Once upon a time, there was this little girl. Her mother had died during her birth and she was brought up by her loving and wealthy father. She lived a happy life, running around the manor they lived in, playing with the animals, and learning to make flower ornaments with her loyal servants. She was loved and was a very kind girl. She also studied very hard, and she loved reading about everything!
Her father always travelled for long periods of time. As a merchant, he had lots of business in faraway lands. However, every time he returned home, he would bring her a present, mostly books or some kind of antique from the country he had visited. She absolutely loved it, and she couldn’t wait for the rumours of her dad’s arrival. She would jump out of bed, wash herself and choose the most beautiful dress to wear; just to wait for ‘daddy’.
Cinderella’s most valuable present had been a book. It was a fairy tale, where a prince fell in love with this beautiful girl, and they went through a lot of trouble to stay together, happily ever after. How on earth could our dear Cinderella imagine that one day, she would go through some trouble herself? Yes, I am talking about her love life.
Her father would always say, ‘Dearest daughter, not all love stories end like that, you know? Be very careful, choose your spouse wisely.’ Cinderella would smile, kiss her father’s cheek and answer, ‘Don’t worry, daddy. I will be careful, I promise.’
One day, before travelling, just as Cinderella was leaving the safety of their home for the first time to go to university – she had always wanted to be a journalist -, her father called her and said, ‘Dearest daughter, I will bring something different with me in my return this time. I met this woman… we are in love and she is all we need to look after us and our home. I hope you will like her, as I do. Besides, she has two daughters your age. It will be good for you to have other ladies around. When you break up for summer holiday, they will be here waiting for you. Now it is time to go. See you soon. Have a great time at uni. Remember what I always say about boys, be careful. I love you.’
Cinderella didn’t like that at all. Three other women in the house? she thought. But said nothing, except: ‘I love you too, daddy. Please, be careful,’ she said, remembering her own father’s words to her so many times.
Well, I guess we all know what happens next, eh? Her father returns with the evil stepmother and the two wicked sisters. Her life becomes hell, especially after her father dies. The stepmother stops paying her tuition, she has to go back home for a while and she is treated like a servant. There is the ball, in which the Prince’s parents hope he will find a respectful wife, AND we also know who the Prince marries in the end: exactly! Our dearest Cinderella. She goes back to uni, graduates with honour and gets a job at the BBC. Well, there is happily ever after, she thought one day in her car, on the way back home after a day’s work. She couldn’t be more excited! She had interviewed Daniel Craig and was dying to tell the Prince all about the new James Bond film!
But then comes the story our parents – or anybody – has ever told!
One day, our Cinderella arrives a bit earlier from work. She smells something different in the castle hall; something very familiar, a fragrance. She twists her nose. Uh-oh… something is definitely not right, she thinks. She rushes up the stairs to the master bedroom, and what is her surprise when she sees in her bed, the Prince and one of her stepsisters!
Ok, stop there a minute.
What have you heard about Cinderella? That kind, loving girl, who had all those mice and birds as friends, and who wouldn’t hurt a fly? I’m sorry to disappoint you my dear reader, but this Cinderella is a grown up, independent, strong woman. She might have married a prince, but she will definitely recognize a frog! So, what does she do when she sees her once beloved husband, Mr Prince Charming, in that situation? Ah, she throws all his clothes outside the window into the garden – she nearly throws her stepsister as well – and kicks them out of the castle. The next day she phones a solicitor, files for divorce and, guess what: in the end she gets the castle, the carriage and alimony.
What is she doing now? I heard she is a very happy single woman, who throws amazing parties in the castle gardens. I have also heard that Beckham and Posh, Tom Cruise and Katie, Will and Jada Smith, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are constant guests, and even Mr James Bond, yes, THE gorgeous Daniel Craig, has taken her out for a few romantic dinners. After all, Cinderella has never forgotten her daddy’s advice!