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Their World

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I remain in the car, hugging my knees to my chest, long after my mother leaves. I hide my ugly face with my hands. Minutes pass, and I slowly lift my head and flip open the car mirror. An appalling sight looks back at me. My cheeks are blotchy and wet, and my nose is dripping. My eyes are puffy and red. But this unattractive sight is nothing compared to the hideous monster that sits on the bridge of my nose. The monster has purple frames with two glass circles resting on my cheeks, hooking menacingly around my ears. He laughs at me in the mirror, “You are so ugly!” I look away in shame. Glasses. I try saying the word aloud, “Glasses.” It sounds foreign and strange in the silence.

Not wanting to see my awful face a moment longer, I uncurl from fetal position and step out of the car. The door swings open with a click. As I start walking towards the house, I make sure my hair is covering my face. No one can see me like this, not with this ugly thing perched on my nose.

The sun is setting, and I pause mid-step. Something is different. I lift my gaze to find the sun is still yellow, its silhouette still casts that comforting pink and orange shadow on the mountains. The sky is still a mellow blue. But something is strangely wrong... The mountains are much too defined, the sunset seems so constricted. Its different shades of orange do no slip and slide from each other like they used to, back and forward, like small children in a game of tag. They are as still as a corpse.

I know the culprit of this strange sight: the monster. I throw the glasses onto the ground, but they do not break. I look around again, and am pleased to find the world as I remember. What was that moving near the hedge? A bunny? Perhaps a baby bird, or even a tiny alien, watching me from his hiding place. This is the world I am used to, a world of endless possibilities!

I grab the glasses from the ground and shove them on my face. Now, the world is too precise, too defined. The thing near the hedge is not an alien, but a branch swaying in the wind. It has lost all its mystery, and I find it boring. The same. The worst part is, I know everyone else sees this way too. This world-- no, their world-- is not one of imagination, but of expected monotony.

At that moment, I look up at the night sky. The mountains are now hiding the sun as it sleeps. The sky is pitch black except for a few stars. But the stars are different; they are not the bright, glowing orbs I am used to, but miniscule specks of light scattered across a vast sheet of velvet. And now something else is different- the stars are winking at me, their brightness fluctuating in and out with the wind. I tilt my head in curiosity. They never did that before.

They are wonderful.

Perhaps this new world isn’t so bad, after all.




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