Chapter 37

Chapter 37

“It seems like you were rushed by the circumstances in your life to make the decision to marry him,” said Yulia, “without much time get to know each other… are you…” Yulia trailed off.

Siana hadn’t told Yulia everything that had come to pass between her and Alan, so she understood what her friend was getting at. Yulia didn’t want her to be trapped somewhere where she wasn’t happy. “You don’t need to worry about that,” said Siana with a smile, “I love Alan.”

“Really?” asked Yulia, surprised.

“Yes,” Siana said with conviction.

She realized that it was true as she said it. She had been daunted by him appearing suddenly in her life again, looking like a prince out of a fairy tale. But she felt comfortable and safe with him. It felt good to wake up in the morning by his side. She liked being with him.

Maybe she didn’t know what ‘love’ really was but perhaps it was close to this. However, Siana couldn’t ignore the fact that she hadn’t responded to Alan when he had confessed that he loved her that night. She had just frozen. Feeling guilty, Siana clasped her hands together.

“I thought at first that it was too impulsive,” said Siana, “But after our marriage, it feels like I did the right thing. I feel like it was a good decision. I feel happy.” But I still feel like I am causing trouble for Alan, said her inner voice. She clasped her hands together so tightly that her knuckles turned white.

“Something is troubling you,” said Yulia.

Siana flinched at her words. “What do you mean?” she asked, looking at Yulia.

“We have been friends for too long,” said Yulia, rolling her eyes, “I know you always do that with your hands when you are nervous or worried about something. So, cut the chase and tell me what is wrong?”

Siana looked down at her hands and pried them apart. Even Alan said the same thing… it seems it’s only me who doesn’t know about my own habits. Siana resolved to get rid of the habit as soon as possible.

“I know that you saying you love him isn’t a lie. I can see it in your eyes,” said Yulia, “Do you regret getting married?”

“No,” said Siana, “I don’t.”

“Then what is troubling you?” asked Yulia, taking Siana’s hands in hers and squeezing them gently. “You can tell me. Or I might just imagine something wild and think about all sorts of stuff.”

Siana was silent. She couldn’t tell her. It was between her and Alan so she thought that it might be inconsiderate and insensitive of her to tell somebody other than Alan about it. She needed to solve her problem by herself this time.

Yulia sighed. “Is it something you can’t talk about with anybody else?” she asked.

“I… I can’t. It’s something between me and Alan, so I feel like it will be unfair to him,” said Siana, “I am sorry.”

“There is no need to be sorry,” assured Yulia, “No matter how close we are, there will be things that we cannot tell each other, especially if others are involved. It’s alright. But it’s not healthy to bottle it up within yourself too. You remember that, alright?”

“Yeah…,” said Siana.

“Alright then,” said Yulia, “I will always be there if you ever want to talk about it. Just say the word and I will always come visit.” Siana nodded, grateful for her support.

“So, where is your husband?” asked Yulia.

“Probably out in the training grounds,” said Siana, “After lunch, he goes out to train with his soldiers.”

“He is an officer now, right?” asked Yulia.

“Yeah,” said Siana. “Will you be able to attend my wedding ceremony?”

“You didn’t have one yet?” asked Yulia, surprised.

“We didn’t have the time,” said Siana, “It was all in a rush. All we did was sign the documents and submit it to the authorities as official proof of the wedding. We decided that we would hold a ceremony at a later date. We haven’t decided when or where, yet. I don’t have anyone else other than you to invite.”

“It’s your wedding ceremony, of course I will be there!” said Yulia, excitedly. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Have you sent out the invitations already?”

“Not yet,” said Siana.

“When you do it, send an invite to my estate, too,” said Yulia, “I will come running to the capital… wait… are you planning to hold it in the capital or in your estate?’

“I haven’t decided yet,” said Siana.

“I don’t think it is a bad idea to hold it in the estate,” said Yulia, “You can invite the rich folks and make some connections. It would be a good idea to get to know people who live nearby.”

“You think so?” asked Siana.

“Well, it’s worth a shot,” said Yulia with a shrug.

Siana thought it would do her good to get married in her own estate, as her friend suggested. She could get to know the people living near the estate, too. They were going to live in the Legarde estate, so she might as well make the most of it.

The two friends spend their time talking about the most random things. They tried to catch up with whatever was happening in their respective lives. Just then, there was a knock on the living room door. Siana, thinking that it might be the maid with tea and snacks, bid them to enter.

To her surprise, it wasn’t the maid but Alan at the door. Yulia and Siana both stood up as he walked into the room.

