Someone Somewhere Is Made For You

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#18 He is my only hope

Ella.

“We are here,” I heard Uncle Jose and looked around.

We were already at my house. I opened the door and stepped down mechanically.

“Your bag is here, Ella.” Uncle Jose got me my bag and I started to walk.

Michael hugged me!

Oh my God! Michael looked worried about me! He practically barged into the ladies room when he thought I was in danger!

Don’t go overboard, Ella, you should think about Nisha’s words, he might be just worried about a junior; anyone would be worried in that circumstance...

I pushed that tiny irritating voice to the back of mind and let the other part take over.

Yes, Michael is a teensy-weensy bit concerned about me... yea...he has an itty-bitty bit feeling for me...

“You are finally here.”

I jumped at that voice.

“Julian!” I exclaimed. “You scared me!”

“That’s because you were zoning out, Ella.” he came towards me. “C’mon, we don’t have time, let’s go out.”

“Uh...Julian, I am-”

“You cannot back out, Ella,” he looked at me, his eyes shining merrily, as if he is challenging me to deny him.

Uh... it’s like he has something on me!

“What is it?” I narrowed my eyes and he chuckled.

“I am surprised that you are just like in the past!”

“And you are really petty like in the past as well!”

“Okay, I just came to know from Auntie Salena that you have been hanging out with me from time to time?” He raised his eyebrows at me.

Bloody hell! That was my excuse when I was late...

“I used you two times only.” I admitted.

He grabbed my bag and passed it to one of the staffs, then took my hand and started towards his car.

“Julian!”

“You owe me dear.” he said while opening the door for me. “Get in; you don’t want me to tell your Mama that you have been lying to her, right?”

“Tell me where we are going.” I got inside the car and slumped down the seat.

He laughed at my defeat and came around to the driver seat.

“Just want to hang out with you; I told you, I don’t have a lot of friends here.”

My phone vibrated and I opened the message.

“This is the questionnaire I prepared for you, prepare well, good luck.”

It was Alex, sending me the possible Questions to be asked on the topic. I opened the PDF file and sighed.

How the heck am I going to qualify the last presentation? I have only a few days left.

“-you guys are my only friends in India and both of you are busy most of the time- Ella, Are you listening?”

I turned to him and a light bulb blinked in my head.

“Wait! You are the Vice-President of an IT company!” I exclaimed. “You can help me!”

“What are you talking about?” Julian looked confused.

“Um...Julian, I want a favour,” I said slowly.

“You want a favour from me? Are you planning to sneak off somewhere and trying to use my name again?”

“No...No.”

“What’s it then?”

“I am doing a project at college, help me with it.”

There was silence for a moment.

“Julian?”

“What happened to you, Ella? The last time I checked, you didn’t care about your academics, your Mama was even complaining to my dad.”

“Well...now I do, it’s urgent.” I said. “You cannot judge me though; I am a terrible student.”

“Okay,” Julian laughed. “I got it, but I am a business major, I deal with the managerial things.”

“But I thought you are an important director of an IT company! What am I supposed to do now?”

“Don’t worry, I will send one of the developers from the company, the strictest one.”

“Julian!”

“Maybe this way I can take my revenge for all those music classes I attended with you.” he laughed.

“It’s not my fault that you were tone deaf!”

“There! You are still insulting me.”

“Thank you, Julian; I won’t forget your help,” I said sincerely and he smiled.

“No worries.”

Michael.

I stared at the computer screen.

What the heck is happening to me?

I think I am overly concerned about Cinderella! I can no longer deny the feelings I have for her...

I mean...it’s definitely not something for a junior.

It’s more like a personal thing; my heart is still beating like crazy at the thought of her being in danger!

What the heck am I supposed to do about this now?

I should be logical here.

Cinderella is the heiress of a business empire, whereas I am adopted and lives alone.

No...I am not ashamed of whom I am, but I have the common sense to know that our lives are entirely different. We belong to different worlds.

I remembered the mansion I was invited to have dinner and the way her Mama treated me.

Even though I am not financially settled, I am content with what I have and who I am...There is no way I can take rubbish from someone just because they are financially superior or at a higher social status.

The feeling I have for Cinderella is not enough to compromise my self-respect.

...and I am not interested to start something that has no future.

As someone with a good IQ, I am aware that I should stop now.

That’s right; I should stop this before it’s too late...

“I thought you will be busy,” Jeeva placed a cup of coffee on the table.

He is one of the cybersecurity officers in the area. We are trying to crack the credit card scam case that has been reported multiple times in three months.

“It was hard to get hold of you these days.” He looked at me. “Especially the evenings,”

That’s because I had gotten used to someone playing Violin while I work at home.

