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Ugly to the Bone This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

All my life I was surrounded by slender figures and beautiful faces. My parents were young and pretty, like a new copper penny is the morning sunlight. My family didn’t eat much and not even because of being skinny. My hometown is barely considered urban. Food, until recent years, wasn’t so widespread in markets. Anything delicious came at a high price. For that reason, my family was all lean. Me? I grew up in America, land of food, skinny movie stars, and beautiful people. I was no where near beautiful.

I walk into the library, where my friends already sit. I smile at them and they all hug me. I felt important, which didn’t happen too often. I sit in the hard wood chair and my friends chatter away. Suddenly, my friend passed me a piece of notebook paper. I open it and see a drawing. The face was disfigured and hideous, the hair was disheveled. I stare at it as he laughs.
“That’s you.” He explains to me, still snickering.
Something inside me twisted painfully. I looked up at him and his laughing face. Holding myself back, I stand up and sling my bag over my shoulder. No one notices, they’re too busy giggling. I brush past my friend and she turns around.
“Where are you going?” she asks.
I don’t answer, afraid to start bawling. Out of the corner of my eye I see people looking at me. I ignore them and take hasty steps, my boots making clicking heels on the linoleum. I don’t even look back as I drop the piece of notebook paper on the floor.

I find myself sitting in the corner of the school bathroom’s farthest stall. I’m surrounded by Sharpie drawings of hearts and names. A dim light above me illuminates the stall enough for me to see that I’m sitting on the grimy floor. I don’t care about the dirt that is probably underneath me. My face is wet, salty and I hate myself for it. The look on their faces was more than I could bear. I took out a mirror and opened it. The image of me was enough to make me realize that they are right. I look at my red puffy eyes, and black trails of mascara running down scarred cheeks. I am heaving sobs and my hair is in my face, making me look almost scary. I reach up to rip a piece of toilet paper from the dispenser above me. Still holding the mirror in my shaky hands, I wipe off the mask of makeup on my face. The bathroom door opens and I hear footsteps inside the bathroom door. I curl up in the corner, ready to pass out.
“Did you see _____?” one girls’ voice comes from the other end of the bathroom.
I clench my fists and shut my eyes tight, recognizing that voice.
“Oh my god, did you see her face?” her friend, Nicole asks
“Yeah! I just saw her in the hallway. She bumped into me in the hallway and I almost died!” the girl answers.
My hand went numb from me digging my nails into it.
“She looks like a goblin!” Nicole commented and they screeched like banshees.
My legs felt like jelly; I couldn’t control them. In a split-second, I was up and standing behind the girls. They look around and laugh, not even trying to cover up their conversation. I walk away, yet the follow me.
“Look who it is!” she screams after me.
People look over at me and point. I get in the stairwell, eyes brimming.
“Hey, ugly!” some boy’s voice is aimed to my direction.
My pace quickens, but my foot misses the first step. My ankle twists and pain envelopes me, becomes me. I scream and the pain screams right with me. The last thing I see is my friends standing at the top of the stairs.





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