Someone Somewhere Is Made For You

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#25 She is my beautiful princess

Ella.

“Whoa! Ella! Why do you look like you haven’t slept yesterday?” Nisha asked me as soon as she spots me.

“Is it that obvious?”

“What kept you awake all night?” she looked at me, “Ah...it should be your Michael, what was all that commotion yesterday? I had to call your landline yesterday. Sam said you were missing,” Nisha guided me to our usual spot at the open canteen outside the campus.

“Actually I don’t know what’s going on,” I said slowly.

“You said you will explain everything today,” Nisha reminded me.

“Michael was super drunk and confessed to me yesterday,” I blurted out.

“What!?”

I winced at her loud voice and a few nearby students turned our way to give us an annoying look.

“What the heck did you mean by that?” Nisha asked me again, lowering her voice.

I proceeded to tell her everything that happened yesterday, except that kiss; it felt too intimate and private to share. I wanted to keep it inside me for a while.

“...and I ran away,” I stopped my story.

“What made you think that Michael is drunk? Did he look drunk?”

I shook my head. “No,” I said slowly. “In fact, he sounded firm and convincing.”

“Then why did you think that he is drunk?”

“There’s no way he will confess to me in his sober mind,” I said. “So when senior Sam said that he is drunk, it just explained it.”

“You are being unreasonable, Ella,” Nisha said. “You should have stayed and heard him out, maybe he wanted to be with you too.”

“But I was scared. He made it look like it’s nothing after he hugged me, I couldn’t possibly let him ruin our kis-”

Oops!

It just slipped out!

I looked at Nisha who was gaping at me. Her mouth was half-open, her eyes wide.

“HE KI-”

I managed to close her mouth with my palm before she screamed and let the world know that he kissed me.

“Nisha!” I whisper yelled and she took a deep breath and nodded.

I took back my hand.

“No wonder you look like a zombie, Ella, but if he really bails out on you after kissing you, I am going to kill him,” she said sternly and I felt a little worried for Michael.

She looked at the watch. “It’s time for my class, we can meet for lunch.”

“Oh no!” I exclaimed. “I am going back early today,” I said. “I am skipping the last hour.”

Final years don’t have the class anymore. They are busy with their thesis work and other things.

I am planning to avoid him. I kind of know Michael’s schedule. He has other commitments in the morning today.

Nisha gave me a disapproving look.

“Avoiding him wouldn’t be good, hear him out and let’s see what he has to say.”

She knows me well.

“But I am scared-”

“As I said, I have your back, Ella. If he ever hurts you, I won’t let him go easily,” she said seriously.

I gulped and nodded slowly.

“I...I will hear him out, I promise, Nisha, but give me a couple of days to gather some courage to face him,” I said and she sighed.

“Fine, two days, not more than that,” she said and I nodded, relieved.

Michael.

Cinderella skipped the last hour and avoided me. I am surprised about how well she knows my schedule.

I don’t know how long she plans to avoid me; it’s really frustrating that after taking leave for the last 8 days, she has now started to skip the classes just to avoid me.

I walked out of the department in a bad mood.

“Michael, wait!”

I turned around to see my batch mate, Praveen, hurrying to me.

I waited for him to reach me.

“Are you going to the party with Ruhi?” he asked me as soon as he was near.

I looked at him. I had enough about this party thing.

“Yes,” I started to walk.

“You can’t!” Praveen followed me.

“Why not?”

“Because she’s my girlfriend,”

I stopped at that.

Well...this might be my chance to get rid of this situation.

I was not looking forward to going to the party with Ruhi anyway.

“Your girlfriend? How many girlfriends do you have then? I thought you already asked someone else?”

“That’s because...I am angry with her!” He exclaimed. “Wait a minute, did she tell you that? That’s right, you are not the type to go to the party, and she must’ve convinced you to take her with you so as to get me angry!”

Crap...I didn’t mean to expose her plan.

“Do I look like a person who has time to get involved in your love story?” I asked him.

