Pearl White ~A One Direction FairyTale~

You think you know how the story goes. Snow White meets some dwarves, eats an apple, falls asleep, gets kissed by a prince and lives happily ever after.

If only my life were that simple. My name's Pearl. Pearl White. And unfortunately for me, I'm never even going to get to meet my prince. Because his name is Liam Payne, and he's a member of the boy band One Direction.

Cover made by the amazing user NathanielStanley! Thank you so much!

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7. First Day

The shower is cold, the sheets are scratchy, and I wake up in the middle of the night countless times drenched in sweat, rolling around with the metal framework of the bed poking through my back. Finally I can't stand it anymore and walked downstairs at five in the morning.

"Couldn't sleep?" asks the woman behind the counter. The father isn't there, I guess they change staff.

"Yeah." I mutter.

"Want to talk about it?" 

"Sure," my voice wobbles. I take a deep breath. "It's just very hard." I say, in a voice that sounds thick, and I inhale slowly. "I feel like I'm being torn apart. My step mother got a restraining order on me and it's hard to focus. I need a lawyer to help me so that it doesn't become permanent at the hearing, I need, well, I mostly need reassurance right now." I start wiping at my face with my hands as I can feel my eyes growing hot.

Talking about everything opens up the floodgates again and I'm sobbing uncontrollably, completely overwhelmed. The woman leaves her desk to comfort me.

"There, there." She hands me the receptionist tissue box. "Have a tissue or two. St. Mungo's is here to help, in fact, we have an excellent lawyer who does charity cases for us. I'll send him a message for you and get him to come down and help." I stare at her through tear-stained lashes.

"Really?" It's as though a pile of dread has cleared from my stomach and I wipe the corners of my eyes, sniffing loudly as I try to stop crying.

"Yep! I promise," she says, smiling kindly. She jots down on the sticky note pad. "I'm just going to leave a reminder for myself," she mutters.

"Thank you so much," I say, grateful. I'm not used to asking for help. I'm not used to not being able to do things on my own. I'm not used to being weak, even when Papa died I had to be strong. But all those years of being strong have finally crumbled. I'm vulnerable now.

"Why don't you go over and get your clothes for the day?" She motions towards the hallway, and hands me a small coupon slip, and hands me an extra shower pass, winking. 

I exchange it for a Ralph Lauren sweater, a small reminder of what I used to have, and some jeans that are torn at the knee, and get changed after taking another cold shower.

I feel stronger somehow, even though I've just spent the past hour blubbing. I try to convince myself that everything will work out. My Papa's favorite saying. 

C'est la vie. That's life.

At six sharp, the rest of my room tumbles down.

"Pearl, you need to make your bed and clean up your space," calls Allen. 

I flush. I'm used to being cleaned up after even though I'm a bit of a slob. Looks like that needs to change now. There's no maid that will tidy my room or sweep up behind me.

"Where are you guys going?" I ask.

"We've got classes," says Smithy. He tips his baseball cap. "Gotta learn how to take care of ourselves. Have a nice day, Pearl!"

Oliver just nods.

The receptionist sighs.

"Oh, the Hopeless Seven." She smiles. "They're so cheerful and so energetic, even though they probably will be forced to leave soon."

"Why?" I ask, somewhat stiffly. I feel protective of them for some reason. They accepted me, no questions asked. They're the only people who have ever done that in my life besides Papa.

The woman sighs and shakes her head.

"They can't manage to find or hold a job, none of them, and it's nearly been two years for most of them. They relapse occasionally as well, it's been a tough ride for the lot. Another one of their roommates actually was kicked out for doing drugs and having sexual intercourse, in the hallway no less, with another resident."

"Maybe they just need someone to believe in them," I say coldly. "They believe in themselves, that every day is a new day, but maybe the staff needs to start believing in them."

I walk away, leaving the receptionist stunned.

In the hallway, I sign up for a cooking class in two hours. I spend those two hours on my freshly made bunk bed, tracing the wire and metal framework supports holding Allen's bunk bed up. Bunk beds are nice. They have things that hold them together, and even if they break they can be fixed with just a turn of a wrench or a screw twisted inward. But when people break, what holds them up?

What holds Celia up? Is it her obsession with beauty? I heard her making calls to a plastic surgeon, concerned about the wrinkles in the corners of her mouth and her forehead, barely noticeable, but she made it sound like the apocalypse was coming. I saw her in the mirror pinching fat and purging, then smiling and brushing her teeth. Is that what keeps her going? That ideal of beauty? But beauty is fleeting, and she's chasing after a dying dream.

I don't feel the need for revenge or hatred for Celia. I don't know why she did this to me. But once the restraining order is off my head and I get my money, I will never speak to her again. She doesn't need me. I don't need her. I don't need a mother that doesn't love me, I will be my own family. I just need to find something that I enjoy doing. It used to be fashion and art, that was what I was studying at college and was planning on studying for Uni. But after these past few days, fashion leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I want something else. Something that isn't a facade, a mask, a piece of cloth drapery. 

It's not cooking, that's for sure. I burn all the pans twenty minutes into the class and give up in a frustrated huff.

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