“Ugly Beautiful Girl” by Tracy Krimmer
“He’s so nice.” Janna takes another cookie and hands one to me as well. “He’s so out of my league, though. Hell, he’s out of most people’s leagues.”
Everyone is out of my league. Between my Pinnochio nose, planet-sized ass, and the scars left behind from the great pimple outbreak of 2015, I’m far down in the lineup for anyone to date. I accepted that a long time ago. After being called a dog more times than I can count, I finally made the decision that maybe everyone is right. I’m not pretty and never will be. The more and more someone refers to you as something, the more likely you are to believe it.
“How is he so nice and his sister is such a jerk?” I don’t think I’ve ever seen two people so different from one another before. His first impression is the complete opposite from Olivia’s.
Janna begins walking so I step in line with her. “Who knows? They were both super popular in school but for different reasons. Her reasons are more X-rated if you catch my drift.”
Sex tape? Pictures online? Favors in the bathroom? I want to know but I also don’t want to gossip about Olivia. I don’t like when people say stuff about me so I don’t want to do it to her. Besides, things like that tend to come back around. I don’t want it to bite me in the ass.
“So this Tyler guy, was he your boyfriend throughout high school?”
“Nah. We dated senior year. That was it. I had one other boyfriend, Grant, freshman and sophomore year. I took junior year off of guys, I guess. Who knows?” She shrugs. “Sometimes I think about quitting guys all together.”
“Like dating girls instead?”
“Maybe. Or not dating at all. I’ll graduate, collect two dozen cats, and call it a life.”
She can’t be serious. I would kill to look like her. Okay, maybe not kill, but I could do some damage if needed. I doubt she has had any experience with being called names, and she’s had two boyfriends to my zero. I picture her strutting down her high school hallway sans book bag—she’s too cool for one. Her books are snug against her hip as she works her way down the hall as everyone glances her way. No. She can’t become a cat lady. If anyone should surrender her life to cats it’s me, and even I won’t do that.
“What about you? Do you have a special man in your life?”
Does my dad count? Probably not what she means. I almost kissed Shawn Solender once in sixth grade but that turned out to be a joke. Another time as a freshman I was supposed to go to Homecoming with Chris Henderson. I sat on the front steps of my house for three hours before I finally admitted to myself he wasn’t coming. On Monday at school everyone made fun of me and pictures were posted all over Instagram. Someone had stopped by and snapped as many shots of me crying as they could. The hashtags were horrible, things such as #loser, #whowoulddateher, #dogface, #dogbreath, #nobody. They got pretty negative, pushed me down to a point I almost didn’t want to get back up, but I did. I keep telling myself they are only words, no matter how much they hurt.
The change begins with me, right? If I’m going to create a better life for myself, I have to be confident. “No. There are a few guys who want to date me, but since I’m here I want to play the field.” I’m sure she sees right through me, and if she does, she doesn’t let on.
“Us hotties have to stick together and stay single.”
Hotties? She’s speaking of herself, not me. I appreciate the gesture, trying to include me in a clique I will never be part of. I’ve been through it long enough. I know the truth.
I’m the ugly girl in the room. I always have been and always will be.
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