Once upon a time, a rich newly wed couple sought to have a child. They were wealthy business owners who lived in a penthouse on top of the world famous World of Estoria Hotel. Although they strived on numerous attempts to naturally have a baby, they were unsuccessful each and every time. Finally they decided to see the three best specialists. The three best specialists each gave their own opinions, yet agreed on the process of in vitro fertilization. They each implanted DNA, guaranteeing beauty, intelligence, and grace. Finally, utilizing the specialists’ advice, the couple had their first and only child, a daughter whom they lovingly named Maya, meaning princess.
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The three specialists examined the baby and noticed that Maya had in fact been cursed. The doctor, who performed the surgery, was insulted because he was not asked his opinion and hence had inserted the gene for heart failure. Maya, therefore, only had a 5hance of living more than 17 years. The parents were heartbroken when they found out, but determined that they would make the best out of the 17 years and provide their daughter with the most love they could. However, this also meant that they over protected their daughter because the slightest injury could lead to her death.
Growing up, Maya had it all. She attended the best schools and had the most expensive luxuries, ranging from personal theatres to personal chauffeurs. She had her own extension of the penthouse and even her own elevator. Although she had all the money in the world, something in her life was missing; something that could not be bought. She dreamed of a ‘Prince Charming’, a handsome man who would come on a white horse and take her away. In her dreams, this fair man with dark hair would give her all the freedom she wanted and would fill her life with unrestrained love and happiness. However, she knew the truth. Her strict parents would never agree. They had never told her why they overly protected her and this would eventually lead to what they feared the most.
On her 17th birthday, Maya cried all day because she wanted to go out with her friends. Unable to bear their child cry any longer, Maya’s parents let her go out with her friends. When she was stuck in traffic, she told her private chauffeur that she would walk to Loews theatre and left with her friends. However, her friends encouraged her to attend a VIP party at Webster Hall instead. At the club, she was amazed at what she saw. Maya witnessed teenagers dancing to music and enjoying themselves. She quickly realized how much she had missed out on.
Walking into the second hall, Maya caught the sight of a tall handsome man. Staring at the stranger, she lost track of where she was walking and lost balance. She slipped on a spilled drink and fell flat on her back. Embarrassed, she quickly tried to regain composure without being noticed by the stranger. However, it was too late. A long arm extended in her direction.
“Hey, I know I told cupid to hit you with an arrow but geez I didn’t know you’d be hit that hard!”
The one guy she fell for, literally, was trying to talk to her and asking for an apology. Although his pick up line wasn’t exactly the brightest thing to say, she, nevertheless, was attracted to him, yet did not want to look too desperate and her fall had already proved otherwise. Giving the young man a dirty look, Maya quickly got up and turned in the opposite direction. She would have walked straight into a wall if the man had not grabbed her and stopped her from doing so. Turning her around, the man introduced himself.
“Hi, my name is Mikhail. I will be your knight in shining armor for the night since you obviously cannot walk straight. That is if you allow me to.”
“Um, hi. No thanks, I think I’ll find my way.”
“Fine, have it your way. If you need anything, I’ll be here.”
The entire night, Maya stared at Mikhail and watched him dance with girl after girl. She felt like going up to him and pushing the girls away, but she restricted herself from doing so. Finally when one girl got too close, she walked up to Mikhail and whispered something in his ear. He smiled and followed her to the bar.
“Oh so now you want me to buy you a drink.”
“It’s not that. It’s just that I kinda left the cash in the car.”
“Yeah, okay. Listen, if you wanted me to buy you a drink you just have to ask. There’s no point making ridiculous excuses up. Besides, I would be honored too.”
“Ugh don’t get all full of yourself. I’ll pay you back. I live in a penthouse at the World of Estoria Hotel.”
“Haha. Yeah and I live in the Eiffel Tower. Anyway forget all this. I just found out it’s your birthday. Consider it my treat and forget everything else okay?”Sigh.
For the rest of the night, Mikhail kept Maya entertained, making her laugh, dancing with her, and even serenading her with songs. For the first time in her life, Maya was falling in love and that, too, with the perfect man.
