Ch. 3

"Your name is Desdemona?" the boy asked. His hair was combed neatly, and his shirt was tucked in, buttoned to the neck. It was obvious his mother made sure that he was squeaky clean at all times. A good little boy that wore polished shoes and went to church.

"Yes," I replied, suddenly self-conscious of my name, which I had always considered to be the only beautiful thing about me.

"What's wrong with your skin?" he asked, scrunching his face. I stepped away from him, already wanting to go home. Maybe this school wouldn't be different like mom said.

He reached out, moving closer, extending his hand as if to touch me. The curious expression he wore reminded me of the look on kid's faces when they're at the petting zoo.

Suddenly there were small hands gripping my shoulders, throwing me to the ground. As I struggled to a sitting position, frantically knocking the dirt and ants off of me, I heard someone say in a laughing tone,

"Don't touch it, Matt! It could be contagious!"

I looked up to see a girl my age with her hair in perfect braids, and her cheeks a perfect pink, taking Matt's hand and leading him away from me.

That was the first of many days that Victoria Brookes tried to ruin my life. No matter what was happening, she was always there with prefect clothes and perfect smile, steering everyone away from me like a good citizen. Because she was such a good Christian, she couldn't let her dear schoolmates fall in with a monstrous girl like me. She had to look out for them, after all. For the past nine years of my life, Victoria had proven herself to be the devil. The devil wearing an angel's face.

Somewhere along the way, I was told by a counselor that she was simply threatened by me. That was the textbook answer, but of course, it was ridiculous. What threat could I pose to the most perfect girl in school?

Perhaps Victoria is psychic. Because now I am a threat. There's a new Devil, and her face is prettier.

By some miracle, I had become glorious overnight. Standing there, staring at Matt laughing with his friends, I realized that I wasn't about to waste this gift on primping myself in front of a mirror. I had waited for a long time to have something over these people. Now I had everything. I could simply decide that I wanted Matt, and Victoria would have no choice but to step down. How could she compete with me? How could my former hideousness be of any use to her powers of gossip and cruelty when I was suddenly so appealing?

Deciding that it was impossible to defeat me when I was so beautiful, I made my way to Matt with confidence. A tingling sensation ran up my spine, giving me a sense of strength that I didn't posses before. My new body seemed to know exactly how to move without a trace of anything that could be considered ungraceful. Even though I strutted like a queen, my new appearance could do nothing to ease the butterflies that formed in my stomach at the sight of him.

Even rumpled and filthy from the dust on their makeshift playing field, he looked fantastic. I thought I would turn and run when he raised his head and caught sight of me, but my new body put one foot in front of the other and smiled slyly at him.

As I approached, Matt's groupies dispersed, leaving Matt in the center of a circle of gawking onlookers. The perfect stage for my first official act as a hottie.

Surprisingly, I was able to keep my cool as I casually perched on the edge of the tailgate next to him, tracing the metal lining until my fingers were inches away from his. He didn't move them. In fact, he seemed to be paralyzed. Except his jaw was moving, working as if he were trying to say something, but no words would come out.

Eventually he managed an "Uhh…" and that was it. I had a fleeting image of me kissing him, and his head exploding.

"H-have we met before?" he asked shakily. Uh-oh. He's gone into overload mode, and now he's on autopilot, repeating cheesy lines that he normally wouldn't say. He's grasping at straws, here…I better help him.

"Yes, we have," I replied silkily. Hey, hold on. That's not helping!

"In fact, since last night, we know eachother even better," I said. No! Stop it!

His eyes widened and I continued.

"Maybe if I put your head under water, you'd remember," my voice began to turn slightly acidic. Oh, this is bad, bad, bad…

"Wh-what? I don't-" he stuttered, furrowing his eyebrows.

"Sshh," I whispered, fiddling with his collar nonchalantly. Where is this coming from? I didn't even think about doing this!

"You know, I thought better of you. I guess saving your life wasn't enough to make you at least tolerant of my existence, huh?" my mouth continued to move, saying words that I didn't plan to say, "Maybe I should've just let you stay under. No one would've even noticed until the morning, you were all too drunk to see straight. You nearly got yourself killed for a thrill! And you weren't even sober enough to thank me. You just let Victoria humiliate me, because I bet you didn't want anyone thinking you'd stick up for someone like me, huh? A freak like me?"

At that point, I was gripping his collar, practically in his face. I couldn't bear this any longer…I felt possessed.

I forced myself to let go of him, turning away and breathing deeply, trying to regain control of myself.

Matt had gone pale, looking like he'd do anything to get away just about now. And if he was still uncertain of who I was…

"Desdemona!"

Right on time.

A boy from Dylan's clique sidled up to me and began to attempt an introduction between me and Matt, and since Matt seemed to be in too much shock to break off the interruption, I did.

Without excusing myself, I slid off the tailgate and wandered over to another strange group that welcomed me warmly. Someone handed me a beer and I actually drank it this time. I chatted with people that once avoided me in the halls, and they were fascinated with everything I had to say. All my jokes were funny, and people scrambled to get me a drink if I asked for one. I never had to look at the same person twice, they all wanted to know me. The girls cooed over my clothes and my hair, saying we needed to hang out. The guys asked if I was single, wanting to know if they could give me a ride, maybe call me sometime.

And not once for the rest of the evening, did I look back at Matt.