Lara slept for two days straight. I took the chance to work on the instruction manual. The headlines I had so far were Recipes, Quirks, Likes and Dislikes. I have added three more points to the Quirks page.
- Lara tends to faint when she is subjected to too much sun or if she is really hungry.
- If Lara cooks for you, be prepared to eat dishes you have never encountered before. (Refer to Recipes page for list of dishes you can cook for her)
- If Lara trusts you enough to let you read her manuscripts, give her your honest opinion but be gentle.
I may decide to add more points, when I think of any more. As for Likes and Dislikes, this was the list I came up with, thus far.
Likes: Her rabbit, writing, snow, sleeping, pasta, comfortable clothes, sunrises, tall dark and handsome men.
Dislikes: Hot sun, dressing up, talking to strangers, death.
For every like and dislike, I drew a small comic character portraying the point. I was writing out the dislikes when Lara suddenly crept up besides me. “What are you doing? Are you writing a book?” she asked. I quickly flipped the papers to the blank side.
“Nothing...it's nothing...” I stammered. Lara looked at me suspiciously and said, “My bunny has a lot of secrets.” She walked to the kitchen and poured for herself a glass of water.
“Have you read it?” she asked.
“Yes, I have. I think we have a winner here.”
“Really?” she said.
“Yes, it is really good. Your writing really fits the story well. I could imagine every scene perfectly. Lara, do you really want to see snow?” I asked, walking over to the kitchen.
“I do. Can you imagine, I am almost twenty-five and have yet to see snow,” said Lara.
“Come on, get dressed. I want to take you somewhere.”
“Somewhere?” she asked.
“Yes. Make sure you wear jeans!” I said.
The both of us were soon taking a subway to our destination. Laura was dressed in jeans, a plain white tee and sneakers. “Where are we going?” she asked, curious. We board the train. It was crowded, and we ended up standing side by side, holding on the the steel pole.
“It's a surprise,” I said.
“I see. Bunny, I was wondering why aren't you getting a new bike? Are you afraid of riding because of the accident?” she asked.
“Not exactly. I will get a new bike eventually,” I said. Although, I did not really mean it. The real reason was because I was intending to leave this world soon. A new bike will just be extra baggage.
“I'm glad to hear that,” said Lara.
“Do you miss my bike?” I asked. I didn't know she enjoyed riding it that much.
“Riding it was fun. But then, travelling like this is fun too,” she said. “You know when you are writing. Sometimes you get so engrossed in this other world that it's hard to tell what's real and what's not.”
“I understand completely. I sometimes wonder if this world is real.”
“But I think that is why you are so important, Bunny. As long as we are in the same place, that is where I want to be,” she said. I faced Lara and wished she wouldn't say such things that stir my heart.
She suddenly leaned close to my face. I widened my eyes in shock. Was she going to kiss me? In public? In front of so many people? I could see her lips moving closer to my face. She planted a soft kiss on my nose. “I always kissed my rabbit like this,” she said. I was rendered speechless and I was blushing. I was convinced that deep inside, Lara was a sort of pervert.
We finally arrived at our stop. I had brought her to an indoor ice skating rink, located in a shopping mall.
“Are we going ice skating? But I don't know how,” said Lara.
“Don't worry, I'll teach you. Even though, this isn't really snow, it is something like that.”
“It does look fun,” she said, looking at the ice skaters. We could see kids skating around the rink effortlessly. Some of the ice skaters were spinning around, gliding across the ice.
I helped Lara put on her ice skating boots. “Here, I brought these, just in case you were sensitive to the cold too,” I said. I took out a pair of knitted gloves from my backpack and passed them to her. “I have a matching pair too,” I added, putting on mine.
“These are cute,” she said. She wore her gloves and clapped her hands. “Thank you Bunny.”
I held onto her hand and we made our way to the rink. “You don't have to be afraid,” I said. I placed my feet on the ice first and then holding on to both her hands, I helped her get on the rink as well. Slowly, Lara managed to move forward.
“It's like, I am learning how to walk again,” she said, taking baby steps on the ice. I stayed by her side, and while I held her hand, she managed to take bigger steps forward.
“Don't be afraid to fall, that is the key in ice skating,” I said.
“Okay” she said, clutching on to my hand tightly. She started to move a little faster. Lara was doing better than I expected. Soon the both of us were gliding across the rink at a faster pace. It was almost like we were running on the ice.
“This is fun,” she said. Lara was huffing a little and her cheeks were flushed.
“We can rest a while if you want.”
“No, let's keep going. I want to fly across the ice,” she said. She held on to my hand tightly and we both started to glide across the rink. We even started to spin around, at a rapid speed while facing each other. Lara seems to do better in colder climates. I made a mental note to add in ice skating in the “Likes” section of the instruction manual.
After skating for two hours, we were both worn out from all that exercise. I recalled what Ming said before about Lara being a sporty kid when she was younger.
“You really like ice skating,” I said. We had left the rink and walking towards a dessert cafe.
“I didn't realise it would be so fun, thanks for taking me.”
We both sat down at the cafe and looked at the menu. “I'm really thirsty now,” said Lara. “I'll have an iced lemon tea.”
“Me too.” I called the waiter and ordered the drinks. “Do you want any ice cream? This place is famous for their parfaits,” I asked Lara.
“It's alright. I just want to rest for a while,” she said. I observed the girl in front of me. It was the first time I've seen her so lively. “I think, there is still a lot of things I don't know about you,” I said.
“Well, we have a lifetime to know everything about each other.”
“Is this a proposal?” I teased.
“Not really, although I always thought, if my bunny ever became human, I will definitely marry him,” she said.
The waiter came by our table with a strawberry shortcake and a lit candle on top. “I know I am a little early, but happy birthday Lara.”
She clasped her hands together and smiled. I sang her a birthday song and she clapped happily at the end of it. “Bunny, you shouldn't have.”
“Of course, I should. Congratulations on finishing your manuscript too. Here is a little something for you.” I passed her a small box and a big beige envelope.
“Open the box first,” I said. Lara opened the small box and inside was the rabbit necklace.
“This is so pretty,” she said, looking at the pendent closely. Its diamond studded eye glittered in the light. I stood up, and picked up the pendent from the box. “I'll help you put it on.” Lara lifted up her curls from the nape of her neck and I placed the necklace around her neck.
“Thank you Bunny,” she said. She took the envelope and peeped at its contents. She took out the sheets of paper and cried out in shock. “You drew this?” she cried. It was various drawings depicting scenes from her children story. Her eyes turned watery and I was glad she seemed to like this present more than the necklace. That's just so like her.
“This is the best birthday present ever,” she said. Lara leaned towards me and hugged me tightly.