Disclaimer: A Cinderella Story, all characters, places, and related terms belong to Warner Bros. Pictures.


If the Shoe Fits

It takes a few seconds for the words to register. Then your eyes jump up from staring into your cup of coffee to encounter the waitress on the other side of the counter so fast that spots float in your vision for a moment.

"Excuse me?" you ask, incredulous.

The girl…Diner Girl…no, Sam swallows nervously and blushes before squaring her shoulders.

"I need my phone back," she replies, struggling to hold your intense stare.

You say, "Your phone."

"Yes. Blue Samsung with stars on the front?"

You draw in a deep breath at hearing the description that perfectly matches the phone in your pocket and gape at the girl.

"Fiona's been texting me orders and stuff, but I obviously haven't received them or done them, and now—" she speaks in a breathless rush.

"Fiona?"

"My stepmom." She sighs. "I don't want to get in more trouble than I already am. Please, I need it back," she requests.

You frown, not totally following her explanation. Shaking your head faintly, you study her, taking in her figure, the straight blonde hair, the clear blue eyes… You freeze.

"You're Princeton Girl," you whisper.

The girl nods. "I am Princeton Girl."

Amazement flows through you as your gaze flickers over her once more; now that you know what to look for, you recognize your Cinderella in Sam's posture, the tilt of her head, her beautiful eyes.

"You didn't answer my fliers," you eventually comment.

She lifts her eyebrows. "I never planned to."

"Why?"

"Because I didn't want this to happen."

"This?" you repeat.

Sam huffs in frustration, crossing her arms in front of her chest. "This…I know I'm not what you were expecting, that you would be disappointed." She looks down at the countertop.

You nod, growing serious. "You are right, Sam," you agree, "I wasn't expecting you to turn out to be Princeton Girl." Seeing the way the girl's shoulders slump in resignation causes you to hurriedly continue, "As for being disappointed…surprisingly, no."

Her eyes flies back to yours, looking like a deer caught in the headlights, and color floods her cheeks.

"No?"

"No," your voice is firm.

Not breaking eye contact, you fish her phone out of your pocket and hold it out to her in the palm of your hand. Her gaze moves between your face and the phone twice before she slowly reaches out to take it. Before she can lift it away however, you gently close your fingers over her hand, trapping it briefly. Your heart clutches at the panic that appears in her wide eyes.

"Will you be online later?" you ask hopefully.

Sam's mouth falls open. "You— Do you want me to be online later?"

"I do. Very much. Please?"

She appears conflicted. Tilting her head quizzically, she searches your face. (You pray she finds what she seeks.)

"Austin—"

"Sam!" a demanding voice shouts from the kitchen area.

Sam glances quickly over her shoulder before facing you again, her look suddenly wary. "I gotta go."

"But…," you trail off, frowning in disappointment, releasing her hand.

The girl shoves her phone into her pocket, rolling backwards on her skates. "Sor—"

"NOW!"

Your eyes catch hers for a heartbeat.

"I'll try."

Then Sam is gone.

Reluctantly you rise from your stool and pay for the coffee before exiting the diner. You squint in the harsh sunlight and slowly walk to your vehicle.

"I'll try."

The corners of your mouth tilt up in a faint smile. You're going to hold tight onto the hope offered by those whispered words: to request her to give you – them a chance.

THE END