The little tender exchange between them set Nikki and Abhi thinking about the cause for the distance between them today.
Since their legal formalities were not completed, Armaan and Riddhima's going to London got postponed by a week . Instead of leaving at the end of September, they were now scheduled to leave on 5th October.
Muskaan decides to go back home and spend a months time with her family, after Armaan and Riddhima leave, before she decides on taking on any new assignment. She invites Atul and Anjali to join her who readily agree as they also wanted a break.
On the other hand, Abhi and Nikki were basking in the glory of their married life, balancing work and personal life, at times lovingly, at times bickering and then making up.
Knowing Nikki's irritation when she sees Sonali, Abhi made a conscious effort to keep a strict professional distance with her.
Abhi kept confiding in Nikki that he suspected someone is deliberately sabotaging his project and he seems to be closing on to that person.
One morning, Nikki wakes up to find Abhi bustling around the room putting things into an overnight bag. Inspite of being awake, she was still feeling so drowsy.
"Good Morning wifey," sitting down beside her, he kisses her. "so finally you are up. I've been waiting for a long time for you to wake up. You were so deep in sleep, didn't have the heart to wake you."
"Where are you going Abhi?" Nikki asks throatily. Her body was aching all over.
"Oh, not too far away. To Park Hotel in New Bombay, but, I have to stay overnight."
"Why?" Nikki asks him perplexed.
"Oh I think I will get a clear picture about my project over there tonight." he tells her excitedly.
"Are you okay?" he asks with concern seeing her difficulty in opening her eyes. "You were fast asleep when I came last night and still looking kind of drowsy?"
"Oh I don't know why I am feeling so drowsy and tired." Nikki groans.
Abhi tenderly runs his hand over her face pushing aside strands of hair spread over her face.
"Looks like you are tired sweetheart. I know I am not helping things either," he looks guiltily at her. Once again caressing her face he tells her fondly, "Do take it easy. Rest it off."
"Hmmmmn" Nikki nods.
Suddenly her eyes widen. "Tonight? Abhi tonight, Armaan and Riddhima are leaving, we planned we would see them off at the airport."
"I know Nikki," rising Abhi continues with his packing. "I spoke to Armaan and explained my inability to come. I have a meeting with the minister the next day and before that I have to do something very important."
"Surely you can come for a while Abhi," Nikki pleads.
"Nikki I'll try my best," zipping the bag, he tries to assure her but already knew in his mind, it was not going to be possible.
"I don't know Abhi , you have to come," Nikki frowns.
"Arre, Nikki I just explained to you, I cannot come"
"But then you just said you will try your best which means there is a chance of you coming." Nikki pouts
Abhi sighs. Looks like he is on dangerous grounds. Got to tread it carefully.
"Nikki I said I'll try my best but I can't promise. Its really impossible."
"Abhi If you really care for me, you'll come," Nikki says stubbornly "or else I'll know how much I really mean to you."
"Oh, Nikki please don't start these pranks of yours so early in the day. I really don't have the time."
He picks up the bag and going over to her bends to kiss her lips, but, an upset Nikki moves her face away from him. The kiss lands on her cheek. Abhi is taken aback.
"I am serious Abhi, I mean what I said. If you don't come I'll consider that you don't care for me."
Abhi rolls his eyes.
"Nikki, I have no time for this now. I'm getting late. You take care of yourself and I'll see you tomorrow. Hopefully your mood will change by then." He begins to walk out of the room.
"Abhi I am serious, You'll regret it for the rest of your life." Nikki calls out hotly, after him.
"Yeah, Yeah, I know. We will see," was Abhi's parting shot as he walks out of the room.
Sometime in the evening, at Sanjeevani, sitting on Abhi's chair, Nikki was going through their conversation of the morning, again. She is feeling annoyed with herself. Missing him badly she snuggles into his chair, trying to feel his presence.
"Hey, what happened? Why are you looking so sad?" Riddhima asks her, entering the cabin.
"What are you doing here?" a surprised Nikki asks her "You guys are leaving tonight."
"Yeah, had some time, thought will have one look around Sanjeevani, before I leave" Riddhima tells her nostalgia on her face.
"Well what's happened to you? Fought with Abhimanyu?"
"Kind off" Nikki pulls a face.
"And who is at fault?" Riddhima probes with a knowing smile
Nikki smiles sheepishly.
