#40 He is waiting for her
*I am giving you a loooong chapter for the long wait instead of an apology!*
"Ella..." I hurried to them as the air ambulance stopped on the helipad of the hospital.
The medical team were transferring them to the stretcher and my whole world collapsed when I saw a glimpse of her.
She was covered in blood and motionless.
"She had a respiratory arrest on the way with hypoxic seizures. We managed to intubate her on time, but she's not responding." I followed them in a daze as they wheeled the stretcher inside.
"Her ABC is maintained, the chief asked to get an MRI done ASAP-" Their words were cut off as they took her through the double doors inside the casualty department.
I was frozen like a statue when the second stretcher came. I recognised Sam following it.
"-Severe internal bleeding and a weak pulse, but it doesn't look good-"
The double doors were once again opened and they pushed a motionless Michael inside and the door closed after them.
The silence that followed pressed on me and I felt the ground giving away.
"Ma'am!" Sara supported me. "Let me-"
"Ella...she...she is covered in...blood. She...she was bleeding profusely-"
"It...It was not Ella. It was...Michael who was stabbed," I turn to see Sam sitting on the chair outside. His whole body was covered in blood, his eyes were unfocused and his hands were trembling.
We had lost the car that took Michael as they changed the car inside a tunnel. I had nearly gone insane until Sam informed me that Michael had asked one of his friends to monitor them.
His cybersecurity team managed to locate them on the right time.
It was the first time I was glad that someone had gone against my plan and actually thought of other possibilities.
But even with everything we had planned, Roopak had managed to hurt both of them.
"He...he was...stabbed..." Sam said mechanically.
"But Ella was covered in blood, she was motionless," Sara said.
"She...she had an asthma attack, I...I think she...got scared when...Michael was stabbed," he said shakily.
I stared at him.
Ella had an attack because Michael was stabbed? Did she care for him too much to have even her life to be put at risk?
"Ella is stronger than that, she...she never had such-" I stopped as he stretched out a red pouch towards me. I looked at it in confusion.
"This was near them when we reached there," Sam said slowly. "And Michael had a...syringe...beside him. The paramedics think he gave her an injection and that's why they managed to intubate her."
"Wha...what?" I was confused. I thought Michael was an IT student?
"Now I know..." Sam looked at me, "Now I know why he joined the trauma...care club! He joined there...after Ella...had that asthma attack. The doctor told him...that...inhaler won't work in...severe cases and to...to keep a dose of her medication all the time in case of...emergency."
I stared at the red pouch that was stained with blood.
"Michael designed...it for her," Sam said slowly and my heart shook.
I took the pouch with trembling hands while tears started to flow down my face.
"Ma'am... it's okay, Ella will be okay," Sara touched my shoulder and I wiped my eyes, trying to control myself. I hated to show my weakness in front of others, but now my whole world seemed to be upside down and I could no longer control myself.
I turned around to see Julian hurrying towards us. "What happened to Ella?"
Another pair of footsteps stopped near us and I saw Ella's best friend, Nisha stopping beside Sam.
"Sam, what happened to Ella and Michael?" she looked worried.
Before I could answer either of them, Sara came near Salena, "ma'am, they found him, they were trying to flee," she whispered and for the first time, Salena Adams looked aware of her surroundings. Her eyes hardened like steel as she turned to Sara.
"I don't ever want to see him again, take care of him," she said and got up from her place.
"I understand," Sara said.
Salena Adams took the phone from Sara and moved away from us.
I was brought back to the present by Nisha's anxious voice.
"It was Roopak...he...he kidnapped Ella and wanted Michael to...go there-"
"And he went there just like that?" Julian interjected. "I thought he was a sensible guy, how come he didn't take any precautions?"
"We were able to find them because of him," I said. "Michael asked Jeeva to monitor the car. If he hadn't done that, we would have lost them while they changed the car inside the tunnel," Sam said. "But we were still a little late as the road turned to a rural area and tracking them was difficult."
"Then how did you find her?"
