Anger raced through me as I clenched my fists. "But mom!" I exclaimed. "No. I'm sorry, but you can't refuse to go to school just because of the cuts. You are going to school tomorrow and that's final." With that, she turned to walk out of my room. "Do you really not care if I get picked on again?" She stopped in her tracks and sighed. Turning back to me, her face softened. "Yes, I care. But those scars are something you are going to have to deal until you are far into adulthood, so you need to learn to not care what people think. Now. You are beautiful, inside and out, and I am not going to let you be ashamed of something that you can't control. Now, go to bed. You have to get up early tomorrow to take a shower before school." I nodded, a tear running down my cheek as I climbed into bed and she walked out of my room. I sat on the bed, looking in the full length mirror across the room. "I am so unbelievably ugly. Why can't I be pretty like the girls at my school?" Of course, I didn't expect a real answer since I was talking to myself, but I was kind of hoping for one from a higher power. I laid back against the head board, staring at the wall until I fell asleep.

I woke up by a blinding light shining in my eyes. I put my hand up between me and the window to stop its teasing. I stood up and trudged over to the corner of my room, grabbing my slippers and pulling them on. Slowly, I walked over to my ajar door and heard a lot of commotion coming from the kitchen. I got curious, so I put my ear near the crack. I could hear my parents yelling from down the stairs, which they had a tendency to do a lot, especially when it was a big day for me. I had been staying home for three weeks because I couldn't stand all the bullying from my peers and today was going to be my first day back.

I walked away from my door and to my closet, reaching over and turning on the light. I pulled out a thick black pair of jeans, long sleeve white shirt, a pair of silver flats, and my packed school bag. I changed in the bathroom after my shower and found myself starring at my scars in the mirror. I looked like crap. My curly long brown hair was in a huge knot on the top of my head, which had been a ponytail the previous night. My hazel eyes had light gray bags underneath them, which were probably an affect of only two hours of sleep every night. As for the rest of me, my skin was pale because of lack of sunlight which made my dark brown freckles scattered across my face pop and my lips look blood red. To make myself look a bit more presentable, I brushed and braided my hair, put some liquid makeup over my scars, and then added a tad of eyeliner. When I was done giving myself a makeover, I walked out of my room and into the kitchen. The yelling between my parents had stopped, but the air in there would probably still feel a little tense.

I walked in and found my parents sitting at the dining table, smiling. My mother, who had short dark hair, brown eyes, and tan skin was sitting next to my father, who was the complete opposite. He had a buzzed head, blue eyes, rough skin, and a beard. "Hi. Morning." I said, walking past them both with a small head nod and smile as I trudged to the fridge. I opened it and shoved things aside to grab my breakfast smoothie ingredients, but found one already made for me. I turned back to the dining table, holding the drink, and found my mother looking down at a newspaper. This wouldn't be a dead give away that she was the one that made it if she actually ever read the paper. "Mom! Come on, you know I feel about you making my breakfast for me. Out of all the meals you cook, this is one that I can do by myself. You have enough to do in the mornings." She sighed.
"I just...wanted to make your first day back less stressful. But I do think you are doing the right thing by going back. It won't be easy, but it will make you stronger." I nodded in defeat.

I knew she was right, I just didn't want her to be. I wanted to be able to curl up in a ball on my bed and feel like I'm not missing out on anything. I want to not feel guilty about staying in my pajamas all day and binge watching netflix. But, I will, because my parents and friends expect more from me. So, I will give it my all and try to get through this year. Maybe I could get home schooled next year.

I got knocked out of my thoughts by an attack hug from mom. "Be good at school today, okay? And try to make some friends. And don't get in any fights. You won't be able to compete if you're hurt." As she said this, Dad nodded vigorously. "I will try, but if those girls have it coming, I won't hold back a knuckle sandwich. I love you both. Bye!" I wiggled out of my mother's death grip, kissed my dad on the head, grabbed my school bag, and left the house.

As soon as I was on the porch, I let out a big stream of tears that I didn't know I had been holding in. I felt so bad for my parents. They try so hard to make up for what happened. They know that I am very self-conscious because of my scars and they beat themselves up because they can't do anything to help me. All I am doing is hurting them, and they don't see that. They don't see that if they keep caring this much, they are going to keep getting hurt because nothing can change the way I feel about myself.

