#24 He kissed me
I just sat there and ran my finger over the rim of my cup nervously as Michael was studying me over his coffee cup.
“So? Do you have anything tell me?” He asked and I looked up for the first time after entering the house.
He looked serious.
“I don’t like computer science,” I started to talk, “I was forced to join this college-”
“I am not concerned about it, I am just asking you about the project,” he said sternly, “As a team leader, I am really disappointed in you; you cannot be this irresistible.”
“But...I am not the person who is presenting-”
“Didn’t you know that before you joined my group, Cinderella?” he narrowed his eyes at me, “I just want you to stay back and complete it with my team.”
“I...I will think about it,” I said slowly.
“I couldn’t get hold of you the last few days,” he said and I looked him in the eyes, “I want you to respond to my calls and texts,” he said firmly.
My heart skipped a beat.
“Since the tech-fest will be in a few days, I don’t want any of my team members to be unavailable,” he added.
Oh...he is talking about the project again.
I nodded and looked down.
Silence filled the room for a moment. I don’t know why I am feeling so nervous around him all of a sudden. Maybe it’s because of my confession?
No matter how Michael avoided it, he knows that I like him...
“Would you like anything else to drink?” He asked me gently, “You haven’t touched your coffee.”
Uh...I was so nervous that I forgot about it.
“I...” I stopped for a moment. I can’t possibly let him know that I am nervous because of him. “I would like a glass of water,” I said bravely.
He nodded and got up. I released a breath I didn’t know I was holding as soon as he disappeared from sight.
Michael’s presence is too much for me!
I took a deep breath and looked around once more. It’s the first time I am entering his house after that riverside incident.
There were various books, trophies and certificates arranged around the room.
Whoa! He could arrange an exhibition-
I have just seen something that skipped my heart.
In one of the shelves in the corner was a shiny red colour.
I got up and walked to it. Sure enough, it was my shoe. The shelf had a wooden border around the glass so that it hides my shoe pretty well.
I opened the glass door.
It really is my shoe!
I rose on my toe and started to take it out-
...and before I knew it, the glass shelf in front of me moved as if it doesn’t have balance and started to fall.
My first instinct was to hold it in place and I did exactly that. The shelf stabilised, but the contents started to fall down from its place as I had already opened the door before.
Each of the shattering and falling sounds just pierced my heart and I knew that I am in deep trouble.
“Cinderella, Wait!” I heard Michael’s shout and was startled. To my horror, I lost my grip and the shelf started to move again.
I tightened the grip once again and froze as I felt Michael’s hands covering mine.
The shelf stabilized and I nearly died of heart attack as I felt him behind me.
Michael was so close to me and his body covered mine.
“Stay still, the bracket is loosened,” he said as he balanced it back to the place.
He needn’t be told twice anyway, I was close to his body and his arms on either side of me were imprisoning me.
Michael fixed it in a few seconds, but I felt it was an eternity before he took his hands back and took a step away from me.
I turned around slowly. Broken things, books and trophies were scattered everywhere and I just wished the ground will open up and swallow me.
I looked at him slowly. Michael had a weird expression on his face. He was looking at me in a strange way.
“I...I am...I am sorry...” I trembled. “I...I was-”
“What am I going to do with you?” He whispered. It was more of a statement than a question. “Cinderella, just tell me what the heck should I do with you!”
“I am...sorry,” I looked down.
“You are sorry?” He asked me incredulously.
“I am really sorry about this, I-” I was cut-off midway as he took a step towards me and crowded my personal space. He took another step and slammed me against him.
I couldn’t move back, for one thing, he had his hands wrapped around me tightly and for another thing; I was scared of touching the shelf again.
I looked into his eyes in shock.
“If you are sorry, Cinderella, stop making me worried!” He looked into my eyes. “If you are sorry, don’t get into trouble and take care of yourself!”
Why does he look so different?
I could feel her trembling in my hands. Her eyes were wide and innocent. Her breathe irregular.
“Dammit, Cinderella, stop making me worried about you!”
She looked startled.
“You...you are worried about me-?”
She was struggling to get her words out and I decided enough is enough. I tightened my hand around her and bend down to her.
I know I should not be impulsive. I know I will have to face the consequences for this, I know there is no turning back once I do this, but I didn’t care anymore.
I wanted her like I have never wanted anyone or anything in my life. It was no longer a choice. It was a need, and Cinderella Adams just made me break my own rule.
My lips brushed hers tenderly and she jerked, but I was not satisfied. I wanted more...no- I needed more, it felt as important as air.
I held her close and kissed her intimately. I pulled her lower lip between my lips and proceeded to do the same to her upper lip.
I took advantage of her gasp and entered her mouth.
I kissed her deeply, passionately and like there’s no tomorrow.
The control had just snapped and everything I held back was overflowing.
I felt Cinderella’s hesitant clutch on my shirt and pulled her so close that she was pressed to me.