"So why don't you go and make it up to him?"
"Oh he is not going to be back till tomorrow" Nikki tells her sadly.
"Why where is he?"
"He has some important work, so he is staying at The Park Hotel in New Mumbai for the night.
'Oh I see."
"Riddhima, I really don't know whats gone wrong with me these days," she confides in her. I get irritated with the smallest things and then fight with him. Then I regret it myself. Don't know why I am getting so moody. I am unable to think straight these days. My head feels so fogged all the time. I can't believe I could be so stupid and childish, warning him to come, when I know how important this whole thing is for him. I am feeling so angry and annoyed with myself."
"Oh don't worry about it Nikki, these things happen," Riddhima consoles her. " perhaps its around that time of the month for you. That's why you are feeling so low and moody."
"Just wrap your arms around him when he gets back and he'll forget he was ever upset. " she teases.
"Month?" Nikki's eyes go wandering "Oh My God, Oh My God, I think'.." She stands up saying "Riddhima Chal,"
"Whaat? Where?" Riddhima was flummoxed.
"Chalo Na" she drags Riddhima out of the room.
They did not know that someone was listening to their conversation and is dialing a number. A recorded message informs the person at the other end was not reachable.
Some time later Riddhima and Nikki were looking at the result.
"Nikki you are pregnant!" Riddhima excitedly tells a shocked Nikki who was staring at the test tube.
"Ssshhhhhh" Nikki goes, coming out of her shock.
"Oh My God, Oh My God," she paces the room holding her head. " I can't believe it,"
"This is so soon, but, this is so good, This is......" she is engulfed in a whole lot of conflicting emotions.
She runs her hand lovingly over her stomach.
"Nikki, relax," Riddhima tries to pacify.
"I am pregnant." Her face slowly begins to light up with happiness as the truth sinks into her. "I am pregnant," she looks at Riddhima gleefully.
"Congratulations," Riddhima hugs her "I am so happy for you,"
"God, I need to tell Abhi this." She dials his number.
"You'll tell him this news over the phone?" Riddhima asks, in surprise.
"No I want to check where he is," she informs her. "Shucks his phone is unreachable."
"I am dying to tell him Riddhima," an exuberant Nikki tells her. "I don't know how he'll react, what will he say?" her eyes were sparkling with excitement.
"He'll say Oh God, my sweet kiddy wife is carrying my kid? Now, I'll have two kids to handle" holding her chin, Riddhima teases her.
"Riddhima!" Nikki shrieks like a banshee. They then burst out laughing.
"I know what I'll do," Nikki says excitedly. "after seeing you guys off at the airport, I'll drive straight to him and give him the news. I can't wait to see his reaction."
"Oh I am so, so, so happy for you," Riddhima tells her hugging her tight.
There is a knock on a room at Park Hotel
"What are you doing here Sonali?"
"Sir, I have been trying to reach you for a long time. Just came to know Dr. Abhimanyu Modi is staying at the same hotel.
"That bloody Modi!" the man grunts "I knew he was a pain. Well, now that he is here, this is what we will have to do."
He then proceeds to explains the plan to Sonali and his three henchmen.
Hearing a knock , Abhi opens the door of his hotel room.
He is surprised to find Sonali standing there.
"What are you doing here ? he asks her sternly.
"Oh Sir, I got the file you wanted," Sonali explains
"But then, I asked Shekhar to bring it, why did you have to come?" Abhi eyes her suspiciously. Sonali felt uncomfortable
"Oh Shekhar wasn't feeling well Sir, I also wanted to show you some important papers, can I come in?"
Abhi looks at her with skeptism.
"No, Lets go down to the lobby and see it."
As they begin to walk towards the lift, Abhi suddenly felt as if something was falling over him and before he could react, a heavy object falls on his head. Holding his head, he falls to the ground.
"He is really shrewd," the man sneered. "Thought it would have been better if you could drug him, but Sly Fox didn't allow you inside the room." He tells Sonali.
One henchman searches the pocket of Abhi's jeans and pulls out his room keys. They carry him inside his room. One of the guy takes off Abhi's shirt and lays him on the bed.
"Go and lie down beside him," the man instructs Sonali. "We will take pictures of both of you together. If he has any proof against us or dares to open his mouth we can use these pictures to blackmail him."