"Ella's Mama looked for any abandoned building and other secluded places near the area where they could possibly take them as prisoners."
"How are they?" Julian asked and I looked down.
"You...you are covered in blood!" Nisha said in a low voice.
"Is it...that bad?" Julian too noticed me.
"Michael was stabbed...he...he was critical. Ella had a respiratory...arrest, according...to the paramedics, it...doesn't look good," I said slowly.
Nisha looked frozen while Julian took a step back and supported the wall.
"I...I don't believe it," he shook his head. "She...she is a fighter...she won't...she will overcome this..."
"Patient Michael's relatives?"
The double door opened and the nurse called out. All of us walked there.
"The patient needs a lot of blood; you need to find a few people in case of emergency."
"We have arranged the people to get blood, please see that he is safe," Sara replied.
The nurse nodded and went back.
"Julian," Sara turned to him. "Salena madam went to talk to Ella's doctor, she's very weak, and I am worried that she cannot hold on."
"I will accompany her," Julian said quickly and walked towards the other side.
"Are you okay?" Nisha asked me as soon as we were alone. "You don't look good, I will sit here, please wash away the blood-"
She was cut off midway as I hugged her.
"I...I thought...I thought both of them are...dead, they...were motionless...and covered...in blood..."
I don't think I will ever forget that scene in my entire life. I had never been so scared in my life like that.
"Shh...I am...sure that...they will be okay, Sam. I know both of them well, they will pull through this," Nisha said, wrapping her hands around me.
My whole body trembled as I waited for the doctor to explain.
"Cinderella had a respiratory arrest on the way here, her MRI shows signs of hypoxic encephalopathy," he looked at me gravely. "MRI shows brain injury due to lack of oxygen to the brain."
My world felt unstable all of a sudden.
"What does it mean doctor? Will her daily life be affected?" Julian voice seemed to be coming from far away.
"It means...we don't know when she could wake up," the doctor said. "And even if she does, the chance of paralysis is more than 50 per cent."
"Are you telling me that my daughter is in a coma now!?"
"We will monitor her and take her out of the ventilator when her vitals are stabilised. I need you to be prepared."
I got up from my chair.
"What does that mean!? Why should I be prepared? We are moving her out of here today; I want to take my daughter to another hospital."
"I suggest you not to do that, the patient is not stable yet and any journey could make it worse for her," The doctor told me.
"Ella...she's...she's only 22! How can you...say that my daughter would be...paralysed! How dare you tell me that it's difficult for her to wake up!"
"Auntie..." Julian got up and took my hand. "Please calm down first, let's...let's wait for her," he said.
"I don't want to wait anymore! I want to move her to another hospital!"
"I understand this is tough news," the doctor looked at me politely. "And it's totally on you to decide if you want to move the patient or not, but I want you to know that we have given her every effort to bring her back. Besides, since she was administered with the bronchodilator on the correct time, we were able to control the respiratory arrest and the patient responded positively to the treatment," he looked into my eyes. "Not many patients had this luck, so let's just hope for the best and wait for her to wake up. We will do our part well," he looked at Julian next.
"Please take care of the guardian and give her a check-up, she doesn't look good," he said. "I will ask the nurse to give her a saline IV."
"I am okay! I just want my daughter to be safe!"
"Thank you, doctor," Julian thanked him and guided me outside. "Please take care of yourself well, Auntie, how are you going to stay with her if you are weak?"
Sara was waiting for me outside the room. She handed me Ella's mobile phone.
"We retrieved it from the site, it was detached and the battery was missing, Our team just assembled it back, but it is still damaged," she said.
I pressed the power button and it came to life, the phone started to vibrate while the message displayed across the broken screen.
My heart trembled while I looked at that. I had checked the red pouch that Sam gave me.
"Auntie, let me take you for the check-up-"
"Let me...let me sit for a moment..." I said and Julian and Sara helped me to the nearest seat.
"Are you okay, ma'am?" Sara looked at me.
