Five Times

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Chapter 13

May 16, 2018

“What can we do now, king?” asked one of the whales to Whalros.

The whole whale community had gathered in the ballroom of Whalros’ palace. After the incident with the snorkeling trainer, Anne, no one dared to enter underwater. Even if they did, they came with the high protection against whales. So, everyone including Whalros was confused about what to do next.

Whalros was sitting in the throne, with his eyes closed. He was in deep thought while all others stood in front of him crossing their hands across their chest. They were eagerly waiting for his command.

After some time, Whalros quickly bolted his eyes open and said, “I have a plan, but...” his voice trailed off.

“But, will you people do it without fail?” Whalros asked everyone, furrowing his eyes in doubt.

“We will do. Tell us the plan.” They said in unison.

“Okay, then listen to me,” said Whalros and elaborated the actual plan to the other whales. Everyone’s eyes sparkled in joy on hearing the plan.

The sun had spread its rays all over Andaman by 4.30 am itself. The streaks of sun pierced every nook and corner and the whole of Andaman shined.

Lara pulled the blanket off from James forcefully and tried to get him out of the bed. But James was in deep sleep. Lara clasped his shoulders and shook him, hoping to get a positive result. But she was too immature to know his tricks. She tugged his ear and shouted right into the small hole.

“James, Get up! Get up!”

All she heard was some babbling voice along with his moans, “Hmm…Lara, please don’t disturb me.”

Lara breathed out, rolling her eyes in irritation, with her hands supporting her hips. For a while, she looked at James, who was sleeping peacefully like a child. Her bad mood swiftly changed on seeing his cute face. She then decided to let him sleep for some more time and she sat in front of the mirror just opposite to the bed, to set her hair. It was at that time, Lara noticed James’ head tilting up a little and when she was about to turn around, he was back to the same position.

Making fun in the very morning!

Lara eyes and mouth parted for a second and then she was back to normal soon. She didn’t miss the slight smirk on his lips. She slowly ran to the other side of the bed and reached for water. But before she could splash the water on his face, James sprang up from the bed and stopped her.

“Okay, Lara, Chill. I am up” said James with the wink.

“Stop the fun. Go, get ready” said Lara with the false anger running all over her face.

“Sure, my love,” said James and rushed into the bathroom.

By 5.30 am, there was a great crowd of people in Phoenix Bay Jetty harbor, waiting for the arrival of the ferry to reach various islands from Port Blair. Well, the cruise would start only by 6.30, but all the checking things would take an hour or so. The moment, the checking process started, there was a mad rush of people pushing one another to get into the ferry. One poor thing that we need to accept is the government has no place arranged there, for so many tourists to sit or relax. Everyone was in such a rush and all were just banging around entry and exit points.

Poor government! Poor public!

Lara and James finally managed to get onto the ferry that would take them to Havelock Island. At the same time, Adhi and Abi family too boarded the same cruise. After some formal hello’s and hi’s with Abi and Ahana, Lara and James took their time to enjoy the view.

The ship started exactly at 6.30 am. The ferry travel was really soothing and relaxing. Many were standing in the porch of the cruise to have an ocean view. The thought of being surrounded by blue water made Lara excited. James and Lara were standing in the porch, leaning on the support and enjoying the gentle wind. The view at the bottom of the ferry and the white foams of water that was repelled out of the ship was breathtaking.

Lara was busy soaking herself in the beauty of nature until a wave of nausea engulfed her.

“James, I am feeling abnormal,” said Lara, cupping her mouth with her hands.

“Hey, what happened, Lara?” James asked in a worried tone.

“I don’t know. I feel like vomiting.” Lara uttered every word with great difficulty.

“Oh! I think it is because of motion sickness. Did you carry the tablets with you?” questioned James.

Lara looked at him worried and shook her head sideways. James helped her to the seat and made her take a sip of water to feel better. But that changed nothing. Lara constantly cupped her mouth and massaged her throat. The feel was disgusting to her. Other travelers even turned around to look at her only to embarrass her more. She cursed herself for being a mess during the trip and spoiling the good time. She tilted her head and rested on James’ shoulder, still rubbing her throat.

“Shall I ask someone for tablets?” James asked politely.

Lara just waved her hands saying no. Suddenly she jolted back and sat straight in her seat hoping to get some air.

“Why are you sweating like this, Lara?” James said touching her forehead gently.

She kept on swallowing her saliva and she couldn’t tolerate the loathing sensation. She tried to manage as much as she could, but she failed.

