Cinderfella ~A Modern Fairy Tale~

They say that Cinderella was blessed with her prince through her kindness and hard work and a little bit of magic. Well. The magic part's definitely not going to happen for me. Don't mistake me, I'm no Cinderella. But my prince is...

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1. Chapter 1

PART 1: VANESSA

Yeah, yeah, I know. I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Tell me again how I'm such a spoiled brat, how I don't understand the plight of the working class. Tell me how what I've worked for is a lie, how daddy's influence is what got me from point A to point B. I've heard it all, I've known it all.

I bet you think that rich people don't have problems.

"VANESSA. You have some letters!" My dad calls me down the stairwell, and I bound down, heart in my throat. I've been anticipating a certain letter for a while now, one that could determine my future.

It's ok, Vanessa. Even if you don't get in, it's ok. Even if they didn't like your art, don't worry so much.

My mouth is dry, my stomach hurts and I feel like I'm going to throw up. I've been waiting for this for so long, been drawing and painting furiously on my own time for such a long time, and this is it. This is the day I either fail and show my parents they're right, or I show that I can stand on my own two feet without them.

It's the letter. In between a couple of credit card bills that I know I can pay off.

It's large. A good sign. It's thick.

"Just more college nonsense," my father grumbles, staring at his newspaper.

I tear open the letter. Scan it, about to faint from nerves. My hands are shaking, my heart is pounding.

Dear Ms. Vanna,

Congratulations!

The faculty in the Painting Department have carefully reviewed your application...

I sit down weakly.

My father peeks over his newspaper, studying me skeptically.

"Overspent your credit card again?"

I smile.

"No. I was accepted into RISD, the Rhode Island School of Design for painting. I did it. Without any of your help either." I can't help the bragging note that slips into my voice. I'm proud of myself. For once in my life, I've done something that they haven't. I've made something of myself without them.

My father slams his newspaper down.

"You did WHAT?" His voice booms, intimidatingly. "I told you NOT to apply to college for art! I'm not paying for that garbage! You told me you were applying for engineering programs! That's the only reason I even let you apply in the first place!"

I shrug.

"Sorry dad, I really want to be an artist. I know you don't think it's a good idea-"

"GOOD IDEA? No. No, you misunderstand. If my DAUGHTER, the DAUGHTER of a Tech Lord becomes an artist, do you have ANY idea what kind of a laughingstock this family would be-"

"Yeah dad, whatever. It's my dream not yours."

"No, not whatever, you bitch!" He sputters, face purpled puce. I almost laugh at how pathetic it all is, and yet it comes out strangled. I turn my head away so he can't see me cry.

"No, I won't have it. We're having that party for you, the one with all the wealthy sons, you'll find one you like, get engaged, and I'll call the admissions at RISD and have them revoke your acceptance."

"You can't do that!"

"Oh yes I can, and I will. Money speaks louder than art." He sniffs. "I'm sure RISD would love a sizable donation in exchange for one small revocation. And after you marry, next year you're reapplying to MIT for engineering."

"Or what?"

"I'll cut you off. Blacklist you so you can't get a job anywhere, and are forced to come back here crawling, begging me for help."

I can't stop the angry tears from leaking out. This is so UNFAIR! I did this myself, he didn't make a phone call to get me in like he offered for MIT. I made the art, I finished homeschooling early over the summer and spent hours in my room locked up painting acrylic and oil and watercolor, rainbow splattered across the canvas. But I bite my tongue and trudge back upstairs.

I know I have to do this because I live in his house. He pays the bills, and he pays for the clothes and the internet and the stuff, the things we have. All those things. I took up a garbage bag and threw in all of the jewelry, the clothes, the things and donated it to goodwill. My dad got mad at me for that too, apparently I wasn't appreciating his gifts. I don't want his gifts. I wanted a family, but it's safe to say that I'll never have that. I open my window, judge the distance to the ground from the balcony. I need to escape. In the distance, I see the landscaper, trimming the hedges, shirt gone. Hot summer. 

I decide it's time for a chat. I've never talked to him before anyway, and it's his lunch break.

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