"Why...did I...refuse to listen to...her?" I looked at the alarm still vibrating on the phone. "Michael...he seemed to know Ella very well. He...he was even...ready to...face danger for her..." I looked at Julian. "I...failed her...if I hadn't planned to...take her away, they...wouldn't be in this...condition."
"Nobody knew what Roopak was planning, it was not your fault, Auntie, take it easy," Julian told me gently.
"Michael...warned me..." I said slowly. "He...asked me not to...provoke Roopak, he said as long as we have a bargaining chip on Roopak, that was enough to make him...stay away from Ella..." I said slowly. "When...he dropped Ella home that day, I even...ridiculed him; I said that I know how to take care of my daughter..." I swiped the alarm off. "But it was indeed their first attempt to kidnap Ella and I never...realised it!"
"Michael knew Roopak well," Julian said grimly.
"He...warned me that day, but I wanted to get revenge," my whole body was trembling now. "If I hadn't insisted to go after him...this...this wouldn't have happened..."
"Roopak caused this, there is no need to blame yourself, Ma'am," Sara said.
But I was in turmoil. I couldn't help but feel that I caused this. And I couldn't understand where it all started to go wrong.
Ella had always obeyed me no matter how difficult it was. The only thing she ever asked me was to give her relationship a chance...
I regret it...I regret not trusting my daughter.
I closed my eyes for a moment.
If there is a God out there...I am begging you, if you save my daughter, I am willing to do anything...
I want her to live her life to the fullest, I want my daughter to live on her terms, not according to my conditions. I want her to be free and carefree like she wanted...
The time moved very slowly as all of us waited outside. Ella was moved to the ventilator while Michael was operated on for four hours.
The cold silence was once again penetrated when a young woman hurried to the waiting area outside the OT.
"Jenni!" Sam got up and said.
I vaguely remembered her from the picture I had while I investigated Michael's family.
"What happened to Mike?" She looked at him and Sam avoided eye contact.
"It's...it's my fault, I...I couldn't stop him-"
"We all know Mike, no one can stop him once he decides something," the guy who accompanied Jenni said while he wrapped a shawl around her.
"Take it easy, Jenni, I am sure Mike will be okay. Have you ever seen him giving up? He has always been a fighter."
His words, however, started to cause the woman to be more distressed. Her whole body shook as she tried to control the silent sobs.
"Jenni, you have to be strong," The guy hugged her gently and I assumed it was her husband, Andrews.
"Why...why is it...that he...he...had to suffer all the time? Why can't...he just...has an easy...life like everyone else..."
"Jenni, Michael was really critical when they brought him here, but his condition never deteriorated after bringing him here. The doctors didn't say anything negative." Sam said.
"That's right, no news is good news right now," Andrew guided her to the chair. "Please take care of her, Abraham said he knows the MD of the hospital, we will have a talk with him and see how things are," he said and Sam and Nisha nodded.
I moved away before they could spot me.
* * * * *
4 days later
I was floating in the air, weightless and free. I wanted nothing to bother me, but the continuous voice disturbed my peaceful surrounding.
The sound was from far away, but it echoed around me.
"Cinderella...you...you cannot give up, open your eyes..."
The voice was desperate and pleading, I really wanted to see who it was, but I couldn't even breathe let alone move.
"You...you...just said that you...are my wife...you...just...told me that...you...will protect me..."
The voice was now overlaid by panic.
Suddenly I was being shaken violently and my eyelids opened a fraction. I could make out the blurred image of a person.
His tears were flowing down and dropping down on me, wetting my eyelids and flowing down my cheek.
"I won't...let you...go, I won't let you...die...Cinderella, you...you are...my wife, my...everything, you cannot...give up, you...promised me..."
I wanted to console him, but I was too weak.
"Hang in there, princess...I...just...gave you...the medicine...all...you have to do is...to...to stay with me...don't...don't close your eyes..."
But I was too sleepy, I was still floating freely. I was once again shaken violently before the voice trembled as if it was taking a great toll on him to keep talking.
