What If Cinderella Didn't Make It?
Author's note: I am SUCH Disney kid. I luv the Disney movies and Cinderella is in my top five (Mulan, The Little... Show full author's note »
BustedI’m stuck in a closet.
It wasn’t like at school though, where Harman was to blame for me being trapped in my locker. There was a huge difference in my current situation – this one was entirely Jonathan’s fault.
He didn’t exactly stick me in the closet physically, but it was still all him. As soon as I walked in, I blended in with the crowd that was a quarter of unrecognizable people because of masks or really great decked out makeup.
Anyway, as soon I had spotted Jonathan I had freaked. A bunch of paranoia questions zoomed into my head: What do I say to him? What if he doesn’t care that I showed up? What if he randomly lost interest in my existence?
Oh, and he also looked very cute, as usual. He was dressed a prince, no doubt – a cute prince that wasn’t dressed as nearly as good as the king. I found that cutely ironic since he was, after all, Jonathan King.
So anyway, I saw him, I freaked, and I hid in the closet. And now I can’t even come out because if someone sees me, a random girl stepping out of a closet...well, it wouldn’t be the most embarrassing thing ever, but I’m already nervous enough after getting a glimpse of Jonathan. How could I go and talk to him now???
Breathe, Cindy, breathe! I thought as I got into another mental fight with myself. What would Stephanie say and do if she knew what you were doing?
“She would kill me!” I said to myself. I needed to get out there. I could not be wasting away the night like this! I came to have fun! Plus, someone would eventually open the door anyway and I’d be exposed.
So I took a step out of the closet, hoping no one was near to see me come out of my lame hiding place, and walked aimlessly through the hall, weaving through my peers. I should have been more relaxed because no one could tell who I was through my mask, but I couldn’t help it. It was Jonathan King’s Halloween party that I, Cindy Rella, was actually at! Excuse me for getting worked up for –
I spun around quickly at the sound of Jonathan’s soothing voice, my cape whipping someone in the face. The person didn’t mind though; he was in a Darth Vader mask didn’t notice. I focussed my attention on Jonathan, though. “Hi.”
Jonathan looked surprised. “It is you. You came. …Cool.”
He didn’t exactly sound over-the-top excited, but that was fine. If he did, I would have been as beet red as Ella and Anna would be if they saw me talking to him. But then again, they shouldn’t be able to tell it was me. But then…how did Jonathan?
“It’s just…Ella and Anna said some stuff…” Jonathan rambled on. He started to look at his feet. Why did he always do that when we talked? And why wouldn’t Ella and Anna shut up?
“So!” Jonathan said a little loudly, jerking me out of my thoughts. “What’s up with the farm?” He blushed a little after that, I noticed, and looked back down at his feet again.
“The chickens hate you.”
Jonathan lost interest in his shoes – that I just noticed had thrown the costume off (he was wearing his usual black Chuck Taylors) – and looked up quickly with slight alarm.
I smiled and lifted a shoulder. “You took their solo.”
Jonathan broke out into a grin.
So far so good.
Stephanie was always the one that got the attention of others around her. She’d bounce around and everyone would want to play and talk with her. Her gleaming smile and friendly eyes were people-magnets. They’d want to accompany her and be her best friend. I had always been proud because that slot was already filled by me.
I felt like Stephanie now. Jonathan and I rarely left each other’s side. We wanted to be each other’s friends and not leave each other because we were having too much fun talking and laughing. In fact, I realized that Jonathan and I had been near the closet the whole two hours we were talking and only moved when most of the party moved to the front of the house to go out in groups to prank other houses or hang outside instead.
It was better then when it was a little quieter inside and less crazy.
But that was then. Now was now, and Ella and Anna had found Jonathan with me. They didn’t know it was ‘me’ me, but still. Me.
“You!” The twins cooed at Jonathan when he was spotted.
They paraded up to us with what I guessed were supposed to be friendly faces. I could see their eyes, though, and when they looked at me – even though they didn’t know it was ME – with dislike. They wanted Jonathan’s attention back.
Jonathan wanted to disappear. I could tell by the look that came n his face. It was pained and familiar. I remember having that face on whenever I was forced to eat all my vegetables on the huge plate Dad set up for me before I could have even a tiny teaspoon of ice cream.
