The Not So Evil Stepmother
“Daddy! You can’t do this!” She screeched. The child’s eyes were blinded in the sorrow peeling away at the layers of her tender heart. “Daddy you can’t replace mamma!”
“Lenny,” Her father took a step further, holding out his hand.
Lenny glared down the tears threatening to build past her ability to hold them back. He sounded hurt, as though she’d struck a raw nerve and boy did she wish it was true. The smooth voice she’d trusted most deserved to be punished for betraying her. The girl closed her fists, innocently wishing to drive in the point.
“No!” She wailed sinking to the floor in a horrified state, he knew how this story would end, he’d read her at least four versions. Lenny’s messy curls swept down to conceal her eyes as they filled with tears over fears far beyond her years. “She won’t work! It won’t be the same! You might as well give me away!”
He might as well… she knew this plot. The father stupidly falls under the spell of love and suddenly an evil stepmother appears on the scene. Lenny was so engrossed in the picture she almost forgot how to breathe. Because what came next was the worst of all, somehow her father would die and she would be left with nothing but her evil step sisters and his widowed wife, to slave over their dirty clothes, meals and dishes. They would go about their wicked way, dwindling the money he’d saved.
That can’t happen, Lenny decided. Besides, she didn’t have the patience to be pushed around…She wouldn’t keep her mouth shut, she would glue their doors, put Nair in their fancy shampoos, and lard to clog their pores, so they’d brake out while losing their hair. If they wanted to be ugly they could wear it as a warning.
Only then, after sweet revenge would she be thrown into the streets.
No, she wouldn’t go down without a fight, she decided as she ran right out of the room with a battle in sight.
Before her father had time to process what his precious child might be thinking, she was already up the stairs.
It hurt him to think she didn’t trust him to take care of her. As the door slammed the man looked over his shoulder, shaking his head, then again he’d thought the same for her mom, and she was gone.
From the shadows of the kitchen a beautiful woman materialized, short in stature but warm and wise in the eyes, a glittering sheen of feeling suggested she’d heard every word in between.
In a way he couldn’t possibly know, she didn’t take offence to the blow. It made her all the more determined to win over this new little pearl. She already felt she knew the girl.
The woman tucked a hair placing her hand on his arm. “Don’t worry dearest she’ll come around.”
He smiled warmly at the only woman who could have properly place the pieces shattered by the loss of his first wife, the first true love of his life. He accepted the memory for a moment before wrapping his hand around the one at his chest. She was right they’d revisit the topic after Lenny’d gotten some rest.
They exchanged a kiss and she nodded reassuringly, making her way to the stairs. “Let me have a few words, Mark?”
Though surprised at the question, Mark nodded his head gratefully toward the suggestion as his Melody made her way to the stairs.
A knock at the door went unnoticed as the girl sobbed into her bed. The whole story line replaying in her head. This change was bad, there was nothing good. She was cursed to lose everything she had, her mom, her cat, and now her dad.
Melody peeped in quietly, closing the door behind her as she made her way to the stand to flip on the lamp.
The light was warm, Lenny’s favorite color of orange, with bulbs from the Halloween shop. She was suddenly sure that those trips would soon stop. The notion brought with it a fresh burst of tears.
What’s this? A new voice, Lenny stiffened like a hunted bird, waiting to move for further prove it hadn’t come from her head.
Lenny slowly lifted from the pillow, afraid of what she might see. There sitting on the chair by her bed a beautiful woman sat gracefully.
“Are you my fairy god mother?” She asked honestly, to which the woman giggled sweetly behind a hand.
“No,” She smiled kindly before moving along, “But I promise you Lenny, I would never try to replace you mom.”
“My name is Melody.” She sang her name out as if it were the most beautiful song. Suddenly, it dawned on Len how silly her assumption must have seemed, this was the perceived enemy. But how then does she seem so friendly?
“Can I tell you a secret?” The woman asked, leaning in conspiratorially.
Lenny nodded her head, still unsure of this character, unsure if she could trust her.
“I used to be a lot like you, though not quite as pretty when I’d cry.” She chuckled, looking up from her hands.
“I know what you must be thinking, I’m sure I thought it too.” She nodded as if to validate that what she said was true.
“My mother left me when I was three, it turns out death was better than me. At least that’s how it felt then.”
Lenny found herself leaning in.
“My father remarried a woman with two sons, and they weren’t that nice to me.” Melody’s eyes betrayed her melancholy, though her lips were quick to cover.
“I know you’ve heard of Cinderella, a tortured beauty meets a royal fella, well I’ve been searching for my prince ever since.”
Lenny’s tears switched sides, for Melody’s story they offered themselves from her eyes.
“Don’t you see my sweet sweet princess, your father has my heart, which means the same for you. I’ll tell you this I’ve spent my whole life waiting for this shoe. The choice is yours please choose kindly, because I’d like to get to know you.”
With that she squeezed the small child’s hand.
Lenny blinked as the lady moved toward her door, and suddenly, she wanted more. She even felt bad for her behavior. Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad, but she’d never know, if she didn’t give this dame a fair go.
“Hey Melody?” She called more sweetly.
“Yes Lenny?” The woman smiled back from the frame.
“I think maybe I’d like the same.”
Moral: When all else fails, chose love