The Girl, The Guy & The Happy Ending.
A happy ending. The sentence splashed across one of the movie posters tempted Miss Arabella to watch the romantic flick. She went straight to the ticket counter and purchased a seat for one. Forty five minutes till showtime. She went to freshen up in the restroom and decided to loiter around the shopping mall.
A sales person approached her as she went to the perfume section. She smiled politely and sniffed the paper sprayed with a scent of honeysuckle and rose. Too sweet for her taste.
She looked at her watch. Ten minutes more to go. A 1901 hotdog in her right hand and a plastic bag full of largesize popcorn and a jumbo sized softdrink in her left, Arabella found herself a seat on a bench outside the movie theater. She began to gobble down the hotdog as her mind started countdown the five minutes before she could watch the movie. This was her routine. Every single time she came across a movie with the tag line 'Happily ever after' or something similar to that, she would be the first one to show up at the ticket counter.
Satisfied that she had finished her hotdog in time, she rushed to the ticket attandance person or whatever they call them. She walked casually inside the theater and quickly found her seat. The theater was slowly filling up with people. But her mind was already thinking about the happy ending. She pulled out a box of tissue paper that she always carry in her bag. And so the movie began with the hero crashing into the heroine and Arabella sighed dreamily.
Two hours later, she was sobbing like a child when the light went back on. The other theater goers looked at her curiously and left her to her suffering.
It wasn't like she's a movie buff or anything but her mind had been filled with those romantic notions of princes in white horses coming to rescue her; a damsel in distress from the BIG BAD monsters in the form of horrible bosses and mean landlady. To be frank, she was a twenty-eight year old woman with an eighteen year old mind.
Mom wasn't around very much. She was more into her gambling habits and dad was more into young, hot blooded racing horses. She was an only child much to her amazement. Her parents has ceased talking to each other ever since she was conceived. Her mother blamed her dad for making her pregnant. And he blamed her for getting him drunk late one night and had 'seduced' him. From Arabella's point of view, both parties were to blame but she still love them with every fibre in her being.
Her cellphone started ringing after she got into her car twenty minutes later.
"Hi, mom. How is it going?"
"Don't you go 'Hi, mom' me. I need you to tell your father that his car is blocking my car and I can't get to the poker game in time if he won't move his car."
"Mom, why don't you tell him yourself? You guys are in the same house, sleeping on the same bed TOGETHER for thirty years."
"I don't want to talk to him now. He's making his 'I'm ignoring you' face as we speak."
"Hmm...alright mother. I'll call him now."
"Thank you sugar. Talk to you later. Muah."
"Love you too mom." She sighed to the melody of Brian Adams' Right Here Waiting For You playing on the radio.
She began dialling for her dad.
"Hi princess. What did your mom ask you to do now?"
"Oh, the usual thing. You know what it is. Don't pretend dad. I can hear your voice when she called me just now."
"Maybe I didn't quite get what she really wants me to do."
"You purposely trying to get her mad, don't you? Very mature of you."
"I don't see why she can't asked me herself to move my car instead of calling you."
"Well, can you please move your car daddy?"
"How can I resist when my princess asked nicely."
"Good. I'll catch up with you guys later. Bye dad."
She drove out of the basement parking lot and headed towards her apartment a couple of miles from the shopping mall. She was having a very good day. Much to her chagrin, her car broke down in the middle of nowhere not far away from her apartment. The road was too quiet and she was not going to wait here any second longer. So she gathered all the things she needed, locked the car and happily started walking back home. Yes, only a few blocks away.
Suddenly she felt a prickle at the back of her neck. It was an uneasy feeling and she choked on a calming breath.
"Hey miss!" A voice came out of nowhere. She turned around towards the voice but no one was insight. And she kept walking. Faster.
"Wait up. I can't keep up if you are walking that fast." No one when she turned around the second time.
"Down here miss."
Arabella came across a small elf-like man in a black shirt saying "I maybe small but I am lethal" across his chest. She squished her eyes shut and opened them again just to be sure she wasn't hallucinating.
"What do you want?"
"I saw your car broke down and I was wondering if you needed a lift."
"Are you with the towing company?"
"Santa's Little Helper at your service." Arabella eyed the charming little man from head to toe. He looked okay to her. Decent looking; almost like a small version of James Bond with his cleft chin and thick eyebrows.
