Part 2: End of fear

The next day Roselle's parents were busy from the morning. They had so many things to organize and so many things to take care of. They were constantly in phone with their new in-laws, the caterers and various other people.

Roselle asked out of courtesy, "Is there anything I could do to help out?"

Her mother had paused in her tracks and considered her offer for a mere moment. Then said, "Appear at the reception looking good and don't get into any trouble." Then she continued with what she was doing. Roselle shrugged and went back to her room where Ray was waiting.

Since they had nothing to do at the house they decided to proceed with their plan. Roselle stuffed her clothes and some other things inside a bag and headed to Ray's house with her. On arriving there they found that Ray's mother had already returned. It was almost noon after all.

They spent some time there and Ray coaxed her mother into letting them take the car for going over to Amy's house. She said, "We can't walk this much a distance. If we don't take the car then we'll need to take the bus. But the car would make everything easy and it'll be comfortable for Amy…"

Ray's mother wasn't going out anymore that day. She thought for a while. Roselle had a full license. Then she permitted them on one condition- "Not a scratch."

When they were leaving she handed Roselle the keys and once again reminded Roselle- "Don't let Ray drive." The girls promised her to be super cautious and took off.

It took them one hour to get to Amy. The area she lived in was a bit far away from theirs and there was moderate traffic that day.

Amy's parents both were home since it was weekend and her little brother, who she addressed as Little Devil, was making jokes out of the crutch and laughing with every ounce of pleasure he could gather. Amy's mother was pretty reluctant to let Amy out with that leg. Ray and Roselle tried to persuade her by saying how much they missed Amy at the wedding and Amy added that the doctor didn't say she needed constant bed rest. Her mother contacted the doctor and he said that she could go out only if there were no chances of straining her leg. The fracture wasn't too serious but could get worse with any sort of mishap. Amy's mother wasn't sure.

Then Ray and Roselle said in unison, "We promise that we'll take good care of her."

And Amy displayed the puppy-dog-eyes her mother was weak against.

She sighed and looked over at Amy's father. He plainly said, "They've grown up, they can take care of themselves." At that moment Amy jotted down in her mind that her dad had a big hug coming his way. Finally her mother gave them her consent and added, "Be extremely careful so that nothing, absolutely nothing happens to that leg of yours."

Amy kissed her mother out of sheer joy. "Love you mama!"

Her mother said, "Just be careful."

Then the three of them got dressed. They had planned their outfit very carefully. They were of the same design, only of different colors. Carol and Alex were also wearing the same outfits. Amy demanded to see the facial expression of Russell when Roselle threatened him and Ray acted it out perfectly. Amy was left in stitches.

When they were heading out, Amy's mother once again reminded them to be cautious and her brother was waving his hand fiercely at them. Amy's father gave her a look which said, "Don't prove me wrong now!"

The Three Freaks set off, cutting jokes and having fun. Every time Russell was mentioned, Roselle's eyes took on that glaring form and Amy and Ray tried hard to make her change her mind. But Roselle was more than just stubborn.

They had neared the reception center quite much. Ray was turning back to talk to Amy and they were laughing when suddenly Roselle pressed the break with all her might and she also pulled the hand break at the same time. The tires screeched horribly and the car stopped with a great jerk. When they stopped, Ray and Amy saw with shocked eyes that not more than 3 inches away stood a huge black BMW which could have come crashing into their small Corolla.

The BMW had suddenly appeared round the corner at full speed and they were right in the front. If Roselle hadn't noticed it immediately and pressed the breaks, then who knows how big a clash it would have made. Roselle had saved the day. But she certainly wasn't feeling happy about it. In fact, she was furious. She jumped out of the car and examined if there was any damage. From the BMW alighted a good-looking guy wearing rimless glasses, dressed in a gorgeous black suit.

Roselle threw her burning glare at him. "Blind, four-eyes? Can't see a car right in the middle of the road?"

