All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Her name is Ugly
He kinda had this bad ass look going on that the girl liked. Edgy, dark and most likely just the perfect amount of arrogance that would be fun to mess around with, fun to make fun of and just down right sexy.
That’s exactly what he was, Mr. Dark-Edgy-Sexy-Man, the boy that rode a motorcycle like he was Dale Earnhart Junior, had a smirk the size of Texas and the voice that could melt ice.
She watched him from where she was leaning across the table. She knew, for a fact, that her jeans made her ass look like a million bucks and she wore a top that made up for her flat chest. Her dark, brown hair was curled, tendrils gracing her back in gentle waves that made both genders want to run her hand through them.
A smile appeared on her lips as Mr. Dark-Edgy-Sexy-Man made his way to their table.
His eyes on the prize.
At ten feet away, the girl met him eye to eye, a staring contest if you will, as she slowly backed away into the mosh pit of dancers. The smile on her face turned sly, she beckoned him to follow her as she avoided the gyrating teens and their nameless dates.
The dark-haired beauty reaches the end of the dance floor, turning around to find the man.
Her shoulder don’t fall, her smirk doesn’t disappear, or the confidence that seems to follow her foot steps like a second shadow.
She knows he’s here.
She’s knows he’ll come back.
Turning around, the girl throws her arms around the guy’s neck. Taking in his delicious scent and the undeniable fact that he was there, with her.
“Jack,” she whispers, tears building in her eyes as her façade falls faster than the tears paving their way down her cheeks.
“If it isn’t my little David,” he smiles, his toothy grin sending her into a fit of sobbing laughter.
“I-I missed you so much, J.” She sniffs, “You don’t even know.”
“Oh, David, of course I know. Of course I do.” Jack gently brushes her tears away, wiping away all traces of salt water streaming down her cheeks.
David brushes her dark hair back from her face, takes a step back and looks at her David. Mr. Dark-Edgy-Sexy-Man cocks a smile, but returns the look with one of his one, hungrily looking at her like a raw steak. “Come on, David. Let’s dance.”
David takes his hand, happy to be in the arms of her best friend. Happy to be in the arms of a man she wishes would be her Prince Charming.
No matter how gay he is.
They didn’t look each other in the eye as they danced, both imagining who they would rather be dancing with.
For David, it was a straight version of the twirling god in front of her.
For Jack, it was the guy giving him the stare down at the bar, his tatooes swirling around his biceps and hiding beneath the sleeves of his shirt.
David noticed the look and gave Jack a nod, as if telling him to “buy him a drink before I do.”
Walking away, David starts dancing solo amongst the mosh pit, moving her hips to the beat.
And gently, ever so gently, hands rest on her waist, a chest presses into her back and the deep voice of a mysterious stranger fills her ears.
“Mind if I have this dance?”
She doesn’t answer his improperly, formal question, instead she keeps dancing.
Sweat poured out of her body, but she didn’t look bad, she looked like she was supposed to be drenched.
The drenched look worked for her.
The cold air met her wet skin, goose bumps breaking out almost immediately. The coat she had draped around her arm soon became draped around her shoulders, as she made her way down the empty street of the city that wasn’t more silent than it had ever been before.
It was the inkling of a feeling in the back of her mind that told her it wasn’t a usual night.
It was that little creeping suspicion that made her walk briskly, purposeful and intent with where ever she was going.
Her hair flew behind her, shining dully in the street lamplight, her shadow casting a long, threatening silhouette as the man that trailed behind her hid in the dark corners of the upcoming alley.
The knife in his hand felt oddly heavy, the silver capping his teeth throbbed with each breath he took through his mouth, the small stub of his left pointed finger was reminded of what used to be.
A few feet away and he didn’t dare step out of the shadows, he didn’t venture more than a few inches into a grayer shade of light.
The water dripped from a leaking pipe just like the sweat streaming down her hairline. A small crunch of his boots was barely heard above the light din of scurrying rats and abandoned car horns.
