Tuesday, February 2, 2010

~Covenant of Love ~ Part 28

Armaan is sitting in the fire escape deep in thought. Riddhima calls out to him but he doesn't hear his name. When she places her soft hand on his face, he comes out of his reverie.

"Who are you thinking about Armaan" she nudges him and smiles at him with a twinkle in her eye.

"Nikki" he replies promptly and Riddhima rolls her eyes.

"Armaan.....she is married to him now...you still have a problem?" She asks him, her tone shocked, not believing that Armaan was still not ready to accept Abhimanyu and Nikita's relationship.

"No.....no problem......I .....I am just amazed about him" he replies slowly, his mind still on what Nikki had told him in the locker room about Tia and Abhimanyu.

"You are amazed about Dr. Modi? Really.....not mad at him?" she asks raising her hand to his forehead, checking for fever and laughing when Armaan slaps it away a little irritated.

"Well......I......aggghhhh.....this is so difficult Riddhima.....I hate to say it but you were right" he grunts out, making a face and Riddhima bursts into peals of laughter.

"What is so funny basket?" he asks, peeved at her laughter at his expense.

"For the first time you have agreed that I was right.....now pray tell where do you think I was right?" she asks between her laughter.

"That sadu......he is not as bad as I thought he was" Armaan finally accepts and Riddhima stops laughing and places her hand on her heart and looks at her fianc shocked.

"Am I hearing what I am hearing?" she asks and Armaan rolls his eyes.

"Yeah yeah......you don't have to be so smug .....OK!!" he pushes her away gently.

"Well how did you come to this conclusion? I can't wait to hear" she sits comfortably, her back to the wall and waits for Armaan to explain.

"Well......I asked Nikki about his wife" Riddhima raises her eyebrow and Armaan flushes a little "I mean about Tia's mother......look how much ever all of you blame me for interfering......you have not seen what I have seen Nikki go through.....so I asked her" he replies a little hurt that everyone painted him out to be the villain in the Modi-Nikki love story, when all he felt was genuine concern for his childhood friend.

"Ok Ok......I do understand how you worry about her......but Armaan, what I was saying was that she isn't a child anymore and she is much stronger and smarter now.......all she needs you is like a friend......not a possessive and crazy elder brother who makes decisions for her''but I know you really love her" Riddhima tells him gently and Armaan's eyes soften for the girl before him.

"Good.......do you want to know what she told me about Tia's mom?" he asks her and she nods, curiosity overtaking her. Armaan proceeds to tell her and her eyes widen in surprise.

"Adopted......oh my god.....I don't believe this.....wow" Riddhima sits there trying to digest what she had heard.

"Well......what should I do?" asks Armaan after they sit in silence for a while.

"Do?' she asks incredulously "Why do you have to do anything?"

"I mean.......I have no idea when she got married and how and all that......don't you think I should ask her.......you know celebrate with her and all that.......she did so much for us" Armaan asks Riddhima, unsure about his thoughts.

"I think it's been around a week or some days" Riddhima mumbles thinking back and then her mouth falls open, "I think it was on Friday'.....Dr. Modi asked me about a jeweler on Thursday and then on Saturday I saw Nikki wearing this beautiful ring......Oh Armaan it was diamonds and rubies and the design" Armaan looks at her stupefied not believing what she was saying. He turns to her angrily.

"Riddhima.....you knew?" he asks stunned

"Arre nahi......I am putting two and two together now.....I ......you know what......papa was inviting Dr. Modi for our engagement and I was passing by, so I decided I would too......and then he asked me about a jeweler from out of the blue......I never thought they were getting married.....now a lot of things make sense Armaan" Riddhima's mind back tracks to all the times where she had thought Nikki had acted different and pieced together the puzzle.

Both are lost in thought, thinking about how Nikki, the sweet and gentle girl had gotten married, without informing a soul.

