Chapter 4

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After a short lunch with John, Katia headed home.  Her parents told her to be ready by 5:30pm that evening as they needed to be where they were going by 7pm.  As Katia got ready, she grew more and more excited.  She smiled to herself, knowing that tomorrow she'd go down to Paul's house and make up.  

They all piled into the car a little after 5:30pm and Katia noticed that her dad was taking the same route to get to John's house. They took a very narrow road that crossed Menlove Avenue and pulled over in front of a red brick wall.  There was a red gate to the side that read "Strawberry Field." 

"I never noticed this place before." Katia commented as she got out of the car. "Is it some sort of garden?"

"Yes...come on let's go inside." Katia's dad said as he opened the gate. 

It was getting dark, but the sunset still gave a bit of light. Katia was walking in front of her parents and was ready to ask where she had to go when a crowd of people jumped out from a group of large trees yelling "Happy Birthday!"

"What is this?" Katia smiled widely. 

"Happy birthday sweetie...just thought we'd celebrate with a few friends. Paul helped us spread the word." Katia's dad smiled. 

"Thank you! Both of you!" Katia said. "I love it!" 

"Your welcome!  Go on...have a good time." Her mom said. 

Katia's eyes immediately spotted John who was with a very pretty blond girl.

"Happy Birthday Kat" John cried as he came over to Katia and gave her a hug. He handed her a very thin, square item which was horribly wrapped.

"Here ya go...can't forget this....sorry about the wrapping..." he said laughing.

"Thanks John.  I wonder what this could be." She said teasingly.

"Oh! This is Cyn." he said introducing her to Katia.

"Nice to meet you." Katia said extending her hand out.

"Likewise, I'm sure. Happy Birthday!."

"Thank you.  So glad you guys came.  Have you guys seen Paul?  I thought he'd be with you."

"I think I saw him over there...on the other side there not too long ago." Cynthia said pointing to the other side of the field. 

"Great...thanks...I'm gonna go look for him. Thanks for the present John..." Katia said

"Sure thing." John winked. 

Katia walked to where Cynthia had pointed and looked around to see if she could see Paul.  Although she didn't see him, he did see George and Stu and thought they might know where Paul was.  Just as she was going to walk in their direction, she felt someone grab her by the wrist and pull her behind a tree. 

"What the he—" Katia started to say, but was muffled by a hand.

"Shhhhh...be quiet for a sec." Katia heard Paul's voice.

"What the hell, Paul!  You scared the life out of me pulling me like that." Katia whispered to him.

"I'm sorry...it's just that I need to talk to you in private...and well... since you're still mad at me I didn't want to start another argument like the last one." Paul said looking at Katia.

"About that..."

"Listen..." Paul interrupted her. "I know you are still angry with me. I hate that you ignore me and that I don't know anything that is going on with you.  I just...miss you. You asked me why I had accepted that bet with John and at the time I didn't have an answer for you...or more like I couldn't tell you, but...I want you to know the reason now. The truth is that I needed the money.  I wanted to get you something special for your birthday and I just didn't have enough money for it...I thought that if I got John's share I'd have enough to get it, but...well...I got you this instead.  I hope you like it." Paul said pulling out a small box out of his pocket and handed it to her.

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