Friday, April 17, 2015

The Unchosen Girl

The Unchosen Girl

By Keturah L.
Once there was a very pretty girl who could have passed for a great lady if only her clothes had been fancy, her skin clean and powdered and her hair styled in high pile upon her head..

But instead she was only a dirty orphan that was forced out of need to live with her strict uncle and aunt and six younger  rascal boy cousins.

Calista - this was the girl's name, dreamed of a better life, with good parents, easier, pleasanter work and of course ways to make it easier on others like herself. But most of all she dreamed of finding her true love.

She did not care if he was rich or poor just as long as he loved her. Of course if he did, he would make her life so much less miserable, and she'd have less work and pain and many pretty things.

Even if he couldn't afford it, he'd find ways to splurge on her.

But even though she dreamed all day, she never imagined any of her fantasies to come true. They were after all just fantasies.

But now here she stood, holding something precious - the best thing she had ever held. The proof that dreams could be fulfilled.

Calista let the paper fall to the floor. Her smile was that of a daydreamer's. Her eyes betrayed her mounting hope. Her lips twisted, forming unspoken words.

"If only I..."

"Who was here?" Calista's aunt snapped rather rudely, breaking the girl's pleasant thoughts.

"A squire." Yet, Calista's mind was still not on earth.

"We'll, what did he want?" She did not wait for the girl to answer though, but bent over and picked up the invitation.

"Ha! Is this the reason of your stupor!" The lady knuckled the girl on the head. "Get out of it! There's work to be done. Ain't neither of us time for parties."

Angry from the pain, and pent up emotions of past abuse welled up inside the girl. "It commands all girls to attend. By penalty of punishment."

She regretted her words upon receiving another reddening blow. Yet, her aunt had heard her. "Have it your way. Go. Humiliate yourself for all I care. But if you think any prince will take a fancy to you, you are in for one big disappointment."

Calista caught the paper as her aunt threw it. "Thank you so much, Auntie!"

The lady humphed and walked out. "Just make sure to finish your work on time, And the boys shan't receive any neglect, or I'll make sure you can't go."

The girl held the royal paper to her chest. Broom in hand, she spun around the kitchen, finishing her work, though at a slower pace than normal.

Why shouldn't the prince choose her?

She had often looked in her aunt's mirror. When washed for going to market she wasn't sore to look at. In fact, she knew she was far from it. But an orphan - penniless, leastways - had a hard time finding a husband in this day and age.

Yet, why shouldn't he love her?

Here was her chance!

"I can use all the grace of a noble lady with out any one scoffing at me. And if the prince were to like me I could leave this life, these people far behind forever!"

Her lonely heart ached to go, to be loved. If only...

No, she would hope with all her heart! No doubting would enter inside.

Her cousins entered the kitchen at that moment, covered with mud, laughing over some game of theirs.

"Boys what would Auntie say!"

All were hushed as they became aware of their clothes. No one said a word. The littlest one tried to hide his sheepish grin.

Calista laughed. "Come on. We'll get you all cleaned up in a jiffy!"

"When is the ball?"

"It starts just next week!" Calista answered the little boy. She poured another handful of suds in his hair and scrubbed with vigor and elbow.

"But what will you wear, Calista?"

The girl's smile vanished suddenly. Her hands fell to her lap. It was after all a fantasy. She couldn't go. Not with out a dress.

What had she been thinking?

"I don't know." A tear escaped from her eye and fell into the wooden tub with a silent splash.

In market the next day Calista still couldn't get over her disappointment. Normally these days to town were great fun and a delightful escape from home.

But today she could only compare it all to the castle's splendor.

Bartering was done subconsciously. When she hit upon a good deal she didn't feel that normal surge of pride. She took a purchases and put them into her basket, not caring how she did it.

As she left one table for another trumpets sounded close by. Her ears perked and her thoughts dissolved..

It was the prince!

He never passed this way!  Just once before had she seen him, when visiting one of the big markets.

A squire stepped out of the carriage. "The Prince wishes to visit this market and it's humble citizens. All will refrain from nearing him unless directed to do otherwise."

