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This morning I got up at five to have time to finish all my chores. Even though I had only slept three hours and was very tired, I drank some coffee and tried to stay positive by thinking about the ball.
My step-mother and step-sisters got up at ten and eyed me suspiciously while I served their breakfast.
‘You have dark circles under your eyes, Cindy. You look terrible. You’d better stay at home,’ Angelica said. Berta and Alma giggled stupidly, as they always do.
‘I’ll be okay later. What time do we have to get ready?’
‘The carriage will come to pick us up at five.’
After lunch, I had a nap when nobody needed me. I woke up with a start at twenty past four. I realized I had to hurry if I wanted to be ready on time.
I put on my dress and did my hair. The only problem was I had no pretty shoes, so I’d have to wear my slippers, but my dress was so long, I hoped nobody would notice.
When I was ready, I went down the stairs to the hall. My step-mother and step-sisters were already waiting. Their hair was piled up high on top of their heads and they were wearing so many jewels they couldn’t lift their arms.
‘Is that what you are wearing?’ Berta asked.
‘Yes. It belonged to my Mum.’
‘But, look, it’s torn,’ she said while pulling from one of the bows at the front.
‘Stop!’ I shouted, but it was too late. My dress was ruined.
‘Look, Mum!’ Alma told Angelica. ‘She’s wearing slippers. Don’t let her come. What will people think of us?’
‘I’m sorry, dear. You’ll have to stay. Maybe you should do some laundry while we are gone,’ my step-mother told me.
She smiled at me evilly and opened the door.
‘Let’s go, girls.’
As soon as they had gone, I started crying so hard that I thought my heart was going to break. How I wished my Mum could help me!