There was always a thought in the back of her mind, telling her that everything was going to be okay, telling her that things would start to look better for her in the future and that all of her hard work would start to pay off soon. That all of the trials she had been though would actually amount to something and that she would not just be wasting her life on seemingly pointless things that she had become subject to after the death of her father all of those years ago. And while those thoughts normally circled through her head on a daily basis to keep her spirits up and to keep her optimistic, when she would actually listen to the tone of the voice she would always stop and grow sorrowful because the voice was the voice of her deceased father. With the deep richness that it always exuded, with the kindness that always came from everything he said... Ella could not deny that she missed it. She could not deny that she longed for her father's embrace again, even after so many years of him being gone, even after so many years of not hearing his voice and seeing his face and feeling his warm embrace that he would envelope her with when ever she was feeling down. She missed that, because she had never had that warmth of anyone again. Not the warmth of her step mother, not the warmth of her two step sisters... They were not her family, or at least not her real family. She wanted to believe them to be; she wanted to believe them to be not the evil wenches that they so were, but as time wore on that was beginning to get harder and harder to see, especially now with the position that she was in, with the hand that she had been dealt with. Forced to live in the attic of the house that she had grown up in with, a majority of the time, her step family because there was no other family for her. Her father loved this woman, he loved his step children as well, yet they did not seem to ever reciprocate that same love and it was a shame. But, regardless, she used to have a room, a room that had been taken from her with a nice bed and with nice air conditioning. But, she was stuck with this. After she graduated college she had no where else to go; she had no place to stay and she had no job either. And because she had no where to go, she came back home, to which her step mother seemed to welcome with open arms, however the woman had only acted as such to have the same things back from Ella. To have that servant back in the house, to have that girl who would do anything for the woman and her step sisters because she could do nothing of her own self. And it worked. The woman had said that because of the help that she had done to put her through college it was only right that Ella come back to clean the house and do any other chore that she gave until she was able to 'repay her debt', which the woman had actually said. To what debt, Ella had no idea, but she worked at it nonetheless because she still had no job, she was still alone. But she was still hopeful, and she still dreamed, and she still loved her life regardless of the hardships. Things would work out, because given her life she often was referred to her own thoughts thinking that it resembled the life of Cinderella in the Disney movie. Two evil step sisters and and evil step mother who had come to take over her life after the death of her father because they didn't like her as much, because she was considered the pretty one and the better one. Cinderella worked hard, she was always optimistic, and things did work out for her. She found her Prince Charming, and then she lived happily ever after. Maybe her happily ever after would be soon. It would work out differently, she reasoned, because she doubted if she would meet a prince, and she doubted if she would ever be whisked away into a happily ever after because life did not work like that. But good times were to come, right? In that moment, Ella was staring outside of the one window that was in the attic, her eyes peering out into the darkness as headlights soon turned on, the revving of a car engine coming to her ears in that next moment. She pulled the window open a bit and relished in the feeling of the fresh air hitting her face, smiling as it cooled her off, herself having been warmed over the house cleaning she had just finished. The laughter of her sisters could be heard even more now as the doors to the car opened and then closed back, music beginning to play from the car before it pulled off down the drive and then disappeared down the street. They were attending a party, a party that anyone in the neighborhood, as well as the neighborhood besides this one, had been invited to, including herself. There had been thoughts of whether or not she would go, her step sisters mentioning it at some point as well, them laughing at Ella earlier about it being a waste of time for her because she would be, as they called, lame and just over all a waste of space there and that she had to finish everything around the house anyway, including the things that they had given her to do. But... She wanted to go. And she had finished the list of chores that her step mother had given her before she left the weekend, and her step sister's laundry was nearly finished. Why not go? It had been a long while since she had done anything fun, and all she needed to do was come back before her step sisters did. Everything would work out, everything would go according to plan... And she even had an outfit to wear. The part was to be a semi formal one, where the girls wore dresses and the men wore suits, and she had just the dress. A smile graced her lips as she turned away from the window after the car had disappeared from her line of vision. She headed over to the small closet that she had, herself having to dig all the way through the small space before she found the dress that she had been looking for; a navy blue sleeveless dress that would reach to her knees. It had a sweet heart neckline, the part across her chest tight while the rest of it flowed around her, a blue mesh lining that started from just under the to portion of the dress, the fitted part, and then reached up to her neck to stay around it. It had been a gift from a friend of hers, a friend that she was no longer in contact with because of her having come back home and her stepmother removing most contact from her life. Ella, after pulling it out, held it up to herself as she turned and looked in the full length mirror that she had in the little room, twisting her body a bit as she laughed to herself gently. Yes, this would be perfect. Soon enough she started to get herself ready; she took a shower to get the sweat off of her, she did her hair and curled it, she went downstairs to flip the laundry quickly, and then she went to put the dress on. And, last but not least, she went over to her dresser and opened the little box that was there, revealing the necklace her father had given to her before he passed. It had a little gold chain with a heart shaped locket on it. On the outside the heart was gold, an intricate design put on it, but when opening it up it it had a small picture of her and her father together, an old picture because she was but a mere child in it, but she cherished it nonetheless. She overlooked herself in the mirror again, smiling to herself before she turned and quickly started to head out of the house. Now, just how was she going to get there? It wasn't far from the house, as far as she knew anyway, so she knew that she always could walk. And, she decided to do just that, despite the darkness of the night, despite how it was probably a terrible idea to walk alone at night, but she did it. And it took her about fifteen minutes to get to the party, music playing in her ears, people's voices more prominent. She suddenly grew nervous at it all, but, steeling her nerve, she took a breath and headed forward. At least her feet didn't hurt with the heels she wore.