Then and now

MaddieJoy's picture

Then
It was a typical rainy day at TCES, and Mrs. Payseno's 3rd grade class trooped through the foyier and into Trillium hall to teach the new 2nd graders circle games. As we formed a circle, I darted around Willow and squeezed in between her and my best friend, Keaton. We smiled at each other and looked around, trying to hear the conversation my enemy, Zoe, was having with her frenemies.
"...MY mom lets me wear makeup."
"I'm wearing makeup right now."
"No way!"
"YES. See?" Zoe pulled down an eyelid and stuck her face close to Kelly's, pointing out a smear of grey makeup.
"Uggh, that's so gross. We're WAY too young to be wearing makeup," I said, wrinkling my nose at Zoe's unatractively form-fitting clothes and clumsy paint job.
"I don't understand why girls do that," Keaton said. "Except I guess it makes sense for them. Not for you, though. You're naturally beautiful."
Suddenly the room seemed really quiet. I looked at my friend and my heart stood still for a little longer than it should have. "Wow," I thought.
"Yeah." I responded, blushing.
Now
I leaned over my notebook, listing off expenses and supplies for the NAMiss pageant, when I suddenly noticed I wasn't alone.
"Hi," Emily said, plopping down in the chair next to me. "National American Miss," she read, looking over my shoulder. "What's that?"
"It's like a pageant," I explained, "But not a beauty pageant or anything. I'm hoping my parents will let me compete."
"You should." she smiled. "You're so pretty." she touched my cheek.
"Really? ...Thanks..." I smiled tentatively.
"Yeah, really."
***
The thing is, I'm not really that pretty at all. But for some reason that first complement from Keaton came back to me today when Emily said that..."Naturally beautiful" was my first complement from a guy, and "Really pretty," my first from a girl. Yeah, I know, I put too much importantce on this stuff, but it made me feel good. Oh, and in other news, it turns out Blue-Eyed Girl IS gay, which is cool. Not that I'll ever be brave enough to actually flirt with her...But it's cool. Overall a good day for me. Maybe I actually WILL have a girl/boyfriend before I'm 30!