Sorry guys, I had a bad migraine all day, so I could not post earlier. So , here we go...
A couple of days later, nidhi, was following up on the patient, that had had the allergic reaction to the drug because of her carelessness. He was back at JS , and was recovering nicely. Today, he had sat up and had talked to his family for a little while. But she still had to keep a close eye on him, it had been touch and go for a while, but thanks to Dr. Ashutosh, and his quick thinking, a major disaster had been averted. Ashutosh's anger at her had been more than justified. Although, the fact that he had reprimanded her in front of Mallika, rankled a bit.
Ever since that day, she had started to cling to ashu even more, now she had started coming into their room at any time, night or day, whenever the whim took her. Just the other night, ashu had been playing the violin for her, because she had been very upset at her carelessness, in regards to the treatment of the patient at JS. Ashu had wanted to cheer her up a bit, but right in the middle, Mallika had knocked, (now she just came in, she doent even feel the need to knock Anymore), when nidhi opened the door, she just came in and insisted that ashu come to her room and play for her, and her only. And nidhi said he could go, but she had not expected ashu to comply so readily, she thought that ashu would tell mallu to go away, but he willingly went, and nidhi had, had to spend a other night alone. He had promised her that he would not spend any more nights in mallikas room, away from her, but nidhi guessed that his friendship meant more to ashu than his promise to his wife.
Things , had just escalated after that. Mallika was monopolizing all of ashu's time. The past two days, they had hardly had more than two minutes together. Then yesterday, morning she had the audacity, to ask ashutosh to comb her hair. I guess she finally realized, that she looked like the bride of Frankenstein. And even though he had looked uncomfortable, he had combed her hair, and that to with nidhis hairbrush, well , nidhi thought, if he knew what was good for him, he would leave the brush with Mallika, and not even try, to return it to nidhi, lord only knows what it was infested with now. When she saw him combing mallikas hair, nidhi had felt like, clobbering them both on the head with it. And mallika, had, had a look of triumph, and satisfaction on her face, when her eyes met nidhis, in the mirror. Nidhi, was so angry, and frustrated with ashu and his behavior, they were right back to square one. It's as if ashu had totally forgotten all his promises of last week. She didn't know how long , she could put up with this nonsense. She was very close to loosing it.
When nidhi got home that evening, she was surprised to see that ashutosh and baba were already sitting at the dining table having dinner. She looked at her watch, she wasn't late, soo, what was going on? They had not noticed her, they were all busy talking, even Mallika, no one looking at her would say anything was wrong with her. She was absolutely glowing, she looked like a queen bee presiding over her court. Just then BB looked up and saw nidhi, he looked disconcerted for a second, but then he smiled and called her over,"ah, nidhi beta, you're home. Come join us. Look at all this delicious food, that Mallika made, and surprise us with. Come beta join us, have something to eat." Ashu looked at nidhi, sheepishly, and said, "yes nidhi do join us." nidhi just looked at them all, she could not believe her eyes and ears, they were inviting her as if she was a guest, and Mallika was the lady of the house. Mallika, looked like the cat who had swallowed the cream. She could not believe that they had not waited for her, and ashutosh, he looked like he didn't have a care in the world. Tears sprang to her eyes," no you guys go ahead, I have eaten already. A few of the staff insisted I have dinner with them! So I did. Carry on, I think, I'll go ahead and get some sleep. I have a long day tomorrow."
When nidhi, left, BB and ashutosh looked at each other, both were sad, they knew that they had hurt her deeply. Ashutosh, was miserable, he had seen the devastated look in his wife's eyes, and the knowledge that he had been the cause of that pain, ripped his heart into two. But he had no choice, Mallika was becoming bolder, and had started slipping up. It would not be much longer now, before she gave herself away completely. He was waiting for that moment impatiently. He was absolutely disgusted with Mallika, and the food she made was sticking in his throat, but he made himself eat, and praised her for her efforts. All the while, he knew that his nidhi had gone to bed hungry, all because of him. She had totally taken them both, BB and ashu, by surprise. He could not believe her, it seemed that there was no end to her deviousness. She knew what, it would to do nidhi, and she had deliberately, without anyone's permission, gone to the kitchen, and had taken it upon herself to make dinner.if he could, he would have thrown her out right then, but, he did not want to do anything that would compromise nidhis safety. For now, he was convinced that, Mallika could and would do anything, under the pretext of her mental instability, to harm nidhi. He cursed the day that Mallika had come into his life.
