“You look worried?” Jason asked.
But Ash didn’t answer, he grabbed Jason’s hand, and said in a deep voice “Let’s go. I need to tell you something.”
“What is it, Ash?” Jason said, putting the board on the table.
“Promise me, you won’t react to whatever I say,” Ash said and sit Jason in the chair. “It all started the day when we both were collecting water on the bank of the Sanctus Lake. That time, I saw a girl in the forest, and I don’t know why I just followed her.” And that’s how Ash started the tale, “Her name is Aurora, and she is really sweet. I know I am foolish that I didn’t tell you this first. That evening I went to her house, and then I don’t know how both of us lost our way in the forest, and we got lost. I know I am not a good friend, I don’t even deserve to be called a ‘friend’ but…
“The night you were angry with me and didn’t answer me, I tried to tell you everything. Maybe I told you everything, but your habit of sleeping whenever you get sad, came in between us,” Ash explained, while on the other hand Jason was listening and kept quiet to keep his promise.
“Aurora is really kind, Jason. The cookies I brought you that day, she was the one who made them. She even invited you at her home. I know I did wrong by keeping all these things a secret from you, but there was a reason – I was afraid that I would lose you. But keeping this a secret from you had been much harder for me. This secret was making me lonely in myself. I couldn’t take this punishment in the silence anymore. I could betray myself but not you because you are my friend.
“It’s not like I’m not afraid anymore, I just could not have this guilt of lying to you. I had done so many foolish things in the past, like fighting with you when you ate my last muffin and hiding your ‘special thing’ to take its revenge, but I never felt as hollow as I felt when I lied to you. I was dishonest with you, I was dishonest with myself, and I couldn’t carry that burden anymore. You can give me any punishment you like, but please try to understand me.”
Jason stayed silent for a moment. Ash’s heart came in his throat for his nervousness was at its peak. “It’s over? That’s not fair.” Jason laughed.
Confused was Ash when he saw Jason smiling, a reaction that he never saw when he said the same thing to Jason in his dreams. “I am sor…” But before Ash could say it, Jason interrupted “Don’t say that word, I hate it. And I hate it even more when you’re the one saying it. By the way, you hid my “special thing” as you call it, that day.”
Ash was baffled, “You’re not angry with me?” Ash asked.
“Oh yes, I am angry, but I need to keep my promise too. I am not angry that you kept that as a secret, but I am angry because you kept that as a secret from me. But I completely understand,” Jason smiled.
“You don’t want to ask me anything about her?”Ash asked, with his voice lowered.
“I would like to meet her,” Jason replied.
Ash could not have been happier that night. He was flying in the sky, being on the earth. He was relieved from the burden of lying to his friend, and that feeling of relief, he couldn’t put in words. His heart lost some weight and Ash was glad, for he kept singing and humming while cooking the dinner with Jason.
“She’s really beautiful Jason, you’ll know when you will meet her.” Ash said, smiling at Jason while he chopped the onions.
“38. You’ve already said the same thing 38 times, Ash” Jason said, squeezing his eyes to stop the onion tears.
“I am so happy, Jason” Ash said cheerfully, “I am so glad that I can grant you three wishes, yes, three wishes. So, what can I do for you, Master?”
“For now? Please sit on that chair and let me cook.” Jason said sarcastically.
“That’s not a wish, ask something more challenging and difficult.” Ash said.
“I don’t want to waste my wishes now, I will use them when the time comes. But whatever wish I make, you promise that you’ll do it for me. Is that fine with you?” Jason asked.
“As you like, Master?” Ash said dramatically and went to the bedroom. But Ash was too happy to be alone, he couldn’t keep the bubbles of excitement popping up in his stomach.
“You know Jason, the way she talks is really mesmerizing. She’s so beautiful that you can just look at her and listen to her soothing voice all the day.” Ash said, smiling unknowingly.
Jason sighed, “39” and that night he got tired of counting, but Ash would say the same thing with the same smile and same feeling.
Haven’t read the previous parts yet?