I always used to think that if by some crazy stroke of luck, I was Cinderella for a night and ran away from the prince at the stroke of midnight, he would pick up my glass slipper, cradle it in his hands…and drop it, running away screaming as soon as he saw the glaring 13 stamped on it.
Cinderella I am not.
When I mentioned this horrible thought to my sister Melissa, though, she just looked at me and told me I had bigger things to worry about.
"Like what?" I asked, thinking Melissa, Ms. Us Weekly, had finally started reading The Herald Tribune. Or at least realized that World Affairs didn't actually refer to Brangelina.
But no. Instead, Lissie smiled and pointed to my face. "Your nose. I'm sure Ashlee Simpson's plastic surgeon can fit you in for some rhinoplasty." She smiled, happy to have managed to pronounce a four-syllable word right.
Yeah, my family? So not perfect. My name is Alexandra Sharpe, though most people, for some inexplicable reason, call me Ellie. I live with my stepmother Olivia and her twin daughters Melissa and Lily, often sickeningly referred to as Lil and Liss.
I'm not going to exaggerate-Olivia doesn't make me clean the house from top to bottom every day, but I'm not exactly a welcome addition to the household either.
For example, Olivia told me straight out from the beginning that I shouldn't expect any special favors, such as being driven to school.
"Walking is a great exercise for you," She'd enthused, smoothing her black Theory pencil skirt down. "What better way to start your day than working off your breakfast by walking to school?"
Um. You know, Lily and Melissa might contest that a leisurely morning swim in the pool, followed by a ride to school in the Mercedes, might be rated just that bit higher on the scale. But whatever.
Unfortunately, it's not like Lil and Liss are these ugly, fat girls who barely fit into their La Perla underwear. They've both been blessed with gorgeous angelic faces and big blue eyes. Lily has long auburn hair, and Liss has long blonde hair, so they're both totally gorgeous and members of the exclusive popular crowd at Saffern High, the private school all three of us attend. At least Olivia wasn't bitchy enough to transfer me to another school when Dad died-although, as she never fails to remind me, I have a significantly different social status to the twins.
Obviously, we don't really get along. Sometimes I wonder if maybe, just maybe, things could have been different. Maybe Mom didn't have to die. Maybe Dad didn't either.
My mom had died first. She used to be big on charity, or so my dad used to say. When I was three years old, Mom went to Nicaragua for a week to help out with Kids with a Cause, a charity for deprived children.
But while she was saving lives, she had hers stolen from her by a freak tsunami. All we knew was that her body had been found, and that she'd drowned. I still remember the funeral. At least until the body was found, we'd had some hope that she might be alive. But after that, it was official.
I guess when Dad married Olivia he was trying to fill a hole that Mom's death had emptied. But that never really works, does it? Olivia was a leggy ex-model with her eyes on the prize and two daughters that were both my age.
He thought she was perfect. I knew better. And six years after my mother had died, my dad did too, making my worst nightmare come true.
He'd been in a car accident, the most unlikely person to be in one, the best driver I knew. And he was gone.
Of course we all cried. But Olivia managed to dry her tears long enough to move me into the maid's room and assure me that besides accommodation and food, I could pretty much forget about getting anything else from her. If I wanted money, she informed, me, I could work.
So Olivia and Liss and Lil dress head to toe in BCBG, while I shop at Target, which is pretty much all I can afford working in the local burger enterprise-named, creatively enough, FastBurger.
But honestly, what am I supposed to do? The fact that Dad never wrote a will means that Oliva pretty much inherited everything. And anyway, I'm seventeen. It's been this way for years, and these are the last few months before I leave for college. Thank God for that.
And even though Olivia and the twins might wear Jimmy Choos and Marc Jacobs on their feet, it's not like good old Jimmy every remembered to make shoes for plus-sized feet. Just another reason the world is out to get me-plus-sized women get their own freaking floor in Saks Fifth Avenue. Plus-sized feet? You can forget about it.