The Cinderella Story 

“And then Cinderella danced the night away at the Ball, and they lived happily ever after.” Nina slammed shut the children’s fairy-tale, decisively, if somewhat in annoyance and looked up at her six-year-old. 

The little girl was beaming like a cheshire cat. “Someone obviously loves the story!” After a few precious minutes of tender whispers and soft kisses between mother and child, she bid her daughter goodnight.

Once in the kitchen, she sat sipping on her chamomile tea. “What outlandish ideas of sexism, even in fairy tales,” she muttered to herself.

The moon illuminated her through the glass window. The stars appeared like well-chiseled holes in the ligneous floor of heaven above, through which its sheer luminescence exuded out. The sound of the stridulating crickets soothed her nerves. She rose and languidly made her way to the bedroom.

The divorce papers arrived the next day. They hurled a foreboding sense of dread to the very pit of her stomach. She blinked back the tears and hurriedly threw them in her work-briefcase before Tiara, her daughter had a chance to see them.

* * * 

Seven years of a loveless marriage. The arguments had escalated in the last few months and the toil it took on both of them, finally ushered in, an adulterous relationship. From her side. She had thrown herself into work when she had met him. A handsome Greek god of a man himself. An Adonis named Dennis. He was a newbie, recently recruited in her team. It had begun benignly enough. One fine day, she had caught him ogling at her. The undue attention had gradually led to harmless flirting which impregnated, an amorous affair.

The emotional turmoil that her adultery birthed forth, saw her filing for the divorce. Her husband was more relieved, than surprised. Then he confessed to having mistresses of his own. The revelation opened up a can of writhing worms. She stood transfixed, as the earth beneath her gave way.

* * * 

Ding. The sound of a text message. It was her greek-god.

Let’s meet for a quick rendezvous before I fly home for the winter break! 

She swallowed a lump and turned her cellphone on silent. The word ‘Home’ brought back the agonizing realization of her own broken one. Yet there was still someone she could always turn to. Someone who epitomized what everlasting love truly meant?

She made up her mind. 

* * * 

As they sat in their compact economy seats the following week, Tiara squealed in excitement. “Mom, I can’t wait to go to Grannie’s for the holidays!”

Nina smiled. The faded but fond memory of her own childhood home, and her parents’ mutual love and trust, warmed the recesses of her heart. Yes, true love did exist and it beckoned her home. With arms flung wide open!

Her visage glowed.

“You see, modern-day Cinderellas stopped waiting around for Prince Charmings to salvage them.” Her mother’s soft voice had reassuringly reminded her, over the phone. 

“Sometimes the hero you’ve been looking for… is you!

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