She blows through the school doors with a confident stride, leaving the double doors swinging in shock and awe at the sense of empowerment radiating from the girl who had been so different the day before. She wears three inch stiletto heels, dark jeans that hug her curves with pleasure, a red satin v-neck shirt and her favourite black leather jacket. Her nails are painted with glossy black polish and an assortment of silver bracelets jingle on her wrist. She is unafraid and strong.

Her head is held high and she meets eyes with anyone who dares to glance her way, unafraid make or keep eye contact. She struts down the hall with her shoulders back and emitting an unparalleled sense of self-assurance. Every step she takes in her tall heels is powerful and meaningful. Her step does not falter.

The students in the hall stop and stare when they see her; they are awestruck at the sudden change in the girl. Wasn't this the new girl who had come into school yesterday wearing a uniform from her old school? Wasn't this the girl who kept her head down and her shoulders hunched? Wasn't she the one who had let them call her names and make fun of her weight?

Confidence radiates from her long powerful strides and poised shoulders. It's not the change in outfit the students notice, but the change in how she carries herself. None of them would dare call her a name today.

Long thick tendrils of chocolate hair swing in front of her eyes but she wastes no time whipping it out of the way to make sure she can stare down anyone who dares to look upon her longer than necessary. She feels their eyes on her and she hopes they can see the self worth that she feels.

The crowds of students in the hall seem to split off to the side to make way for her, but not because she is a size sixteen in jeans. It's in respect for her confidence and beauty that is now shining brighter than they ever thought possible from this once self conscious wall flower. Yesterday this girl was nothing more than a small invisible waste of space. She struts and bats her thick black eyelashes, focused on one group of students in the hall who haven't yet noticed her.

There isn't a trace of self doubt or self consciousness anywhere in her mind or body and it shines like a shield of sunlight as she approaches the group. The rest of the students can see her confidence as clear as daylight. She feels the electricity of power tingling in her fingertips. She feels beautiful.

The girl approaches a sandy blonde boy who has his back turned to her and taps his shoulder with two sharp black nails.

His friends have already spotted her and are awestruck, not by her new look but by the strength and lack of self doubt radiating from her. They can see how beautiful she really is. This is not the girl they saw yesterday.

The sandy haired boy turns around and rolls his eyes when he sees her, not yet aware of the change that has occurred in her.

He opens his mouth and mumbles some shrewd comment but shrinks under the cold concrete gaze of the girl. Their eyes are exactly level because of her three inch heels and he cannot look down on her. Her emerald eyes burn him up with just a glance from under her thick long eyelashes. This couldn't be the same girl he had called a whale or made a comment about her being a wide load the day before...could it?

He opens his mouth to say something but before he can get a word out the girl swiftly raises her hand and slaps him hard enough across the face to make him lose his footing. The sound of the smack seems to echo in the hallway and the girl realizes that every other student in the hall is watching them. She can feel their eyes on her back but she keeps her composure and strength, in fact, she welcomes the audience. She can take on anything today. No doubt can touch her.

The boy is shocked by the sudden pain in his cheek and the friends he has fallen into nudge him back forward for him to help him regain his footing. They are all staring at her with unreadable expressions and the girl doesn't hesitate to give them the same look for fire she had given the boy. They all shrink back under her gaze.

The boy brings a hand to his throbbing pink cheek and scrambles to find an insult or a comment to save him from the embarrassment of being hit so hard by a girl in from of his friends. He stutters fragments but no real words roll out of his mouth. He stops his miserable attempt to save face when she raises a finger and points it in his face.

Her emerald eyes bore into him. He flinches but does not hit him again.

Without hesitation, she speaks in a loud, powerful voice that carries all throughout the silent hallways, "I am beautiful."

He stares at her in shock.

She gives him one more look of emerald fire with her eyes before spinning on her heels and strutting back down the hall, shoulders back and head held high.

The boy's mouth is left hanging open.

Clusters of students part for her to pass once more and she is met with nods and small smiles of respect from her peers. She smiles lightly to herself and blows through the double doors with strength and pride.

The students left in the hall behind her burst into applause.


K. Carrier