The Ugly Kid

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The door opened, and everyone looked, just as they always did when someone arrived late. The only difference between that time and all the others was that no one looked away for some time. As the new arrival approached the teacher, he seemed to ignore the look of curiosity on the face of everyone present. He walked quickly, placing one heavy foot directly in front of the other, but swinging each leg outward to perform the task. On his feet, which were way to large in comparison to his body, he wore leather Birkenstock sandals, which used their thick straps to wrap tightly around a pair of heavy wool socks.

The new kid’s body seemed to move in segments. First, his legs would swing outward, as if unable to bend at the knee, then, his blue jean shorts would crease awkwardly. His torso, which was highlighted by a yellow Yellowstone National Park
t-shirt, seemed to struggle relentlessly against the pain of a heavy, camouflage backpack wrapped over his shoulders.

The silence continued, and the teacher’s mouth was hanging open just as much as everyone else’s as verified the boy’s attendance. The man returned the schedule slip while trying not to make eye contact, and pointed to an empty seat… Next to me! I gulped as the strange newcomer made his way down the aisle with long, loud strides. The Birkenstocks squeaked loudly, even on the cheap classroom carpet. He completely ignored my open-mouthed stare as he fell into the chair to my left. It creaked loudly with objection. His bottom lip was puffed out as if he were about to cry, and just as the teacher was about to return to his lecture, he let out a loud sniffle that made everyone turn back to him. Was he going to cry?

After a few seconds, the teacher turned back to his board and began talking again. I tried to pay attention, but was soon overwhelmed by an unbelievable smell. It reminded me of rotten eggs, almost sulfurous. As I looked at those around me, I realized that they had begun to smell it as well.

I decided to chance another look at the culprit. He was staring forward at the lecture with his lips pressed against a pair of intertwined, hairy hands. Short brown hair crowned his head and uncannily matched the unshaven hair between his upper lip and nose. White foam had gathered at the corners of his mouth, as if he had forgotten to wipe his mouth after he brushed his teeth.

After staring for a few seconds and taking in the rest, I finally noticed something incredibly troubling: He was staring right at me! His eyes bore into mine with such an air of confidence that I was forced to lower my gaze.
I tried to turn back to the board, but I slowly began to notice a small, low laugh to my left. I turned back and saw that he was still looking at me! Laughing! I slanted my eyebrows in offense and whispered, “What?”

“Nothing, nothing,” he whispered in a low voice that carried throughout the class. Everyone looked back at us. “It’s just, that your nose is kinda crooked.”





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