The next morning came late than usual; well I did not know why I was so restless. It was not only the eagerness to see Linds, but also there was someone inside me who could not sit silently. My inner human was doing flip-flop and it was hurting me.
The day before, after Andrew asked me to help Linds, I did not know why I could not say NO. I could have easily swapped job with Andrew, but I guessed it must be a very good experience at the orphanage. After I agreed to go with her, I also accompanied her in choosing the books for the kids. I was amazed at her talent to search for so many kinds of books, featuring colorful covers, small stories with morals, alphabets and so many. I had never known about those books even if I were there for fifteen days. I found it quite amazing to go through the books.
She kept on talking to me, sometimes diverting from the books and talking about herself. I never let her know how much I paid attention to her words; I just acted like it was nothing to me. Finally when she left me, I just kept looking behind her. She had given me her mobile number, so that she would call me in the morning to inform when I had to start.
Unintentionally my eyes darted towards my mobile every ten minutes thinking 'Did I miss any call from her.'
It was a Saturday, so we had to open the shop an hour late. Andrew was taking his time to wake up and get ready, while I was already ready and waiting downstairs for breakfast. Soon he appeared and went to the kitchen to get some sandwich and juice. I had learned to prepare sandwich.
"Carson." I looked up from my plate, a piece of bread still in my mouth.
"Why don’t you drive today? I know the last time I asked you to drive, you almost knocked us down, but still there is no harm in trying again right." Andrew said looking in between me and his juice.
Yeah, last time, which was 3 days before, Andrew told me that before I lost my memory I was very good at driving, I loved my car so much in the past. He asked me to try to see if I could still drive. But it would have definitely before six years before and I highly doubted if I could drive after six years. Anyway I agreed to drive and surprisingly it was not very tough. Well, I was losing balance every now and then, but I was not afraid under Andrew’s guidance. After some ten minutes, I almost had a good hand on the steering except just before we reached the shop.
You could call it excitement; I was almost going to knock to the tree. I had not at all realized it until Andrew took a hold of the steering. Then only I realized how close I was to the tree, my breath had stopped by that time. So while returning when Andrew asked me to drive I had denied because there was some fear which was growing against me, but I knew it did not sound good that a twenty-four year old could not learn driving. So I had to agree.
I moved the bread to one side of my mouth while trying to speak.
"Yeah, I could give it a try."
And we both started and even more surprisingly than the previous time, I was confident like I had been driving for years. It was smooth and I drove without caring about anybody. Soon we were at the bookshop and as soon as I stopped, my phone rang. While Andrew was busy parking the car, I started to open the shop and arrange the things while talking to Linds.
Once I finished talking to her, I turned to speak with Andrew, but he seemed to have understood everything in advance.
"Her books are there I guess." He said pointing to the chair near the wall. Boy, those were two huge bundles of book; it must have cost her a lot.
"I will be back by lunch I guess." I said and went to carry the books.
"I don’t think so." Came Andrew’s amused reply.
"Why?" I asked in a broken voice as half of my energy was wasted in carrying the books.
"Nothing, what time Mark will come?"
Why did he change the topic and Mark would come in his usual time. Anyway, I replied "at three" and turned towards the door. I was almost out of the door when Andrew called my name.
"Take this." He tossed the car keys towards me and with great difficulty; I managed to hold it in my hands even though I was carrying heavy things. The next exchange between us were not words, smile could fill up the silence. Once the books were in the backseat, I started driving occasionally asking about the address she gave me.
Her apartment came into my view after some time and I parked in front of it. So I guessed, she did not have so much money, otherwise why she did not have her own house. That was not my business anyway, I went up in the elevator and reached in front of the door number plated 309. Without hesitation, I ringed the calling bell and then she appeared beautiful as always.
You could call it feelings what I was feeling for her, but if you could read my mind, then you would know it was not only feelings, it was accompanied with some familiarities and some unintentional fear. She smiled and said, "hello."
I nodded and smiled.
How rude? She definitely would have thought like this because I acted like I was dumb. But I could not find any trace of confusion or anger towards my indifferent behavior towards her; probably it was sympathy that she knew I had lost memory. I shrugged the thought aside and started walking away with her, following me after locking the door behind us.
She started going inside the garage to take her car out. I wasn't that bad after all, so I stopped her and showed her Andrew’s car. She smiled brightly and followed me. Somehow I felt so happy seeing her smile.
