Charming

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is my entry for Marriah Justine's Modern Day Disney Contest!

Submitted: December 26, 2011

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Submitted: December 26, 2011

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beauty-and-the-beast-belle-disney-disney

"One more please?"

Belle's father brings the ancient Polaroid camera to his face again. His daughter groans beside me, snaking her arm around my waist. Belle presses herself against my chest, rolling her eyes.

"You're going to make us late," she states rather sharply, yet a small smile cracks her cool expression.

"Nonsense darling you're an hour early," he points out, clicking the button on the camera so the bright flash fills the entire hallway with a blinding light. Black spots dance across my vision, yet I'm well enough to see Mr. Braxton's hand come flying towards my shoulder. He slaps me roughly with a sense of triumph illuminating his face as I nearly fly through the front door from his heavy blow. "I always knew it. 'Knew from the very start you and Belle would hook up one day," he boasts.

"Daddy!" Belle cries, her cheeks stained red. She attempts to pry her own father away from me as I laugh nervously at the two of them. "Stop being soembarrassing."

Mr. Braxton gazes down at his daughter with a mischievous twinkle in his navy blue eyes. "I was only telling the truth. Besides, it's mymoral dutyto embarrass you as much as possible before you head off to-"

His unfinished sentence lingers in the air, only heartily contributing to the awkwardness of the situation.

"BU, Daddy." Belle laces her arm through the crook of my elbow and rests her cheek against my shoulder. "I'm going to Boston University."

"Right, right of course how could I forget?" Mr. Braxton murmurs, stroking his chin. "Though I can'tfathom, why you would want to go so far away darling...Valeigh is a perfectly good school and is only five minutes away-"

"Mr. Braxton," I exclaim a little to loudly, trying to end the conversation before another one started. "I'll be sure to bring Belle home before twelve thirty."

Once Mr. Braxton gets over the fact that I've interrupted him, he nods fervently and ushers us out of the house. "Go have fun! And Stadnik, if there is even a scratch on that car when you get back, I will personally rip you limb from limb."

I chuckle nervously in response but something about Mr. Braxton's tone informs me that he is not kidding.

When we were younger, Belle and I used to play inside her dad's Camaro. It was nothing at the time, Mr. Braxton kept it around as more of a trophy than an actual vehicle. We used to pretend that it was a school bus, or a rocket ship or anything else besides the vintage heap of metal it truly was. Then, Mr. Braxton hit the lotto and everything changed. The Braxton household itself got a new addition in the backyard, the roof was fixed and the car that had long been the symbol of defeat was now polished, clean and running.

Other things changed too.

Suddenly Belle was wearing wearing makeup. Her clothes became form fitting and her rambunctious curls had been tamed by her brand new straightener. Her new appearance took everyone by surprise and she was sitting with the popular group in school instead of the chess club before I could even blink. But Belle never changed inside, she still came to my house to play chess and watch scary movies on Thursdays and called when she needed advice. She would always try to convince me to get into the whole 'contacts' idea or introduce a new face cleansing mask.

Despite her new status, Belle never forgot the promise we made when we were younger.

I was going to take Belle to prom in her dad's 1968, black Camaro.

And I'd like to announce that the car, and my date make it to the school in one piece.

I take the key out of the ignition and make my way around the other side to open Belle's door for her. She steps out, one of her small doll-like hands in mine, with the brightest smile on her face. The dress that hugs her figures still catches my surprise. Silky gold material scales her torso, gathers at her waist and then fans out in a mesmerizing display.

Belle's nimble fingers brush against the lapel of my tux as she fiddles with a bright red rose. Her brows are creased with dissatisfaction as she tilts the flower left and right, aiming for the perfect angle. "I'm going to get this right," she murmurs, lowering herself so that she has a better view of what she's doing, "don't you worry."

I try my best not to laugh at her but I can't help chuckling at the comical annoyance scrawled on her face. "We're going to be late..."

"Shut up," Belle mutters, fastening the pin on to my rented tux. She takes several steps back to assess her work with a critical eye and then dives back down to fix it once more. "What kind of mutant rose did you buy?"

I peer down at the blood red flower that's causing so much trouble. The florist at the shop down the road said it was the most beautiful one she had after I had told her where I was going. I tried to tell her I didn't have the money to pay for it, but the old woman refused to hear any of my protesting. She merely charged me for the corsage and wished me a magical night with a flippant grin on her face.

"Do not judge it!" I exclaim in mock horror, playfully swatting Belle's hand away. "Are you readynow?"

Belle exhales and directs her attention to her dress and straightens the creases with her sweaty palms. She nervously plays around with a loose thread. "I think so."

Her chest rises and falls at a rapid pace as I position both my hands on either side of her arms. "Are you nervous Belle? You don't have to do this you know..."

She peers up at me through thick, black lashes. 'No, no way...I want to do this Adam." With a new found confidence, she latches onto my arm and drags me towards the entrance to the school. "I wouldn't want to be here with anyone else."

It's almost possible to hear the whispers from inside. Belle Braxton, head cheerleader and president of the senior class going to prom with Adam Stadnik, bottom of the bottom, Harvard bound badass intellect. I can't bring it upon myself to call myself a nerd.

We stride through the entrance and immediately, the rooms attention shifts towards my date. Their mouths slack open at the elegant ball gown that hugs and accentuates her body. The gold folds of her dress spill down towards the floor like a waterfall. Her face glows in the strobe lights and she looks like an angel that just stumbled out of heaven.

“Why is everyone looking at me?”

“It’s because you’re beautiful,” I mumble. Spinning her around, I take Belle in my arms and rock back and forth in a slow, casual step. Her cheeks are burning bright red as she buries her face into my chest. “You’re not listening to all this crap right?”

By ‘crap’ I assume she means the hollering coming from the crowds that circle us. The slurs and cursing are fired at my direction by the football team and the judgments are directed at Belle. You would think that in the year 2011, Craymore High would be a little bit more accepting, but the ‘nerd’ taking the ‘Queen Bee’ to prom is unacceptable.

I try to suppress the anger brewing in my chest. Belle awkwardly pulls away from my grasp.

She slaps a hand of her bright lips. “Adam, shit look!”

I look down and the rose neatly tucked in my tux is wilting freakishly fast. The petals float away and land daintily on the floor.

“It must’ve been me; I must’ve smushed it…”

"Belle stop." I firmly grasp her chin and tilt it so that she's forced to look at me. "This is the best night of my life. So what if everyone is talking, so what if you have a little tear in your dress or the flower is crooked.Who cares?You know what I care about? The fact that I'm standing here, with you in my arms and that's all I've wanted to do since we were kids. The fact that you could have gone with that block head Adonis over there, but you chose me. And I don't know why you did that since I'm not two hundred pounds of muscle or brawny or anything, but you did. And I want to enjoy every second of this."

"Adam..."

On her tippy toes, she gently removes my glasses and hangs them off of the collar of my shirt. Belle then rakes her fingers through my hair and shuffles it around, ruining the gel plastered-do I had earlier. Her soft fingers scale down the back on my neck and she looks up at me with beautiful blue eyes.

"You're beautiful," she says and then graciously closes the gap between us by placing her lush lips on mine.

And the stem of the rose flutters to the floor.


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