During my first visit to Oxford, there was a fancy dress ball at one of the colleges. Several of my acquaintances were going, but their plans had been made long before my arrival and there was no hope of my attending on such short notice. I resigned myself to spending a quiet evening on my own, investigating some of the lovely old quadrangles and alleyways.
A young fellow I'd only just met (but already liked a good deal) had made arrangements to attend the ball with a group of friends.
Just before sunset, I stood in the college courtyard, waving to everyone as they piled into cabs to go to the dance. As my new friend hurtled past, black tie still undone, he stopped briefly to apologize for leaving me behind. I only laughed good naturedly.
"I do feel a bit like Cinderella," I grinned, "with everyone going to the ball but me!"
He smiled and leaned over, whispering in my ear, "Ah, but Cinderella ended up with the Prince in the end, didn't she?"
We ended up the best of friends, visiting one another as often as we could and occasionally traveling together throughout England, Wales, and even Paris, having the most outlandish adventures. He asked me to marry him once but I gently turned him down, convincing him that it was a terrible idea. Thankfully he laughed and agreed.
In my darkest moments, when things are their bleakest and it seems that whatever hopes or dreams I have are destined not to be realized, I remind myself that life is full of fairy godmothers, and despite how grim things might seem, Cinderella does always end up with the Prince in the end.