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!


2. Vogue

Celia has another shoot for the British Vogue after school, in our home in Belgravia. She perches on the antique recliner in the lounge, next to the ancient grand piano that hasn't been touched since King George III was in power. I try not to roll my eyes. Vogue proclaimed her the "Beauty Queen of England" twelve years ago, and since then, every year she has graced the cover and inside spread of every extended September edition. Every year with the exception of the three she spent with Papa and I in France. Her collarbones jut out sharply from the dress. Is it my imagination, or is she getting thinner?

Photographers and assistants for lighting and makeup scurry about like rats and I gasp as someone bumps into me. Instinctively, I cover my mouth, and try to run upstairs. If Celia sees me, I'm dead. She hates it when I get underfoot.

But Celia has heard me.

"Pearl, dear, are you home?" she calls from the recliner. Her back is facing the stairwell, so I don't answer. The head photographer squints and looks up.

"Sacrebleu," he murmurs. A French photographer for the British version of Vogue. It figures. I risk taking another step before I get in trouble, but the next step gives an earsplitting creak in the now silent room. I wince. Damn. I just want to go upstairs to listen to the new One Direction single. It was leaked third period, and my smartphone got confiscated by Sir when I tried to listen to it in the hall.

Celia twists around, eyes like fire. 

"Pearl, what have I told you about interrupting Mummy when she's working?" She draws her breath in, hissing like a snake, as though I've committed a cardinal sin. 

The photographer interrupts, his eyes lighting up.

"Non, non, quelle beauté naturelle! She must participate, n'est-ce pas? She is perfect! You must pose together on ze couch, like so." He demonstrates wildly with his arms.

Celia tries to interrupt with a "No, that won't be necessary", but I speak over her, to the photographer.

"Excusez-moi?" Is he serious? I've secretly wanted to model all these years, but I've been too terrified of what Celia's opinion would be. And in Vogue? I try not to get my hopes up, but he motions towards the makeup girls, who immediately spring back into action.

"Oh, my, your hair is such a shiny black! Is it natural? It is? I'm so jealous, sweetheart, there are girls that would kill to be in your position." I wince as they tug and tease my hair away from my face.

"Mr. Dubois, is it ok if I just give her some highlighter for her cheeks and brows, so the camera doesn't flatten her face?" asks the other assistant. "I don't really think she needs any makeup, her lips are fairly pigmented to begin with, and her skin is perfect." The photographer nods.

I look away at her words. I had really bad acne several years ago, so I turned to homemade yogurt and tea tree oil masks. Hearing that I have perfect skin from a makeup artist, after struggling for years with my skin almost makes me cry with happiness.

They hand me a bright floral concoction and cherry-red heels, and tell me to change in the bathroom. The shoes pinch my feet and tear at my blisters, but I force myself to walk as though it doesn't hurt. For once, I'm not the dirt beneath Celia's feet. After I come out, the photographer sighs in happiness.

"C'est manifique, ma chérie. Now, sit next to Celia, yes, like that, in the hook of ze arm."

Timidly, I glance over at Celia. She looks furious. I look away quickly, and concentrate on angling my body towards the lens and tilting my face towards the light.

Mr. Dubois shakes his head and covers his eyes with his hands.

"Non, non, it is all wrong." He points at Celia.

"You are too stiff, and too old right now. I want youth." He pauses. "Just sit over there or something while I finish zis."

"WHAT?" shrieks Celia. I stiffen, terrified. Does he know what he's doing? Celia is obsessed with her own good looks. Calling her old is the worst possible insult he could have ever uttered. Part of me is thrilled, but another part of me is icy cold with fear. "You will be hearing from my lawyers," she sneers.

Before I can react, Celia's storming out of the living room, grabbing her coat, and slamming the front door shut behind her. I stare at her ankles, the tendons angrily flexing through skin as she strides out. She's been purging again.

The photographer shrugs nonchalantly.

"There is nothing she can do. She signed a non-disclosure agreement, and she just strolled out in full view of reporters in one of our top-secret designer dresses. Her contract shall be terminated." Without skipping a beat, he continues taking photos of me.

Several outfit changes and poses later, I'm safe, locked in my room. I hear the door open, the keys jingling, and then slam as Celia's heavy footsteps thud throughout the house. I breathe a sigh of relief as I hear her stomp to her bedroom. She runs the water in her bathroom, but it can't hide the sounds of retching and the flushing noise soon after. I cry, silently, for her, for me, for her body. She won't bother or try to confront me for at least tonight, so I'm safe for now. I try not to worry about what will happen, but I know in the morning there will be locks on the cabinets again and I'll have to beg the maid to borrow an extra pound to buy a couple of rolls  for breakfast on the way to school.

I look at my poster of Liam and habitually I run my fingers across his stubble. I can almost feel it. In my dreams, he protects me from Celia's wrath and her eating habits. In reality, he has no idea who I am and I have to protect myself.

I sigh and put on my headphones. Like every night, One Direction will serenade me to sleep.

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