After clicking the pictures, the man tells Sonali to get dressed and come to his room. He leaves with his henchmen. As they walk out, one of the goon accidentally hits against the door stopper and walks away.
Sonali looks at the handsome doctor lying beside her. How many times she tried to lure him, but, he just didn't pay any attention on her. He had eyes only for his wife. She hated his wife. Wish she could make her life miserable. She looks at Abhi again. Today she was lucky to be on the same bed with him. She bends closer to him and lifts her finger to caress his face.
After bidding a tearful farewell to Armaan and Riddhima, Atul, Anjali and Muskaan also say their byes to Nikki as they were leaving for Amritsar early morning, the next day.
Later an excited Nikki is driving to New Bombay.
Gosh, she is carrying Abhi's baby. She blushes with the truth.
She is dying to see the expression on his face when she tells him the news.
Reaching the hotel, she enquires about the room Abhi was staying in , but, the receptionist refuses to divulge the details inspite of Nikki's pleadings. She even refused to call Abhi's room, since he had put a 'do not disturb' sign on it.
She stood there wondering what to do. Abhi wasn't picking up his cell phone either.
"Dr. Nikita? Is that you?" Nikki turns and is surprised to see one of her ex-patient's sister.
"Yes," she confirmed. "What are you doing here?"
Nikki tells her she has come to meet Abhi but doesn't know his room number.
"I knew there was something between you and Dr. Modi," Anjali laughs. " Noticed how you both , would, keep looking at each other." Nikki blushes.
With Anjali's help she managed to get Abhi's room number.
There was a bounce in her steps as she excitedly takes the elevator to the third floor and looks around for the room. Unknowing to her, she just missed the man and his henchmen as they got into the next elevator.
Finding the room, she is surprised to find the door slightly open, held by the door stopper. Maybe he is on his way out and forgot to pick up something, she smiles.
Saying a cheerful "SURPRISE!" she push opens the door.
She is stunned to see a woman bending over someone lying on the bed. Caught unawares with her entry, Sonali quickly turns and then leans back seeing Nikki. Nikki's eyes open wide in shock as she finds a bare chested Abhi sprawled on the bed. The colour drains out from her face. She feels her whole world spinning. She is paralysed into numbness.
"Oh My God, Dr. Nikita, how did you find us out?" Pretending innocence, Sonali makes her way to the door. Nikki is disgusted to see her dressed in a short, strappy, flimsy dress with the cleavage way too low.
She stands there staring at Abhi who seemed to be in a deep slumber. She doesn't know what to do or say. Her head was feeling even more foggier than before.
"How long has this been going on?" she manages to mumble
Sonali bows her head down. "For few weeks."
She looks at Abhi again.
The fact that he was sleeping blissfully while her world had collapsed, makes anger mingle with her pain.
Turning back, she runs away. An evil smile appears on Sonali's face.
She hears Abhi stirring. Putting two tablets in a glass of water, she goes to him. She sees him groaning in a semi conscious state and trying to open his eyes.
"Dr. Modi, are you okay? Here drink some water," she pretends concern whilst forcing the water down his throat.
Few minutes later Abhi blacks out completely.
Sonali goes to the Man's room "Your work is done Sir, He'll be out till late morning. You have nothing to fear now.
Like a lifeless body, a devastated Nikki makes her way towards the car.
Sitting in the driver's seat, she cannot believe at what she just saw, but then, she did see it.
She now realized what agony those women go through when their husbands, who are so sweet and loving to them, secretly cheat on them on the quiet.
But then, this was her Abhi. Her Abhi who was incapable of hurting or cheating anyone. Her Abhi, whom she loved and trusted, who loved her or atleast made her believe that till now. He did everything to please her. He even maintained a distance from Sonali when he realized she was not happy about it.
Oh My God, her eyes suddenly grow big in a shocking realization. Does this mean, alerted by her jealousy, he was deliberately cold to Sonali so that Nikki doesn't get mad at him? Surely this can't be her Abhi. Even if someone told her about it, she would never have believed that person.
But, then, she has seen it with her own eyes. Oh My God, its true that even, the sweetest and caring man cannot be trusted these days.
Tears are flowing like a never ending river on to her red dupatta and the steering wheel.
What a day! Her friends are gone, she witnessed the horror of her husband's betrayal and yet, today got the beautiful revelation of a life inside her.
She runs her hand on her stomach, "My baby, growing inside me, Mine and His baby," her head jerks up in the realization.