“Alan!” said Siana, “Weren’t you training?”

“I heard we had a visitor, so I decided to drop by,” he said with a smile.

Siana felt like she should introduce them for some reason even though they knew each other from their younger days. “Um… Alan, you already know Yulia Linen,” she looked at Yulia, “Yulia, this is Alan.”

“Ah, the rabbit,” said Alan with a smirk.

“Been too long… what? Rabbit?” stammered Yulia.

Yulia looked at Alan with confusion. Siana tried not to smile. Their conversation from a long time ago flashed briefly in her mind. Siana elbowed Alan lightly. Alan smiled at her.

“I apologize,” he said, “Your coat seems to be made of rabbit fur is all I meant. I apologize if I have caused any displeasure.”

Yulia glanced down at her coat. Part of it indeed was made of rabbit fur. “Oh, that!” said Yulia, nodding, “You are right. It is rabbit fur. There are lots of rabbits where I live. They reproduce at an astronomical rate. We use their fur for coats.”

“I see,” said Alan, nodding, with a smile on his face. Siana cleared her throat and tried not to laugh.

“Anyway, it is nice meeting you, Yulia Linen,” said Alan, “I know it has been very long since you two have met. I will get out of your way so you can catch up. Please enjoy your time together.”

“Thank you,” said Yulia.

Alan had thought it would have been easy to talk with Yulia since they had known each other in their childhood and she was Siana’s best friend, but it was a little bit awkward as they were not as close.

Alan bowed respectfully to Yulia. “Sia,” he called.

She lifted her head to look at him as he called her name. Alan took her hand and placed a kiss on her forehead, his other hand warm on her cheek. “See you later,” he said and turned to leave, waving at Yulia.

She felt her face heat up and she sat back down on the sofa. Blushing and fanning her face, she asked, “W-why are you staring at me like that?”

“I am just marvelling at the both of you,” said Yulia, with a smile, “It must be nice having such a loving husband, Mrs. Legarde.”

“Don’t tease me!” said Siana, “You have a loving husband too.”

“He doesn’t show his affection for me in front of others,” said Yulia with a sigh, “He is too reserved.”

Siana held back her smile at Yulia’s complaints. She was so glad to see her friend and even more happy to see that Yulia was Yulia, like she had always been. She was never going to change. The maid entered shortly. She filled their teacups, placed the snacks on the table and left them.

“Anyway, I am glad it’s all working out for you,” said Yulia, “You seem happy. Everything looks spectacular. Alan seems good. It looks like I have nothing to worry about. I can finally be at peace.” She took a sip of the tea. She placed the cup down on the table. “I was really surprised that he recognized the rabbit fur on my coat. People usually don’t know. For most people, one fur is so like the other.”

Siana choked on her tea. She coughed several times. Yulia was stroking her coat. Siana decided to tell her about the whole ‘rabbit’ thing. She couldn’t keep it to herself anymore. Besides, she didn’t want Yulia to feel like a fool. She turned to face Yulia.

“I have something to tell you,” she said.

“Oh,” said Yulia, looking at her, “What is it?”

“It is about the ‘rabbit thing,” said Siana, “What Alan said earlier wasn’t about your fur coat.”

“Really?” said Yulia, “Then what is it about?”

“Do you remember the conversation we had a long time ago?” asked Siana, “About rabbits… and … shrimps.”

“Rabbit and shrimps?” asked Yulia, bewildered.

Siana looked at her friend. It seemed she had no idea what she was talking about. They had had a million conversations about a million little things. Obviously, she couldn’t remember everything.

Siana bit her lower lip. “When you told me about s*x for the first time,” said Siana, “You said that it was important for any marriage. You told me about rabbits and shrimps.”

“Oh, that,” said Yulia, “Of course I remember. But what does that… you didn’t!” Yulia looked beyond shocked. “Tell me, please, you didn’t tell Alan all about that!”

Siana nodded. “I did,” she said.  Yulia burst out laughing.

“You are crazy!” said Yulia, still laughing, “Why would you do that? Why did you tell him? You were supposed to check it in secret by yourself!”

“I just blurted it out suddenly,” said Siana, not able to hold back her laughter. “I was so embarrassed after that.”

“So, everything is good now?” asked Yulia.

“I feel like I messed up,” said Siana.

Yulia sighed and looked at her with gentleness. “I am guessing it is not a case of rabbit and shrimp since you seem happily married.”

Siana forced a smile. I can’t tell her…



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