Disclaimer: I don't own anything… I was inspired by a book I read a long time ago, you may know the story, Cinderella? :) Oh, I also own the characters.
A/N: This is modernized, there will be different themes than the original Cinderella, but I'll try to keep as clean as possible. So, with that said, race ya to the bottom!
Last night, Arianna dreamt that she went to Camp Rock again. In the morning her step-sisters yelled, "Wake up, Orphan Girl," and she knew this time that it was no dream. Starting today she was going to Camp Rock, the most noted Music Camp in California.
No longer would she be forced to scrub the feet of rich people at her stepmother's spa. She was making her own decision this summer; for the first time since her parents' death.
Since she overslept, Arianna had no time to apply concealer to her face or grab an energy bar. Not that she had zits; it was the freckles she wanted to hide. And there was no way she would have gotten anything into her stomach before ten A.M. without gagging.
She threw on a pair of secondhand jeans she had found at the Goodwill store and a T-Shirt with a faded Dutch Goose logo, and grabbed her bag and her guitar. Grabbing the one duffel she had no trouble fitting her clothes into she rushed out to the Jeep Cherokee with the horn honking on the driveway.
"We should have left you, and then you would have to take the bus to camp," Brie said.
"Sorry," Ari muttered. They'd love an excuse to ditch her this morning, but their mother, Irina, had forced them to give her a ride to camp, probably because Irina herself didn't want to do it.
"Look at our charity case, Brie," Lauren said.
"Isn't that my shirt?" Brie asked.
"You threw it away," Ari said, but Brie didn't hear her over the noise of their new sound system.
A few minutes later, Lauren turned to look at Arianna. Her perfectly straightened hair brushed against her perfectly tanned cheekbone.
"Just do me a favor and don't tell anyone at camp that you're related to us, which you're really not."
"Don't worry," Ari replied. They thought she would claim to be a part of the family her father married into? As if.
Maybe Arianna would live to regret the day she'd filled out those scholarship forms. Now, she'd be at the same camp where her mean, self-centered and popular sisters were going.
"You're not going to like it there," Lauren said, as if she had been reading Arianna's mind. "Everyone's rich and snobby. If you don't wear the right clothes or drive the right car, you're nobody. Of course, you've always been nobody, so maybe you won't notice."
Arianna fastened her seat belt and pressed her spine into the corner of the backseat where she was wedged between bags of her sisters' clothes, even the trunk didn't have enough space for them. She felt the chill from their cold warning seep through her shirt.
"Even Brie and I had a little trouble fitting in at first," Lauren continued. That was hard to believe. They were rich: anything they wanted, they got. The clothes, the boys, the cars, the house, the fame, it was all theirs. They practically ruled the camp, with Tess of course, and got what they wanted from who they wanted.
Ari didn't live that life, she had to work for the little money she got, and that was minimum wage, from her own stepmom. Pathetic, right?
"Why do we go there?" Lauren finished for her.
"I'll tell you why. It's a cool camp, that's why. Plus, we could use the credits to get into Berkeley," Bried piped up from behind the wheel. Dumb and dumber had plans to go to Berkeley?! Ha. They probably wouldn't even get in to college, much less Berkeley.
"But, mostly, it's about meeting the right people," Lauren continued. Ari knew where they got idea. It was Irena's theme song. It's why she sunk so much money into her string of upscale day spas, so that she could buy her way into Silicon Valley society and meet the right people. Specifically, husband number three.
"As I said before, it could get us into the "right" colleges," Brie butted in. Ari would show them who got into the "right" college. They'd be lucky to get into Haden, the infamous party school.
Her goal was to go as far as possible, preferably somewhere on the East Coast and never come back. She knew the drill now. Knew how to fill out the application forms herself, forge the required signature of her guardian (after all, she did take care of herself, and how hard was it to write Irena Lawson- Kent on the dotted line?) and write the kind of essay it took to get financial aid. How many smart, talented and penniless orphans could there be applying for Yale, Princeton and Harvard?