"You are joking right?" She smiled, warming up to the little man after sensing no real danger from him.
"No, ma'am. We always get prank calls because of that but that IS the name of the company."
"Well, I don't see any towing truck around mister...?"
"Just call me Jeff. Gimme a sec while I called my friend to pick up your car, ma'am." He took out his cellphone and talked rapidly to his friend.
A few minutes later a green towing truck came into view. On the door "Santa's Little Helper" was painted in red. She caught Jeff's eye and chuckled. His friend was elf-like too, only a slightly well built and taller than Jeff. And so the journey started...
"Arabella. My office. NOW!" Mrs Pet's voice boomed in the intercom. Bella took her usual weaponary with her, a notepad and a sharp pointy pencil. She glided into the room and was told to stand right there in the middle of the office while her boss talked on the phone. It felt like detention times a million. The permanent snarl on Mrs Pet lips always made her want to pee in her pants. Three years working with her and the feeling never went away.
"You are fired, Arabella."
"This can't be. What did I do wrong?"
"Nothing. I just don't want to see that perky smile of yours anymore. I hate happy people coming in my office every morning. I want to see suffering in the eyes of my employees."
"Well, I can do suffering." Arabella frowned and made sad puppy eyes.
"This is not a pet shop. Don't be cheeky with me young lady."
"But I just want to keep my job. I'll do anything."
"I don't want you to do anything. I just want you to pack your belongings and leave."
"There's no changing your mind then?"
"Then I have something to say..."
"It's not like I care, but go on. Have your last say."
"You treat your employees like dirt. You worked us to death and you DEMAND us to come here every morning with a frown on our face and develop a snarl on our lips like yours?!"
"I do say you are a bit emotional right now, Arabella."
"Listen here you ogre. I had enough of this prison-like office and I'll gladly leave without my paycheck."
"As you wish."
"Good. Have a pleasant life, Arabella 'dear'."
"Goodbye!" Arabella walked out and slammed the door on her way out.
Now thanks to her smart mouth, she was jobless with a mountain of bills and debts to pay. Bravo!
Oh, yeah. Jeff from the towing company called earlier informing her that she can pick up her car. To do that, she needed money which the only thing she lacked right now. How can you be so freaking stupid Arabella? When in danger, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! NOT!
"Hello, you have reached Simon's residence. Hey, it's my house too! Taped that again. Hello, you have reached Simon's and my bossy wife Elizabeth's residence. Leave a message after the beep." Arabella chuckled hearing the voicemail and waited for the 'BEEP!'. She left a message telling her folks that she was fired and in dire need of money.
Two hours later, her father called with a worry note in his voice. After sufficient explanations and a sworn oath that she will stay with them if she's broke, he promised to bank in enough money to pay for her car and this month's rent.
The mechanic workshop was resembling more of a playground for children playing pretend than a real workshop itself. Jeff came strolling with a cute jumpsuit and a streak of oil smeared all over his face and jumpsuit. She gave him a cheery smile. Santa's Little Helper was crowded with many more elf-like man like Jeff. She could see seven of them working diligiently on the cars and trucks.
"You looking gorgeous today, ma'am." Jeff was such a sweet talker.
"Arabella will do. You are looking quite handsome yourself." She could hear the snickers and amused laughter from his coworkers.
"I've done some changes to your car."
"How much will that changes cost me?"
"A sweet smile and two hundred bucks." Her laughter echoed melodiously in the workshop.
Arabella waved her goodbyes to the seven elf of the workshop and headed to her 'Home Sweet Home'.
"Welcome back, sugar." An elderly woman grabbed Arabella and hugged her with all her might when she stepped into her two bedroom apartment.
"Why are you here alone? Without dad?" She arched an questioning eyebrow at her mother.
"I'm divorcing him."
"WHAT?! No way. Why?"
"I hate him."
"But you always have that hate-love relationship going on."
"Not anymore. I need some cheering up. I've appointment for a facelift tomorrow."
"Stop! Back up. Facelift? Mom, why would you need a stranger poking and carving your face? No way I'm agreeing to that."
"He called me a wrinkled old hag. I can't take it anymore."
"That was the way you guys say that you cared for each other."
"Not on our anniversary!"
"Owh, I get it. He forgot about the anniversary."
"Dad, mom's getting a facelift." Arabella told him after his 'Hello'.
"Not on this life she's not!" He sighed before continuing, "What did I forget about now?"
