Inspired by Andrea Saenz
Fiction. Based on a True Modern Fairy-tale.
by The Starry Teller
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.
It is a magical day. She enjoys sitting at her desk with a pen and paper. Sometimes she writes her thoughts. Other times she writes about imaginary worlds. However, sometimes days pass before she has the chance to sit at the small chair in her own little corner of her own little room. Most of the time, she is at other people’s homes, in other people’s rooms. She runs up and down the stairs, back and forth, up and down, over and over. Wash the laundry, hang the laundry to dry, fold it, put it away. She doesn’t mind at all. She knows the people she works for are far too busy to do the laundry themselves. They all want clean clothes and she needs the money to survive, so the laundry must be tended to. After the laundry is complete, she prepares meals. Since she is not a natural born chef, she pours over cookbooks and practices recipes until she masters them. Everyone comes home from their various day-time jobs and activities to her piping hot meal. Once everyone is satisfied, they run off again to their various night-time rituals and sources of entertainment. She doesn’t blink an eye at the stacks of dirty dishes, the messy counter-top, or the permanently stained cloth napkins. Clear the table, wash the dishes, dry the dishes, put them away. All this is menial, for it is only her evening work. The greater part of her day is spent in service to the institution.
It is a glorious day—the day the messenger, the UPS man who has just been dumped by his girlfriend of 6 years, knocks on her door. Excitement is in the air. She opens her long awaited invitation and cries. The messenger cries with her. Now is my time. Now I will be fulfilled after these years of waiting and working. She accepts the invitation to study at the institution and then spends an endless supply of her hard-earned wages on tuition. Study, read, listen, take notes, write, think, create. She finally writes and writes and writes and reads books and reads books and reads books. She does what she loves. She hardly even notices the blood that drips from her cracked, worn hands onto the classic literature she holds. She studies hard. She props open her books on laundry as she folds it. She studies for years. She washes dishes and recites her speeches for class presentations. She takes exams and passes them. She writes papers for her professors and learns to write for herself.
It is a magical day. She dons her gown and pulls her cap over her mangled, frizzy hair. She hears the voices. She sees the crowd. She sits in the chair until they call her name. She has reached the final hour. She has put in the work. She has labored and toiled. The clock strikes. She walks up the stairs. They smile at her. They gleam in the sunshine. She almost collapses with delight. Pull up the hem of the gown, slide feet out of the ragged slip-ons, step barefoot onto the stage. They present her with stunning glass slippers. She slides her feet into them. A perfect fit. She turns and smiles at the world. Her magical moment. She walks back down the stairs. Her gown gets caught on the heel of the glass slipper. She trips and stumbles. She regains her balance but her foot has slid out of the glass slipper. It tumbles down the stairs, splintering into thousands of pieces of shiny glass. She runs down the remaining stairs after it. In running with one foot in a heel and one foot barefoot, she loses balance again. This time she falls. She tumbles down the stairs, splintering into thousands of pieces of shiny glass.