No, I am not going to have this baby, I cannot have it. I don't want anything of his, I don't want him in my life. I'll kill the baby, I'll kill myself," she was a mass of emotional turbulence. She hits her head against the steering wheel.
Sobbing bitterly she cries out loud "What do I do? Oh God, what do I do?" Her throat was hurting. Her head was heavy. She was finding it difficult to breathe. Taking few deep breaths she manages to calm herself.
"Why should I punish the baby for the father's misdoings? No, I can't harm it. But, I can't live with Abhi and give him the satisfaction of becoming a father. He needs to pay for it. I will leave him forever. Let him wonder all his life why I left him, that is, if he cares. I don't care what he thinks. Now it will only be, the baby and Me. I am removing Abhi from my life completely." Having made up her mind, she wipes away the tears, which stubbornly refuse to stop flowing. With a heavy heart, she starts driving.
Abhi wakes up groggily. His head was pounding and felt heavy. His eyes were blurred. He is surprised to find himself shirtless. Wobbily he stands up and drags himself to the washroom, stumbling on the way.
Splashing water on his face, he tries to recollect what happened to him. He runs his fingers through his hair and finds them getting stuck in a mesh of hair. There was pain as he tugged the hair. He pulls out a tiny clot of blood . Last he recalled walking out with Sonali when he was hit with an object. "Was this Sonali's doing?" he begins to wonder. "It has to be."
There was a continuous ring of the doorbell. Treading heavily, he drags himself and opens the door. Finding a bell boy standing there, he ushers him in.
"Sir where have you been. I have knocked so many times, but you just didn't open the door. I was so worried. I have finished my shift two hours ago and can't be seen in the hotel."
"I am sorry, I got into a bit of a problem," Abhi tells him wearily holding his head.
"Is everything okay Sir?" the bell boy checks with concern.
"Yeah, Yeah, Its fine." Abhi smiles weakly at him. "Is the job done?
"Absolutely Sir," he confirms with pride, handing something to Abhi.
"Thank you," Abhi smiles at him handing him a wad of notes.
The boy leaves.
Abhi looks at his watch.
"Damn its 10 o'clock," he exclaims. He was to meet the minister at 9 am.
He quickly rushes back to the washroom.
"Where is Dr. Abhimanyu Modi?" the minister enquires.
"I don't think he'll come Sir," Mr Patil tells him. " He must have not found the finance for the project, so he must have decided not to come."
Suddenly the audio visual starts playing.
Mr. Patil watches in horror as scenes of his hotel room dealing with a client, Sonali warning him about Dr. Modi's stay in the hotel, his explanation of a plan, to Sonali, to drug Dr. Modi so that they could blackmail him later with pictures and MMS clips , were all being displayed on the audio visual.
He turns and find Abhi standing there, hands folded across his chest , eyes chillingly on Patil.
"Thank you Dr. Modi," the minister tells him "for bringing out this culprit to the fore. I am sorry for not paying heed to you earlier."
"Surprised Mr. Patil?" Abhi asks him coldly. "After checking around, I realized that the financiers who backed out, never found anything wrong with my project, they were all brainwashed into believing it was wrong. I then realized that whoever was brainwashing them, had to do so because they wanted the project to be scrapped and the land to go to someone else. Searching around, I zeroed down on your front man, Mr. Patil. You smartly used someone else as a front and started brainwashing everyone, my financiers, the minister against my project. The reason is because you are promised a fairly high commission for that land. Today, this audio visual clearly reveals that you are the culprit."
Patil goes numb. He realized it was the end of his game.
"Arrest him," The minister orders the assistant commissioner of police (ACP) who had entered along with Abhi. Another two policemen bring the henchmen in front. "Sir we have recovered all the picture clips, cameras, and other things from these men." One of them informs the minister.
"You don't have to worry Dr. Modi, nothing will happen to your reputation. We will see to that," the minister assures him. "I have just one request, can we keep this under wraps. I've always strived to maintain a clean image for this ministry, but elements like these," he glares at Patil, "spoil our image"
"Don't worry Sir," No one will know about it," Abhi confirms.
Walking out with the ACP, he comes across Sonali who was being interrogated by the police.
" Dr. Modi, please save me, I am sorry, I needed the money." she mumbles.