"Oh? Is that all? I just gave her some sleeping pills, dad."
"I'll come pick her up now."
"Give her flowers and a good morning kiss when she wakes up tomorrow. Please?"
"Got it. See you in five, my Bella."
Arabella slept like a baby after her folks left. And she lived happily ever after. Absolutely not! This is the part where the evil witch makes an appearance or her knight in shining armour came galloping atop a white horse.
Mrs Pet was standing in her kitchen, brewing up some evil looking soup in her big black pot. She cackled and whiffed the brew.
"Soon you will be mine, Arabella. Mine! Muahahahahaha...."
The hero of this story had just landed in the airport. His eyes were redrimmed from the lack of sleep. He gave a big yawned and hailed a taxicab. The black leather jacket looked worn and ready to fall off his broad shoulders. His grey shirt and jeans looked clean enough.
"Santa's Little Helper," he gave the direction to the taxi driver.
"Hey, big brother. Miss me?"
"Well, I'll be damn. My little puny brother. Come here you!" Jeff hugged his little brother as hard as he could.
"I'm way bigger and taller than you now." Peter laughed at the difference of their heights.
"Being six feet tall doesn't mean that I can't kick the daylight out of you."
"You can sure try, bro. Any beauty lurking around in this boring town?"
Arabella woke up the next morning with a bad cough and flu. She was pale and her body was shaking like the leaves falling in autumn. She swallowed down two asprins and tried to get back to sleep. Failing to do so, she wandered off to the balcony of her apartment. The sun was up and slowly warming up her chilly skin. Down below, she could see a man walking on the pathway and their eyes locked for a brief second. She felt faint and her eyelids fluttered close as she came crashing down on the floor.
Peter's smile died as he watched the lady swooned and dissapeared from the view. He calculated the height of the balcony and decided two stories high won't kill him easily if he fell. And so he began climbing up the wall and landed safely in the lady's balcony.
"Let's just hope the neighbours won't go calling the cops." He muttered as he lifted the lady and deposited on her bed. His rough palm went to her head and he gave a silent curse.
"You are so hot, honey. I would say you are equally hot without the fever. Now, let's cool you down a bit."
Peter played doctor for a while until he could get her temperature to cool down a bit before calling the doctor. An old man with scrunched up face and a big belly came to check the patient.
"Who are you, young man? I've never seen you around before."
"Doc, don't you remember me? It's me.Peter, Jeff's little brother."
"You grew up nicely. What is your relationship with, Arabella?"
"She's my fiancee."
"Since when?" The old man seemed skeptical.
"Oh, it's family arranged."
"In this millenium?"
"Yeah, you tell me. But I'm not complaining."
"Well, congratulations then, boy. Be sure to invite me for the wedding."
"I'll put your name first on the list. Thanks again for coming, doc."
"Don't worry, she'll be up and running by tomorrow morning."
"Arabella. Wake up. I need you to eat this." She heard the unfamiliar voice somewhere.
"Yuck. What is that?" She ran her tongue on her dried lips. Then she felt the stranger gave her the cool water. She drank greedily.
"Something to give you energy, my Bella." She slowly opened her eyes and screamed. But nothing came out from her mouth but air.
"Calm down," she heard his lips moving.
"Am I going to be okay?"
"Of course. I think the fever is coming down."
"No. Will I be okay from you?"
"Why won't you be?"
"For all I know you could be a serial killer or a rapist."
"The last time I checked with the authority, the only crime I've done was throwing waterballoons at Mr. Smith."
"Who is Mr. Smith?"
"My school principal."
She laughed weakly, "Okay, I think you are in the clear for now."
"Thank you. Now, get some rest."
"Step away from my daughter." Arabella's father held the baseball bat high.
"Uh, I can explain." Peter put his hands up and faced the old man.
"What are you doing to my daughter? She looks sick."
"I found her fainted on the balcony. And I called the doctor. She's sleeping now."
"Take a step back, young man."
"She's scorching hot," Arabella's dad touched her face.
"Urm...if that's okay with you, I think I'll take my leave now."
"Not so fast, mister. Where are you staying?"
"Santa'a Little Helper. I'm Jeff's brother."
"Well Jeff's brother, you better plan a long visit to this town."
"Coz you are marrying my daughter at the end of this month."
"Hell, no. I'm not going to get myself tied down by some woman."