"We should talk to her Riddhima" Armaan declares and Riddhima nods her head. Armaan gets up to leave and Ridzi follows him. They look for her but when they can't find her, they ask Sister Lovely and she tells them that she has left for the day. By this time the Anjie , Atul , Rahul and Muskaan too gather around them and Armaan finally tells them about the exact relation between Dr. Modi and his sweet daughter. All of them are shocked with the news and finally accept that the man their friend had chosen as her partner was worth his weight in gold.

"What kind of marriage do you think they had?" Muskaan asks curious and Rahul rolls his eyes. "Why do you care Muskaan......It was their marriage "he replies sensibly and receives a slap from her on his back.

"All you guys are like this......you don't care about stuff which matters to us.....I am sure Dr. Modi must have thought about the most boring marriage" she ignores the guys and looks at the girls who shrug.

"Why not ask Dr. Modi?" Atul teases and the three girls glare at him.

"Do you want another red mark Atul?" Anjie asks sweetly and he shakes his head hurriedly.

"Good.....so stay out of this Ok" she warns him none too sweetly. "So girls, I think we should do something like a party or wait a minute how about a surprise party for the two?" she asks beaming, loving her idea.

"Yes I agree" Armaan jumps in and five pair of shocked eyes look at him. "What?" he asks irritated.

"You are taking the lead in this?" asks Rahul "The one who thinks Modi should disappear from the face of this earth?"

"Oh well.....he isn't that bad......and he makes Nikki happy" Armaan replies sheepishly.

"So what should we do?" Muskaan asks and everyone starts talking at once excites and coming up with their own ideas.

"Wait guys" Riddhima shouts "Why not ask Nikki what she wants and as her friends give her that?" she says and everyone likes the idea.

"Ok let's go and meet Nikki" Muskaan declares and they decide to call her.

Abhi and Nikki enter the house from the back porch all drenched but happy and arm in arm not being able to take their eyes off from each other. Nikki sneezes and Abhi asks her to change.

"You are wet too" she whispers.

"You noticed? Ok let's both go and change" he whispers back naughtily and Nikki swats him gently.

"What?" he asks innocently "By the way why are we whispering?"

"Welll.....ummm.....I don't know" Nikki answers and they smile happily at each other. "I'll go and change" she tries to excuse herself and walk away but when she moves to close the bedroom door she finds Abhi right behind her.

"What?" she asks "It's my room Wifey" he replies with a smirk.

"So?" she says tapping her feet impatiently. "So......I get to come in too" he tries to push his way through but Nikki fights him, trying with all her might to push him out. They continue to tussle and Abhi manages to push his way inside and Nikki makes a face and turns her face away from him in a huff. Abhimnayu comes behind Nikki and hugs her and she desperately tries to hide her smile. He puts his face on her shoulder and asks, "Angry?" and Nikki refuses to reply and acts angry.

"Wifey temper" he teases and then to make up starts kissing her cheek and neck and Nikki squirms in his grasp, giggling.

"Stop it.....please stop it....sorry ok....not angry" she wiggles all ticklish and he lets her go.

"Ok let me take the bathroom first" says Nikki and rushes to collect her stuff. "Why? Can't we share?" he asks with a straight face which stops Nikki short and she looks at him shocked.

"S....Share?" she asks uneasily and Abhimanyu enjoys her discomfort.

"Yes......anything wrong with that?" he teases coming closer and watches her blush to the root of her beautiful hair. She looks everywhere but at him unable to decide how to answer when she hears him snort with laughter. Looking up she asks, "What'....what are you laughing at?"

"Look at yourself Nikki..... you are red....go on......I was just teasing you Ok" he replies laughing helplessly and Nikki hurls a cushion at him muttering under her breath, which he deftly catches.

Nikki changes her clothes and heads to the living room when her cell chimes. Riddhima. She picks up the call wondering what was Riddhima calling about and before she can say hello, she hears a jumble of voices scream a hello in her ear.

