For the next few days Abhi and Nikki reached a comfort level in their relationship. Contented that Nikki was gradually crawling back, towards him, Abhi was careful not to probe and push things too far with her, lest he loses her once again. Moreover, the wedding fanfare, hardly gave them time to be alone with each other.
During the day Abhi was busy with Sanjeevani whilst Nikki was constantly surrounded by her family. On Monday night, Jas insisted that Abhi take him to a dhaba and on Tuesday, Rohit threw his last bachelor party for his friends. On both nights, by the time Abhi got home it was in past midnight and Nikki was fast asleep.
On Wednesday , Nikki reached home at 5pm, after doing lunch at her aunt's place.
She enters her room and is surprised to see it filled with pink and blue balloons. A huge brown teddy bear was lying on the bed resting against the pillow, surrounded by tiny, different coloured, teddies
She twirls around joyously and reaching the bed, lifts up the big teddy scanning her eyes around the room.
She spots a smiling Abhi leaning against the door post with hands across his chest.
"Abhi? You?" she asks him, eyes dancing with happiness.
He shakes his head in the negative.
'WE" Nikki jumps up with the thundering of voices coming from behind her. The drapes are pulled back and Atul, Muskaan and Anjali stand in front of her.
"Oh My God !" her hands goes to her mouth in shocked happiness.
"We are back, Mother Nikki," Muskaan goes to her and puts her arm around her.
"Such good news and you didn't even tells us," Anjali pouts as she claims Nikki's other arm.
"Our Nikki Baby is having a baby. How Sweet !" that comes from Atul who was blushing all over.
"Oh how much I missed you Guys!" a delighted Nikki exclaims.
"We missed you too," the three chorus and the four of them cuddle up in a joint hug.
Abhi is watching them with amusement.
"Doctors!" he yells sharply
Taken aback, they turn and look at him, surprise on their faces.
"Don't forget my wife is pregnant," he tells them, sending affectionate looks towards Nikki. "Don't throttle her," he finishes, smiling wickedly.
"Abhiiii," Nikki blushingly shakes her head.
"You, Abhimanyu!" Muskaan flings a tiny teddy at him.
"When did you guys come?" an excited Nikki asks them
"Today, on your husband's orders!" Atul explains "We have been absorbed back in Sanjeevani ."
"Really ?" Nikki looks wondrously at them "Abhi, you didn't tell me?" she chides, her eyes popping up in excitement.
"Why? Only you can give us a surprise, we can't give,"Anjali asks putting her hands on her hips.
"Yeah, but it was actually your husband who wanted to surprise you more," Muskaan says sheepishly.
"Thank you," Nikki mouths adoringly at Abhi, her eyes glistening with happiness.
He winks at her.
"Dr. Abhimanyu, shall we proceed to the kitchen," Atul asks him. "We are okay. Its your wife who needs to be fed on time.
Abhi nods his while Nikki looks puzzled at them.
Anjali informs Nikki that Chef Atul and Chef Abhimanyu have sweetly agreed to prepare dinner for them.
After the men leave, Anjali and Muskaan ask Nikki to stand up. She is made to stand in front of the mirror, her pink tank top is pushed up a little to bare her stomach.
Hands on her hips, Nikki watches in amusement as the two faces peer from either side of her.
"Wow, Nikki your stomach has grown" Muskaan chimes in amazement .
"Can you feel the baby?" asks a gleaming eyed Anjali.
They both press their ears against Nikki's stomach straining to catch any sound from the occupant within.
Nikki bursts out into laughter.
"Guys, have you finished your inspection? Can I please sit," she begs, laughingly at them.
"Oh, sorry, sorry," they mutter.
Nikki sits on the bed and leans against the big teddy.
"Nikki, do you know whether it's a boy or a girl?" Anjali asks curiously
"Oh we don't know yet," Nikki says shyly.
"What kind of doctors you both are?" Muskaan makes a face. "Didn't you see the ultrasound properly?"
"Well, besides Abhi and me, Dr. Keerti was there too. We checked properly but, we couldn't spot that tiny little thing so important to confirm it, " she blushes. "The baby was moving a lot."
"Then it's a girl," says Muskaan
"Not necessary, it can also be a boy." Anjali shoots back at her.
"I say it's a girl," Muskaan tells her firmly
"I think it's a boy." Anjali retaliates.
Nikki slaps her forehead in resignation.
"Girls, Girls, how does it matter? Boy or Girl, the baby is ours. Mine and Abhi's," She blushes, caressing her tummy fondly. "All I want is a normal, healthy baby."
"Aww," the two girls chant going closer to her.
"But Nikki, I tell you I'll be the best doctor for you, so I'll do your delivery." Muskaan tells her firmly.
"No Nikki, please let me do it," Anjali tells her.
"No I asked first."
"So what, Nikki is Ridzi's best friend," Anjali explains "and since she is not here, I'll take care of her."
"Let Nikki decide," Muskaan tells her, hands on her hips.
They both look down imploringly at Nikki.
"Nikki can I be your doctor, would love to see your delivery," Muskaan pleads.
"Nikki, please can it be me."
"I have a better suggestion," Abhi's voice comes from behind. "Why don't both of you sit on the labour table, instead of Nikki. What are best friends for," he pauses with a shrug of his shoulders. "If they cannot take away their friend's pain," A devilish smile hovers on his lips
Nikki puts her hand to her mouth, trying her best conceal her laugh
"Abhimanyu!" Muskaan glares. Once again, she flings a tiny teddy at him.
"Arre that's the second time you've done that to me," Abhi remarks, flinging it back at her. She ducks and it hits Nikki.
Nikki's eyes widen in shock.
"Abhi you hit me ?" She picks up the teddy and flings it at him, just as, an apologetic Abhi, moves forward towards her. The teddy hits Atul, instead, who was entering the room. Muskaan laughs loudly.
Seeing her laugh at him, an annoyed Atul says "Muskaan ki bacchi," and flings the teddy at her. She ducks again and this time it hits Anjali who glares at Atul.
"Atul, how can you do this to me?" she asks angrily and flings the teddy back at him.
In matter of few minutes, teddies after teddies, sometimes, balloons in between, were being flung all over the room, by the three.
With a deep sigh, Abhi flops down on the bed, beside his wife. Legs dangling sideways off the bed, his back resting on the teddy, he leans closer to her and mutters, "Looks like I have a penchant for taking on trouble!"
Nikki begins to laugh. They watch in stupor as their room is being tornadoed all over with teddies and balloons.
In between, a panting Atul comes towards Abhi's side of the bed, searching for more teddies. To Nikki's amusement, Abhi pulls out one which was crushed underneath his weight and politely hands it over to Atul, waving his hand to carry on. A grateful Atul, briefly putting his hand on his chest, mouths a relieved thank you at him and proceeds to fling the teddy at the girls who turn back and shower him with heaps of teddies.
After few minutes, puffing and panting, the three slump down on the floor on either side of Abhi and Nikki. Spent of all energy they close their eyes and fall off to sleep.
"Now that's what I say, Well Laboured !" Abhi exclaims winking at Nikki who punches him, laughing heartily.
to be continued.........