I took a sip of the coffee and turned to him.

“You said you needed me urgently,” I shrugged.

Jeeva sighed.

“That’s right,” he said. “There are a ton of unsolved cases waiting. They need to set up more Cyber stations, we are short of manpower.”

“Then let’s not waste any more time.” I turned back to the screen.

——————————

Ella.

“Good morning,” I chirped happily as I passed the watchman who nodded back.

Even though I had no sleep yesterday, I am super excited and very active today.

The moment when Michael hugged me is replaying again and again in my head.

“Ella!” Nisha reached near me in our usual canteen spot, “Did something happen yesterday? I tried to call you, but-whoa!”

Apparently, she was surprised as I threw my arms around her and hugged her tightly.

“Whoa...wait...wait,” Nisha tapped me on the shoulder as I didn’t let go. “I see that you are super excited, tell me what happened yesterday,” she said. “Did you manage to ask out Senior Michael for the year-end party?”

I was still hugging her tightly, unable to let go. For some reason, I was tearing up too.

“Ella...you...Are you crying?” Nisha asked slowly, she sounded worried suddenly. “Did Michael hurt you? I knew it! He is such a jerk! I am going to kill hi-”

I chuckled and she stopped.

I got up and wiped my eyes while Nisha stared at me in shock.

“You...you are crying while laughing?” Nisha stated and I nodded and wiped my eyes while.

“It’s all because of you, Nisha, I love you!” I hugged her again.

“I guess something good happened yesterday?” She asked me and I nodded.

“Ahem...Public display of affection is strictly prohibited in the campus.”

I let go of Nisha at Sam’s voice.

“Senior Sam, we are having a girl’s time now, Give us some space.” Nisha said dryly.

“But answer me first,” He turned to me. “What did you do to my best friend? He was not available the whole day and it’s the first time,” he said. “Even Jenni said she cannot get hold of him-”

“What happened to Michael?” I was shocked at the news.

“Hold on...let me finish,” Sam looked at me. “He reached back only in the wee hours of the morning,” he gave me a look. “What did you tell him yesterday?”

“Nothing,” I mumbled. “We parted as soon as you guys left us,” I added.

“Something is very fishy here,” Sam nodded dramatically. “Very fishy...”

“Can we have some time alone now?”

“Ouch, can you be less blunt, Nisha?”

“Then can you take the hint and be a gentleman?”

“Anything for you,” he smiled charmingly and bowed slightly. “I need to find mike anyway, I will see you two later.” he walked away.

Nisha turned to me.

“So, tell me everything.”

“Nisha! Michael hugged me yesterday!” I exclaimed.

“Don’t you blabber nonsense, Ella, don’t over exaggerate! It’s senior Michael we are talking about.”

So I just hugged her for the third time that day. I hugged her tightly and held her closer.

“Like this...” I whispered and let go of her. “He hugged me for a minute straight... or was it two minutes? Anyways, it felt forever! He just hugged me tightly and I could feel his heartbeats, it was pounding crazily and I almost had a heart attack!”

“You sure that it was not your heart that was going crazy?”

“Nisha! I am serious! Michael really hugged me tightly!”

She gave me a look and realised that I am indeed serious about this.

“Oh my God! Tell me what happened!”

Michael.

“Here you are!” Sam found me in record time. “I didn’t know that you are interested in the humanitarian works,” he said while sitting beside me.

We were in the Trauma care club.

“Now you know I am.” I said, then turned to the few others present in the room. “You can continue,” I said and got up, then dragged Sam out of the room with me.

“What’s it?” I asked him as soon as we were outside.

“That’s what I should ask you! What’s wrong with you? Where have you been? And why do I feel like you are hiding here?”

“As you can see, I enrolled myself in the trauma care club.”

“That’s what I am asking you! You only cared about your goddamn computers before! What happened to you?”

I sighed.

There’s no way around it.

Sam will not give me any rest till he gets what he wanted.

“I think I like her,” I said shortly.

“Yea...yea...I won’t buy any of your lies...wait...WHAT?”

“I like her,”

“Her?” His eyes nearly popped out.

“Cinderella,” I nodded.

“Whoa!” He looked flabbergasted. “She...she managed to...wow...she managed to make you fall for her!?”

“It’s not that serious,” I shrugged. “It’s just an infatuation.”

“Whoa...there...I am surprised that you know that word!” He looked at me. “So what are you going to do?”

“Nothing,” I shrugged. “I am going to mind my own business and get inside the company of my choice as I planned,”

“That’s it?”

“Yea, that’s pretty much it.”

“You are just going to give up like that?”

Now, he is starting to get on my nerves.

