She sat at her desk, typing away on her two year old laptop which wasn’t really working properly anymore. An old nightgown once worn by her step mom was all that adorned her, and her feet were cold. In between, she would blow herself warm with the hairdryer. Funny thing. They hadn’t turned on the ovens yet. It was the middle of June and icy cold.

She wasn’t the most beautiful girl.

Behind her, a mattress lay on the floor, covered by an old blanket wrapped in little white hearts. On her blue pillow, a colourful cat from a magnificent Swedish children’s cartoon bounced with joy. She slept each night, hugging a stuffed bunny, a stuffed fox or simply both. A few more animals watched over her at all times. There were images etched onto their black, beady eyes, but they had sworn her loyal silence. So they kept their promises.

Sometimes her hair stood on end or it frizzled. Some of it was threatening to turn grey, and ever since early high school she had been dying it with henna to add a hue of red. Once in a time, she had been born with a few black wisps, and then she had grown light brownish curls with a washed out summer evening red. Later on it grew longer. At some point she had been asked to cut it short, but she refused and refused. Only her mother never asked. And she brushed that hair for the little girl every morning.


While she sat at her desk now, she didn’t remember how the other children had called her ugly, smelly, strange. She didn’t remember the words of her step father every evening at dinner, where he hurled the frustrations of his own broken life at skin not of his kin. Many years later, she would come to realize that all that remained of this was a hollow, acidic taste. But she could not bring herself to be bitter.
She didn’t feel about it anymore.


If one takes all the qualities available, and all the facts and snippets that rule the world so fiercely and decide who gets to take a round in the light and shine even a little for the smallest of times, she wasn’t counted. She wasn’t counted in photos, videos, snapshots of interaction, communication, meetings taking place anywhere. Nobody remembered how she came and went. She stopped going to school dances because nobody would dance with her.

There were things she stopped crying about and never found the warmth to feel for again.

At some point, she only cried for those who really loved her. It was effortful, and it gave her so much.


She wasn’t the most beautiful girl. Her smile was often anxious and lingering silently in a corner of her mouth, and shadowing her somewhat crooked face. The eyes too big, too sad. She hid an entire world behind wild, flowing hair. Often she could only cough or make hasty sounds if she was to talk. The thoughts she felt didn’t pierce. She knew the shell was restricting the entry, but in her misgiving, she had no way out.


Because of her cold hands, as well as her feet, people would be wary of coming close. She understood this, and she understood a thousand other things. Breaking from habit, she let the surface slide for what came next, and then she put on disturbing masks, all the same, to confuse, belittle and betray the common. They thought her to be serious, and she thought she had to be what they expected, but it never passed for more than an empty joke. This she knew so very well.

She cast off the raven feathers, but kept the silvery moon.

And then she stepped into her pink dress, cut just above the knees, with half long arms, white buttons and white threads, and a big white belt. Caught somewhere between the 70’s and the 80’s, she wondered how her step mother had looked in this, and knew truly how little that woman had been considered beautiful by nature, and how much she had really been.

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