Glasses-guy took a look and said, "But we didn't crash!"

Roselle growled, "That's because I was smart enough to pull a hard-break immediately."

Glasses-guy surely felt uncomfortable being the target of that raging glare.

By then Ray had gotten out of the car and taken a look at the scene. She saw how uneasily the guy shifted his weight to one foot from the other and tried to avoid looking at Roselle.

Ray thanked God and Roselle from the core of her heart saving the car from damage. She very well remembered her mother's words. But the situation was getting grim so she lightly said, "Come Elle, you're not gonna break his head now are you?"

Roselle jumped. "Of course I am. I'm gonna put a bullet right inside that thick scull of his." She suddenly looked as if she remembered something. "Where did you put my gun after you took it for a cleaning ha?"

It was clear to Ray that Roselle had something in her mind. So she decided to play along. "Wait. I'm not planning on letting you use that gun tonight. You are red enough today. You don't need his blood to redden yourself." She pointed at Roselle's flaming red dress.

Roselle ground her teeth. "Just give it to me."

Amy stuck her head out through the window of the back seat and yelled, "I'm not letting you stain your hands in blood tonight. We're on our way to a joyous occasion after all! Don't go killing tonight at least, please!"

But Roselle was stubborn. "I'm gonna break that dumb head of his!" She shouted.

Suddenly Ray's face beamed as if she had an idea. "If you so badly need to break something then break those ceramic dolls you bought the other day. This was the primary purpose after all; things you can break to cool yourself down when you don't have someone you can kill!"

Roselle kicked the pavement. "But I wanna kill him!"

Amy shouted, "No ways! You're breaking those dolls. Now get into the car. You're outvoted."

The glasses-guy was looking at the three of them arguing with aghast eyes. Roselle sure looked like she could kill someone at ease. With her riotous black hair falling over her shoulders and her bright red dress complemented with her violent glare, she sure looked like a killer!

Amy said in a tone as if a mother was scolding her stubborn little child, "Get into the car. Now."

Roselle looked very, very reluctant. She was pacing about beside the car and then finally she got back inside the car. But before doing that she didn't forget to present a seriously grim scowl to the glasses-guy which made him flinch quite visibly. After Roselle had closed the door beside her, Ray said to him in an easy tone,

"Get out of here as quickly as you can. You just got a new life."

The guy seemed quite confused but he didn't delay a bit. He drove off almost immediately. Ray got inside with the others. They stayed motionless for about 5 minutes after his departure. Then altogether they burst into uncontrollable laughter. Roselle flung her head back on the head rest and laughed hysterically. Ray's stomach started to hurt but still she couldn't stop laughing. Amy had tears in her eyes from laughing too much and was almost lying on the back seat. They tried to stop but before a minute could pass, their laughter once again broke out.

Amy somehow said, "Did you see the look on his face? It was hilarious!" and continued laughing.

"How was my acting?" Roselle couldn't resist laughing harder on remembering the poor guy's face.

Ray looked exhausted from all that laughing. "Superb man! You looked like a pure maniac! Go sign up in Hollywood. You'd make it into any horror movie." Then she said thoughtfully, "For some reason I think I've seen him somewhere before." Then she shrugged it off.

After a while they started and arrived at their destination within a few minutes. Before going inside Ray arranged Roselle's hair to shove away that maniac look. As soon as Roselle's father saw them he walked over. "What took you girls so long? We've been waiting for you. Your friends are over there with Elisa."

They walked slowly because Amy couldn't possibly walk fast now. Elisa spotted them and her face lit up. "There you are Elle!"

She looked gorgeous as ever. That night she also had a serene look on her. She absolutely looked magnificent. Russell was like the platinum ring holding a well-cut, dazzling diamond.

Carol almost screamed out of joy when she saw Amy. "Oh my god! You're here! We missed you so much!" And she reached out and hugged her.