"The hell you will, boy. You brought this to yourself. I won't have my little angel having a baby without a proper marriage."
"Whoa. I think you got the wrong idea here, old man."
"You've compromised her and now you are going to marry her."
"I knew this was a bad idea." Peter paced the floor like a caged animal. What mess has he gotten himself into?
"Welcome to the family, son."
"Call me Peter, 'father-in-law'."
The bride looked stunning in her wedding dress. Besides her, the groom looked troubled but none the less dashing in his black tuxedo. The couple smiled at the guests and pasted a fake smile on their faces. Arabella was feeling miserable and Peter was crying on the inside, tormented. Both families of the bride and the groom appeared uncomfortable around each other but happy to be there. Jeff approached his new sister-in-law and gave her a peck on the cheek. She smiled at him, the groom casting a jealous look at the exchanged.
The weding reception went smoothly and everyone went home feeling tired. The news of the sudden wedding doesn't seem to mind the townspeople at all. They were just happy to have some celebration in the quiet and boring town.
"I hope..." Arabella looked at her husband across the livingroom of her apartment. He looked up after rolling up his sleeves.
"Erm...where are you going to sleep tonight?"
"On the bed."
"Then, where am I going to sleep tonight?" She started to panic.
"On the bed. We can share. It'll be like a slumber party." Did he just say slumber party?
"Are you pulling my leg?"
"I am trying to get myself some sleep."
"On the bed? The only bed in this apartment?"
"Yes, I think we've established that a bed is for sleeping, Bella."
"Oh," she choked and started hyperventilating.
In the end, a compromised was made between them. He would sleep on top of the cover, and she would be in the cover.
That night, an evil Mrs Pet was chanting spells from her house. She googled the spell on the internet. The incantations was supposed to make the victim have nightmares.
A few minutes later, Arabella was thrashing about and mumbling in her sleep. Peter woke up to the sound of his wife crying. He called her name softly. When that proved futile, he kissed her awake. She responded and her eyelids fluttered open. Tears threatened to fall but he hushed her and hugged her to sleep.
Morning came and Bella found herself wrapped in her husband's arms.
"Good morning, my sweet." Peter said groggily.
"I had a bad dream last night."
"It's just a bad dream."
"I think someone's trying to kill me." She waited for his reaction.
"By giving you nightmares?" He closed his eyes.
"Why are you still hugging me?"
"So that you won't have nightmares anymore and kicked me out of the bed."
"I'm awake now."
"You are?" He opened his eyes and smiled sleepily, "Hmm..."
"You can let go now."
"But I like holding you like this."
"I'm afraid I'm going to hyperventilate again."
Reluctantly, he let go of his wife and she ran to hide in the bathroom.
Two months they lived like roommates and she was getting used waking up with Peter's face only inches away. The nightmares was not getting any better. One day, she woke up with a big gash on her right arm. Peter was concerned that she might be sleepwalking and hurt herself. The thing was, Mrs Pet came by a few days ago to bring her a wedding gift. But the gleam in her ex-employer's eyes told her that this was more than just a wedding gift.
"I think Mrs Pet is trying to kill me."
"I don't know. But she looks like a witch."
"She could chant some evil spell to kill me."
"Giving you poison would be easier, my dear."
"She did try that! I had a series of bad stomachache whenever I drank the coffee she made for me."
"Ridiculous. You've been watching those fairytales movies, haven't you?"
"Yes, but that is not the point."
"You are just making things up in your mind."
"At least I know Jeff will believe me."
"Well, why don't you go marry him then?"
"Fine. I'm going to find him now."
"You know where's the door. Don't let me stop you."
Mrs Pet was waiting for her prey to come out from hiding. Arabella was walking on foot, heading for the bus stop across the street. Mrs Pet stepped on the gas pedal of her car hard and headed towards Arabella. The crash was loud. Peter poked his head out to the balcony to see what was going on. He saw his wife, lying on the street with blood coming out from her mouth and abdomen. He was running like mad to her and craddled her in his arms. A wrecked car was burning not far from them. A loud high pitched scream was coming from the car and he saw Mrs Pet turned to ashes. Arabella was losing a lot of blood and he was to blame.
Seven dwarfs stood side by side beside the hospital bed. Arabella was on life support as her family stood watching helplessly. Days turned to weeks and she had gone into a coma state. The evil witch had perished but there was no sign of a happy ending. The doctor had suggested euthanasia if her condition didn't get better. Peter had been so angry, he had punched the doctor in the face.
