#13 She is growing on me
It’s hard for me to pretend to be friendly with someone who is not actually very close to me.
I nodded at Cinderella’s mom, acknowledging her.
“I just came to give her the phone,” I said politely.
Maybe I should have send it with someone else. I just thought Cinderella is seriously injured when she didn’t turn up today.
“Please be seated, Michael,” Her mother took the settee seat and showed me to the opposite side.
“That’s not necessary; I will take my leave now,”
“I should thank you properly for helping my daughter,”
“I was helping my sister, Cinderella just happened to be with her,”
“Your sister? From what I know, you don’t have any f-”
“Mama is just thankful that you helped me, Senior Michael,” Cinderella said.
An unpleasant silence filled the room for a moment.
Her mother looked displeased that Cinderella cut her off during the conversation.
But I was thinking about what she said.
It seems like she was going to say “You don’t have any family,” but she wouldn’t know that, right? Unless she checked my background details, which was very unlikely as we don’t even know each other!
“I told you to remove that shawl, Ella,” her mother turned to Ella.
“Now!” Her Mother stressed.
Ella slowly removed her shawl and I saw the faint red-blue mark on her cheek.
“You are bruised from the attack,” I said slowly.
Michael was looking at me with a frown and my heart dropped.
Even though the swelling has gone down, the colour was still there.
I should be happy that Michael visited me and at the fact that he even looked a tiny bit concerned for me, but you see, I am put in a tight spot.
I feel like a referee now.
“That’s healing fast,” I shrugged it off. “Please let me guide you to the dining table,” I said desperate to change the subject.
Michael stared at me for a moment, looking surprised, Maybe it’s because of the unnatural politeness from my side or maybe it’s just my imagination.
I stilled in front of the table that was full. All the complicated dishes my Mama uses to show off was there.
“I didn’t know about your food preference, so I prepared a little of everything,” Mama said sweetly as Michael looked at the table in surprise, clearly not expecting such a sight.
“The pork tenderloin with three-berry salsa and seafood-stuffed salmon fillets are very special,” Mama said as she took the head sea. I and Michael sat on the right and left hand side of her. I opened the napkin and unfolded it neatly.
“I am not very picky when it comes to food,” Michael said as he unfolded the napkin. “You shouldn’t have gone to so much trouble,”
“It’s no trouble at all,” Mama said, “We have five chefs working for us,”
One of the staffs started to serve.
“So Michael, I heard you are the best outgoing student of the year, I suppose you are very good at IT field,” Mama started.
“I suppose I am okay,” Michael said. “And I am still one of the nominees for the award; it’s not confirmed yet,”
But it’s already a known fact that Michael will be the best outgoing student. He used to be the best student in all the junior years too.
“You are modest,” Mama nodded her head and I started to cut the steak, now relieved that Mama is not rude to him.
“I am thinking of handing some of my responsibilities to Ella when she is graduated,” She said and I stilled at that.
“I am not that great at studying like Senior Michael,” I told her slowly. I expected her to be angry, but she smiled.
“Yea, I know you will need some time and proper training,” She said. “And you will also need great support from your team,” Mama said. “That’s why I was wondering if you would be interested to work for her, Michael, I love recruiting people with talent,”
My eyes widened at that in horror.
Mama is not just rude, she is insulting him!
“Mama! Michael is my senior! He knows how terrible I am actually-”
“Thank you for the consideration, but I will reject it politely,” Michael said, interrupting me. He turned to look at me. “I believe Cinderella will do better with time. She doesn’t give up easily, so you don’t have to be concerned,” He said
I am sure that my mouth would be open if it was not the fact that my Mama is nearby.
Did he really think of me like that? Did he mean it!?
But why the hell would I feel so hot suddenly?
“Ella, why are you turning red?” Mama asked me.
Because Michael just said something positive about me! He complimented me!
“The dish is really spicy today,” I managed to lie and took a large gulp of my water.
The conversation soon turned to the programming and other stuff and I slowly relaxed.
“I need to go back now, Thank you for the dinner,” Michael said while we were back at the settee room.
“Do stay for dessert,” Mama said. “The pastry chef made the Italian style Macaroon; you should have some before going back,”
“It’s already late,” Michael said politely. “I don’t have the habit of having sweets after meals, Thank you.” He insisted.
“That’s right,” Mama agreed. “Some basic things cannot be changed or accepted,” she said. “I thank you for helping my daughter without expecting anything back then,” she said. “Normally people always wanted money whenever they come to know about her identity,” Mama smiled at him. “I can see that you are not like that,”
“Cinderella is my junior, of course, I will help her, don’t worry about anything else,” He said. “I am just her senior,” he added.
