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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13. Seventeen.

"Are you excited or are you excited?" Haylee squeals as we walk into the Seventeen magazine offices.

"I'm psyched!" I smile.

"Just remember, be professional and be careful what you say. Millions of people will read this. Justin will probably read this. Just so you know," she smiles and I roll my eyes.

"Darling! We're so glad you could come! Come, come, we have much to do! Let's do the photoshoot first!" a lady tells me, and she has an internship tag that says, "Sienna." She rushes me away from Haylee and into a room with a rack of  clothes. 

"We have 5 outfits set out for you and the hair and makeup team will be here in a bit. Oh look, there's your stylist, Jason," she says and waves Jason over.

"Hey Cher. This is going to be way easy and a blast, I promise. This issue won't be released until the middle of December, so we have these adorable clothes for you," he smiles and shakes my hand. Sienna leaves the room as Jason puts me into an adorable white trench coat and some wild print tights. Soon, the hair and makeup team scoop me up and give me a rocking makeover. I'm already excited.

Then, they shove me into the room where we're doing the photoshoot, which has been transformed into a forest covered with snow.

"Are you sure we're still inside?" I mumble and they laugh. I then meet a photographer and she takes some shots of me twirling  and peering behind a tree, and cheesy stuff like that. And then it's a whole cycle and I do that 5 more times. It gets pretty exhausting, I'll tell you that.

I then get back into my comfortable sweatshirt and sweater leggings and sit down with the interviewer names Becca.

"First of all, what a whirlwind! It's been a little less than a month and you've been swept up in all of this glam life. How does it feel?" she asks me.

"It's so surreal. I've always dreamed of having a life as lucky as this, but I wouldn't think for a second that I'd actually get it! It's like a fairytale. I feel like Cinderella," I smile.

"Well, would you tell us about your life before you were adopted?"

"Life was a bit like your cliche movie. It was very bleak at my orphanage and we were all very poor. I didn't have many personal items. My friend in the orphanage would make us clothes when we needed them with a sewing machine she fixed up from the trash. I only had a couple clothes, no makeup, and a curling iron. People kind of avoided me at school, not wanting to mess with the orphanage girl again," I recall the memories, thinking by December, I'd already had told Justin all of this.

"Again?"

"This guy dated me once. It was the first time a guy had ever taken interest in me. About halfway into the relationship, he started being very mean to me. He wouldn't hurt me physically, but even verbal abuse can cut you to the core. But I didn't want to end the relationship, thinking that it would be the only time anyone would even think about hanging out with me. Soon enough, I caught him kissing another girl at a party, and we never spoke again. I'm so glad I could get out of that," I answer, trying not to cry. I haven't talked to anyone about that.

"What about Justin? How are you guys doing? Have you made it official yet?"

"We haven't made it official yet, but I have a really good feeling about this one. I guess you'll have to figure out with me," I blush.

"You guys are literally the cutest thing. Are you worried about rushing it a little?" 

"I actually think we're taking a good pace. But I don't think it's ever too soon to fall in love. Haylee told me that love doesn't have a timer or an expiration date," I tell her.

"Are you saying you love him?" 

"I'll let you know when I figure out," I smile at the ground.

"How about we go in a different direction. What happened the day of your adoption? And after that?"

"It was my birthday, and I just woke up and got my present from the kids. They all saved for years to buy me a charm bracelet with charms that represented memories of ours. It really was so special to me. I never take it off. So then I went to school and in the middle of class, I heard my name on the intercom and the orphanage owner took me back to the house to meet Haylee, and she took me home the same day.Then we had the best time building up my wardrobe and hanging out. Then she took me to my first red carpet event and then it got me to where I am now," I tell her.

"You seem so confident now. Has this been a building experience for you?" 

"It really has been and always will be. I'll always know what it feels like to have nothing and still have love. Now I have everything I could have ever dreamed of and then some, with love too. It's all working out perfectly," I smile.

"Are you a kid person? You seem so attached to those kids," she muses.

"I really am. They're so innocent and they don't understand what they mean to people and how much potential they have to live their dreams. It's amazing to watch. I would definetly have kids," I answer.

"What about you yourself? What are your hobbies? You obviously are an amazing singer. We saw the video from the party and it was spectacular. And your step mom is a model, so what do you want to do?" 

"Well, I really like singing and music, and modeling is a blast, but I'd really like to be a songwriter. I have been writing poems since I was little, and one of my poem notebooks is actually how I met Justin. We ran into each other on the street, and I didn't know he was a star, because I didn't get out much in England as you can tell, and we mixed up each other's notebooks. He still has mine and I still have his, though I haven't looked at it. But ever since then, I can't think about anything else but him," I admit.