Amy then started chatting with Elisa. "See what happened sis! I felt so bad when I learned that I couldn't attend your wedding." and on and on she went.

Roselle had been talking to someone she knew and suddenly she walked over to Amy. Amy had been complaining about how her little brother had been making fun of her fracture instead of showing sympathy and was expressing her desire of having Elisa as her sister. Roselle nudged her with her elbow and said with a mischievous look, "Want me to step on that foot of yours?"

Amy instantly punched her and warned, "Don't you dare." And Roselle started laughing violently at her reaction. Of course she wouldn't, she had promised Amy's mother.

Just then Ray spotted a pair of horrified eyes looking at Roselle's laughing face from behind rimless glasses. It was the same guy with the BMW. He was standing right next to Russell, gaping at Roselle and the other two. Now Ray remembered why he looked familiar. He was at the wedding. She walked aside a little and looked at Roselle from the angle the glasses-guy was seeing her. Roselle surely had the same killer look brought back! Ray felt bubbles of irrepressible laughter in her stomach and cued to Amy. Amy spotted him as well and exchanged a similar look with Ray. Carol and Alex noticed those exchanges of strange looks and Roselle's weird laughing had gotten them on edge. They smelled something cooking at once. But didn't want to interrupt Roselle's drama and kept their patience.

Roselle finally stopped laughing and said to Elisa, "Hey sis, we're gonna go walk around a bit. I'll come back to you later." Elisa nodded. She also had guests to attend. A busy bride she was! Then Roselle walked away with the bunch and of course she didn't forget to greet Russell with a meaningful look.

After they were gone the glasses-guy whispered to Russell, "That girl in red is Elisa's little sister?"

Russell's affirmative answer only widened his eyes. "That's one heck of a sister-in-law you got yourself."

Russell didn't know what was going on in his cousin's mind but he admitted it. "Yeah, you're right."

After Alex and Carol had been updated with the information about the glasses-guy there was another round of 'Who Can Laugh The Most'.

After that they went inside again and this time that guy was out of sight. Roselle spent most of the evening around Elisa. Carol and the others decided to stick around. They had dinner together. Elisa silently felt relieved that Roselle wasn't showing any enmity with Russell anymore.

The evening flew by.

It was pleasant.

Then it was time to say goodbye.

Guests were taking their leave.

Carol and Alex had gone home. It was time for Amy to head back as well. She was regretting living so far away. Roselle informed her parents and the three of them set off after saying goodbye to Elisa and Russell. They dropped Amy safely. Ray's mother was ever happy to see that they had actually kept their word about the car. Roselle walked back home. Ray wasn't coming over to stay that night. And she didn't need to. Roselle had gotten over her panic. Or at least that was how it looked like.

The next weekend the two families had lunch together with Elisa and Russell in their new home. There was a variety of food. Roselle found it hard to believe that her sister could cook all these delicious dishes. She was eating a prawn and remarked how good it was. Elisa smiled and said, "Russell cooked that one."

Roselle's eyes widened.

Elisa added, "We cooked today's lunch together. He has great culinary skills!"

Roselle took another bite out of the prawn she was holding and said, "That's why it's too much spicy."

Elisa couldn't hold back her laughter.

The two families had a great time together. Russell's parents were more than happy with Elisa and Elisa's parents were more than happy with Russell. They were a perfect match.

Roselle pulled her elder sister to one side and said, "He does anything to hurt you and you call me straight away okay?" Elisa didn't know how to make her little sister understand that she was worrying in vain. But she gave her an affirmative answer anyway.

Few months passed.

Then some more months passed.

Everything was going just fine.

Roselle was going to school every day, having fun with her friends and writing long e-mails to her sister.

Then one weekend she got impatient. She wanted to see exactly how her sister had been. So she took off a while before noon. Her dad was weeding the lawn. He asked, "Where are you going?"

"To see sister." saying this, she rode off on her bicycle.