You are not just a senior!
You are the person I love!
You are the only person who can save me from this jail!
You are the person I am waiting for, Michael...
“I will take my leave then,” Michael nodded and stepped out.
“Mama, I will see him out,” I said and walked towards him before either of them denies it.
As soon as we were outside, Michael turned to me.
“You should go back,”
“I will just see you out,”
“Your Mama seemed to be thinking the wrong way about us,”
“What’s the wrong way?”
I am slightly angry now. Even my Mama can see that I am attracted to him, Can he not see it-
“Aaah!” I skipped the step angrily and lost my balance.
“You are the most careless person I have ever seen!”
Of course, Michael pulled me back before I kissed the ground.
I could feel his body against me in the backside.
“How can you trip in your own garden? You are supposed to...” he stopped as I turned around to look at him.
We didn’t have much distance between us and my whole system shook as we locked our eyes.
Michael cleared his throat and took a step back.
I too jumped back at the possibility that Mama is watching us.
“Go back,” Michael looked at me.
“I am only accompanying you to the gate,”
“You are asthmatic, it’s cold outside,” he said and we looked at each other.
“I will go back as soon as you are outside,” I said.
He seemed to give up on persuading me and started to walk again.
We reached his bike that was near the gate.
“I will see you from the college then,” Michael got on the bike and started it.
“Goodnight,” I whispered.
Our eyes locked for another moment.
Ella! Your Mama is watching from somewhere in the house! You cannot get caught!
“Drive safe,” I said and moved my eyes down.
“Is the gate locked?” He asked me.
Uncle Babu might be sleeping on duty again.
I walked to the small cabin room near the gate and knocked it.
“Uncle! You cannot sleep on duty!” I exclaimed.
My Mama was angry at me for hiring him. I cannot let him get fired now.
I watched as the elderly man came out of the cabin. I felt bad as he reached the side gate and started to open the lock with shaking hands.
How can they make an elderly man work like this!?
From what I can see, the main gate had automatic control and could be operated from inside.
The man opened the gate and I nodded at Cinderella who waved at me.
I moved out of there to the road.
As I put more distance between the Palace and me, my mind was asking me all sorts of weird questions.
Why the heck did I come here? I am not a person who will do this normally.
The answer is obvious; I wanted to see how she was doing. I couldn’t call her as her phone was with me and I was worried slightly.
Cinderella’s Mama insulted me multiple times; I ignored it and tried to be civil. I never put up with people like her before, why now?
Because I didn’t want to hurt Cinderella, She was trying her best to make me comfortable. She was looking tensed and worried and I didn’t want to put her in a spot...which again is out of character of mine; I never cared about other people before.
What the heck!
Even though I don’t care about others, it seems that she has managed to make me worry.
She made me uncomfortable and bothered. She often got into trouble and drags other people into it.
She is clumsy, not-very-smart and very much impulsive.
...And don’t forget that she is a princess who lives in a palace-like house.
Despite all that, I am somehow concerned about her. It was not my style to get involved in other people’s business, but she made me worried to the point that I went after the guys who attacked her!
She’s growing on me...
The realization was slightly shocking, but it was not very late.
I should be careful around her.
The dinner was clearly a warning from her Mama, but it also made me face my own feelings.
I should stay away from her if I want a quiet and peaceful life.
Yeah, that’s it.
I let out a deep breath I didn’t know I was holding.
I walked back to the house when Michael was out of sight.
“Did you send him away well?”
I jumped at Mama’s voice.
“Yeah,” I said slowly. “He is my senior and... well... I respect him a lot,”
“Is there anything else you need to tell me?” Mama asked sharply.
“What?” I looked at her.
“Do you like that boy?” She asked me and I was stunned. I didn’t know what to do. I just stared at her.
Mama won’t be home most of the time. I dunno from where she got that idea.
“I admit that he is quite impressive,” Mama said. “But do you want him to use you as his ticket to rise up?”
“Michael is not that kind of a person,” I said sharply.
She laughed humourlessly.
“You are very naive and protected, Ella, what do you know about the world?” she said. “If you have a crush on that guy, I suggest you stop now,” she looked deep into my eyes. “That’s the best for you and him,”
She turned around and left with that.
But what can I do, Mama; I don’t ‘just’ have a crush on him; I am in love with him...
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Do let me know what you think about Michael and Ella ;)