Five Times

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Chapter 14

P.S: Hi readers. Sorry for the inconvenience. A small request from my side. I need some of you who had already read chapter 13, to re read it and then come back to this chapter because I had made some alterations in Chapter 13. Don't forget to leave your valuable feedback. Thank you.

James clutched the seat tighter and lent his hand to Lara. But it was too late. She lost her balance and swung to the opposite side of the ship. Lara was trying to hold on, but all she could do was just bang on the seats and scream in pain, that added to the worst.

“Lara!” James yelled in a high pitched voice but Lara couldn’t hear James, as the ship was filled with howling sounds all over.

The next moment James released his grip and followed Lara to save her. He was conscious enough to grip something tighter with every move and he clasped Lara’s hands before she could slam the side glass door of the ship. By that time, the ferry too came to the normal position.

But it didn’t last for more than a second. The same thing that hit the ship first now thrashed the other side of the ship. As everyone became aware, they gripped the holder or whatever they got and made them firm. So, the next hit didn’t throw them as like the first. Everyone was swinging inside the vessel, howling extremely. Every parent was hugging their children while crying at the top of their voice. The scream and cry of the people inside the ship filled the air.

No one had even a second to think what was happening. Adhi held on to the holder with one hand and lifted Diya with other, who was rolling down. Diya wrapped her arms around Adhi’s neck. Luckily, Abi and Ahana were sitting firm in their seat and gripping it harder. But their eyes were fixed at Adhi who was holding Diya.

“Hold me tighter, Diya. Don’t worry. You will be safe” convinced Adhi and tried to reach the seat.

"Clutch him well Diya." Ahana and Abi shouted at Diya in between their sobs.

The swaying of the ship had really given a tough job for everyone inside the ferry. They couldn’t save them that easily. They were trying their best to avoid drowning in the water.

Adhi carefully took his step towards the seat with his both the hands lifted above gripping the metal holder. He was nearing the seat and leaned forward to lend Diya to Ahana. But another hit threw him to the opposite side along with Diya. In a sudden shock, Diya’s grip around Adhi loosened and she dragged down his body before gripping his shirt. Diya was squealing in fear and her nails were digging Adhi’s skin. No matter his shirt didn’t protect him. As Diya was clutching his shirt, her weight was pulling him down and he couldn’t balance well as he did before. Also, while being flown to the other side, some sharp materials scratched Adhi’s hands and as a result of it, blood rushed down his hands. He cried in pain at the same time flying in the air with no contact except his hands which was still holding the metal object.

“Diya! Adhi!” everyone exclaimed in shock. Abi and Ahana tried to get up and come forward to save Diya.

“You stay there!” Adhi yelled aloud that stopped them. All were shouting and yelling to save one another. Not only Adhi, but many others had suffered injuries after getting smashed against hard things.

When the swing was minimal, Adhi carefully left his one hand and again lifted Diya up to the same position. Time went on and the struggle came to an end but the dangling of the ship was not. Adhi, Diya, James, Lara, and many others had safely reached the seat and gripped it.

They were literally experiencing a Columbus ride in the middle of the sea. Even though they have the life jackets on, the fear of landing right in the sea water is just scary. The helm of the vessel couldn’t even move the ship for an inch and he had already sent the emergency signal to the harbor. The children were crying in fear, clasping the hands of their parents. The sobbing sounds and the pool of tears filled the ferry.

At the end of every tragedy, something good follows. The same happened here. Though the constant wagging of the ship frightened everyone, it had bought the ring out of the grip. Now, the ring too was moving right and left, following the rhythm of the ship. But no one saw the ring bouncing in the floor as each one was busy praying for them.

But God had different plans.

When the ferry swing to the left, the ring rolled over the floor to its left and stopped hitting James’ legs. Lara was closing her eyes and muttering the prayer. When James felt something hooking at his foot, he leaned down to check with that. He gaped in shock at the look of the green ring lying under his foot. He quickly looked at Lara’s fingers. The ring was missing.

God! How did it come here?

He carefully loosened his one hand and leaned down to pick it up. OMG! The ship had again been rocked to the other side and the ring rolled away from him.