It took her half an hour. She rang the doorbell and she heard her sister, "Coming!"

Elisa was very surprised to see Roselle on her door steps unnoticed. She welcomed her with a warm smile and a big hug. Roselle walked in and Elisa was saying, "Good timing. We just returned from shopping a few minutes ago."

Roselle could see grocery bags in the kitchen. "You went grocery shopping together?"

"Yeah."

Russell appeared from inside with a vacuum cleaner in his hands. "Hey! Look who's here. Our dearest Elle!"

Roselle frowned at his hand and said, "Did you pick that up because I'm here?"

Elisa laughed and said, "Nope. He's on cleaning duty today."

Roselle muttered, "Dad doesn't help mom with grocery shopping or chores unless he's pressed."

Elisa looked at her meaningfully.

Roselle suddenly jumped and said to Russell, "You do. That doesn't win you any points because it's only natural to help your wife out."

Then suddenly she started walking toward the front door. "I'm going now. Good bye!"

Elisa ran after her. "You're not staying for lunch?"

"Nah. Just thought I'd drop by and now that I've done it, I'm going back."

Russell and Elisa stood at the door as she rode off on her bicycle and Elisa sighed, "That freak!"

Then they closed the door.

After Roselle had gone a few blocks she suddenly turned and went back. She stopped a little far away from the house and walked the rest of the way dragging the bicycle with her. She leaned it against the fence and tiptoed toward the window. She took a peek inside and found Elisa and Russell standing in the drawing room in each other's arms. They were talking about something and smiling at each other. Then Russell kissed her.

Roselle walked away immediately. She got back on her bicycle and started for home. She was muttering, "If you're gonna get lovey-dovey then at least don't do it in the drawing room!"

On arriving home she found her mother sitting down in the drawing room, watching TV. She asked, "Mom, is there any snacks at home?"

Her mother replied, "There is ice-cream in the freezer if you like." She knew her younger daughter loved ice cream.

Roselle jumped happily and said on her way to the kitchen, "Thanks ma! Love you!" Her mother was taken aback by those last two words.

Roselle took out a bowl and got the ice cream box. When she was about to walk out of the kitchen with her bowl full of ice cream she suddenly remembered something and turned back. The stand where knives were kept had one knife missing. The biggest one. The one which could cut everything.

She walked toward it. Her hands slipped inside her side bag and pulled something out. The missing knife. She put it in its place and then jogged out of the kitchen toward her room. She sat on her bed and started enjoying her ice cream when her phone rang. It was Amy.

"Did you need to use it?" Was the first thing she said.

"Nope!" Roselle replied happily.

Amy didn't delay a second. "Told you so."

"I know."

"You know what it proves?"

"What? That I worry uselessly?" Said Roselle in her carefree manner.

Amy had a different opinion. "No, it proves that you're a total freak!"

"That I am." There was no yelling, nor any objection.

Amy silently uttered a sigh of relief. Then said, "So what are you gonna do now? About your killing intent I mean."

"About that? hmm….let me see." Roselle contemplated awhile. Then she sang with a wide grin, "Gonna freak out let it go!"

"Now you're using Avril Lavigne's song!" Amy screamed.

"Seems like it." Roselle laughed. The next moment she was all serious, "But I'm not letting my guard down ya know?"

This time, Amy laughed. "Okay freak, let it go for now."

Roselle suddenly screamed. "Hey! I just got the idea for a new dress! Sis can wear it on her birthday coming later this year. I'm hanging up okay? Gotta get to work."

Amy knew how restless Roselle got whenever she had an idea about a design. So she merrily said, "Okay then, ciao!"

Roselle instantly pulled out the chair in front of her reading table and started drawing.

Amy stared at her cell phone for a while after hanging up and then smiled, "Yeah. Just freak out let it go."

Elisa was happy.

Her parents were happy.

Roselle was back to normal.

Her friends were relieved.

Everything was just fine, like it always had been.

-End-