She’s been staring in this mirror for around five minutes now. Her skin prickles every time she directs her gaze over her figure. It’s not in an overdramatic, self-deprecating kind of way, but an, “Oh my god, I can see where this is going,” kind of thing. She stretches her left arm out and rubs her fingers over the skin. She watches as the goose bumps rise up and form a temporary home, and she’s momentarily cold before she removes her hand. I’m definitely going crazy, she thinks, not understanding why her body has taken to betraying her like this.
She appreciates people looking at her, knows that she isn’t too hard on the eyes, but it’s the touching that gets a bit to her head and makes her overthink everything. Nathan’s great. He’s been her best friend since they were kids, but she’s noticed that he’s been looking a little longer, staring a little harder. And sometimes she wonders if he wishes he had more eyes to look with. She wonders if the watching, looking, and staring isn’t enough for him. Wondering if that’s why he lingers when their hands touch, and why he’s been hugging her a little tighter than normal. Her other friends say it is.
Genesis understands aesthetics, looks, and all the other terms that are used when debating and admiring beauty. But considering today’s forms of art, contemporary visuals and nice faces, she likes to think that maybe Nathan needs to spend some time working with a block of something malleable so that he can recreate what he sees when he looks at her. This way he won’t have to stare as long and as obvious anymore.
It’s hard to imagine what he would mold. His hands are so wide and his fingers are so long, he could probably make a masterpiece. The more she thinks about it, the more she can feel the way his fingertips would glide along the planes of her forehead. She can feel the dry skin that might mold the apple of her cheeks with an unsure pressure as he gazes at his work. Genesis can almost feel the hesitancy on the shape of her smile.
She thinks she would like to see through Nathan’s eyes, so she can comprehend what he sees when he looks at her. So she can understand what she looks like. Mirrors aren’t enough it seems; no reflective surfaces are. She knows Larae looks at her as if she hung the moon. She always says she’s admirable from every angle. She understands Andre’s, “You’re the perfect kind of a music,” followed by the genuine smile of someone who is proud of you. She also gets why Brianna says she’s the female version of Satan masked with an angelic face.
But Nathan, Nathan just mutters the word beautiful like he knows what it means. He says it like he understands proportions and lines and beauty in all ways. When Genesis says he is too, Nathan just shakes his head and solemnly but also a little desperately says that, “If you could see what people see when they look at you, then you’d understand.” Genesis will probably never fully get what he means, but she hopes that with time, maybe he’ll show her what he thinks beauty really is.