CHAPTER TWENTY TWO: DAYS TOGETHER
When she awoke, a rush of excitement and happiness surged through her. She looked at his sleeping form next to her and smiled happily to herself. Having snatched a few fitful hours of sleep in her nervous agitation, she had woken up two to three times within the same night and now getting up abruptly, she searched around the room for the round wall clock that she’d been watching all day. Through the window, the half light of the mild, dewy dawn told her no one was stirring yet but the joy and terror of novelty within her could not be long suppressed or managed and perceiving it was 5, she leapt out of bed and pulling out her over-night bag from under the bed, took the change of clothes she had and went into the bathroom to take a bath. The bathroom was in the same room but considerations that he was sleeping and she should not disturb him did not enter her mind and with the same nervous energy, she hung her clothes on the rod meant for the purpose and turned the shower. The sudden shockingly chill water made her give out an unexpected yelp, but before he could hear it and ask her what the matter was, she started giggling happily. She found the biting cold water pleasant for it suited her vibrant mood and started to hum a little tune to herself. After she’s finished she took the towel from the hanger and started to dry herself, but when she reached for the clothes, she saw that she’d left it on the bed. She quietly opened the door of the bathroom to see if he was awake, seeing him asleep, she wrapped the towel around her and started to tip toe to the bed to get the clothes but at that instant, he opened his eyes and sat up straight in bed and with a squeal of surprise she ran back into the bathroom. What an amusing creature she was, he thought to himself. A knock sounded on the bathroom door and her dripping wet face peeped from within, turning himself away as if to entertain her comical humour, he handed her the clothes.
“Thank you” she said nervously.
He just nodded for he knew that if he said something, he couldn’t help laughing and quietly went and took his place on the bed. She felt so embarrassed after this and dressing herself with a shy smile, she emerged out of the bathroom.
“Good morning” he told her.
“Good morning” she replied quietly.
To her surprise, he turned around as if to see if something else was there and turning to her again with a mischievous smile, said, “Good morning”. What was he doing, she thought to herself and with a puzzled look, greeted him again.
“Won’t you condescend to wish me a good morning, my dear?” he asked her annoyingly.
“I just did” she said defensively.
“Who were you speaking to?” he asked, turning behind again.
“Are you playing something? I was speaking to you.”
“Who? Me?” he asked in a very surprised tone and she smiled knowing what he was driving at.
“From when do you start planning to address me?” he asked, smiling.
She looked suddenly nervous.
“Can I call you by your name?” she asked, shyly.
“Why, yes. You know, I’ve heard that’s how people call each other” he told her, still wearing an amused grin on his face.
“All right” she said, biting her lips in shyness.
“Oh my. What a drama queen you are, darling? You have the courage to accost and bully me and hound me into falling in loving you but you are too modest to call me by name.”
“I did not do any of that” she said with a shocked and sad face.
“Come, now” he told her sweetly and persuasively.
She smiled and looked down again and throwing himself on the pillow, he laughed to himself again.
“You should really be elected for the Oscars, you know?” he asked her and with a sudden sharp inhalation, she put her fingers to her lips in a sort of coy delight.
“All right, do whatever you want” he told her.
“Your coffee is on the table” he told, pointing the mug of steaming hot coffee on the table.
“Did I wake you up then? I am sorry, I meant to get you coffee.”
“Yes my dear, I woke up to the sound of your melodious airs” he told her and she gasped.
“Oh I am sorry, I did not mean to wake you up sir” she told but then stopped, she had inadvertently called him sir.
“That’s okay madam. I would have woken up all the same and I am happy you’ve finally decided on how to address me” he told her.
“Madam” he added with a wink.
Then he got up and throwing on a dressing gown over his shirt, he left the room and emerged a few minutes later holding the morning newspaper in his hand and getting into the bed, he leaned on it without actually laying down, resting his head against the bed stead and started to read his paper. She sat down near him and started to sip her coffee. When she’d finished, she gazed long and fondly at him with a smile on her lips. His hair was a complete mess as opposed to how he always wore it, his face was unshaven and brought out his angular jaw all the more and as he intently read his paper, she put her hands on her cheek and stared at him, fascinated. He observed all this but did not interrupt her, he knew she would soon become shy and uncomfortable. But after a while, she grew bored that he would not speak or even look at her and with a pout, started to glare at him.
“How many times have you read the paper?” she asked her angrily and he smiled, shrugging his shoulders.
“Just five more minutes madam and then you can get back to slinking and blushing when around me” he told her.
“Oh, don’t call me madam” she told him.
“Then, how should I call you?” he asked her, still reading the newspaper.
There was a long silence and drawing closer up to him, she said, “Won’t you talk to me, Charles?” she said and he looked at her with a half smile on his face but she immediately stiffened and blushed but he just leaned in close to her and kissed her.
“In a minute dear” he told her.