Pretty -----.

It always surprises me to discover that I have grown up to be pretty. I used to think, with a vindicated superiority, that I would never have that word attributed to me. I thought I would always just be smart, or talented, or creative, or the enigmatic different, but never "pretty." There was a point in my life where I was sure I would always stay odd enough for admiration, the point in life where my teenage face had grown into prematurely sharp features. I, after all, had crescent-shaped eyes, high cheekbones, a hard jaw line, a pointed chin, a crooked nose, a big mouth, the mature dark valleys stretching under my eyes and slashing through my cheeks. All the other girls my age looked like unshaped modeling clay in comparison. They were typical: pretty, like I used to lament that I would never be. But soon I accepted this fate with the zeal of a martyr. I grew to notice that other girls were all just big blue eyes in soft, heart-shaped faces, undecided and unformed. However I… I thought I would grow up to be unsightly enough to be stunning. But I was wrong. I am a pretty girl with pale skin, fairy-colored eyes, and thin yet pouty amber lips, not the bee-stung look of fashion magazines, but still mercilessly, normally attractive. I am a pensive girl, introspective and intellectual. I am serene and direct and perpetually tired. No one can ever believe I'm only sixteen; I must be at least twenty. I am colorless with maturity, colorless as "pretty."

I wonder what happened to the girl who thought she would be earth-shatteringly unconventional, that she would never grow into her mast-like nose and fiercely decided lips. She was so madly, manically happy, I remember. She was insanely enthusiastic, and everything that she touched was either sadness or euphoria. She had such a hunger, a passion for everything she could touch, and her temperament was a bright yellow or a lime green, maybe. She was neither cynical, or in the habit of putting things in perspective, or pastel. She was manically, manically happy, manically, manically miserable, and I can now appreciate that she was an idiot. I miss that girl; I miss her like a hole in my head, out which all the unpleasant things would pour. And as for when this new, pretty girl came through the hole in my head, fixed it methodically, locked herself in, and said, "Now, listen to me…"

…well, I miss the time before.