“Making Faces” by Icedmocha34
“But you’re beautiful.”
My heart trips but stands back up easily enough. Yeah. Right. What’s one boy’s word against hundreds of others? They all say I’m ugly. What does he know about beauty?
I look into his emerald eyes, glinting like shards of broken glass on hot sand. His skin is flawless—he doesn’t even have a freaking birthmark! He doesn’t have dimples, but he doesn’t need them. Smooth cheeks suit him better anyway. Dark curls frame those cheeks, setting off his eyes even more, making him look like one of the huntsmen in the faerie books I read. And his smile…I could drown in it. It lights up the room. It’s beautiful.
I screw my face into an ugly mess. “Even like this? You call this beautiful?” I ask through smushed lips.
He laughs, takes my hand. His shirtsleeves are rolled up to the elbow, revealing his tanned forearms. “Oh, definitely.”
“And like this?” I make my cheeks puff out, eyes squinting. A strand of my mousy brown hair falls over my face, and he brushes it behind my ear lightly.
I make another face. I like this game. I like this boy telling me that I’m beautiful, even if he’s lying through his teeth. Honestly, how can he call me anything but hideous? My complexion is pale and freckled, pasty. Hair: brown, limp, and always getting in the way. I’m not skinny or tall, not even a nice round shape. My fingernails are bitten short from nerves, my palms sweat too much, and I have bags under my green eyes no matter how much sleep I get.
And he calls me beautiful.
My face falls. I find sudden interest in my boots, realizing that I’m can even criticize my feet for being too small, too wide. He tilts my chin up. How can he touch me—this beautiful boy? I’m ugly; he’s gorgeous.
“I’m not beautiful,” I say. “Please stop saying that I am.”
“But you are.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Please!” I jerk away. “Please stop lying to me!”
His hands fall down to his sides. “Why do you think I’m lying?” he asks softly. He points at the girl stuffing books inside her lockers, the one who had made fun of me. “How do you that she’s not the liar?”
“You don’t have two hundred other teenagers agreeing with you and cheering you on.”
“They’re just jealous.”
“Jealous? Of this?” I hold out my skirt and take a step back. “Look at this. Look at me.” Tears cloud my eyes. “Who’d be jealous of this? I’m fat.”
“No you’re not.”
He shakes his head.
“Stupid. I’m stupid. They all say so.”
“They’re all wrong,” he says. He takes a step closer and takes my hands again. My skirt falls back around my knees. “You’re smart,” he whispers against my temple. “You’re beautiful. You’re not fat; you’re just right.”
“You’re a liar,” I whisper back, staring into those gentle eyes. They aren’t the eyes of a liar. But what else could he be?
“Nope.” He twines our fingers. “I’m just not blind. Maybe I’m the only one who can see your beauty, but,” he smiles, “that’s all the better for me.”
“I don’t have to share you with anyone else. I’m selfish like that.”
My voice is caught in my throat. I feel my palms begin to sweat. Can he fell how clammy my hands are?
“Don’t listen to them,” he says, leaning closer. “They don’t know real beauty when they see it.”
Then he kisses me, and for a brief moment, I forget how ugly I am. When he pulls back to smile at me, I see how handsome he is, and I remember that I—I’m—
“Beautiful,” he murmurs, running strands of my hair through his fingers.
I don’t know what he sees in me. I don’t know why he’s apparently chosen me or why he won’t stop trying to convince me that I’m beautiful. Maybe he’s crazy. Maybe he really is blind. But when I look deep into those green eyes of his, I see only truth, and that makes me wonder. Wonder if I am what he says I am. He might not have a few hundred followers, but I’m betting that his heart is a hundred times as strong.
I reach out and cup his flawless cheek in my hand, watch as he grins wider. I tilt my head to the side, considering. “I just might decide to keep you.”