Someone Somewhere Is Made For You

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#37 She wants me to stay forever

Ella.

“-And the first prize goes to the hosting college, the Bangalore university of information technology-”

That was the only thing I heard as our whole team was cheering so loudly that it even blocked out the announcements.

Everyone was jumping up and down and hugging each other as I stayed there in the middle.

I had never been a part of a team before, so I was rather dazed and overwhelmed to feel it.

Some of them were hugging me and patting me on the shoulder, but I was still frozen.

“Cinderella,” it was the only voice that penetrated the bubble I had around myself. I looked at Michael.

“We...we made it!” it came out as a whisper, and the next thing I know, I was engulfed in his arms and I hugged him back tightly.

I was so happy and content that I felt weightless and floating.

Soon all of the team members were called upon the stage while the whole auditorium cheered for us. Professor Abraham had let the students inside the auditorium after the competition.

I liked the spotlight and the snow sprays. I liked the team spirit and the adrenaline rush. I liked how Michael shined like a star. And I was happy to stay beside him.

That evening, we arranged a big party in one of the clubs near our college. Michael had to call my mama to take her permission to let me stay out and celebrate.

“Finally!” Shreya said as she raised up her glass. “To the champions!” she shouted at the top of her lungs.

“To the champions!” Everyone shouted and drank it on one go.

Shreya raised her glass again, “To the best team in the world!”she shouted again and everyone raised their glasses again.

But before I could drink it, Michael touched my hand and gave me a look that meant ‘I promised your mama to keep you safe and send you back in good condition.’

That’s right. Much to my surprise, Mama allowed me to celebrate with my team. She has also told Michael to send me back “before 12” like I am a freaking Cinderella from the fairy tale.

But I don’t mind really, for one thing; I had already found my Prince Charming and the other thing; I had never expected her to allow me in the first place so I kind of felt lucky to be here with the friends.

I knew it. If there’s anyone who could change my Mama’s mind, it’s my Michael!

“That’s foul, Senior Michael,” Vipin came to my rescue. “Today everyone should drink till they drop.”

“That’s right, it’s your turn now!” Everyone looked at Michael.

I chuckled, “Michael can’t-”

“I am here to watch over you guys today,” he cut across me and looked at them.

I chuckled and took the next one. I have decided to enjoy the maximum today.

“Leave it,” Alex said. “The fact that he attended this celebration itself is something extraordinary,” He said and everyone laughed.

“Senior Michael,” Angela said and raised her glass from the other side. “Thank you for being a good leader and a mentor, we wouldn’t have come this far without you,” she said.

“This is teamwork,” Michael said simply. “Each and everyone in the team deserves this after the way you guys worked for it.”

Everyone cheered again and gave him another toast.

Some started to dance with random people while others looked totally drunk. Even the bookworm in the group, Gokul, seemed wasted by the middle of the party.

Shreya touched her spoon on the glass and everyone turned to her.

“Guys, we are playing the good old game today,” she said. “The truth or dare!” She added. “but we will modify it to be only the ‘dare game’” she explained. “Whoever is selected will be given a dare, and if you give up, You will have to take this special drink!”

She touched a glass vessel where all types of drinks were mixed together. “the loser has to drink it all!” she said excitedly.

So the rest of us, except Michael, gathered around our table.

The game started and it was really fun. Halfway to the game, when the bottle stopped on Angela, she straightened in her seat.

“I know the right task for you!” One of the guys said. “Go and hug Ella!” he said and everyone broke into laughter.

“It will be the eighth wonder of the world,” Shreya shook her head.

But I was taken aback as I hadn’t expected it. I don’t know if I should accept it or reject it. We had been ignoring each other all this time. I turned to Angela.

She got up and I stared at her, suddenly feeling nervous. She walked near Shreya and took the big container of the drink.

I watched in shock as she started to drink the content without any comment.

The guys started to cheer her on and she stopped when she finally finished it. I bit my lips and looked down.

I released that she meant it when she asked me to disappear out of her sight that day.

I don’t know why I feel so upset about it when we don’t have any friendship between us anymore.

My phone vibrated and I opened the message from Michael.

“Would you like to leave?”

I looked at him sitting on the sofa from across us. I gave him a tentative smile and shook my head.

I am not going to ruin my day just because Angela doesn’t want to acknowledge me!

“Then I will be outside, I need to take a call,” he sends me another text and I nodded.

“Wow! You have great capacity!” The team teased Angela while she sat back down.