He stared at me.

“Then why are you going with her? Are you seriously interested in her?”

“That’s none of your business.”

“It is! She is my girlfriend,” he exclaimed. “Just because we are fighting doesn’t mean that you can court her!”

“Ruhi is an individual person, she asked me to the party and I said yes,” I said firmly. “I don’t see why I should bother to tell you all of this.”

He straightened up threateningly. He was a couple of inches shorter than me, but he looked at me angrily.

“We were batch mates for the last four years, Michael,” he said. “I want you to know that people call you head-weight because of this attitude of yours,” he said angrily.

Wow...Ruhi and Praveen might be really made for each other. Both of them told me the same thing while getting angry.

“It’s nothing new to me,” I shrugged. “I have always been an outcast and still survived all this time.”

“Don’t be a jerk, Michael.”

I looked at him.

“I didn’t invite Ruhi; she was the one who asked me out. Since I already promised her, I cannot back down. If you are this concerned, you should go talk to her directly.” I looked at him. “And once my tech-fest is over, the year-end party will be in a few days and I won’t let Ruhi bail out on me as it would be difficult for me to get a date, so you have exactly two weeks to convince her, Good luck.”

I walked out of there, leaving an angry Praveen there.

I hope he will somehow convince Ruhi and free me out of this sticky situation.

I really don’t want to go to the party. And if at all I am going, I already have someone in my mind for me to take as a date.

A certain someone who seemed hell-bound in ignoring me.

Ella.

Anxiety, craving, restlessness, delirium, hallucination, insomnia, disorientation, racing thoughts and slowness in activities...

Yes, I think I am suffering from withdrawal syndrome.

I am missing him, I am longing to meet him, I am imagining the kiss we shared and I am even hearing voices of his confession echoing around me. But I dare not to meet him.

I am scared now. If Michael rejects me this time, I know that I will have to leave for sure.

I know that I need to face reality, but I am still hesitating.

Okay...I will meet him tomorrow.

I tried to convince myself as I walked to my morning class.

That’s right, there’s no point in delaying it...I need closure.

I had my usual spat with Angela and her friend Meera, who was scowling at me the whole time for some reason, not that I care anyway. The day was going well until the message came in the Whatsapp group.

“Project meeting at 3 pm sharp.” it was from Michael.

The people who were online started to respond instantly.

“What? Didn’t we already complete the classes?”

“You said we just need to prepare by ourselves now.”

“It’s important, 3 pm, NO ONE is to skip,” Michael replied.

Argh...what am I supposed to do now?

I feel like I am trapped between the devil and the deep sea. I know I cannot skip the project meeting as it’s a crucial time. Maybe it’s something important about the competition.

Or maybe it’s his way to see you?

My inner voice asked me hopefully.

But then, he still could’ve contacted me through phone if he wanted to talk to me. He seemed to be avoiding me as well.

Then it might be something important regarding the project.

I concluded and took a deep breath.

Well...plan B.

I will be a good student and attend the meeting. Then when the class is over, I will be the first one out of the class, no matter what.

If he asks me to stay back, I will just say that I have something to take care of.

Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.

I tried to calm myself.

But even the thought of meeting him again was making my heart go crazy.

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

The time was already three and I got up slowly.

It’s just the normal project class.

I just need to be calm and collected. That’s right, I shouldn’t over think things.

This is it. Everyone would be already there by now. Michael can’t talk to me alone.

I walked to the project room.

My heart started to pound and my limbs trembled.

I stopped in front of the door for a moment.

Okay Ella, just keep it cool...Act like a normal sane person...

I took a deep breath and opened the door.

“Sorry, I am a little lat-” I stopped.

The seminar hall was engulfed in darkness except for the light from the projector in the front.

I walked inside hesitantly, my eyes adjusting to the bright light from the front.

I slowly registered that the hall is empty.

“No one is here...it’s just me,” I said slowly.

The lights in the room came back and I blinked.

