Cinderella (All That Mattered)


“You are thinking about him, aren’t you?” It wasn’t a question; it was a statement.
I lifted my head and looked into his eyes. I’d never lied to him, and I didn’t want to start now. So I just stayed silent and kept staring into the deepest of his blue orbs.
When it seemed like he wouldn’t go on further, I began. “I – ”
“No, don’t say anything. Please. It’s already bad enough that I am sitting here having dinner with a woman I love, who doesn’t have any feelings for me at all.” He cut me.
“I have feelings for you…” I countered him.
“Yes, but not the kind of feelings I want you to feel towards me…” He sighed. “Anyway, do not let my grumpiness ruin the mood, okay?” He flashed a smile.
I kept quiet for a moment. He studied me from across the table.
“It never works between us, does it? No matter how long I stay or how hard I try or how perfect I will be, there’s no chance that you will pick me over him, isn’t it?” I sensed a hint of bitterness in his voice.
I closed my eyes momentarily. “Yes…” I whispered. I felt bad for him, but I was not sorry. I was never sorry I loved the man I loved, instead of the perfect guy who was sitting in front of me.
“How did you know?” I asked him.
“Because I know you…” He smiled. “Every day since I was with you, I’ve been spending my time loving you. Each day I found something new about you that made me fall in love even more. And I couldn’t deny that. Nor could I stop it.” He shrugged, and added, “Guess it’s my weakness. I’m too stubborn when it comes to you.”

Oh. He’d been so perfect. He was gorgeous, he was smart, he was kind-hearted, he had good sense of humor; he had everything I’d ever wanted in a man. Not to mention that he’d always been there for me, anytime and anywhere. But he was not him. He was not the man I spent my day thinking of, and my night dreaming of. He was not the man who fought with me over the phone at two in the morning, and then knocked my door at four to apologize. He was not the man who made me cry all over the night, and the only one who could stop my tears afterwards. He was not the man I never run out of topic with, and also the one I could enjoy silence with. He was not the man who could make me squealed with joy and scream with frustration at the same time. He was not the man who had ruined my life in a good way. He was not the man I loved.

“Go find him.” I opened my eyes, shocked.
“What?” He really caught me off guard.
“Go find him.” He repeated. “Go find your Prince Charming and make a happy ending to your fairy tale.”
I gaped at him, totally dumb-founded.
“Yes, I am serious.” He seemed amused.
“Are you trying to get rid of me politely?” I tried to joke.
“See? That’s why I love you. You never cease to amaze me.” He chuckled. “And amuse me.”
I giggled. “Thanks – I guess.” I said softly.
He then went on. “I’m not trying to get rid of you… In fact, I want to never let you go if I could. But what’s the point if you are not happy being with me? I want to see you happy and if this is the only way, then so be it. Go find your man. It’s the least I could do for you…”
I gulped, trying to hold the lump in my throat.
“Will you be okay?”
He laughed. “Of course, Honey. I will be okay. I will always be okay…”
I stood up. “He’s not my Prince Charming.” I smiled. “I’m not even a princess. I’m just a girl and he’s the man I love.”
He smiled back. “Well, then I could be the Prince Charming, and I will find my own princess.”
“Good luck,” I said, “Prince Charming suits you perfectly. I wish the best for you. Always.”
And I bent over the table – gave him a peck on the cheek. “Thank you. And good bye.”
Then I left.

***

I stared at her back as she made her way through the crowd. When she was out of my sight, I slowly reached my pocket and pulled out a blue velvet box. I looked at the box for a long time before I finally opened it. Inside the tiny box, there was a simple diamond ring which sparkled in the dim light. The irony of the situation made me chuckle. I closed the box and shoved it back into my pocket. I waved for a waiter and ordered something strong. I’d had it bad for this girl; guess I could use a little help for myself for tonight.

***

I run and run along the corridors. I didn’t care if my dress would be messed up or if I’d been given strange looks from some people around. I lost my heels somewhere along the staircase, and I didn’t care. I didn’t care if some guy found it and went prince charming on me. I’d tell them I was not their Cinderella; I was just a girl who’d already fallen in love with her guy.
I stopped abruptly, and there he was, standing on the lowest staircase, looking at me with eyes full of worries. I took a sharp intake of breath, because I never realized how much I missed him until then. I missed him even though sometimes he made me angry. I missed him even though he wasn’t always perfect. I didn’t need him to be perfect, because you didn’t need someone perfect to make you feel perfect. I loved him because loving someone was like buying shoes; in the end, it was not the most expensive or the most beautiful or the most stylish – in the end, it was always the ones which fit you the best. I loved him because despite me being happy, there was some emptiness that somehow, only he could fill. Because I was Dexter Morgan and he was my Hannah McKay, and I didn’t need anybody else.
I descended the few last steps slowly; my eyes never left him. At that moment, there was nobody mattered but him. I stopped a few feet from him, and we both stayed still. It was a cold night. Then I jumped on to him – no, I flew to him – and he caught me, and we both laughed. He spun me around and we laughed happily like a pair of innocent children in a wicked world. We would live in this sick world together, and that would be enough for us, because we had each other and we belonged with each other. And that was all that mattered at the moment.

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