Alex spins the bottle again and it stops on Shreya. She was given the task to ask the hottest guy in the club to dance with her.

And to our surprise, she really did manage to convince him and the next thing we know, she was dancing with him and looked like having the best time of her life.

When she was not back, we continued to play and the bottle stopped on me.

My heart jumped. I was excited and nervous alike.

“Um...what should we do with our princess Cinderella?” One of them said.

“I know!” Meera exclaimed. “Kiss a waiter!” She said.

“What! No!” I said quickly.

“That’s...um...unreasonable,” Alex said.

“What’s unreasonable?” Meera said. “If Shreya can dance with a random stranger, she can kiss a waiter!” She said.

Half of them cheered while the other half looked doubtful.

“Or you can just take the special drink,” she started to mix the drinks again.

I looked at the container and gulped uneasily. I looked around and an idea popped into my drunk mind.

“I will do it!” I said and everyone including Meera looked at me in surprise. I got up confidently and looked around.

“Hey! Ella is going to kiss a waiter!” she shouted and the others started to clap.

“Kiss...kiss...kiss...” the chanting became louder and louder.

I spotted my target and started to take unsteady steps with my wobbly legs while people were cheering all around me.

“kiss... Kiss...kissss...”

I reached the target from behind.

“Excuse me?” I said and the person slowly turned around. “Ah...um...May I kiss you-” I stopped midway.

I blinked my eyes and looked again.

I had thought I saw a girl in the waiter uniform with long hair and I had planned to kiss the girl on the cheek. But the person in front of me was definitely not a girl.

It was a guy with long hair and wearing a metal hairband.

“You may,” he grinned and leaned down to me.

My eyes became blurry and I panicked. And at the same time, I felt myself being dragged away from him.

“You may not,” Michael sounded angry and I turned around.

All of a sudden, his face emerged out of the darkness and I smiled happily.

I could still hear the chanting in the background.

“Kiss...kiss...kiss.....”

Why not?

I raised up on tip-toe, clutched his shirt tightly and pulled him near. Our gazes collided and I could see Michael looking at me in surprise, but it turned intense as I moved closer.

“Micheal, I love you,” I leaned forward and closed the distance between us. I kissed him on the lips.

Normally people would cheer, shout, and make all sorts of sounds when this happens, but even through my drunken mind, I could sense the surroundings going so low and almost disappearing.

Michael.

I stilled as her warm soft lips were pressed to mine. I could also feel her body pressed to me.

For a moment I was taken back by shock as I hadn’t expected it, but the next moment I felt my hands moving on their own and pressing a still drunk Cinderella closer to me.

I opened my lips slightly and welcomed her lips. She trembled as I deepened the kiss.

I gathered her inside my hands and kissed her like there’s no tomorrow.

People were gaping at us, but I didn’t care anymore. I wanted to let everyone in my team and everyone in the college know that she is my girl and my fiancee. I want the whole world to see that we are together and that no one can bully her.

Our team members were still frozen as I let go of her.

I took her hand and turned towards them.

“Cinderella and I are engaged, we are getting married after my graduation,” I said.

“Yes yes, we are getting married,” she smiled dreamily.

I suppose she’s very drunk or I know she would freak out if she knew that I revealed it.

“That’s...that’s true! I can see the rings!”

“Why didn’t we notice it before!”

“Senior Michael and Ella are engaged!” the whispering started.

“Let’s continue the game!” Cinderella started to walk back and I held her hand tightly and turned to look at her.

“I think you had enough excitement today,” I said. “let’s go back now.”

“But the game...”

“You didn’t make it Ella, you were supposed to kiss a waiter, not Senior Michael!” Meera said gloomily, looking rather disappointed.

Cinderella looked at her in doubt.

“But I love Michael! Why should I kiss the waiter?” she looked genuinely curious and few of the guys laughed at her.

Well...it looks like my princess is too drunk to remember the rules of the game.

“We were playing the “dare game”, Ella,” Meera scoffed.

“She’s drunk,” I said. “And I can’t let her kiss another guy so I will take the punishment in her place,” I added.

“Are you going to drink this?” Vipin asked and everyone looked at me in surprise.

“I have a better offer,” I pulled out my card and showed it to them. “How about I pick up the tab today? You can celebrate as long as you want,” I offered and everyone cheered.

I turned to Alex, “Alex, you are responsible for everyone here, make sure that everyone is back safe,” I added and he groaned.

“Then take care guys,” I took Cinderella’s bag and guided her outside.