"Peter, I think we have to let her go." An ashen looking father-in-law said to him one day.
"Give her one more day. Then, we'll pull the plug."
"This will make letting her go harder for you."
"I said, one more day!" He looked a little crazy.
"It's time to say goodbye, darling." Arabella's mother was kissing her goodbye.
"I'll see you soon, angel." The old man smiled sadly.
"I know the timing is bad. But I have to say this before I let you go," Peter bent down and whispered to her ear, "I'm going to miss hugging you in your sleep. But what I'll regret most is the chance to say 'I love you'."
With that, he kissed her with all the emotions he pent up for all those weeks. When he pulled back, he swore that her eyelids moved. But no movement. He let the doctor switched off the life support. He felt the need to hug her one last time. Her parents left them alone. The room was silent, only the two of them occupying the hospital bed.
He felt something different was happening. He looked down at his wife. Her lips were moving. She let out a cough and just like magic, her eyelids opened and dark brown eyes stared back at him. He was too stunned to react.
"Are you my hallucination?" He asked.
"I don't know..." she whispered back at him.
"Then there's only one way to prove it once and for all."
"What would you do?" she croaked.
"Are you hyperventilating?" He moved his face closer to her.
"No." And he inched his face closer to her until their lips almost touched.
"Hard to breathe," she choked.
He let their lips met for a while. When they parted, she was looking much more alive than before.
"I think we've established that you are alive, my Bella."
"Now is the part we say, 'and they lived happily ever after'?" She smiled weakly, gaining her humor back from the dead.
"You have got to be kidding me. We haven't discuss about our sleeping arrangements yet."
"When I'm stronger, okay?"
"By the way, you owe me flowers and a big house." She started to doze off.
"By the way, I forgot to tell you that I'm stinking rich."
She peeked open one eye and said, "I'll get back to you on that when I have more energy."
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1) nice story...!
- 13 years ago
2) kamalia: glad you liked it dear (^-^).
- 13 years ago
3) i hate you, sweetums. now, i'm craving for Peter
- 13 years ago
4) Haha.. Another different story.. A contemporary version of snow white and the seven dwarves, nicely assimilated with current issues.. Creative~ Loved the strange family and the unusual relationship..
- 13 years ago
5) uculer: sorry dear, i don't sell or rent out heroes =p.
bee: hehe tq. i guess my brain does make an imaginative story after all. that goes without saying that i daydream a LOT. :)
- 13 years ago
6) wow, this is great nightingale! fresh, funny n i really enjoyed it..bravo!! 5 stars n a moon..haha
- 13 years ago
7) mosh: tq for the moon =p. cheeky and funny were my main agendas for this piece.
- 13 years ago
8) aaaaa...comel~~~ can I have that man pli~ssssssss!!!!!!!!!!
- 13 years ago
9) this is typical u, night
sweet and cute as usual
but i think the storyline is a bit loose
- 13 years ago
10) val: gee, you guys can read me like an open book :). i agree. i wrote this and posted it right away(yea, i know. i know. i was supposed to analyze it and make it more tight). but the child in me was so eager to post something in Kapasitor. ha ha ha. i'll try to be more patient next time. =p
- 13 years ago
11) non typical story. Nice.
- 13 years ago
12) what up...do u actualy live in wonderland...where all the fantasy came from ?
grrr....hate you ..love u...u r too good to be true...
p/s i know it has been a while, but im still your biggest fan down here...keep it coming keep on posting....cheerio..muahhhh
- 13 years ago
13) darn it! you found out my secret, zhen. yes, i have a wonderland in my backyard =p.
i'm waiting for more of your dark side interpretation of your fantasy world as well ;).
- 13 years ago
14) sweet one.. a tad too long but i kept on reading anyway, so thats a good sign. u wrote this on one go and posted it straight away? wow! wow! ;)
- 13 years ago
15) NJay: yea, it is a good sign when you continue to read a dreadfully long 'short' story. hahaha. the creative juices were gushing like a waterfall when i wrote this piece =p.
- 13 years ago
16) OMG!! hilariously sweet..
- 12 years ago
17) elislala: hik hik...thanx *blush*
- 12 years ago
18) I can't stop giggling this is awesome
- 8 years ago