Disclaimer: I do not own POTO or shallow Hal

This is a modern E/C story, crossed with Shallow Hal. Shallow Christine is hypnotised into only seeing the inner beauty in people. Whe she meets Erik, she sees the most handsome man in the world. You don't ned to have seen Shallow Hal, but it does help (:

Just to say, some of the lines at the end of this chapter are taken from Shallow Hal. Again, I don't own it, so please don't sue me!

Christine Denton loved her life. As one of the most popular girls in school, everyone wanted to be friends with her, and all the boys wanted to go out with her. This meant she was able to pick the best potential boyfriends from the whole school, and that selection was rather large. Her current boyfriend, Neil, captain of the football team, and overall dreamboat was as close to perfection as it was possible to be. They made the perfect couple, and Christine could not have been happier. Come to think of it, where was Neil? She hadn't seen him all day. Shrugging, she flung her long brown hair over her shoulder. Even though she was only 14 years old, she considered herself fully grown up, and considerably more sophisticated than many of the losers she went to school with. Ignoring the appreciative glances from many of the boys around her, she carried on walking down the corridor, her friends, Meg and Carlotta on either side of her. Both were giggling over something one of them had done at the weekend.

"Christine! Christine, you dropped this." Came a shy voice from behind her.

Christine span around in the corridor, and came face to face with the boy standing before her. The smile which was plastered on her perfectly made up face fell, and was replaced with a scowl. Raoul was one of the biggest nerds in the school. Christine did not associate with nerds. If she was caught talking to him it would ruin her carefully built reputation. Too tall, spotty, with glasses, and badly cut hair, the boy was a fashion disaster, and today was no exception. Who in their right mind would wear an orange shirt, with green trousers? And were those gold shoes? She needed to escape from here immediately!

"What?" She snapped at him.

"You dropped your scarf, Christine." He stammered, holding out the red silk scarf in his hand.

"Oh, right." She grabbed the scarf out of his hand, and turned back around to face her locker.

"Oy, move it." Carlotta shoved Raoul out of the way, and strutted up to Christine. "We have to go to Maths but we'll catch you later, OK Chris."

"OK, Hun. See you later." She air kissed Meg and Carlotta, and they sashayed off down the corridor. It took Christine a few moments before she realised Raoul was still stood near to her. The rest of the corridor was completely deserted, as the next classes had already started.

She gave him dirty look over the side of her locker. "Can I help you?" She asked, scornfully.

"Erm... I was just wondering if you might want to.... I mean...." He stammered, and rung his hands together.

"Well, spit it out. I haven't got all day." She tapped her high heeled foot on the floor impatiently. If Neil or any of her other friends caught her taking to Raoul, she would be teased to no end.

"Well... How are you? We haven't spoken in ages, and I was wondering if maybe you wanted to..."

"Wait a minute here." Christine slammed her locker shut, and turned to face him. "Are you asking me out?" She burst out laughing, and had to cling onto the locker to steady herself. "Listen to me." She finally managed to speak after her laughter died down. She approached him, causing him to move backwards, almost tripping over his overly long trousers. "Girls like me don't talk to boys like you."

"I...erm..." He stammered yet again, clearly heavily regretting his plan of action.

"You are a loser. I wouldn't go out with you if you were the last boy on earth." She turned around then and strutted away, leaving poor Raoul standing in the deserted corridor.

11 years later.

Christine Denton awoke to the delicious smell of bacon. She stretched languorously, and for a couple of blissful seconds she forgot about what had happened the previous day, but slowly she remembered, and she groaned.

"Good morning." Came a cheery voice from the door "Wakey wakey." Meg came bustling into the room, tray in hand, laden with a full English breakfast. She dumped the tray on Christine's knee, and swept open the curtains.

Christine blinked at the light, and covered her eyes with her hand. "I think I just lost my corneas." She muttered, covering her eyes with her hand to block out the bright sunlight. "I don't think I can manage anything to eat Meg?" She moved the tray off her knee before the snowy white duvet cover become covered in beans.

"Well you've got to eat something. You can't work all day on an empty stomach."

"I do it every day."

"Well you shouldn't. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Meg grinned at her, before she began picking up Christine's discarded clothes from the floor.

Christine gave Meg a withering look, before dragging herself out of bed. "Thanks Meg. I'll try to eat some of it, but will you quit acting like my mother, and leave my clothes where they are.

"Sorry Chris, I can't help it. You know me, I can't abide mess."

Christine knew she could not stay with Meg for long. They would end up driving each other insane due to Meg's OCD.

Once she began eating, she realised how hungry she actually was, and soon the plate was empty. Usually she just downed a mug of black coffee, and set off to work. Although her stomach felt full, she still felt achingly empty after the events of last night.

