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KayDee

Malaysia

In love with books, music, and the sound of pencils scratching on paper. Aspiring writer, hoping to contribute something to the world. I am generally a nice person. :) Also, if you want to be friends, my inbox is always open! - knhhadi03@gmail.com -

Message to Readers

This was written quite long ago. but of course. any feedback is welcome!

Pretty Ugly

July 13, 2019

FREE WRITING

1
Two unusual things that took me by surprise in the past week was a big red 'A' circled at the front of my Maths paper; and the other one is my father's car at the waiting zone outside the school gates, with dad himself restlessly scrutinising the approaching crowd of chattering students, fiddling with the hem of his tweed jacket.

I was sure he was looking for me, and I wasn't surprised that he didn't recognise me. I'm wearing a mask, just like a quarter of the others filing towards the gate; plain white masks to hide our pretty faces. Yes, pretty faces. Every Pretty seven years or older are required to wear a mask according to the law in Uglyville.

"Dad, I'm right here," I spoke up as I got close enough to the car. "I'm supposed to walk to the kindergarten to pick up Connie."

Dad's hard face scrunched up like it always did whenever he looked at me. There was always the unmistakable shame in it, but he liked to think he wasn't to blame for anything. "She's in the car." He motioned to the back seat, where a little girl of six could be seen through the tinted windows.

I climbed into the car without any further comment, sliding right next to my little sister. As always, she stared at my face—at my mask. I always felt ashamed when people do that, but it was different with Connie. It was obvious that she was a Pretty as well—heart-shaped face with high cheekbones and defined jaw, noticeable at a young age; plump rosy lips, long golden eyelashes, slim upturned nose; and above all, honey amber hair cropped into a pixie cut. At a young age, it was arguable that any of these could be seen, but Connie was getting her final check-up in two months before turning seven. There's a good 99.99% that she's receiving a mask on her birthday.

The car had started to move, but Dad missed the right turn home. "Dad, you missed the turn."

"We're not going home," he grunted, as if it was obvious. "Your mom's at the hospital."

Connie enthused. "The baby's here?"

Dad acted as if he didn't hear the question and added, "Your brother and sister are already there." A traffic light flashed red at an inconvenient time as they were about to cross the junction. "Agh!" Dad banged a fist on the wheel as curses flew out of his mouth, and I covered Connie's ears.

The digital clock on the dashboard read seventeen minutes past four when we finally arrived at Merrywell's Hospital, but it took another seven minutes to find a parking space. It seemed like everyone fell sick, and none of the parking spaces were vacant. Thankfully, an old man with a shiny spot at the centre of his balding head reversed his convertible from a quite inconvenient spot. Dad parked his car, wedged between a minivan and a wall, but we all climbed off without much damage; if you didn't count the scratch on the driver's door upon hitting the wall.

While we walked across the parking lot towards the elevator, I straightened my skirt and asked, "What time did she actually give birth?"

"Four hours ago," he snapped and said nothing else in the elevator. It was an unsettling silence, but when you're a Pretty, you get that a lot.

Before the elevator doors even opened fully, Dad sprinted across the halls, startling nurses in white uniforms and checklists, giving elderlies on wheelchairs a heart attack—almost literally. Connie and I didn't dare dash after him—my reputation was terrible enough already with a mask concealing my face.

We walked along the busy hallway, enduring the whispers that weren't even bothered to be kept low. I pretended I didn't hear them, but Connie clutched tight onto my hand. She's still too young for this. Cut her some slack, Uglies.

A swinging ward door told us where Dad had entered, but the nurse outside regarded us coldly and refused to let us in until our Dad comes out. While we waited, Connie tugged on my sleeve and stared up at me with huge Pretty eyes.

"Merry?" she said in a soft tone.

"Yes?"

"Are we bad people?"

I broke our eye contact, grateful that she couldn't see my expression. My voice was clearly unsure when I replied. "Of... course not."

Connie' gaze trailed down to her toes. "Then why do people hate us so much? Like that time when they didn't let you into the grocery store because you wear a mask, that time when you and Tilly weren't allowed in the skateboarding place. Why do people hate masked people? And me?"

Children was always so curious. Humans in general are. We're all curious, but sometimes, some information needed to be put off from exposure until the right time arrives. Connie was too young to understand. But she's asking too many questions a fourteen-year-old like me could answer.

I squeezed her hand gently. "You'll know why soon." I didn't like it when I was told that either, so I wasn't surprised to see earnest demand in Connie's eyes. However, I didn't speak any further, as I heard something that caught my attention from the other side of the door.

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  • July 13, 2019 - 10:48am (Now Viewing)

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1 Comment
  • Paula2431

    What?? this is amazing but such a cliffhanger i want to know more. Please keep writing i cant wait


    about 1 month ago