Something fluttered inside of Calista as she watched the Prince embark. He smiled at the people in such a beautiful way. His handsome face held her in a stance.

Her love for him grew as she watched him dirty his hands by helping an older lady. He inspected the peoples produces and bought from them paying more than the asked-for price.

And then he came near to where she was. He looked up at her and smiled. "Good day, my lady."

He took her hand and kissed it. Then smiled again.

It was then that she was completely lost to his charms.

"Thank you, my lord."

Boarding the carriage, he looked directly at her and waved.

Her mind was made up. She would go. Before leaving the market she went to the dressmakers and bought a fancy dress.

It was no ordinary dress, but as fancy as any noble lady would wear.

The down payment cost every cent she owned. It would take her years to work the rest of it off..

Unless she married the prince. And this she was sure would happen. Hadn't he already shown her special attention?

The first night of the ball arrived. Calista was all ready. Her aunt scoffed at her excitement, but the little boys were jumping up and down singing, "Calista will marry the prince, Calista will marry the prince!"

"Aren't you glad?" one boy asked of another.

"Yes!" said another childish voice.


"Because then she'll buy me lots of candies."

"She'll buy me more because I'm her favorite." There was a small whine evident in his face.

"Calista will buy me just as much - won't you Calista?" The little boy's worried voice asked anxiously.

She hardly blushed. At their banter. "Yes, of course."

He smiled, overjoyed

A neighbor farmer offered her a ride to the castle. He also commented on what would happen after she married the prince. Besides warning her not to be too upset if he liked some other lass better.

"Even if he does, remember you are still the pertiest gal I know."

"As pretty as your wife?" She teased.

"Nah, you know what I meant. The pertiest young 'un."

She laughed. Other than that, she didn't really listen to what he said.

"Well, there she is."

As Calista looked up at the magnificent place, her heart swelled with joy - and pride.

Out of every girl out there didn't she deserve a better future?

She prayed so hard before entering the wide doors. She wanted this so badly. She needed it. And she loved the prince already. She couldn't imagine any other life.

A shudder went through her body as a small thought registered. What if he didn't choose her? What would become of the rest of her life.

"That won't happen." She convinced herself. "He'll remember me."

The prince noticed Calista right off, and indeed, remembered her. Soon they were dancing and talking and laughing. Her heart felt sure that he loved her. She'd never been so happy before. Never felt so loved.

When he danced with the other girls she noted - or imagined - that he seemed bored and disinterested. But with her he was happy and smiling.

She made herself believe that the other girls did not care for him either. Each of them must have only come for the excitement. She was sure they all had wonderful suitors at home already, unlike herself.

But what made this more sure in her mind was that he danced with her the most. At least this is what she thought. There were quite a few other girls that claimed the same thing, but whether they spoke the truth or not is very questionable, for Calista did dance often with the prince.

Her dancing was not graceful. She made sure to keep her feet hidden for two reasons - to hide their size and because she had not been able to buy new ones. But somehow she was able to hide her clumsiness with her good spirits.

It was evident he loved her most.

Until an hour after the ball had begun.

She entered in so unexpectedly and suddenly. She was as dainty as a China doll - daintier if possible. Her grace was natural and not put on.

"Who is she?" The girls whispered.

"Look at her dress!"

"What are those slippers made of?"



"Wait, they are!!"

Calista could feel the prince's eyes turn to her. Something stirred inside of him. And it wasn't for Calista.

"Who is she?" Someone asked again.

The prince forgot Calista. His face drained white. His hands dropped Calista's. And he walked towards the new girl.

He didn't dance with Calista again that night.

She cried silently on the way home that night. The farmer didn't hear it, but thought that she was silent because of some deep bliss.

Calista sighed amidst her tears. Everyone was asleep. She wouldn't have to face anyone tonight. She slipped out of her dress and hung it on a nail. Then she cried herself to sleep.

The next morning things looked better. She told herself it was a dream. Tonight the prince would love her again. Convinced of this unreality, she answered the boys accordingly.

