Funny How Things Change

She was beautiful. It was as obvious as the adorable nose on her face. Claudia was beautiful and Beatrice was not. Claudia's gleaming emerald eyes caught even the dullest of light in a miraculous way Beatrice's dark brown orbs never would. Claudia's straw colored locks flowed like silk ribbons in a way Beatrice's ratty brown pigtails never could. Claudia walked boldly up to anyone she came across and spoke definitively, her gilded voice dancing with laughter and extravagance in a way Beatrice never dared. They were on the far extremes of the school's social spectrum and Beatrice had come to accept that, no matter how painful it was to watch Claudia constantly surrounded by a flock of friends while Beatrice sat alone.

Some things could not be changed.

There came a day when young Beatrice met another girl. Her name was Amber, amber by name and by the warm, endearing glow she radiated like an amber gem, and she too was on Beatrice's side of the school's social spectrum. They became quick friends and both girls found comfort in the other. Neither felt so lonely anymore. Beatrice understood that to others she may not be up to par the way Claudia was, and she didn't hold it against the young beauty, but she was perfect to Amber and that was all she cared about. It was all she needed.

Funny how things change.

She was still beautiful, even more so than she used to be. Beatrice could not help but stare from afar. They were in high school. Beatrice only saw Amber if they chanced upon each other in the hallways. Time had formed a fissure between them. Beatrice tried to traverse the gap with fond memories to recall whenever they managed to see one another, but in the end Beatrice found herself alone again.

Some things could not be changed.

One day Beatrice received a phone call from Amber. She was delighted to hear her voice again. "I miss seeing you around," Amber said. "How've you been?" They spoke again as though they were never separated. They talked for hours without realizing that time was passing them by. Every word filled the fissure and brought them closer to their former bond. "We need to hang out. I know school gets pretty crazy, especially junior year, but how about you join the photography club with me? They're always looking for new members and it's a lot of fun." Beatrice saw no harm in giving it a try and if Amber was there, then she was sure she would enjoy it. And again she wasn't alone.

Funny how things change.

Beatrice was on her own once again, but this time she had elected to take a stand and be independent. She lived on the university campus in a small, but cozy room with her dorm mate, Danielle, who she found to be very good company. They spent their nights together prattling on about dear memories of past classes and teachers and friends. It was all in a past time of immaturity and simplicity that they were steadily creeping away from. Through Danielle, Beatrice met many other people and found herself in the middle of a group of laughing students and she was laughing along with them.

Some things could be changed.

College was a new beginning for everyone. It was the new beginning Beatrice never imagined she would get. She was happily settled into campus life. She had an easy time with classes and she made many friends over the few years. There wasn't a social spectrum to scale herself to as there had been in her past. She had put all of that behind her. There was only Beatrice and her friends and the wondrous tangled complexity of choosing her future that she was whole-heartedly willing to unravel. So she felt an odd pang in her heart when she saw a straw haired beauty heading towards her though not the beauty she once was.

Funny how things changed.

Claudia walked alone, her shoulders hunched and no traces of a smile below her adorable nose. She looked around anxiously; perhaps she was overwhelmed by the new life the campus provided, not allowing her to fall back on the security of the friends she always surrounded herself with. Because of her skill for forming friendships early on, she had not needed the talent for many years so it rusted and shattered leaving her helplessly shy and scared. She clutched her books tightly to her chest like a life raft. Her dull-jeweled eyes locked on to Beatrice's shining chocolate ones for a moment. A polite, strained smile emerged on both faces.

Some things could not be changed.

The girls passed each other. Not a word was spoken. Neither had anything to say. They hadn't said a word to each other for as long as they had known each other. No matter how different things were now, no matter how much freedom they had to change and be different, they didn't know how. Not with each other. It was simply too abstract to decide upon in a moment's passing. As different as things were now, they were also very much the sameā€¦

She was beautiful. It was as obvious as the playful bounce in her step and the wide grin when she passed by any new face. Beatrice was beautiful and Claudia was not.

Funny how things change.