Here Files of Pins extend their shining Rows,
Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billet-doux.
Now awful Beauty puts on all its Arms;
The Fair each moment rises in her Charms,
Repairs her smiles, awakens ev’ry Grace,
And calls forth all the Wonders of her Face.
– Alexander Pope
Little Abby Sinclair was not fully satisfied with her looks, despite the fact that everyone said she was very pretty. In her eyes, however, she lacked that singular defining feature that would place her in the category of the world’s most glamorous women. Madonna, Cindy Crawford, and Angelina Jolie all had one, and she was determined to have one, too.
To her great joy, Abby believed she’d found the way to address her one physical shortcoming. She immediately went through several popular movie and fashion magazines to determine the best place to add the emblematic spot. After studying countless photos of stars and models, Abby concluded that the speck would show off best just above her lip. With that in mind, she went to her bathroom mirror and prepared to transform her appearance. . . and her life.
Two dabs of the black Magic Marker against her supple skin, and she became the person she had so desperately wanted to be. I’m Marilyn Monroe. The most beautiful girl at Darby Middle School, she thought, staring at herself with uncontained delight. Look at me! Look at me! she squealed.
“Come down, Abby. The school bus is coming, honey,” shouted her mother from the foot of the stairs leading to the second floor bedrooms.
Abby quickly wiped the mark from her face, leaving a red blotch in its wake. She knew her mother would never let her out of the house with it.
“Don’t run. The bus is just getting here,” said Pam Sinclair. “Have a good day, sweetie pie. Get A’s, okay?”
Abby located an empty seat in the rear of the bus. There she reapplied the felt pen to her upper lip. As she did this, the bus hit a pothole, causing her hand to move. The result was a slightly larger mark than she had planned on making. She was not aware of this until her classmates brought it to her attention.
“What’s that on your face?” asked her best friend, Mary Parker.
“Looks like a bug,” declared Dennis Copland, snickering.
“It’s not a bug. All the movie stars have one.”
“Well, it does look like a bug,” observed Sally Butler, squinting as she took a closer look.
“Hey, guys, look at bug face,” shouted Dennis.
“Shut up!” yelled Abby, placing her hand over the object of their ridicule.
“Bug face! Bug face!” chanted several boys, prompting other kids in Abby’s class to join in.
“It’s a beauty mark! You dopes!” blurted Abby, running from the classroom just as her teacher arrived.
“What’s the matter, Abby?”
“I have something on my face. I’m going to the lavatory to wash it off.”
Abby stood before the bathroom mirror and wiped the ink from her face with a damp paper towel. It does look like a bug, she thought, tears welling up in her pale green eyes. Why do they call it a beauty mark? How come the stars have them? It’s stupid . . . I’m stupid.
Instead of returning to her homeroom and facing the mockery of her schoolmates, Abby left the school and began walking home. On her way, a car pulled up with a man inside, who reminded her of Justin Bieber . . . but older.
“Hey, beautiful girl, you want a ride?” he asked, pushing the passenger side door open.
Beautiful, thought Abby, flattered. He thinks I’m beautiful.
After only a moment’s hesitation, she climbed into the car, and it sped off.
Category: Fiction, Short Story