The Dior Slipper
Michelle, Age 15, Maple Ridge, BC

She pursed her lips together, smearing her MAC gloss around so it shined brighter than the crystal chandelier hanging above the checked dance floor. Men in fabulous Armani tuxes whirled around on the back and white checker-board surface, with women in long, elegant Gucci dresses pressed tightly in their arms.

Her long dress tickled the tops of her feet, making her smile a small smile. She remembered the story of Cinderella; her favourite. Roxanne had always imagined the Prince’s ball to look just like this one.

She took it upon herself to gaze about the ballroom, skimming the black and white décor with batting green eyes. The rounded tables were draped with white chiffon tablecloths, and decked with black plates, wineglasses and gleaming cutlery. Black and white food spaced across the long tables pressed against the walls looked so delicious, it took every speck of restraint to keep her from running to them; fabulous cakes, decadent drinks and spectacular salads and fruits.

But Roxanne wasn’t stopping her gaze on the food, or the chandelier that cast glimmers onto the dancers, or the elegantly decorated tables at which were seated the most amazing and flawless people imaginable. No. Her eyes rested on two dancers, curled in each other’s arms and swaying delicately to the light jazz, turning in a small circle like pink ballerinas in a music box. Staring straight into each other’s eyes, the boy, a tall, brown-haired man with sandy eyes and a perfect smile, leaned into his blonde partner and brushed a soft kiss across her lips. She closed her eyes, smiling as she pressed her mouth to his, while still swaying in perfect balance with each other.

Roxanne’s heart sank. She stepped out of the light of the crystal chandelier, panting. Wearing her new Dior Lame Padlock Mules, she broke out into an awkward run. Her heart racing and hot tears burning in the corners of her eyes, and fought back the urge to burst out into sobs.

Heads turned as she sprinted by the dance floor, but not even a frantic brunette, running half-heartedly by in stiletto heels could take the Jeremy’s focus off Anna.

She spun around the corner and into the red, carpeted hallway. Her heel caught itself on the burgundy rug, sending her flying towards the floor. Her cream Marc Jacob’s dress clung to her aching knees and she broke out into wild sobs.

To her, the world was over. Not even a thousand fabulous parties such as this one could make her feel any better now. The love of her life had chosen a blonde over her, and what’s worse, was too completely absorbed in her to even notice that Roxanne looked beautiful. Her hair was pin straight with new red streaks cascading down her back, her nails were painted in a French manicure the way Jeremy loved, and her legs were tanned and looked amazing. It was all for him, and the boy hadn’t even glanced.

Her heart was in pieces. Her eyes were bloodshot. Her hair was frizzy from the fall.

She lay on her belly on the floor, face pressed against the scratchy knit rug, sobbing the way you only sob when you know there is nothing else you can do. One cream Dior shoe lay a few feet from her, in the place where she’d tumbled to the floor. She felt like Cinderella, just after the ball. Her beautiful gown had turned back into rags, her carriage sat in the shape of an orange pumpkin in the middle of 21st Avenue, and her footman was chasing his tail, thankful to have it back.

But, no. Cinderella had her shoe slipped back onto her perfect foot by the handsome prince, had a huge white wedding and lived happily ever after. Roxanne would sulk home, crossing through Central Park with one shoe missing while the sprinklers splashed cold droplets of water onto her floor-length Marc Jacob’s dress.

No one lives happily ever after, she assured herself, readjusting the bodice of her dress. Her arms were red from the fall and the knit rug. She could feel another round of tears welling up in her hot pink cheeks.

She turned on her back and stood up, ready to skulk the walk of shame back to her 5th Avenue apartment, lie down in the bathtub with all her clothes on and turn on the tap. Sure, her dress would be destroyed, her makeup would run and her one shoe would have to be thrown out. At least she could toss the memory of this horrible night in the trash, along with the clothes.

“Miss,” a voice called from behind her as she went to push open the heavy front doors. She turned around, half expecting the manager of the hotel to tell her that they don’t allow people like you in the Chelsea. Instead, a boy about sixteen stood on the burgundy rug where she had fallen, wearing the staff uniform of a black button up shirt and black pants. A waiter’s uniform. Maybe he was going to chastise her for eating too much.

He bent down and picked up her cream coloured shoe, cradling it in the palm of his hand. Roxanne stepped towards him, stumbling every now and then with only one shoe on.

“You forgot something,” he said, handing her the shoe like a true gentleman, smiling, looking her straight in the eyes. Roxanne looked him up and down, her eyes smiling back at him, and her lips forming into a cool half smile. The shattered pieces of her heart welded themselves back together. She touched her neck with a delicate index finger, cocking her head to one side.

Like a gentleman, he bent down on one knee and slipped the cream mule onto her slender foot.

Cinderella may have married the handsome prince, but Roxanne had a gorgeous boy right in front of her. And this was definitely not the end of this fairy tale.

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