Five Times

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Chapter 20

On knowing the stupidity of his fellow whales, Whalros anger shot up to the peak. He threw tantrums at the whales till his throat went dry.

“I warned you already to not do anything senseless. Now, did you see the effect of your actions? Intelina has escaped,” Whalros’ rage was erupting like a volcano.

His eyes were burning like a red ball that would kill everyone at a glance.

After a while, one of the whales said, “Sorry king. Next time…”

“Shut up!” Whalros cut it mid half and continued. “Just stay quiet. I know my way,” he said and walked off.

Adhi sat in the corner chair in his room, indulged in deep thoughts. The incidents that had happened on the beach with Diya and the things he had sensed haunted him more.

A beep sound from his phone diverted him from his imaginations. Someone had sent Adhi a message. He opened it to check what it was.

The instant Adhi saw the sender’s name, he couldn’t believe his eyes. He was suddenly on cloud nine. Yes! It was from Abi.

“She might have got my contact from Ahana,” Adhi thought to himself and opened the chat to continue talking to her.

Abi: Hi, Adhi. Are you free now?

Of course, I am free Abi. Even if am not, I would prioritize you than anything else.

He battled for a few minutes in his mind and replied.

Adhi: Yes, I am free. Tell me.

Abi: Nothing Adhi. Just want to know that how are we going to meet Lara tomorrow?

Adhi was startled at her question.

Adhi: What? You said they will come to shopping tomorrow. I hoped to meet them there.

Abi: What? Adhi, that was not true. I just said that to convince Diya.

Adhi: OMG! What to do now? I don’t have their contacts too.

Abi: Me either.

Adhi: Hey ask Ahana whether she knows anything about them?

Abi: Okay! Will check with her and tell you.

Adhi: Sure

Adhi was not sure what to do now. Whether to be happy that he had a chat with Abi or to be worried about the upcoming dangers? Even before he could make any decision, there came another message from Abi.

Abi: They stay in Seashell resort. Ahana knows only this and doesn’t have their contacts.

Adhi: That’s fine. It’s enough. Thank you.

Abi: :-) :-)

Adhi: Good night. Sweet dreams.

Abi: You mean dreams of whales??

Adhi was surprised at her behavior. She was clearly not ending the conversation rather she was building it up. Also, she was being friendly in the chat. Adhi somehow controlled his excitement and replied.

Adhi: Not at all. Have a good sleep. Of course, you need it after this tired day.

Abi: Thank you. See you tomorrow. Good night.

May 17, 2018 (3rd day)

Morning 9 am

Diya was the first person to get ready before everyone else and was eager to meet Lara. She couldn’t wait longer to tell Lara everything that Diya had been told by Intelina.

Adhi came dressed in casuals and saw Diya sitting in the cushion in front of her room.

“Hey, Diya, got ready so soon,” he said and greeted her.

“Yes. We need to meet Lara aunty, right?”

Adhi thought for a while and answered. “No Diya. I am not taking you with me.”

“Why?” Diya shouted a little worried.

“Diya, I just heard that Lara was unwell. She was staying in her room for today which is far away from here. I even don’t know how to reach there. So I can’t take you along with me. ”

“Oh! Is it?” Diya looked convinced. Adhi didn’t believe that he had made a successful attempt in convincing her which Abi would usually do.

“Yes. So, you go with your mom and Abi. Meantime, I will meet Lara in her resort and narrate her everything. Okay?” Adhi said and smiled.

“What? Am I not accompanying you?” Abi’s voice sounded from behind Adhi.

Adhi turned to look at her questioningly. He was puzzled at her behavior from the previous night and now, she was volunteering to accompany him.

“Are you coming with me?” Adhi questioned her without believing his ears.

“Of course, Adhi. It is such a serious thing and I want to know what was happening every now and then,”

By this time, Diya had left the place giving them the private space.

“Abi, listen. You be with Diya. She might utter something unknowingly to Ahana. So…” even before he could complete, he was stopped in the middle.

“No Adhi. Diya won’t let a word to anyone. I had made her very clear about that. I am very sure about it. So I am coming with you,” she said and stopped.

She was not asking my permission; rather she was telling me her decision.

“Even Diya was convinced easily. But not you,” Adhi said with a smirk and both took leave from their family saying that they were going to meet Lara who was unwell.

Same day,

Morning 8 am

The sun’s rays had found a way into the curtains of the room and lit the whole room with its bright streaks of light.

Lara tried to adjust her eyes to the sudden brightness and slowly opened her eyes to see James still sitting in the coach deeply thinking. Lara was sure that James was engrossed in the thoughts of that suspicious thing.