After a few minutes of crying, I remembered that I had makeup on. "Shit!" I exclaimed, pulling a mirror out of my bag and sitting on my front steps. All of my hard work from this morning was ruined and my scars might as well have been a neon sign on my head saying 'Bully me!'. I was just about to go back up to my room and reapply it before the bus came, but I stopped. I sat there, pondering to myself why I cared what other people thought. I wondered why I had to be so cautious, when everyone has something they don't like about themselves. It could be that someone thinks they are ugly, or fat, or stupid, or too skinny, or that they don't have big enough boobs. But everyone has something they are afraid of other people noticing, so why was I beating myself up over mine? Suddenly, the bus came rolling up to my mailbox and stopped, waiting for me to get on. I picked up my school bag and found a tissue in the pocket. I grabbed it and, making eye contact with many of my peers on the bus, wiped the rest of the makeup from my face. I then held my head high, smiling as I walked over to the bus. I climbed in and instantly everyone was staring at my large scar that went from my right ear to my left nostril. I strode to the back of the bus, looking everyone in the eyes as I passed. Some people seemed appalled that I looked at them, while others were taking out their phones to take pictures.

I sat in an empty row at the back and looked out the window at my house. It wasn't anything special. It was a three story brick house with a small porch and a picket fence that surrounded our extremely small front yard. My father's truck was sitting in the driveway with my mother's jeep parked right next to it. We weren't rich by any means, but we also weren't poor. We were middle class, which was a fine place to be.

The bus started to move as the driver announced, "We have a new student and we are going to pick him up right now. I want you all to be very nice and welcome him with open arms." When she finished, I rolled my eyes. "Oh, trust me, the girls in our school will welcome him with open something. I just don't think it will their arms." I normally was not one to judge others, but I was just feeling incredibly irritable that day.

After a few minutes of driving, we stopped in front of a very large and expensive house. It was probably a five story with huge pillars on the front and almost twenty windows facing the street. It was surrounded by a short wire fence with barbs on the top. I wouldn't have been surprised if they put those up because people thought they could score some good dough by robbing the place. As I was examining the house, everyone else on the bus was looking for the new kid. I wasn't that interested in seeing him except for the opportunity to put a face to the beautiful house.

After a couple honks from the bus, the door opened the boy walked out. He was extremely tall and thin, wearing jeans and a black t-shirt. As he came closer to the bus, I got a better look at his features, and let me just tell you he was a sight for sore eyes. He had short dirty blonde hair crystal eyes, a clear complexion, and an extremely good facial structure. And oh my gosh, that jaw line. If I was the kind of girl who classified guys by their looks, he would be in the 'Smoking Hot' group.

He climbed onto the bus and stood at the front, looking around. I locked eyes with him for a moment, but quickly looked away, now feeling incredibly stupid for not covering up my scar. He then cleared his throat. "Hi. I'm Adam. Nice to meet you all. " He flashed a smile that would make the faint of heart, well...faint. He then started to look around the bus for an empty seat and I prayed it wouldn't be the one next to me that he chose. There were multiple, so it would have made sense if he sat next to the pretty girls or cool guys, but the next thing I knew, he was walking towards me!

I froze as he sat next to me and looked over at me. Everyone in the bus shot me glares, but stopped when the bus began to roll back into motion. "Hi." Adam said, probably expecting me to swoon over him. Poor boy. Without looking at him, I replied, "Hey."

"What's your name?"

"Angel."

"Explains why you are so pretty. You must have fallen down from heaven."

I looked over at him, surprised. "Are you mocking me?" His face turned into one of pure terror. "No! No! Not at all! I was being sincere!" I scoffed. "Then I don't know what kind of angels you have seen, but the ones I see in pictures don't have scars on their faces." I then turned away to the window, giving him the cold shoulder. As I looked at the passing trees, I mentally beat myself up for being such a jerk to a new kid who was just trying to be nice. "Damn you Angel." I murmured. "What? Did you say something?" Adam asked. I shook my head, embarrassed that I got caught talking to myself. "Not a thing."