As she passed him, not noticing the man in the alleyway or the glint in his eyes, he stepped out of the shadows.
He could hear heart thumping, a steady beat that he grown to love as listened to it die in his hands, listened to fade as if it were the last few notes of a love ballad.
But he was not going to give her love ballad, no, he was going to give her the hell he had to pay for. The hell he had to live through every night as his father came home drunk off his rocker, carelessly throwing his fists around like they looking for something.
They would eventually find something, whether one day it would be his mother’s poor face that took the brunt of the attack like a defenseless mime or it be himself, a boy of twelve years old that could barely lift a finger to a man the size of his father.
It was for the slaps, punches, words.
For the way his father whispered his name like Satan, like a word never to be spoken of.
For the way his dad sliced his finger off like it was nothing but a raw carrot ready to be eaten.
For the way his father made him watch his mother’s last dying breaths as she gasped on the kitchen floor.
In three easy steps the girl from the dance floor was on the ground, her eyes shining up in horror as the knife he hid in his pocket shined in the solemn streetlight.
The words never escaped David’s mouth; she had no room to breath as his heavy, laden foot came atop her chest.
He leaned down to her face, his knife held menacingly by the edge of her eye brow, pressing his boot down into her chest.
No air found its way into her lungs.
No words found their way out her mouth as the knife dug into her skin and straddled to keep her arms
from messing up his kill.
The knife trailed from her brow to the base of her jaw, a clean slice of blood following it.
Then he stopped.
He looked into her eyes, he didn’t allow his knife to dig deeper as it reached her neck, no, he halted the progress.
Her green eyes shown up at him in absolute terror and paralyzed torture, an almost comforting familiarity,
He threw the knife to the side of the alley, taking his sweet time getting off of her.
Backing up against the brick wall of the shattered building, he realized that he saved a woman from his wrath.
A woman that had eyes that awakened his memories, that reminded him of the father that he saw die.
The knife had skittered to the edge of the trashcans lining the backstreet.
He took the knife, slicing it down his face like he had done to the mother-lady.
Right before he allowed the knife to do the world a sort of justice it deserved.
His body slumped to the ground.
He listened as his own heartbeat faded away like the last few words of a love ballad.
David pushes the pills around on her desk, absently picking one up before dropping it back down. She shoves all the pills into a container and hides them in the pocket of her hoody, the slight jangle of the pills giving her hope for an endless sleep.
She turns back to her open “art.”
“David.” She looks up from her notebook of “art”, her skill-less drawings smooshed into a mess of black scribbles.
She didn’t draw because she was good at it.
She drew because it was something more ugly than her face.
Her eyes met the woman’s calling her name, most would refer to her as “mom” or “mama” or, perhaps, “mother.”
No, not David. She refers to her a Woman.
Woman smiles timidly at her daughter, wondering when her firstborn will snap out of her depressing gloom.
But then, Woman remembers.
She remembers as soon as David turns her head to the right.
The hideous, pink flesh stretching down her face, leaving a trail of unintentional memory and days that would go faster if only David could find the courage to do away with herself.
To let Woman, her gone-one-day-here-the-next dad, and her little sister have the life they should be able to live.
She traces the scar down her face, letting her take the time to remember that night.
“David?” Woman asks again, crossing her arms over his chest. “Lily and Declan are coming over for dinner,” she pauses, pursing her lips. “It would be nice for you to eat with us.”
“I don’t even know who your talking about, “ David grunts in reply, knowing that she feels no remorse for her usual lack of attendance during dinner.
Woman doesn’t know that she just hopes they get used to it.
It will be so much easier when David is gone.
The doorbell rings, Woman hadn’t moved from her spot, gazing intently at her daughter. It rings again and Woman leaves reluctantly, not wanting this time to be the last time she sees her David.
The stairs seems steeper than they were before as she makes her way downstairs, her guests waiting anxiously at the door. The double doors open rather grandly, giving the house an appearance that it could not longer live up to.
