Her name is Ugly
Chapter 7They 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.