The day had been just an average normal day. She had been worked off her feet at the restaurant where she was a waitress, and had been looking forward to surprising her boyfriend, by going around to his house. She had been going out with him for the past few months, and so far things seemed to be going well. Daniel was gorgeous, tall, dark haired, and had deep blue eyes. Except now she realised they were infect shallow pools which she had foolishly dived headfirst into, only to realise too late, causing herself unfathomable pain. She had come home, laden with shopping, wanting to surprise him, only to find him in bed with another woman. Too shocked to do anything else, she had simply run out of the flat. He had called out her name, and may have tried to follow her, but she was too fast and just wanted to get away as fast as possible. She had really thought Dan was different, but he was just like every other jerk she had been out with. What was it with her that made her choose men who were absolute bastards? He had tried to ring her a few times, no doubt ready to spew out some ridiculous excuse, but she refused to pick up. She just couldn't get the image out of her head of the naked blonde who had been sat astride her boyfriend, and seeing him again would just be far too painful.

She had come straight to her best friend Meg's, not wanting to go back to her empty flat. Both Meg and her mother had told her she was going far too fast with Dan, but she had refused to listen, too enthralled by her gorgeous new boyfriend. The fact that he didn't have two brain cells to rub together didn't even seem a factor. He was a male model for Christ's sake. He couldn't have been more perfect. Yet still, he turned out to be a cheating scumbag. Meg had been wonderfully understanding, giving her ice cream, and saying how much better off she was without him, and generally acting as a best friend should. Now it was the next day, and she still felt awful. Life didn't stop because of a man however, and she had to go to work. The idea of going there this morning filled her with dread, but she dragged herself into the shower nether the less, and began to get ready.

She stood beneath the powerful shoots of Meg's expensive power shower, her face turned upwards, eyes closed, letting the water wash away the pain of yet another heartbreak. It was infinitely refreshing, and made her feel much better.

Once she left the flat, and made it to work she was feeling awful once more. She couldn't get the image of Daniel and that woman out of her mind. No matter how many times Meg told her he was a bastard, and she deserved better, she still felt miserable. She couldn't stop herself from thinking it was her fault. Had she done something wrong, or not done something which made him do it? Was she just a bad girlfriend and no man in their right mind would be happy with her? Her misery infringed on her work, and she ended up bringing people the wrong food three times, causing her boss to yell at her.

"Bloody hell Christine! What is with you today? Can't you do anything right?"

"I'm so sorry Mr Harrison. I've just got a lot on my mind at the moment." She mumbled, as he glared at her from over the bar.

"Well, you need to snap out of it, if you want to keep this job Miss Denton."

"Yes, sir. I'm sorry." She said, before walking away towards the kitchen. "Bastard." She muttered under her breath, when she was sure he was out of earshot. She carried on muttering curses as she dumped the dishes on the side.

Mr Harrison had to be the worst boss she had ever had. When he wasn't yelling at her for not doing the job perfectly, he would leer at her in a way which made her feel very uncomfortable. The man gave her the creeps, and she wanted nothing more than to quit. She needed the job though, and there didn't appear to be anything better on the horizon at the moment. The restaurant itself was a very nice place to work. Situated on the top floor of a multi story building of a large computer business, it was the ideal place for working lunches between wealthy businessmen and women. In her time working there, she had actually met quite a few celebrities, and a couple were even regulars. Not that they ever paid her any attention. She was just a waitress, and therefore not worthy of anyone's time. All the same, it was quite fun star spotting with her colleague and friend Beth. Beth was the only one at the restaurant who she actually got on with, but unfortunately she wasn't in work today, so she couldn't talk to her about last night. The morning seemed to drag on forever, but eventually 12 o'clock came around, and she could escape for her half hour break.

She stood waiting for the lift, to go down. She smiled briefly at the tall red haired woman who was also getting in. She could swear she had seen her before, but where?

Finally the lift arrived, and they stepped in. She couldn't believe it was only lunch time. She had four more hours to go before she could head back to Meg's, where she had promised a night of Chick flicks and Ben and Jerry's. She found herself looking forward to it, and actually began to smile. Suddenly, she was thrown to one side of the lift, as it jarred to a halt, and the lights flickered, before thankfully staying on.

What the...? Oh no, this can't be happening! Christine never liked taking the lift at the best of times. However, going up 57 floors everyday would kill her.

"Hey, are you ok?" her companion managed to steady her before she fell over. She seemed much calmer than Christine was who could feel the fear and anxiety take hold of her.

"Yer, I think so. You?" She stated wide eyed at the women, trying to steady her heavy breathing.

"I think it's broken down" said the other woman.