“That’s right, no one is here, it’s just you and me.”

I whirled around at the voice. My heart felt like it will explode at any moment.

I just stared at Michael, who was standing in front of the door. His hands were folded across his chest and he was looking at me intently.

“I...you...what...” I stuttered while my eyes roamed around the room. The door at the front is locked. Michael was standing in front of my only escape route.

I took a deep breath. I wanted some oxygen to make my frozen brain cells to work again.

“Why are you standing there?” I asked him in what I hope is in a calm way.

“Why did you run away?” He asked me back.

I blinked. I was not expecting him to ask me that directly.

“What...what about the class? Project? Everyone-”

“The class is cancelled,” he shrugged.

“What! I didn’t know!” I said.

“Oh,” he looked at me, “I must’ve missed you from the broadcast list.”

Liar! You wanted me to come here!

You should have put up the message in the group instead of broadcasting it to everyone.

“Then I will leave, I have something important-”

“It’s my turn now,” Michael unfolded his hands and took a step down from the door, towards me.

My traitor heart jumped.

I am feeling excited and anxious simultaneously.

“Wha...what?”

“Why did you disappear like that from my house?” he asked me, all the while walking down to me.

“I...I had something to take care of-” I stopped as he stopped near me.

“Stop lying, Princess,” his voice was soft but firm. “I know you were avoiding me.”

I stared at him at the word “Princess”. I have mixed feelings about it. Most of the people called me that to bully me. But weirdly, there was something in the way he called me that made it sounds intimate.

“You are the one who is lying! You purposefully sent the text to everyone but me!”

“And why do you think I did that?”

“You wanted to trick me to come here!”

“Why?”

“Because you wanted to talk to me alone!”

“Now, you sure know why I called you here,” he smiled. “Would you have come here if I called you directly?”

What the heck! Did I just tell him what he wanted to hear?

I didn’t know Michael could be manipulative!

He is fully prepared and caught me off guard. I need some preparation to have this talk with him.

It’s time to take out the plan B...or C...whatever it is anyway...

I need to run away, now!

“I really have something to do today, it’s urgent,” I told him bravely. He didn’t move. “I will talk to you tomorrow, I know that we need to talk, I am not avoiding that,” I sidestepped him slowly, “I will call you later, let’s fix-”

I gasped as I was slammed to him. My back was pressed to him while his hands encircled me in a hug.

I trembled as I felt his breath against my ear.

“Do you still think that I was drunk that day?” he asked me and I froze.

He chuckled softly; the sound of it filled me with warmth even in this situation.

“Looks like I was right,” he loosened the grip and turned me around to face him. “Did you think I confessed under the influence?”

“You...you didn’t?” I am seriously in need of support now.

He wrapped me to him, surprising me. “What do you think?” He was looking into my eyes intently.

A shiver went down my spine.

“You...you meant it...” I said slowly and he nodded.

“I love you...” he whispered and kissed my forehead.”So stop avoiding me and running away from me.”

Oh my God!

Oh my God!!!

Oh my freaking God!!! I think I will die of heart attack now

“I gave you enough chances to stay away from me,” he said, “but since you disregarded it, I won’t lie to myself anymore.”

“Can...Can you...let me go?” My voice trembled.

It’s too much for me and I have a feeling that I will lose it if I keep it inside anymore.

“Um?”

“Give me a minute?” I said and placed my hand on his chest. “Just...a moment,” I looked into his confused eyes.

He loosened his grip slightly and I held myself together. I took a step back and turned around.

“Cinderella-”

“A momen...”

I couldn’t complete my sentence. My words dragged off and the overwhelming emotions took over me. My eyes started to fill on their own accord and flew down without my permission.

No matter how hard I tried to hold it in, it just started to overflow as if a broken dam.

“Cinderella?” Michael sounded worried now.

I wiped my eyes with my hands. “I...I am...not...normally like...this,” I struggled to complete my sentence, “I...I am just...too happy...”

Really great, Ella!