“You are going to feel terrible tomorrow, Cinderella,” I said as I guided her to my car.

I waited for her driver to come back and gave her some water.

She leaned to the seat and looked at me.

“Michael...” she whispered and I took her hand.

“Hm?”

“I want you to stay with me...forever...”

“Are you sure? Forever is a long time,” I smiled at her.

“Yeah,” she looked at me rather seriously. “Promise me...”

I leaned towards her and kissed her cheek.

“You have my promise, Princess, I am going to stay with you forever,” I looked into her eyes. “And you cannot ever get rid of me, so just relax, I think you need a good rest, I will call you when Uncle Jose is here.”

She smiled and leaned back to the seat.

Her phone started to ring and I saw Uncle Jose’s name flashing across the screen.

I attended the call.

“Miss, the car broke down, I have sent one of our drivers to pick you up,” Uncle Jose said.

“I am Michael,” I answered. “No need to send anyone, I will drop her home.”

“But...he must be already there now-”

“I cannot send her home with anyone else at this time, tell him not to wait for her,” I disconnected the call and started the engine.

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

“Why is she drunk?” Salena Adams didn’t look very pleased to see her like that.

She didn’t look surprised to see me, so I guess Uncle Jose must’ve told her about me bringing Cinderella home.

“She was excited to be partying out with the team,” I said as I tried to hold her steadily.

“You promised me to look after my daughter!”

“Yeah, I know,” I said. “She was tense about the competition the whole day, so I thought...” I dragged off.

Actually, I wanted her to loosen up a bit.

Salena turned to the housekeeper, “Take Ella to her room,” she ordered and the lady came towards me and tried to take her away.

“Michae...l...” Cinderella whined while trying to resist. “You...promised...stay...forever...”

I cleared my throat rather awkwardly as Salena gave me a look.

“Take her away!” Salena looked angry while the lady looked flustered.

The middle-aged lady pulled Cinderella from me and looked rather trapped as she couldn’t move the drunk Cinderella alone.

Salena looked angrier while the whole situation started to amuse me.

Salena started to support her from the other side.

“Wait,” I said slowly. “Let me help you,” I said and her angry eyes fixed on me.

“Cinderella is really drunk and she cannot walk. it would be difficult for you to support her,” I said quickly. “I don’t have any other intention.”

“We can manage this, you may leave!” She snapped and started to walk while holding Cinderella on one side while the other lady supported the other side.

They brought her all the way to the stairs with difficulty and took a step and Cinderella started to resist again.

“I want...to Micha..el...”

I watched as Salena and the other lady struggled with her and then walked straight to them.

“Let me help you take her upstairs then,” I said firmly and pulled her to my side. Cinderella’s body moved easily and I lifted her up.

The lady on the side gasped and jumped a foot away from me while Salena looked incredulous.

“Trust me, I will just take her to her room and leave, just consider me as one of your staff,” I said.

Salena contemplated my words for a moment and then finally looked at her staff, gesturing for her to follow me.

So I walked upstairs with Cinderella while the staff showed me to her room.

It really was a princess style room and it suited Cinderella well.

I waited as the lady lifted the tilt and I placed her on the bed slowly.

Cinderella opened her eyes with a start and looked into my eyes.

“Mich...ael...”

“Yeah, I am right here, go to sleep,” I took her hand and said softly. She closed her eyes with a smile.

“May I get a glass of water and some fever reducer?” I asked the staff as I watched Cinderella.

She nodded and moved back to the door. I lifted up the duvet and tucked her inside. I bent down and kissed her forehead.

“Good night, my princess.”

I got back up from the bed and Cinderella turned to her side. Something fell down and hit the floor.

“Here’s the medicine,” the lady entered back.

“Place it on the cot table, she would need-” I stopped in the middle of picking up her diary that had fallen down.

As I turned it around, I was surprised to find my photo clipped on it. It was an old picture of me.

I looked at the next page and saw another picture.

I turned the pages and found a lot of pictures of me. She had even collected pictures from the past, the newspaper cuttings from the time I was the topper of the state in school and all. I looked at her sleeping face.

She was practically stalking me for two years and I didn’t even realise it! I sure am glad that she had the courage to force her way into my world.

I dimmed the bedside light and walked out of the room as I was aware of the lady waiting near, looking anxious.

I walked down the stairs.

“Michael.”

As expected, Salena Adams was waiting for me. I took the opposite settee seat from her in the living room.

“I haven’t given you my permission yet,” she told me sternly. “Why didn’t you send her home with the driver?”

