#5 She is immature and impulsive
“Alex, Vipin, Gokul...” I read the names of those who got selected and stopped for a moment.
I looked around and saw Cinderella at the edge of her seat.
“And...Cinderella...” I added her name at the end.
Everyone got an irritated look while Cinderella looked like she’s on cloud nine.
She has a big goofy smile on her face.
“The people who got selected can sit here and other’s can leave,” I announced and the other people started to move, muttering and not too happy.
I turned to the 10 plus “1” member in front of me.
“I am going to split you into two groups now, its two members per team, but since we have an extra member, one team will have three-” I stopped as they all rose to their feet and started to shuffle.
And before I knew it, they all were sitting with their partners, that is-except for one.
I didn’t know what was going on as everyone was moving around.
And then, it felt like I am the only one who is sitting at the front.
I turned back slowly, Sure enough; there were 5 pairs behind me.
Michael cleared his throat, “one of the groups will have one more member,” he said as all the five pairs ignored me pointedly.
“We are planning to discuss the project from my part-time place, I don’t think it will be convenient for her,” she said.
My eyes popped out.
My Mama will kill me if I go around for the project.
“Vipin and Alex-”
“We can’t, it’s hard enough to find a time that is free for both of us,”
“But I am free most of the time,” I exclaimed.
“No offence, but no thanks,”
I turned around as everyone started to give excuses, nobody wanted me in their team.
“So what will we do about our extra team member?” Michael asked.
I folded my hands across my chest.
“I don’t want a team, I can work independently.” I said stubbornly.
If they don’t want me, I am not going to beg them anyway.
“That’s not possible,” Michael said, “one of the teams has to accept-”
“Isn’t it obvious? She’s too stupid to be included in our groups, she’s going to be a trouble than help,” Angela said.
“Is that why you stole my USB?” I turned to her, “because you were too brilliant?”
She scowled at me and I looked at Michael to see the slight curve of his lips.
My heart skipped a beat.
Did Michael just smile!?
“How’s your project going?” Our HOD walked to the room and everyone got to their feet.
“It’s going well,” Michael moved from the podium to the students and...
...And took a seat beside me in the front row.
My heart went overdrive.
“Cinderella ...?” My heart gave another jump as he called me slowly.
I turned to him.
“Aren’t you sitting?” he asked me.
“What?” I asked stupidly...then I realised that I am the only one who’s still standing.
“Oh...yea...yes,” I sat beside my Michael as everyone turned to look in front.
“Is it 11 members this time?” the professor asked when he went through the list. “I thought it was 10 members excluding the team leader?” he looked at Michael.
“Yes, there was a small change,” Michael said. “According to the rules, a team can have about 15 members, I selected 11 members this year,” Michael said confidently. The HOD nodded.
“I am sure you will be taking care of the project,” he said.
“Leave it to us, sir, we will get first prize in this tech-fest,” he assured him.
Professor nodded and looked around.
“I see that you have already been split to groups,” he said.
I looked sideways at Michael as he nodded, “we have an extra member so we were-”
“I am paired with Michael,” I spoke up on an impulse.
And everyone including Michael turned to me.
Did I just make a mistake?
“I mean...we are actually 12 members including the team leader! Not 11,” I said cheerfully.
He gave me a look before turning to the professor.
“We are going to split the topic today,” he said.
“Okay, do a good job then,” HOD nodded before walking out.
Michael got up and moved to the front of the Seminar hall.
“We will stop here today, I will mail all of your topics to you,” he said and everyone got up. I gathered my things and started to walk slowly.
“Everyone except Cinderella can leave,” he said again and I stilled in my track.
Everyone started to leave; looking happy that I am going to get punished. Angela and her friend smirked at me, looking happy.
I turned around.
“What did you say back there?” he turned to me as soon as everyone was out.
“I...I was the only one without any partner and you were the only one free to-”
“And whose fault is that?”
“Well...it’s not my first time that I am left alone, I am used to it.” I shrugged.
“This is my last project here in this college and I don’t want anyone to mess it up, do you understand?” he looked me in the eyes and I nodded my head quickly.
“I would appreciate it if you watch your mouth the next time,” he added.
“But is it a bad thing?” I asked him.
“Pairing up with me?”
“I have enough on my plate already,” he said sternly.
I looked down.
“I understand,” I said.
“But it’s your next task to get in one of the teams, It will depend on your own ability,” he said and I looked up.
“They will never accept me-”
“How can you give up without even trying? Being a team member means you should work hard and put your effort to be treated like one,” he said, “and things won’t change overnight, if you want something, you are supposed to bring the change,” he stopped.
I stared at him.
Wow! I never thought like that.
I smiled at him, “thank you! I will find you if I have any doubts,” I told him. He looked a bit skeptical, but nodded anyway.
I watched her walking out of the room, swinging her bag and looking happy.
I just don’t get that girl! She was rejected by everyone and alone, but she is still in a good mood.
Her personality reminded me of small babies, nothing anyone does seem to get to her.
And whenever she’s angry, she’s acting like that, not holding back.
“Hey, Mike...” Sam appeared beside me, “did you help Angela to cancel her expulsion?”
“It was for the project,”
“I heard that you met Ella’s mom. How was the palace?” he asked again, referring to Cinderella’s mansion.
I sighed, “Cold.”
Sam nodded. “I wonder how that girl was staying there,”
“It would’ve been easy since she was raised like a spoilt princess,”
“Whoa! You really think Ella is a spoilt brat?” he asked in surprise.
“She was watching us from the terrace yesterday, she didn’t even come down to see us, she said she doesn’t want to be bothered,” I shrugged as I walked out of the class with him.
“Ella didn’t come down to meet you? That’s odd!”
“There’s nothing odd about that, she knew we were there, I saw her watching us from the terrace,”
“Ella is Nisha’s friend, I know her well, and she is not like that,”
“She was like that yesterday,” I shrugged. “You know what? I put together the best team today,” I looked at Sam, “except for the immature and impulsive surplus member, of course,”
Sam chuckled at that.
“Good luck,” he said.
Yeah...it looks like I would need some luck this time.
“I hope the project will go smoothly as I planned,” I said.
I opened the diary and started to write.
“Guess what happened at the college today! Michael took a seat beside me! Everyone was avoiding me and he just came and sit beside me like a real partner! I am so happy and excited about this project, and I swear, I am going to get close to him.”