“Nothing was there to begin with, Sam; I don’t have to “give up” something I haven’t even ‘started’.”

“Are you sure that there was nothing between you and Cinderella?”

I crossed my arms across my chest and looked at him.

“What are you getting at? What do you want me to do?” I asked him.

“Give yourselves a chance, Mike, I think you two complement each other perfectly,” He said. “And who knows, maybe she will have feelings for you too.” he winked.

“I don’t want to start anything that has no future, Sam, and I don’t wish to pursue this matter anymore,” I looked at him in the eyes. “I hope you won’t pester me anymore about this.” I added.

Sam nodded slowly.

“Okay.”

To my surprise, he just turned around and started to walk.

I turned to go back.

“But Michael,” I stopped as I heard Sam’s voice again and turned around. He was already about 10 feet away from me. He had a quizzical look on him.

I looked at him questioningly.

“The mere fact that Ella could sway you is something huge...It’s next to impossible,” he said slowly. “Are you sure that you can hold on?” he asked rather seriously.

“Sam, I am a human too, I too can feel emotions, It’s not impossible.”

“That’s what I am asking you, Are you sure that you can resist her? Are you sure that you won’t regret your decision later?”

I stared at him.

“Yes, I am sure that I can resist this feeling inside me.” I said firmly, looking into his eyes.

Sam nodded and turned away again.

But no, I am not sure that I won’t regret it later...

I walked back to the club.

Ella.

I couldn’t find Michael the whole day. He texted and asked everyone to prepare for the presentation that was due on Saturday. I felt disappointed to know that we won’t have a project class in the next few days.

It’s okay; I can see him at Jenni’s place.

............

Even though I waited for him for a long time, Michael didn’t come home.

“I think he’s very busy,” Jenni told me when it was time for me to leave. “He didn’t even come home yesterday.” She added.

“That’s okay, Jenni, I can see him tomorrow,” I smiled. “I need to leave now; my guide will be coming home soon.”

Julian has promised me to send his staff to help me.

“Take a few days off here if it’s hard for you with everything,” she said.

“I will think about that and let you know.” I promised and walked to the car.

FEW DAYS LATER

“I can literally feel some of the unused parts of my brain working,” I said while I rubbed my eyes. “And my eyes are starting to pain from all this.” I added while taking my eyes away from the monitor.

“It’s better if you can take some rest, Ella, or you will collapse by the time you present it.” Anju told me as she got up from the seat.

It was Friday at 10: 30 pm and she started to pack up.

Mama was out of state and I had been working with Anju for the last couple of days. Julian had sent me a good person to tutor me. She has even stayed with me overtime.

“I don’t have much time,” I groaned. “Anyway, thank you so much for helping me. I will ask my driver to drop you back.”

“Thank you, Ella.” She smiled. “I have a list of important and difficult questions and answers related to the topic here, go through it.” She said.

“I hope I can do this.”

“Don’t worry, you are doing okay now,” she reassured me.

I had never felt so nervous about academic work until now. It’s ironic that I am a 100 times better prepared than the previous cases but I am also super-nervous about the whole thing.

I am looking forward to seeing Michael tomorrow. I hadn’t met him after that fateful day. Michael was always busy and I couldn’t even call him. All the Whatsapp messages were still not read and it feels like he has just vanished.

It would have worried me if it was not for Sam and Jenni complaining about him being busy all the time.

I know that he won’t skip the project class on Saturday, so I poured everything to getting prepared well.

I plan to impress him.

I was stirring my soup and reading when I suddenly heard Mama’s voice.

“Ella, what are you doing at this time!?”

I jumped at Mama’s voice. I had no idea that she was back. I thought she would reach back tomorrow only.

I immediately closed my laptop and sat straight.

“You are here?” I tried to be pleasant.

“Enough is enough, Ella, tell me what’s going on.” she walked to the opposite chair from me and sat down facing me.

“What about, Mama?” I asked her even though I had a sinking feeling inside me. I somehow have a bad feeling about this.

“Don’t play dumb, Ella, what’s going on? What’s going on with all the learning and things? You weren’t this bothered even in your board exams.” she said sternly.

“Oh...” I nodded slowly. “It’s a crucial time for me, Mama, you know about the project I am doing for the tech fest-”

“The project you are doing under that guy? Yea, I know about it.”

Her answer baffled me.

“It’s important to me,” I said politely. “It’s a big thing to win the inter-college fest.”

She stared at me and I stared right back.

“I know you really well, Ella, You should know that guys like Michael will not do.” she said.

I guess I haven’t succeeded in convincing her.

Since Mama started it, I know I cannot dodge it anymore.

