I’m sure every young girl thinks this at some time or other, but my mother is really hard on me.
I seem to disappoint her at every turn: with my behavior, my grades, my eating habits- anything you can name, really.
The biggest disappointment to her, however, are my looks; so far removed from her own blond, slender beauty. Though she doesn’t say it, I think she blames me for taking more after father.
My unattractive looks are a constant reminder of his abandonment.
She has been talking about plastic surgery for me lately, but without much optimism. I’m far too young, for starters, but it’s more than that.
I can read behind the lines of her weary shrug; how much could they really do, considering the subject? The knowledge stings, but it would be foolish to deny the truth of it.
Sometimes, when I'm feeling brave, I try to suggest that maybe I'm just meant to look the way I do. Her scolding lecture is always the same.
“Beauty may be pain, darling, but it’s not as painful as the world's punishment when you lack it!”
Her knock on my door wakes me from my musings, and I brace myself for the start of our morning ritual.
First come the contacts that sting my eyes terribly. Then the curling iron, forcing my coarse hair into submission. Makeup, applied lavishly. Nails, clipped and polished.
Teeth brushed and filed.
Now comes the worst part. I grit my teeth in preparation for the familiar touch of the sharp, serrated knife on my back.
Finally, after what feels like an eternity, it’s over.
I’m breathless and dizzy from the pain, and barely feel her slipping the dress- carefully padded- over my shoulders and ruthlessly tightening the sash.
She steps back to examine the finished product, and I try to blink back the tears and smile, hoping this time she’ll like what she sees.
The tips of my sharp fangs have broken off and filed smooth.
The crimson of my eyes is well concealed by the colored contacts, and of course,
the leathery wings push that their way through my shoulder blades every night have been sawed down to bloody stumps.
“Good girl” she whispers in a moment of rare approval, carefully placing the pretty pink hair band over the horns that have been soldered down,
but still manage to protrude through my elaborate hairdo.
She smiles encouragingly as she speaks the familiar words.
“Just remember: don’t be yourself today, and everyone will love you.”