Thursday, February 18, 2010

~Love Me Tender~ Part 8

Drs. Khanna and Modi walk into Dr. Shashank's office and he warmly welcomes the new man.

"Dr. Modi….I know Gaurav since the day he was born….a very nice person and an excellent doctor" Shashank proudly tells Abhimanyu. Before the three can chat more, Abhimanyu's cell phone rings and he excuses himself, telling them that he would catch up with Dr. Khanna after he was done with the conference call and Dr. Shashank takes the responsibility of settling Dr. Khanna in Sanjeevani.

"This is an interesting case sir" Gaurav shares with Shashank after hearing his analysis on Nikki.

"I know beta…..I thought it would pique your interest and so I thought of you" Shashank smiles.

"Thank you….now Dr. Modi tells me she is taken… didn't tell me about her husband, fianc or boyfriend" he asks Shashank who frowns at that.

"Taken? Really….Dr. Modi said that? Well I suggest you clear that with him….as far as I know, she really isn't engaged to anyone as such" Dr. Shashank shrugs not understanding why the head of Sanjeevani had told the new doctor that. As far as he could think, ok amend that, he knew that Dr. Modi had feelings for Nikita, as he had seen the tension and worry on his face but whether they were engaged in a relationship, he had yet to find.

He shook his head in a paternal way. These young guns of today seriously needed to clear things out. Dr. Modi was a very successful man but he also understood that still waters ran deep. He kept to himself and minded his own business but as a father Dr. Shashank knew that Abhimanyu, however hard he tried to hide his feelings, was in love with Dr. Khanna's new patient. He would talk to the younger man as Nikita's doctor and maybe that angle could help her out.

"I think apart from medical reasons Gaurav, you should look into her background too. Dr. Malik, an intern here, is her best friend…..also Riddhima and Anjali were her friends too. Dr. Modi worked with her in close quarters….maybe that might help" he relays the information to the young man who takes down notes. They discuss some more about the case and then Gaurav gets up to leave.

"Sir….Riddhi and Anjs are here too…..I would love to meet them… if you could tell me where to find them, I'll meet them and then head for my cabin" he asks Shashank who calls a peon and instructs him to take Gaurav to the caf where he knew the gang collected during lunch.

The handsome doctor walks into the caf, thanks the peon and heads towards the boisterous group of interns. He stands behind Riddhima, who is sitting next to Anjie and places his hands on both their shoulders.

"Hey Beauties" he greets the sisters sweetly and when both look up to see who addressed them, they shriek with joy and jump to hug him together. Watching this, Armaan and Atul's mouth falls open.

"Gaurav" they both scream and the three hug each other like long lost friends.

"Riddhi… fatso…..when did you turn into a swan?" he holds Riddhima at arm's length and looks at her lovingly.

"They day you turned into this handsome hunk yourself you Chikoo" she replies cupping his face and placing a kiss on his cheek. Armaan chokes on his sandwich and Rahul pats his back and passes him some water.

"I don't think she has ever looked at you so lovingly….gotten a kiss as yet?" Rahul passes a snide remark at Armaan.

"Shut up or I will kill you" Armaan takes his anger out on him at the same time rolling his sleeves to fight with the ridiculously good looking man who had his Riddhima in his arms and had no intention of letting her go.

"Anjs….how many more hearts have you broken" he turns to the other sister and gives her the benefit of his beautiful smile.

"Oh Chikoo" she pinches his cheeks and her tries to push her away, "not as many as you have broken" she laughs and places a resounding kiss on his cheek. This time Atul starts to cough hard.

Rahul passes him water too and remarks, "Oh ho…..this might help" and starts giggling.

"Ahem" Armaan clears his throat and calls out, "Riddhima…..we would love to meet your friend too" trying hard not to get up and punch the living daylights out of the guy standing with his arms around the girl's waists.

"Oh sorry guys" Riddhima apologizes and Gaurav moves forward introducing himself to everyone. When he reaches Muskaan, he smiles and takes her hand in both of his, "Muskaan…..if I had to guess your name on my own, this is what I would have called you too" he tells her and Muskaan blushes at the compliment.

"Aha….water to douse the fire in your heart Dr. Grewal" Armaan nudges him and asks and Rahul gives the evil eye to him.

"Dr. Malik" Gaurav turns towards Armaan who looks up innocently at him, "I would like to talk to you as soon as possible about Dr. Nikita's case" he comes to the point.

"What?" all of them ask in unison.

"Yeah, am visiting Sanjeevani as a consultant on her case….Riddhi, Anjs, Muskaan….you three too….but want to start with you Dr. Malik…..coz you have known her the longest" he tells them.

They talk some more and Gaurav bids goodbye to the gang and heads towards Modi's office to start his work on his patient. He knocks and walks into his cabin. Abhimanyu greets him and asks politely if he is settled in and finds everything Ok and thanks him for taking time out of his busy schedule and consult for them.

"My pleasure Dr. Modi….I am glad Dr. Gupta thought about me" he replies back.

"How may I help you then?" Abhi asks him, motioning to sit.

"Dr. Shashank mentioned that you worked closely with her…..whenever you have some time I would like to talk to you about her" he tells him, declining to sit.

"Sure…not a problem….anything for Nikki" Abhimanyu replies and this doesn't go unnoticed by the other man.

"Dr. Modi….you mentioned that she is taken" Gaurav looks into his eyes and asks, "By who?"

"What exactly are you asking Dr. Khanna?" Abhimanyu asks his voice suddenly cold and his eyes turning glacial.

"What I mean is, is there a husband, fianc or boyfriend who is in picture?" Gaurav notices the change in the other man's behavior and pushes it to the back of his mind, deciding to go over it later.

