Left alone, Abhi looks sullenly at Nikki who was twiddling with her thumb. With the disgusted shake of his head, he strides towards the exit. He then realizes, that it was too dark for Nikki to find her way on her own. With another annoyed shake of his head, he goes back to where she was standing and glowers at her. Her heart beating nervously, Nikki lowers her eyes.
Before she knew it, she found herself suspended in air and throws her hand out in panic. She then realizes Abhi had lifted her in his arms. A tiny smile begins to play on her lips as she holds on to his neck for support. He scowls at her and then looking carefully ahead, he searches for the path to exit.
Reaching the car, he puts her down on the ground and unlocks it. Once Nikki sits in, he shuts the door firmly and goes over to his side.
The atmosphere in the car was tense. Nikki knew if she said a word, he would flare, but, the silence between them was too prickly. It was suffocating her.
"Abhi, I'" she gulps. "Abhi I am sorry. I just wanted to make up to you and show you that Sonali doesn't bother me anymore. All I wanted to do is to warn her not to trouble you anymore." Seeing his hands tightening on the steering wheel, her heart begins to hammer apprehensively. His jaws were clenched firmly together.
"Abhi, I didn't think it would backfire."
"When do you ever think properly Nikki?" Abhi snarls. "When you are supposed to think you don't and when there is no need for you to think, you'll get the most wildest and weirdest thoughts in your head."
"I keep thinking about you." She tells him, sulkily.
"Yeah right! How to drive me completely insane ? There still must be some more crazy ideas in your head. Why don't you just go ahead and execute all of them, at one time, so that, I am saved of these slow deaths."
"Don't say that!" Nikki snaps at him. "You always have a problem with everything I do. All you do is yell, yell and yell"
"Ooops!" Abhi clamps his mouth with his hand, his eyes widening with shock. "Yelling at you? Yelling at such a sweet and loving wife?" he blinks, his face displaying fake innoncence. "Tutututututtutu Now, how shameful is that! That's a very very mean husband you have there!"
Seeing him mocking her, Nikki tweaks her nose in annoyance at him.
"No seriously," he confirms with the shake of his head. "Your husband should have taken you in his arms and sweetly told you how proud he was of you . After all, you are such a brave lady. Today, you took on a crazy con woman! You almost got killed! So what of it ? Big Deal ! Right?" he shrugs his shoulders as he continues his driving.
"Why should your husband have a problem with it even if he died a thousand deaths in that moment when he saw you slumped to the ground," his eyes reflects the fear and despair of that blood curdling sight.
"Why should it matter to him? In the first place, how does it really matter, what he feels or doesn't feel ? His feelings are always taken for granted. No matter whether you are right or wrong, he should just stand by and keep patting you on your back for your outstanding bravery," he pauses.
Then darting a cynical glance at her he continues, "Infact he should be encouraging you to do more and more of such stuff so that," his teeth clenched he continues, " he keeps on dying slowly. Right?" He gives her a icy angry look
"And here, look at this horrible husband of yours," he points his thumb towards himself. " all that he does is Yells Yells and Yells" he mockingly imitates her.
Nikki begins to wail. "Don't say such things Abhi. Okay, okay make fun of me." She bawls loudly.
Abhi rolls his eyes in exasperation
Rachna Modi opens the door and is startled to see a sobbing Nikki and an annoyed Abhi standing in front of her.
Seeing Rachna's warm face, Nikki puts her arms around her neck and wails loudly on her shoulder, sniffing on and off.
"Nikki, Beta, what happened?" a concerned Rachna asks her. "Abhi?" she raises her eyebrow at him.
Shaking his head in annoyance, Abhi stomps inside the house. Sid Modi who was playing on his PSP, rises from the couch, looking confused at them.
Rachna tenderly brings Nikki inside and makes her sit on the sofa. She then sits down beside her.
"What happened ?" She turns to Abhi, who was standing opposite them, leaning against a wall. "Will you say something Abhi?"
"Why don't you ask your beloved daughter in law what happened? She was in a mood to play Jhansi ki Rani, that too, in her pregnant state," he sneers. "So she makes some stupid plans with her army of stupid friends," he pauses to glare at Nikki " They tried to tackle a con woman and almost got shot in the bargain."
Rachna and Sid are horrified. They look at Nikki with open mouth.
"Nikki, Beta, how could you do this? Are you okay?" Rachna asks her worriedly. " Did you get hurt?"
"I am fine," Nikki mumbles in between sobs.
"Beta, baby or no baby, you shouldn't do such things. Its not good. Anything could have happened to you."
"I am sorry Mama, I didn't realize it.
"Did not realize it!" Abhi yells angrily. "Being a doctor, she knows, her center of gravity is off. She is unable to balance herself properly and inspite of it all, she goes into this dark place, where there is hardly a flicker of light and she goes into such place where there is even more chances of her tripping and falling.
"But, Muskaan, Anjali and Atul were with me!" Nikki tells him poutily.
"Don't you take their names in front of me ever again! Muskaan, Anjali, Atul," he mocks. "your little kindergarten friends!"