The twins started a stimulating conversation about how long it too them to construct their costumes and I really I felt for Jonathan, but not bad enough to wait and listen in – especially when Ella and Anna would take turn giving me the evil eye when they weren’t speaking directly to Jonathan.
Not seeing a need to excuse myself from the fun I was hearing on Anna’s tough shoe decision, I side-stepped some pop on the floor and was about to go outside. That was, until, Jonathan made contact with me. And I mean physical contact: he held my elbow!!!!
“Hey, wait up,” Jonathan said with a smile. He nodded to Ella and Anna politely. “Ladies.” He turned to me and jerked his head upstairs. “Wanna hang up there?”
I was surprised because his hand was still on my elbow and was now lowering to my wrist and it was so close to my hand but –
“Duck!” someone yelled.
Jonathan and I didn’t duck though (but his hand left), because we were so distracted. It was pretty unlucky of us, though, because we got soaked with water. It was a sudden burst of cool water and it smelled fresh, but either way, different parts of my dress was sticking to my body.
Ella and Anna thought this was hilarious and erupted into a fit of giggles before they hurried away to avoid being targeted too – whether it was on purpose or by accident.
Jonathan looked down at his costume and then mine. He groaned. “Water balloons inside? I’m not coming to school Monday. I’ll be dead.”
“Where’s your mom?” I asked him, shaking my head to get the water off the tips of my hair.
“She’s at a business conference with your –” he stopped and coughed awkwardly “– Ella and Anna’s mom.”
A new silence passed over us, which was a little unusual because we always had something to say to each other ever since I cracked the farm joke at the beginning of the night. But I was glad Jonathan hadn’t finished his previous thought. Lady Mai would never be my mother.
I didn’t really feel like things were that weird, but Jonathan seemed to think so and he felt it, so he tried to make it become less weird than it already was. That wound up being even worse than it never was because of his rambling that was both awkward and cute to listen to.
Unfortunately, Jonathan had forgotten about previous plans of going upstairs and getting away from Ella and Anna. I guess that we didn’t need that escape route, but I was still hoping that the moment before the water balloon had interrupted would resume.
Finally, something worthwhile and better – amazing, actually – happened. The best words of the night came out of Jonathan’s King’s mouth. “Cindy? …Do you want to dance?”
I just about slipped on the water at my feet as I shifted my feet in nervousness. It would have been embarrassing if I had fallen, but I didn’t. Why not? Because Jonathan caught me, that’s why! He caught me by the arm, and his hand moved down my hand. So it had happened. Something that I wished for actually had happened! And it was also coupled with the question that I had been nagging me since the party had started.
I cursed myself, hoping that my reply didn’t come out to enthusiastic as he led me around the small coffee table in the living room where other couples were dancing to the slow-ish song.
I tried to stop myself from beaming as Jonathan’s hands came down on my waist and mine around his neck. Everything seemed to fit perfect – almost like a fairytale. That was, until I heard the worst possible thing to hear when you’re having the time of your life – the expiry reminder.
Jonathan’s clock sounded at every stroke of the hour and I looked up at the old clock over his shoulder: 12:00 A.M
I gasped. How had time snuck up on me like that? I was dead! I was so dead! I was supposed to call the taxi by quarter to, but I was still here, in Jonathan’s presence and loving it, while Stephanie’s plan fell apart on the dance floor.
“What’s wrong?” Jonathan asked me.
I pulled away from him reluctantly. “I have to go!”
“What?” he asked quickly, looking sorry, “Why?”
Because Stephanie’s brilliant plan where nothing could go wrong is going wrong! I almost said to him. Instead, out loud in the reality world, I shook my head. “I’m supposed to be home right now! I’m late! I’m so late and dead!”
I spun around, desperate to see Ella and Anna for once. Because if they were here, that meant that Lady Mai was not. And if Lady Mai was not here, I could wake up tomorrow morning.
I grabbed my purse from the table and weaved through people dangerously as I tried escaping the house. I heard a loud ripping sound as I hopped over spilled food on the floor and looked back at what had happened – the cape! Stephanie’s cape from when we were seven and went as twin superheroes was ruined! I was almost to the door, when I stopped and turned around to retrieve it. I just couldn’t leave it behind lying there on the floor.
