A Cinderella Story: Chapters 2, 3
by, Jun-07-2011 at 03:37 (557 Views)
It was April.
Ella had just come home from school, exhausted: she had 3 tests that day, and at least 2 hours of homework to do.
"What took you so long, Ella?" her stepmother demanded when she got home.
"I had to stay after school to finish some tests."
"Fine. Just make sure you clean the living room today, we're having a special guest come today. Make sure you don't burn anything when you cook, like last time."
Special indeed. Ever since Ella's father died, his wife was looking for someone new to marry. She dated men like her all the time. Ella cringed at the idea of another "suitor."
Ella went to her stepsister's room. Both were lounging on their beds. Joan was talking loudly on the phone, and Jane was drowning her out listening to her IPod.
"Have either of you seen my Physics textbook?"
"What?" Jane hardly heard her. Joan didn't even notice Ella came in.
"My textbook! I needed it at school today, but it wasn't in my backpack. Did you take it?"
"Why would we? If you lost it, it's not our fault," Jane eyed her cautiously.
"Well, if you find it in any of you stuff, perhaps you took it by accid-"
"I told you we don't have it! Now get lost!"
Ella needed that textbook to study. She sighed, and walked off.
Ella prepared the meal for her family as well as their new guest. She was so use to cooking now as well as cleaning that it was routine, but it made her so busy that she hardly got time to eat anything. Ella preferred to stay away anyway, so she ate in the kitchen.
The man that came was a rich politician, actually from the House of Representatives. He was equally as haughty as the rest of Ella's family. When Ella was taking away the dishes and bringing them to the kitchen, she over heard,
"Who is that girl?"
"Oh, she's my youngest daughter," was the indifferent reply.
"Hm, I wonder how she got her looks."
"Indeed! I've never seen bigger eyebrows, or a plainer complexion!"
"That's not what I meant, although you could argue that. She is very small, isn't she? Not like your other daughters."
"No, and that's because we aren't really related. She's the only child of my late 2nd husband, who was a widower."
"I see. Well, it was a nice evening."
"Shall we meet again?"
After the politician left, Ella went to her room which was in the attic. After doing her homework, she wrote in her diary:
Same old. A new man came today, a politician. Wonder how long their... it would last.
I heard them announce at school today that prom tickets were going on sale. It's on Friday, the 22... If only I could go to the Prom. Joan and Jane are. And... he's going to be there.
She was speaking of a guy at school named Nicholas, or Nick so called by his best friends. He was the most popular guy in school. But Ella had a crush on him. He was a senior, tall, and really talented. Not only was he in G/T and AP classes, but he played the violin like something amazing. Not that he was going to be a music major though. He was planning to be a political science major. Ella could play piano, and although she would only practice when no one was around, she imagined accompanying his playing one day. But so many other girls at school liked him too, and had way better chances than her. Of what she knew though, Nick had no steady girlfriend though.
That little hope was always there.
Ella decided to build up courage to ask her stepmother what she cared about most.
"Mother, may I go to Prom this year?"
"This year? Why not next year, like your sisters are doing?"
"Because..." Ella didn't exactly want to admit her liking for a certain senior, so she let it go. "It's just a wish."
"I think you should wait, Ella. You're sisters have worked hard at school, and they're soon graduating. They deserve this more than you right now. And besides, I can't afford all 3 of you!"
"But... it shouldn't be that expensive."
"What! Are you arguing with me? You ungrateful girl! The tickets, the dresses, all the arrangements are extremely expensive! You know nothing about it!"
"Certainly you do. What you wear is at least 5 times as expensive as those prom dresses."
Her stepmother was stunned. She could only gape in awe at such audacity.
"You foolish girl! Go to your room! You don't deserve anything after talking back like that!"
Whenever her stepmother mentioned anything about what Ella deserved, this irritated her more than anything. She went up to the attic and cried instead.
That weekend, Jane and Joan went to the mall with their mother to get their prom dresses, and Ella stayed at home to do the chores. While she was mopping the kitchen, she saw a little bird land on the deck just outside the window. It was her little friend.
Of all the friends Ella had, the animals in their backyard forest were her dearest. Every afternoon, when she wasn't at school, they would come to the deck and beg for food. One bird, a red cardinal, literally sat on a chair on the deck and looked her in the eye, as if he was saying, "hello, Ella! do you have something for me?" Her stepmother wouldn't have a birdfeeder, and was annoyed whenever they would come when Ella wasn't there. But Ella had compassion for these birds, and fed them some peanuts which she cast onto the deck. Soon, 2 squirrels came there too, eating happily.
Seeing them made Ella happy and sad at the same time. They had so few cares. There were no people to please, no extra chores to do, no school to worry about. She wished she was never in the situation she was now.
Finally, Ella was finished with her chores, and her homework was done. Only to find the car coming up the driveway.
Jane and Joan burst into the room, carrying their dresses with special bags around them. They bickered incessantly about who's dress was prettier.
"Green is best!"
"No! My yellow one is! See the gems?"
"But yellow is so dull!"
"No it's not!"
"Is too! I'll prove it!"
They saw Ella looking at their dresses. The dresses were indeed beautiful. Not quite her color, but beautiful nonetheless.
"You wish you had one! We heard how you bad-mouthed mom. That's what you get!" said Jane, and they went away to their room.
Ella's stepmother came into the room.
"Did you do your chores?"
"What about your homework?"
"Good. You're so intelligent, Ella. You don't even need me around to tell you what to do," she smiled icily, and went to her room.
That night, Ella wrote again in her diary:
The Prom is in a week... why am I counting? I can't help it! I'm just holding a false notion that it's somehow for me. At this point, I don't know if I'll ever go there, not even next year! I'm just hurting myself by thinking about it any more. But I just can't help it!
Elena fell more and more into despair the rest of the week. She spent most of her nights crying herself to sleep. She kept telling herself she didn't deserve to go. After all, she could be just as mean as he sisters. But now she regretted all of that. She wanted to be different. Her injustices had been too much to bear now. But her desires didn't change. They actually grew.
Friday the 22th came along...