Fading Beauty

Ami stared at the ceiling. The pain was radiating from her whole being. She lay on the hospital bed not sure of anything. It was six a.m. and she had not slept at all. The fear of her waking up and realizing this was the dream was too much. It was not an ideal outcome, but her fate now was far greater than what could have been.

Twenty four hours ago Ami was just a twenty three year old model living in Aloe, New York. She had pale porcelain skin and short ruby hair that made her blue eyes dazzling. She was a model and like the men who photographed her, she loved herself. Every morning she would take two hours grooming what she took so much pride in. This vanity did not change her outlooks on others though. Her doll like smile was painted on to make others feel welcomed. After meeting her once you would have an opinion on her. Either her appearance had made her perfect and fake, or she was perfect and charming. She ached for a real connection. The hunger for an actual conversation drove her mad sometimes. Most people could not get past her looks to know her. Like how she loves fall, and hates raisins. That she lip-syncs too songs on the radio after each shower or that she cries when she watches “The Never Ending Story”. No, people rather know what shampoo she uses or what designer she was wearing. She hoped Kent would be different.

She had met him at a book store. No, she did not love to read and have a secret high I.Q. She just happened to be a John Green fan. Kent was the cashier.

“Oh, so you are a Nerd Fighter? I never would have guessed,” he stated with a pleasantly surprised tone.

“Um…I’m not quite sure what you are talking about,” she tried to chuckle off the embarrassment of her reply.

“The author of this book and his brother started a following called the Nerd Fighters. He writes mainly for young adults and that is what most of their following consists of but I am a proud one myself,” he explained with a hint of excitement and then coughed at the realization that he had just called himself a nerd in front of such a stunning female.

She gave him a flash of her ivories, “So what you are saying is that you are immature for your age,” her smile had grown wider when she finished.

“Hey now! You do not even know me or my age,” he returned her smile and scanned the bar code.

“Well, how old are you?” she asked acting intrigued.
“I am twenty four for your information madame and the name is Kent,” he bagged the book and handed it to her. “If you want to become part of our rewards group you can fill out this form and save on your next purchase.”

“Is this your smooth way of asking for my number?”

“That, and it is part of my job.”

They both had a laugh and she took out a business card from her clutch.

“Here, call me once you have googled all you can and are still interested,” she stated and waved good-bye. He watched her leave and then did a victory dance behind the counter. It was going to be their first date. Then he had to call and cancel around eleven. She was pretty sure he had said something about picking up a friend from the airport on the phone or maybe it was a family member. He said he would make it up to her later though. She found him amusing and charming so she was a little disappointed but knew it could not be helped.

She went through her shoot, talked to some fresher faces, and then headed to the parking lot.

“Excuse me, do you have a light?” a tall, salty haired man asked.

“I am sorry. I don't smoke. Bad habit you know.”

“That's funny. I thought with how you look you would be a packer.”

“Excuse me?” her tone displaying her insult.

“Well, that figure cannot be healthy and that smile you flash isn't so pearly,” he didn't even look at her when he spoke. He simply sniffled and put the unlit cigarette back.

She put her hand over her mouth, “W-what?”

He grabbed her wrist and snarled at her, “You are nothing but tabloid trash. Covering it up now when no one is around is pointless. They already know what you are.”

She tried to yank her hand back but his grasp was to strong.

“I think we should get this outside to match the inside,” he pulled her wrist back and covered her mouth. “Shh…everyone else is too busy making you look good to hear you anyway.”

She bit his hand and he punched her across the jaw. She remembered hitting the pavement and then woke up in the back of some truck. She started crying when she looked out the back window and saw nothing she recognized. Not long after she was gagged and hauled into a house.

He gave her a good smack and said,
“If you know what is good for you, you will not fight me”. Then he tied her up and left. She tried to get her phone out of her front pocket, but all she could do was hit it with her elbow. She started sobbing, her ears ringing, and face already bruising.
“Why?!” she cried. Then the man walked back in.
“Why? It is because you make me sick. I used to work with your type. I used to manage for big shots in my time. Now I cannot stand the sight of you monsters. You have everything yet you are never satisfied, so I am going to take it all away from you. Give you something to really cry about. Then I would never have to see your face again. You will be thrown away like the trash you are.”
“But, you don’t know me. Just let me go and you will never see me again,” her face drenched and salty as she made the frantic plea.

“What a stupid girl. Your face is everywhere, and you do know me. I’m Travis Luther, your kidnapper for today,” he laughed and put a hand on her shoulder. “Now smile for me.”
Just then a voice came from Ami’s pocket.
“Ami, do not panic. I am going to get you help.”
“Who was that?” Travis grabbed her throat, “Who did you call?”
“Let me go! I don't know,” she managed to rasp out, “Please…” she was about to pass out when she received a gaint blow to the gut and flying back. The chair leg breaking as she hit the floor.
“Damn,” he whispered and then disappeared again. When he returned he had a knife in his hand. “Whoever they are, they are going to be at least twenty minutes to late. That gives me plenty of time to ruin you”.
Ami stayed silent. Her head was too blurry to make any sense. He kneeled infront of her and demanded her to smile again. She tried to smile through her tears but it wasn't good enough. He took the knife and from each side of her mouth cut outward, giving her a permanent smile. She tried not to scream but the tears kept pouring out. After that he grabbed her locks and bit by bit started chopping away. One side was almost shaved off when the door was broke down. Two men came in yelling. Travis stood up and started yelling.
“Get out of my house!” He screamed while using no logic, “You should not be here!”
Ami heard him charge toward them and then she heard two gun shots. Travis stepped back and fell over her. His face landed infront of her and his cold eyes gazed into hers. She went into shock and could not speak or move. Kent ran in but stopped at the door. When she pasted him on the gurney he said he would visit tomorrow.
She didn't want him to come. She was not what she used to be and no one really knew who she was. Who would he be visiting? As she layed looking at the ceiling, she tried to figure that out. Ami will have to be remade somehow. Maybe Kent could help. Maybe not. Either way she would have to get up sooner or later. The floor was cold against her bare feet and as she stood ther she thought…"Time to start over".





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