Oct 11, 2011

Anastasia

By Areeba Jibril


I watched as Cinderella scrubbed the stone floors at the end of the corridor. She was contentedly humming a song which bothered me. I stomped through the hallway in my muddy boots, kicking her bucket as I passed by it. She didn’t bother reprimanding me; she was too used to my behavior. That only served to add to my anger.

I stomped up the winding staircase and into my room, slamming the door shut behind me. I noticed the ball gown from the previous night lying on my bed and I picked it up and tried to rip it apart. The cloth tore a bit, but not enough to satisfy my anger so I threw the gown outside the window.

I regretted my actions as soon I realized what I had done, but there was nothing I could do now. The dress was surely ruined. I collapsed onto my bed sobbing.

Why hadn’t the Prince liked me? I asked myself, desperately searching within for an answer.

The evening had started out so well, even Mother had only been able to find few faults with my appearance.

Once we arrived at the castle, I danced with three gentlemen one after the other. For once none of them seemed to be old enough to be my grandfather.

Then, somehow it all began to go wrong. I noticed the society matrons’ gazes on me, and I smiled at them politely before following my instincts to run away. I looked back at them as soon I as was outside of their line of sight and saw them whispering to each other. Uncertainty flooded through my veins as I wondered what horrible things they were saying about me.

I moved towards the table set up with drinks, hoping a glass of punch would be able to wash away my insecurities.

As I picked up the ladle to pour my mother’s hand knocked it away from me.

“Really what are you thinking Anastasia?” Mother asked. “You know a lady cannot pour her own drink, have I taught you nothing?”

She took me by the hand, and led me to a corner of the room. Once she was sure we were out of hearing distance she began scolding me.

“Stop slouching, act like a lady for heaven’s sake Anastasia! Fix the expression on your face; you’re at a ball not headed towards the gallows!” I tried to do as she asked. “No, don’t smile so wide, you’re not a court jester. Honestly, Anastasia. You do try my patience so. Now, circulate. And, act like your enjoying yourself. Please.”

I immediately scurried away from her, relieved to have been dismissed. I turned to look back at her for a minute and somehow managed to walk into someone.

“I’m so- sorry,” I apologized, my eyes wide. I almost knocked over the Prince! Oh, Mother was going to be furious.

“Yes, well it’s all right. In the future though you may want to face the direction in which you’re headed,” he said.

I nodded numbly.

He scrutinized my face. “I don’t think we have danced yet. Shall we?” He offered me his arm and I took it, grateful to have this chance.

“Well, I as I’m sure you know, am Prince Charming. May I be so bold as to enquire your name?”

“Oh, it’s Anastasia Fullbright,” I answered hesitantly.

“Thank you for the pleasure of this dance, Miss Fullbright.”

“Oh, the pleasure is all mine.”

“It’s needless debating which one of us is more pleased; I believe my father’s pleasure exceeds anyone else’s.” He gestured towards the King, who did indeed have a smile on his face.

“I’m afraid his joy would still only come second to my mother’s.”

“Would it now? Maybe you are right. Tell me, Miss Fullbright-” The Prince paused abruptly in the middle of his sentence.

“Yes?” I prompted him.

“Ah, yes,” he continued with his question, and as we turned in a circle, I was able to discover the reason behind his pause.

She wore a pale blue dress that flowed beautifully to the ground reminding an observer of flowing water. Her eyes were a color similar to the dress, and her blonde hair was beautifully tied above her head. The most spectacular aspect of her appearance however was her footwear. Her shoes appeared to be made of glass. It wasn’t surprising that she had caught the Prince’s attention, most eyes in the room were on her.

The Prince continued to dance with me in relative silence, until the last note of the song was played. He bowed to me, and then went to ask the other girl for a dance. They stayed on the dance floor for most of the night, until the clock struck midnight and she mysteriously ran away, leaving behind only a glass slipper.

As we drove home in our carriage, Mother expressed her rage on both Drizella and I. She had expected better from us, me especially. She was especially furious for me letting the Prince slip through my fingers as she believed, like I had, that him asking me to dance meant something. We were both wrong.

Over a day has passed since the ball, yet she still refuses to speak to me. By being unable to find a rich husband, I have somehow led the family to financial ruin. It is all my fault, as always.

My attention is suddenly caught by the sound of horses trotting close to our home. I rush to the window to find a Royal Carriage stopping outside of the manor. A great big smile finds its way onto my face. Maybe the prince did like me, maybe I still have a chance, I think. I quickly check my appearance for any imperfections and then run down the stairs. Maybe I will have a happily ever after all.

7 comments:

Sania Bilwani said...

Awww. That was sad. I actually felt sorry for Anastasia.

Zoha Jabbar said...

This is so well-written! Aw, I wish Anastasia had gotten her happily ever after :(

Sana Riwzan said...

A very interesting approach.

Areeba Jibril said...

Thanks :)

Maha asif said...

Nicely written areeba.. :)

Farwa Haider said...

Poor Anastasia. This is so tragic and beautiful. Now I really hate Cinderella.

Areeba Jibril said...

Thanks, Maha :)
You shouldn't hate Cinderella, Farwa. She's not evil either, I just wanted to show that everything is not as clear cut as it seems :)

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