I dream that I am Cinderella and I am running and running and I have lost my glass slippers and I have lost my dresses. I have lost everything because the man I loved has taken it all away.
The next morning, I start walking back to the castle to reclaim my dresses, my glass slippers and my books.
I will tell him, “I want everything but the castle, the crown and you, my Prince.”
One day later…and there is a new Princess in my place. She is beautiful and she is young and she has my slippers, she has my books, she has my dresses, she has my castle, she has my crown and she has my Prince.
I tell her that she can keep it all except my slippers, my dresses and my books.
Wait! I am Cinderella and I will clean his dirty ashes no more.
Yes, I am Cinderella and I am beautiful and I will flee from this dark castle.
I don’t need the damn slippers. No, I don’t need anything that I left behind when I ran away.
Now I understand, I have everything that I need in my heart and he can keep the castle, the crown, the slippers, the dresses and my books.
I turn and I walk away. I am no longer naked. I have found my old dresses and my old shoes in a shack behind the castle.
I see my grown son walking toward me and I say, “I’m sorry. I can’t stay. I feel as if I won a million dollars last night.”
He says, “Then you have to go and do what you do and be wonderful, use your wonderful, Mom.”
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” I tell him as he hugs me.
“That’s okay, it doesn’t matter if you did. It’s fine, as long as you’re happy.”
I don’t want to leave him and as I walk away, I’m glad I told him I was as happy as if I had found a million dollars, because he understands money, but my freedom is worth so much more than a million dollars.
At last. Freedom. I have found my wings. I can fly.
I have my old dresses and I have my old shoes and I am still Cinderella.
The Prince can keep the castle and all the belongings.
I have my freedom and I can feel my glitter returning.
I cried in the castle because I was sad, but now I am happy and I am free.
My heart is torn to shreds, lying in pieces on the ground, but my soul, oh thank you God, my soul is healing.
The castle is behind me, the Prince and all of my belongings are in the hands of another woman, my shoes are old, but who needs new?
I sigh as I slip the last reminder off my finger, the gold wedding band that once upon a time, made me feel proud when it shone in the sun.
For just a moment…I hold it in my hand.
Then, I fling it over the water fall, watching it disappear.
Let the Prince buy her a new ring.
I run and I run and I am me, I am Cinderella.
Jeanne Marie, 2015