"Abhi!" Rachna looks at him with pleading eyes.
"See Mama, I did it all only for him and see the way he is shouting at me." She begins to bawl even more loudly
"For me!" Abhi snaps back. Sid gets up and tries to calm him by patting his back. "And you thought when I saw you slumping down to the ground, I should be dancing with joy?" He scowls at her.
"Nikki, you fell to the ground?" Rachna was shocked. "And you didn't get hurt?"
"No Mama, I am fine. I did it to fool that Sonali," she chuckles proudly.
"Really? That was pretty risky!" Rachna looks at her daughter in law in amazement.
"Risky? What is that? Nikki has never heard of that word before!" Abhi taunts.
Nikki pouts weepily at him.
"Abhi!" his mother admonishes him. "Now stop shouting at the poor child. I am sure she won't do this ever again, right Nikki?" she smiles affectionately at her.
Tearfully Nikki nods her head in acceptance.
Rachna tenderly caresses Nikki's face and then hugs her warmly.
"Aww Mera Baccha, you are pretty brave. Muaaaaah," she smacks a loving kiss on Nikki's cheek. Smiling happily, Nikki laps up the attention she was getting from her mother in law.
Abhi is unable to believe his eyes. He gapes at them open mouthed. He then shuts and opens his eyes in disbelief. Slowly he turns to look at his brother standing near him and is even more shocked with his expressions. Tears were trickling down Sid's cheek. His eyes were full of admiration as he kept staring at the two beautiful ladies in front of him.
"What happened to you?" Abhi asks him, softly.
"Aww Bhai, what a fabulous saas-bahu they are! So much of love, tenderness and understanding. Nikki Bhabhi is so brave. How much she loves you!" He looks at her with dazed eyes.
"Grrrrrrrrrrrr!" Abhi grits his teeth in exasperation. "Another Saas-Bahu TRP contributer!" he mutters, rolling his eyes.
"My dearest mother and my dearest brother," he calls out to them calmly. They all turn to look at him. "since you both are founder members of the Nikki Modi Fan Club, why don't you both arrange for a gallantry award for her. After all she endangered her own life, her baby's life, her husbands's life. Such a brave woman needs an award and who better than fans like you" motioning with his hand from Rachna to Sid, " to give it to her."
"Abhi, you don't have to be so rude to your mother and your brother because of me!" Nikki chides him.
"Don't you dare say anything Nikki," Abhi warns her with the raise of his finger. "I am too upset and angry with you. I don't want to listen to anything you say. You've said and done enough of damage!"
"Abhi, how can you be so rude to your wife?"
"Bhai how can you be so rude to your wife?"
Rachna and Sid blurt out in unison.
Clenching his fists and jaws tightly Abhi shuts his eyes.
He then looks at them and flashes the most saccharinest smile he could manage while his eyes are coals of burning ember.
"You know what? I now realize there is a Modi mutual admiration association out here and being the rude Modi, I am the odd man out. I definitely don't belong to it. Neither, do I have any inclination to be a member of this group. So its best I go from her." He stomps out of the room.
"Abhi," Rachna and Nikki morosely , call after him.
"Tayiji, Nikki Bhabhi, don't worry," looking at their dejected faces, Sid consoles them. "He is the main Modi that connects all of us. There is no chance of his escaping us. Where will he go?" he winks at them putting his hand out. They all burst into giggles and join their hands together.
Sometime later, when Nikki enters their room, she finds Abhi sitting out on the balcony. Steeling herself to talk to him, she decides to take some more time and quietly gets into the bathroom. After freshening up, she goes to the balcony and finds Abhi reclined on the chair, his eyes were shut.
"Abhi, dinner is being served, Mama and Sid are waiting."
He ignores her
"Abhi please eat."
He opens his eyes and she can see daggers in them.
"Abhi you are upset with me, why be upset on food, please eat, please." She pleads with him.
"I don't want to eat, drink, nothing. Just leave me alone," he tells her in a disgruntled voice.
"Okay fine, you want to be stubborn, so be it." Nikki tells him hotly. "Even I am not going to eat. So what if my baby," she caresses her stomach, "gets punished along with me. I am going to tell Mamma and Sid, not to wait for us. Atleast let them go ahead and eat." She leaves the room.
"Damn," Abhi shuts his eyes in frustration. "This Bomb in my life surely knows how to kill me without exploding. Help me Dear God !"
Few minutes later, Nikki, Rachna and Sid stifle their amused smiles as Abhi comes to the dining table and sits down beside Nikki.
"You finally came," Nikki whispers happily, leaning towards him .
"What else can I do ? You have all the cards in your hands. Either you punish me or you will punish our baby and I definitely don't want our baby to be punished because of me." he tells her peevishly.
Nikki winces inwardly with the jibe.
After dinner, Abhi says he has to go to the police station to sign some papers. "For God's sake, please go to sleep, you've had a rough day," he pleads with her.
Nikki nods her head.
