Alarm on Perun’s phone rang and he opened his eyes. To his surprise, he saw he was lying in bed, and Malina laid next to him resting her head on his shoulder. He realized she didn’t go away that night; and if until then there was some doubt that she was just a dream and he had never really seen her, today’s picture dispelled every question. He touched her hair and she opened her eyes. She smiled and caressed his hair.
“I didn’t want to leave,” said she.” May I stay for a while?”
“Of course,” said Perun. ”But, I am afraid you will be bored. I have to go to work in Zagreb. What will you do alone in the house until tonight?”
“Oh, I’ll find myself busy,” she said. “This house looks like it needs a female hand. I will make something to eat, too.”
“Sounds great. You are welcome to stay as long as you want!”
Perun jumped on his feet, and started preparing. To his surprise he realized he felt much better; his body was full of energy, and his soul joyful. Full of zest, he went to work.
On his lunch break he went to a shopping mall and renewed his fishing equipment. He bought a new fishing rod, some artificial flies, fish hooks and a big box with a fish bate. He planned that evening, when he returned to go fishing at the reservoir.
Day passed, hard like all the others. Perun returned to Bedekovcina and noticed from far away some difference in the house’s appearance; when he arrived he saw the yard in front of the house was planted with small, fragile flowers at every half of a meter. He felt delighted; he wanted to decorate the yard very much and give it some attractive look, but he didn’t believe he would find time to do it. He entered the house and the delightful smell of vegetable welcomed him; in the kitchen Malina cooked, dressed in a colorful dress and with a smile on her face. Like this, dressed up, she looked quite decent, he concluded. But she wasn’t even close to Ariana’s beauty which wouldn’t come out of his head.
“How did you spend your day?” she asked.
“Hard, as usual. Something smells nice here.”
“It’s vegetarian lasagna,” she said. “I hope you will like it.”
“I love vegetables” - said Perun.
In the dining room there was a set table, two plates and two glasses on it. Perun sat on the table, and Malina put some of the lasagna on his plate. He tried it and in the same moment realized he had never eaten anything tastier in his life. He opened his mouth to praise her, but repented in the same moment and didn’t say anything; he got afraid the praise would cause Malina to withdraw and stop trying. He liked her desire to win his heart and he wished he stayed elusive like that forever.
“Today I wasn’t thinking too much of Ariana” he said “It looks I am capable of moving on with my life after all.”
“She acted awfully” she said “lifting you up and pounding you from the ground like that.”
“You know what am I thinking… if somehow I could return to her to the same extent… Come on, suggest some revenge from a female point of view! I would like to retaliate!”
Malina opened her mouth to reproach him, but in the same moment she changed her mind. Instead of that, she returned in her chair and said with a wicked smile:
“Do not hope somebody else would punish her, it won’t happen. You need to do something about it.”
Perun stopped eating.
“What do you suggest? Something interesting?”
“Yes, let’s say this. She cheated on you and left with another man. To pay her at the same extent, you do the same.”
“Find another girlfriend?”
“Another girlfriend, or simply marry someone else?”
Perun started laughing. For a while he laughed, like Malina had said something very funny and he couldn’t stop.
“Why are you laughing?”
“Which girl would take me, jadan! (poor) If I could find a serious girl to love me, and who is ready to marry me, I would do that a long time ago. I am thirty four years old and it goes very bad in my life. Maybe it will never happen, Malina.”
“I don’t know why you are thinking that. You are such a handsome boy, Perun. You have pleasant exterior, and good character, have passion in your soul and are full of all gifts a man can have. Any girl would marry you.”
“Why am I still momak (bachelor), then? Anyway, if there is a girl that wants me, say who, so I can ask her!
“Me, for example!”
Perun looked at her.
“You would marry me?”
“Sure I would! I already told you I love you in a way.”
“Yes, you really said it last night. Is it true?”
“I felt something the same moment I squeezed through the keyhole of your door. But I wouldn’t talk to you until you showed me you have the will to live. Then I felt sorry for you! I wanted to help you somehow.”
“Malina, I know Ariana very well. Marrying you would really be a revenge for what she had done to me. And I am very, very angry! Let’s get married!”
“Yes, let’s do it!”
“Then, we will go to the marriage registrar this weekend.”