Chapter 8:

Being Ugly


Yes. I just killed my mother, but it was an accident.

I’m sure you’ll understand. She’s part of the reason your problems, and everyone else’s problems in this godforsaken world continue to thrive even amongst the endless seas of protests and drowned cries.

It began in middle school.

I, like you, wanted to fit in.

We can relate to that right? Sometimes we lose ourselves in our daydreams thinking how much cooler we would be as the popular kids, or crave the attention of onlookers admiring us from afar. 

And even if that wasn’t what you wanted, jealousy guides people to wishing they were something they aren’t.

And you weren’t the popular kid.

I wasn’t the one who got asked out to the high school prom.

But then, I had a chance. 

Maybe it was pity or maybe Lil Miss Pageant Queen needed extra nobodys, but she eventually asked me if I wanted to accompany her to the dance.

Who wouldn’t want to enter the dance room as Lil Miss Pageant Queen’s friend? 

Imagine how cool you’d look in front of the other kids.

Without hesitation I made myself available. In fact, my mother would be available, and our car would be available, and our house, and our food- 

I needed to change. I had to look pretty. But not as pretty as Lil Miss Pageant Queen oh no, I simply can’t take the spotlight from her. 

And even if I wanted to, trying is futile. She was way prettier than any girl of our class.

Besides, I didn’t care about looking pretty. I hated how girls can take two hours just to get their nails done and their hair straightened, completed with a hint of blush on their cheeks and a shimmering glow inviting others to kiss their moist puckered lips. 

This was my first dance and it had to be perfect.

I compromised. I told my mother, who helped me get dressed, that I was willing to wear clear nail polish because she had been insisting for days that I need to make myself look pretty.

For I am ugly.

And she repeated it constantly too.

Just a little ugly middle schooler who couldn’t even get the attention of young hearts.

So now it was an opportunity to show them who mattered. 

I had Lil Miss Pageant Queen on my side, so why wouldn’t I want to make myself look pretty? 

Pink nail polish, Mother said.

Hot Pink.

Oh no.

This wasn’t the plan. I never agreed to such  a disastrous shade let alone a color. 

But Mother insisted and then threatened that if I didn’t wear those pink nail polish, I won’t be attending the dance.

So I wore them.

I looked hideous. 

Me? Trying to fit in? Well what about my mother, who tried much too hard to fit me in with the cool kids? Who the hell wears hot pink nail polish!

I wanted to cry. The tears didn’t stop when I told myself no as I watched my nails, my hair, and outfit painted with other people’s expectations. 

But now I’m attending the dance, so I should’ve been happy. 

Except, I was alone. Forgotten and pushed aside the moment those alluring disco lights kicked in with the loud cheers of dancing middle schoolers having the best time of their lives.

And so Lil Miss Pageant Queen and her other friends left to have fun on their own, leaving me to wait on the side, awkward and anxious.

My nails look ungodly disgusting. They didn’t fit my attire at all. Hot pink! If anything, I had gotten looks from others likely due to my overall bad looks.

I wanted to kill someone.

The embarrassment was too much.

Mother’s not the only one who thinks like this. Society, the people with mindsets born yesterday, they are the ones who cause so much misery amongst those who suffer from traditional gender norms.

Why did I have to wear pink?

What was the point of nail polish?

And this lipstick did no favors asides from tarnishing the food with prints of my crusty lips. 

I hated everyone. 

But I hated my mother most.

As days went on and it’s confirmed I was practically an ugly child, it became obvious that unless I did what I was told to make myself look like the other girls, she’d never accept me for who I look.

Perhaps this is why I’m not popular.

Some…sacrifices must be made, and I chose my decision. 

Now, a decade later, I’m sitting here with you telling my story about how years of internal hatred for being reminded of my ugliness eventually led to a crime scene. 

Maybe my mother’s right, officer.

I am in fact, ugly.