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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10. Chapter 10

"Vanessa, you've put on a bit of weight." My mother wrinkles her face, displeasure coloring her skin purple. I ignore it. I've put on a little bit, yes, but all I've gained are boobs where there used to be none. True, the top is a little tight, but it's not as though I'm like a sausage in casing, more as though I fill it nicely. To top it off, I shimmy and my long skirt swooshes behind me. A formal gown. I've never worn one before, I've never even had the chance to go to prom.

"The paparazzi will have a field day," she mutters, glancing over to make sure I've heard. "The camera adds a good ten pounds, you know." I roll my eyes. Classic mom. Inviting cameramen and the stalkerazzi. Might as well call it the finale of the Bachelorette. And look at how long those marriages lasted.

I try not to be too devastated. I wait for my mom to leave until I cry and my mascara runs. I look in the mirror. A raccoon in a red gown. Lovely. I dab and fix up my makeup. The dance floor in the center of the manor is likely full now, filled with the cameramen and paparazzi and the suitors. Such an archaic term. Suitors, more like sharks, waiting to feast on me.

My heart clenches, my throat dries. I feel sicker than when I received my letter from RISD. Now, more than ever, I wish I had a token from Xavi, something to make me feel better but I have nothing but sweaty palms and underarms. The music comes to a stop. That's my cue.

I swallow hard, then gracefully swoop out of my room like a firebird beating it's wings relentlessly against its captor. The crowd is dizzying.

Smile, Vanessa, smile. My heart stills. I feel numb. Slowly, as though my body no longer belongs to me, I descend into the pit. Their eyes follow. Some of them are handsome indeed. But I look into their eyes, and that blankness, that glittering for all that is gold lies there, waiting for me. Greed.

I begin the waltz, my heart breaking more with every step. Xavi is gone. I begin to search for the next best option, but I can't, it hurts too much. I smile and banter, curtsey and step in a one-two-three, but my eyes are glazed over too much, my mind somewhere else. A new man bumps out my current dance partner, and I snap back to attention.

"Ow, man, what did you do that for?" 

My old dance partner's feathers are ruffled, but this new man simply glares at him, and like a wounded dog, he whimpers off to the refreshments. I catch a glimpse of my mother, she's frowning. Lovely.

I study his face. He seems familiar. Clean-shaven, strong jaw, neatly trimmed hair, and those eyes...I try not to faint. He leans in.

"Como esta, mi amor?"

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