Five Times

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Chapter 17

Back in the seashell resort, Abi had a bad headache because of the bad experience in the boat ride. So, she was advised to rest till noon and all the others went to the nearby beaches for the sightseeing.

Abi was peacefully dozing off in her bed without knowing what awaits her. She heard a slow knock at the door but she didn’t care to open it because she was afraid that her sleep would be disturbed. She covered her face with the pillow and hugged it tightly. She felt something odd when she did that but she didn’t care.

Again the intensity of the knock increased that came as an alarm sound along with Ahana’s voice.

“Abi, we are moving out. Are you joining with us?” she asked in a high pitched tone.

Abi heard her sound bit by bit and said, “No, I am not coming,” She actually mumbled to herself that it didn’t reach Ahana’s ears.

“Abi, Can you hear me? Are you coming or shall I move?” Ahana again shouted.

“I said you can move, Ahana,” said Abi little irritated still closing her eyes.

“Okay, then take care,” said Ahana but she didn’t move. Rather, she stood there along with Adhi waiting for the next response from Abi.

At the same time, Abi felt bad for shouting at Ahana and thought of apologizing. The headache was actually gone and she felt free.

I think I should join Ahana.

She thought to herself and started to open her eyes. At first, she was not sure what she saw in the pillow. So, she rubbed her eyes well and parted it to see the pillow.

Her eyes widened in shock and she breathed heavily. The only sound that came from her was, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!,” She screamed louder and louder that her throat could tear off any moment.

It was a photograph of a man pasted in the pillow she hugged while sleeping, that made her scream in anger and fear.

Her hands shivered and she took the pillow and threw it. Tears were already flowing down her cheeks and she was shivering badly. Only then, she raised her eyes to look through the room.

Again she was taken aback. The whole room was filled with pictures of so many men. She didn’t even know who they are, but she was sure all were men.

“Ahana, Ahana…..” she kept on shouting in between her sobs. But she couldn’t get anything in reply.

Ahana couldn’t cope with her sister crying like that. She wanted to console her. She looked at Adhi pathetically.

“No sis. You should not reply to her now. Believe me, it will work. We can cure her. But, you should cooperate with me, please,” pleaded Adhi to which Ahana had no other way.

“Ahana, are you here? Please take me out Ahana, please,” Abi cried and scowled but nothing she could hear in return.

She rushed to the door. Even the door has so many pictures pasted in it. Abi became mad. She averted her gaze down and held the knob to open the door.

“God! It is locked!” she exclaimed in shock.

“Who the hell did like this?” she screamed in furry. “Ahana, I am sorry for shouting at you. I should have come with you. I couldn’t tolerate this here.” Abi sobbed a lot.

She couldn’t stare at the pictures on the door more and she went back to the bed and sat at the center of the bed, covering her face. Suddenly she remembered her phone. She checked the table where she left her phone. But it was not there.

She didn’t feel cheated because she partially expected it.

It is a perfect plan to trap me.

She got back to the bed and couldn’t look anywhere than looking down. She felt disgusted and awkward. She bought her knee closer to her chest and rested on her knees sobbing continuously.

She didn’t want to tear any photographs because she clearly didn’t want to even touch those pictures. It felt really disgusting to her.

She understood that she couldn’t escape from this room just like that because it was Adhi’s plan.

Why did you do this Adhi? You are not curing me rather; you are making me more fragile.

Abi set her mind to be there in the room with her heads down or eyes closed. But nature had some other plans. Time passed on.

She sat with the tear-soaked eyes which pained a lot as a result of squeezing it for a long time. Headache too came in place again. She pressed both the sides of her forehead and sat with heads down, looking at her lap.

But, who can resist nature’s call? She had already been controlling it for half an hour. She cuddled herself in the bed pressing her knees together. She didn’t want to stare at the pictures that were in the bathroom door.

But she couldn’t resist for more. She felt the pain in her abdomen raise.

God! Why do you make me suffer this much?

“I won’t spare you Adhi. I won’t ever forgive you. I would never do that.” She shouted furiously that very well reached Adhi’s ears. He was still outside the room with Ahana.

He laughed at Abi’s words. “There is no need to forgive me,” He muttered under his breath.

Ahana watched Adhi with confusion evident in her eyes.

Adhi understood her thought and said to her, “Sissy, Don’t worry. You can leave now. I can take care of her,”

“But Adhi, how will you manage? She is so angry on you,”

“I know sister. But I know how to handle her. It will take more than an hour. So, you leave now to elephant beach. Everyone will be waiting for you,”

Ahana didn’t know what to respond. She looked at Adhi sadly and nodded before leaving.

Once Ahana went out of sight, Adhi again smiled looking at the door of Abi’s room. He then rested himself on the coach which is right opposite to the room and heard Abi’s murmurs.

Back in the room, Abi was having a tough time. The pain was on the peak. So she finally decided to use the restroom. She rushed into the bathroom only to be shocked again.

She expected the pictures on the door of the bathroom but not inside it. But she saw what she didn’t expect.

“Ahhhh….You are such a cheap guy, Adhi. How could you do this? Awee…all men are the same. They are disgusting.” She again shouted with all her energy.

“I can’t accept this. I have to do something now.” She said to herself and thought for a while.

After a few seconds, she made up her mind. She neared the wall where the photographs are pasted. She squeezed her eyes tighter and within a spark, she tore all of those she could get in contact with. She continued to tear all the pictures from the wall of the bathroom and tore everything to pieces.