"I...I love you, my...princess. I...I...want you...to survive...I want...you to know that...that...I had...never...loved...anyone in my...life as...I did you..."
The voice became weaker and weaker with each word. I felt him holding my hands; I felt the warmth of his breath on my forehead as he kissed me gently on the forehead.
"I...I love you, my princess..."
And then, I saw the red liquid spreading across the floor, drenching both of us.
I tried to open my eyes. I know that I should protect him or it would be too late.
It was like someone had grabbed me back forcefully. My body was no longer floating or painless, it felt heavy and haggard, everything hurt and the loud beeping sounds penetrated my peaceful surrounding.
I watched in shock as doctors were running to her room and for a moment, it was chaotic.
It didn't look positive and I assumed the worst. My body lost all the energy and I dropped down to the chair.
"What...what's happening?" I could hear Julian trying to talk to one of the staff.
"She just had another seizure," he said before closing the door, denying entrance.
The whole waiting room slipped into silence and I waited with a heavy heart.
"Michael is stable now," Jenni told us as she came back after talking to the doctor. "They put him on induced coma, but the doctors said that he is out of danger."
She had been waiting on him for the last few days and she looked exhausted.
"How is Ella doing?" she asked us.
"She's been the same for the last few days, no response," Sam said slowly.
We couldn't stay there as Salena had arranged her room to be guarded and only a few people were allowed to stay there.
"I hope both of them can pull through this safely," Jenni said slowly.
What had surprised me the most was Jenni's attitude. She had left the kids with Andrews's parents and had been taking care of Michael without any rest. And even when she heard the whole story from Sam, she never blamed anyone.
"Jenni, since he's stable now, you can go and get some rest. Sam and I will be here," I told her.
"It's okay, Andrew will be here soon," she refused to move.
"You are going to collapse if you keep this up," Sam said. "Andrew had been driving to and fro continuously; both of you better get some rest. We will take care..." Sam dragged off looking surprised and I followed his gaze.
Anger bubbled inside me at the sight of the person in front of me.
I got up from my chair in a flash.
"What are you doing here, Angela?" I glared at her.
"I...I wanted to visit them," she said, making me furious.
"You should get out of here," I said.
Sam got up and clutched my hand, then looked at her.
"Michael is stable, but he is still not awake," he said.
"Ella? How's Ella...doing-" she stopped as I lashed out at her. I would have attacked her if Sam was not holding me back.
"What right do you have to ask that? You asked her to disappear from your life the last time you talked to her," I said. "You wanted this, you cursed her-"
"Nisha!" Sam said worriedly, still holding me back. "She's just worried-"
"Worried!? She never let go of any chance to hurt Ella and she did everything to make her life difficult. She told Ella that she was a curse, she asked her to disappear and now she wants to know how Ella is doing!? What a bloody hypocrite!"
"I...I didn't mean for Ella to get hurt like this. I want her to be safe-"
"Stop with your excuses Angela, you don't have any right to come here!"
"Angela, you should leave now," Sam told her. "I will contact you if there is any news."
Angela looked down and nodded slowly.
"Are you really doing this Sam!?" I turned to him angrily.
"Nisha, please calm down," he told me gently while Angela started to walk back. "I know you are tensed but we can't blame anyone for this, you know that Angela wouldn't want this to happen to Ella too," he added firmly. "And stop crying, you know Ella, is she someone who admits defeat easily? Ella and Michael are two people who never gave up on the things they believed in, I am sure that they will be okay."
He wiped my cheeks and hugged me gently. I hugged him back with a sob.
I had been trying to be strong for the last couple of days, but I could no longer hold on and I was scared out of my mind.
"Sam is right, Nisha," Jenni said slowly. "I know both of them well, they are strong, I am sure that both of them can make it."
And as if on cue, Sam's phone started to ring.
"It's...Julian," Sam said and he answered the call. His expression changed from worry to relief.
"Really? That's good, okay..." he disconnected the call and turned to us.
