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This story is one I've been thinking about for a while- Beauty, and its relativity at school. Julia is interupted in the girl's toilets by some 'prettier' girls and its talked into a make over. Umm- want some advice on this story. I really doesn't flow, and I can't get it right. Thoughts?
Gazing back at her sad reflection, Julia pocked her tongue out and giggled at herself. She had always found a mirror to be an extremely curious object- a slate of glass that could reflect the opposite of what it shows in front of it perfectly. Being a writer, she had always marveled at the parallels mirrors had in everyday life about a person. Herself for example- a scruffy, unpolished bookworm, with a face full of freckles, and blazing red hair that did what it wanted to do. She sighed to herself, pulling a brush out of her school bag, brushing her hair in hope that it would neaten.
As she fought her hair, a couple of girls walked past her, chatting away as they too stopped beside the long sink mirror of the girl’s toilets. Julia’s attention glanced towards them for a moment- They were six of the prettiest girls in the school, all wearing the shortest skirts they could get away with without getting in trouble with the teachers. Biting her lip intensely as a sudden flush of jealousy flowed through her, she self consciously began to compare her geeky look, to their own. The girls lent over a sink a meter or two away, poking their face with more make up. Julia looked away, pushing her thick-framed glasses back to the top of her nose.
Best to ignore them. Maybe they won’t notice me.
Looking back to her intense expression in the mirror once more, the noise from the girls suddenly picked up to excited chatter as she continued brushing her hair back. Suddenly, one of the girls waltz over to her confidently, flicking back her long blond hair causally. Sitting on the edge of the sink beside Julia, the blond girl grinned thoughtfully, flashing her freshly polished finger nails as she tapped her jaw in interest.
“You know Julia, us girls we just discussing that we think you’d look really pretty if you took your glasses off and put on some make up. Get rid of the, you know, your boring look? You look so drab and tired.” Slipping off the sink, the girl grabbed Julia’s hair and swung it behind her head, crumpling it together in a ponytail, “What do you reckon girls? Put some product in her hair, some mascara, lipstick, eye shadow, and blusher. She’d look so onto it!” Julia’s eyes widened in horror, as another girl tromped up to the pair and slipped Julia’s glasses off her face.
“Oh yes, you’re right Melissa. We could so do this.”
“All the boys will want her then,” By now the whole group of girls had surrounded Julia, each armed with makeup in their hands. Julia stepped back quickly, the girls blurring off to a fuzz of colour as she neared the safety of the door. Glancing over to her exit, she blinked a few times to make out the edge of the door frame. Her lips frowned. Turning back to the girls, Julia thrust her hand in front of them.
“I want my glasses back, and then I’m leaving.” Grabbing her bag from the ground, she gripped the bag handle more and more till her knuckles turned white. The girls all simultaneously sighed sadly.
“Don’t you want us to make you pretty, Julia?”
“No!” Julia yelled, motioning to her hand. “Give me my glasses now!”
“Maybe Bryan will like you then,” Julia’s eyes ballooned, as the girl that spoke up stepped forward. “You can’t deny it Julia, everyone in the school knows that you like Bryan. We could make you so pretty that he’d be begging you to date him. Don’t you want that?” Julia mouth opened to reply, but no words left her lips. Bryan Saunders- the head prefect. He had to be one of the most desired guys at the school- smart, good at sports, and he was good looking. Not to mention important. Julia couldn’t deny that any of those qualities about him didn’t make her or any other girl’s heart skip a few beats.
Glancing past the girls, she looked back at the mirror- blurred in a haze like everything else in front of her at that moment. Lowering her head, she let out a quiet sigh. She didn’t need to see her own reflection to know that her face had turned a rose colour. She, out of all the girls in the school knew Bryan better than any of the other girls. Bryan spent a lot of time with her brother, Darren Jones, and his friends at the local ice hockey rink. She wasn’t quite sure if Bryan was a fan of her brother’s ice hockey team, or if he was only there to hang out with the guys, but he always turned up to greet them after a practice or match. She’d often turn up to the ice hockey rink just before her brother’s practices or games finished so she could see Bryan- leaning lonely over the edge of the rink, watching them practice with a vacant gaze in his eyes.
Normally, she’d know that she didn’t stand a chance getting a man like him to look at her, but Bryan always seemed different to the rest. He was always grounded, focused. So serious and cold. She felt like grabbing a hold of him and holding him tight. Never letting go until those eyes of his became warm again. She so desperately needed to hear him laugh… See him smile- She’d do anything.
