When I was a kid, Cinderella used to be my favorite fairytale. I would ask for my dad to read the Brothers Grimm version almost every night before bed, and I'd watch the Disney movie over and over whenever I was given the opportunity. I'd always wanted to be just like Cinderella.
But here I was now, with a wicked stepfather and stepsister. I was no longer wishing to be just like her.
I knew that Lacey was only nasty toward me because she was jealous of me. It was obvious, and her snide comments about how close I was to the Lost Boys made it clear to everyone. But to this day, I still didn't know why Leo hated me so much. He'd always been nice to Simon and Charlie, but never to me. If my mother or brothers were around, he would act as if I wasn't even there, like I didn't exist. When they weren't around, the verbal abuse would begin.
That was why I tried to stay in my room as much as I could, away from both Leo and Lacey. My mom thought I was having behavioral problems and just being antisocial; she had no idea I just wanted to be away from her husband and stepdaughter.
I did try to come out of my room every once in a while. I hated feeling like I was confined to one room in the house; it wasn't like I wanted to spend all of my time in there. But whenever I even tried to spend some time in the living room, the dining room, the family room, or even the backyard, Leo or Lacey would find a way to harass me about something.
But today, I decided I wouldn't let them scare me away. It was my house too, and I wasn't always going to stay in my room. That was unfair to me.
So I sat in the armchair as Lacey laid out on the couch, watching something on TV that I wasn't paying attention to. I wasn't looking up from the book I was reading, but that didn't mean I couldn't see Lacey glancing over to glare at me out of the corner of my eye.
She liked to think she bothered me. I never cared what she thought; I knew that if I'd let it bother me, it would do nothing but fuel her ego. And that was definitely the last thing I wanted.
When Leo made his way into the living room, I knew I was about to regret coming out of my room. I guess this was what I got for thinking things might have been different for me this time.
"I want you to clean the house before I get home," Leo was the first thing Leo said to me, not even looking at me as he finished tying his shoes. "I expect the place to be spotless."
I gestured toward Lacey, who was lounged across the couch like she owned the place. "What about Lacey?"
Leo simply glared at me, and I knew that that was as much of an answer as I was going to get. He wasn't about to make his precious daughter do any housework; that was all reserved for his stepdaughter.
I didn't know why Leo demanded such things from me, since I rarely ever did them. Usually this resulted in yelling and rude words coming from him, but I was used to that. His words didn't bother me like they had when he'd first entered my life.
Sometimes I really felt like Cinderella, but with a wicked stepfather instead of a stepmother and only one evil stepsister instead of two. And since my mother worked so much, she never even noticed how Leo treated me.
"You better do what my dad says," Lacey sing-songed from her spot on the couch, not even looking away from the TV. "He'll get mad if you don't."
I sighed, shutting my book with a roll of my eyes as I stood up from my seat. "Well, it's not like he won't be if I did end up cleaning."
Nothing would ever make Leo like me. I could clean the whole house every day, be polite and do everything he said, but he would still have disdain toward me. And I really hated that that bothered me as much as it did.
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Return to NeverlandRomance
Ebony Reynolds goes to Neverland Academy, a prestigious high school for teens who come from wealthy backgrounds. She is close friends with the Lost Boys, the four wealthiest students who rule the school. She doesn't understand why people find them s...