"Hello?" Nikki answers confusedly.

"Where are you Nikki?" Riddhima asks.

"Ask her if we can meet?" she hears Anjie say in the background.

"Arre what ask her.....tell her we have to meet" Muskaan tells Riddhima.

"It's an emergency" Armaan speaks.

"Guys hello?" Nikki replies reminding them that she is on the phone too.

"Hello" all five reply together and Nikki winces, holding the phone away from her ear.

"Nikki.....we need to see you" Armaan comes on the line.

"Now....soon" Muskaan shrieks.

"Guys what happened?" Nikki asks confused at the fact that all five were together and still they were talking about an emergency.

"We can tell you when we meet you.....where are you Nikki?" Armaan asks.

"I......I am at my house" she replies.

"Oh.....ok....we thought you might be with him....I mean Dr. Modi" Anjie speaks.

"Yes I am.....I mean our house" Nikki says, blushing at her words and also feeling happy at finally being able to call his house hers without having to worry about how much longer it would be hers.

Total silence greets her at her words.

"Hello......guys....are you there? What happened?" she crinkles her brow.

"Oh Ok'.....well" Armaan's voice trails.

"Tell me ......what happened?" she presses for information.

"We wanted to talk.......but" Rahul trails.

"So......come on over you guys" Nikki invites them.

"To his house?" she hears Atul whisper.

"Not a good idea" she hears Anjie.

"We'll talk later" she hears Riddhima say.

"Hey you all.....come on......you can come here......why are you all being suddenly so formal?" she tries to put her friends at ease.

"Well we don't want to bother you both" Riddhima comes on the line.

"Come on Riddhima......it's not a bother.....Ok I'll wait for you all" she smiles and replies and gives her address to her friends, whose excitement returns full force.

She goes to the living room and sits with Tia and Mr. Bakshi. When he sees Nikki smiling and playing happily with Tia, a knowing smile spreads on his face and he sits back happily. She catches his gaze on her and looks at him questioningly. He pats the seat next to him, inviting her to take it. She does so and he takes her hands in his.

"I gather that the husband of yours finally told you what you mean to him" she nods and blushes.

"Good.....Nikita......thank you once more for what you did for Tia" he smiles and she hugs him. "So......I have to give you something.....tell me what you want.....and ask with the right of a daughter" he tells her and Nikki looks at him surprised.

"No No uncle.......nothing......I have everything I want" she replies when Abhimanyu walks in and the whole family sits and starts talking.

"Did he give you any wedding gift?" Mr. Bakshi asks outright and Nikki nods coloring.

"Yes.....he did" she whispers and he asks her to show what and she excuses herself to get the ring from her room, which she had taken off after being almost caught by Ridzi.

Suddenly the bell chimes and Abhimanyu excuses himself to get the door. He opens to find the five interns standing at his doorstep smiling.

"Hello Doctors" he addresses them and hears a collective greeting, like a group of school children from the five.

"Oh Hi guys" he hears his wife's excited voice behind him and all the five troop in hugging Nikki one by one, whereas he looks on flabbergasted. All the friends move to the living room and introduce themselves to Mr. Bakshi and then hug and kiss his daughter who enjoys all the attention showered on her. She plunks herself on Armaan's lap and Abhimanyu's mouth almost hangs open. The whole gang talks excitedly and Nikki starts her host duties and the girls help her with everything. He feels like an outsider in a party in his own home and follows Nikki into the kitchen when he notices her going alone.

"Nikki" he goes close to her and she jumps.

"Oh Abhi'where were you........come lets go and sit with everyone" she starts to lead the way out when he stops her.

"Nikki.....I was standing right where all of you left me......what is going on?" he sweeps his hand in the direction of the living room.

"Oh all of them have something to discuss" she offers smilingly.

"Discuss what?" he asks and Nikki shrugs.

