Disclaimer: I have NO connections to Cinderella, it's all Disney's work, so don't go floodin my inbox with complaints ^^ lol!

A Step-Sister's Forgiveness

I still remember that day. When I had heard the news, I ran home as fast as I could without looking back. The time had come.

Up to my room I ran. I flew open the closet drawer to find my red dress when all of a sudden, that little 'housemaid' of ours danced into the room, starry-eyed. I rolled my eyes and took down the dress.

"Did you hear, Julia?! The prince is…"

"I know, I know! The prince is having a ball. Now take my dress and get it washed. And don't forget I want my dinner early, Cinderella." I snapped back.

"How early?"

"Earlier than we normally eat! How early do you think?!"

She took the dress from my hands and left without another word. I sighed. At least she wasn't going. Mother wouldn't dream of it.

I silently opened my journal and read the letter that had been written to me nearly a year ago. Soon, I thought. Soon everything will be back to normal.

I read the letter a few more times and stuffed it back into my journal. I don't even think I even realized that I was tearing until I looked in the mirror.

The next week was a blur. All I could do was dream of my prince. Will he recognize me? Will he think I've changed? I wanted to know. After all, it's been nearly a year since I've seen him, and no one besides us knew that we had met. I hoped everything would be perfect. But little did I know, my life would change forever that very night.

Cinderella was a little too cheerful when we said goodbye to leave. It made me suspicious. But I knew she had nothing up her sleeve. She couldn't.

I could feel my cheeks burn as I walked into the ballroom. Of course, Mother was lecturing us on how to act. But I didn't listen. I was too busy looking for him. I walked a little closer to the crowd, wondering what everyone was looking at.

As soon as I saw, I gasped. I could feel my heart dying. There he was, dancing with another girl. But who? She did seem awfully familiar. I could tell by the gleam in his eye that he was happy.

My cheeks felt wet and cold. I walked out to the courtyard so no one could see me cry.

~*~ ~*~

The next day I didn't get out of bed. Who was that girl? And why did she seem so familiar?! So many questions filled my head, so many tears filled my eyes, and so much pain filled my heart. Why? What did I do to deserve this? I hadn't done anything wrong.

At that moment, little miss perfect waltzed through the door, humming a happy tune.

"Hungry?" she asked.

"Hardly." No food could satisfy the hunger in my heart I wanted to say. I looked at her. I gasped. That smile. I know it from somewhere. The image of that girl from the night before sprang back into my mind. Could it be her? Is that why she's so happy? She set the tray down on my desk.

"I see. Well here it is in case you change your mind. How was last night?"

I turned my head. "Fine."

She shrugged her shoulders and left.

The bell rang. Cinderella came back in. "Julia, it's a representative from the castle! Hurry!"

Could it be true? I raced out of bed and downstairs. He explained that he was ordered to try the slipper on every girl in the kingdom to find out who that girl was. It didn't fit me or my sister, but Cinderella…

I gasped. It was true. Cinderella was that girl. Immediately we were brought to the castle. The prince came out to greet us. I didn't look at him, hoping he wouldn't recognize me. He and little miss princess hugged. The exact same way he and I used to. I blushed. I quickly wiped the tear on my cheek. I knew I was going to cry. Leaving everyone in puzzlement, I ran out to the courtyard, my face buried in my palms. I couldn't keep myself from crying any longer.

"Julia! Julia! Where are you?!" I heard Cinderella cry out.

I stopped so they wouldn't hear me. But I was too late.

He heard me and walked towards me. I looked in another direction, my face wet with tears and hot with embarrassment.

"So." I said softly. "We meet again."

He looked down. "Not in the way we had hoped." He replied. I could tell he was trying his hardest not to make me upset.

"I know." I couldn't think of anything to say. He looked like he was fighting something. Like he was in conflict with himself.

"Julia… I'm so sorry. It's just that… well…" He paused.

"You've moved on?" I finished his sentence. He looked like he didn't want to admit it. I saw a tear in his eye.

"If you could try to understand, then things would be a lot easier for the both of us."

I thought for a moment. I finally really took a good look at him for the first time in a year. I smiled and nodded slightly. "I know."

I looked to the side again, but the smile never left my face. I stood up and wiped the remaining tears on my face.

"I've never been too fond of Cinderella," I started, "But I know she makes you happy."

I faced him. He was waiting for me to go on.

"And that's enough for me." I quietly added. He smiled. I could tell that he was so happy to hear me say that. His eyes told me so.

We finally hugged.

"Thank you." He whispered.

The two were soon married, and I didn't know if I felt either happy or sad. Sad because I lost someone who was so dear to me, but happy because I knew that he was.

I no, it's crappy, but please review!! Thankies!!!!