She then came out and dumped it in the dustbin. She felt utterly relaxed. She then went into the bathroom and closed the door shut.

“Mmm, it’s working,” Adhi whispered.

Abi stayed in the bathroom for nearly an hour because that was the only place she was free from the men pictures. Yet she couldn’t stay there for long. She finally came out and hung her head low and reached the bed.

“Why can’t I tear these too?” she thought for a while and jumped into action the next second.

But now, she was not closing her eyes rather; she kept it opened. She didn’t focus on any men in the pictures. She simply thought it as garbage and started tearing it.

But the pictures were a lot more in the hall than in the bathroom. Soon her hands started pinning. She stopped for a while. Still the walls had 75% of the pictures.

“No, I can handle the pain than looking at these,” She again resumed her work. But that was not easy for her.

She felt exhausted and felt really thirsty. But she didn’t look for the water because she very well knew that it won’t be there.

Such a tricky man!

She fell down tired on the bed breathing heavily and dozed off. She woke up after 30 minutes and realized that she had slept unknowingly.

She looked around her. There were still 50% of the pictures in the wall.

“What to do with these remaining pictures?” She kept on thinking.

“Abi, these are just the photographs. You need not worry actually. They are reel and not real,” she said to her heart and she felt relieved.

She then looked above the roof to see 10 pictures of men smiling at her. And you know what Abi did? She too smiled meekly at the pictures.

Abi sat straight and laughed to herself thinking about what she had done at first when she looked at the picture in the pillow.

Finally, she started to accept it because she understood that she had no other way.

Abi came near the door and shouted, “Is anyone there outside. Please open the door. I need some fresh air,”

Adhi heard Abi’s voice clearly. Yet he didn’t want to open the door.

Abi felt a bit upset on getting no response. “Okay, I can rest a bit more,” She said and again cuddled herself under the bed sheet.

She had a deep sleep. After an hour she woke up with the smiling face. Her mind felt fresh and she felt new. She didn’t care about the pictures on the wall.

She walked up to the door and knocked again. “Please open the door. Tell that mad Adhi that I am okay,” She said with great irritation.

“Open the door,” She became more irritated and she held the knob and clinked it down. Soon the door swayed open.

“Hey, when was it unlocked?” She felt happy and rushed out of the room and took a deep breath standing outside her room. She rushed to the coach which was empty in front of her room and relieved herself there. She drank the water from the jug until her quest was gone.

She finished the full jug and placed it in the table. At the same time, Adhi came in front of her.

All the anger that was within her rose and reached its peak. Adhi came near her and stood right in front of Abi. Abi stood up in a jerk and glared at Adhi. Her nose flared in anger. They stood with just inches gap between them.

“So, how are you?” Adhi started the conversation with a lovely smile and that’s all Abi needed. She just exploded like a volcano.

“Are you mad? I doubt whether you are really a psychiatrist doctor or a psychiatric patient. How can you be so cheap? Is this the way of treating patients? Don’t you know how to handle a girl? You have pasted men’s pictures even inside the bathroom. Why did you do that? If you don’t know how to treat me, then just leave me. Don’t try something that’s so stupid,” she blurted out everything she has inside her and stared right at him for his response.

All this time, Adhi stood there with his hands crossed. He was carrying the same smile he had at first when he started the conversation.

His smile made Abi more furious. “I am talking to you,” she confirmed again.

“And I am hearing,”

Abi closed her and took a deep breath and asked, “Tell me why you are smiling like this? Is there something written in my face to laugh like this?” she asked partially gritting her teeth.

“Oh god! Why are you so tough? Feel easy.” He said raising his hands in the air.

Abi crossed her arms and looked away from him.

“Okay, I will tell you the reason for my smile,” he said and observed Abi for a while.

Adhi then pointed his hand towards Abi and said, “A girl who is afraid of men is talking to a boy,” he pointed the same hand towards him now and continued, “that too staring right at him,” he pointed his hands towards his eyes and said, “for more than five minutes,”

Adhi looked at Abi’s changing expressions and continued.

“And, you know what? She didn’t leave after talking to the boy. She waited for that boy’s response and that made that boy glad because that girl had started to recover.”

Abi instantly looked at Adhi in shock. She didn’t believe that she was standing closer to Adhi and was talking to him. She suddenly stepped back and started feeling nervous.

Adhi noticed her behavior and said, “If the fear is subsiding, let it be. Don’t provoke it again.”

Abi looked at him with wide eyes.

“You have started to recover. First, you believe that.” Adhi’s voice was firm.

Abi just nodded and both were silent for some time.

“Shall we move now?” Adhi again started the conversation.

“Where?” The reply came so soon.

“To the elephant beach. All the others were waiting for us at the beach.”

Abi gasped in shock after hearing this. She hesitated to go with him. After all, he is a man right?

Adhi sensed her hesitation and said, “It would be better if we both go there together because we need to walk a bit through the forest. I don’t know how it will be for a girl to walk alone in the big forest.”

Abi looked confused. Adhi didn’t fail to notice that.

“If you want to go alone, that’s fine. I have no problem.” Adhi said and looked at her through the corner of his eyes.

Abi was afraid of walking in the forest alone because she had no idea about what else will be there in the forest except green trees and birds.

Now, Abi had no other way than to accompany him. Also, she didn’t want to spend the remaining day in this same room. So she agreed.

Both of them headed towards the elephant beach. She felt a little uncomfortable to go with Adhi, but she was not afraid of Adhi now because she had started to recover.

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