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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4. Chapter 4

My mind is a place where things go to die, to rewind and watch until the cellophane tape breaks and the cinema is done. I play back my memories one by one. Where did things go wrong? When did my family go from one united, poor but happy, Mom making macaroni and cheese and scooping us up and playing with us before her shift, to one where my father's never home, my brothers are in juvie, my mother's always sad and her face is contorted by grief and greed. Grief and greed. Two very dangerous things. I search and search, but I know it's when my father bought the new house, the new mansion that cost too much even though we were steadily making income, and we had negative cash flow for a bit, but if my dad just worked a little bit harder, a little bit longer, we could afford it.

And all this plays in my head while the truck bumps over potholes and my memories are a cacophony, tasting watery eggshell white and ripe red, too ripe, almost spoiled, over and over again. 

He tries to break it open, permeate the shell I've woven around myself in the seat, me and my memories.

"What do you want for dinner?" 

He seems almost worried by my silence. Bless his soul. I clear my throat, voice musty from not speaking. We've been in the car for nearly a half hour.

"Anything's fine, I'm not a picky eater."

He snorts.

"Really? I thought rich people only ate caviar." 

He's trying to lighten the mood, but I turn sentimental.

"No..." my voice trails off. "Actually, my family is new money. So I grew up eating mac and cheese and ramen noodles. Spam when we could afford it."

He is silent and I can't tell what he's thinking. Brooding, like an owl.

"I did the same thing again," he admits. "I keep misjudging you. It's weird, I feel like even though we come from different backgrounds, we aren't all that different. When I watched you I always thought you were some stuck up rich kid. Although I know I would have hated to live in your house growing up. Too many things you can't touch."

I snort.

"You watched me?"

He sputters, blushing, eyes still staring ahead, focusing on the road.

"Well, I mean, you would walk by and yeah I noticed you. But I was bitter, I thought you were a spoiled snob who would never give me the time of day." 

I stay silent for a little bit.

"I hope I didn't offend you by saying that," he fumbles, trying to get the conversation flowing again.

"What?" I ask. "Oh, I wasn't paying attention, sorry, it's just that you're absolutely right. Sometimes I do act rich and spoiled. I've been sheltered for so long I kind of forgot my roots. I wasn't always this way. After my dad made his first millions, they put me in an academy for girls. But after my brothers went to juvie, they pulled me out for homeschooling. I guess they didn't want me to say anything to my friends or have it spread around that my brothers were criminals."

I pause.

"They isolated me, in the house, with the things."

"Things?"

"Yeah, you know, stuff no one needs, like antique vases. Well, I did it, I broke on today in front of my mother."

"By accident?"

"No. I just dropped it."

He snorts, and I glare angrily at him.

"This is serious stuff."

His snort turns into laughter and he stops at a stoplight and turns and I can see he's laughing so hard that tears are forming, and I can't help myself, it's contagious. I start laughing too.

"You are the funniest girl I've ever met."

"I wasn't trying to be," I say, a little miffed, but I smile anyway. He's beautiful when he smiles, even though he could use a shower. He stops in front of a meager apartment complex.

"We're here."

 

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