But would he smile at her if she were prettier?
“I guess,” Julia replied softly, glancing back at the haze of the girl in front of her, “I’ll need my glasses though. I can’t see without them.”
“Don’t be crazy. These hunks of plastic are your biggest problem. We’re doing you a favor.”
“But…” Three girls latched onto Julia, stopping her from moving as the other three loomed over her face armed with their make up. A slight tear formed on the corner of her eyes, as they moved in for their prey.
It felt like forever before the girls finally pulled back and appraised their work. Julia fell to her knees in shock, latching onto her thighs to keep up right as the girls giggled amongst each other in excitment. Scrunching up the ends of her skirt in her hands as her humiliation of being ‘made over’ caught up to her, her lips pouted as she held in her frustration.
“Have a look at the new you, Julia.” One of the girls bent down to her level, offering Julia a hand held mirror. Glancing up at the girl, Julia noticed her glasses in the girl’s hands. Snatching her glasses back, Julia leapt back to her feet, and dashed for the larger mirror. Quickly stuffing her glasses back onto her face, Julia looked at her reflection, and her face went limp. The girls had done a good job- her skin looked a lot smoother and even, and her eyes looked oddly glamorous, but it was only a mask. If she was truly not beautiful before the make over, then what did some extra colour change? Feelings don’t change for a person just like that. She felt uglier with the makeup on than off.
“Thank you,” Julia blurted out quietly, quickly grabbing her back pack as she ran out of the toilets. Ignoring the girls as they cried out to her to stay so they could show some friends, she ran outside. Dashing past students to make her way to the library, Julia quickly became short of breath. Slowing down to a stop, she leaned on her thighs to catch her breath. Panting loudly, as her panicked heart forced her to take shorter breaths; she felt her tears coming out of her eyes once more. Ugly. The only thing those girls proved to her was that she was ugly.
Why do they torment me like this? Giving me a false sense of hope that my Prince Charming would be magically romanced by cosmetics? It doesn’t work like that!
Feeling a hand land on her back, and rub it soothingly, her brother’s face suddenly appear in front of hers, giving her a big, goofy grin.
“Hey, sis. You trying out for the girl’s marathon this year? You should have told me, I could’ve given you some good tips.”
“Leave me… alone, Darren,” Julia sobbed between breaths, making her brother’s smile lower slightly. Feeling the rubbing on her back slow down to more of an affectionate speed, her breaths started to slow, leaving her light headed. Closing her eyes as her breath became normal once more, she felt her brother’s arms envelope her tightly.
“I may not be as smart as you sis, but I’m not a fool.” Darren said softly, fingering some of her hair in curiosity. “Something is up, and I’m picking that it has something to do with your hair feeling like a brick. I’d expect this level of neck security from someone that prances with pompoms.” Smiling slightly at Darren’s assertiveness, Julia rested her head on her brother’s chest, and glanced out to the distance.
“I’m not pretty.” She replied simply. Darren’s hands froze on the spot as if this took him by surprise. Bending down to his sister’s ear, his breath wavered slightly, as he mustered the words to say to her. Finally, his voice crackled slightly to talk.
“Don’t ever say that ever again, Julia.” Darren said harshly, tightening his hold on her. “You are smart, creative, talented, and a much nicer person than me. When I become old and grey, I won’t have ice hockey to make me popular with everyone. When you’re old and grey, everyone will still love you because you have such an open heart and mind. Your smile. That is true beauty. Not that junk who ever put on your face. Don’t you ever forget that.”
Pushing away from Julia, Darren’s face pouted as he tried to hide his emotions from his friends standing behind him. Suddenly glaring back at Julia as if he were waiting for something, Julia broadened her mouth to a smile. Grinning back at his little sister, Darren glanced past Julia, lowering his brows slightly.
“Hey, Saunders. You can get your hand off my kid sister now.” Feeling a hand immediately drop from her back, Julia’s eyes widened. Darren gave Julia a shrug, as he yanked Bryan out from behind her. Julia’s eyes flashed wider in shock as Darren dragged Bryan away- she almost didn’t spot Bryan giving her a quick smile. Feeling her face flush red, a big grin appear on her face, as Darren chucked Bryan away from the group in a joking fashion, Julia watched Bryan stumble to an up right, and play fight with Darren for a while. Fingering her bag strap happily, she blew a quick kiss at Bryan’s back, giggling to herself happily.
For once, maybe my brother is right!
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