Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cinderella and Prince

Hi guys! Hope you enjoy! xx 

Cinderella and Prince 
Claire had seen the posters for the charity event for too long now. She was spending a lot of time at the bookstore trying to coax Jonah. Everything she happened to mention Olivia’s name, he kicked her out. Being a student who worked to pay tuition, she couldn’t even report him to the dean. Olivia was no better. She pretended not to hear Claire whenever the name Jonah was mentioned. To Claire it was so obvious that they were meant to be together. Vanessa came by every Thursday and they had lunch in the staff room. Claire looked forward to every coming Saturday. It would be the one day where Ryan would take her out. Last week they drove out to the beach. For half the trip, Claire didn’t know where they were going. It was her first time ever stepping foot on hot sand and hearing the loud cries of seagulls. The ocean was so beautiful and so different from New York. True to her word, Claire had returned one of his jackets but hid his black blazer but he never seemed to mention it. For once Claire’s life was sailing smoothly on a set schedule. 
Like after any other school day, Claire was sitting in the bookstore. A poster for the charity event had even been tacked on to the bookstore’s wall. That special dance was tonight, 7 PM, and neither Olivia nor Jonah had budged. She knew that Olivia wanted to take someone, someone to sweep her off her feet and consequently make Nelson jealous. Claire still didn’t understand the whole Nelson dynamic but she knew better than to be nosy. She had caught a glimpse of Nelson and had to admit that he was slightly attractive. Claire had brought the blazer, tucked in her bag of course. With Lola’s permission, Claire brought all sorts of hair gels and special scissors used for cutting hair. Lola really did have everything. She had practiced all week on Grady with Lola’s expertise. 
“Hi Jonah,” Claire said in her usual tone and pulled a stool next to the counter. “I think I’m interested in becoming a hairdresser. I’ve run out of people to practice on. Please help me.” 
“Why don’t you ask Ryan?” Word had eventually leaked out that she was dating Ryan. 
“I would but he cares so much about his hair. You don’t.” Jonah let out an amused laugh. 
“Fine.” They had sort of become friends over the past two weeks. “Just don’t poke my eye or chop my ear off.” Claire let out a giggle. He closed his eyes and Claire covered the smooth tile of the bookshop with a garbage bag. She made Jonah wear one of Grady’s old t-shirts over. Claire took a deep breath before making the first cut. It took her about half an hour but she was pleased with the results. She only cut about an inch off and styled his hair to the side. Claire even felt sort of attracted to him. That was definitely a good sign. 
“Now take your glasses off and wear this. You can be blind for a day, can’t you?” She handed him the blazer. He was already wearing some sort of dress pants. That was a good sign too. 
“I’m not going.” 
“Here’s a rose. Now the bookstore closes right? So you better be out of here.  I’ll clean up and you better be with Olivia. Remember, midnight is at twelve.” She had briefed Olivia earlier. Olivia was to have one of her roommates put make up on her and she was to wear Lola’s dress. Lola had graciously allowed Olivia to borrow one. The only part that Olivia had audibly groaned at was when Claire mentioned the stilettos. Did Olivia seriously expect to go to a high class dance wearing sneakers? Claire smiled as she watched Jonah reluctantly leave. She knew he secretly wanted to attend a dance with Olivia. Claire cleaned up the few locks of hair that she had cut off. She made sure nothing was out of place in the bookstore. She locked up and left. It was satisfying playing fairy godmother. It was already six thirty when she finally reached the staff room. Lola started to play with her hair.
“I’m not going Lola,” she said clearly. It felt hypocritical but Ryan was busy tonight, understandably. He didn’t always have time to escort her to fancy places. She couldn’t go by herself either, not with all the rumors circulating. People went so far as to postulate that she was making the whole relationship up. 
“You might want to check up on Olivia,” Lola said. Claire sighed and bolted for Olivia’s dormitory. She had never been inside yet and she could feel the panic of all the girls in the Greene Dormitory. It was one of the biggest nights of the semester. Olivia was sitting on her bed while her roommates were checking on boutonnieres last minute. Claire had already taken care of that problem several days ago. 
“Olivia!” Claire shouted but none of the other girls seemed to hear her. Olivia was changed all right.  She had gone ahead and changed into pajamas. “We have thirty minutes!” 
“I’m not going. Nelson’s going to be there.” 
“Don’t think about Nelson, Olive.” Claire only resorted to the nickname in dire situations. “Jonah is probably waiting for you. C’mon, don’t ruin his night. I finally got him to agree to go.” Hearing that, Olivia stood up and sighed. 
“Thank you for talking sense into Livy,” some other girl commented before racing to the bathroom. Claire smiled and saw that the dress was hanging on the rack and that the shoes were still in perfect condition. 
“Get dressed and come back. I guess I’m doing your hair and makeup.” Luckily, Claire had received a makeup tutorial from Lola too. She was prepared for anything in order to make this night a success. Olivia huffed the whole way to the bathroom. She got changed at a snail’s pace and Claire was one minute away from barging in. Olivia looked spectacular. She sat down on the bed as promised and Claire combed out her hazel hair. It was so soft and Claire wanted to hold it forever. She grabbed the curling iron on the floor. It had a long extension cord and was already plugged in and ready to go. Most of the other girls had left. Claire carefully curled each part of Olivia’s hair and made sure to apply the eyeliner evenly. She was most proud of her effort afterwards. 