When I finally moved back and looked at her, she had her eyes closed and face flushed. Her body was still leaning to me for support.
I kissed her on the forehead and she opened her eyes slowly.
“I love you, Princess...” I spoke softly and her face turned redder.
I balanced her back to her feet and held her for a few seconds as she gathered her wits together.
As soon as she looked okay, I let go of her and took a step back.
“Can you please sit there while I take care of this?” I asked her and she just stayed there, staring at me.
Michael seemed to be asking me something, but all I could hear was the same words echoing around me.
I love you, princess...
I love you...
Michael just told me that he loves me!
Maybe this is not real? It’s happening inside my head?
There’s no way Michael would love me after everything I put him through...
If this is a dream, I don’t want to wake up...
“Are you all right?”
I heard a bothering sound from far away, but I don’t want to be out of this trance...
I stared at Michael who looked concerned. I watched as if in slow motion as he moved his hand...
...and placed it on my cheek, causing my already irregular heartbeats to just leap.
“Are you okay?”
I could feel the warmth of his hand and the concern in his voice.
“You...you said you love me!” I stated and Michael looked into my eyes.
“Yes, I did,” he nodded in confirmation.
“It’s definitely a dream,” I told myself. “But it feels so real.”
“Since you seemed to be fond of dreaming, can you just wait in the settee and do it?” Michael looked amused.
“Wait? What?” I started to take in the surrounding.
Oh shit! How can I forget about the mess I created?
But wait! It really happened; I literally broke everything on the floor.
So this is not a dream?
“I...I will help you,” I said quickly.
I guess I will have to figure it out later.
“Knowing you, I am sure you will cut yourself in the process of cleaning this,” he took a step forward and lifted me up unexpectedly.
I wrapped my hands around him in shock and he looked into my eyes.
“Why don’t you wait for me a little? I will clear up the things in the meantime,” he started to walk through the mess and I didn’t know what to do anymore.
I had never in my life even imagined that Michael would hold me close like this in real.
I could feel his strong hands surrounding me. I could smell his unique scent and feel the warmth his body provided.
He placed me down on the settee and looked at me sternly.
“You are not allowed to move before I tell you,” he said and I stared at him.
“Why?” I whispered.
I wanted to ask him so many questions. I wanted to ask him why he loved me, why he decided to confess, why he did it now.
“I have noticed that things don’t always happen in a logical way around you, Cinderella,” he said while he kneel down in front of the settee and looked into my eyes. “And I just wanted to be selfish at least this one time in my life.”
With that, he was back to cleaning the mess I created.
I sat there on the settee like an obedient pet. I am having a debate with myself in my head.
What happened to him?
Why did he change all of a sudden?
Maybe he doesn’t mean it?
My phone started to buzz and I took it out.
It was Senior Sam.
“Wait for me, we need to talk,” Michael nodded at me and moved out of the room with the glass pieces that were collected on a Broken frame.
I took a deep breath and accepted the call.
“Senior Sam?” I said.
“Ella, something happened, did you see Mike? I can’t get hold of him,” he said and I was alert instantly.
“Yeah, he is here at his house,” I said slowly. “I was not intending to meet him but I bumped to him here and-”
“Never mind that,” Sam said. “He reported one of his juniors for hacking and got him arrested. He got angry when he couldn’t find anything on that guy’s laptop.”
“What!?” I am shocked now. I remembered the strange look on him when I first met him outside. “He won’t get involved in other people’s business unnecessarily!” I said.
“Exactly,” Sam agreed.
“Why would he target his junior?” I asked slowly. “Who is this guy?”
“I think it’s Rijo from third-year CSE. Michael was looking for the guy who uploaded those videos of you,” Sam said, “I guess it might be him, Michael got hold of his laptop with the help of his friend Jeeva, but everything was wiped clean.”
The guy who uploaded my video? Michael tracked him down?
What’s going on?
“I don’t know who this senior Rijo is, why did he target me?”
“Apparently he is an excellent hacker. Michael said he used to take time off from college,” Sam explained. “Anyways, Michael looked furious when the guy didn’t talk and I dragged him outside the station,” Sam explained. “I wanted to let him cool off and took him to a bar, but he got drunk and disappeared all of a sudden, I have been out of my mind with worry!”
Michael got drunk in the day?
“Now that he is home, I can have some peace,” Sam said. “I will see him tomorrow, he gave me a scare today,” Sam sounded angry.
“So...Michael is drunk?”
“Don’t worry Ella, I will ask him what’s going on when he comes back to his senses, Bye,” he disconnected the call.
Michael is drunk?
Oh my God!
No wonder he confessed his feelings for me...
But he didn’t look like he was drunk!
“We need to talk,”
I remembered his words and I jumped up.
Maybe he wanted to talk about that kiss? Maybe he wanted to cancel the confession? He had done it after hugging me... he had made it look like it’s nothing.
That’s right, there’s no way he would kiss me if he was in his sane mind!