"Ella just opened her eyes, she's back! She is out of danger!" he said.
"Thank God!" I said while Jenni smiled slightly.
"She is a strong girl..." she whispered.
"Ella..." I took her hand and called her as her eyelids fluttered weakly. "Ella, can you hear me?"
"She's drifting in and out of consciousness and not oriented. But it's a good thing that she is responding," the doctor said. "She is out of danger."
"Thank you," I looked at him. "Thank you so much for helping my daughter."
"She's fragile now. I want to make sure that her mental state is stable and normal. Don't make her angry or upset," the doctor said. "Don't do anything that would precipitate her seizure."
"I understand, doctor," I thanked him again.
They put her under observation for a day before transferring her to the room.
I waited near her as she slept.
"Auntie, please have your food, I will stay with Ella," Julian told me and I shook my head.
"The doctor said she could wake up at any moment. I want to be by her side."
"My dad told me to take good care of you. He said he is rushing back," Julian said.
"I know, he called me-"
I felt Ella's hand moving in my hand.
"Ella?" I got up and looked at her. "Can you hear me? Are you awake?"
"Auntie, I think she's not awake yet," Julian said while looking at her.
"I felt her hand moving...Ella!" I stopped as I saw her eyelids moving.
"She's...she's really waking up!" Julian too noticed it.
Her eyelids opened slowly. Tears started to flow down my cheeks as I looked at her.
"You...you are awake! You are finally...awake. How are you? Are you...okay?"
"I will call the doctor," Julian pressed the button near the bed.
"Ma...ma..." her eyes finally stopped on me. "Sto...p crying..."
I wiped away my tears and hugged her gently.
"You...you are okay, Ella...I am...I am so glad...that...you are okay," I said and let go of her.
"I...I feel tired..." Ella said slowly.
"It's okay, you are medicated heavily, everything will be okay soon," Julian touched her hand and told her gently.
She turned to his side and looked at him.
"Everything is fine now that you have woken up."
Ella looked at him for a few more seconds, "you are?"
Julian looked taken aback and Ella turned to a stunned me.
"Mama, what happened? Why am I in the hospital?"
The room engulfed in silence and it was broken when someone opened the door and come inside.
"I...I heard...Ella is awake?" Nisha said and Ella turned to her.
"Nisha..." Ella said and Nisha hurried to her side.
"Ella..." she said. Her voice trembled as she took her hand. "Are you okay?"
Ella nodded slowly.
"Ella? Do you...do you not recognize me?" Julian asked slowly while Ella turned back to him again.
"Do I...know you?" She looked at him.
"Uncle George's...Julian!? You...have changed..." she smiled slightly. "I see the resemblance, but you look taller than me now."
Everyone stilled again.
"Don't you remember what happened?" I asked her gently.
"I...I don't remember anything. The last thing I could recall is someone calling to me...asking me to wake up," Ella said.
"What...what else do you remember?" I asked her.
"I remember going to the orientation class of Bangalore university college," she said slowly, then turned to me, "but mama, I really don't want to join there...I don't like computer engineering. I want to continue my Violin classes."
Ella was looking at me expectantly but I was frozen in my spot.
Two days later
I opened my eyes slowly. My eyes slowly focused on an anxious Jenni.
"Michael," she smiled through her tears. "Are you okay? Can you...recognise me?"
I tried to speak, but it was impossible. The oxygen mask was still in place and I couldn't even move.
I looked at her.
"Are you alright, Mike?" I looked at a concerned-looking Andrew who was standing next to Jenni.
I gave a slight nod in assurance.
"Mike, I am so glad that...you are okay," Sam said. "All of us were...waiting for you to wake up."
I became aware of the hospital room and everything that happened started to come back.
Cinderella? What happened to Cinderella?
But before I could even ask them, one of the doctors came to the room and started to check me.
"Do you feel okay? Can you follow my finger with your eyes?"
He started to move his finger in front of me, but I tried to speak again.
"What's it, Michael?"
