The Freshman

Description: Nothing can right every wrong. A young Ella, pre-TAE fic. (Kingda Ka)

Chapter One: Princess Sister

Mrs. McBride's class room smells old, like musty dust balls and pocket lint, a smell that has taken it years to prefect. A smell that just barely masks a truer odder, dispar. It smells like hopelessness and the horrors of school work. But then, Ella is but a young girl of six, starting her very first day of grade school. What does she know of work? Of the pain of sleepless nights and missed meals she'll surely suffer ten year from now. Maybe it's because it's her first day, it's also visit day. All the parents line up neatly in the back of the class room. Daddies and mommies. A pair for every student in the room. Except Ella, she's just got her Mama. But a only Mama and no Dada is better then no Mama at all.

Still, it hurts, to look at the other children with their pairs of parents and see she has only one.

Besides, Ella knows she has a Daddy just like all the rest. He just can't come right now. Cause he's sick. He's got luong canter. That's when things get inside of your body and make it hard to breath. Ella remembers from when her Mama told her last month, Daddy was very, very sick.

So it was alright then, that Daddy couldn't come. Someday, Daddy'd get better, like Ella had when she'd gotten the chick pops, then he could come to her visit days and her recital this spring. He'd take her to church on Sundays and hoist her up on his shoulders, carry her around like she was a princess. Like he had before. Ella just had to be patient.

Someday, Ella thinks, she'll become a real princess. And she'll go to some great castle to rule her land. And she'll bring Mama and Daddy and even little Dede, her hamster. And she'll get to wear a crown and a big fancy dress. And she'll sit up on her throne and all will bow before her, even Dede. And the best of all, she'll have a sister. A real sister! And they'll play pirates and mummies and maiden-get's-stolen-big-an-evil-ugly-ogre. And she won't even mind playing the ogre, she'll love Ella so much. That's what Ella thinks.

Ella is so caught up in her thoughts of royalty, she forgets to remember to pay attention., Before she knows it Mama is shaking her shoulder, telling her it's time to go.

Ella even smiles at Mrs. McBride, even if she does smell icky and has a smile that looks like it hurts her cheeks.

Ella keeps smiling as she climbs into the car and Mama leans over to help her with her seat belt.

"What you smiling about, honey?" Mama asks, a grin of her own echoing Ella's.

"Just thinking, Mama." Ella replies.

Mama tickles Ella's tummy. Ella giggles. "What about, sweetie?"

Ella turns to face her Mama, a big smile on her little face. "About my sister, Mama." She says pleasantly.

Mama looks like she's about to fall over, she isn't smiling anymore.

"Wh-what sister, Ella?" She asks, her voice is shaky.

Ella just smiles and begins to take off her shoes. "The one that I'm going to have when I turn into a princess." She told her matter-a-factly.

Mama heaved a huge sigh of relief and got into the car.

Mama didn't say a word the whole drive home.