The story starts now:
She had gone to apologize and he had insulted her. Nikki clamps her hands on her ears, trying to shut his accusatory voice which was ringing in her ears but it refused to go away.
"Dr. Nikita don't try to seduce me"
"What did you think; you'll come all dressed up and seduce me?"
"Girls like you are dime a dozen, they use their charms to trap their seniors"
"You are not my standard"
He was cruel with his words. She understood he was still angry about her not speaking in front of Armaan and the rest of the gang but she had gone to apologize. When he had called her home, she had thought his anger had subsided to a degree that he was willing to talk. Was she ever wrong? The moment she had said sorry and touched his hand, he had erupted. All the bitterness had come out and each word had hurt her like a splinter.
Nikki wiped her incessantly flowing tears and got up from the chair, where she had curled herself in a fetal position since the time she had reached home. She got herself some water, needing its coolness to counter her hot body.
Love….It hurt. It always had hurt her. Why did she want what she knew always ended up breaking her heart? When would she ever learn? Should she simply accept the fact that she was unlovable?
The tears which she had stopped with an effort burst forth. "Why Me? God why me?" she slipped on the kitchen floor crying her heart out. She wanted to curl up and die. She had never realized that LOVE could impart so much pain.
"I said sorry Abhi…...why you couldn't forgive me" she tearfully questioned her tormentor, who her heart refused to stop loving.
"Please God….help me….I don't know what to do" she sobbed hugging herself, rocking back and forth.
Her tears having dried up, Nikki got up from the kitchen floor and went back to her room, massaging her head which had a splitting headache. She needed sleep; sleep which she knew would elude her again tonight. Tiredness racked her body and she lay down on the bed exhausted and numb with pain. She did not have the energy to change her clothes; she did not have any energy left. All the fight had drained out of her.
She understood that she needed to be strong, needed all her strength and needed to face Abhi. As soon as the name rang in her mind, she curled herself in a fetal position again and shut her eyes tightly, not wanting to remember him. Unwilling, her mind started remembering the good days she had spent with him. Those days when his eyes followed her every move, reflected concern and love for her. She touched her hand to her face, remembering his touch. The way he had cupped her face after the riot incident, first harshly and then gently, telling her with his eyes and his voice that she made him crazy. He could see her everywhere. She understood now what he meant. She could not only see him but feel him everywhere. His touch, his kiss, his smell……would she ever be rid of it? Did she want to be rid of it?
"No….I want you Abhi…..I love you….I love you so much….please come back to me" she whispered softly and finally her exhausted body fell into sleep, where at least she could go back in his arms.
"Abhi I am sorry" kept repeating in Abhimanyu's mind. Sorry was supposed to make it alright….wasn't it? Then why did it make him seethe with anger? She had meant to apologize, he knew it, understood it but as soon as the words had come out of her mouth, he had seen red. He had barraged her with insults. It pained him to think that he had bent so low. He was not particularly proud of the words he had said to her.
Her apology had reminded him of his insult and the fact that she had participated in that by not speaking up for him. He closed his eyes to forget the humiliation. He was trying hard to get over it but in reality, it wasn't Armaan's or the others words which hurt. What hurt was her betrayal.
He had started maintaining a distance, was as professional with her as he knew to be, but she had to come and hold his hand and remind him of everything he was trying hard to forget, which by the way was bordering on impossible.
Why had she started the topic? He got up from the table, whose contents he had flung on the floor in anger and walked towards his room. He had reached a decision. He did not want her in his life.
"Liar" his heart laughed at him.
"I will live without you Nikki…..I don't love you anymore" He said aloud to believe it. Walking into his room, he clenched his hands in anger. He cursed the day he had fallen in love with her.
"I don't need you…..I hate you" were the last words which he uttered before sleep overtook his tired body and broken spirit.
The next day at Sanjeevani was filled with meetings for Abhimanyu and he was glad for the distraction. He threw himself in work to forget the pain which kept surfacing whenever he heard her name, her voice or even a mention of her. Instead of calling her to help him with the project, he chose to do all the work himself. He did not need any more tension in his life.
Nikki's day was filled with cases and she chose to avoid Abhimanyu too. Not only him, she chose to avoid the whole gang and continued with her work. During her break she went to the far corner of the basketball court and sat their wondering how to mend her and Abhi's broken heart. It wasn't going to be easy but she wanted him, she wanted his love. She missed the warmth he brought to her life. She missed his loving glances, his smile, his arms around her. She missed him too much.
Heart break had made her realize how madly in love she was with him. How could she make it alright? She had been thinking about it since yesterday but no solution came to mind.
Sighing, she got up to resume her duties. She would think of something. Walking back, she walked into the locker room and straight into Riddhima.
"Hi Nikki" her friend greeted her with a warm smile and Nikki returned the smile as a reflex action but it did not reach her eyes.
"How did the meeting go?" Riddhima asked excited, reminding Nikki of yesterday evening. Pain clouded her eyes and tears sprang to her eyes.
"Nikki" Riddhima took her friend by the shoulders and seated her on the bench. "He is still mad?" she asked assuming that Dr. Modi had not forgiven Nikki.
Nikki nodded her head to the question, not trusting herself to speak, tears flowing freely.
"Oh" Riddhima said, for lack of a better word."What did..…I mean did he not" Riddhima asked unsure.
"I apologized Riddhima" Nikki replied wiping her tears. Getting up Nikki went to her locker to retrieve her lab coat and Riddhima looked at her waiting for an answer.
"Nikki" Riddhima called her when she saw her leaving without explaining. Nikki stopped and looked back. "There is nothing to tell Riddhima……he refused to forgive me and I have no idea what to do about it" she tells her friend and walks out of the locker room, lecturing herself not to cry so easily over him.
