The alarm clock went off annoyingly, making Alina turn in bed. Its been like just five minutes since she closed her eyes and now the alarm was waking her up. She covered her head with the pillow curling into the sheets, the alarm snoozed after ringing for a while. The next time it rang, it had Alina jerking up from bed. It rang so annoyingly loud as if it was angry that it wasn attended to at first. Alina shot the clock a sharp look like it was a human and turned it off. For the first night in years, she had slept so peacefully. The doctor was right anyway.

She felt the floor for her slippers and when her feet touched them, she slid them in and drew in a long breath. It was Monday, but not any other Monday, but a Monday that she would be starting a new school. New schools meant new friends, new opportunities, and a new lifestyle, but she wasn sure if her life was like that, no one wanted to be friends with a girl with half of her face ripped and she was sure it wasn going to be any different here.

She was only glad that she had gotten a part-time job that was going to help her get surgery done. She was just a teenager and living a sad life because she didn have a face that matched with others was so frustrating, although she had Grandma Anna and Dave who adored her, she couldn help but think it was only because they were family and it would have been different if they weren . Then she thought of Mr. Giannini, the Italian who was seeing her and Dave through school, and then she convinced herself that he was doing that out of gratefulness sake. Her father had been a great source of help to Mr. Giannini and the man couldn find a better way to pay him back. Even though the man wanted her and Dave to solely depend on him for everything, she rather make her own money. She wasn the type to be a liability to anyone.

When she was done dressing up, she came downstairs. Dave and Grandma Anna were already at the dining.

”Hey, pretty, you finally came down, ” Dave said with a cute baby boyish grin.

He had always called her Pretty for some reason she didn even understand. But he had just got stuck with calling her that. At first, it made her angry and feel weird but as time went by, she learned to live with it.

”Good morning, Grandma Anna, ” she said, went over to Dave, ruffled his hair, and kissed his forehead, then she sat down for breakfast.

”Ready for school? ” Grandma Anna asked with a concerned look on her face.

Alina huffed. She hated it when her grandma have that look on her face. ”Of course, I am, shouldn I be? ”

”I am certain you slept so sound last night. ”

Alina nodded to that and bit into her sandwich, stuffing her mouth with it so that she won reply to the next question her grandmother would throw at her. She was grateful for her grandma who had been there for them since they were kids and she was grateful that her grandma was not very old. She was still healthy and vibrant.

After a few minutes of eating dinner, Dave went on his school bus while she moved to the bus station to get a bus to school. Once she was on a bus, she put her earpiece on, receding into her own world. Her condition had forced her to become an introvert. She didn have anything to say to anyone. She got off and walked to the school.

Western High was a vast school and one of the prestigious schools in the city. Mr. Giannini had wanted her and Dave to go to the best schools. She hoped that she would one day repay all that he had done for her and then his children would repay her children and the chain would keep going like that. She wore her hoodie, covering the part of her face that was burnt, and convinced herself that she didn want to draw attention to herself. The schoolyard was busy as students chattered and laughed with friends. She peeked at them from her hoodie and headed towards the hallway.

Once in the hallway, her phone buzzed, she took it out of her pocket and opened the message. Grandma Anna sent her a smiley face emoji.

Have a great first day at school, honey

She smiled and just when she was about to take another step forward, she bumped into someone. The books she had in her hand and her phone fell to the floor. The other persons books fell to the floor too and they both bent to pick them up and that was when they saw each other. She recognized the girl, she was the girl from the cafe. The same one she had bumped into last Friday. The girl recognized her too.

”You again? ” the girl asked with a scowl, pushing back Alinas hoodie. ”Right, do you walk with your eyes behind your head? ”

Alina was stuck there. She prayed for the ground to open up so that she could fall inside as the girl exposed her face. A few students were watching their drama. The girl picked up her books and stood up, leaving her there.

”I heard Sonja and Ryan broke up, ” she heard one student say.

”Is that why she is so worked up this morning? ” she heard another ask.

”Well, they have dated for far too long, she should let some of us have a taste of him. I wonder how they would do that. Is it because he didn show up for her party? ”

”No one knows yet. She could do something like that, she is mean like that. ”

”Is she…Isn she new? ”

”Who? ”

”The girl squatting over there, I have not seen her face before. ”

”But, whats with her face? So ugly. ”

”Gross. ”

”Ryan Carson is here! ” a female voice yelled.

Alina heard the girls cheering, she turned to see who Ryan could be. If Ryan was worth the hype. When she saw him, she was completely stuck at that spot, looking at him. He was a tall, lean boy who had a face to kill for. She took in every detail of his face, his beautiful large green eyes, his thick and well-carved brows, his dark lush lashes, his straight nose, his full lips, and full cheeks. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. His physic was that of an athlete. She slowly stood up, still looking at him.

Then suddenly, he looked at her and smiled. She was surprised and her eyes widened in surprise at the thought that he was smiling at her. He was walking towards her and smiling, even with how ugly her face was. Could this be the fantasy she had heard so much about? Her heart rate picked a race as he came closer, his smile broadening into a grin. At that moment, she felt it was only the two of them in the hallway, the rest of the students suddenly disappeared. She felt dizzy just standing there looking at him, then she thought she could smile back at him. She started smiling and he came closer.

Her heart almost tore out of her chest when he was even closer. But when he got to where she stood, he didn stop, he just passed her like she was not there. She felt her heart drop suddenly and her face flushed with embarrassment. Her gaze followed him as he walked to the girl behind her. It was the same girl she had bumped in.

She groaned inwardly. What has she been thinking? That this god of a boy could fall in love with her? She was better than that. She was nowhere like that girl. The girl looked even prettier, taller, and more sophisticated. She watched as he went over and took her in an embrace. The girl slowly wrapped her arms around the boy. She turned to leave.

”Watch out! ” someone yelled.

Before she could know what was going on, something hit her face so hard, that she felt dizzy and saw stars. She almost fell, but she managed to stand still. A group of boys were in front of her and were smiling at her. The one with blonde spiky hair caught the football that had hit her.

”Ew, ” he said and squeezed his face. ”I guess you were you in the way, Uglicia, ” the boy said and the other boys burst into laughter and walked past her.

She felt so embarrassed and sad and wished she could just drop down and die at that moment. Then she heard other students talking.

”Wow, Tim is really a genius, how did he just come up with such a perfect name? ”

She heard laughter around her, tears welled up in her eyes. She had heard that high school was the toughest and meanest school level one could attend but this wasn tough, it was hell for her. She didn know when she turned her face and saw Ryan smiling and looking at her but looked away when she turned and walked away with his girlfriend, putting his hand over her shoulders. The bell rang, calling for every student to go into their classes. She watched the group of boys who had hit her with the ball as they went their way with Ryan and his girlfriend, chattering and laughing to themselves.

She didn realize when everyone left the hallway. She sniffed and wiped away her tears.

”You are bleeding, ” someone said.

She looked up to see a brown girl with large black curls looking at her. She didn understand the girl until the girl pointed to her nose. Alina touched her nose and when she looked at her hands, it was stained with blood. The girl offered her a handkerchief, she took it and wiped her nose.

”I am Karen Copper, nice saving you, ” the girl said stretching out her hand.

”I am Alina Andres. ”

”Alina Andres, lets go to class now. ”

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