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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3. Princess in training.

"Christopher!!" Haylee squeals and gives the guy who must be Christopher a hug.

"Haylee! It's so great to see you! It feels like it's been forever!" he says to her.

"We talked this morning," she says.

"That's what I said! Forever! You look beat," he says.

"Jet lag, and a fine day of building a wardrobe," she smiles.

"Hey! That's my job!" he says, faking offense.

"Your job isn't the whole wardrobe. Only a good half of it," she laughs. Christopher finally turns to me.

"CHER! You're even more gorgeous than Haylee described you as, and she did an awesome job of describing. This is going to be a blast," he assures me.

"Thanks. I'm really looking forward to this," I smile.

"Well then, we better get started! Come into the fitting room so I can get your measurements," he says and leads me into the small room covered with mirrors. He instructs me to lift my arms, turn around, and things like that, writing down my measurements.

"You have my favorite body shape to work with! I'm even more excited now to be designing for you!" he says.

"What's your favorite body shape?" I ask him.

"Hot," he says and we both laugh.

"Where do we start?" I ask him.

"Training," he answers simply.

"Training?" I repeat back.

"Training. Every model has to go through it. It's a definite confidence booster," Haylee answers.

"We start on the runway. Come here," he takes my hand and brings me to the runway in the room. He sits down at the foot of it.

"Walk normally," he says. I obey his instructions and start walking. When I reach the end of the runway, he stops me.

"You need to walk with confidence! Hold your head high, take long strides, and don't look at the ground," he instructs me. I do as he says and walk the rest of the runway. When I'm done, I look to him for reassurance and he says three simple words.

"Do it again,"

I do it again, and again, and again, and then he gives me high heels to walk in and I do it more. And more. And, oh, my feet are killing me.

"You did amazing darling! Now I have to figure out your signiture style. Sit down and let me ask you some style questions," he says and gestures to some seats beside him and Haylee.

"You had me at sit down," I sigh and sit down.

"If it was a weekend and you didn't have any plans, what would be your go to outfit?" he asks me.

"I would probably throw on jeans, vans, and a vintage concert tee shirt," I answer straight off. He writes some stuff down.

He asks me more questions similar to that one and continues scribbling down in his notebook.

"Alright! I think I've figured it out! Here's what I put down: Cher is real. She knows what reality is really like and she's not afraid to throw on a sweatshirt to run and get a smoothie. She's also really bold. She's fearless and will be willing to wear a statement, as long as it's awesome. Her go to style on a weekday is schoolgirl meets punk rocker. Trendy and preppy meets edgy, but is still very feminine," he reads.

"I love it!" I squeal and Haylee squeals in reply. 

"Well, I've got to get started on your outfit for the premiere on Saturday! Kisses!" he says and kisses me on the cheek.

"Thank you so much!" I tell him.

"Thank me after you see your dress," he smiles mischievously and walks out. I exhale.

"Are we done for the day?" I ask her.

"Heck no! It's only 7:30 darling. We can't go to bed until at least 10:30. We have two more stops," she says and leads me back outside into the limo.

"Walmart!" she yells to the driver.

"Walmart?" I repeat.

"Yes. We need the essentials," she shrugs. I nod and we're pretty silent the whole way, from exhaustion.

When we exit the limo, she runs inside and grabs a cart. 

"Get in," she smiles.

"Get in?" 

"Yes! Come on!" she says. I hop inside the cart and she starts pushing. We go to the essential isles.

Toothbrush. Hairbrush. Curling iron. Hair straightener. Hairspray. I think you get it.

"What kind of food should we get for dinner? Pizza? Chinese takeout? Your choice," she says.

"Chinese sounds delicious," I answer.

"To Panda Express!" she yells to the driver after we, yet again, get into the limo. He drives us a couple blocks until we're at a Panda Express. Haylee orders after I tell her what I want, they make it, and we get out. Haylee walks up to the window of the limo and hands the driver a tip.

"Thank you so much! We can definetly walk from here! You're done for the night! Take the limo back to the apartments and tell Darla to unload everything in the living room." she smiles and he beams back, and then drives away.

"The apartment is just up the street," she says to me as we walk.

"This smells awesome! I can't wait to dig in," I say gesturing to the bag she's holding.

"Me too. I think they should make shopping a sport. I can hardly lift my arms anymore," she laughs.

"Me either! I'm dead tired," I say.

"Oh yeah, I forgot to ask you. Sarah told me that you were planning to graduate early. What do you think we should do for the school situation? Do you think you're ready to take the end of the year test and get a passing grade? I know a guy who can take it to you at home if you are ready," she tells me.

"I've been studying constantly already, and I think I could take it and pass," I said.

"Great! When would you like to take it?" she asks.

"Today's Tuesday, so how about Thursday?" I ask.

"Perfect," she says, pressing some buttons on her phone, obviously texting the guy who would give me the test.

"So where is your- I mean our apartment exactly?" I ask her after a bit more walking. She points to the top of a fancy building.

"The top?" I ask.

"The penthouse," she corrects with a smile.

"Oh my gosh," I say under my breath. Soon, we reach the building. Ever so slowly, I inch toward the elevator. Once we get in, she presses the button for the penthouse. My heart is beating so fast. This is the place I will be living. Soon the elevator doors open and I gasp to see my new house-

My new house filled with balloons of all colors. I can't see anything but balloons.

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHER!" she jumps around laughing.

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