After dinner, Mallika said," ashutosh, come with me to my room for a while, and play the violin for me like you did the other night. You played so beautifully. Your music soothed me, and I really had a peaceful sleep. Besides, nidhi, is asleep, she won't miss you. You see she had dinner, without you, and you had wanted to wait for her. Now, aren't you glad I forced you to eat, otherwise you would have stayed hungry waiting for her, while, she went ahead and ate without you." Ashutosh looked at her, was she so stupid, he thought. Cant she see, that with every word she uttered, she gave herself away. Her hatred for nidhi, was so obvious, even a blind man could see, and feel it. He felt like throttling her. Ashu had already started making enquiries, as to Jagan's whereabouts. And the feed back he had been getting, was making his stomach queasy. With every passing day, the real face behind, the seemingly benigne exterior, was becoming more and more clear. And if what he suspected, was true, then god help them, they were harboring a monster in their house, a monster that ashu himself invited in with both arms. He should have listened to nidhi, he should have paid more attention to her feelings regarding Mallika. He had no one to blame but himself, he had been so high and mighty, his friend, their friendship, he had been so full of himself. He had placed his so called friendship, above,his relationship with nidhi. He deserved the betrayal, Mallika was doing with him, but his nidhi was innocent, she didn't deserve any of this. He needed to protect her at all costs. Right now, the way he was feeling, he knew that his anger would make him betray his true feeling to Mallika, so he made the excuse that his knee was hurting really bad, and he needed to rest, so he was turning in for the night, and as an added measure, so that she would not barge into their room tonight, he said,"I am so glad nidhi is asleep, she drives me crazy every night, with her whining, I am not sleepy, talk to me, or keeping the light on all night for reading, for once I will be able to sleep. Goodnight Mallika".
Mallika was elated, her plan was working beautifully. Ashutosh was beginning to realize that marrying nidhi was a mistake. Very soon he would also realize that she was the one he really loved. Oh yes, very very soon... And if he didn't, then she still had plenty of ideas to make sure that the obstacle named nidhi, would not remain an obstacle for very long.
BB, too had retired to his room after dinner. The misery on nidhis face, had broken his heart. He loved her so much, all the love and support that his daughter had deserved from him, and had never gotten, he now wanted to give nidhi. She was his daughters legacy to him, and he intended to take care of her and protect and love her always. Soon this nightmare would be over, and they could get back to being a happy family. Earlier, when Mallika had been cooking, ashu had come to him and said,"BB,I know that not telling nidhi what we are doing and what's going on, is the right thing, but I feel that Col. Verma(CV) should know. His unconditional, acceptance of me and my relationship to nidhi, meant more to me than I can say. I feel as I have two fathers now. He deserves to know what's going on. Plus if nidhi goes to him and tells him anything, then there will be a MU between us, and I don't want that to happen. We will give him our reasons, for keeping nidhi in the dark. I am sure he will agree with us. And when the time comes , he will help us deal with ltelling nidhi the truth. Because, I think when we are done with Mallika, and nidhi finds out everything, we are both going to realize that dealing with Mallika, was a piece of cake, compared to nidhi. God help us.-" So they had called CV and talked to him, giving him all the details, and bringing him upto date as to what was happening, and why they were not willing to tell nidhi anything. After hearing, the whole story, CV, agreed with them and said that they had done the right thing in not telling nidhi. She was to straight forward, she would have gone and confronted Mallika, and Mallika, probably would tell lies and once again get away. And he assured BB and ashu, that he was with them in this fight, and when it came down to it he would explain everything to nidhi,"when push comes to shove,ashutosh, nidhi can be very mature, she handles herself extremely well in difficult situations, so don't worry."
The bedroom was dark, when ashu went in, the only light came from a small lamp in the corner, ashu looked for nidhi on the bed, the bed was empty, she was not there. Ashu looked all round the room, and then he saw her,she was sleeping on the couch, he went closer and saw that her cheeks were wet. Nidhi had cried herself to sleep, there was still a stray tear or two, that leaked through her lashes.
