The rebellious strand of hair looped on the right side of her forehead as usual; she had dropped her attempts to smoothen it, for it did not cease. She bitterly removed the multicolor bandana from her neck, for it was too bold of a statement to wear to the high school dance, and it looked quite grotesque in combination with her newly bought ruby dress. As for her shoes, she had acquired quite odd ones to fit her attire, and though she was not particularly fond of them, they had attained much distinction in the media.

Mary caressed her hair one more time while staring at herself in the mirror. She glanced at her posture in time to straighten it, for she had promised herself she would evade her usual hunchback position: elegance is key for attraction.

The journey towards the car had been quite rough for Mary, as not only were her heels unfit for her large feet, but also she lacked the practice; yet, she was still convinced that in an hour or so she would become a master at perfecting her walk.

In belief that this night was going to be the pinnacle of her high school years, she was inclined to do everything, even converse with some of her classmates –something rather daring for her. Of shy nature, she worshipped extroverts. Nevertheless, she had dressed like one of them today, and for once she felt that she could act like them.

Mary arrived to her high school in reasonable modesty. She got out of the car in pure delight with her surroundings, starring at even the smallest of details. Tracking into the basketball court, where the dance was taking place, she had expected some salutations from her fellow peers, but they were distracted in other conversations with their friends. When inside the court, she greeted the teachers from whom she was expecting some compliments, but never received. She continued to ambulate while in the dance, meeting with the school director and subdirector, which said hello to her, but did not praise her appearance.

Feeling slightly dissatisfied by how the beginning of the night was going, she sat down on the corner of the large room, looking at the outgoing ones in marvel. Mary imagined her impersonating them, to perhaps feel that someone else was looking up to her like she did to them, to have multiple people by her side, and to feel that sense of appreciation that everyone longs for.

Sam, her friend from period 4, sat beside her. They had a quick talk, and he left, without not even staring at her apparel. Soon enough, she stood up and speedily strolled to the bathroom to look at herself in the mirror. When in front of the mirror, she gazed at her reflection in utter disgust. Her newly bought ruby dress fit too loose. Her shoes were too old fashioned. And her strand of hair seemed more repulsive than ever.

In complete discouragement with how the night was going to go, she called her parents to leave the dance. How had it occurred to her to even leave the house in such ensembles? In her usual hunchback posture she went outside, entered the car, and left. What she had expected to be the culmination of her time as a student, had turned out to be the opposite.

Mary had arrived to her house. Sam was talking to his friends.

“Did you see Mary tonight? She looked beautiful!”

“I know, how odd of her to leave so soon,” some responded.

Mary had seen herself in complete horror that night. She dreamt with being an extrovert. She dreamt with removing that timid façade of hers; yet, it was not merely because she wanted to have a lot of friends, nor because she fancied other people’s compliments, but because she craved Validation.


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