He moved the oxygen mask off my face and I looked at Sam.
It took me a lot of effort just to speak that single word. My voice came out in a rasp and I tried again.
"She's alright; she's out of danger..." Jenni said immediately, their faces didn't look like she was okay and I was suddenly scared.
I tried to get up, but my whole body felt heavy and my limbs protested.
"Take it easy, Michael, you have been under observation in the ICU for the last few days, you cannot move yet."
The doctor said while he pressed me back to the bed again.
"What's...wrong...Cinderella?" I looked at Sam.
"She's really okay, Michael," Sam told me. "The doctor said that the medicine you gave her at the critical time saved her life, she's with her mama in another room."
But I was not going to take it like that. I could sense that something was really wrong.
If she's really okay and well, why is she not here?
"I want to...see..." I said. "I...I want to...make...sure..."
"She's okay, Mike," Andrew said. "I will take you there once your doctor gives me permission-"
"No! Now. I want to...see...now..."
I looked at them, "What's...what's wrong with...her? Is she...did something happen to her?"
I was suddenly scared and the monitor showing my blood pressure started to rise at an alarming speed.
"Michael! I want you to calm down!" The doctor said.
"Ella is really okay-" Jenni said with a sob. "Please...please relax."
"Michael, calm down!" Andrew looked worried and Jenni started to cry.
"You just had major surgery; I will have to keep you sedated if your BP rises any further!" The doctor told me sternly.
"She's okay; it's just that...she cannot remember anything from the past two years..." Sam said and my heart trembled.
I looked at him and realised that he was talking about the truth.
She forgot everything?
Did Cinderella forget everything about me?
My vision was suddenly blurry and my heart squeezed in pain.
The monitor started to beep again and the doctor injected something into the cannula on my hand.
The moments with her started to play on my mind as I started to drift back to sleep.
It has been three days since I woke up. I am still confined to the bed and unable to move. My body was covered in stitches and bandages. Even breathing normally felt difficult.
But what made me more hurt and suffering was the news I received after I woke up. I couldn't come into terms with it yet.
Cinderella has no recollection of her past...she forgot everything that happened in the last two years, including me...
I had tried to come to terms with it, but it was the most difficult thing to do.
Someone knocked on the door and I turned to the side to see the most unexpected face at the door; Salena Adams.
She came inside with her PA who placed a basket of fruit on the side and left the room quietly.
"I wanted to thank you properly for saving my daughter's life," Salena looked at me and said.
I am sure that she is not here for thanking me alone.
"Please be seated," I nodded to the chair on the side.
"How are you now?" she asked me as she took the chair. "I heard that you will have to be here for a month."
"I am okay, how's Cinderella?" I asked back.
"She is doing well," Salena nodded her head. "The doctor said that the medicine you gave her saved her life, thank you."
"Jenni told me that you arranged the best doctor for me even before they reached the hospital, I should thank you," I said. "As for Cinderella, it's nothing you should thank me for; it's what I should do for her."
Her eyes met mine for a moment.
"Didn't you know about...Ella she..."
she dragged off, looking confused.
"I heard she forgot the last two years?" I said slowly. "You don't have to hold it back from me."
Selena looked relieved for a moment.
"Her doctor said the incident had a big impact on her mentally. He said it's better for her to forget it as remembering things from the past could put her in danger again."
"I don't understand," I said even though I knew what she was implying.
"I know that you love Ella sincerely, Michael. But she's fragile and if she has seizures again, it will put her life in danger."
"Why do you think that remembering me will put her life in danger?"
"Because Ella remembers everything until she met you for the first time," Salena Adams looked at me. "She remembers going to the University for the Orientation Class. She remembers the class, she remembers everything that happened that day as if it happened yesterday until someone opened the door and come inside the seminar hall." she stopped.
My heart skipped a beat. I knew Cinderella first met me on the day she attended the orientation class.
I had interrupted the class along with the student body that day. It was me who opened the door and stepped inside that day.
