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Rose By Any Other Name
I knew I was different...I knew I was adopted, that I'd been abandonded as a baby. Nobody knew who my birth parents were. Sometimes I would catch myself looking at other blonde-haired blue-eyed adults and think, "Is that my mother? " But I would knew I would never know the answer.
Night fell upon the world, the moon hanging low in the sky. Her shoes don't make a sound as she sneaks across the grounds, hoping that nobody would notice her. She hugs the cloth to her chest, trying to keep quiet. The door-the door. The door was red right? Yes, she thinks. It was a horrible blood-colored red; the dark, mystifiying shade of a wilting rose...
The red door, the red door, she keeps repeating in her mind, searching. Finally, she stopped, her eyes running over the smooth wood of a door basked in moonlight. This is it, she thinks. What will happen after this? She sets the blanket-covered package at the foot of the door. Will it be cold tonight, she asks herself. Hesitantly, she knocks on the door, and runs into the surrounding trees. She watches as the blood-colored door opens and a young man looks down at the blanket, surprised. She watches as he picks up the package and slowly walks back into the house. The red door closes behind him: click.
She peeks from behind the trees to the door basked in moonlight. She wonders if she made the right decision tonight. The woman turns and tramps back through the woods, the first of a million tears running down her face, and hitting the leaves beneath her feet.
***** ***** ***
"Who do you think left it? " Darcy asked her dark-haired husband.
"I don't know, " Max replied, playing with the edge of the blanket. "Should we turn it in? "
"Can't we just keep it? It's darling, " replied his wife. The baby looked up at them with bright blue eyes.
"I guess we can...she's been abandoned. "
"No letter, or a note, Max? " He shakes his head.
"I want to name her Allysa, " Darcy said, still looking at the baby girl. Max peers down at the bundle as well and said, "Allysa Rileson. "
* * * * *
I always knew I was different. Sometimes I would look at other girls my age and think, "I wish I was normal like them, " but my wish was never fulfilled. I knew I shouldn't be complaining...most people would wish for the opposite of what I wished for. But my wish, a wish that I made religiously every single day in case God was listening, was that I wasn't so beautiful.
"You're so lucky to have those pretty blue eyes, and that beautiful, golden blonde hair, honey " my mother told me constantly.
I knew I was adopted - that I'd been abandoned as a baby. I also knew that being beautiful was a pain. People would stare at me; I could always feel their eyes on me, watching me, noticing how my blonde hair cascaded down my back, or the grace with which I would lay my hand on my knee when sitting, or how I would turn my head when I was paying attention. It was unsettling. It felt like an invasion of privacy.
And the worst of all...I could never tell whether people, especially guys, liked me for me or my looks. I had tried many guys and they were all the same. They just poured on the charm until we were alone, and then they all wanted the same thing. They were horrible, and every time I had gotten a little more hurt. I had basically given up any thought of having a boyfriend. Except my friend Natalie had high hopes for me.
"Please, Allysa. Come on. Paul's a good guy. He's nice. Exactly your type, " Natalie told me.
"I don't have a type, " I reminded her for the hundredth time. "I don't date. "
"Lyssa, come on! You're beautiful. I don't understand why you don't think you could get boyfriends. "
"It's not that... " I tried to explain, but then gave up. Trying to explain this to her would be like trying to explain color to a blind person. Natalie is my only friend; I don't have any others, and I didn't want any others. And I guess that's okay, because girls don't usually want me to be their friend anyway; they were usually afraid I'd steal their boyfriends. Which I never would.
"Please. Just go on this one date with him. He's a good guy. You would like him. Trust me, please. And if you don't like him, you could always just...ignore him or something. " I knew Natalie would just keep begging until I caved so I said,
"Okay. Fine. Just this one date. That's it. "
"Yessss! " she squealed, hugging me. "You won't be disappointed. Promise. "
We would see about that. I was always disappointed when it came to guys.
Crying was a thing I did often. Every time I was disappointed I cried even more. I walked back up to the steps of my house to my red door. I opened it and ran upstairs before my mother or father had a chance to see me. I had been disappointed again tonight. Turns out the guy had been a jerk...a loser. Only wanted one thing, just like the rest of them. I lay on my bed and cried until my eyes were red and puffy. "Why me? " I yelled at the empty room. "Why? Why can't I be normal? " I asked, sobbing. I didn't expect an answer, so when I got one, it surprised me.
"Because, " the voice said, "because that is the way life goes. " Shocked, I looked up and saw a woman standing there. I didn't even care.
"How did you get in my room? " I asked, halfheartedly. The girl didn't answer, just watched me cry.
"You don't want to be beautiful anymore? " she asked me, curious.
"No, " I replied, sobbing into my pillow. "It's such a pain! I don't know why anybody would want this! "
"So you want it, so shall it be, " the woman said. Confused, I looked up to answer, but the woman was gone. Suddenly, I felt very tired and my eyes wouldn't stay open. I collapsed against my pillow and slept all night.
When I awoke the next morning, I felt stranger...almost sick. Remembering the woman I had met last night, I rushed to my mirror. I gasped.
It wasn't me staring back, like it should have been. My beautiful long hair was cropped short against my head, and the face that stared back at me was...
I couldn't explain it. It wasn't beautiful...I was...
I was different. I gaped at the mirror. This was me, now. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. This was me.
I fainted and hit the carpeted floor.