What a cool sight to show your long term crush!

Really impressive!

My inner self scolded me.

I sniffed.

“I am sorry,” I said through my tears. “Just give me a-” I stopped once again as I felt myself being hugged tightly.

His body was surprisingly warm and comforting, you would think that I would control myself in this kind of situation, but to my horror, everything just exploded and I could no longer take control of my emotions.

I clutched him tightly and cried my heart out as Michael hugged me and kept on telling me comforting words.

After maybe a good 10 minutes, I finally calmed down. An awkward silence filled the room.

I sniffed and took a step back from him.

“That...that was not very cool,” I said, “That’s not how I planned my confession,” I added.

He chuckled.

“Don’t worry, I already heard your confession, remember?” He teased me.

That’s right; the whole college would have heard my confession by now.

“Then...Are we seeing each other now?” I asked slowly and he smiled and took my hand as an answer.

“Let’s date, Ella.”

I looked at him.

“What will you do if you find out I am not...that you don’t really like me?” I asked him.

“I am very much clear about what I like and don’t like, Princess, you don’t have to doubt me.”

“If we start today, you...cannot back out,” I said.

“Same goes for you, if we start today, you can’t ever get rid of me, is that okay?” He asked me back.

I am on cloud nine.

I nodded quickly.

“Good,” He held my hand and walked outside.

“Wait! Where are we going?”

“Have lunch with me,” he said. “I am sure that you didn’t have your lunch today.”

How did he know!? I was trying to avoid running to him...

“Um...yeah,” I said slowly. We were near the door. “But are you okay with people seeing us together?”

“You used to follow me around all the time, I don’t think eating lunch will make any difference,” he said.

“But...” I hesitated again.

I am worried about Mama finding about this. She has her ways to know about things.

Michael looked at me.

“You know that we cannot hide it from her for long, right?” He asked me.

I nodded slowly; surprised that he read my thought.

“I am worried that...that she will...”

“She will do something to me?” He asked me and I nodded.

“When I confessed my feelings, I considered everything carefully,” he said. “I am ready to face her, so don’t worry about me,” he said.

I nearly cried again, nearly.

“I...just need a little time...” I said and he nodded.

“I understand,” he said and let go of my hand.

I looked at him.

“We will keep it down for the time being,” he said and I nodded gratefully.

My Mama won’t take this lightly, I know that. I just want some quiet days with Michael before she finds out.

Ella.

We ended up going to the nearest private restaurant where I celebrated my first salary day.

When we were waiting for the food, I looked at him curiously.

“Since when did you...?” I asked slowly.

“I don’t know...Maybe it was when you didn’t give up on the project? Maybe it’s because you made me worried?”

“Then how did you realise...that you...like me?”

“This place,” he said shortly. “Your first salary celebration.”

That’s right! He hugged me that day!

“Then why did you deny it?”

“I thought I could keep it inside me.”

My heart skipped a beat.

“You couldn’t control it?”

“It kept bothering me,” he said. “You always made me worried about you too.”

Whoa!

“Then why did you suddenly confess now?”

“I thought about it well,” He said slowly, “I don’t want to miss you,” he looked into my eyes and I felt like I am in a dream, “So you cannot transfer college. Stay beside me,” he stretches his hand and placed his hand on top of mine on the table.

My heart leapt and both of us stared at each other.

Looks like Nisha and Sam were right! Michael confessed to me because he thinks I am leaving.

We were interrupted by the waiter and Michael took his hand and moved back and I mirrored his action.

I waited till the waiter moved away.

“I...I am the student with the last rank and you are the topper of the university and gold medallist, is it okay?” I asked slowly.

He chuckled.

“Ella, I heard you playing the violin, you are a pro,” he smiled.

I looked at him in confusion. I don’t understand what it has anything to do with our conversation.

“What I mean is, Ella, CSE is my area of expertise, but I cannot judge everyone based on my criteria,” he looked at me. “Your passion is music, I respect that.”