"No husband or fianc" Abhi replies shortly.

"I see… no abuse….good….boyfriend?" he asks emphasizing the last word and Abhimanyu looks at him sharply.

"Dr. Khanna how is that going to help?" Abhimanyu asks him, "Trying to make her remember that is going to add stress isn't it?" he tells the other man, voicing his concern.

Gaurav takes a deep breath and motions Abhi to sit and he sits opposite to him and explains, "Dr. Modi….I understand that you are worried about her. You are right, in some cases it can add a lot of stress on the patient but as discussed with Dr. Gupta , reading her reports and taking her general recovery in consideration, she is doing well….rather very well…..If you ask me it is more like selective amnesia" he explains to Abhi who is listening intently, having already checked into the credentials of the handsome man sitting in front of him to his satisfaction.

"Selective Amnesia… mean she is deliberately repressing her memory?" he asks, his tone taking on a hurt edge.

Gaurav nods slowly, noticing the hurt in the eyes of the other man and comes to the conclusion that Nikita's boyfriend was sitting right in front of him. He understands that there was more to it than met the eye.

"Well Dr. Modi…..not deliberately repressing but yes repressing all the same. I am sure before the accident she wasn't in a happy frame of mind and was trying to run away from some recent developments as her mind chose not to come back to those very troublesome thoughts" he explains and a look of pain passes Abhimanyu's face.

Gaurav gently pats Abhimanyu's hands and when the head of Sanjeevani looks at him in shock, he receives a smile in return, "It is sometimes best to forget your own guilt and move ahead to someone who needs you…..a lot" he advises and gets up to take his leave.

"Ok Dr. Modi….I have a meeting with the interns so I will talk with you later….maybe her boyfriend will make an appearance" he shakes hand and leaves.

Abhimanyu sits back in the chair heavily, letting out a breath he didn't even know he was holding. What a life, it was all a complete mess. He didn't understand what would help Nikki and what would hurt her anymore. The new doctor had read him like a book. He felt guilty for landing Nikki in this position and he wasn't going to forgive himself so easily. He didn't deserve to be forgiven. On the other hand, Nikki had been thrilled to discover that he was special to her. The look of jubilation in her eyes had made his heart warm. He was at crossroads. He wanted to hug her, love her and never let her go but his mind refused to let him. It kept telling him that if he went close to her, he would hurt her again.

He was tired. His eyes and head ached. This tussle between his heart and mind would kill him. He got up and started pacing his office. He needed to put an end to this tussle. Irritated and at a loss he walked out of his office to do his rounds. His first stop was Nikki's ward. Unwilling, his feet had dragged him there. He needed to see her. He stopped at the door and saw her practicing to walk. She was slow but with every step she took, his heart overflowed with happiness.

Nikki wanted to walk, run, and fly. The faculty she had taken for granted for so many years was such a boon she understood now. She took one slow step and then the other. She was so proud of herself. She smiled through her pain but stopped abruptly and slipped. She made a grab for something but there was nothing to hold onto. She closed her eyes knowing that she would hit the ground but it never happened. Strong arms grabbed her and lifted her up and turned her around.

She slowly opened her eyes to look into the beautiful black ones which held so much concern in them.

"Th….Thanks" she mumbled, his nearness affecting her. She could smell his perfume and took a deep breath of it. His presence calmed her down and the safe haven of his arms made her feel loved.

Here she went again. She was mad. Hadn't she concluded that it was kindness on his part? No it's not…..his presence around her was much more than coincidence and kindness. Fine she needed answers. If this uptight Dr. Abhimanyu Modi wasn't going to talk then she knew how to get him to spill. He hated being riled….she knew. She stopped the track of her thinking. She knew….that meant she remembered how to deal with him. A big smile graces her face and she is happy that at last she could remember something about HIM.

"Nikki…..careful….what if you had fell?" he tells her off lovingly, too happy to see her walk to be able to be angry with her.

"You didn't let me" she states looking into his eyes and he is taken aback. "You never let me" she continues softly and he is not amused.

"Nikki" he warns her gently and takes her to her bed. She sits on it but catches his hand when he lets her go. He looks at her questioningly.

"Sit….please" she says softly and he takes a chair and makes himself comfortable.

"Why do you worry about me so much?" she asks him, letting go of his hand. He looks down trying to think of an answer, but all comes to his mind is as I love you so much. He knew that was the wrong answer.

"Nikki" he looks at her with pain in his eyes and she gasps at the raw emotion he had let her see.

"You mean a lot to me" he finally tells her and she closes her eyes in happiness.

"Thank you" she says and he asks her why she thanked him.

"For sharing that Abhi…..can I call you Abhi……Abhimanyu is too formal" she asks shyly and his eyes fill with happiness. She had called him ABHI… as he knew it was coming back…..things were falling in place.

"S…sorry…if you don't" before she could apologize, he hugged her.

"Abhi" she asked surprised. He cupped her face gently like she was a porcelain doll, "Always….always call me Abhi….you have no idea how much I missed that" slips out of his mouth.

OK….so she did mean a lot to him. This man's feelings ran deep. Then it clicked to Nikki that he wasn't hiding his love for her cause he was ashamed…..he was hiding it coz he was afraid of hurting her.

"Dr. Modi……I want you back as my Abhi….these glimpses aren't enough" she tells herself and resolves to fight for her Abhi, understanding that the key to her getting well was right in front of her. She needed to unlock his heart to unlock her memories and by hook or crrok she was going to do it.

"Beware Abhi….here I come" she smiles her bright smile at him and he smiles back, not knowing what was being planned for him.

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