Walking unseeing she bangs into Armaan. "Nikki" he lifts her face tenderly and gazes into expressionless eyes.
"Sorry" she moves out of his arms and starts to walk away. Armaan holds her hand to stop her and she stops unwillingly.
"Nikki about Modi …I" he starts and she turns to him, her eyes serious.
"I don't need your help Armaan…..so stay away" she tugs her arm free and sees shock spring into his eyes. "Please" she adds to soften the blow and walks to resume her duties.
Armaan looks at her retreating back and resolves to talk to her in a better mood. He enters the locker room to see Riddhima lost in thought. He sits beside her and asks, "What is wrong with Nikki?"
"Dr. Modi didn't accept her apology" Riddhima blurts out unthinking.
"Why is she apologizing to him?" he asks confused.
"Oh Armaan" Riddhima registers his presence and curses herself for having blurt out Nikki's problem.
"Why is she apologizing?" he asks again.
"You talk to her about it Armaan" Riddhima says and leaves to resume her duties, leaving a gaping Armaan. "I don't understand these women" he massages his head and leaves for a cup of coffee which he direly needed.
Two days pass without Abhimanyu and Nikita coming in contact and Nikki avoiding all her friends successfully. On the third day, Nikki resolves to talk to Abhimanyu and finding a way to sort the problem between them.
"Enough is enough…..I need to talk to him…..that Sadu is never going to take the first step….he'll stew in his anger and make both our lives miserable" she talks to herself and her mind races to find a plausible excuse to meet her Sadu.
"Nikki….we need to talk" Armaan's voice cuts into her thoughts and she rolls her eyes.
"Not now Armaan" she pushes past him and walks towards Abhimanyu's cabin. Armaan follows Nikki, not ready to listen to her. She stops outside his cabin and takes a deep breath and Armaan pulls her away. "Nikki look why are you apologizing to him? He should be the one who should apologize" he states in an agitated whisper.
"Stay out of it Armaan" she warns him and advances but he pulls her back. "Look Nikki…..you are being stupid" he says his voice rising.
"Armaan I know what I am doing" she tells him but he starts arguing with her. Hearing voices outside his cabin, Abhimanyu comes out to investigate and sees Armaan and Nikki arguing.
Feeling his gaze boring in her back Nikki turns and looks into very angry dark eyes. She stops arguing immediately and Armaan looks around to see his friend staring into Abhimanyu's eyes and notices his shuttered expression. Armaan moves closer to Nikki and notices Abhimanyu's eyes flicker with anger.
"I need to talk to you Dr. Modi" Nikki breaks the heavy silence and he nods towards her. She frees her arm from Armaan's grip and walks into his cabin. He takes his seat and looks at her not attempting to make her comfortable.
"Abhi" she starts and notices his eyes narrow but he does not interrupt. "How long can we go on like this? Let's just sort things out please" she tells him being practical.
"Not interested Dr. Nikita……there is nothing to sort" he replies shortly but his eyes don't leave her face.
"Abhi ….I will talk to Armaan and even he will apologize" at the mention of that name, Abhimanyu's temper starts to rise.
"Dr. Nikita…..the conversation is finished….you can leave "he points to the door, getting up from his chair.
"I am not finished" Nikki replies back, her temper rising at his stubbornness.
"I am" he retorts and comes around his desk, eyes glacial.
"Good then…..listen to me" she says "I want to sort our relationship" he takes her arm and starts walking towards his door. She tugs it free of his grip and stops. "I know you are hurt…..so am I….you need to stop this Abhi" she says angry at his action.
He looks at her with narrowed eyes and replies, "I want nothing to do with you Dr. Nikita…..there can never be anything between us…..so just get out now."
"I don't agree …..I think you are just being stupid and egotistic…..why can't you forgive" he lifts his hand to stop her and goes close to her.
"You for me are as good as dead….do you understand" he says in an extremely soft voice and Nikki gasps. "W…What?" she asks refusing to believe what she had just heard.
"You heard me….now get lost" he says savagely and Nikki's resolve breaks, his hurtful words making her heart bleed.
"You will regret this" she throws at him in a teary voice and walks out of his cabin wiping her tears.
"Nikki" Armaan who had been waiting outside for her, calls her. She stops and looks at him and he rages, "I had told you not to apologize…..why did you do it….are you crazy?"
"Armaan please" she warns but he doesn't heed her. "Why do you have to run after him? Don't you respect yourself?" Hearing this Nikki's patience gives away. "Shut Up" she tells him, her anger bursting forth. "You both are idiots…..you both have spoiled my life……ego maniacs…..don't tell me about respect….you both are not worth the love I have for you" she rages and runs out angrily.
Back from his business trip, Abhimanyu enters Sanjeevani two days later from his last conversation with Nikki. The last two days had been hell. He had missed her sorely and felt guilty of shunning her attempt to reconcile. He couldn't live without her no matter what he wanted to believe. "I need to talk to her" he reminds himself, checking his messages.
"Need to talk to you urgently" he goes through Dr. Shashank's sms and slaps a hand on his forehead.
"Oh man…..I forgot to call him" he remembers and heads straight to Dr. Shashank's office. He finds him poring over some files, his head furrowed. He knocks and enters and the other doctor greets him solemnly.
"I am sorry Dr. Gupta I wasn't able to call you yesterday….my flight got delayed and came in very late" Abhimanyu apologizes.
"It's Ok Dr. Modi…..please have a seat….we have a very critical situation in our hands" Dr. Shashank comes to the point.
"Sure tell me" Abhimanyu says and the other man clears his throat.
"Dr. Modi…….Dr.Nikita met with an accident day two days ago and she is in a coma" he delivers and Abhimanyu's jaw drops in shock and his heart starts to hammer wildly. Never had he thought that his world would come crashing down in two days.