Once we were in the car, she started giving me directions for the orphanage. Despite the confidence I showed in the morning, I still could feel my hands shaking at first when I started driving to the place. But soon I overcome the awkwardness. Meanwhile she kept talking about the orphanage and I listened intently giving occasional nods at times. She seemed to be emotionally attached to the kids.
Soon we were at the orphanage. She rushed inside along with her big bag and I took out the books and followed her. There were kids of ages four to fourteen scattered around the place. Some of them just playing, some watering some plants, some just planting some small herbs, some were drawing something on white sheets and some just chatting. When I went inside, I could see some kids helping the staff in cleaning and some were studying.
Linds stopped almost at every bunch of students and said "hello" to them. All small children cheered, others smiled and some hugged her. She might be a usual visitor here. I placed the books on a table, allowing my muscles to relax and took a deeper look around the surroundings. Everything seemed so natural, so calm, so cheerful yet so peaceful, happiness prevailed everywhere.
Linds got busy in taking out chocolates from her big bag and distributing among the children. Some small kids started fighting for each other’s chocolate and Linds wasted no time in spoiling them by giving extra chocolates. I was amused. Then she waved towards me and mouthed to bring the books and without a question, I obeyed.
Both of us started distributing the books and soon I let myself lose in between the kids. I was smiling and laughing freely. I was happy - one reason for seeing Linds being a kid all over again and letting myself be like the kids. I was playing with them and forgot about everything in the world. I could not remember when I was so happy last time. Time flew by and I only realized how late it was when it was time to leave.
On the way back, I had thought to drop Linds at her home and back to the shop. But Linds did not seem to have the same idea.
"How about lunch?" She asked, but I did not know what to do. If I said her no, it would be rude, if I said yes, I did not know what to do. Linds was clever though.
Without waiting for me to answer, she said "Take a left" and surprisingly I obeyed her command.
"You are going to love this." She said cheerfully and I honestly expected to love whatever it is. Only that it took me half an hour drive to her lovable dining called "Jason’s Beachside Grille." Only then I realized that I had never thought about the beach that could be here. She asked me to follow her to the restaurant and we ordered some simple food. It was great with taste and we enjoyed it to the core. At the end of the meal, I went to pay the bill, though I had less money, but she stopped me.
"I brought you here, so my treat." Without giving me a chance to argue, she paid the bill. Now I was enjoying her company and did not want to go back, but I knew I had to go back. I wondered why Andrew had not called once. Anyway again surprising me, she asked me to follow her, which I obliged all over again. And then the sound of waves hit my ear, it was a pure bless and within a very short time, I could see the blue... blue water. I was amazed at the beauty.
Linds kept going near the beach, but I could not go inside. I did not know why, but my legs were adamant to move. Linds then came towards me and dragged me holding my hand. I could not understand what emotions boiled up inside me that time, but somehow I ended up in the shallow water. The cool feeling healed my body and soul. Finally after spending an hour there and not getting completely wet, we made our way back.
"It’s like a date." She murmured loud enough to hear once I started driving. And for some reason it did not feel right. The familiar pain was starting to wink in my head. I concentrated, concentrated hard on the road. She kept looking out of the window, throwing occasional glances at me, but my mind was somewhere. Some dusty pictures appeared in front of my eyes.
At first I could not see everything clearly, but soon everything was clear enough to me. I saw a large luggage carrier coming towards us, or more like we were going towards it. It was not yet evening, but the headlights of my car were on and everything looked so dark. In the distance I could hear some irritating sounds, some sound which I was desperately trying to run away. And then before I could realize, I had already crashed to the vehicle.
I let out a loud scream and held my hands in defense in front of my face. The sound which was in the distance started coming close and I found myself lying somewhere else. My eyes were starting to close before I could think of how much blood was scattered all over the place. Then I could hear somebody calling my name loudly "CARSON!"
I immediately removed my hands from my face and looked around only to find that everything was in its place. Well not everything, the car had stopped somewhere, the handbrake was in Linds' hands and a frown accompanying her shocked and worried face.
@Cheyennne - Well, while I am posting this chapter, it's evening, so good evening... Hope you like this chapter.
@Tamika - Thank you so much for the wishes and prayers, they helped. I am much better now. And as always, you had got a lot of responsibilities, but I am not going to reveal any. After all it is a mystery story. Let's see where it goes.
@Smilesss - Every chapter will open a little more mystery, let's see where it goes.
@XXscenegurlXx - Thank you, hope you like this chapter.
@Mahak - Thanks so much for you kind words, hope you like this chapter.
@Honey - Thanks, I missed you all too. Hope you like this chapter.