Monday, April 19

excerpt from Beauty

This is the stack of books I would much rather be reading than working on my projects (which is what I'm doing). Here's an excerpt from the short story I am reworking for my creative writing course.

My father and Dr. Brennon talked far into the night. I sat at a table by the dirty window. I stared at my distorted reflection and ran my finger up and down my scar. I tried to picture myself without it. I turned and looked at my profile. My eyes are big and dark. My skin is pale and my lips look red against it. I might be beautiful from this angle but always there was the pale red scar on the other half of my face. I stared and wondered if without it I would be beautiful. I stared and wondered if life without my scar was real. Was this the answer to all those prayers, those nights curled up crying out to a god, any god? Was Dr. Brennon the proof that all my wishing had not fallen on deaf ears?

“Beauty, Beauty,” My father rested his hand on my shoulder. “Wake up, my dear Beauty. Tomorrow you go with Dr. Brennon.”

I lifted my head off the table and looked around the bar, Dr. Brennon was gone.

“He went to his hospital to arrange everything. Tomorrow I will drive you there and soon you will have the surgery.” There were tears in my father’s eyes. “Soon the scar will be gone.”

The next morning I packed my small suitcase with a few items of clothing and a picture of my mother. I kissed Joanna and Lettie good-bye and my father and I got into his old, dirty car. We drove for hours but for once, the sleep that normally stole over me on long car rides was kept at bay. I stared at the window and smiled up at the sun and the clouds. When we stopped for gas I almost didn’t notice the stares from the other customers; soon no one would stare at me.

We arrived at the hospital as the sun was setting. The mirrored windows of the building reflected the red and pink of the sun over and over; every way I looked there was beautiful color. A nurse met us at the door and took us to my room. The bed was big and soft, not at all like the hospital beds I had slept in after the accident. The walls were pale blue and the floors were a thick carpet. When my father left that night to return to the bar and my sisters, I took off my shoes and sunk my feet into the carpet. I stood with my arms outstretched and smiled. That night, before I went to bed I said a prayer of thanks for Dr. Brennon. While I slept, I dreamt of princes and castles made of sunsets.

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Sarah Yvonne