She Was Beautiful
Note: I couldn't tell you where this one came from if you paid me, but I think it came out well, so here it is.
R&R? I'd muchly appreciate it.
She was beautiful; a pearl, exquisite even before its perfection, wondrous in even its rawest form. Gorgeous – and better yet – undiscovered. Her being was so new, so strange and yet oh so beautiful that no one understood it. So very beautiful, even though no one ever seemed to see it. And it was unfortunate that no one saw it, because then there was no one there to protect it.
All they ever saw was the imperfection, and really it wasn't imperfection at all. Perfection is only worth so much in a world where the most perfect thing is intangible, and yet it's worth everything. Perfection is everything and it poisons. Perfection ruins. Perfection isn't perfect at all, a state of mind. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder, and yet every eye including her own could not find it within her.
And, somehow, she was flawed. Deeply flawed. Somehow, even in her rare beauty she was so imperfect as to be beyond repair. The boys didn't even look at her. The girls only scoffed. She saw a mirror in every reflective surface. In every mirror her eyes sought answers. She searched, constantly, for the piece of the puzzle that would explain the reason for her torture. She wondered, every day, what she'd done wrong. And never was there an answer to her justified questions. Every mouth opened in accusation. Every lip curled in disgust. Every eye rolled in ignorance.
Every eye but mine.
Because in her very step I saw her worth, and on her face I saw a pain that beckoned. A pain that drew me in to draw it away. A pain that needed soothing. In her eyes I saw her soul, a tortured thing that pulled away from the life around it. An agonized spirit that wanted naught but love, and received nothing but hate. A sad thing that deserved so much more than it received.
And, under the watchful eyes of my peers I did nothing as her chair was pulled away right as she sat. I didn't laugh even when she wasn't looking, but then I never did. My eyes, they say, laugh for me. My eyes laughed, even as my soul shriveled. And my friends still jeer and slap my back, shake my shoulders, shove me in mirth until the teacher tells us to all calm down. They laugh until the teacher sends her to the nurse for the way her fingers are bending - the unnatural way her fingers are suddenly bending. They laugh until the teacher threatens to send the whole lot of us to the principal, and still it takes a while for them to settle.
The lack of her presence saddens me for the rest of the day, and days after. She does not come to school, not until her parent's force her and then my friends laugh when she misses the bus. My friends jeer when she shows up a soggy mess moments before the first period bell rings. She doesn't say a word when I hold the door open for her, but I can't blame her for not being grateful. My eyes laugh at her when I don't bid them to. My friends are disappointed in my unnecessary show of compassion. They rib me. They tease me. They beat me around for a few periods and then they forget that it ever happened. But she doesn't.
It's during gym that I catch her looking at me strangely. Legs covered by too big sweatpants, in comparison to the other girls and their tight as sin yoga pants. Arms protected by long sleeves even though the room is a little too warm for my short ones. Her hair sticks to her sweaty forehead, curling into her eyes but she doesn't lift a hand to move the strands away. And she doesn't stop looking at me, not even after we make eye contact, not even after I tilt my head to acknowledge her stare. She stares, and I find myself unsettled. She's never looked at me before.
I walk home from school that day because I notice that she avoids getting on the bus. I don't mind walking home, it's only a few blocks and even though it's a little hot it means I may be able to speak to her at long last. I tell my friends I need to stop at the library, so they allow me to go home alone. I lie to my friends, because I cannot let this opportunity escape me.
We walk on opposite sides of the street, and I notice how her stride changes. Where I expected her shoulders to hunch more and her expression to become withdrawn, her chest puffs out instead. Where I expected her to try to blend into the shadows I see her reach up with both hands to fix her hair as much as she can in the wind. And suddenly she is so much more beautiful to me. Suddenly the pearl escapes its home in the oyster bed, and becomes a polished piece of jewelry. Suddenly she's glowing with the radiance of a thousand suns and I'm blinded by her brilliance.
Without my bidding them to my feet move me across the street, closer to where she stands at the crosswalk waiting for the light to allow her passage. I want nothing more than to be close to her. I want to be the one to lean in and whisper to her that she's lovely. I want to be the one to open her eyes to the true definition of beauty. I want her to see herself through my eyes. I want her to be blinded by her own splendor. I want her.
However before I make it across the street the light changes and I notice her hands moving in a most peculiar way, almost as if they're waving at someone even as she glances over her shoulder at me. I smile when her eyes meet mine, and she smiles back before turning into the arms of a young man I'd never seen before. He kisses her full on the mouth, and my heart burns with jealous flames.
She has a boyfriend.
"Why didn't you move faster?"