The once shining marble floor was now dull and in need of a furious scrub, the elegant winding stair case was now more treacherous and the rooms now shone with less brightness than they had before.
Woman greets her friends, allowing Lily to hug her before making her way to the dining room as she had done every Thursday night for the past three months.
Her son, Declan, stands in the doorway. His broad shoulders tower over Woman’s tiny stature as he bends down to hug her tiny five foot two frame. Declan grins from ear to ear and looks over her shoulder.
“What do you need, Declan? I have refreshme-“ Woman said, following Declan’s gaze past her.
He quickly shakes his head, his dark hair falling on his forehead. “No, no! I was just looking to see if I would meet your daughter this time.”
“But you already have, Declan, Abby-“
“Your other daughter, Mrs. Montgomery.” Declan deadpans.
Flustered and embarrassed of her self, Woman starts fussing with her shirt. “I… um... I didn’t realize you would...” she trails off.
Declan only shrugs and takes a step towards the staircase, assuming her daughter was upstairs. Woman doesn’t say anything, just continues to fuss with her shirt and the worry lines between her eyes continues to darken.
Declan takes that as an OK and trots up the stairs.
Opening the first door he sees, he finds a beautiful girl slumped against her desk, her breathing oddly erratic.
An open container of pills lay by her hands, spilled over and scattered amongst her journal.
Two pills sit on her open palm.
The rest are gone.
Ever so gently, Declan shakes the girls slumped shoulders, her head bobbing back and forth.
It was the first glimpse of the scar that made him stop and stare.
He brushed her hair away from the scar, tucking it behind her ear.
He didn’t gasp or point fingers or apologize for the mass of dead skin lining her cheek.
Instead, he stood there mesmerized by the complete irony of it.
The beautiful girl plagued by the ugly trail of scar left behind.
He traced it from top to bottom, letting his finger linger.
As his finger stayed at the base of her jaw, he trailed down an even fainter scar to her pulse.
Her eyes flitted open before quickly closing once more.
She awoke in a hospital room. Tubes running every which way out of her veins, monitors hooked to heart and the ever-present beep that now made sure her heart was still, in fact, pumping.
A young man stood in the corner of her room, whistling to himself as if he were in a candy store rather than the hospital.
Her head pounded like a three-day hangover. “Shut up,” she snarled at him, massaging her temple.
He turned around, his eyes wide as they immediately started to trace the scar.
“Stop staring. It’s rude.”
A smirk played over his lips, lighting his face up like an angel. “You’re rude.”
She tried to hide the smile that was forcing its way to her lips, but she ignored the feeling of tender happiness as she, herself, traced the tubes veining from her arms.
“My name’s Declan by the way.” He paused. “I’m the one who found you.”
Smiling, David looks at her new friend. Not for long, she thinks. “Found me what?”
His smirk falters, he starts to wring his hands together. “Uh.. um-“ he pauses, taking a deep breath. “Killing yourself.”
A laugh comes out faster than she can stop it, “no s***, Declan.”
He awkwardly stands beside her bed, tugging at his hands.
“Declan,” she says quietly, “I’m only human.”
He just shrugs his shoulders and turning on his heel, he leaves.
The door closes silently behind him, leaving a trail of questions behind, but before she has time to answer any of them, Woman walks through the swinging door.
“David! You’re awake! Oh,” her face crumples, her composure weakens. “Y-you…I-I… I almost lost you!” she blurts finally, tears falling from her cheeks in a steady downpour.
You would think David would cry along with her mother, the petite woman that raised her, but, no, David sits silently, regarding her mother with acute awareness as she tries to lull herself back to sleep.
She’s running now. Running in the same alleyway that took away Beautiful, that took away the only humanity that kept her afloat in the family that she seemed to drown in.
In a world that seemed to suffocate her.
