Loving Her Scars
Alina was seated alone at the old school building, she had received so much bullying and humiliation that day alone, which was frustrating. In Australia, they knew what happened to her face, and if not for Naomi and her clique who always made sure they push her to the wall. She had stopped fighting with Naomi because she always think Naomi was the reason for her predicament. If she hadn had that fight with Naomi five years ago, her mother wouldn have punished her by sending her down to the basement and her parents wouldn have died saving her in the basement.
She wiped her tears and sniffed. Naomi was the top girl in school now, something she had always wanted and nobody remembers she was once beautiful. No one remembered pretty Alina anymore. A lot of kids back in Australia were just pitying her and it made her feel worse, but it was different here. Here, the kids made fun of her. The introduction session was one she was never going to forget. She won forget the amusement on the faces of those boys when she had introduced herself to the class, she won forget the look on Ryans face when Ms. Angela had asked her to take the seat next to him. That was what hurt her the most.
”Sonja, Sonja, wait, ” Ryan called trying to catch up with her but Sonja wouldn wait. ”Babe, lets talk. ” Alina heard their voices, it interrupted her thoughts, when she found out that they were headed towards her, she decided to hide.
”Talk about what? Ryan, I can , ” Sonja said.
”Why? ” Ryan asked.
Alina hid behind a pillar and peeped at them. They were both hanging their backpacks. Ryans face was miserable as he pleaded with Sonja.
”Why, Ryan? What if the other kids at school find out? I don want to be a laughing stock. ”
”What? Sonja, whos gonna tell them? Its only the both of us that know about it. Besides, that shouldn determine how we feel for each other. ”
”Its an important factor, Ryan. I can do this, my parents won even allow that. Im sorry. ”
”Is this a break-up? ” Ryan asked. Alina felt she heard the tears in his voice.
”Yes, Ryan, Im sorry. Please don come hugging me anymore when you see me in school, lets pretend we never happened. ”
”Sonja? Are you going to treat me like a plague now? ”
”Im sorry, Ryan. I am going to make it official in the school group that we ended things, so please, don come to me again because I will humiliate you. This morning, I didn want to embarrass you in front of everyone, but if you do that again, I will have no other choice. Goodbye, Ryan, ” Sonja said and started leaving.
”Sonja, Sonja, ” Ryan called after her but she didn turn nor stopped.
Ryan fell to his knees and hung his head. His heart was aching badly. He was so in love with Sonja.
Alina watched him from her hiding place and although he didn treat her right, she took pity on him and felt the urge to go and console him, but she knew he was not going to let her console him. She just stood there looking at him, then something started crawling at her back, she slowly caught whatever it was that was crawling her back because she didn want to make a noise that would attract Ryans attention.
But when she saw it was a spider, she screamed and ran out of the hiding place. Spiders were one of her biggest fears, part of the reasons she hated going down to the basement. She ran towards Ryan and was running past him, but he caught her by the wrist and drew her to him. She hit the wall of his chest and drank in his musky masculine scent, which debilitated her for a second.
”What is wrong with you?! ” Ryan was screaming.
”Spiders! Spiders! ” she yelled.
”Relax, there are no spiders, ” Ryan said, holding her in his embrace.
Like an antidote, it calmed her, her body stopped quivering. She was left panting. Ryan held her for a few seconds, pulled away, and looked into her eyes.
”Listen to me, there are no spiders, ” he said re-assuredly.
She nodded, unable to say anything. Her throat felt parched all of a sudden and she felt warmth all over her body from their proximity. She was lost in the ocean of his green eyes. Green had never been this beautiful to her. But Ryans face crumpled in a frown and he suddenly left her and took a few steps back.
”Wait, did you just pull that act up? ” he asked, irritated.
”Huh? Act? What act? ”
”You screamed spiders, spiders so I could hold you. ”
”No, no, there was a spider, ” she said quickly. She might be into him, but she would never stoop so low to seek his notice. It kind of infuriated her that he thought she put up an act to get his attention.
”What were you doing here? ” Ryan asked and immediately surprise crept into his eyes. ”Were you stalking me? ”
Alina tried not to laugh because it was laughable. She was the girl that boys stalked and she found it annoying. She had never stalked a boy. She chuckled. ”Stalking you? Wow, this is hilarious. Why will I stalk you? I was here before you came. ”
”You were here because you know that this is my hideout and I am always here alone. Haven they told you that? ”
She was into him but she was getting irritated by his accusations. What does he think she was? Some sick girl? She might have lost her beauty but not her pride. ”How will I know that, when I just came here today? I was here before you. Besides you didn build this place. ”
”How much did you here then? ”
”How much of what? ”
”Come on, you know what I am talking about. You heard everything Sonja and I talked about. ”
”Well, you guys never really talked about anything. ”
Ryan nodded and looked away. ”We will leave separately. I will leave first, then you leave after fifteen or thirty minutes. ”
”Why? ” she asked.
He shot her a ridiculous look. ”Do I need to explain that? People should never see us together, you are not the kind of girl I should be been with. ” He started to leave but stopped and turned to her. ”And the reason Sonja and I ended things should remain a secret. You should die with the secret. ”
The words hurt as a knife stab to Alina. Tears stung her eyes as she stood there watching him leave. She couldn even take a step.
”I hate you, ” she muttered and went to her hiding place to pick up her backpack.
Grandma Anna was drying out clothes when she got home while Dave was observing his siesta.
”Im home, ” she said when she went into her room and dropped her backpack on the bed.
Grandma Anna came into her room with a smile. ”My darling, welcome home. How was your first day at school? Exciting right? Dave made a whole lot of friends, he couldn stop talking about his friends. What about you dear, did you make new friends…? ”
”Grandma Anna, you know that I didn make new friends and you know the situation already, ” Alina interjected.
”Im sorry, honey, its just… ”
”You are not sorry, because you keep doing this every time, trying to make me feel its okay, trying to make me feel like a normal kid… ”
”Because you are a normal kid! ” Grandma Anna blurted, tears already welled up in her eyes.
Alina looked at her for a while. ”You know thats a lie. Whats normal about being laughed at in school? Whats normal about being treated like a plague? Whats normal about being nicknamed Uglicia on my first day at school? You know Grandma Anna, you feel its going to make me feel okay but it makes me feel worse. ”
”Alina, dear, Im sorry if thats how you feel… ”
”Im off to work, ” Alina said, took her handbag, and started to leave the room.
Grandma Anna followed her. ”Work? What work? ”
”I got a job at a cafe near the school. I just came home to tell, you. From tomorrow, I won come home after school, I will stay there after school. ”
”What? Alina, why do you need a job? ”
Alina turned to look at her grandmother. The old womans face had worry printed all over it. Alina huffed. She knew that her grandmother had her interest at heart and she hated to see her grandmother worry, but she had to do something for herself. She took a few steps back.
”Grandma Anna, I need to have surgery to restore my face. You know thats why I am saving money, thats why I need a part-time job. ”
”Alina, you are beautiful and you know that. The true beauty lies in the heart, not on the face and you know you have a beautiful heart… ”
”Grandma Anna, stop making me feel better! ” Alina cried.
”Why don you ask Mr. Giannini for help then? Im sure he won mind. Alina, I am trying to understand you too. ”
”Grandma Anna, Mr. Giannini has done enough for this family and you know I can . I hate being a liability. ”
”Alina, you are just seventeen! Allow yourself to be taken care of! ”
”Exactly, what if you were not here? Won I learn how to take care of myself and Dave? This is a life-surviving skill. See you later Grandma Anna. ” Alina said and stormed out of the house.
Grandma Anna watched her as she went away, walking down the alley.
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