After school, I went to work at the car wash. I had I feeling I would work here until I died. Even though I had this intuition, I could not help the excitement that ran through me when I saw my letter in the mail from Princeton. Before I opened it though, I sent Cinderella/PrincetonGirl a message.
'I need to know who you are?'
'I can't take my mind off you.'
'Please tell me who you are?'
I had to know, but she still had refused to come forward.
I went ahead and opened the Princeton letter a little later, while I was sitting at the desk. My hands shook as I opened the envelope. I pulled out the card stock and read the contents.
"Dear Austin Ames,
Congratulations! It is indeed a pleasure to inform that you have been accepted…"
"Wow." I could not believe it. I was so happy, but the anxiety began to invade my system. "I got in…" 'Now what?'
"Austin!" I heard the back-door squeak as my dad opened it. I hurried and hid the letter. "Austin."
"What?" I did not hid the annoyance.
"What's going on?" My dad asked.
"Nothing." I clenched my jaw.
"Let me guess… You're thinking is USC the right choice for me?" I thought back to the brochures he had found in my room the other week.
"Well, yeah." I stated truthfully. I got excited, this was my "in" to explain. "I've been thinking a lot about this, and-"
"Don't worry about it," he told me. "You're making the right choice. All right?" He proceeded to give a slight slap on my shoulder and walked away. 'I'm still stuck here. I tried.'
I shook my head in disappointment and tried to distract myself with customers. I mean, it was what I would be doing every fucking day. I walked out of the office and see a familiar green bug Volkswagen… and a red one next to it. 'God, whoever you are, just kill me now.'
"How you doing?" I lean into the window.
"Good," the girl who I know is going to cause me trouble replied.
"Regular wash?" I asked
"No. More like the royal treatment. I mean, that's what Cinderella would want."
'Huh?' "What did you just say?"
"I'm her, Austin. I'm Cinderella, your dream girl," she argued. "You see, I live in a world full of-"
"You!" Her twin comes up. 'Oh, great. I know where this is going.' She smiled viscously, "What are you doing here?"
"Well, I'm Cinderella. Coming to meet my prince." I folded my arms already done with this interaction.
"Well, that's a little hard considering I'm Cinderlla," the sister in green pushed. "I mean, I'm the most Cinderella-y Cinderella there ever was!"
"Hey ladies, ladies, ladies," I tried to mediate and not laugh at the stupidity. What did Cinderella-y mean anyway? There was an easy out to this at least. "Look, I can settle this, all right? The girl that I met at the dance, she dropped something on her way out. What was it?"
"Oh, that's easy," the green one replied. "A wallet," she smiled and shrugged.
I leaned into her face, "No."
"Uh, I-I… I meant a… a wallet-purse." Her sister laughed at the attempt.
"No," I looked to the one in red.
"Oh! A fish!" she exclaimed. I did a take back.
So did her sister, "A fish."
"It was the first thing that popped into…" I walked away from the pair.
"Austin!" I heard one call after me.
I scratched my head and looked back, "Wow," was all I could say. I kept walking towards the office. About five minutes later, I heard screaming and an alarm, but it stopped, so I shrugged it off.
I get off later that evening, and not knowing where to go, I decide to go get a coffee. I didn't particularly want someone to really notice me, I just wanted to be alone for once. I would be able to be myself. I decided to go to the diner. I walked in, wasn't busy. Then again, was it ever?
I walk up to the counter, and the girl from school was behind it. I guess we're both working to our deaths. I sat down at a stool, lost in my thoughts. She was cleaning anyways; I knew she would get to me quick. I pick up the pepper, completely and utterly bored in my life.
"Hey," she greeted me. "Can I get you something?"
"Do you know what bugs me?" I question her. I don't know why, but it felt natural. Even though this wasn't a bar, I could pour myself out and vent, right? Somehow, I knew she wouldn't tell anyone, and I could confide in her. I could tell she was real. Also, I still felt horrible for how my friends treated her the night of homecoming.
She seemed confused. I looked for a nametag, but found none, "People taking your order...?" I chuckled internally. That's right, I had forgotten she was funny.
"No. Taking people's orders," I explained. I was tired of my dad, tired of my friends, my ex, and whoever else.
"Why would you do that?" She asked. It wasn't prying, as I could see her confusion. She knew the façade I wore. Although, she didn't know it was.
"Hah. You don't know my dad," the easier answer. Also, he was the most irritable person in my life right now. "Ugh. Sushi and donuts?" I looked at the menu. 'What the hell was this place?' "Who does that?" She smiled, tried to smother her laugh, and shrugged. "I'll take a coffee. Thank you." I returned the menu. She grabbed a small cup and plate for my drink. "Do you ever feel like if you show someone who you really are, they won't accept you?" I didn't know where these questions were coming from, but I didn't feel like caring at the moment.
"Yeah," she said truthfully. She began pouring my coffee, and I grabbed the sugar. "I do. Like… being yourself isn't good enough." I glanced up at her and stirred my coffee.
"Like you're wearing a mask," she consoled.
"That's exactly how I feel," I grabbed my coffee and drank.
"You just want to be honest with this person and tell them, 'It's me. I'm the one that you've been looking for.'" I noticed the eye contact we were making, and I didn't mind it.
"Yeah." Finally, a person I can have a real conversation with.
"Sam!" I looked over and a woman with intense surgery crooked her finger at her. At least I could try to remember her name now. I drank more of my coffee.
"One second," she tried to tell her.
"No, now." The woman demanded. Sam sighed. She seemed rude, and not wanting the person who was nice to me to get fired, I decided to remove myself from the situation.
"No, it's cool. I gotta bounce." I stood up and put my money down on the counter, of course leaving a tip. I turned to leave, "Oh," I turned back, "Thank you… very much, Sam." I showed my gratitude and left.