"Are you alright?"
The voice sounded distant. I felt like I was immersed in an ocean, an ocean pulling me rock bottom and zoned everyone out. Even the music playing felt so distant that I hardly heard it.
My long lost friend, my second best friend, my childhood soulmate.
If someone told me I would meet him again tonight, I would never have believed it. Now here he was with me.
"Cassiopeia, can you hear me?"
I should have known. Apart from mum, he was the only one who called me by my full name even when we were kids. Jason was here with me, at last. So incredulous but real!
"Cassiopeia, come back!" He grabbed me and shook me till I came back to earth. Instead of getting scared or frightened, my knees weakened at his touch and all I could do was sit down.
"Are you alright?" he asked the millionth time.
"I'm fi... Fine." Stuttering was starting to become my forte.
"Thank God! You completely zoned out and that gave me a fright." He whispered like he was telling a secret.
"Jason, is it really you?" I fully had to process everything.
"Yes, Cassieopia, it's me. I can't believe I've found you. Come here." He led me to the his side. Before, I was sitting across him, a table between us.
He hugged me and I closed my eyes, basking in the glory of his touch.
"Thank God I've found you too." I replied.
"This is surreal. It's like a dream." he said and I was glad he felt the same way.
I didn't know when I started crying until he pulled me off a bit, only to help wipe my tears with the back of his hands.
"Shh! It's okay sweetheart. I've got you." I was overwhelmed by the term of endearment. Never had I ever been called that, except by my parents.
"Let's go get some fresh air, the music is horrendously loud." He said after I managed to stop crying.
"But what if Ana comes looking for me, she won't be able to find me." I said.
"Hold on... Is that Anabelle, your cousin?" I nodded, smiling. "Wow, I didn't realize that. She looks different. Both of you look different."
I didn't know if he meant that we looked horrible or ugly. He seemed to gauge my thoughts because he immediately spoke.
"You've both turned out to be beautiful women. Really beautiful."
All I could do was blush.
"She's pretty occupied at the moment. I can see her dancing with someone. Let's go! I promise not to take you too far and bring you back in one piece." He promised.
"Okay, let's do this."
To say I was excited was an understatement.
I picked up my clutch and cane which I dropped down when I sat on the chair in the beginning. He clasped my hand in his and led me out of the party.
We kept walking till we got to the law faculty parking lot. I knew that because I heard the sounds of so many cars trying to park and some security officials were directing them on where to park.
At a point, we stopped and he fumbled with something that sounded like keys and then I heard the sounds of a car so close to us, indicating it was opened.
"After you." He collected my cane and placed it at the back seat, then opened the door, made sure I was comfortably seated and helped strap on my seatbelt before he moved to the driver's side, turned on the ignition and drove off.
"Can I hear some music please?" I asked after a while and he chuckled.
"Some minutes ago, you were at a party that played the loudest songs ever, now you've left there and still want more?" He kept chuckling.
"What's wrong with that? Besides they played Hip Hop dance songs. I want something slow and romantic."
Oops! I can't believe I said the "R" word. My cheeks flamed.
"You're pretty when you blush Cassiopeia."
His compliment and my full name did funny things to my stomach. Gosh is the air conditioner still working in this car? Of course it is, silly. You're just affected by his words.
"I might just have the perfect playlist till we get to our destination." His voice cleared my foggy thoughts.
"Destination? You mean we are going far away from here?" I was starting to worry. What about Ana and Tess, what will they do if they couldn't find me? I couldn't imagine how their frenzy mode would turn out to be.
"Relax, it's not so far. Just close to my campus." he sensed my thoughts again.
He turned on the music system, and soon, the sound of Harry Styles' "Sweet creature" filled the car. I smiled. I've always loved Harry Styles and this song was one of my favorites. I listened and hummed softly to it. After that, Sia's "Helium" played and when the beginning of the instrumental beat of Justin Bieber's "Purpose" started, I turned in his direction and smiled.
"These are some of my favorite songs as well." I told him.
"I'm glad they are." he replied.
With his left hand on the steering wheel I guess, he placed his right hand in mine, interlocking our fingers. The feelings that surged through me were foreign and euphoric. I felt so at peace.
"I'm so glad I found you Cassiopeia." He placed a kiss at the back of my palm and I tried to compare it with that of Daniels.
This chaste kiss surpassed Daniels or any other person's whose lips had ever come in contact with my hands.
"I'm so glad I found you too." I replied.
We were silent after that until finally, his car came to a stop.
"Where are we?" I was curious as fudge.
"We are exactly where I promised myself a few years ago to bring you to, the moment I found you." He answered.
I swallowed my saliva in order to ease the lump in my throat.
"Are you willing to let me in?"
I felt the question had a deeper meaning to it, like he was asking for my permission to come into my life again.
I uttered the word that would forever seal our fate.