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Friday, February 5, 2016

High Heels for Cinderella

Cinderella Story  

By Mrs.D~

It was February 12, a few days after a massive blizzard swept through the region, paralyzing towns and roads. The intense winds that followed the storm piled tall drifts by the doors, crippling the lives of people trapped inside their homes. The area was still digging out, but the breath of oncoming spring caressed the air, predicting the end of the harsh winter. The snow was melting in the afternoon sun, which was cheerfully burning on the rosy skyline. The crystal snowflakes sparkled on the trees, challenging the determined sun trying to melt them into gray slush.

Slowly driving through the tiny parking lot, sinking in the thick mush, she looked for a safe place to park her car. She finally parked it next to the lonely car shining with clean windows in the approaching sunset. The steep steps, buried in the melting snow, made her feel insecure and uncomfortable. Carefully walking in her high heel stilettos on the drenched path, winding between towering drifts, she beat herself up for saying yes to a blind date. It was one of those arrangements she always disliked.

The evening before the blizzard began, she received a call from a friend, who was helping deaf children in her old country.

“Can you help us with some papers.” She asked her to stop by their club and finish some work. When she arrived at the club, her friends were gathering by the merrily burning fireplace, enjoying the quiet snowfall through the wide window, sipping wine and eating homemade donuts. The papers were in a neat pile on the edge of the table, except for a few pictures purposely placed in the middle.

“We want you to meet someone.” One of her friends moved the pictures closer to where she was sitting.

“Not ready. Sorry,” she said, moving the pictures back without looking at them. Single for years, she dated people of her choice, but never let herself get attached to anyone. She always walked away as soon as men told her they wanted it all. Falling in love was not part of her plans.

“You can’t do this to us,” her friends protested as one, telling her how great he was and that one date would not kill her. “He is one of our biggest sponsors.” They surrounded her in a tight circle, convincing her that the blind date would do well for her and the man who had just joined the dating market.

“Don’t be stubborn. Say yes,” her good friend whispered as she poured more wine in her glass. “We already set up a date for you. Here is his address.” She pressed a piece of paper between her hand and glass.

“You devils are twisting my hands.” She laughed, hiding the address in her pocket. “So there is no work for me, I presume.” She smirked, anxious to leave before the blizzard began pounding the roads. “I hope he is worth your efforts.” She grinned as she left. After debating for days about her choice, she finally decided to go on her first blind date.

Now, making her way through the wet snow to his office, she was not at all sure of her decision.

Slipping on the thin layer of ice hidden under the sleet, she cursed herself for wearing high heels. Upset with herself, she grabbed the rail, which was covered in glittering snow. The glowing white powder fell to her feet, covering her high heel stilettos and wrapping her legs like wild snow cats.

 “Give me your hand.” She suddenly heard the voice above her, and without hesitation grabbed two outstretched hands. Their eyes locked for a second as he pulled her up from the snow.

 “Not the best choice for this weather,” he smiled, looking at her fancy shoes jutting from the snow. She blushed, feeling hot waves running through her body, burning her ears and cheeks.

“This is crazy.” She was ready to turn around and run barefoot through the snow back to her car.

“I lost my shoes on my first blind date.” She suddenly burst into a tense laugh, imagining her friends’ faces, when she told them what had happened.

“Sorry.” He smiled. “I will order rain next time.” He held her hands tightly, but gently; ready to come to her rescue if she slipped.

She let go of his hands as soon as she felt the firm wood underneath her freezing feet. Shaking snow from her dressy coat, she pulled herself together and walked through the opened door to his office. Not sure what to do next, she sat in the first chair she came across.

He was standing on the steps, shaking the snow from her beige shoes. Watching him through the open door, she observed him carefully, scrutinizing his appearance and body language. He inspected her high-heeled shoes like a shoemaker.

He was in his fifties, young looking, but short and bulky, not her type. Not the sort of man she usually dated. His dark hair, slightly dusted with silver, did not move in the slight breeze. It was sleek and neat, as if he had just stepped out of a fancy magazine. His face, hardly touched by age, was friendly and charming. Full of energy and passion, his brown eyes promised comfort and stability. She liked his voice; deep and soothing, it made her feel safe and contented.

“Not my type, not the sort of man I like to date,” she murmured to herself, as if she wanted to convince her analytical mind to agree with her feelings. Tall and slinky, she loved men who matched her height in heels.

“I am Dave.” He introduced himself, unexpectedly breaking her thoughts. Taking her hand in his palm, he slowly lifted her cold fingers to his lips. His kiss felt as if a soft snowflake had just landed on her trembling hand and gradually melted away from the heat generated by her nerves. It was a pleasant touch, one that she did not expect, but admired so much. She grew up in Europe and his gesture meant respect.

“Crystal shoes for Cinderella.” He smiled, bending to his knees. “Can we try?” He looked straight into her eyes, full of confusion and doubt.

“Frozen Cinderella.” She smiled nervously, hiding her cold feet under her coat.

“I hope I can melt my princess’s heart one day,” he joked, placing her shoes next to the chair. There was something soothing in his voice, something she had missed and desired for so long, something that did not match his old-fashioned jacket and silky hair, something that wanted her to give a chance to this gentle stranger, something that in a short period of time turned her old life upside-down and made her stop fighting with her mindset.

Afraid to get up, she sat in her chair, thinking how she would look next to him when she put her high heels on.

“Shall we?” He reached for her hand, ready to help her up.

She rose slowly, calculating her next move, wondering what to do with her high-heeled shoes that would make her a few inches taller than her date. He smiled. She debated.

“I am not sure,” she said.

“Let see.” He reached for her shoes. “May I?” He asked permission to put her shoes on her feet. She nodded and slid back into her chair.

“They fit perfectly!” He announced, smiling. “May I take my princess to the ball.” He bent his arm, ready to escort her to his car. She took her stilettos off and walked to the porch. Then one by one she hit them on the wooden rail until the heels fell into the icy mud. Holding on to the rail, she put her flat shoes on. Stunned, he whistled.

“I do not recall Cinderella sacrificing her shoes for the prince.” He reached for her hand.

“You owe me a dance.” She spun in her new flats, making her look much shorter.

“I am a lousy dancer,” he warned her, bending in elegant reverence.

“My feet can take a little bit more beating.” She giggled.

“Shall we? ” He moved her closer to his chest.

“Princess is ready, my Valentine.” She placed her hand on his shoulder … and trusted him with her second hand.

It has been nineteen years since they met. Every Valentine’s Day he sends her red roses and high-heeled shoes as a reminder of their first blind date.

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