“Michael is an outstanding student in the college, everyone respects him, even the teachers admire-”

“I really don’t care what kind of guy he really is, I know what is best for my daughter and I know he would not do.” she said sternly.

I intertwined my hands together under the table and looked at her. My heart was beating crazily while my whole body was trembling slightly.

“Why not?” I managed to ask her in a straight voice. “What’s wrong with Senior Michael?”

I saw an incredulous expression passing her face; like she couldn’t believe that I talked back to her.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, even I am having a tough time believing that I am talking back to her.

“I don’t like people without roots, he has no family, and he is just a nobody in society.”

“That’s discrimination, we cannot treat people this way, it was one of those things you taught me!”

“It matters to me if my daughter is trapped in a meaningless relationship, I will not allow it, Ella, so you better stop it now.” she warned.

I haven’t even started yet! How can she ask me to give up? I can’t give up on Michael...

“I have always listened to you before taking every decision in my life, please consider me this time,” I said slowly. “Mama...Michael is really a good guy-”

“This is the biggest thing in your life, Ella, I won’t let you ruin your life over someone like him.” she told me. “You were brought up like a princess, Ella, do you think he could afford you this kind of lifestyle? However smart and outstanding he is, He is still just a student!”

“Mama-”

“Don’t talk to me about that guy anymore,” she got up abruptly, “Don’t make me transfer you to a different college.”

And with that, she walked off.

I stared after her for a moment.

............

I opened my journal after a few hours and marked the date.

Mama is angry with me today...

I started to write.

I am grateful that you brought me up all alone, Mama... You didn’t abandon me as Papa did, I am really thankful that I have you. But this is the only one thing I won’t do according to your wish...

I can’t give up on Michael... This life you just told me about is exhausting me...it’s weighing me down... I want an escape... I want to be free...

Michael is my only hope, Mama, Sorry; I cannot give up on him easily...

I closed the journal.

I need to prepare well and present the project tomorrow.

Michael.

“It’s half past 12, you never stayed back this late.” Sooraj looked at me doubtfully.

I stopped typing and looked at him.

“What? You don’t want me to fix this?”

His company faced a sudden system crash which made every data to be wiped out. Sooraj was in a panic mode while he called me.

I don’t usually take the job outside of my preset schedule. But the pay was handsome and...And I thought it’s a good opportunity to take my mind off things.

“Whoa! Calm down, man! I am simply surprised that you are working here so late, you always tried to finish early.”

“This might take some time, so let me focus on this.” I said.

.................

“Everything is fixed,” I said and leaned back to my chair.

There was no response from the side and I looked over to see Sooraj sleeping in the chair.

I sighed and looked at the watch.

It was already 8:15 in the morning. I have been working here for the past 8 or so hours.

“Sooraj,” I raised my voice a bit this time and he jerked awake.

He took one look at the watch and started to curse.

“Everything is fixed and restored,” I said calmly. “I would suggest you use a larger cloud system.” I added.

“You...you fixed it? You really fixed it!?” He asked me and I nodded.

He sat back and started to tap on the keyboard.

“Oh my God! Michael, you really are a genius!” he said dramatically. “The offer our chief made still stands, you can join our team anytime you prefer.”

“You cannot afford me.”

“Now, if you could tone down your rudeness a little, you could be the perfect guy for the job.”

“I am not perfect and I am not looking for a job. Get me my pay, I need to go, My College starts at 10.”

10 minutes later, I took my bike and drove out of there.

By the time I reached home, got changed and started my bike, it was already 9:30.

I cannot avoid her anymore...I will have to face her this time.

I started my bike and my phone started to vibrate.

It was Sooraj.

“Hello?” I attended the call.

“Michael,” he sounded slightly different. “You need to come here.”

“I am on my way to college.”

“It’s urgent, there is an important guest here and the chief want you to come here immediately!” he said. “I think it’s about the work you did yesterday.”

“That’s resolved and everything is restored.”

“Then why do you think Shankar sir is asking for you?”

I sighed.

“I can only stay for 10 minutes.” I said and disconnected the call.

I can just drop by on the way to college.

..........

As I walked inside, I was greeted with an unusual air of quietness and silence from the employees.

Two of the assistants were running around, one of them instructing the intern to get the refreshments delivered.

“Thank God! You are here!” Sooraj looked relieved to see me.

“What’s it?

“You have a guest waiting inside the meeting room,” he said. “You won’t believe who it is!” He added.

“Who is it?” I asked him.

“The legend of IT field, the actual owner of the tech giant, Madam Salena Adams is here!” He said.

I stilled at that.

Cinderella’s Mom is here!?

----------------------

Q: Will Michael act on his feelings towards Ella?

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