When I was in middle school, I was in an accident that left me with a prominent scar that went down my forehead, the side of my face, and down my neck. My scar was the elephant in the room, the bull in the china shop. I covered it with my hair, and wore scarves and turtlenecks, but everyone knew about it, and nobody spoke of it. Ever. I was ostracized and became an outcast, a freak. One night, there was a school dance. I stuck to the walls and shadows, not wanting to be there. A girl in a red dotted dress approached me and asked me about the scar. I was dumbfounded. She asked me to move my hair so she could see it. With my heart pounding, I shook my head, told her it was horribly disturbing and ugly. But she persisted, so I reluctantly swept my hair away and pulled down the collar of my turtleneck, waiting for her to recoil in disgust. “It’s not bad. Not bad at all,” she said, and it shocked me. I did not believe her. She skipped off to the dance floor, and I went to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror, wondering if I had deluded myself into thinking the scar was worse than it was. I rarely allowed myself to look at it, but I imagined it to be a vile, gruesome marking on my face and neck. But I looked at it for the first time in many months, and all I saw was a thin, jaggedy white line. “Not bad. Not bad at all.“ I found the girl in the red dotted dress and danced with her. She twirled and bounced from toe to toe, with her hair swaying in all directions, and I felt an emotion for which I have no words to describe. And even when her group of friends came and grabbed her arm, trying to drag her away from me, she kept dancing. She spun around, took a step back, and dodged her friends reaching hands and danced with me until I was dizzy and giddy with happiness. I may not remember her name or the color of her eyes, but she was not a bad person. Not bad at all.
- 5 months ago
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