeated it like a mantra.. He released a long sigh and walked towards Armaan, determined yet confused and nervous the way he hadn't been in years. He silently sat beside Armaan and cleared his throat to draw his attention. Armaan's head jerked up and he puzzled to find Abhi sitting beside him.
Armaan never got along with Abhi but something was changed in the last forty eight hours. He had never felt this disoriented in his entire life. Not even when he'd fallen for his basket. It was Abhimanyu, who was the reason why Billy was still alive.. In the last forty eight hours, Armaan had seen different side of so called sadu- Dr. Abhimanyu Modi.. A competent Doctor, a humble senior and a kind human being.. Abhi's this behavior had disconcerted and perturbed him.
Abhi adjusted his specs and cleared his throat again. Com'on Abhi get over with it.. Come'on.. His mind encouraged him.
"Armaan I need to talk to you about Nikki," Abhi spoke firmly.
That was it.. The wound was opened ... again.
Armaan stood up hastily. "Dr. Modi, please. I owe you ... but I don't want talk to you anything relating to Nikki," Armaan clarified.
"Dr. Mallik, I'm not asking for your permission." Abhi too got up and spoke in his bossy tone. Then he massaged his aching temple and sobered again, "Look Armaan, We need to talk. I can't see Nikki like this. She.." His voice trailed off.
"Well well Dr. Modi. What do you think you know about Nikki?" Armaan folded his hands and asked sarcastically. For the record, I would like to tell you that I know her since.."
"I don't think I need to answer any of your nave questions. But still i would answer it Dr. Mallik." Abhi cut him off harshly.
He adjusted his specs and started. "Well Dr. Mallik, for the record.." He threw Armaan's words back at him and continued," I know that there's a matured and emotional girl behind this facade of childish Nikki. What I know is that she scares of the dark but never admits it. I know that she still mourns over her Brother's death but she is scared to share it with others. I know that she still craves for her parent's attention but she is terrified to voice her feelings. I know that she hates to cry in front of other soul, hence at times she opts for all kind of silly acts to hide her embarrassment. I know she fidgets with her hands when she is nervous. And I know she is crazy for chocolate chips cream ice cream and she hates to share it with anyone." Abhi smiled for a moment. And suddenly he shook his head, "You know what Dr. Mallik, I don't know why the hell I'm answering your foolish question? And I don't have the excuse of being drunk also." Abhi massaged his nape to hide his nervousness. Why in the name of God was he was feeling so embarrassed.
Armaan was dumbstruck and he gaped at Abhi open mouthed. Abhi finally looked up and found Armaan staring at him blankly but he looked thoughtful. Was that working? Abhi wondered.
"Armaan," Abhi spoke again, " the thing is that I don't like to see her crying over someone. Be that it may you or whoever. I'll not tolerate that. It hurts me here" Abhi put his finger on Armaan's heart and continued, "When I see her in tears. Are you ready to lose your only best friend? Think about it Armaan" Abhi finished sincerely and left. It was very difficult for him to believe that finally he has spoken his heart.. That too in front of Armaan. He indeed needed to consult a psychiatrist.. Dr. Nikita Malhotra you owe me big time! Abhi muttered to himself and blew air.
On the other side, Armaan stood rooted to his spot and stared blankly at nowhere for a long time. Slowly his mind registered the meaning of each and every words uttered by Dr. Abhimanyu Modi and his jaw tensed.
Armaan opened the door of Billy's room and he heard the sound of laughter.
"Arey aja aja mere sher. Hum tumhari hi baat kar rahe the." Billy looked at him and spoke cheerfully.
Laughter vanished from Nikki's face and it turned to wariness. She immediately rose from the chair.
"Umm Billy uncle I've got some work. I'll catch you later." She spoke hurriedly.
Billy opened his mouth to say something but Armaan's voice stopped him.
"Billy did you congratulate Nikki?"
Nikki was startled by his words and cast a quick wary glance at Armaan. But his face was blank.
"Arey bhai aisa kya kar diya Nikki ne?" Billy inquired.
"Ab ye tu batayegi ya mai hi announce kar du. About you and Dr. Abhimanyu Modi?" Armaan raised his eyebrows.
Nikki was taken aback and stared him without a blink. She wet her lips and opened her mouth to speak." A..armaan, Me and Abhi.. I.." She stammered.
"Abhi? " Armaan probed teasingly. "Tu to badi fast nikli Nikki." Armaan spoke with his dimpled smile and winked at her.
Nikki felt as if she was hallucinating. Before she understood what was happening she found herself into Armaan's friendly hug.
Billy too was astonished for a moment.
"Nikki, Dr. Modi spoke to me few minutes back.. About you and him.." Armaan murmured and sighed. "Nikki I'm happy if you are happy with him." He spoke sincerely.
If she was happy with Abhi.. That was an understatement.. Nikki grasped merrily.. Abhi talked to Armaan.. He kept aside his ego and talked to Armaan.. A truce, he'd promised her.. And he'd kept his promise. Her eyes gleamed with anew admiration and endless love for Abhi. Now it's payback time, Nikki.. She made a determination as tears of joy and relief sprang in her eyes.
To be cont..
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