"Please don't get mad again Abhi....I just wanted to know" she replied sheepishly.
"Know what?About Tia? Was it so unacceptable to you that I had a daughter?" he questioned her flatly.
"No Abhi....No....not Tia....I....all this ...your secrecy....I never knew you had a daughter..and I heard your conversation...I ...I was ....you never said anything....I needed answers" she explains.
"Dr. Nikita.....that still does not mean you go through my files....how am I supposed to trust you?"He asks tiredly.
"Abhi....I just wanted to know if you had a wife and you were not telling me....am sorry but I....feel "She explains her reason for going through his files.
"You feel nothing....that... I know" he says softly and turns away from her.
"Abhi please don't ...... at least hear me out" she pleads.
"Look Dr. Nikita....I am tired.....Tia needs to go home....you got your answers ....Now please leave us alone....there is some work I need you to do for the New Sanjeevani project. Please get it done by Friday and we will get working on the presentation thereafter." He tells her in a cool and professional tone.
"Abhi....I will do the work....but can't we talk?" she tries to make him listen.
"Look, Nikita...there is nothing left to say....when I asked you....you didn't utter a word...I got my answer loud and clear....my priority is Tia and work....so please.....you may go now.....goodnight Dr. Nikita" he closes the conversation and strides to the sofa to pick up his daughter. Nikki follows him and kisses the sleeping Tia in his arms and they exchange a pained look. "Goodnight Tia" she whispers and leaves.
*Stop her Abhimanyu....don't let her go his heart tells him but the pool incident flashes in his mind's eye....No....let her go....but he remembers how late at night she had come worried to his house to see how he was....he had kissed her in anger...she had cried but taken it as punishment....he had insulted her and made her leave....she had crashed her car....at the sound of the crash he had almost died....and realized how much he loved her.....she was with him when he woke up....she remained with him in spite of him insulting her.....she was so friendly and loving to Tia and they had taken immediately to each other* "Tia ...she is all that matters.....forget her Abhimanyu" he mutters to himself and plants a kiss on the forehead of his sleeping daughter and heads home.
The next few days Abhimanyu is busy in a spate of meetings and Nikki in her duties and the New Sanjeevani project work but both spend their each free moment with Tia.
On Friday, Nikita gets of f at 4 pm and heads to the daycare to say her bye to Tia but on her arrival finds Tia in tears. She rushes in and asks the lady in charge the matter and she tells her that she had a fight with a boy and he told her that her father did not love her. Pained on hearing this Nikki rushes to Tia's side. On seeing Nikki, she climbs in her lap, circles her arms around Nikki's neck and sobs her heart out.
"Tia ....baby stop crying" Nikki tries to soothe the little one in her arms.
"Daddy ....not love....me" Says Tia hiccupping through her tears.
"Tiu....that's not true at all....Daddy loves you very much."Nikki explains.
"He don't love me....he leaves me here" Tia sobs.
"Tiu...Tiu...look at me" Nikki lifts her face and wipes the incessant flow of tears. "Daddy has to work na....do you understand....and you have friends here to play with you?" she asks the little girl looking in her sad brown eyes. Tia nods her assent. "He is a little busy these days....but I am here to play with you.....so will you stop crying and when daddy gets back he will play with you too." She tries to distract Tia.
"No.....he won't .....He is sad Nikki" she replies.
"Sad?.....No Tia....daddy is very happy to have you ....he loves you so much....do you love your Daddy?" Nikki asks. Tia nods her head. "How much ....how much?"Nikki asks teasingly and tickles the little girl who starts giggling. "Now Tiu...you are a big girl....right....so don't cry.....Ok....big girls don't cry" she tells her. "OK" Tia giggles and hugs Nikki who hugs her back happily.
Happily hugging each other is how he finds the two loves of his life in the daycare. A small smile escapes him. *You were supposed to let her go Abhimanyu* he remembers and snaps out of his dream.
"Daddy" shrieks Tia and jumps out of Nikki's lap and rushes towards Abhimanyu who scoops her up in his arms and lifts her high in the air. Tia chortles with laughter and finally Abhi puts her down. "Who was crying?" he asks her lovingly. "Tia" she replies. "Why were you crying?" he teases her by pulling her pony. "Daddy...the mean boy told me that you did not love me because you left me here....and he said that you would leave me here as my mommy n daddy left me" she tells him becoming a little sad.
"Tiu bachu...Daddy loves you ....you know that don't you....he will never leave you?" he reassures her. Tia nods and hugs him "I love you too daddy". "Ok so you won't cry now?" he asks. "No....I am a big girl now daddy and big girls don't cry" she smiles at him. "Achha?.....who told you that you little monkey" he tweaks her nose. "Nikki" she smiles. He lifts his eyes to see a quiet Nikki standing there. "Bye Tia....now your Daddy is here.....you play with him" she speaks to the little girl and starts to leave.
Abhimanyu urges his daughter to gather her things so that they can leave and stops Nikki by calling her name. Nikki stops and looks up at him with expressionless eyes. "Thank you Nikki." He says softly.
"It's OK Dr. Modi" Nikki shrugs her shoulders and moves to leave. "You....you handled Tia in my absence...I....I" he tries to find the right words to thank her.
"Really...it's Ok Dr. Modi" Nikki gives him a tight smile and walks away.
Abhimanyu and Tia walk into his office to gather his files when he remembers that Nikita was supposed to submit her file today for the presentation. He calls the reception and asks to page Nikki but finds out that she has already left for the day.
"Daddy...I am hungry" lilts Tia. "Ok.....Ok we are leaving" he gathers his stuff and decides to call Nikki later.
After putting Tia to bed, Abhimanyu gets back to his work and remembers to call Nikki.
"Hello" a tearful voice answers.
"Hi Dr. Modi" she sniffs
"A..Are you Ok?" he asks a little confused.
"Yes ...I am fine" she sniffs.
"Ok.....I just....it sounded as if you were crying" he states.
"Yeah....I was watching a movie....sorry....is everything ok? Is Tia fine" she asks concerned at his unexpected call.
"Yeah ....she is fine.....asleep actually.....I just called about the New Sanjeevani project file......It was due today." He comes to the point.
Silence greets his comment. "Nikita?" he questions.
"Y..yes....I ....I forgot to place it on your desk....but the work is done....sorry" she replies quietly.
"I need it to start the presentation Dr. Nikita and I need your inputs too" he tells her.
"I am off tomorrow Dr. Modi but I will stop by the hospital tomorrow and give the file to you and we can discuss the presentation too." She tries to find a solution.
Silence greets her statement and she makes a face and rolls her eyes.*Please let him not get angry.....please dear god*she sends a silent prayer.
"Dr. Modi?" she questions.
"Yeah....I was just thinking.....I have taken tomorrow off too for Tia.....will it be Ok for you to drop the file at home?" he asks.
*Home* she mouths to herself. "Nikita?" he asks.
"Y...yes....sure...I will do that" she answers him.
"Thank you and goodnight" he ends the call.