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Critiquing Perfect This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Sunlight filtered in through the brittle blinds hanging over the window. Her eyes fluttered open like a butterfly’s wings and took in her surroundings. The dresser with open drawers having clothes spilling out of them like a water fall. A mountain of well read magazines on the bedside table with an old fashioned alarm clock perched at the summit. Someone had left the bathroom fan on the night before and the chopping sound of its blade echoed in the small room. She untangled the blankets from her razor nicked legs and swung them over until they touched the spongy carpeting on the floor.

Stand up, she told herself and her body obeyed, don’t trip over the step into the bathroom. Her freshly polished toenails bumped into the small imperfection in the flooring but she caught herself. Smile as you pass the mirror, automatically her gaze shifted to her reflection in the grungy mirror, your skin looks worse today. Cover that up with something before going out. The only blemish on her face was a healing scar on her chin. A fake smile forced its way on her chapped lips, you’re teeth are too yellow. She plucked the red toothbrush out of the cup on her cluttered sink and spread some toothpaste upon its bristles. Scrub in circles, otherwise they won’t get clean and you’ll repel everyone you grin at. By the way, make sure to floss afterwards, a little mouth wash wouldn’t hurt either. Next she squirted a generous amount of harsh facial cleanser into the palm of her hand and began massaging it into her face. Take the full two minutes to do this; you don’t want to look like a slob. There was a fluffy orange towel hanging over the back of her door to dry her face on. It was still damp from her nightly shower she had taken the evening before. You have a terrible bed head, look at all those split ends. She raked a brush through her dark mane before slathering it with hair product.

She took another look in the mirror, teeth-good enough, face-needs makeup, and hair-acceptable. Fresh scented deodorant was applied and floral perfume sprayed only on the neck and left wrist. You probably still smell like the gym from last night, make sure you find a clean shirt today. A pile of dirty clothes was barricading the entrance to her closet. Don’t wear that pink shirt; it makes you look too much like a pig. She tossed it aside and rifled through the shirts hanging up. Finally deciding on a simple tunic she slipped it over her head and pulled on a pair of jeans. You look a bit round in that, don’t you think? Her reflection told her otherwise but she kept insisting it looked wretched. Before leaving for the morning she swept a small amount of blush across her defined cheek bones and applied some shiny lip gloss.

Don’t eat too much, it’ll bloat you. A bowl of steaming oatmeal was waiting on the kitchen counter for her. She quickly devoured it before stacking the dish in the sink full of dirty cookware. Check to make sure you didn’t get any on your face. Following procedure she checked in the foyer mirror to make sure she looked as pleasing as possible. Look at how bushy your eyebrows are, and your peach fuzz is turning into a mustache. A honk from outside drew her out of her thoughts. Grabbing her beaten backpack from beside the front door she saw a large black truck sitting in front of her house. Don’t walk too fast; you don’t want to fall down the hill in front of him. The descent down the front yard took only a moment before she reached the vehicle. A boy was waiting there; he was skinny and had a mild case of acne outlining his jawbone. He opened the door to the passenger side for her and a pleasing look stood on his boyish face.

“Good morning beautiful,” He placed his lips on her porcelain cheek, “you look perfect.”




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