“We should go…” Michael told Stephanie after they struck each other with their words of love at the balcony, he walked away first leaving her behind.
Stephanie paused for a moment and recalled her building up feelings for him that was badly triggered after what he said.
Hey. You deserve a fairy tale.
She could clearly hear his voice in her head. She sighed and tried to control herself and followed him inside.
Stephanie, he’s about to propose to his girlfriend, you will not be some kind of a home wrecker, get yourself together.
She reprimanded herself at the back of her head.
“Hey.” Michael called her attention as he was bothered by her weird situation. Her eyes were pursed as if she’s thinking of something so deep and she kept on whispering “No” redundantly.
“Yeah!?” She was surprised. “Are you okay?” He asked. “Uh… Me? Uh.. Yeah, why wouldn’t I be, I mean… Yeah.” She giggled and stammered.
Soon then, they went back to sleep not knowing that they were both thinking about each other as they lay down on their resting areas.
Stephanie kept on scolding herself for even considering the idea of falling for Michael. She felt so bad for falling for him when she was aware of his rocky relationship with his girlfriend.
No. No. Can’t be. But he made me feel different. No. No. What the hell am I saying? That’s disrespectful. Ugh.
Michael couldn’t help himself but wonder, he was trying to figure out his feelings — feelings for his girlfriend that starts to wear off and feelings for Stephanie that just bloomed. She was very bubbly, very vocal and open. She was so real, he felt it. It’s just so enchanting that he felt so good around her. He felt like he could be who he really is, whatever he is and it’s okay. It was something he never thought he would find fascinating and now that she came and presented that kind of feeling to him, he just no longer wants to leave her presence anymore.
But I doubt she feels the same way. I don’t wanna take advantage of her feelings just because her boyfriend dumped her, besides, I’m in a relationship. I should just sleep.
Finally, the flight day came. Stephanie and Michael prepared themselves for their scheduled flights, in addition, prepared themselves to part ways already.
“So… Here it is.” Stephanie giggled. “Yeah.” He replied shortly after they finished fixing their luggages.
Silence was very frequent between them since last night, since they both got themselves thinking over their true feelings for each other and they tried their best not to make things awkward and weird.
Stephanie’s phone rang reminding her that their flight is due in about three hours.
“Oh! We should go.” She informed him a bit bothered as she saw him silently watching her as she checked her phone. “Oh. Okay.” He uttered lifelessly.
“Yeah.” She replied to kill the silence and clumsily lifted her luggage forgetting to zip it up causing her things to messily scatter all over the floor.
“Oh no!” She complained. “Stupid me.” She added and immediately started to pick up her things on the floor. Michael immediately helped her up.
“No. No. Hehe, it’s fine. I can pick- okay, no, it’s really fine. You can go now. Thank you, okay uhm-” She tried to stop him from helping but he insisted.
At one point while he was helping her pick her things up, their hands touched each other slowly making their world stop — simultaneously looking at each other without moving their hands’ position.
The room turned silent, the time stood still for them and all they could feel that very moment was their heartbeats syncopated to one another. Michael started to feel carried away urging him to slowly move closer to her to place a gentle kiss on her lips.
It was very sentimental but then before he was even able to kiss her, Stephanie immediately recalled how bad it makes her feel to tolerate her feelings knowing his situation. She immediately looked away and heavily exhaling.
“I’m sorry.” She apologized right away — feeling so guilty. He didn’t want to make her feel bad. “No. No. Don’t be sorry-”
“No. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t… I should not be this close to you. I’m sorry.” She immediately stood up and messily compressed her things on her luggage before zipping it up. She dragged her bag and tried to walk away but Michael stopped her by holding her hand.
She sharply sighed before facing him with the face of anxiety and worry.
“Michael, please.” She stopped him from further talking as she felt like she was about to lose herself. “Don’t make this hard for me.” She pleaded. “Michael, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you had to stay this close to me during this unexpected delay of our flights… I don’t know. I’m sorry.” She continued.
“I don’t get it…” He retorted.
She sighed. “I don’t know if you’re pretending that you are unaware but I don’t think I could still control this thing that I’m feeling if you continue being like that to me.” She vaguely explained.
“What are you feeling? What feeling do I give you?” He asked.
“I don’t know. I actually don’t know. I’m sorry… I don’t know but…I have a huge respect for you… and your girlfriend. And I don’t wanna complicate things… between us? I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s just me or you feel it too-”
“I do.” He squelched silencing her.
“What do you mean ‘I do’?” She had to ask for explanation but he remained silent.
“Michael…” She sighed. “You’re a great guy. Your girlfriend is… very lucky to have you. To have someone who’s willing to commit himself and propose to her to spend a lifetime with her. It’s so fascinating. So fascinating and I’m so fascinated by it. It’s like… the dream. You know?” She began to explain carefully.
“And it’s my dream.” She added. “But then here I am again falling for the wrong guy. A guy who’s currently in a relationship and is about to propose to his girlfriend and may I be damned for falling in love with you. I… just don’t think I even deserve you.” She confessed.
Michael’s heartbeats turned heavier as he heard her say what he wanted to hear.
She loves me. I love her.
“God. I’m such a mess in relationships. I’m sorry you had to carry this with you. But don’t worry, I don’t see you badly, we’ll part ways in about three hours, you’ll forget this too. I’m sorry.” She apologized and looked so sorry.
“I don’t want to forget this.” He replied stunning her a bit. “I don’t wanna part ways with you. I wanna be with you Stephanie.” He added startling her even more.
“What?” She unconsciously asked in bewilderment.
He strode closer to her and held her hands. “Stephanie. When I met you, I didn’t expect I would feel this way. I never thought you would get me wondering what I really want and what love is but… you did. When I’m with you I feel like I can be myself without worrying about what other people may think. When I’m with you I feel like someone is sincerely caring for me and everything I do with you just makes me so comfortable. I don’t know why but you make me so happy, effortlessly. Steph, when I tried to think about what I feel for you… I was surprised myself that I didn’t have the fear of spending with you for the rest of my life. The only thing I was scared of is that I might be in love with you and you don’t feel the same way.” He elaborated making her badly teary.
“And if you’re wondering what I feel for you… Now I’m sure about it. I love you, Stephanie.” He added bursting her into tears.
She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She told herself that life isn’t a fairy tale, it’s impossible that he would choose her but then he just did and it was real.
He wiped the tears streaming down her cheeks with his thumb as he pressed his forehead against hers. “Ssssh…” He uttered and kissed her forehead.
“Please tell me I’m not dreaming. Can you slap me or something?” She cried.
“Stephanie. It’s true. This is true. I love you.” He stated and smiled at her crying face. “Oh my god, I look like a mess right now. I can’t stop- I can’t, I’m crying. Are you sure? You still have time to change your mind.” She sniffled making him giggle.
“Yes. I’m sure.” He replied.
“Now, there’s only one thing that I wanna know.” He added. “What?” She struggled to ask in the midst of her crying.
“Will you allow me to be the prince in your fairy tale?” He asked making her blush and cry harder in happiness.
“Yes!” She buried her face on his chest as he hugged her tight kissing the top of her head in happiness.
They never thought about falling for each other or to anyone when they planned to book their flights but they couldn’t get anymore happier that they met each other and fell in love with one another on Christmas eve.
“Merry Christmas.” Michael greeted her as he felt so thankful of meeting her. For him, it was like the best gift he had for Christmas.