I stared at him.

“You...you don’t mind that I am doing badly in my academics?”

“I just don’t want to pressure you.” He said. “What do you think will happen if I was enrolled in a music class? The position of our ranks would be the opposite,” He looked at me. “Albert Einstein once said that everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree; it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

Whoa! I had never thought like that! It makes sense that each and every person will have something they are good at or love. We cannot judge people based on some set criteria!

Michael getting the last rank in music class?

I giggled at the thought. “I cannot think of you getting the last rank,” I looked at him. “That feels so weird!”

“I am lucky that I am a CSE student then,” he grinned and both of us laughed.

“So it’s a deal?” He asked me as he served me the food, I looked up.

“What?”

“That you won’t transfer college?” He asked me.

I smiled.

It’s nice to know that Michael is anxious about me transferring college.

“I will think about it,” I said and Michael looked at me.

“Even if you want to, wait till the semester is over,” he said. “Stay until I am here.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Once I am out of this college, we can think of a plan that will work out for the both of us, but until then, you need to stay beside me,” he said seriously.

...and that was everything that my poor heart could take in a day. Words failed me, so I just nodded slowly.

I had never been this happy in my life that I was scared of it.

After our meal, we strolled in the small garden in the waiting side and Michael guided me to the same bench he had waited for me the other day.

Both of us laughed at the memory as we sat down.

I looked at the time.

“It’s time for you to go to your part-time job,” I said.

I am well aware of his schedule.

“I want to escort you back to the campus first so that your driver can pick you up from there,” he looked into my eyes.

We started to walk outside.

“Um...” I looked at him uncertainly. “Why...why did you call me...that?”

He called me “princess”, and it was not once.

“Call you what?” He looked at me.

“You after you...we did that...from your place...you called me a princess.”

“After we did what?” He asked again and I finally looked at him.

He looked amused and instantly knew that he’s teasing me.

I pursed my lips and Michael chuckled.

“Do you dislike it?” He asked me. “Actually I didn’t want to call you Cinderella as I knew that you hated it, and the other name just felt right.”

“You think I am a spoilt princess?”

“You are my beautiful princess,” he said and I stopped midway. I looked at him and found that he is indeed serious. “And if it really bothers you, I will try to call you Ella, I am just not used to call you that name,” he added and intertwined our fingers.

I was frozen in my spot, unable to move. Butterflies swarmed inside me and Goosebumps erupted as I looked at our intertwined hands.

Michael’s phone started to ring and I loosened my hand, but he gave me a look and held on to my hand while taking his phone out with the other hand.

“Jeeva?” He attended the call. I watched his expression change serious and he tightened his hand around mine unconsciously.

“Yeah, I understand,” he frowned. “I knew that following his bank details would be faster, good job.” He disconnected the call and turned to me.

“Is something wrong?” I asked him.

“Looks like Jeeva already has the details on the guy who kept targeting you.” he said.

“Senior Rijo? But I don’t even know him! Why would he target me?”

“That’s what I wanted to know. I will fill you everything after I meet Jeeva, he seems to have some leads.”

I nodded.

“Cin...Ella...” he looked at me. “Don’t trust anyone.” He said. “Since this guy has targeted you, better be careful and safe.”

I nodded.

“Then let’s go...” he said and let go of my hand as I took my bag from the bench.

“Cin...Ella-”

“Cinderella is fine,” I smiled. “It’s weird to hear “Ella” from you.”

“Don’t you hate it?” He asked me.

“Not from you...I guess it’s different.”

He smiled and nodded.

That was right. Hearing Cinderella and Princess from him just feel more intimate to me.

“Call your driver then, I will wait till he picks you up.”

“That’s not necessary, just go back if it’s urgent-”

“What did I just tell you?” He looked at me sternly.

“I will be careful.”

“Don’t put your guard down until this matter is resolved.” he said, “Cinderella, I don’t want you to get hurt.”

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

Q: Any comments on this new side of Michael?

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