Lunching with Shelly , Abhi's eyes fell on Nikki she was busy in animated discussion with her friends , after a while she was still ranting and others listened with forced smiles on their faces , obviously they didn't agree with what she was saying but they were her very good friends and were obviously humouring her … either that or they were afraid of the consequences of what would happen if one of them voiced his opinion on what she was saying. An involuntary smile escaped his lips , she was like a baby , pure , sweet , stubborn and funny , she was the pretties of the gang , it was a wonder she didn't have a boyfriend , somehow it was an uneasy thought Nikki with someone else. This though made him a little sad and his attention waned in the topic of discussion with Shelly.
Nikki 's eyes fell on the couple sitting across her in the cafeteria ,Abhi was rarely ever seen eating in the cafeteria , stalking it yes , eating here no , but here he was for the past half hour chatting away with the beauty. They were evenly matched classy , arrogant , aloof …. no Abhi was not arrogant and .. and …even if he was, he had a right to be , he was a super achiever after all . But this girl….Nikki just didn't like her , she thought wringing her hands.
" Nikki, see Dr. Modi and his girl friend !" Atul said
"She is his girlfriend ?" , she asked her , eyes big as saucers.
"You have met her you should know."
She didn't know but she .. she as hell had to find out.
Later in the day Nikki saw Ridz talking to Shelly, God why was all this happening to her , why had her friends turned against her , first they did not show any enthusiasm when she had told them about her project , they had failed to see any glory in it , then they were hell bent on linking Modi with this .. this … Shelly and now even Ridz was turning against her .
" Ridz why were you talking to Shelly ? " she decided to ask her.
"Huh ? , Talking to her …….but why not , why Nikki is she bossy with you ? " "No she is not…. But… but she is an outsider and I don't like my friends talking to her " saying this Nikki walked off leaving a confused Riddhima behind.
There was a small party organised by senior Doctors in Sanjeevni to commensurate the good work done by hospital staff .Nikki walked in looking extremely pretty, she had taken extra pains to look good today. She reached her gang and joined in their usual ruckus. But her mind was not present there and her eyes repeatedly scanned the guests impatiently till they found what they were looking for. He was there looking so good ,unknowingly she walked towards him and gave him a shy smile.
" Hi Dr Nikkita how are you "
" ummm fine" she replied hesitantly "
" nice party no ?" Abhi continued.
"Hum…. Haan.. good, who nahi aaayi ..?" , she could have kicked herself for asking this but she could think of nothing else to say
." Shelly ?, why would she come here , this is a hospital party. " he replied casually.
"Humm" Nikki nodded and gulped.
" Drink? " Abhi asked " let's get some drinks.."
" ya" she nodded and they moved towards the drinks table. Abhi handed her a drink with a shy smile , she also smiled back.
" Dr Modi you know Ms Srijana from before ? " .
" Shelly ? , oh yes we are from the same college"
" She is beautiful!" Nikki blurted out before thinking
" huh .. umm ya she is, it was such a pain keeping all the love lorn puppies off her "he said laughing.
He was laughing thinking about her ! She and her big mouth she needed a more neutral topic of discussion fast "You are very enthusiastic about this project .."
Abhi's eyes lit up on this topic "O yes Nikki if we get this project we will get so much recognistion we will be able to treat more patients , give our patients better care , call in more experts….. " He went on sharing his dreams with her. He was so passionate about this project , suddenly she wanted to learn more about this man , what else was he so passionate about … Shelly ? she thought desperately.
"Nikki , we are dancing , you need to come here now " Armaan called out to her , breaking her conversation with Abhi . She turned to see Armaan waiting to take her away. Reluctantly she bid a small bye to Abhi and joined Armaan .
" Nikki , I saved you from that sadist. Come let's dance now , the whole gang is waiting for you. "
Armaan always Armaan she thought with desperation and anger and unenthusiastically joined the gang. Nikki glanced at him through out the party but he was busy with senior doctors never free enough so that she could go and speak to him.
She spent the whole night thinking about him : Dr. Abhimanyu Modi , he had come into sanjeevni as an arrogant man and managed to anger everyone, stepping on everyones toes. From Doctors to interns he spared no one and cut them up with his sharp tone and strict rules. But things had changed, everyone had discovered that he was not that bad, he had made concessions , had forgiven her for her endless pranks. He had been a part of the gang in Panchgani ….. she remembered fondly. There was again a change in him since they had come back from Panchgani , he was no longer rude but he was so distant. But no ! he had always been distant , he had not specially sought her out so why did she find his behaviour so strange , maybe she had expected more comradeship since those days in medical camp and Panchgani. Those were such fun days in Pachgani …..so much fighting , now there was no cause for a fight and this left her feeling badly left out the … exhibition fights made him familiar to her somehow and now….now he was so distant , busy with his project and that Shelly.. his exclusive attention did not belong to her anymore. Yes this was the trouble .. she missed those fights because she missed the old Abhi…… she missed him ! but why ?
She rushed to the hospital the next day she had to see Abhi maybe the answer to her restlessness lay there. But the receptionist informed her that Dr. Modii had gone to Pune for three days. She roamed the hospital lost and dejected , she went about her duties in the hospital but nothing registered. Wasn't the hospital supposed to be a happy place without Abhi ?, so why did it feel so miserable. Why was there no fun in bunking work , in eating at the cafeteria with her friends in doing her work uninterrupted by his harsh tone. She went to his cabin and stared at his chair, touched his desktop organiser … and went and sat on the sofa … she had caught him sleeping on the sofa she smiled. I miss you Abhi escaped her lips….. involuntarily….. what was she saying….? but yes it was true she missed him !
Nikki was sitting having coffee at her house when her phone rang Abhi was calling ! She was surprised , she felt so happy that she had to bite her lip to stop the smile turning into a large grin. Why was she being so silly anyways?
" umm… hello Abhi .. " Abhi ! slipped her mouth when she had decided to call him Dr. Modi. She stopped herself from blurting out how are you , when will u come back .
"Nikki you have to keep some files ready because we have to meet some people the same evening that I return".
We ? we matlab? had Shelly gone with him .. was there something going on between them .
" Tum kahan ho Abhi mujhe tumse kuch poochna tha .. "
" We are in Pune" again that notorious we.. how to ask who all this we included?
" Monty yeh dekho " she heard through the phone getting a unanticipated answer to her fears . Shelly had gone with him, they had gone together…Abhi and Shelly were together in Pune doing God knows what. Were they pretending to work and were together or had they gone anyways. Both were mature adults ,what did it matter what they did with their personal lives and if it didn't matter….. why did her heart hurt so much and why were her cheeks damp with tears.