This is a story that I came up with a while back. In fact, I think this is one of the first stories I ever came up with (as you may notice from the original upload date...). As the title implies, this is a retelling the classic Grimm fairytale "Cinderella." But as the title also implies, this isn't your average Cinderella, either. I've taken a few liberties with the story and given it a modern day twist, however, I can assure you: this isn't like any fairytale you've ever read.
As I have stated within my other stories, this is in circulation with my other current stories (Earth Angel Orion, and The Changelings of Syre). I've decided to upload out of order this one time, but after this, I will begin circulating my writing with each story, updating as much as I can.
Anyways, I hope my readers will enjoy this little take on happily ever after. It's a switch in my writing style as well, as it is written in first person limited, and NON-fantasy.
So take a look, get a taste, and let me know what you think.
Closets in Heaven
The air in the yard was chilly, even being packed full of people. I remember wishing I'd brought my jacket with me, but it was springtime, so my jacket had been packed away with the rest of the winter household items.
It was Jasmine Jacobsen's eleventh birthday and her family had thrown her the party of the year. It had everything; a DJ, a bounce house, party games from around the world, endless amounts of food, and presents any tween would be envious of. But she was my best friend and, at that time, that was our whole world, so I was just happy to be there.
We moved into the neighborhood three years ago, when my mother remarried. It wasn't until about a week later when I started second grade that we realized we lived right next door to each other. The typical things ensued after that; walking home together, staying the night at each other's house. We very quickly became inseparable. Our parent's didn't mind though. Her mother was a stay-at-home-mom, and my new stepdad worked early mornings, so there was always someone to watch us.
My brothers didn't mind either. My eldest brother and her eldest brother learned quickly that we didn't take lightly to practical jokes. And my twin brother, Philip, was incredibly patient with our girlish escapades. Looking back, I'm grateful to have a sibling so tolerant of glitter and beads.
That day, everything was a mess. Most of our fourth grade class was congregated in her backyard for the barbeque. Her parents and my parents had designated groups and "fun stations" for everyone. At the sound of the bell, we'd shift to the next station for about fifteen minutes. A lot of what we did jumbles together in my mind. The day had gone by quickly, and at the end of the night Jasmine and I giggled furiously as we dove into the pile of goodies she'd received now piles in the den. There were only a few kids left at the house anyways. Their parents had decided to barbeque what was left of the hamburger meats and relax on the back patio. I don't know what they were thinking at the time, but looking back, it's never smart to leave a group of mischievous, prepubescent teens to their own devices.
Like the flirty girl Jasmine was (and still is), she suggested we play a 'grown up' game. I had no idea what she was talking about, but I guess she knew what she was doing. When we all asked what she meant, she told us she caught her big sister playing it earlier that summer with a group of friends. She called the game "Seven Minutes in Heaven" and promptly declared that she was God. As God, she would decide what person was being bad and they would be sent to the hall closet as punishment. When one of the other girls asked her what we were supposed to do in the closet, she grinned and said she would tell them secretly.
After that, she ran to the other room and came back with pair of die. Telling each of us to roll, the person with the lowest score would be sent to the closet with the first person. That first person was her. Coincidentally, my brother Philip rolled the lowest number. Telling me to count seven minutes, they disappeared. The rest of us stood in the den, confused, for the next seven minutes. I had come up with a few different ideas of what she was doing. Early into our friendship, I realized she was prone to silly, girlish pranks. I didn't mind though; they were always innocent and fun.
When my brother came back out, he was staring at the floor. He walked up to me and leaned against me, and that's when I realized his ears were bright red and his face was hot. I asked him what happened and he simply shook his head and turned redder.
Jasmine followed him out, grinning, then quietly announced the next person. There were only eleven of us, including my two brothers, me, Jasmine's older brother, and Jasmine. Four more kids disappeared into the closet, and each time one came out bright red. I had asked Jasmine what went on in the closet, but she kept telling me she would tell me when my turn came.
Fortunately (or unfortunately?), she announced I was next. Everyone rolled, except me. When she decided who got the lowest number, she came over to me and smiled, a twinkle in her eye.