“It was late and I just wanted to make sure that she’s safe.”

“Do you really think I would endanger her life?” She asked me.

“Cinderella was drunk and since the problems with Roopak is not settled yet, I wanted to be careful.”

“The investigation is about to be finished and It’s a matter of time before Roopak is arrested. I locked up his father already.”

“I know. But I don’t want to risk anything,” I looked at Salena’s eyes. “He has a grudge towards you and me.”

“I heard it was you who sent the evidence to the Golden security group to sue Roopak and his company?”

“That’s right,” I said.

“Why didn’t you do it before?” she asked me. “You had all the evidence against them.”

“It was not because I didn’t want to drag him to jail. I just didn’t want this fight to get dirty and hurt anyone,” I looked at her. “I know what kind of person Roopak is. To have control over him was enough to keep him away from Cinderella. I believe we will lose our hold over him if we use the last card.”

“Then why did you do it now?”

“Since you have already sued him, I wanted to make sure that Roopak won’t get out of this crisis easily.”

“He won’t,” she said firmly. “And I will make sure that both the dad and the son will rot in the jail,” she deadpanned.

“I don’t want to let down my guard until Roopak is locked up for sure,” I told her.

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

Ella.

I winced as my phone started to ring. I stretched out my hand and took it.

“He...llo?”

It took me a few seconds to realise that I had my phone upside down and corrected it.

“Hell-”

“-I thought it was a rumour first! But then I heard them talking about your engagement-”

“Nisha? Whassit?”

“Did you kiss Michael in front of everyone yesterday? everyone is talking about it!”

“Wh...what?”

“I just heard that you approached Michael, clutched his shirt, pulled him down and kissed him in front of everyone?”

“I didn’t!” I exclaimed even if I vaguely remembered last night.

“Wait! I also heard that you guys are engaged, how come it leaked outside?”

The headache didn’t let me think and I became frustrated.

My phone started to beep indicating an incoming call.

“Nisha, I will call you back, Michael is calling me,” I disconnected Nisha and attended Michael’s call.

“Are you awake?”

“Michael! What happened? Everyone is saying that we...kissed in-front of everyone?”

“Let’s get the facts right first. It was you who kissed me in front of the team.”

“What! Why did you let me do that!?”

“Then what was I supposed to do? It wouldn’t be good for me to push you away. Then everyone will talk about how you tried to seduce me instead,” he chuckled.

“Michael!”

“Oh right, let’s not forget about your confession,” Michael said. “You announced to everyone that you love me as well. So I had to tell everyone that we are engaged as I didn’t want any inappropriate rumours to circle around.”

“I am not going to drink ever again!” I groaned.

“We will talk about the drinking part later,” Michael said. “Did you take the tablet I placed on your table?”

“What!? Did you come to my room yesterday?” I couldn’t believe it.

“If you want to know what happened yesterday, meet me, I will be in the lab, ring me when you are at the campus.”

So I took the pill and water beside the table and started to get ready.

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

Ella.

“Mama gave me a lecture today,” I said as I sat beside Michael. “She is angry with me for getting drunk.”

Michael looked at me with amusement. “I dropped you back yesterday and helped your mama to get you to the room.” He said. “And when your mama was trying to help you, you resisted and asked me to stay with you forever.”

My eyes widened.

“Tell me you are joking!”

“Your mama gave me a lecture yesterday itself, so let’s call it even,” Michael chuckled.

“Oh my God! I am sorry Michael-”

“Hey, don’t worry about it. To be honest, your mama has slightly calmed down while talking to me,” He said. “Unlike every other time, it was not an argument, it was rather a “conversation” that we had yesterday.”

I stared at him.

“Don’t worry, I consider it a good sign,” Michael nodded at me.

I took a deep breath and opened my book.

“You going to study now?” he looked at me in surprise.

“As your fiancee, I don’t want to fail any subjects, that would be too embarrassing!”

Every single person in our college has finally come to know about our “Love story” after the way the first “tech-fest” ended. And with the news of our engagement, even the professors were rather surprised.

Even the students from other departments sometimes give us a double look when we pass them.

He stared at me, looking amused. “Take it easy, you are not planning to stick around, so there’s no need to torture yourself, okay?” He closed my book.

“But I really want to do this, Michael,” I looked at him. “Help me out,” I told him.

So that’s how I ended up making him guide me throughout the syllabus.

He marked me all the important topics and repeated questions and asked to focus on those parts instead of trying to learn the whole syllabus.