"I don't know" she takes his hand and starts walking out, "Let's find out"

"So guys......what did you want to discuss?" Nikki asks looking at her friends and they nudge Riddhima and Armaan to speak.

"Err'.....Nikki......you and Dr. Modi got married....I mean.....we mean.....none of us were there and it must have been really private......so we thought that you know......why not hold a small wedding for the two of you" Riddhima concludes her speech.

"What? A wedding?" Abhimanyu jumps up "No....we don't need it" he trashes the idea and when he looks around he sees Nikki's sad face and Mr. Bakshi's piercing gaze on him.

"Yeah......Abhi is right......we have already had one wedding.....what's the point of another one.....even if there was no one with us" Nikki takes his side, her tone a little sad but a smile on her face.

Abhimanyu's heart breaks for taking away her dreams but he doesn't see the sense in getting married again. He turns towards Nikki but before he can say anything, Armaan speaks up. "Well Nikki.....what will happen to that dream of yours....which you had written in your journal......and especially your Nani's wedding dupatta you wanted to use on your wedding?" he opens her secret and Abhimanyu looks at his wife and sees her swallowing.

"Oh please Armaan.....not everything happens as we dream......and I will wear that dupatta on your wedding Ok.....but I agree with Abhi.....we.....we are already married" her voice trails.

Abhimanyu sees the conflict raging in her eyes and realizes that she must have dreamed something about her wedding and how unselfishly she had sacrificed her wishes for helping him. He sits next to her and takes her hand in his, while everyone looks on nudging each other at the sight of the couple.

"Nikki....if you want a wedding ......we will have a wedding" he says to her and Nikki looks at him with love shining in her eyes.

"Abhi.....our wedding was special....I ....I am fine" she lies not wanting to hurt him.

"But you had your heart set on a bigger one right? Nikki I love you and lets have your dream wedding'.this is the least I can give you" he decides to give the love of his life a dream, which every girl dreams of.

"Yessss" all the interns break in to a dance and hug each other and Nikki and Abhi.

"Guys it's Ok" Abhi says trying to get away from the excited interns.

"Well Dr. Modi'.since you agreed......Nikki pack your stuff..... You are going to stay with me and Di till your wedding day" riddhima drops a bomb.

"What?" Abhimanyu shouts "No way....Nikki stays here" he takes Nikki's arm and pulls her in his embrace.

"Dr. Modi......she can't stay here.....she said that in her journal" Armaan lies and Abhimanyu gives him the evil eye.

"Well....we are just celebrating....she is already married to me.....so she stays here" he argues and cluthches her possessively and hears everyone smirk and Nikki hide her face in his chest of embarrassment.

Mr. Bakshi decides to take the matters in his hands. "Well the girls are right Abhimanyu......let her go......and it's only for two days" he decides but an adamant Abhi refuses to leave his wife.

"I don't see the need" he says stubbornly.

"Abhi.....just two days" Nikki says softly and he looks down at his wife and very softly for her ears only says, "No"

"Please" she says equally softly and he lets her go saying, "I'll miss you" and looks at her with sad eyes.

"Guys do we have to do this" Nikki again jumps to take Abhi's side.

"Haan Mrs. Modi.....you have to.......ab chal Nikki.....hurry up" Muskaan teases her and she looks up at her husband and mouths a "sorry".

Nikki packs her stuff for two days and Tia too goes with her in her room.

"I will miss you Nikki" she hugs her and tears well in her eyes. The girls look at their bond and all of them become emotional.

"Oh Tia.......would you also like to come and stay with us?" Riddhima asks the small girl and sees her eyes light up.

"Yes Riddy" she says happily and they pack her stuff too. Nikki and the girls leave and tell Abhi that Tia is also going with them.

"Wow......you guys come in here.....take away my wife and daughter.....what a plan.....how am I going to survive these two days?" he says to their retreating back.

Armaan, Atul and Rahul console him by telling that they were on his side and Abhi sits with his head in his hands, cursing his luck.

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