When I bent down to pick it up quickly, I hand grasped my wrist. I looked up.
“I have to go,” I said, trying to wriggle free. “I’ll see you at school, okay?”
Jonathan looked sad that I had to leave…really sad, actually. And besides the fact that Jonathan’s high spirit was dropping, mine was lifting because his was dropping. He really wanted me here! “Come on, Cindy, you’re not really gonna abandon me here, are you?”
“I’m sorry, Jonathan, I have to go!” I ran out the door with the cape. As I did, Jonathan called out my name to stop me from leaving, but I still ran down the driveway. I pulled out Stephanie’s cell phone that she had lent because I didn’t have one of my own and started to dial the taxi company’s number.
Ella and Anna’s pestering shriek rang familiarly in my mind and made me shudder. I slowly turned around. They were standing behind Jonathan with angry expressions on their faces.
“You’re supposed to be at home!” Anna screeched. And I mean screeched! Jonathan flinched and tugged on his ear lobe as he moved out of the way of the two turbulent twins.
“What are you doing here?” Ella demanded.
They gave me a quick once-over, wrinkling their noses in disgust – I felt the same way about their facial expressions. Anna’s face contorted into this horrible evilly happy grin. “Wait till Mother hears about this!”
Ella nodded vigorously. “Yeah! You will never leave the house again!”
I don’t know what came over me but I fell to my knees. I needed to get out of the wretched house sometimes! I had Jonathan now, and I could tell he was taking a liking to me. I had Stephanie back…well, at least I think I did. I could work on it. I really could. I didn’t want to have to isolate myself. But now I would be forced to. I couldn’t let Lady Mia find out. I absolutely couldn’t!
“Anna and Ella, I am begging you!” I said at their feet. “Don’t tell Lady Mai! Pleeeeease!”
They cackled and laughed as my head pounded with each minute I had. Then a strong hand pulled me to my feet by my hands. Jonathan faced me with concerned eyes. “What’s wrong with you?”
I noticed the time on his watch said 12:02. I WAS FREAKING OUT!!!!!
“Why are you on your knees?” Jonathan asked me. “You’re better than that!”
But I wasn’t. I really, really wasn’t.
I mopped floors and cleaned up cat droppings. I cleaned the barn every single day and had permanent sweat stains on nearly all my clothes. I only had breaks from my jail work when I was getting my minimum of two hours of sleep a night. I wasn’t better than anything. I was really pathetic.
Ella and Anna ripped off my mask and stomped on it. Ella glared at Jonathan. “She’s not better than anything! She looks terrible!”
I turned back to Stephanie’s phone and selected the number for the taxi company I had called to get to Jonathan’s party, hoping that I still had a chance for freedom. I just wanted to get out of there! Maybe if I got home I could convince Lady Mai that Ella and Anna were lying and were to hyped up on Coke and other sugary foods that would make them even bigger to –
“You little wretch!”
I turned around, my worst fear being confronted.
And again, I was busted; caught in the headlights of police cars; found with my hand in the cookie jar before dinner: I was going down and we all knew it.
As Lady Mai shouted at me and the twins snickered with glee, Jonathan and his mother overlooked the whole scene going down without interruption.
I could see sadness in Jonathan’s eyes and I shared the same sadness. We knew that we’d never be together and I was still going to get punished further for actually having joy at one point in my life since the Cremaines had invaded.
Everything that I feared would happen actually happened. Stephanie’s plan that ‘couldn’t’ go wrong had failed and my wishes had been shattered. I had wished for one night – one special, flawless night – with Jonathan King where we’d talk and laugh and dance. Ella and Anna knew I liked him even though I had only ever told Stephy. They knew how much I wanted this to happen and since it was my known wish, it hadn’t happened. It was just the way things were and I had to accept that.
There would be no happily-ever-after ending for me. I wouldn’t ride off with Jonathan in the carriage. I wouldn’t leave my stepfamily behind to live with Jonathan in his palace that was really just a larger house than mine. The plans and my dreams had fallen apart. It was weird, though; I hadn’t even noticed how important they were until now. My happiness was its reason for existence. We were having a wonderful night until I had gotten forgetful and careless with my precious minutes. Time had caught up with me and I was in jail.
The jig was up.
The night was over.
My wish was gone.