Well...then, I cannot allow it a second time! I won’t allow him to cancel his confession.
I grabbed my bag and hurried out of there.
I placed the broken frame on the cabinet and stayed there for a moment. My heart was still going crazy.
Jeeva and team managed to nab Rijo and took his laptop and phone into custody, but he had already wiped it clean. I was hoping to get the third video that he failed to upload that day, but now I need to recover the whole data first before getting hold of it.
I was also angry as he refused to tell me who put him to it. Jeeva has already found a large sum of money transferred to his account, so I refuse to believe his words that he was targeting Cinderella because she was a spoilt princess.
I knew for a fact that someone is targeting her.
I was in a bad mood as I came back. I was planning to work on recovering the deleted files from his hard drive when I met Cinderella unexpectedly. So everything kind of just exploded and I let my heart take over my mind.
Who would have thought that a love confession would be more cumbersome than your project works!
I just wanted a moment to compose myself before talking to her again. I didn’t want to see so much affected.
I took a deep breath.
Yeah...I can do this!
I walked back to the hall.
“Let’s-” I stopped. The settee was empty.
Where is she?
“Cinderella?” I looked around. She was nowhere to be seen.
What the heck!
I opened the door and stepped outside the house.
“Are you looking for someone?” I heard Jenni’s sarcastic voice from the sit-out area of the main house.
It’s obvious from her tone that she’s talking about Cinderella.
“Did you see Cinderella?”
“She just ran away, she said she has something to take care of, didn’t even stop to explain what,” Jenni said.
So she ran away?
“Oh?” Jenni mimicked my tone. “Looks like she was scared, her face was all red. Did you scare the girl, Mike?” Jenni asked in her signature-annoying voice.
I could say that she’s trying to hide her smile.
“So you were spying on us?” I said and turned back around.
“Looks like I am right, my brother is also blushing!”
“I am not!” I denied instantly even as the image of me kissing Cinderella appeared in my mind.
Jenni laughed aloud.
“You kids are cute,”
“Okay Grandma,” I retorted and she gave me a fake glare at the salutation.
I turned back to my house and took the car key from the keyboard.
There was a message tone and I opened my phone quickly.
“I need to take care of something, I am on my way home, we can talk later,”
What’s that supposed to mean?
Why did she run away?
I knew that she likes me...she has even confessed it in front of everyone in the class.
Did something really happen?
“Did you get a cab back?” I typed and hit the send button, but my message didn’t deliver.
I dialled her and her phone was switched off.
I walked out of the house and towards the car.
“Good luck, Mike,” Jenni smiled.
I ignored her and started the car and reversed it.
I searched for her for about 10 minutes before stopping on a side.
She’s not nearby.
I am now worried about her. I happen to know well about her sense of direction.
I looked at the phone again.
I know I cannot go and see her at her place. I dialled Sam.
“You bloody F**king Rascal!” I grimaced slightly as he continued. “Where the hell were you? Where did you disappear after drinking with me? What happened-?”
“Sam, listen, it’s urgent,” I said and he seemed to notice the gravity in my voice as he stopped screaming through the phone. “Cinderella just visited me but-”
“Yeah, I know, she told me when I called her.”
“You called her? When?”
“Just now, I couldn’t reach you and I didn’t know whom to call.”
“Then what did you tell her?”
“Nothing much,” he said. “I just said that you are drunk.”
I only had a drink! I am very much sober!
“Yeah, what do you expect me to say after you disappeared like that!?”
Does she think I am drunk? Is it why she disappeared?
Well, it can wait; I need to make sure she is home and safe.
“Listen, she just disappeared and I cannot reach her. Her phone is switched off.”
“Serves you right!”
“Now you know why I was worried,” he said. “Okay, leave it; what do you want me to do? I am sure that she is at home.”
“Then call her friend and confirm it, she is close to you.”
“Nisha, Cinderella’s best friend,” I said.
There was silence at the other side.
“You sounds different, Mike. What’s going on?”
“Can you check with her firs-?”
“No! Not until you tell me what’s going on,”
I closed my eyes in irritation.
“I...um...confessed to her,” I said slowly.
There was silence at the other end, much longer than the previous one.
“Did you just say that you confessed to Ella?” he asked slowly.
“Yes,” I said defensively.
There was very loud laughter at the other end.
“You meant to say...you...you confessed and she ran away?” Sam said between the laughter. “Serves you right!”
“This is not funny,” I said angrily, “Just make sure she is okay and home, call that friend of yours and-”
“You are rude and demanding, Mike,” Sam said. “Don’t you know how to be polite? You are asking favour after all.”
Okay, I should bear with this. He is toying with me, but it’s okay...
I closed my eyes tightly and shook it off, then opened my eyes.
“Could you please call her friend and ask her if Cinderella is back home?” I asked politely. “She might have other means to contact her,”
The answer was another earth-shattering ear-piercing laughter.
Q: Should I make Michael suffer a little?