“I hope Jonah didn’t leave,” Claire said. She helped Olivia step into her heels. “Go have fun, okay? Don’t forget this.” Claire gave her the boutonniere. It was still in its plastic box. “Oh, I have the corsage too. I better walk out with you.” Olivia was grateful for the extra hand. She held the plastic box carefully and made sure not to tip over. Jonah was standing outside the Greene dormitory and Claire could barely recognize him.
“Have fun! You guys better be back by midnight!” Claire watched them exchange flowers before leaving. She left with the utmost satisfaction. Claire reached the staff room and saw a figure approaching on a motorcycle. He was driving closer and closer to her until he drove up right in front of her face. Claire instinctively screamed. 
“Relax, it’s just me,” he said with a winning smile. Ryan was already dressed for the occasion. Claire stared down at herself. She was a mess and nowhere near ready to attend a high class dance. 
“Ryan, I thought you weren’t coming.” It was just like him to simply show up. He shrugged casually.
“These dances last all night. We can be late.  I’ll wait here.” Claire grudgingly trudged to the staff room. Lola was already prepared for another challenge. After an hour, she was finally ready. 
“Every girl deserves to be Cinderella for a couple days,” Lola said giving her hair a final tousle. 
Claire stepped outside to find Ryan asleep. She giggled to herself before gently waking him up. He tied the corsage around her wrist.  They ran towards the ballroom and he ended up piggy backing her half the way there.
Mara waved goodbye to Vanessa. Neither Jessie nor Vanessa had dates. Both had chosen an awful time to break up. She had never felt superior to Vanessa but here the opportunity was. There was never another guy in Vanessa’s life. It was all insecurity. Mara wondered why Vanessa even made an effort to come. She had spent all that time applying makeup and doing her hair for what? Mara clung to Nelson and felt giddy just touching his bicep. She followed his every step and felt slightly annoyed that he was searching for Olivia. It was a back handed compliment really. He was dying to show her off to ex-girlfriend to show her how much she was missing out on. Mara felt like such a loser being compared even slightly to the likes of Olivia Parker. Nelson broke up with Olivia. He shouldn’t have to feel the need to show her he didn’t miss her. Mara didn’t see Olivia anywhere. 
“Nelson, stop it,” she causally said. 
“Mara, I need to find her,” Nelson said.  He twirled her around and there was no way she could argue against that. They danced for a while before someone who looked vaguely like Olivia appeared. Nelson stopped everything and dragged her closer to the silhouette of the Olivia look-alike. From a closer angle, it was definitely Olivia. She had no idea that Olivia could look that pretty if she curled her hair and wore eye liner. Mara could feel Nelson tense up when she saw Olivia wasn’t alone. She felt her heart beat faster when around Olivia’s date. Who was he? Mara was instantly interested.
“Who is he?” She whispered into Nelson’s ear. Olivia didn’t seem to notice them. 
“Good evening, Olivia,” Nelson said. Mara was horrified that he even thought of striking a conversation. She felt her chignon droop a little. 
“Hello Nelson, Mara,” Olivia said. 
“So is this the guy you were hopping off to meet on last Wednesday?” Mara heard the jealous twinge in Nelson’s voice. “I didn’t quite believe that he was real.” Olivia let out a hollow laugh. 
“Well here he is,” Olivia said. 
“Here I am,” he said and Mara wondered why he didn’t introduce himself.
“Do you attend Le Cordon Bleu?” 
“I do indeed, Miss Mara.” Mara let go of Nelson momentarily. She walked right in the middle of him and Olivia. 
“Name please,” Mara said inching her fingers towards his arm. “Where in the world did you find yourself someone like him, Olivia?” 
“Jonah,” he simply said before they walked away. 
“That was Jonah?” Mara questioned. He was extremely cute. “Nelson, what are you thinking about?”
“I’m the one that dumped her. Shouldn’t she be feeling sadness and regret? “
“Nelson, don’t think about it, let’s dance,” Mara said. 
Olivia was standing in the corner and Jonah leaned down to kiss her. Mara saw that Nelson was clenching his fist. This was supposed to be the day where she felt like a princess. Right now she felt bested by Olivia. That was never part of any girl’s fairytale. She saw Olivia look up with a sort of happiness that Mara never felt for Nelson. She sighed and looked away. Nelson bent down to kiss her too. Mara wasn’t a fan of PDA but their kiss had gotten Olivia’s attention. She knew she was a far better kisser than Olivia would ever hope to be. 
“What are you doing?”  Vanessa hissed. When had Vanessa gotten here?
“Sorry,” Mara said with chagrin. Vanessa shook her head and Mara realized why Vanessa had migrated over here. She wondered momentarily where Jessie had gone. Ryan had finally shown up. Claire was dangling on his arm and Mara felt some sort of anger arise from deep within. Girls like Claire or Olivia shouldn’t be taking the happy endings from girls like Vanessa or Mara. Vanessa simply shrugged. She said that she accepted it but right now, she was on the brink of breaking down. 
“I can go say something mean to them,” Mara said tightening her grip on Nelson. 
“No, no, don’t bother.” Mara looked up at Vanessa’s expression again. Instead of biting back tears, Vanessa suddenly looked tranquil. She was half smiling at Ryan’s direction. What was the world coming to? Ryan had shown up extraordinarily late. The DJ was already playing the last slow song. Mara turned her head from Vanessa and danced in sync with Nelson. He was a boring guy but she couldn’t afford losing him. She couldn’t be like Jessie or Vanessa. Vanessa ended up leaving early and Mara couldn’t blame her. She finally found Jessie when the last song was played and the lights to the ballroom were turned back on. 
“Where were you?” She left Nelson and drifted back towards her friends. 
“I was scoping the scene. How long do you expect me to be single for?” Mara shrugged.
“Vanessa is losing her hard exterior. She doesn’t even want to pummel Claire anymore. We have to do something, Jess.” Jessie nodded in complete agreement. Life would be disastrous if Vanessa decided to become a softie. 
“The problem is that Claire already has the guy and already has a friend. What more can we take from her? She doesn’t live in a dormitory and she’s so heavily guarded by the kitchen staff. We can’t even fake a drug problem or anything.” 
“We’ll think of something, okay?” Jessie nodded but both girls were restless for action. They left and for the first time didn’t naturally go to Vanessa’s dormitory. Jessie and Mara didn’t share a dormitory and weren’t even in the same building. Mara was fine departing today. If she stayed with Vanessa or Jessie any longer tonight she would have to confess about Olivia and harboring momentary feelings toward Jonah. On the way back to her dormitory, Mara saw Claire walking with Ryan. He was walking her back to the staff room. They were holding hands in such a romantic way. Mara wondered where Nelson was. She had abandoned him but shouldn’t he be responsible in wanting to hold her hand?
“Anderson said that he’s going to let me start a café here on campus,” Claire chattered excitedly. “It’ll be a second cafeteria. My café won’t be as big as the cafeteria but it’ll be another alternative. I hope Nelson doesn’t get too angry. He might be my biggest competitor.” 
“That’s great,” Ryan said but Mara toned him out. That was it. It was such a simple yet destructive way on avenging Vanessa. She couldn’t ignore the fact that Nelson would also be hurt by this too. This was obviously important to Claire. Mara could hear it in the way Claire’s voice peaked at certain points. All Jessie and Mara had to do was get a favor from the dean. Maybe slipping a cockroach or two into the diner was necessary. Mara was suddenly excited to get her plan into action. 
Olivia was still holding Jonah’s hand even after the dance ended. Claire had already left with Ryan. Olivia had one of the best nights ever and she had only Claire to thank. They walked slowly but they had so much to talk about. It was weird talking to Jonah outside the bookstore. She never knew how conversational or good looking he could be.
“Thanks, Jonah,” she said. They were nearing the Greene Dormitory and it was already past eleven. “Nelson was really jealous.” 
“I’m glad,” Jonah said letting out an accidental but melancholy sigh. Olivia wondered what it was that she said. 
“No it wasn’t just that. I had a really great night.” 
“Claire might be on to something. You know, Olivia, I don’t think we can just resume to our bookstore relationship. How would you feel going on another date with me sometime? Maybe even um er uh being my um, um, er uh girlfriend.” 
“Jonah, I’d love to be your girlfriend. That means you don’t let anyone else touch the chick flick section before me, not even Claire.” Jonah chuckled before finally letting go of Olivia’s hand. 
“Sure thing Olivia and this better mean that you won’t dilly dally in Nelson’s coffee shop, without me.” 
“I don’t like coffee anyway,” Olivia said dreamily. He said goodbye to her and she pecked him on the cheek. He left and Olivia couldn’t help but feel utterly happy. She sat down on her bed and saw her roommates curiously glance at her. They sat down next to her and for the first time wanted to talk to her.
“Ooh, la, la,” Ava said curling a lock of her red hair. “Who was that?” Ava and Marie had already changed into pajamas. 
“You guys it’s late,” Olivia said yawning. 
“I have to know who that was. Livy, c’mon,” Marie urged. 
“That’s Jonah,” Olivia said dismissing both of them.
“Jonah?” Marie looked baffled and Olivia stared down at her feet. She knew too well that they would react like that. 
“I didn’t know he was attractive,” Ava said excitedly. Olivia looked up. She hadn’t expected this. Was she supposed to fawn over her boyfriend too? 
“I want to see the look on Nelson’s face,” Marie said giggling. “I can’t believe he’s dating Mara.” 
“He’s attractive too,” Olivia quietly said. Just a month ago they would’ve said anything for Nelson’s attention. 
“Not like that guy,” Marie pitched in. “That girl who works here and Vanessa’s ex make such a good couple too.”
“They totally stole the spotlight!” Ava almost screamed. Was this all they did? Olivia got up and changed out of the painful shoes and tight dress.  Her feet hated her but tonight had been an undeniably good night.

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