“James, you didn’t sleep the entire night?” Lara sounded concerned.

Only then James cared to lift his face and look at Lara. “You got up! Good,” he tried to sound energetic but his voice failed him.

“You should have taken the sleeping pills like me, James,” Lara said little worried.

“That’s okay, Lara. I am fine,” said James but his eyes told otherwise. He averted his gaze to the window.

“I know what was disturbing you. Even I am scared about that. But what is the use of thinking about it all time?”

“What saved us from the whales? This was the question ringing in my mind till now,” said James and continued to think.

“Hmm… it is a mystery,” Lara paused for a few minutes and continued. “Do you still believe that it was the same whales that attacked the snorkeling guide?” Lara questioned.

“Hmm… Kind of,” James replied.

Lara backed off and her body started trembling again. The whole night Lara had tried to forget about the whales and with the help of medicine, it was possible.

But now she was again stuck in the trauma. It was her fear of thinking about the whales attacking the humans made her shiver, more than the whales itself. Her whole body shook.

“Hey Lara, relax. We are safe now,” James tried to console her.

“Okay come. Let’s go somewhere,” said James to which Lara gave a sudden response.

“No! No! We need not to go anywhere. The whales may attack us again,” said Lara in between her little sobs.

James paused and said, “I hope whales won’t attack in the land,” he said.

Soon, both of them got ready for the day and stormed out of the room for some fresh air that took away their painful memories of whales.

Morning 9.30 am

“Excuse me, madam, we want to meet James. Can you please tell us which room are they in?”

The lady in the reception looked at both of them puzzled and asked, “You mean James and Lara?”

“Yes, exactly,” said both Abi and Adhi in unison.

“They had just gone out,” replied the receptionist.

Adhi and Abi were not so shocked because they had half expected it. Of course, no one would stay in the room ideal after coming to Andaman, right?

“Okay, do you have any idea where they had gone to?” asked Adhi.

“I am sorry. I didn’t ask them,” replied the receptionist.

“Okay, will you please give us James’ contact number? It is really urgent,” said Adhi with a tensed tone.

The receptionist hesitatingly said, “Sorry sir, we cannot provide our customer details to anyone,”

“Please madam, we know them well. They came with us to Havelock on the same cruise. You heard of the tragedy that took place?” Abi started to negotiate with the lady in the reception.

Why is she explaining the tragedy to the receptionist now? I wish the receptionist should be a boy.

“Yeah…! That was unbelievable. I am so worried about the safety the cruise carries for the passengers,” squealed the lady in the reception.

Abi and Adhi shared a look as they know the true color behind the attack.

“Yeah…! That was really bad. So in that chaos, my mobile slipped from my hand and when fortunately Lara got hold of it, it was too late. The display was broken to pieces. I assured Lara to get my broken mobile after getting out of the ferry. But in a hurry both of us forgot about it and rushed to our respective places. We also missed to share our contacts,” Abi somehow finished her short story and breathed deep.

Where did this mobile story come from? Wow! Girls are born liars. Adhi thought to himself eyeing Abi from the corner of his eyes.

“Oh!” the lady sighed and said after a pause. “Okay. I will check and let you know their contact details,”

Hmm... She did it!

Adhi gave her an appreciating look. Few seconds passed and the lady handed the notebook which had James number. The same time when Adhi was about to note it down, Abi’s phone beeped with a call. Abi took her mobile out to check the caller.

“Call from Ahana,” said Abi forgetting the receptionist’s presence.

The lady eyed quizzically at Abi’s phone which Adhi and Abi didn’t miss to notice.

Abi gave the lady an awkward smile and said, “This was a spare mobile,” she said and winked Adhi to note down the number soon.

Adhi had already noted it down and now, he couldn’t control his laughter. He pressed his lips harder to not explode in front of the receptionist. But his happiness didn’t last for more than a second.

“What?” Abi shouted over the phone. Adhi too had stopped laughing and he turned serious.

After the call, Abi looked more worried. “What happened?” asked Adhi with at most curiosity and fear.

“Lara was there at the shopping street,” Abi revealed.

“What? Diya didn’t tell her anything right?”

Abi reaction was negative for Adhi’s question.

“Did Diya told Lara about the queen of the ocean?” asked Adhi not able to cope with the curiosity.

“No! I wish she did that. Instead, Diya told her only one thing,”

Adhi waited for Abi to respond.

Diya said, “Throw the ring. It is not yours. Throw the ring in the sea,”

“Diya said just that?” asked Adhi to which Abi nodded pathetically.

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