"So you sold your soul ?" Abhi shoots back at her. "My wife was always right about you, You are a complete B''.." he checks himself on time.
"Please Dr. Modi," she begs.
"Just stay away from me," Abhi warns her angrily "or else I'll press for attempt to murder charges on you. Don't forget you drugged me in an unconscious state. It could have been fatal too. Just stay away from me."
He walks away in disgust.
"Dr. Modi, I am not going to tell you that your wife saw us together," Sonali thinks in her mind. "I am sure you'll have a surprise in store for you when you reach home." She smiles. "Who knows perhaps someday you may need my shoulders during your lonely days."
"Nikki!" Abhi smiles as her face flashes in front of his eyes.
He tries calling her cell phone but she doesn't respond. He tries the house phone. But no luck either.
He calls up Sanjeevani and is informed Dr. Nikita has not come today.
"Perhaps she is resting." He thinks. "She was tired yesterday and after seeing Armaan and Riddhima off, she must be even more tired. Hope her mood is good. Oh I am sure she was playing a prank on me. Her demand itself sounded so ridiculous," he smiles. "and she thinks I am going to fall for it. She is such a prankster," he smiles happily.
He sits in his car and starts driving.
"Wonder how will she react when I tell her about Patil and Sonali." Abhi thinks.
"Sonali," Abhi remembers how he began suspecting Sonali after Nikki fought with him over her. He realized that Nikki's anger was stemming from somewhere. Perhaps, when he was not around, she did give Nikki cause to feel jealous and angry. He kept a close watch on Sonali and realised she was planted by someone to keep an eye on him.
Through her, he reached to Patil's front man and the deal that was going to happen at Hotel Park. He deliberately did not tell Sonali about staying in the hotel. It was difficult to convince the minister without going through Patil.
Now he realizes, it was good he didn't tell Patil anything about it. He somehow never liked that man, especially the way he eyed Nikki.
With difficulty, through a friend's contact , he managed to get the minister to hear him out and give him a chance to prove his point. With the help of the bell boy, he placed the video camera in the room and Patil got revealed.
"Nikki will be so delighted to know how right she was," he mumbles.
"You should always listen to your wife, Doctor Sahab" Abhi can picture her telling him that. A twisted smile breaks out on his face.
"Yeah, yeah," he mutters happily to himself. "after all, I have such a lovely wife. Love you Nikki. Love you for loving me so much that you will even fight with me for my sake."
Gosh, He can't wait to reach home and take her in his arms !
It was late afternoon when Abhi finally reached home.
"Biwi?" he calls out cheerfully as he goes inside. He doesn't find her in their room. He begins to go around check ong the other rooms, calling out lovingly, "Hey wifey, where are you?"
He gets no response, He calls out again. Did she finally go to Sanjeevani ?" he wonders.
He calls her cell and hears it ringing in the room. He notices it fallen on the floor. 'Surprising, she didn't take her cell,' his eyes narrow in wonder.
He calls Sanjeevani and is informed she did not come at all. He begins to worry. He looks around and suddenly spots a note lying below the framed picture she gave him as a wedding gift.
"Abhi, I've finally discovered I mean nothing to you. I am walking out of your life for good. I don't want to continue with this marriage any more, so don't look out for me and also don't let my family and friends know about this. Nikki"
Abhi felt his insides shattering into pieces, piercing him deeply from within. With a sinking heart he slumps down on the bed with a shocked "NO"
"No," he yells as he swerves the car to a halt.
Startled, Nikki instinctively puts her hand on his thigh.
"Abhi are you okay? Are you alright?"
Taking a deep breath, Abhi opens and shuts his eyes as if trying to focus clearly. He then runs his hand agonizingly over his face. Slowly, he turns to look at her.
He notices she has her left her hand on her stomach and the right on his thigh, as if trying to protect both of them.
"Oh My God, Nikki," realizing he almost endangered her life, he quickly places his hand over her stomach. "Oh God, Nikki, I am so sorry. Are you alright."
"I am fine Abhi, but what about you? Are you okay?" there was concern in her voice.
He looks at her hand tenderly over his thigh. Following his gaze, she notices her hand too.
Surprised by her own instinctiveness, she slowly draws her hand away.
A flicker of hope begins to burn inside Abhi.
She does care for him. She does. I hope she does.
He looks at both their hands, protectively, on her stomach. "And, we do care for you Baby. We Do."
to be continued..........