"Julian told me that Ella had told him about meeting you for the first time. She lost her memories from the first moment she met you, her doctor thinks you are the major reason for that."
I tried to control my feelings as I looked at her.
"That's more of a reason why I shouldn't give up on her," I said slowly. "Because she put so much importance on me and our relationship that she even got hurt because of it."
"I had promised her that I would never give up on her."
"But you will put her in danger!" She looked at me. "When both of you were brought back to the hospital, I prayed that as long as Ella is awake, I am willing to do anything for her..." she looked at me."I regretted it that I didn't give you a chance. I don't doubt your love for each other anymore, but it's difficult for me to take any risk...I am sorry Michael, I have to do this, but I want her to be safe."
"I won't put her life at risk either," I said. "She once told me that she is willing to wait for me no matter how much time it would take," I looked at a shocked Salena. "Now I think it's my turn to wait for her..."
"I...I don't want her to be in danger. Please don't contact her," Salena said.
I had already gone through her condition. I know that I cannot do anything to disturb the peace of her mind. And that's what made me hold myself back from trying to see her.
"I will stay away, but you need to promise me a few things first."
"What do you want? I am willing to do anything for you," Salena looked relieved that I was agreeing with her.
"I want you to give Cinderella her freedom. Let her do what she wants to do. She loves music; I think she can recover faster if she does things she loves."
Salena nodded her head, looking a bit surprised.
"I have already decided to let her pursue music."
"Then don't go behind her back and arrange things for her. Let her taste her own success and failures."
Salena nodded again.
I didn't ask her to protect Cinderella as I knew that she would do it well. I had seen the news from a few days back.
Apparently, the police had killed Roopak while he tried to escape the country through the waterway. The police had chased them and they were shot down as they tried to fire at the police.
Sam had told me that Salena had arranged it.
"Don't trick her..." my voice trembled slightly. "She's...she's a gem...let her sparkle on her own..."
I looked away to hide my anguish.
"I can promise you this, and you should promise me that you won't see her anymore," Salena looked at me.
"I told you, I won't ever give up on her," I said. "But I promise you that I will never...I will never put her in
"Cinderella...please...open your eyes, you...promised that...you will stay with me...please don't...leave me...I love...you..."
I opened my eyes slowly. It was the same nightmare again. The guy in the dream was begging me to wake up while he was lying in a pool of blood.
The doctor had even prescribed me medicines to help me sleep, but it was of not blocking my nightmares.
They wanted me to stay back and run some checkups before letting me out of the hospital.
"-Please try to make him understand that everything has changed now, it's for everyone's good."
I heard mama's voice and turned to the side.
"It's his decision to make. I can promise you that he will never hurt her if that's what you are worried about," another woman said.
"I know he is a good person, Jenni. I know that you consider him as your brother-"
"He is my brother," the young woman said firmly. "He is important to me just like how Ella is important to you," she added.
"Of course. I don't mean any disrespect. You brought up a good person and frankly speaking, I would have accepted him with an open heart if the situation was different."
"Ella is everything to him," the woman said. "And it's exactly because of that that I cannot interfere in this matter. I want to support him in whatever decision he-" she stopped as her eyes met mine.
"Ella! You...are you awake?" She looked rather shocked and Mama whirled around as if something is wrong.
I was still drowsy from the medication. I looked at the young woman.
"Do you...know me?"
She just called my name as if we were very close.
"This...this is..." mama looked troubled.
"I am Jenni," the young woman smiled pleasantly. "You used to give Violin lessons to my kids," she added.
Someone from my forgotten past again. But this time I am really curious.
"I tutored Violin?" It was rather difficult to believe.
She nodded, "They even got first prize in the annual day," her smile looked sad all of a sudden.
"I am...sorry, I...can't remember..."
"It's not your fault, Ella. All of us are happy that you are safe." She said.
I liked her instantly.
"Ella, you were sedated, how come you are awake?" Mama asked me gently.
"I have...nightmares..." my eyelids started to close on their own. "Mama...please stay here..."
