A Modern Cinderella

The Beginning

Written by FantasyGirl on Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Author's Note:  PG-13 for the ending.  Tell me what you think of it … please?  I'll post the rest of it soon.

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          Sarah Nelson didn't fit in.  She always pulled her shoulder-length black hair in a quick, unbecoming ponytail at the base of her skull.  No one knew what color her eyes were --- they were hidden behind glasses almost half an inch thick.  Her classmates nicknamed her "Scarecrow", in honor of her thinness.  She had, as the cheerleaders would have said if they bothered to notice her, "no sense of fashion".  She never had any friends, so, when the straight-A student wasn't doing homework, she kept her nose buried in one book or another --- usually a fantasy or classic.  By the end of high school, people had never seen the accident-prone, awkward girl smile or laugh.

          She went to a small, private college, Nebraska Wesleyan, on a scholarship.  Her roommate, Christina Endwell, whom everyone called Tina, was Sarah's social opposite.  She was friendly toward everyone, always found the perfect thing to say, and participated in sports and dances.  Her waist-length blonde hair always did what she wanted it to; she had never needed glasses for anything other than reading and left braces behind in the eighth grade.  She was what Sarah had often dreamed of being.

          It didn't take more than a couple of months for Tina to figure out that Sarah wanted more friends and to look more fashionable, but didn't know how to make those dreams real.  Sarah replaced her glasses with contacts, discovering in the process that her eyes were green, and Tina taught her the basics of fashion what to do at various social functions.  They joined a few volunteer organizations together and Tina took Sarah to a couple of parties and introduced her to Jonathan Sullivan, a sophomore and Tina's best friend in high school.  They started dating the following year.  He admired Sarah's quiet intelligence and she adored the way Jonathan always knew when and how to make her laugh.

          When they graduated, Tina settled down to teach fourth grade in her hometown of Fairbury, Nebraska.  Sarah went to MIT for her master's degree, to complement her bachelor's in computer science.  When Jonathan finished law school, he asked Sarah to marry him.  They moved to Seattle after the wedding.

          Sarah's high school reunion rolled around.  Jonathan talked her into going, saying she could "show up all those idiots who ignored you."  The flood of compliments and acceptance both flattered and embarrassed her.  The height of her evening, though, was when Ashley Robinson --- the former bane of Sarah's existence --- lost her poise.  Ten years hadn't diminished Ashley's snootiness, so, of course, from the moment she arrived she did nothing but brag to people about her success as a small time model in Hollywood, her hot boyfriend, all the famous people she'd happened to see, and anything else she could think of.  Eventually, she interrupted Sarah and Jonathan's conversation with Jack Barnes, the former captain of the football team and one of Ashley's ex-boyfriends.  She glanced at Jonathan and promptly hit on him.  To Sarah's endless amusement, he didn't hesitate to point out he was "perfectly happy as Sarah's husband --- thanks anyway."  For three full minutes, Ashley looked more like a goldfish than a model in her astonishment at being turned down.