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A Cinderella Story: Chapter 7 Part I

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Nicholas was completely off Ella's mind now. This guy was way more interesting! He made her laugh so much as she hadn't for a long time with his jokes.
"No, neither. But let me put you on the spot then. How old are you?"
"A senior?"
"Are you intelligent?"
"I like to be considered that, yes."
"Haha! Oh really? Prove it."
"Well... I scored 2190 on my SATs."
"What? No kidding! That's what I got!"
The man was stunned. "You're not serious! You are smart then!"
"I guess so. What are your plans after graduation?"
"Going to college of course. Are you?"
"I think so. My stepmother isn't against it. Yet."
The man frowned. "You have a stepmother?"
"Yes. My only..." Ella couldn't finish. She refused to consider her stepmother as her relative.
There was a pause between them now. The man got up now.
"If you would excuse me... I'm going to order certain song on... I know, you may think me old-fashioned, but I was imagining dancing something in particular tonight, if you would dance with me."
"Sure! What is it?"
"A surprise..."
Ella stayed where she was, and saw him walk up to the DJ, and whisper something in his ear. The DJ looked very surprised, but he agreed to his request. The man came back immediately, beaming.
"Tonight... I'm another man!" he exclaimed, and picked her up. "We all have our personas tonight. But I'm staying with you. I'll find out who you are in the end."
Ella laughed again. "I'm just fine with that... If you promise to share your identity!"
In a moment, the music began, and the man looked earnestly into her eyes.
Ella stopped smiling. She recognized the piece immediately.
"...The Blue Danube... how did you know??"
"Know what?"
"That I love this waltz. I can play it on piano."
The man was stunned again.
"You listen to classical too?"
"Huh! What a surprise! I didn't imagine..."
Everyone in the hall jeered at the music as it began, but no one knew who called for it. Still, most people knew what it was, and decided to treat it fairly and pretend to waltz.
"Do you know how to waltz?" the man asked Ella.
"Yes. I learned it once... long ago," and they held each other in position.
It was a wonderful dance. Although most of the people danced in jest, Ella and her mysterious partner danced excellently. Soon, everyone just stopped and watched them, amazed. They perfectly commented each other, the girl with her silver-white dress, and him with his black mask.
Once it was over, they bowed to each other, and everyone in the room began to clap. Ella was quite surprised, but the man seemed very pleased.
"You're an angel," he said. "Angel. That's what I'll call you tonight. How do you like that?"
"Ha! Hardly true of me," she looked embarrassed.
"Oh? We'll see about that," he grinned anyway.
Ella and the man took some refreshments then, and many came up to them and complimented them.
"Wow! You guys really know how to dance!"
"You should get to be Prom King and Queen!"
"Yes! I second that! Let's vote tonight! Black and White rule the dance floor!"
"I wish I wore white, it would have been perfect."
Ella noticed the man was getting nervous about all the attention they were getting.
"I want to speak to you privately," he said softly to her, and he took her out of the ball room. Many people were still watching, others teasing them secretly. Obviously everyone could tell they were in a relationship. Ella personally felt awkward for that, but she was too captivated with the man in the black mask to care.
They went up a spiral staircase up into a huge lounge on the second floor. Here there were many tall windows, and lights everywhere with flowers in vases. But no one else but them.
Ella looked out one of the windows. The whole city was lit up, and she could even see the moon, a small crescent. In the distance, she could see a clock tower, but it was too hard to read.
"What time is it?" she wondered aloud.
The man looked at his watch. "Past 10. We can go down later if you like."
"It's more... peaceful up here."
They sat down on a couch by a window, and began a long conversation. It covered everything: their likes, dislikes, favorite things to do, and little about their lives, but they would never give their names. It would keep a secret til a few minutes to midnight. They eventually crossed a subject that Ella wished wasn't brought up.
"You mentioned having a godmother. Do you have a father? any siblings?"
"Well... yes, I have 2 stepsisters. They were here tonight, I recognized them. But... no, my real parents aren't alive anymore."
"I'm sorry about that... really I am."
"Thank you... but there's really nothing you or I can do about it," before Ella could hold herself back, she began pouring out her heart to this man. "I hate them. I don't like school. And I don't like home. I want to get out of here. But I can't. I'm trapped."
Although Ella couldn't see his whole face, she saw his eyes soften. He held her hand.
"Surely things will change for you. Soon you'll be out of school. You're sisters will leave. Then things will be alright."
"Maybe... but that's not all..."
"What do you mean?"
Ella was really conflicted in her soul. She never told anyone about her true feelings, and it felt awkward to say them, but relieving at the same time.
"I... I feel worthless."