Her aunt said little except "Mind you don't get to mighty to finish your chores."

The farmer again gave her a ride to the castle. She ran in hoping the prince would be waiting - with arms open for her.

But the mysterious girl of the night before was already there. Dancing with the prince.

She managed to have one dance that night. But their conversation wasn't near as charming or fulfilling as it had been the previous night.

As the prince was dancing with another girl, Calista and the delicate mystery lady happened to be at the refreshment table at once.

She  smiled at Calista sweetly, and asked her about herself. Calista found herself forgetting about the prince and liking this girl slowly, as they chatted. And then she remembered that she was her enemy.

Or was she? Did she not also want to be happy? Who deserved the prince more?

But why did it have to be at Calista's expense?

On the third night he danced with no one else save the nameless girl. Silent tears escaped ever so often. When the time was appropriate, Calista left early.

The next day Calista returned her dress to the dressmaker's. She would still have to work a long time to pay for the use of it. The thought of the long months and years of work ahead of her barely entered her mind, though, as she walked home.

All she could think of was the prince she had lost.

"I'll never love any one else!" She cried. She imagined the lonely hard life ahead of herself. Her aunt had no mercy. Her uncle did not care. The boys were constant torture. Life held nothing for her anymore. Just work and no pleasure.

She was sobbing uncontrollably when she reached the kitchen.

The boys sat around the fire. The littlest one ran to her when he saw she was crying. "What is it, Calista?"

"Leave me alone!" She sobbed. But she held on to him tightly.

Her aunt entered the room. She was about to open her mouth to scold the girl, but then turned to go for some odd reason that Calista did not feel like figuring out. Maybe she was able to feel mercy after all. At least on this one occasion.

Calista settled back into life. A week later news drifted that the pretty and mysterious girl was missing. Her heart  jumped to her throat when she'd heard.

If the other girl was never found, then there was a chance that the prince would come for her yet.

One of the glass slippers had been found. A squire went around from door to door requesting all ladies to try it on. Calista did so willingly, for who ever it would fit, that was the one the prince would marry.

And even though her foot was too large, she still didn't give up hope. Maybe they never would find a foot that fit the slipper.

But they did. And that girl's name was Cinderella. The prince married her the next week.

Calista cried harder during the wedding celebration than she ever had before. Sometimes when a wound has been closed and opened soon after, it is even harder to heal and hurts worse.

This was true for Calista.

She was so deep in her passion that she forgot all else. Her unreality became her obsession, so that it now ruled her. She no longer found comfort in the good things of before. And all that had been bad, now seemed worse.

So, what happened? Did Calista ever find happiness? Did she marry?

Instead of answering that, I will tell you something else, that would have saved Calista all of this heart ache if she had applied it to her life before.

When girls lives in a fantasy romantic world, or have goals that are impossible for they themselves to complete on their own, the effort of living like that will normally waste their lives, thoughts, emotions and leave them unsatisfied.

But if they learn to be happy in the situation they are placed in now ( even if this means living with mean step-mothers or aunts and selfish step-sisters and dirty cousins ) and develop interests that will last them their whole lives, even after martiage, they will rarely be disappointed.

Calista could have chosen not to set her dreams on the prince. Hope is not wrong. But she determined his and her future. She did not ask for Gods will with an honest desire.

She could plan his life.

No, marriage is not wrong.

Attending the ball was not wrong.

But putting hopes in unsure places is dangerous.

If Calista would have kept her mind open she might have met someone else - perhaps a noble man, squire or servant. Or maybe found a job as a nanny or maid for a rich noble lady.

Or even if nothing drastic would have happened, she could have at least protected her heart, and just have had a good time.

As girls we need to remember we are all different. We all can't be Cinderella - this doesn't mean we are the step-sisters, either. We are  ourselves. We each have a different life to live, and a new and unique sorry to tell.

But even though Calista had been hurt, she can still choose to start life over, and see what God really has in store for her.

You all can have great lives, even if Prince Charming doesn't pick you. Because God knows what He is doing, and it is better than any fantasy we can ever fabricate.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11