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Chapter 2 Cinderella

  • Ella:
  • Richard, my father, was a strong man who worked for the United States government until he died after a severe case of stroke four years ago in 2015. I had etched their names in ink on the inner sides of my wrist near my pulse remembering them with each heartbeat.
  • My step-mum did not care about me at all, for her I was the maid of the house. Mary’s first husband had abandoned her after the birth of her second daughter post which they were living for years in absolute poverty on social support.
  • After sweet-talking herself into marrying my dad in 2010, she and her two daughters had moved in with us. Dad thought that she will make up for my mother’s loss and will make for a maternal figure in my life but from Day one she had turned my life into a living hell.
  • She would pretend to be all nice and caring to me whenever my father was at home but once he left for office, she would show all her true colors.
  • On one occasion, she pushed me hard because I was hungry and asked her for food. I lost control hitting my head against the wall. She threatened me saying that if I ever told the truth to Daddy, she would kill him. Scared to lose my only other parent, I suffered in silence. Her daughters, Bridget and Beatrice followed their mother’s footsteps insulting and harassing me all the time.
  • Fortunately I had already been admitted for my Masters in Business Administration at New York University. Else Mary would have made sure that I never went to such a prestigious school although it did not stop her from continuing to torture me.
  • There was this one day where she slapped me for serving dinner late. I told her I was studying for my exams and I still remember what she said, “ You were born ugly and meant to serve as a house-maid, God knows why Richard spent such an insane amount of money for your studies. If you serve our dinner late again, I will make sure you never go to university again”
  • Despite such adversities, I had graduated with first class honors securing NYU’s Gold Medal for “Student of the Year”. Accent, one of the world’s top conglomerate firms had offered me a job at one of their offices in New York. I remember how much I had to beg before her to allow me to work. She allowed me to continue to work only if I paid the house’s utility bills and gave her a monthly rent.
  • Her daughter, Bridget passed the local community university and got a job at some huge enterprise because Mary had pulled a few strings. Beatrice, the younger step-sister had already failed a year at junior college and was more interested in becoming an actress than studying.
  • Every morning I would get up at 5 am, do all the moping around the house, prepare breakfast and lunch for everybody before heading out for work. After I would come back, dinner preparation and utensils consumed the rest of the day.
  • It was only during the night as I sat by the fireplace feeling the warmth of the cinders, I would truly feel free of all shackles.
  • This was why I was nicknamed Cinderella by everybody around me but Mary would say, “Just because you are called Cinderella does not mean you will marry some prince charming. You are just a cinder; a piece of burnt coal which needs to be disposed off to some waiter washing dishes at Four Seasons”