"That's insane. I guess love really does find itself, not the other way around. Do you have anything to say for your fans?" she asks.

"Fans?" 

"Of course. They've been requesting you ever since you came to New York. You really are something, Cher," she smiles.

"Well, I would just say to always be yourself, no matter what people think. Everything will always end up alright. Just put on some red lipstick and a smile and live a little. Always dress as if you were to meet your worst enemy and be presentable. How are men supposed to treat us like women if we don't dress and act like one?" I decide is a safe answer. The cameras turn off and she takes away the fake smile and replaces it with a genuine one.

"I know the readers will love you as much as I do. You really did magnificent," she smiles and leads me out.

"How did it go?" Haylee rushes over to me.

"I guess you'll have to wait and see yourself," I smile and we walk out to the limo.

"How did you like the modeling? Isn't it a blast?" she squeals of excitement.

"It was so fun. I would like to do more of that," I say.

"Say no more. We'll book it for you. Only the coolest magazines," she says and presses some buttons on her phone.

"You're the best Haylee," I smile.

"I try," she winks and puts her phone in her clutch. Soon we're back in the penthouse and I'm sitting on the couch, watching some show called "The Vampire Diaries" with Haylee. It seems pretty interesting. 

Suddenly, I feel hands cover my eyes, but instead of screaming, I turn around and smile to see Justin grinning at me.

"You'll have to find a new way to scare me! What are you doing here?" I smile and pull him in for a hug.

"We're celebrating. It's your first magazine interview! You're going to be published!" he says with that sparkle in his eyes.

"Aww, I'll be up in my room... with the door open. Be careful Bieber, I've got my eyes on you," Haylee says and walks into her room, leaving the door cracked and we start laughing.

"What are we going to do?" I ask and he points to the treehouse.

"We are going to have a movie marathon while eating as much junk food as possible," he says and we fun into the treehouse. 

We spend the rest of the day in the treehouse, eating candy and popcorn until we're about to explode and watch as many movies as possible.

"What time is it?" he asks me and I check my watch to see it's 2:45 AM.

"Crap, the managers are going to kill me," he mutters.

"Let's walk you home," I say.

"You don't have to come. I don't want  you to get hurt on the way back by yourself," he says with concern.

"I can take care of myself, don't worry. I'll just walk you halfway if you don't want me going all the way," I laugh and throw on the trench coat from the photoshoot that they let me keep. I grab his hand and we walk out of the lobby.

"Cher, what are your biggest fears?" he asks me randomly.

"Spiders and snakes," I answer with a laugh.

"What about your dreams?" he asks.

"To be a songwriter, get married, and have a happy life and a family. I've always wondered what it would feel like to have genuine family," I answer and he sits silent for a second.

"Why?" I giggle.

"I want to memorize every one of your fears and protect you from them. I want to memorize your dreams and make them come true. I know we barely met awhile ago, but it feels like I've known you forever. You really mean a lot to me Cher," he bites his lup and turns to face me as I stand speechless.

"Well, this is halfway," is all I can choke out and he looks into my eyes, wanting to kiss me again.

"I had a great time with you. I think you look better in this than at a red carpet," he says and gestures to my lazy clothes and I'm glad it's dark because I'm blushing deep red.

"Well thanks. I had a good time too. I'll see you soon?" I say.

"Soon," he agrees, lets go of my hand, and starts walking away. I turn away and start walking back, but I hear him say my name, so I turn to face him.

"Be careful," is all he says and walks away.

I walk away with a million thoughts in my mind. About halfway back to my apartment, I make the snap decision to turn around.

If my life was a movie, "Fix you" by Coldplay would be playing right about now.

I don't have to run very far, because Justin started running back to me. I step closer to him and we stare at each other for a second, breathing heavily.

He then takes my face lightly in his hands and kisses me perfectly.

And I realize I'm ready.

And I like it.

When we break apart, it takes a second for me to grasp what just happened.

"Listen Cher. I love you. I'm not saying that because I'm going to keep you forever, but I'm saying that because I love who you are. I love who I am when I'm with you, because you make me want to be better, so I can deserve you, even though no one could ever come close. I love you more than anything-" he starts but I cut him off when I pull him in for another kiss.

"I love you too," I whisper and he kisses me again, smiling into it, and the whole world disappears around us.

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