Nikki comes out of her slumber. She was sleeping on her side. She feels a warm hand over her abdomen and knew it was Abhi. Slowly she opens her eyes and sees the back of his head which was lying on the pillow tucked between her knees and belly. She could hear him whispering to the baby. A smile slowly creeps up on her face and even though he wasn't facing her, she closes her eyes feigning sleep.
"Hey Baby, I am sure you are awake." Nikki smiles. The baby was indeed flitting all over inside her. "Your mother's crazy behavior must have taken away your sleep as it has taken away mine," He lifts his head and looks at Nikki. Stretching his hand, he brushes away a strand of hair that was disturbing her serene face.
"Look how innocent and peaceful she looks when she sleeps. I really can't figure out, how such an innocent, sweet lady can come up with the weirdest of ideas. She doesn't even give it a proper thought before going ahead with them. Just not bothered about herself. Neither is she bothered about us. Right?" he turns his face back to the stomach.
" She doesn't realize how much it effects both of us when she is in danger. I really don't know, when will she stop taking us for granted. When will she realize both our hearts beat only because of her. Today, the moment she fell down, it was as if my heart had stopped its beating and she takes it as a joke. I felt like shaking her, but then, I can't even do that." he shakes his head sadly
"What upsets me most about her is that she just doesn't care enough to see we get hurt by such actions of hers. Again and again she tramples all over my heart and with a simple sorry, I am supposed to forget everything, even let her walk into danger." Nikki felt her throat pricking as she emphatizes with his pain. She wanted to reach out to him and run her fingers through his hair.
"Sorry!" he growls irately. "Who the bloody hell coined that word and even if there is such a word, it shouldn't have been told to your mother atleast. She uses it lavishly anytime, anywhere and if I disagree with it then I am at fault. Wow!" his face contorts into irritation.
"Yell, Yell," he imitates Nikki. If I don't yell at her, she won't stop doing such stupid stuff and if I yell at her, it upsets her. So here again, both ways, I suffer. Does my feelings, my pain ever count?" there is silence for few minutes. Nikki wonders what was happening. She then hear him take a deep sigh.
He then puts his hand on her stomach again, "Sorry baby, today, this conversation has gone pretty longer than usual. I just wanted to pour my heart out somehow. I got such a scare today, I wasn't able to sleep,"
"Hey kiddo," there was a sudden excitement in his voice. I think you can help me! You've got to help me! Please, please take good care of your mother for me. I can't trust her to do it. I can see you have been good. This pregnancy hasn't been too difficult for her so far. Thank you for that. Now, I hope you can make your mother see some sense. Make her see how precious she is to us and how precious we are to her, atleast you, if not me. Tell her not to play around with our feelings and take good care of herself. Its important for us. So can I count on you? Is that a Deal?"
He puts his ear closer to Nikki's stomach.
"Hmmmn, I knew I can count on you. Chalo, atleast one Modi is on my side. Deal!" he smiles and places a soft kiss on Nikki's stomach.
Nikki felt her insides fluttering. She was finding it very difficult to stop her throat from moving as it choked with pain, to hold on to those tears which were threatening to shed.
She can sense the turning of his face towards her. Abhi stares fondly at her and runs his finger over her cheeks in a slow caress. His eyes turn moist and his throat begins to hurt. Swallowing a lump, he stands up and goes over to his side of the bed. Lying down he turns on his side, facing her back .
Knowing that he was safely away, Nikki allows her pent up emotions to spill out. Tears begin to trickle on to her pillow as she swallows her pain.
"You are so right Abhi. I never really give your feelings much thought, much care. In my impatience and desperate quest to make things immediately right between us, I go through any length, not knowing, how much of trouble I put you and the baby through. And, what do I really need to put right? Everything is so right between us. Our love is there. Its my thoughtless behavior that upsets you and gets you angry, your love for me doesn't change at all.
She puts her hand to her stomach. "I promise not to endanger my life anymore, as I now realize how much it is needed to take care of you both. You both are very precious to me."
Abhi sees her hand caressing her stomach. He lifts up his head and stares at her back, his eyes narrowing in puzzlement as he wonders if she is feeling any kind of discomfort. Hearing him shift. Nikki quickly shuts her eyes. Abhi leans over her.
"Nikki are you okay?" he asks softly, his chin on her upper arm.
Nikki keeps mum.
Not receiving any reply from her, Abhi then lowers himself back onto his side. In a hope to comfort her distress, he puts his hand over her stomach.
Nikki is jubilant. She places her hand over his hand, trapping any chance of him removing them.
"I love you Abhi, Goodnight and Sweet Dreams." she smiles impishly.
PRECAP TO 25
"Sid, you idiot, if you don't come here right now, I'll kill you."
"Come on, Sid," Nikki anxiously pulls him by the hand. As they were entering the room, a petrified Sid walks behind Nikki muttering, "Nikki Bhabhi please, please save me,"
Once inside, she gapes open mouthed at the sight in front of her. Abhi was standing near the open wardrobe. He was wearing black denims and his chest was bare. His shirts were strewn all over the bed.
"Abhi what happened ?" Nikki asks him, astonishment on her face.
"What happened?" Abhi exclaims looking completely miffed. "Ask that idiot behind you," he growls.