My health check-up came out fine and I was good to leave the hospital.
"Ella?" I turned around from the hospital balcony at Nisha's voice. "Why are you not in the bed? Can you walk around like this?"
"I am okay," I assured her.
Mama had gone to talk to my doctor and Sara was processing my discharge papers.
Julian just left an hour back after visiting me and I am bothered that I cannot remember anything.
"Why do I think that you are troubled?"
"I can't remember anything from the past two years, everyone is saying that I am lucky enough to survive this tragedy, but why do I feel so empty?"
Nisha looked away for a moment.
"Nisha, you have to help me fill in about everything. I believe you will know me the best," I said. "Mama said that a guy kidnapped me and tried to blackmail her?"
Nisha nodded slowly, "He was shot by the police while he tried to escape. I heard...I heard your mama influenced the commissioner of police to...take care of him."
I took a deep breath. It's actually no surprise to me.
"I feel like I am trapped...I feel empty and alone, I don't feel good, Nisha. I am confused," I admitted.
"Take it easy, you just woke up from the coma. It's good that you are not in a worse state," she said. "Come on; let me take you inside first."
Both of us walked inside and I stilled as I saw a beautiful bougainvillea bonsai on the table.
"Wow, it looks beautiful, Ella. The flowers look exactly like the bougainvillea flowers at our favourite spot at the college," Nisha smiled and turned to me, then froze as she saw me looking at it. "Uh...sorry, I didn't think-"
"It's not your fault that I forgot the past, Nisha," I said and walked towards the bonsai plant.
"It's...really beautiful..." I touched the flowers gently and said. "But who sent this?"
"You didn't see it before?" Nisha looked at me in surprise.
I shook my head, "no, it was not here when I was in the room."
And the only person who visited me was Julian, did he send me this?
I looked for the name card and saw a small card attached to it.
I opened it and turned around the card, but there was no name on it.
"There's only a poem here, but there's no name," I turned to Nisha. "Julian...tell me about him, how close were we?"
It kept bothering me how he had treated me. Julian was really concerned and it felt like we were close.
He was also there when I first woke up in the hospital. Mama treated him as an inside person and that's a big thing as I had never seen her lowering her guard against anyone.
Sara walked inside the room, her eyes fixed on the plant.
"Sara, do you know-"
"The hospital just sent you a congratulatory gift on your recovery," she said. "Your mama said everything is ready, let's go home."
10 minutes later, Sara helped me inside the car as the driver started to load my stuff.
I don't know why I feel so empty and alone, it was like I have forgotten something very important. I can only hope that I will soon remember everything.
I leaned to the seat and opened my palm. I stared at the ring that sat on my palm. It was given to me by the nurse who attended me. She had mistaken it to be my engagement ring.
I looked at the platinum ring. Apart from matching the ornaments for events and parties, I never used rings.
I remembered Sara and mama looking rather shocked as I got it back. Mama even looked angry at the nurse who gave it to me.
I could also feel them trying to be careful around me...like they were hiding something from me.
Maybe it's not "just" a ring like they said? Maybe there's something more to it?
I looked at the bonsai plant on the side. I took the card from it.
I don't believe that it was the hospital that sent me the gift. It appeared after Julian left today after visiting me.
I opened the card and read the message again.
"Farewells are not forever.
I will miss you...until we meet again.
I will long for you...until you find the way back to me.
I will wait for you; because you are my destiny."
Q: Do you think Ella could figure it out?
Q: Do you blame Salena for asking Michael to stay away from Ella?
I know it was rather unexpected and that some of you might hate plots with memory loss, but this story was a lil bit cliche from the start (I know it, dude!).
If you are wondering how long it would take the story to end, I cannot give you a definite answer. I can tell you that two-thirds of the story is finished and only one-third is remaining.
The story is planned from the first to the end and I promise you that it will get better.
Bear with me a moment for the shameless self-promotion...😝
Don't forget to FOLLOW ME if you like my works❤️