The man trails begrudgingly behind, the knife dangling in his hand by the tips of his fingers. His words slur as he calls out to her, “Davidd…comee… heree…”
Her heartbeat doesn’t stop pounding as her heavy breaths fill her ears, blocking out the approaching sirens and the heavy trudge of footsteps.
The man keeps talking but he doesn’t once falter, even as the alcohol he had drank enters his bloodstream.
The man appears in front of David, moving faster than he had before.
Her run slows, her breaths become tortured, her movements stiff with each passing turn.
Before long, David is on the ground, weeping as her body gives out.
The man sits on top of her, digging the knife in on the other side of her face, digging it deeper than the other side.
She doesn’t feel the pain, but instead feels the steady raindrops that wash away the blood. The dank concrete that sticks to her clothes and the small pebbles pushing into her back, piercing her skin like the knife the man holds in his hand.
“Don’t move,” he whispers, carving her face into an asymmetrical Ugly.
“I won’t,” David whispers back, right before grabbing the knife from the man.
And plunging it into her own throat.
The nurse heard the girl startle awake, the terrified scream bursting from her room and echoeing down the halls like an asylum.
Brushing her hands off from the sandwich that lay half-eaten in front of her, she scurries down to her patients room.
Not knocking before entering, she takes a step into the room.
Only to find her patient on the ground, weeping into her hands, her scar glinting in the moonlight streaming through the window.
“Mom, I’m not going.” She pauses, crossing her arms rather smugly. “You can’t make me.”
Woman turned around, tears threatening to pool over in her eyes. “You’re right.”
Woman keeps walking though, pulling Abby’s hand and watching from the corner of her eye as David, rather reluctantly, stalks after her.
“I’m not like these people.” She murmurs underneath her breath, trying to convince herself that she isn’t some depressed, wrist-slitting psycho.
The three of them walked into the meeting, Abby, David and Woman. They took a seat at the back of the room and watched as other individuals on the brink of suicide collectively walked in.
David sunk look into her chair, trying to avoid the stares and whispers and the questioning looks. She got a couple of sympathetic looks, but most were confused.
The girl was about David’s age, give or take a year. She had matted black hair that was chopped short in the back and left hanging long in the front. Her blue eyes looked sad, her voice sounded depressed.
“Hello, my name is Jenna and I’m suicidal,” the girl said.
All at once the group responds, “Hi, Jenna.”
David scoffs, this really is like the movies she thinks. The whole repeat-after-me-shit in the dim lighted church basement.
It’s a wonder how anyone got any better.
After Jenna was a guy, at least twenty that had eyes that weren’t sad and a voice that was strong and sure. “Hi, my name is Jake and I was suicidal.”
The whole group turned to him in awe, as if just saying he used to be suicidal was a god given miracle.
But suicide is a fickle thing, once you dig yourself that hole it’s all the much easier to fall back in.
A few more people go before it’s David’s turn. She immediately stands up, her dark washed jeans and t-shirt seemingly out of place in the dark basement and her dispirited new “friends.”
“Hi, my name is Ugly.” She pauses, sending a glance at Woman. “I mean David.” She corrects as if it were a mistake in the first place.
Jake watches the new girl, his interest immediately peaked, the scar running down her face was, in fact, ugly. The shiny glint that shown off the hanging lights made it seem long, dark and scary and uncannily contradictory to the somewhat brighter face that she had than the rest of the suicidal freaks.
Sue, the suicide therapist hired by the group parents, nodded at David as if the fact that she said her name was “Ugly” was of the upmost importance. Stopping the next person from going, she opens her mouth.
A telltale sign that she is going to ask a question.
“David, why did you introduce yourself that way?”
It was the mischievous glint in her eye that made Jake listen to her, unlike all the other times when he would just space out and watch water drip from the ceiling.
“Beautiful died the day I was attacked, Sue, and Ugly took her place.”
A smile crossed her face, Jake knew she was faking her lunacy, he also thought she was doing a damn well good job of it too.
“Who is Beautiful?”
