There are freckles on Lucy’s nose.
Twenty-six of them, to be exact. Twenty-six tiny dots, twenty-six splashes of color dripped onto the center of her face.
She stares down at them, at her freckled nose. She wrinkles it.
“I hate freckles,” she says to herself in the mirror. She reaches up toward the glass and tries to wipe them off her reflection, but it doesn’t work.
It never does.
They don’t fit in. They pop out against her pale complexion, making her feel like a piece of art that the artist never finished. Like a mistake. Like a test marked with red x’s.
Like scars. Grandpa had a scar. It was big. It spiderwebbed up his left arm, from the tip of his knuckles to his shoulder. He had gotten it during the Vietnam War, which had taken two of his fingers and in return given him a shield against the world.
Grandpa is brave, she thinks, staring at the girl in the mirror.
Grandpa keeps his words sharp and his presence calm. Grandpa tells the best stories, of heroes and bravery and laughter. Grandpa has kindness in his eyes and toughness in his soul.
Grandpa’s scar is beautiful.
Lucy wiggles her nose, watching her reflection.
She grins at herself, closes her eyes and tilts her spotted nose up, and walks away.