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  • Writer's pictureElla Hewson

Chapter 17

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

Author's note: Within this chapter, one of the characters (Deidre) uses language that is derogatory to people with disabilities. This is called ableist language. For example, Deidre says I am 'confined to a wheelchair'. A wheelchair doesn't make me confined, it gives me freedom. She also calls me 'poor Ella'. She pities me but I shouldn't be pitied because I have a disability. She also says some offensive words such as 'crippled' instead of disabled.

I hope I don't offend anyone but I just want to show that Deidre is ableist and a horrible character.


I opened the envelope with trembling hands. Inside was an adoption certificate which stated that I was now Ella Georgiana Cullen, the adopted daughter of Bella and Edward.

Ella's adoption certificate

"Thank you," I said to J.Jenks with enormous relief.

"You're welcome," he said warmly, "now go and live your life without fear."

Ella holding her certificate of adoption

"Welcome to the family, my daughter," said Edward. His choice of words reminded me that he was over a hundred years old. Both he and Bella smiled lovingly at me.

Bella and Edward smiling at me

Now we are truly sisters," said Renesmee.

After a joyous drive home, we got back to the cottage. As I went to bed that night, I felt a sense of clarity about who I was. I was Ella Cullen, the daughter of Bella and Edward and the sister of Renesmee. I was part of a family.

The next day, as I was getting dressed for school, I heard a knock on the door. Through the windows on either side of the front door, I could see a golden figure. Edward opened the door and with a confident air, Deidre pranced in.

She was wearing a hideous tiger print dress in shades of bronze and black. Long, raven coloured gloves were encasing her bare arms, which flapped around euphorically. Gaudy jewels hung from her neck, wrists and ears.

Deirdre prancing into the cottage

"Why hello there," she said, smiling flirtatiously at Edward. "Aren't you a handsome creature?"

"How can I help you," said Edward stiffly.

"I'm here to pick up my darling foster daughter," Deidre said. She forced her way through the door and headed over to me.

"Hello, my tragic little Ella," she said pityingly. "You're looking so pale. Let Deidre brighten you up."

She pulled a lipstick out of her crocodile skin bag and took off the lid. The lipstick was an atrocious shade of orange. She slashed the lipstick in my direction. I recoiled forcefully from it.

The atrocious orange lipstick

She turned to Edward and said in a voice dripping with mock concern, "You've done your best looking after Ella, but she needs her Deidre now. Because poor Ella is crippled she needs her Deirdre to take care of her."

"Ella doesn't need you!" said Renesmee hotly.

Deidre turned to Renesmee indignantly. "You don't even know what I've done for Ella! I was the one who dried her eyes when her dog Bruce disappeared. I looked for weeks for that creature. You should have seen the blisters on my heels from walking all over town."

I remembered that heartbreaking time. I had had a little pug called Bruce.

My furry companion: Bruce
Author's note: Bruce is actually my Aunty Nicole's dog.

He'd been my companion for many years until he went missing one day when I was at school. Deidre had been very nice when he went missing and had helped me to look for him. It was the only time she had ever been nice to me.

"Deidre, that was the one and only time you were nice to me," I said.

"Ella, stop being ungrateful. I did everything for you and that wasn't easy considering you are confined to a wheelchair. If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't even be able to read or write."

I had heard enough.

"You are diabolical," I said. "I learnt to read and write myself thanks very much Miss Cruella De Ville. And I am not 'confined' at all - my wheelchair gives me freedom. I will never return to you!"

Ella angry at her foster mother Deirdre

Suddenly, Deidre's tone turned menacing.

Deirdre explaining Ella being tragic

I didn't want to have to tell you this," Deidre said in a mock torn voice, "but you left me with no choice. Think back to when your 'precious' Bruce disappeared. It was during the day, when you were at school and I was at home. He didn't disappear - I got rid of him! And if you ever want to learn where he is, you will return with me this instant..."



While I was writing this chapter, I was listening to:

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