As the exams approached, the atmosphere in the college changed and I could feel it as well.

As I didn’t want to flunk the tests, I tried my best to work hard. Even Michael started to complain that I don’t even have time for him.

On the day I finished my exams and practicals, the four of us met at the bougainvillaea canteen.

“One would think that I am the second year and you are the final year, Cinderella,” Michael looked at me and I smiled sheepishly.

“It’s not my fault that you are a genius,” I said.

“I can finally meet you, Ella,” Nisha said. “I have never seen you so engrossed in the studies.”

“If I knew you were going to ignore me like this, I would have postponed revealing about our engagement,” Michael added.

“Don’t tell me that you have started to love your major,” Sam teased me.

“Wait, I am free now,” I looked around. “And let’s get ready for the year-end party!” I tried to change the topic and Michael gave me a look, catching on.

“Wait,” Nisha looked at me. “But can you hang out with us like this? Your mama knows that your exams are over,” she said.

I smiled brightly, “Yup! She has started to give me some space to breathe!” I said. “She didn’t reject it when I mentioned it.”

“That’s great, Ella,” Nisha smiled. “I am glad that your mama is coming around.”

“Right, You were always sulking before, complaining about how you cannot hang out with friends and all,” Sam smiled.

I turned to Michael and saw him frowning.

“Is there any problem, Michael?” I asked him.

“I just find it strange that your mama is behaving out of her normal self.”

“But I feel that she really has a change of heart,” Nisha said.

“Yeah,” I turned to him. “mama promised me after the tech-fest that she won’t interfere in my college life anymore,” I said. “I think she meant it. She was regretful about what she did and even helped us reschedule the competition the second time.”

I desperately wanted to believe in her and give her a chance.

Michael.

But I don’t think people can change so easily.

Salena Adams is the kind of parent who believes that her daughter has to get the best of everything- even if that’s not what her daughter wants.

She won’t ever give Cinderella absolute freedom and as weird as it might sound, I can understand her.

I looked at Cinderella looking at me rather anxiously and I didn’t want to worry her.

“That’s right,” I said slowly, “I hope you are right.”

* * *

Ella.

Denying the truth doesn’t change the facts. Michael’s words were right. I found out why Mama was acting strangely when Julian asked me out to hang out with him a few days after my exams.

Julian took me to one of the famous restaurants in the locality that was owned by his friend.

“You said there’s something urgent, what happened?” I looked at him.

“Is everything okay at the company?” I asked as he looked tense.

“It’s not the company, Ella, It’s about you,” he looked at me for a moment and I could see that he is really serious.

“I just overheard my dad talking to your mama. They were talking about sending you abroad.”

Lightning flashed through my heart.

“Wha...what?”

“I don’t know what exactly their plan is,” Julian ran his hands through his hair. “But Ella, I am damn sure that your mama is arranging everything quietly. They are planning to transfer you within a month.”

I felt numb.

So mama had been lying to me all along? She said she would give us a chance, but that was obviously a lie!

Michael.

“Now that your exams are over, you should be thinking about your future plans,” Jenni told me. “Sam and Ella told me that you didn’t attend the campus interviews, so I guess you have something figured out?”

“Yeah, I have plans,” I confirmed.

“I am surprised that you gave up on your dream company,” she said. “Love can really change a person, huh,” she smiled.

“I was not planning to stick with them for long anyway,” I said and smiled as I watched Jinu and Jiji fighting to be on the screen.

“Uncle Mike, When are you coming to see us?” Jiji said.

“Daddy promised to take us to the water theme park!” Jinu couldn’t wait to tell me the news.

I laughed.

“Then enjoy it, and don’t forget to send me the photos.”

The raindrops splattered on the window and I looked at Jenni and the kids both of whom were still fighting to be on the screen while video calling me.

“It’s raining outside, I need to move my bike to the shelter,” I said before disconnecting the call.

I was on my way outside when the doorbell rang.

I opened the door and stilled as I watched a drenched Cinderella at the doorsteps.

“What happened? Didn’t you say that you are meeting Julian toda-”

I stopped as she ran to me and hugged me tightly. Her face was buried in my shirt and her body was trembling.

I hugged her back and waited for her to calm down.

“Cinderella,” I said slowly. “What happened?”

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

Q: Who do you think is more in love now? Michael or Ella? Why?😜

Guys,

I apologize for uploading late. But I want you to know that I am a healthcare professional and now swamped with work. So it’s difficult for me to upload regularly.

Thank you for waiting for my updates!

Love you!

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