She wasn't at all afraid to play the orphan card to get what she wanted. Ever since her parents died, she felt like she was completely alone. Legally she had a guardian-Irina- who provided a roof over her head and three meals a day and who gave her a job at her spa so she could earn spending money.
But emotionally, she had no support from her stepmother or her stepsisters. They wouldn't miss her when she was eighteen and gone off on her own, and God knew she wasn't going to miss them.
Lauren turned to sing along to the radio. Arianna stared at the back of her head and wondered for the thousandth time how her quirky, low-key father had even ended up with their high maintenance mother.
An hour later, Brie jerked the jeep to a halt in front of the entrance gate to the parking lot.
"Get out here," Brie said, "before we park. And remember, you don't know us and we don't know you."
Arianna slid across the seat and was lifting her guitar out of the car when Brie started driving away. She caught her instrument before the battered case bounced on the pavement. One minute sooner and it would have been her butt bouncing on the pavement.
As she trudged to her cabin; cabin 13, down by the lake, she noticed what the other kids where driving. H2 Hummers and 16th-birthday Bentleys. She definitely wouldn't fit in. She didn't even own a bicycle!
She shivered in the cool morning air. She wasn't at home anymore, with her Best Friends Forever, even though she still wore the gold necklace with the dangling F. Lizzie had the B and Fiona wore the other F as a bracelet around her left wrist.
She took a deep breath and inhaled the scent of new grass and old money. The kids even smelt like their money.
There were kids everywhere wearing the cliché Abercrombie,which was subject to the stereotypes,and flip-flops. A girl walked by in a pink Hollister shirt and a mini-skirt and flip-flops.
She knew she'd never fit in. Never fit in this society, or into the size two designer jeans, even if she could afford them, which she knew she couldn't. What had she done? No matter how easy she picked up the songs and dances, she would never fit in withthese kids. They learnt to dance with people who trained Janet Jackson, and she danced alone in her room with her iPod in her ears because if Irina ever caught her she'd be in trouble.
Unable to quell the hollow sinking feeling in her stomach, Arianna scanned the crowd, trying to pretend she was waiting for someone. Anyone.
Just as she thought she couldn't take it another minute, a vintage Alfa Romeo convertible slowly cruised by. At the wheel was a god. That was the only way she could describe him.
"Who… is… that?" a girl asked from somewhere behind her.
"That's Nate Gray," her friend hissed. "He's here to be a celebrity instructor with his brothers. Remember Shane was here last year?"
He wre dark sunglasses. His skin was the color you could obtain only from sitting in the sun for the right amount of time. His hair was a dark shade of brown. Arianna stood rooted in place, staring as he drove past. If the earth shook she wouldn't have felt it.
What she did feel was waves of heat rising from the sidewalk, traveling through her body until she was hot all over, making her face flame and her heart pound.
For once, she saw the star of the camp before her sisters did. Too bad he'd probably never notice her.
A hush fell over the students fell over the kids as the Alfaturned, and just before it did, the guy turned his head and raised one hand in a half salute, half wave. Ari couldn't help it. Her arm lifted all by itself and she waved back.
Why? He wasn't even waving at her. How could he be? She didn't know him and he didn't know her. From somewhere behind her, she heard the unmistakable sound of girls snickering. Had someone seen her making a fool of herself? On her first day? Oh, please no.
She dropped her arm like it was made of lead and stuffed it in her pocket. The Alfa ontinued on the circular drive tothe parking lot. No more snickers. Just silence. It was as if the whole building was holding its breath until the he disappeared into the mass of expensive parked cars.
He was gone and life went back to normal, for everyone but her. Shouts, cries and laughter filled the air. She must have the only one who waved at him like he was her friend or something. Now she felt like some kind of clue-less dimwit.
Arianna didn't dare look around to see if anyone was staring at her. She swallowed hard and glanced at her watch before heading off to find her cabin, all by herself.
A/N: Here's the edited version of Yet Another Cinderella Story called Welcome to the Real World. Hope you liked it!