After the party finished, Maya went outside to call her chauffeur. Dialing the number on her cell phone, she started feeling nauseous and dizzy. She had trouble breathing and in no time her eyes shut and she fainted.
After wondering what had happened to the girl, Mikhail went outside to check on Maya. Unfortunately, he found her on the ground and this time not breathing. He quickly picked her up like a baby and called for a taxi. However, since no taxi was around, he stopped and mounted a horse carriage. Not knowing where she lived or who she had come with, he grabbed her cell phone and dialed the last number. All he could do was wait and hope that someone would pick up.
“Hello, Maya, where are you?”
“Um hi, this isn’t Maya. This is Mikhail.”
“Where’s Maya? I don’t know any Mikhails.”
“She’s with me. She fainted. I don’t know what happened. She was outside and when I went outside, I found her on the floor.”
Quickened breathing. “Okay where are you? Where are you leaving her?”
“Leaving her! Are you crazy! I’ll come wherever you want!”
“Okay, then come by the World of Estoria Hotel.”
Puzzled Face. “World of Estoria?!”
“Yeah. Do you need directions?”
“Um no. I think I can find it.” Turning the phone off, Mikhail instructed the driver to quickly take him and Maya to the World of Estoria Hotel. He didn’t believe she was actually serious when she told him prior that night. However, that was not why he liked her anyway.
Noticing her heart beat slow down, he held her even tightly and muttered, “You’re almost home. Just a little more, Hun.” Then he faced her and kissed her gently and softly on her lips. As if he had given her life through his lips, Mikhail’s kiss caused Maya’s blood to quicken pace. Suddenly, the horse carriage came to an abrupt halt and Mikhail carried Maya into the world famous Hotel.
Rushing to the main desk, Mikhail asked for an address. After receiving one, he ran to the elevators and headed toward the top floor. In the meantime, Maya had opened her eyes and had found herself in Mikhail’s arms. When Mikhail reached the top floor and ran toward the door, Maya finally spoke.
Mikhail stopped dead in his tracks and looked at Maya. She was in fact alive and conscious. However, before he could reply, Maya’s parents took their daughter from Mikhail’s hands and closed the door without saying anything. Mikhail stood there speechless and heartbroken. In one night, he had met the girl of his dreams, had witnessed her unconscious, had saved her, and had been heartbroken. Shocked at what had occurred, he quietly walked to the elevator and pressed the button to go back to his world, the world without Maya.
The elevator door opened and the chauffeur saw a tall handsome man with tears running down his face. However, before the chauffeur could say anything to stop the man, Mikhail had already taken the elevator and went on with his life.
“Mom, why’d you do that?!”
“Do what. Maya?”
“Why’d you slam the door on Mikhail?”
“Who? Young lady, you should not be bringing boys home! Hey, aren’t you the father?! Tell your daughter something!”
“Yes, listen to your mother.”
“Home? If it wasn’t for him, you probably wouldn’t have even seen me!”
“Young lady, that’s it. Your father and I swore never to let you out and we did and this is what you do. That’s it. From now on, you’re not going anywhere!”
“But mom! How is this my fault?”
“That’s true. She doesn’t even know that she had a heart condition. She can’t live in a cage all her life.”
“Not you too now! Act like a father and stop sympathizing with her!”
“Hey according to the doctors, she wasn’t even supposed to live past 17 years. She survived didn’t she?”
“So what? She could die right now!”
“Yeah so could I and so could you! Does that mean we let her stop living her life? No! Mikhail saved her if anything and the one guy who wants to protect our daughter, you close the door on?!”
“Yeah mom! If anything, he made me want to live longer.”
Finally, the father let the daughter go and told her to run after Mikhail. He wasn’t someone worth losing. The elevator took too long and hence she ran down the entire building. When she reached the first floor, she turned the corridor and noticed Mikhail’s hair. Before she could say anything, she tripped on the rug and went flying forward. Luckily, Mikhail turned around exactly in time and caught her before she seriously hurt herself.
“You have got to stop falling for me!”
“I can’t help it. I’ve already fallen in love with you…”