Ashu, had never felt so helpless in his life. She was his world, her happiness meant everything to him, and he was the cause of her sorrow. Ashu reached over to wipe her tears, when nidhi opened her eyes. She caught his hand and stopped him. Still, holding his hand, she sat up. Nidhi gently reached over, and ashu flinched, but she smiled, and brought her hands to his face and wiped ashu's tears. It was then that ashu realized that he had been crying. He didn't know what to say. He opened his mouth to talk, and nidhi put her hand over it. And said," I was not going to forgive you so easily this time even if you had said sorry a hundred times. But when I looked your face, just now and saw your tears, they did what your words could never have. If possible you are hurting more than I was, and your face told me everything.. I am not going to lie to you, you hurt me very badly today and have been for the past two days. But, now, looking at you, I've come to a conclusion that your disgusting behavior of the past 2 days, has to have a reason behind it. And I also Know you will tell me everything when you are ready. I will not create any issues. So if you are ready, let's go to sleep now."
Ashu was totally floored, what had he ever done to deserve her. Could there anything be more perfect or more beautiful, than her, his wife his love. Nidhi wheeled him to the bed, and helped him onto it. After that, she went to her side of the bed and turned off the lights, and lay down. Ashu came closer and put his arms around her waist, and turned her over to face him. "I love you, Dr. Nidhi Mathur, I love you very much." N-" I know you do ashutosh, otherwise, I not be here." then she leaned over to kiss him good night. Just as her lips touched his, ashu, put both of his arms around her and crushed her to him,"I really don't deserve you,". N-"I know, but kya karein, kabhi kabhi, the most undeserving of people, get the best of everything. I am afraid you'll just have to bear it.". Ashutosh laughed, and proceeded to show nidhi without words that he knew exactly how lucky he was.
The next morning ashutosh woke and saw, that nidhi was already up. He felt wonderful, nidhi and he had made up for their MU, in the most wonderful way. Of course it took him most of last night to convince her, of his sincerity, which he did gladly. He saw that She was in the kitchen getting breakfast ready. BB, was sitting outside on the lawn with Mallika. He went up,to baba and said goodmorning and touched his feet. Soon nidhi came out with tray, with tea and breakfast. Mallika jumped up and proceeded, to grab the tray, from nidhi. Ashu was glad that at least nidhi did not have to carry that whole big load by herself. Mallika, put the tray down on the small dinette, and was in the process of serving everything, when ashutosh asked Mallika in gentle tones if she had taken her meds. Mallika tried to appear sheepish and innocent, but failed miserably. She told him , in that little girl voice that annoyed the hell out of him, that she had forgotten. Ashu, told her to,go inside and take them immediately, he told her that he wanted her to get better soon, and wanted to see his old Mallika, so she should not miss her meds even once. Nidhi looked on at ashutosh, with amazement, and thought is this the same guy, who made love to me all last night, and was not willing to let me go even in his sleep? But she had promised him last night, to trust in him, that she would give him benefit of doubt, for his actions so she would , and she would also wait till he himself told her everything.
Ashutosh, called her name , she was jolted out if her thoughts, and looked at him, he was smiling and holding out a red rose,"happy anniversary, sweetheart." Nidhi looked at her husband, he had called her sweetheart, in front of baba, and he looked fine with it, and secondly, the most surprising, he had remembered, today was our one month anniversary. A month ago today, we had gotten married. She did not think he would, but she was so happy that he had. It was the most wonderful surprise ever. Then he said" nidhi we are going to go out today, I think we should spend our special day together, just you and me. So go get ready, I've already called Mrs. Khopdiwala, to come here, she will take care of Mallika, today." nidhi ws so happy she could hardly contain herself, she ran inside to get ready, and almost crashed into Mallika, who had been standing near the door, listening to our conversation. "so," she said" you think you have won, you really haven't, if I have any say at all, there no way you will be celebrating anything!" nidhi stared in open mouthed disbelief, this was the first time Mallika, had consciously given away the game. N-" what are u saying, I am not playing any game, so what could I possibly loose". M-" ashutosh is mine, and I am going to steal him from you just as you stole him from me. And by the looks of it I am succeeding." N-" ashutosh, is not a thing Dr. Mallika, that I can steal ashutosh fom you, because he was never yours to begin with, He fell in love with me, and I with him. We both love each other a lot Dr. Mallika. Please don't try and put him in the position of choosing between us. You have no chance. He will never choose you over me, He loves me. You are his friend, his best friend. And he values your friendship a lot, but if you continue on this track, you will end up loosing that as well.". Saying this nidhi went in her room to get ready.