“Lara, the ring,” James yelled and without waiting for Lara, he left his grip on the seat and fell down.

“James, what are you doing?” Lara cried in horror and the next moment she too fell on the floor following him.

“What are you guys doing? Are you mad?” There were too many abuses following Lara and James. But they didn’t even care.

They were straightly dragged to the opposite side of the ferry by the force of the hit. James extended his arm to get hold of the ring and he neared it. But, even before getting it, the ship again swayed to the opposite side and so were he, Lara and the ring. Lara and James collided with each other wailing in pain. But this time, James and Lara seized the metal object that was standing high and they were lying on the floor flat. When the ring was about to cross them, James clenched the ring with both his hands and prodded it to Lara's finger.

But it was too late to note that he had left both his hands and was now scraping in the floor. The most dreadful thing was that he was moving upside down. His head would bang straight at the metal edge of the seats if not stopped.

“James, hold something,” Lara was shouting harder. Both their actions made everyone in the ship panic and they all were bawling at them.

James was waving his hands on both the sides hoping to get something safer before his life could end.

“James! Please hold on, James” Lara was sobbing heavily and she couldn’t see James struggling. So, she squeezed her eyes harder.

God! Please save James. Stop him now. Please.

The next moment the ship came to halt. James was lying flat in the floor, with his head just inches away from the seats. Not even a slight shake could be found on the ship. There was a pin drop silence inside the ship and everyone were looking at each other unbelievable. Lara stood up and ran towards James, who was absolutely alright and hugged him passionately.

Everyone slowly got up from their seat and was truly surprised at the deafening silence. Some looked still frightened, not able to come out of the fear.

Lara, James and all others were totally confused about the sudden change. At the same time, the helper ship arrived with safety measures for the passengers and some were jumping into the sea to check the cause for this unfortunate thing.

“The emergency team arrived at the right time and saved us” A voice came from the crowd and everyone nodded and cheered.

Diya still looked terrified and clasped Ahana’s arms. She silently called out Adhi and he turned towards Diya instantly.

“Uncle, will this happen again?” she asked in a shaky voice.

Adhi smiled and got up from his seat and neared Diya. He cupped her face lovingly and said, “No, baby. We will reach safely. Don’t worry. If anything happens, I am here to save you, baby”

Diya’s lips promptly extended to a sweet smile. “Thank you, uncle,” she said and looked at Ahana.

“Loads of thank you won’t be sufficient Adhi. You did a great thing.” Ahana said while a drop of tear gushed down her cheeks.

“Sissy, don’t be formal. Please relax.” Adhi raised his palms in the air and tried to comfort Ahana.

“Hey, blood is oozing out, Adhi” Abi cried out in shock closing her mouth. Adhi had covered the blood with his sleeves earlier to prevent anyone from noticing it. He didn’t want to create an embarrassing situation. But the constant blood flow had turned his white shirt to partially red.

Suddenly the tension filled the space around him. His mom, dad came running with the first aid box to treat him.

They made then sit at the seat adjacent to Abi, separated by a pathway. His parents surrounded him with the kit. “It’s okay dad. I am fine.” Adhi tried to avoid the medicine. But his efforts failed. Abi’s parents and Adhi’s parents were fixing the wound in his hands. The cut was bit deep and it took a while in cleaning the blood and dressing it. Abi, Ahana, and Diya were looking at Adhi with painful heart.

Adhi was finally let free after bandaging his wound and he huffed aloud in relief.

“Are you okay uncle?” Diya’s concerned tone had melted him.

He looked at Diya and nodded his head in approval before saying, “I am fine, Diya, cool.”

Even Ahana cared for Adhi and asked about his health. But Abi just had her head down and didn’t even look at his side.

Adhi smiled to himself seeing Abi and sat straight. But within a second, he felt a pair of eyes watching him and he swiftly turned around to meet the pair of almond colored eyes.

Abi looked at him with concern in her face and a smile on her lips. Adhi could feel thousands of butterflies flying in his stomach as this was the time Abi had smiled at him from her heart. He was so happy that at least he had won a small part of her heart.

He reciprocated the same smile in return. Abi slowly breathed out, looked straight at his eyes and softly muttered, “Thanks.”

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