Broken Beauty (Original Story)

Broken Beauty (Original Story)

Sixteen year old Zoey Hayslett had everything- she was popular, had friends, and was beautiful. When her deepest secret slips out, however, she finds herself the victim of a crime that destroys her beautiful face, and with it, her confidence, leaving her a hollow version of her former self. Will she be able to face her own reflection and find the true meaning of beauty? And will she discover that she was not as innocent of a victim as people thought?

Chapter 1

Secrets

I can't bear it. I can't bear to look at myself in the mirror. I have no idea what hideous creature will stare out at me. It won't be me, that's for sure. This isn't me. This can't be me, lying here in this hospital bed staring up at the plain, speckled ceiling. The real Zoey wouldn't be caught dead in a hospital. The real Zoey would be out on a Friday evening. The real Zoey... she shouldn't have told.

There are some secrets you can't tell. If you do, they'll come back around and hurt you. You have to bury them down deep, never to be seen again. Don't let them surface. Don't let them do any more harm than they already have. Don't let them win.

I was weak and I failed myself. I let myself slip. Just once, at a party, I let myself go. Now look. Now look at the price I've paid. I can't speak save for pathetic croaks, and even then, the pain is almost too much to bear.

It's been hours since then, and night is beginning to fall. I can't imagine trying to sleep when my whole face burns. I think for a moment of my parents. Would they come? Shouldn't they have come by now if they were going to? Would they even want me anymore now? The secret must have spread by now. It must have reached them. What would they think? Father wouldn't like it... but mother... maybe she'd understand. All at once, I'm no longer anxious for them to arrive. I am terrified.

I debate upon hitting the call button again, but I think better of it. I couldn't see the look on her face again. She's try to cover it, as was her job, but I'd see it anyway. I'd seen enough of it when I was dragged in here and fussed over for the first half hour. Pity. Pity is not what I need right now. I need myself back.

"Baby!" I hear my mother's voice before I see her. Her high pitched squeal makes me grimace, and I close my eyes and pretend to be asleep. I can't deal with them now. I can't even begin to explain. "Oh, what happened to her? Why is her face..."

It sends shivers down my spine. Why is my face what? Ugly? Disfigured? Monstrous?

Dozens of words fly through my brain, and images of bloodied versions of my face appear that I just want to wish away. It can't be that bad. My whole life would change. Who would ever want to love someone so beastly?

"Mrs. Hayslett, we really ought to let her sleep... honestly, after the day she's had..." I can picture the nurse shaking her head. There it was again. The pity. I don't want your god damned pity.

I heard her sobbing, and for just a moment I feel bad for deceiving her. Then my father's voice cuts in, cold as always, and the guilt vanishes.

"Tell us what happened. We deserve as much. Tell us why our only child is gone."

Gone. That's what I am. Gone.

"She's not gone, sir, she's just asleep..." I hear the nurse begin. Big mistake.

"Tell me why she's like that! Tell me who did this!" He thunders, and his echoing voice makes me jump. I pray it doesn't give me away. It must not, because after a moment the nurse speaks again, quietly.

"She was ambushed on her way out of school. A man threw acid in her face. I... I'm sorry, sir."

"I don't want your pity!"

I smile to myself. It's the one thing my father and I share.

"Why? Just tell me why!"

I suck in a deep breath. This is it. This nurse is going to reveal my secret. Everything I've tried so hard to hide will be all out on the table.


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