Ashutosh was waiting in the living room for nidhi, so that they could leave, he was looking forward to their day together, nidhi came out of their room and ashu looked up, Wow. His wife looked absolutely stunning, she was wearing a white sari. It made her look like a fairy tale princess. "I am going to be th envy, of every man in town today" he thought. Just then he heard BB screaming his name, his voice was coming from mallikas room. Nidhi wheeled ashutosh there. What she saw, stopped her inher tracks, Mallika sat on one side of the room, ther was a fire in front of her, it looked liked some clothing, and it looked like she was throwing more bits of cloth into the fire, she was muttering about failed marriages, and shadi is barbaadi, and more such nonsense. It was her wedding sari. BB was trying to stop her jumping into the fire, she was saying," I wanna die, I wanna die, I don't have anyone or anything to,live for." ashu went to her and said," Mallika you can't do this , I am here for you, your friend ashutosh, you have to live for me!" Mallika looked at him and pretended to look as if she was trying to recognize him, and then suddenly, as if a veil had been lifted, cried"ashutosh". And launched herself in his arms. Ashutosh hugged Mallika and tried to calm her down, then he took her hand and guided her into the guest room. As ashu was leading her out she, looked over her shoulder and looked at nidhi and grinned. And mouthed the words, "He is Mine".
Nidhi and baba were sitting in the living room, when ashu came and joined them. BB looked at him questioningly, and ashu said that Mallika was fine but she was resting. Just then, Mallika came out of her room, nidhi looked at her horrified, Mallika was wearing one of her dresses. "why are you wearing my dress, how dare you, go in my room without my permission, and touch my things." nidhi was furious. Before it escalated ashu interrupted nidhi and said," nidhi it's not mallikas fault, I gave her your dress, her clothing was ruined by the fire, she asked me for something to wear, and I didn't think you would mind." by now ashu had realized his mistake, he shouldnt have assumed that nidhi wouldn't mind him giving one of her dresses to Mallika, after all she had so many. He should have asked. N-" who said you could do that. You kicked my DB out of this house cause she dared say something that you didn't like. You even went so,far as to tell me that this was your house, and I didnt have the right to have a say in who could and couldn't stay here, because it was your house and you didn't need anyone's permission. Well those are my clothes and who gave you the right to give to any one specially her, without my permission. Why couldn't she wear one of her own, I case you've forgotten I picked two suitcases, that belonged to her when I paid for her hotel bill. Why couldn't she wear something from there. (ashu winced, he had not even thought of that, once again mallika had played him for a fool)In case no body's noticed she has clothes to burn , but not to wear. Dr. Ashutosh , open your eyes, it not good to be so blind. Ok that's it I've had enough, you got into an accident chasing after her, on a busy road, never once thinking, what it would do to me if something had happened to you, you know I would not be able to live without you, yet I did not matter, you asked me to find her, knowing exactly how I felt, and I did. You bring her to our house, without my permission, and I let you, you spend nights on end in her room leaving me alone, and I still keep quiet, she hugs you and clings to you, every chance she gets, and I smile just for you, she tears our wedding pics, and you pass it off, she starts coming into our room and asks yo to go with her to her room and you go without even a backward glance at me, you are so busy wiping her tears that you don't even notice mine, you even comb her her hair with me looking on and never even bother what I am going through seeing all this , then she goes to my kitchen and cooks there, as if this house is hers, throughout all of this you have just sit back and let her get away with all this, all the while ignoring me and my feelings, and now this, my clothes, what next doctor ashutosh, my bed my husband, where does it end? Well I have had enough, I cant take it or her any more, you have to choose now, today, this minute, me or her." ashutosh is stunned, he had not realized that something so small, would be the last straw. He should have thought about it. She was right what he did was absolutely wrong, he just got carried away in the part he was playing, to expose Mallika. He really did not take nidhis feelings into account, and just now when she recited the whole list, of grievances, right from the point of Mallika coming into ther lives, to today, he was staggered, he had never looked at it that way, or even from her angle, the list of his offenses was indefensible. Wow, it was just as he had predicted, Mallika was no match for his nidhi, boy when she lets loose she really lets loose. Problem was now that this volcano had exploded, how was he going to contain and minimise the damage, without giving the game away. No way was he going to loose her , just because of Mallika. Nidhi had stomped off to,their room. Ashu followed her, she was on the bed , sobbing her heart out, nidhi looked up just as ashu was reaching out to her. She looked at him, there was no love there in her eyes today. All there was, was fury and hurt. She said"stop. I don't want you to touch me, do not come near me, I do not want one of your little pats on the back and a lukewarm hug and a I am proud of you nidhi statements. I just want an answer from you. You need to choose Dr. Ashutosh, who,do you want in this house me or Mallika, this house is not big enough for the both of us, I can not tolerate her anymore. So Mallika or Nidhi, your choice..."