"Okay, Genny," she whispered. "Here's what you do: when you close the closet door, grab his hand, and then kiss him--"
I gasped and stared at her. "But--"
She covered my mouth and grinned, her white teeth gleaming. I stared at her with wide eyes. She just nodded and dropped her hand. "You have to stay in their and kiss him for seven minutes, or you lose the game."
Pouting, I just nodded and bit my lip. It really wasn't that bad, just kind of embarrassing, especially to me, who had no idea how to kiss aside from the goodnight kisses my mom gave me before bed.
"So Jack got the lowest number. That means you have to take him to the closet," she said. Waving behind me, I turned around and saw who she was waving at. I knew he was fourteen, like my brother Chris, and a freshman in high school, and I'd seen the two of them walk home from school together often, though he rarely came to the house. He came over, a strange look on his face and smiled shyly at me. I'd never talked to him before, so I just smiled back. Taking a look around, I noticed all the other girls who'd already been chosen were smiling at me and giving me thumbs up and other encouraging gestures. So I mustered up my courage and grabbed his hand. Holding it, I looked up and him.
"You can call me Evie," I said sweetly.
He looked to side and his cheeks turned pink. "Yeah, okay…" he mumbled. Jasmine started to push us towards the closet, so I decided to lead the way. I let him go in first, then closed the closet door, with one last look at Jasmine.
It was dark inside, and there were things scattered on the floor. I almost tripped when I turned, but Jack caught me. He was a good head taller than me already, so I laughed nervously and held his hand a little tighter.
"So…I've never played this before," I said quietly.
"Yeah. Me neither," he muttered.
We were quiet for a moment before I looked up to where I thought his face was. "Do you know what we're supposed to do?"
I think he shook his head, then when he realized I couldn't see, he cleared his throat and replied. "No…not really."
Good, I thought. This was really, really embarrassing.
"I think I do… come here. I'll tell you."
He was hesitant for a moment, then lightly grabbed my shoulders and brought his head down slowly. I reached up to where I thought is face was and held it there. Taking a deep breath, I pushed myself on my tiptoes and just went for it.
Jack froze. I mean, he really froze. In fact, I'm pretty sure he stopped breathing. It was a weird feeling; nothing like my mom's kisses, or my grandpa's. It was pitch black except for the light until the door, but I still remember squeezing my eyes shut. It only lasted a little bit, but during that little bit, neither of us moved. When I let go and dropped back down onto my flat feet, I felt myself let out of breath. Still looking up, I felt I had to say something.
"Sorry…Jasmine told me--"
It was my turn to freeze. I'm not sure what either of us was thinking at the moment, or rather, I'm not sure I remember. The only thing I recall to this day is in that instant, I felt the very first butterflies in my stomach. I grabbed Jack's face again and held it, and he held my shoulders tighter. I may have taken a step closer to him, or him to me; either way, we just kind of leaned our faces against each other. It really wasn't a true kiss, mainly just our lips mashed together in some weird attempt at acting grown-up.
I think we stayed in there a little too long. But whatever the case, we got caught. My stepdad ended up opening the door when he and my mom came looking for to get us ready to leave. Jack and I let go immediately and just stared at him. I think I sputtered something nonsensical, but he just grabbed us and pulled us out of the closet. I didn't get slapped or anything, but all of us got a yelling at, especially my eldest brother Chris, for not watching out for me and the younger children. He pointed the finger at Jasmine (who neither denied nor admitted to starting the game), but our mom didn't care. We still weren't allowed to watch television for the next two weeks.
By the time we all got ready to leave and were being herded out the front door, most of the other kids were getting scolding's from their parents too. Most of the time I stared at the ground while my mom gathered us outside. When she left to grab Philip from the bathroom, I was standing by a big rosebush by the front window. I was minding my own business when someone ran up to me and kissed me on the cheek. Looking up, I saw Jack as he turned and ran towards a car waiting in the street. Before he got in, though, he turned and smiled at me, waving goodbye.
I felt my face turn red and I slowly waved back. He got in and the car pulled out, driving around the corner. Feeling the butterflies in my stomach again, I couldn't stop smiling. I was suddenly grateful for an older brother who teased me, and for some reason, felt anxious to walk with him to school again.
Little did I know, that was the last time I'd see Jack again.
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