"Oh no, this is my worst nightmare come true." She stabbed at the alarm button, and then almost every other button on the large dial, but nothing happened.

"I don't think we have any choice but to wait until someone finds us." Said the redhead.

She stared at her, dumbfounded. For the first time all thoughts of Dan, Mr Harrison or broken lifts disappeared from her head. "I thought I knew you from somewhere! Your Cynthia Hudson!"

The stunning woman smiled at her, and chuckled, obviously used to this sort of reaction. She did not seem annoyed however, merely amused.

"I can't believe it. I'm stuck in a lift with Cynthia Hudson!" Christine squealed. "I love your show. I watch it all the time. You've helped so many people change their lives. You're incredible."

"Thank you very much. I'm glad you like the show."

"I'm Christine." She shook Cynthia's hand warmly, still grinning excitedly. "So what are you doing here? You're not filming a show are you?" Christine squeaked in delight.

"No, I'm here with my husband for a few days. I was meeting someone for a drink in the restaurant upstairs. I think I saw you there. Do you work here?"

"Unfortunately, yes." Christine grimaced.

"You did look a bit annoyed when I saw you."

"That obvious was I?"

Cynthia laughed, and shook her head. "Not really. I am just rather apt at people watching. So, what happened, if you don't mind me asking?"

"It's a long story." Christine settled down on the floor of the lift, and Cynthia soon followed suit.

"I have a feeling we are going to be here for a long time, so if you want to tell me, I'm all ears."

Several hours passed by, and Christine found herself telling everything to Cynthia. She told her about Dan, and every other boyfriend she had dated within the past few years. She spoke of her worries about how she would never find a decent man, and how she felt it was her own fault that all her relationships ended in disaster.

"....so it's over. Just like that." She snapped her fingers. They were sat on the floor of the lift, each leaning against one wall, munching on crisps which Christine had found in her bag. "I just don't understand why men do this to us." She wailed.

"You sound like you've had some pretty bad relationships then."

"Tell me about it. Every man I ever go out with turns out to be a cheating scumbag, steals from me, or in one case, physically abusive."

"Do you have any idea why that is?"

"I don't know. Maybe it's my fault. I can be very picky, but surely that's a good thing, right?"

"That depends. What are you picky about?"

Christine shrugged. "I guess I still have this image of my perfect man, and very few live up to that expectation"

"So what's this perfect guy like then?"

"Well, he's tall, but not too tall, I don't want to be dwarfed you know. 6 ft 2 would be perfect. He has to have dark hair, not too long, but not too short, and slightly wavy. Greeny blue eyes, and long eyelashes, but still manly. I don't want him looking like a girl." She giggled. "Good teeth too. He has to have a strong jaw, like Brad Pitt, with a little bit of stubble, but not too much, and cheek bones kind of like Johnny Depp's. As for his body, he has to have muscles, but not too much. I don't want to be dating Michelin Man." She paused to laugh, before continuing. "As for how he dresses, I love a man in a suit, but he has to look good casual too. I don't want him to be obsessed with how he dresses though. It can be very annoying if you're waiting for him to get ready, rather than the other way around. "

"Is that it?" Cynthia laughed.

"I think so. Well it's all I can think of now anyway."

"I think I may know where you're having problems, Christine."

"You do! Can you help me?"

"Don't you think you're being rather shallow, in what you look for in a man? You haven't mentioned what he's like as a person once."

"Oh. Well of course he has to be into the same stuff as me, and romantic, and thoughtful, and most importantly, faithful. These are all the things I want but I never seem to be able to find." She exclaimed, exasperated.

"I think I may be able to help you Christine. You're looking for the wrong things. This man you're describing does not exist, and even if he does, he will be just like all those others you've dated." Cynthia stood up, and urged Christine to do the same. "You seem a great person Christine, but you are way too fixated on outer appearances. I am going to do something for you, which will change your life for the better."

"Really?" Christine beamed.

"Ok, this is how it will work." Cynthia placed her hands on Christine's shoulders, and motioned for her to close her eyes. "From this moment on, whenever you meet someone, you are only going to see what is on the inside. So you will respond to that, because that, my friend is where the true beauty lies. What if I told you that you could have the most amazing, gorgeous man in the world, and he would adore you with all his being, and make you happier than you have ever been in your life."

"Is this what you do in your shows?"

"No, this is very special. It's just for you. Now close your eyes, and I want you to imagine you are on a beach. The sun is shining, and there's a light breeze running through your hair. You're looking into the eyes of a man, and you're feeling his heart, you're feeling his soul, you're feeling his spirit....."

AN- I know this chapter wasn't great, but it gets better, i promise! Oh, and remember to review! (: