“I’ve never saw Fabian or Eloise again after that incident. My father took care of that. I’ve never found out what happened to them.
I would probably try to look for them, but my father took care of that, too. I was grounded for life. And to make sure I wouldn’t leave my room, my father hired a bodyguard to guard me.”
“I tried to befriend him, but he acted like… like a doberman guarding his bone. So I had to give up my efforts and deal with a fact that my rebellious teenage years were over. I missed Fabian terribly, but otherwise, my life didn’t really change that much – it was still tedious and boring.”
“And then one day, I came home from school and I found a woman, a complete stranger in my room.”
” ‘I’m your new Mom, my darling,’ she said with a fake smile on her beautiful face.
It turned out my father got this interesting idea that I was only acting problematic because I was missing a female role model in my life. So he remarried.”
“His new wife, Giselle, was stunning, I must admit. But she was also bossy and superficial and the sole purpose of her life was to ruin mine. That and taking care of her glorious hair. She was constantly ordering me what to do and what to wear, complaining about me to my father, mocking me in front of other people, stealing the things of mine that she liked.”
“I hated every minute spent in her presence. And since father wanted her to be my role model, she was spending a lot of time with me, lecturing me about my posture and my hairstyle and other boring stuff.
And the worst thing was that I had to obey her every word because father told me he would throw me out of the house otherwise. And although I hated that place, I couldn’t imagine leaving. I was absolutely incapable of living on my own, you know. Growing up surrounded by maids, cooks, butlers and chauffeurs – I would die after a week in the outside world. So I had no choice.”
“One of Giselle’s duties was to help me prepare for various social events. My first ball was one of them. It was probably the only thing I was excited about since my mama died. I remembered all the stories she used to tell me about her balls and dates and dresses and dances…she made it sound so fun and I was curious.
But, of course, Giselle ruined it completely. I wanted to wear one of my mom’s dresses. It meant a great deal to me, because mom told me she was keeping them for my first ball. But they were red and Giselle said it would be improper for a girl my age to wear red. So she bought me another dress and do you know what she did with the red one?
She wore it herself.
But at least I could wear mama’s jewellery. And I also did my hair to appear similar to mama’s hairstyle. Makeup, too. Giselle frown upon me and said I looked like an old-fashioned moron but it was too late to re-do it.”
“I’m not gonna tease you, my dear. That ball was an absolute disaster. My father told me Nicolas was the only boy I was allowed to dance with. And I, obviously, said that I wouldn’t even look at that blonde monster, which caused a lot of yelling and cursing.
I tried to leave, of course, but the bodyguard got paid extra to keep me there. Oh, and Giselle ruined mama’s dress. She was looking me in the eye and smiling maniacally when she spilled blueberry juice on it.”
“I couldn’t hold back the tears when I saw it. I knew it was stupid to cry over a piece of fabric, but that dress represented the life my mama never got to live, the life where she saw me grow up. I went to my father and told him how Giselle was treating me, how she was stealing from mom’s rooms or mine and how manipulative and vain she was.”
“And do you know what he told me?”
“I couldn’t believe my ears. The shock that came after that information paralyzed me completely and I didn’t know what to do. Cry? Curse? Yell? Kill him?
I felt like my life was over.”
“But instead of a reaction, I just agreed with him, stood up and walked away. I didn’t even look at him.
My bravery and pride only lasted until I got into my room. As soon as I shut the door I had a complete breakdown and I cried uncontrolably for hours.”
“I hated that life and I hated that family. I hated everyone in the house, including me. Especially me. I acted like I was different but I was just like them. I was a part of it all, playing their game according to their rules and for what? For all the luxury and wealth. The realization made me so sick I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror without disgust.”
“But my hands were tied and the helplessness was killing me. But then I looked at myself again. I looked at my dress and mama’s diamond earrings in my ears. And I got the idea.
First, I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut my hair.”
“Second, I called my ladies’ maid, Valerie. And I told her what happened.”
“So I shared my plans with her.”
“She didn’t like it at all.”
“But she agreed to do her best.
And so I sneaked out of my room in the middle of the night. The bodyguard was not there – Valerie asked some other maids to entertain him for awhile.
She waited in the kitchen.”
“I had no time for long goodbyes, so I just grabbed the stuff and rushed to the nearest bathroom to change. I was very pleased with the results.”
“I checked my backpack again. Mama’s diamond earrings were there, along with some shirts, socks, Valerie’s toasts and my favourite fairytale book. I was ready to go.”
“So I sneaked out, my heart beating so loudly I was sure someone in the house was going to hear it and stop me. I could barely breathe.”
“After a few meters, I hesitated. I looked in front of me and thought of the vast, unknown world that was waiting for me there. I was so terrified that my body started shaking. I wanted to turn around and go back to my own bed.”
“Then I looked back and remembered how I loved my home. How I used to love my princess life. I’ve always thought it was because of all those cool books and clothes I owned, the history of our house and our family, the comfort of having dozens of servants…but it wasn’t like that. The only thing I loved about that place was the memory of my mom in its corridors.”