Previously on THE REAL CINDERELLA STORY…
I am not being fair in the telling of this story, for I have hardly mentioned Drusilla and her sister, Anastasia, Cinderella’s stepsisters. They were there in the Ballroom, and I have to say, their countenances were not very pretty. I would’ve liked to blame this on the fact that they were both jealous of the beautiful woman who’d snagged the Prince’s attention. Or that Dru was still smarting from embarrassment at being snubbed by the prince after she’d said, “Ohmagash, you so funny.”
Truth is, their not-so-fine expressions were due to badly applied makeup. A very large quantity of brown M.A.C.K foundation had been generously applied on Drusilla’s black face—which made it look like it’d encountered a truck. The fluorescent lighting of the room exposed the glaring onshore-offshore dichotomy between the foundation, her real complexion and her hairline. Her eyebrows had been shaved off and redrawn with red eyebrow pencil. Over her eyelids, purple, gold and black eye-shadows came together in a CBN kind of merger. Her sister looked almost exactly the same.
It was going to be a long night, as every woman in the room had to dance for the Prince. Cartons upon cartons of Glucose and Power Donkey Energy Drink were brought in to replenish their strength. Dancer after dancer left the Igwe, his son and cabinet of ministers unimpressed. Some maidens came close to making a good impression and their names were written down in the Book of Potential Prospects. After five thousand, five hundred and fifty-five women or so had danced, it was finally Cindy’s turn.
When a young woman is often left to her own devices, there’s no limit to the things she can accomplish. Chinda aka Cinderella was an accomplished dancer and she wasn’t shy about displaying her talent.
“Please, play Nwanne Ebezina by Chief Osita Osadebe!” the President’s Abobaku requested from the highlife band.
Come and see the way Cindy-baby broke into a perfect Atilogwu. She arched her back, bent her knees, and was just going sekem-sekem-sekem.
The Igwe Gburubguru sat up in his Presidential throne. Wawu! he thought. This girl can dance!
With the next song, she showed off owigiri dance moves, and then Ekombi. The band broke into a rendition of Wak’ar Karen Mota by Dan Maraya Jos, and the entire room watched in admiration as Cinderella did the Tumbudi. The Igwe summoned her to come forward.
“It’s like you’re quite versatile,” said His Excellency the President. “Can you perform any contemporary and classical dance?”
“I don’t mean to brag, my lord, but I can do any dance you ask me to.”
“Really? Okay. Band, play that song…erm…I can’t remember the title. The one to that naked people dance like a praying mantis.”
Immediately, the lyrics of Shoki filled the air. Cindy bent down low, came up with her right hand outstretched, raised the hand to cover her right eye, and twisted her legs in and out. The President nodded in approval. He turned to his son, who was seated beside him, caught up in awe.
“This girl’s wife material is plenty,” he remarked.
When his son didn’t respond, so distracted was he, the president nudged the young prince. “My boy, I said her wife material is plenty.”
“Yes…yes, of course, Papa.”
“It’s like hundred yards of cord lace.”
“Papa, it is more than hundred yards. How can you look at her and still be thinking in hundreds? For just these dances alone, she’s a thousand in cord-lace measurement. I’m sure that if we add her cooking skills, she’ll be a millionaire.”
“I thought you’d say billionaire,” said the President, thoroughly amused.
“Erm…uhm…I can only reach that conclusion after I uh…erm…gist with her further,” the Prince said, blushing.
In that instant, the big, gold-plated grandfather’s clock behind the Igwe’s throne struck the quarter hour signal. Startled, Cindy rocked to a stop in the middle of doing galala, blew the Prince a kiss and hightailed it out of the Ballroom. After some seconds of surprise, the Junior Igwe ran after her. The guards ran after him as he ran after her. The SSS ran after the guards that ran after the Prince that ran after her.
Cindy sped down the stairs, ignoring all shouts of “Catch am! Hol’up! Stop that woman!” She was at the second to the last stair, when she remembered Fairy Godmother’s instructions. Bending down, she pulled off one of her baccarat shoes, placed it conspicuously on the stair, straightened up, and ran into the carriage and the horsemen sped away.
By the time the Prince, guards, SSS, Navy, Army, Police, and even the men of our Oga at the Top arrived, she’d disappeared.
“What’s that? Bring it to me!” said the Prince, pointing at the shoe at the second to the last stair.
“It’s her shoe,” said one of the men, carrying it to the prince.
“I want to know who this woman is – her address, village, P.O. Box number, parents, siblings, Facebook address, Instagram and Twitter handle. If she’s on Google or LinkedIn, find her. In short, I want to know everything about this mysterious beauty before the expiration of three days,” said the prince.
As they scurried to obey his orders, he returned to the Ball and with his father’s permission, dismissed the guests.
And so began the Ultimate Search for Miss Chinda Ella Babalola of the Port Harcourt Caliphate.
Written by Eketi Ette