I lurched from my sleep - diving through the black expanses of my bedroom, kicking against the mangled sheets - at the wild, nasal alarm of my clock. Unable to silence it, I grumbled my complaints to no one in particular as it wailed for me louder and louder. Finally I flicked on my bedside lamp as to allow me some vision. It was wedged between the nightstand and the wall, gripping precariously to its spot as its red letters pleaded me for help. Cats must've knocked it. That trio was always causing problems.
I rubbed bleary eyes, blinking against the bright lamp light and a new headache. Looking at the clock again, I got the motivation to stand - joints cracking loose, tight calves stretching as I stood. I wiggled my ugly toes, deformed from the endless hours en pointe, still sore from last night's class.
Got to get moving, I told myself. I ran through the day's list. Gym, work...rehearsal. I smiled to myself. So Shi. Princess.
"Alright," I sighed as I handed off the last order, the plastic, automatic smile melting from my expression. I turned in my apron and nametag, finding my way back to the employee's bathroom. I changed into some appropriate theatre attire, and tightened my hair into a straight ballet bun. It took several times to get it perfect. My long, blonde strands frustratingly refusing to cooperate. I slicked it with some hairspray and set off, checking my watch. Good. I was going to be early. Time enough to stretch.
I practiced some lines in the taxi, imagining the stage and the lights, the costume and the atmosphere. There would be no Isabella Hurst there, no blonde ballerina. No, I would be the black-haired Princess.