We've all heard this story; we all know what happens in the end. This part at least, has not been made up. Only, in all the books, a lot is left out. No one even seems to remember that we 'ugly stepsisters' even exist after our role has been played, and no one knows what happens to Mother. In the few retellings in which we are mentioned, it is only ever said that we are repentant, and Cinderella in all her goodness and angelic sympathy, forgives us for all the awful things we've done.
That's hardly fair.
Josephine was lonely for a while, after dumping her beau. She ignored all of her callers for quite some time, until there was one man she could no longer ignore. The Earl of Hawthorne was so persistent that he even came to our house at night. I know because I woke up one night to the sound of pebbles being thrown at my window and when I opened it to see what was going on he was there, embarrassed at having 'knocked' at the wrong window.
He wasn't always the most intelligent man, but he was sweet, and I was glad when Josephine finally said yes to him, and they were married. I knew that she had truly fallen for him too; she could hardly help herself after all his attention, and I knew also that money would never be an issue between them. I knew they had a bright future ahead of them.
As for Mother, she never changed much, even when her daughter became royalty. I once asked her how she had remained so calm that night at the ball, and she just smiled at me. "How ignorant do you think I am?" She had asked me calmly. "Do you think I didn't know what was going on right under my nose?"
I never gave Mother enough credit. I suppose I went through my whole life never giving the people around me enough credit.
Mother died at a ripe old age, having seen two of her daughters married, and the birth of six of her grandchildren.
And myself? I never did marry. Somehow, I think that Mother was never really angry with me for it. I guess she had given up on me long ago, before I had even given up on myself in that respect.
I was wrong about Rufus too, just like everyone else. Rufus was getting very fat; in fact he was getting fat with child. He was a she. A few months after Cinderella's marriage to the prince, Rufus gave birth to four kittens. I couldn't stand to give them up, so I became the crazy cat-lady sister of the prince.
And I was happy. In our own ways, each of us managed to get along, and live happily ever after. No matter what the stories say.