A Not-So Cinderella Story

When I felt like I was being swept off my feet in a Cinderella story, someone had to be there to drop me, right? Let's backtrack a little. Cher Topman. A simple name for a complex girl like me. I'm an orphan at a little orphanage in London, but don't be fooled. Just because it's in London doesn't mean that it's extravagant. When a rich American single woman makes the fatal decision to adopt me and take me back to America, my life is turned upside down by some people I never thought I'd meet.

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17. Fixed Pieces.

"Fasten your seat belts, we'll be in the air shortly," the air hostess says through the intercom. I belt in and grab my phone after we're in the air.

When I turn it on, I'm greeted by....71 voicemails. I wonder who they're from? All from Justin.

"Cher, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean a word I said and I had no idea about the orphanage. I know it was really hard for you to tell me that, and I'm thankful you trusted me enough. I'm so sorry about the way it played out. I'm sorry," his familiar voice croaks through the phone of sadness.

"Cher, I just went to your apartment building and they said you left town. Please let me know you're ok. I know I don't deserve it, but I need to know if you're safe,"

I skip a couple to the next one.

"It's been three days and I haven't heard a bit from you. Please call me back."

"I know that you know I'm sorry. Let me prove it. Come back for Christmas Eve in Times Square. I'll be performing and I need you there front and center. Just show up and the security will do the rest. Please."

"I love you so much baby. I don't want to throw all of that down the drain. I need you,"

"I need you"

"I miss you,"

"I love you,"

"I want you back,"

"Please."

I decide not to listen to the rest and drown out the world through my headphones as I switch on Ed Sheeran.

 

"That was the longest flight in the history of flights," I flop on the couch.

"Hand me the remote, I want  to turn on the Christmas special," Haylee says. I throw the remote at her, not moving from my comfortable spot. She turns the TV on to the New York Christmas Special.

"And that was Rihanna, a fabulous job to her. And now back to you, Cara," Ryan Seacrest says, and the camera goes back to who must be Cara.

"That was amazing Rihanna! Times Square is packed today, but mostly with teenage girls. The world phenomenon Justin Bieber will be performing soon, and he wants me to say that it's dedicated to his special lady, Cher Topman, and he hopes to see you there, Cher. And now, Pitbull is on! Let's get this party started!" she says in a bad acting kind of way.

"Did you know he was performing?" Haylee says, pausing the TV.

"He kinda sorta, invited me to go....." I admit.

"CHER! YOU HAVE TO GO! GO GET YOUR BUTT READY. WE'LL BE IN THE LIMO IN 10 MINUTES!!" Haylee says, dashing off to her own room to get ready herself. I sigh and run into my room. I brush my hair and throw it into a messy side braid, while throwing on skinny jeans, my aztec printed sweater, hunter boots, some mustard colored mittens with a matching hat, and a babydoll coat. I barely have time to slide my phone in my pocket before Haylee drags me into the limo.

Too soon, we arrive in Times Square. Haylee drags me to the security, and their faces brighten.

"It's really you Cher! Justin has been moaning and crying about you for days. He didn't think you'd actually come! He'll be so happy! Right away, miss Cher and miss Haylee," they say and escort us to the front row. Girls crowd around us and ask us for autographs until the spotlights shine again, signaling the next performance.

"And now, the one and only, Justin Bieber!!" Ryan says, introducing.

Justin runs on stage and my heart skips a beat.

Then he looks me in the eyes and I swear the world stops rotating for a second. He smiles the biggest smile I've seen on him and grabs his microphone. 

"Hey guys, how you doing? Merry Christmas!" he laughs into the microphone and the crowd erupts in cheers.

"As you might have heard, I'll be doing things a bit different this performance," Justin says, and the stage goes black. Seconds later, the lights are back on and he's sitting on a stool in the middle of the stage, holding his guitar.

He then starts to perform the most familiar, "All I Want is You", looking into my eyes the whole time through. After, he stands up and sets his guitar, grabbing the microphone again.

"Look at this screen," Justin points to the bigscreen and a video starts to play. It's a random video Justin made of us on the day we first kissed. We're making silly faces into the camera and being big dorks. The whole crowd is screaming, "AWW! THAT'S ADORABLE!" 

"This girl. This beautiful girl, is the love of my life. The other day, I said some things to her that were horrible, and I don't deserve to be forgiven. She was just trying to tell me something. And then, she went away for 3 days. I got my first taste of what it would be like without you, Cher. Those were the worst three days of my life. I'm so incredibly sorry. I love you more than the world. All I want is you this Christmas," he smiles at me. 

Unexpectedly, paper airplanes are being cannoned everywhere from the front of the stage instead of confetti. I jump and grab one from the air and unfold it. It's the picture I drew Justin.

The picture, I admit, is really quite good. It's of Justin and me lying down on a hill. I'm in my ball gown, my mask hanging down by my sides, and Justin's in his tux, his mask by his side. We're holding hands, looking at the stars. On the top of the hill is Drew and Jane, holding hands.

Haylee is freaking out.

"OH MY GOSH CHER THIS IS SO PERFECT!" she fangirls over the picture and Justin's performance.

"Cher, would you like to come on stage?" Justin says, walking closer to my part of the stage and holds out his hand. He moves the microphone so no one else can hear. 

"Please Cher. Don't be scared," Justin whispers with a small smile and his hand is still extended.

"But I am. I don't want to get hurt," I reply, just like in the dream.

"I promise I'll never hurt you again. You'll just have to trust me," he says with a sparkle in his eyes. I reluctantly grab his hand and walk to the middle of the stage with him. The crowd goes insane.

"Now Cher, I have a very important question to ask you," Justin says.

My heart stops.

Very.

Important.

Question.

Oh my gosh.

He gets down on one knee.

"I know we're young, and I know that people won't approve of this, but I know you're the one. I love you to the moon and would never try and hurt you. I don't want to be alone again. So, will you marry me?" Justin breathes nervously, and the crowd disappears as I look into his eyes.

All I can manage is a laugh, nod, cry, smile, awkward sorta thing. He jumps up, slides the ring on my finger, and pulls me in for a hug, and I can finally feel what I ached for.

I love Justin.

He pulls away from the hug, and kisses me. Too soon, I feel arms around me to find everyone here. Cher Lloyd, Cece Frey, Taylor Swift, Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Haylee, but mostly Justin. I smile to my best friends. They mean the world to me. After all, they were the ones who fixed me when I was broken.

I finally know how it feels to belong.

And I'm not afraid anymore.

 

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