Nothing had changed. Ahana was still a nurse at Pinka Hospital, and he was still vying for the medical director position. Vikram couldn’t afford to get emotionally involved with someone he worked with. Yet Vikram could relate to where Ahana was coming from. Sitting at home alone didn’t hold a lot of appeal for him, either.
Vikram would just have to make sure that spending the day with Ahana was about being friends and nothing more.
Ahana told herself that being out on Vikram’s boat didn’t mean anything. Even though Janhvi had wagged her eyebrows when she’d noticed Ahana and Vikram together. Ahana tipped her face to the sun and tried to calm her racing heart. Maybe this wasn’t the best idea she’d ever had.
So why had she said yes?
The logical answer was that she’d been bored and hadn’t wanted to sit around in her apartment. But the real reason was that Ahana liked Vikram. As a person, not just as a physician Ahana worked with.
And Ahana hadn’t liked a man in a really long time.
For the first time, she realized that she’d been running away from her past. As much as she learned to love Moti Lake, the fact of the matter was that she would have worked anywhere that wasn’t Bangolore Central.
Vikram wasn’t renowned land. She’d made one bad decision, but did she have to live with that one bad decision forever? Maybe it was time to forgive herself. Wasn’t that what Piyush Jha had suggested?
“I brought you here to relax, not to be stressed out,” Vikram said as he slowed the boat, banking gently around a curve.
Ahana hadn’t realized that her distress had been so evident and cleared her features. “Sorry about that. I guess I was wallowing in the past. You’re right that being out on the water like this is very relaxing. You must come out here whenever you have a day off, weather permitting.”
“I don’t come out often enough,” he admitted. “I tend to lose myself in running instead.”
Ahana grinned. “Yes, I know.”
Vikram was silent for a long moment. “I’ve been working hard to let go of the past as well,” Vikram finally said. “So I understand how it can creep up on you at the worst time.”
Ahana lifted a brow, surprised he’d admitted that much. “We should be able to let go, right? Considering how nice and peaceful it is here.”
Vikram nodded as he glanced around. “Yeah, nothing like the city, that’s for sure.” Vikram lifted his brow. “It’s a bit ironic that we’re both relatively new to the area.”
Ahana remembered her first few weeks here and suppressed a shudder. “At least you were a maya nagar.” She’d heard he’d moved here from Bela nagar. “I came from Bangolore, and let me tell you, that were a huge hurdle to overcome.”
Vikram laughed. “I can only imagine.”
Vikram smiled in spite of herself. “Thankfully, Jevika Singh befriended me, and since she grew up here, the locals finally stopped treating me like an outsider.” Jeevika was working this weekend or she would have had someone to hang out with.
Someone other than Vikram Sharma. Not that Ahana was complaining or anything.“I bet if we asked around, we’d find more transplant residents than those who were born here,” Vikram confided.
The thought of people who were born and raised here made her think of poor Aisha Sha. According to Jevika, the Sha had been here as long as she had. Her smile faded. “You might be right,” Ahana agreed.
Her cell phone rang, surprising her. Ahana stared at the screen for a moment, tempted to let the call go to voice mail as she didn’t recognize the number. Reluctant curiosity compelled her to press the green button to answer. “Hello?”
“Ahana? It’s me, Aisha.” The woman was speaking so softly she could barely hear her. A shiver of apprehension rippled down her spine. “Aisha? What’s wrong? Are you okay?”There was a loud crash followed by nothing but silence. Aisha had hung up.