David cocked her head, “honestly?”
Sue nods her head, “honestly.”
She takes a deep breath, the glint gone from her eyes as they start to glaze over. “Beautiful was me,” she pointedly stares at Jake, emphasizing the ‘was’. “Ugly is me.”
Jake squashes the smirk rising to his lips, his final thought before he spaced out on the suicidal bunch of depressed teens was ’this is going to be easy.’
The rain drizzles down her windshield. David squints through the wipers and the streaming water to find the stop sign that she knew was coming and the turn she always misses, no matter the weather.
Woman woke her up this morning.
She told her that Declan and his mom were coming over.
Why? David doesn’t have a clue.
All she knew was that at the mere mention of
Declan she had to get out of the house, get out of her room, get away from the desk where her slow beating heart rammed acutely.
She couldn’t face the pity look that she knew was expected from Declan or the questions he would bombard her with as if he needed to know her life story.
David was attacked, she was scarred, she’s not pretty anymore.
End of story.
“Dammit!” she yells, slamming the heel of her hand against the steering wheel, squeezing her eyes shut for a moment. “Missed the damn turn,” she murmurs, sniffing a bit.
She wipes the tears from the right side of her face.
David let’s the tears fall on the left.
Somehow the car finds its way home, David hesitantly taking out the keys from the ignition and opening the door as if the rain would melt her.
Well, for everyone’s sakes, she kinda hoped it would.
David stood outside the open car door, letting the rain run over her scar like sunlight on a dying plant. She liked the rain; it washed everything away like the memories and the nightmares.
But she also hated the rain.
She hated it because it couldn’t wash away the pain, the suffering or the scar.
Rain can’t make Ugly Beautiful.
She hears her name being called, but she doesn’t listen.
She hears their footsteps approach, but she doesn’t turn.
She feels them turn her body to their chest, pushing her head into their shoulder.
Then, and only then, does she allow herself to cry.
“Shhhhh, David, it’s okay.” Delcan whispers in her ear, making shivers run down the entire length of her body.
“Are you cold?” he asks, pushing her hair behind her ear.
“N-no,” she stutters, “just… just stay here… w-with me.”
She feels him nod his head, obviously not completely baffled by the request.
It’s some time before she finally pulls back from his chest, her eyes shut and swollen, undoubtedly red and dry. Declan watches her pull from his grasp, fighting the urge to pull her back again.
The scar squashes his urges, his wants and his thoughts about the girl standing in front of me, her green eyes hidden by dark lashes and salty tears coating her eyelids. It reminds of him of her past; the corruption that pushed past the point of no return.
Past a point where he can’t fix what has been broken.
“You’re only human, David.” He whispers at her, hoping that the rain might drown out his words into a silent storm.
David doesn’t say anything, begging him to realize that he shouldn’t be getting close, that he shouldn’t be saying shit like that.
She plays his words like he doesn’t say anything, like their caught in the wind of her own emotions and the rain.
Taking a step backwards, David finds herself walking into the house, Woman waiting by the staircase.
Declan walks in behind her, his converses squeaking on the marble floor.
David doesn’t take her shoes off, letting the her own squeaking and Declan’s drown out the noise of her thoughts, drown out the feelings that she doesn’t want to think about.
Trotting up stairs, Declan watches the girl he held in the rain solemnly avoid every last emotion coursing through her veins like oil and fire.
He turns to his mom and Mrs. Montgomery, a smile plastered on his face. “Are we ready to eat?”
They sit at the dinner table, the silence as thick as the uneaten lasagna in front of them.
Abby idly sits at the foot of the table, playing with her food and giggling as the garlic breads turns to mush as she dips into her milk.
No one sees David at the foot of the staircase, watching and waiting and listening to the conversation going on below.
It’s one of those things she’ll miss.
Like the awkward chat of David and Woman as they try to bond or when the ungodly, magical moment when something funny happens and they laugh in unison. Their chuckles would sound alike as they burst into more laughter that melodically echoes through the empty halls of their grand house.
