Five Times

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Chapter 10

May 15, 2018

“Tell me, James. When did you get out? And how?” Lara had asked this same question more than ten times. The only thing James did was, just smile at her. Lara was getting irritated with James’ reaction.

“Will you tell me or shall I call the lawyer to know everything?” Lara asked him with a fake angry look. Again she got the same smile as a response that tested her patience.

Lara shook her head in distress and took her mobile to dial for the lawyer.

“Hey, wait, Lara… Hmm… Okay, I will tell you. Don’t call him.” James finally assured her.

“Go on then,” said Lara placing her mobile beside her. Her eyes were fixed with James’ waiting for his reply. She was eager to know it.

James looked down avoiding her gaze and said, “Will you be disappointed… when I tell you that…. everything is…. just a prank?” He said and raised his eyes, still with his chin down, to check Lara’s reaction.

“What!!!” James saw multiple reactions in Lara’s face. She looked shocked, confused, annoyed and much more.

James just sat in silence observing her closely.

“I am asking you, James. Is this just prank? Say yes or no” Lara was now furious on James for playing with her emotions.

“Well, the answer is YES and NO,” said James that added to her anger.

Lara closed her eyes out of angst and calmed herself a little before telling him, “Don’t irritate me, James”. The moment she told that, hot tears fell through her cheeks. The tears came out of rage from her red turned eyes.

“Hey, Okay… Don’t cry” James leaned forward and wiped the tears. “Lara, it was true that I got caught and jailed…” he said and passed for a while before saying, “But…. not for more than two days”.

Lara’s anger had subsided but not her confusion. Before she could throw another question, James started to narrate everything.

“I was caught for getting inside the restricted area. It was my bad luck; I left the proof in my room. So the police doubted me and took me to the inquiry. Though I said them to provide them my ID which is back in my room, they were not ready to believe me. Did I look that horrible? Well, So I had no other way than to call our lawyer here. And you know what? The day the lawyer came here, I was freed.” He finished and looked back at Lara.

“Then why didn’t inform me that you are safe?” Lara asked with her blue pair of eyes spread wide, which is still red in anger.

“I wanted to tell you. But then, I thought of your birthday which is just a month away and thought of surprising you. The lawyer too accepted my idea”

Lara twisted her lips in anger and started slapping James out of rage. “You know how weak I was, both mentally and physically? Do you have any idea of how much pain I went through? Even my mom didn’t tell me the truth” Lara cried letting all her emotions disappear along with her tears.

“Lara no one knew about this. I had told the lawyer to inform them once you are here” James said and held Lara close to him by wrapping his hands around her waist. Lara pushed his hands away and she jerked herself up from the bed.

“Don’t talk to me James” She snapped at him and sat on the chair in the corner, avoiding James. James followed her to the chair and tapped her shoulder. The moment he touched her, his hands were again pushed away by Lara. James was vexed by her action.

“Lara, what did I do now?” James asked little irritated.

“_________”

“Lara, you are spoiling the good time we have.”

“_________”

"Please don't cry on your birthday."

"_________"

He shifted his gaze to the other side and took a deep breath, trying to control his anger. After soothing himself, he said softly, “Okay, leave it. I have a gift for you.”

“I don’t need anything. Just don’t talk to me.” Lara again snapped back and this time James had lost his temper.

“Lara, you are overreacting. What did I do to deserve this attitude?” He raised his voice.

What else a girl needs than just a spark to fight? And she got one. The instant James raised his voice, Lara too started to argue with full energy and soon the place looked like a battlefield. Finally, James gave up. He couldn’t even shout at her for more than ten minutes.

“Fine, Lara. The mistake is mine. Sorry” James admitted.

“I don’t need your sorry. Just don’t talk to me”

“God!!! What do you want me to do Lara? You have any idea that you are hurting me?”

“See who is telling that?” said Lara and she was in no position to understand him. She was still blaming him for her pain.

James squeezed his eyes harder and exhaled the air out. “Enough Lara. Don’t say another word.”

“Hmm… Whenever I start, you try to keep my mouth shut. Do you want me to just listen to you?” Lara’s tantrum had no bounds.

James sat in the corner of the bed supporting his head with his fingers. He chose to be silent for the rest of the fight.

Why are these girls so adamant? I wanted to surprise her. Is that wrong?

He thought to himself. It took him a quite a long time to convince her. Even then she couldn’t be consoled. Frankly, James had survived the toughest part of his life.

Time went on. The silence filled the room. James sat in the same place and he didn’t want to aggravate the situation further. So, he let her alone.

After some time, James felt a tap on his shoulders. He instantly looked up to see Lara standing by his side.

Lara stared at him for a while and lowered her gaze to the floor. “Sorry” she muttered under her breath. She actually meant it.

What happens If I say, I don’t need your sorry, now.

He fought a silent war in his mind.

Be ready for another battle, if you say that.

His mind warned him.

“I said sorry” Lara’s voice echoed distracting James from his thoughts.

“Hey, it’s okay baby. You need not ask sorry. The mistake is mine.”

Idiot… Why are you so easy on her? Give her the tough time in convincing you.

“No James. I am wrong. I shouted at you right?”

What should I tell her now? Yes or no?

James remained silent without telling anything. Lara hugged him softly and James couldn’t resist than holding her close to him.

“Where is my gift, James?” Lara queried with her head resting on his chest and her arms around his neck.

Is this why she talked to me? Whatever is the reason, she is finally normal

James let out a sigh of relief.

He then clutched her shoulders and propelled her away from him making her stand close to him. He then requested her to close her eyes. James smiled abruptly when she obeyed him instantly. He then slid his hand inside his pocket and took his hands out with his palms closed, clasping something tightly.

He slowly took Lara’s hands in his and slid the ring in her ring finger. Lara couldn’t wait to see the gift and she instantly opened her eyes without waiting for his command.

“Wow! This is astonishing” Lara squealed in joy and kissed ring hard. The ring was shining with all green and Lara’s eyes sparkled on seeing the ring.

“James, you are a load of surprises today. Thank you so much” she said and hugged him tightly to express her gratitude.

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