“Please, James, get the tablets. I can’t manage.” Lara leaned down clutching her mouth, stomach and whatever she could to control her from puking.

“Jesus! Please get me the tablets” Lara muttered to herself.

When James was about to hop up from the chair, Lara felt a hand on her shoulders.

She jerked to the side where Diya was standing. Her hand was clasped by her grandmother, Saritha. The little girl smiled at Lara innocently and extended her closed palm to her.

Lara narrowed her brows in confusion and looked at Saritha.

“We saw you being sick and got you the tablets,” said Saritha in a concerned tone.

Lara sweetly smiled at Diya and took the tablets from her while uttering a soft, “Thank you, baby,”

As soon as Diya and Saritha left the place, Lara looked at James astonished.

“What Lara?”

“How sweet the small girl is! Great nah?” exclaimed Lara.

“Hmm…Yeah…” he said and looked at Diya’s direction and smiled.

“Okay, first take the tablet before you vomit anything” James advised Lara and she followed as she was said.

Lara gulped down the tablet and leaned back on the seat breathing deeply. James sat beside her and comforted her while he constantly glanced at Diya who was standing at a distance and his lips unknowingly let out a smile. Lara had no idea that it was all because of the ring she has.

Adhi had started his session and Abi and Ahana were sitting adjacent to him with Abi, clutching Ahana tightly.

“Tell me Abi. What incident made you an androphobic?” asked Adhi sitting with his elbows resting on his lap. Even though he knew everything, he wanted Abi to talk out.

“I am sure something had happened. When did it happen? Which class are you then?” asked Adhi raising his voice.

Abi squeezed her eyes and her nose flared in anger. She was irritated by his questions about her past. She didn’t make any eye contact with Adhi. She held her head low with her eyes closed.

She took a deep breath and replied, “Fifth.”

“What happened in your fifth class?” Adhi analyzed Abi’s growing frustration towards him.

Those harrowing memories still had its effect on Abi. Every time she thought of that, she would feel like her body being ripped apart. The session with Adhi didn’t ease her pain even a little. Rather it just aggravated her agony. She hated Adhi to the core for recollecting everything that she actually wanted to forget.

Abi instantly turned towards him and shouted a little above her normal pitch. “Are you enjoying my pain? Can’t you see that I am hurt? Why are you digging my past?” By this time, Abi’s eyes had turned bright red and had welled up.

Adhi patiently looked at her eyes for a while which was fuming in anger. He then sat straight and crossed his arms over his chest. Adhi silently replied, “The reason is, only from your past, I can find a solution for your future.”

Abi turned the other side and compressed her eyes more.

“Tell him everything Abi. He will help you” advised Ahana.

I don’t need anyone’s help.

Abi wanted to yell her heart out. But, she knew that it would be of no use. Again she had to see her parents crying for her that would get her more pain than she was now experiencing. So, she convinced herself and started narrating everything to Adhi.

Her body uncontrollably trembled while she was unfolding that incident. Her voice shook and she had to stop in between to gasp for breath. Adhi too couldn’t bear the pain in his heart. Yet he controlled himself not to express anything. He kept on gulping the lump in his throat and was listening to Abi with a firm heart. Once she was done, her eyelashes failed to hold her tears and she burst out, hugging Ahana for comfort.

Adhi couldn’t manage after that. His eyes too became wet and he suddenly excused himself.

The more Abi cried, she felt her pain subsiding from her heart a bit.This was the first time, she herself had spit out the truth from her mouth. Even on that day of that incident, it was that lady who saved her, narrated everything to her parents. After that no one dared to talk to Abi about this and she kept it to herself. Today, under compulsion, Abi had no other way to escape and she blurted out everything. That actually helped her as she felt relieved.

Lara was back to normal. They again decided to have the ocean view and started towards the porch. The moment they took the first step, something more furious happened. Some heavy rod-like thing hit the plank of the ship harder on the right side and made the cruise tumble swaying it to the left. Before they could guess what had happened, everyone present in the ship was being thrown to the left side. Some had clutched to something and balanced themselves while some others were badly hit on the chairs and door.

The ship was filled with screeching sounds all over. The ship was dangling on both the sides frightening everyone. The fear of being sunk in the sea was evident in each other’s face. All they could do was just pray and yelp.

In this total Chaos, Lara didn’t notice the ring missing in her hand. The moment the rod hit the plank, her ring loosened and stuck in between the seats.

“God, please save us.” Lara cried aloud. But the situation was getting worse by each passing minute.

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