to be pretty | 2018

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VIII

ALENE would have never imagined the day that she would see tears painting Ember’s face with dark sorrow. The black lines followed the natural contour of her face in beautiful patterns, like rivers of sadness in the lonely forest.

Ember hadn’t taken notice of the blonde when she had entered the bathroom, and proceeded to cry, gripping tightly onto the sink closest to her.

Alene watched as her shoulders shook with grief, her chest collapsing with each deep breath - a futile attempt to stop her tears.

Ember’s eyes reached her own, taken slightly aback by her dishevelled appearance. She never thought she would let herself break for another person, but she had been fooled once again.

She was just not beautiful enough.

Alene’s silence brought unwarranted feelings through her veins - anger at her own insecurities. Her body was so immobile in the presence of other people, though her eyes were all too willing to analyse everything there was of those around her.

For the first time, however, she opened her mouth, “Are you okay?” She asked, quietly, shyly. Instantly, she cursed herself for coming up with the worst question to ask a person shaking from pain.

Ember’s head snapped up over to the quiet girl, her eyes narrowing slightly to see through her tears that shielded her vision.

She sniffed, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand as she nodded “Yeah, I’m fine”

Alene shook her head, a sudden confidence reeking her system as she stepped closer “A person who is okay does not run into a public bathroom with tears streaming down their cheeks.”

“You’re rather articulate” Ember noted as she held gaze with the golden eyed girl. Her comment came from a place of hidden curiosity, wondering what made this girl speak with such subtle poetry.

“I prefer articulate to repetitive”

Ember’s head had tilted slightly as she stared at the smaller girl in wonder “Say something else”

“What do you mean?”

“Just keep speaking,” Ember shut her eyes for a second, clearing her thoughts “Please”

Alene was doing the best she could to not fumble or blush profusely “I’m not quite sure I understand your request, but who am I to deny a girl in need of the words from a quiet stranger”

“I love your voice” Ember smiled genuinely, before clearing her throat awkwardly, brushing her hair back “I’m sorry, that was weird, I just really like the way you speak and your accent, it’s so calming”

Alene brushed a strand of hair behind her ear, mirroring the other girl’s actions, a soft blush dusting her cheeks “I’m glad I could help”

She had never seen the other girl’s face so closely before. She would have never known that small freckles scattered across her nose like small stars in a beautiful galaxy.

The black haired girl smiled to Alene, her heart beating in ways she had never felt. She held out her hand, a friendly smile on her lips “Ember”

The blonde held the girl’s hand, “Alene”.

Ember smiled again “I hope to see you around, Alene”

“You too,” the blonde’s cheeks seemed to dust with crimson as the other girl’s name rolled off her tongue “Ember”

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