“Jack, do you have any idea why would Cinder hide her late mother’s gown?”
“She’s hiding it from her stepmother. It’s the only belonging from her late mother she had left.”
“I see. I just don’t understand why would her stepmother turned against her.”
“There’s a reason for something that happened, but I believe her stepmother isn’t evil at all.” Jack was smiling when he said this. Luna was curious and couldn’t help but to ask.
“What makes you think like that?”
“If her stepmother was evil, Cinder wouldn’t have been here with us right now.” Luna nodded and smiled, she understood what Jack meant. They spent the whole day in the barn, with Cinder at times came to visit them, bringing extra food, drinks and clothes. When Lady Mitzell and her two daughters went to the town, Jack and Luna took the chance to bathe in the river. They enjoyed the cool water so much, it was very refreshing. The birds among the trees seemed to be singing and gentle breeze sometimes blew past them delicately. Jack started to think that they really are in a fairy tale world, which they really were, but not the same as what Cinderella fairy tale in our world told us. It was almost sunset when Lady Mitzell and her two daughters came back home. Cinder had done with her work and prepared some meal for early supper. As usual her step sisters, Gazelle and Dazelle whining and rebelling, telling how tired and pathetic their lives were.
“Mother! Do we have to do this every day? I hate selling flowers in the town! We don’t get much money! I want to buy a new dress!” Gazelle threw the flower baskets she carried to Cinder.
“And I’m tired of yelling and screaming to attract people’s attention to buy our flowers!” Dazelle added.
“My dear children, we have to do this to support our family. If we don’t do this we won’t have anything to eat.” Lady Mitzell tried to calm her two daughters. “But don’t worry, tonight I want the two of you to attract the Prince’s attention at the ball. I don’t care if the Prince chose between the two you, as long as we get some of the riches, when one of you got to marry him. Now be prepared, get dressed and be pretty.” Gazelle and Dazelle became so inspired and rushed to their bedrooms to be prepared for the later event. Then, Lady Mitzell turned to look at Cinder. “And you . . . . . You’ll be staying here, like you always do. I can’t stand looking at you. It hurts. Really hurts.” Lady Mitzell gave Cinder a death stare, but she continued, “Go to the kitchen. Now. Get dirty.” Lady Mitzell went to her bedroom and shut the door harshly. Cinder noticed that when her stepmother faced away from her, she had tears in her eyes. She was crying.
The time almost hit nine o’clock in the evening. The King invited his subjects to attend the castle from nine to ten o’clock, and her step sisters and step mother was getting ready to go to the castle as the carriage outside pulled by the horses already been waiting for few minutes now.
“Come on now we don’t want to be late.” Said Lady Mitzell to her two daughters. They happily went outside and entered the carriage. Cinder was sweeping the floor in the kitchen with her face all dirty with dark charcoal messed on her face. When Lady Mitzell was about to go out and shut the door, Cinder shouted to stop her from the kitchen. “Lady Mitzell!” Her stepmother stopped and turned to look at her.
“Are you crazy shouting like that to me?” she said. Cinder came to her. She has something like she wanted to ask.
“Lady Mitzell, why do you hate me so much?” Cinder asked hoping for an answer.
“Do you want to know why I hate you? Alright I’ll tell you now and listen carefully. I hate you because you look so much like your father. You have his eyes and ears. Everytime I look at you, you reminds me to him. And it hurts. It broke my heart into thousand pieces as if I’m seeing his ghost here trapped in a young woman’s body. You took him away from me and I’ll never forgive you. Now you know why I always want you to be dirty. So that I can’t see that face!” Lady Mitzell then walked away and shut the front door leaving Cinder in tears. But deep in her heart she understood her stepmother and prayed that one day she would accept her as her own daughter. When Cinder was sure they have gone, Cinder quickly took her bath, get cleaned and hurried to meet Jack and Luna in the barn.