Or even the simple conversation she would have with Abby. The endless questions and the never-ending ultimatum of “Why, David?” Her sister could turn anything into a full-blown scientific hypothesis. “But, David,” she would whine, “why?”
And she might just miss that quiet silence of conversation, in which she sits with someone comfortably, the tranquility oddly at peace with the usual cumbersome words they may share.
Ugly turns her head to the voice, expecting Woman or Delcan or, perhaps, Abby.
“Are you okay?” Lilly asks, her voice filling David’s body with the emptiness that drowns every single pore.
“Honestly?” David asks.
Lilly smiles, her teeth curving up into a white, toothy grin. “Honestly.”
David traces Lilly’s outline, from the honey-colored hair and brown almond-shaped eyes to the slim figure and hard hands that only a mother of a son could have. “Not at all.”
Lilly takes a gentle seat next to David, her body turning to face Ugly full on. “Go on,” she prompts waving her hands at her.
“Wom- I mean, uh, Mom won’t leave me alone.” She says, the first part of the list of her problems coming out, finally.
The first is always the hardest.
“I can’t function like this,” she whispers, gliding her hand down her left cheek. “I can’t handle the way people stare at me like I’m some character from a book. I can’t stand the way I look in the mirror anymore, I’m afraid that one day I won’t see me.”
“All I’ll see is the scar,” she whispers. “Beautiful died the day I was attacked. And Ugly took its place.” And with those final words David leaves Lilly at the bottom of the stairs, wanting more.
And, perhaps, a new goal in mind.
The door shuts with a bang as she makes her way into her room, immediately trying to find her cell phone.
It keeps ringing.
It echoes through her mind, tears falling down her cheeks in thick, salty raindrops.
Honest to God, it won’t stop ringing.
David throws her arms up in the air, exasperated and balancing carefully on the line drawn above insanity.
You know the feeling when you are about thirty seconds from take off? When everything blurs and the only thing you feel is the pure rage that seems to grow larger as you breaths become heavier?
Multiply that by a thousand and you have David.
David lifts up the mattress on her bed, throws the pillows off of her couch, slams her hand against the wall, and runs her fingers through her hair hard enough to loosen a clump.
She stares at the clump in her hands, her dark, curly waves splayed across her palm in an unruly web.
She holds it up, absently wondering if that’s what her heart looked like now, if that’s the path that her emotions took her on.
Ugly must have fallen asleep. The rhythmic beat of David’s breath as it pushes her chest up and down.
In her sleep she dreams of Beautiful, of the way she used to be admired and wanted.
Of when she was loved and loathed.
She dreamt of a face of pure skin, the scar everything, if not silent.
In her dream she looked in a mirror, a beautiful mirror, one where it makes the person look so much better than what they really are.
And in the mirror is Ugly.
She jolts up out of her bed, leaping as if it were on fire. Dry sobs rake her body; the overwhelming feel of pure fear wraps around her mind and suffocates her.
Thoughts of the man that attacked her, the sheer thickness of his arms and the gentle way he cooed at her and slid the knife down her cheek. The glint of the streetlight off the switchblade he had hidden in his pocket.
The look in his eyes as her slit his own throat.
His name had been Kellan Shelters, he had been thirty-seven when he killed himself, even though he had looked about fifty. Gray hair had peaked at his temples; wrinkles burrowing into his awkward smile and his mind gave way as his memories haunted his nightmares.
Kellan had sought help; he had never intended to be the shadow of his father or the bearer of his mother’s revenge. He had never once dreamt of taking the life of an innocent or thought of scarring someone to the point of death.
He had never once imagined the lives he would ruin.
He had never once thought about the lives he did ruin.
David lays back in her bed, her heart racing as even as the downpour running down her windows. She traces the scar down her cheek, almost hearing Kellan’s strangled last noises as the kinfe cut through his skin.