My friends called me *the Ugly Duckling*, they were nice enough not to lie to face and still give me hope that I would one day transform into something beautiful.
I appreciated their honesty, there are some faces and bodies that a good personality and a clever mind can't make up for.
As prom approached, I knew that nobody would ask me but I didn't mind much.
A few more of my friends hadn't been asked, and there wasn't a chance in the hell, high school is very much hell, we would hide out in our bedrooms, hugging our pillows all on our lonesome.
We were going and we'd look our best.
I found my dress in a vintage store, the blood red fabric called out for me and I didn't even try it on before buying it.
The shop assistant could barely hide her disgust and fear when she sold the dress to me. She wouldn't even touch the dress.
We gathered at Maria's to get ready.
The other girls were determined to turn me into something I wasn't, pretty, taking their time doing my makeup, shaping my frizzy hair into gravity-defying waves and curls.
It hurt to see the pity in their eyes, but I appreciated their efforts.
Then I put on the dress.
There is no way to describe what that dress did to me.
My skin glowed like porcelain when contrasted against the red, and it somehow shaped my body into something sculptured, a woman escaped from a Klimt painting; lopsided but interesting.
My friends gasped.
We arrived at prom and everyone gasped. They looked at me, awed inspections of *could it really be her*.
I had somehow reached the ending of the Ugly Duckling where fat became curves and a stumpy nose became a face of character and personality.
They laughed with me, danced with me and my friends stood silently by the punch, watching me twirl with the hand of the quarterback gently placed around my waist.
I felt the twinge of shame when I realized I hadn't spoken to them all night but I felt drunk by the burgundy of the dress like it was heavy wine.
Maria tried to pull me aside to talk, but I kept dancing.
Suddenly I could feel the pressure, my ribs aching as the dress hugged them tightly, forcing my breath away.
I stumbled away from my dance partner and started tearing at the fabric and the zipper, but it grabbed me tightly, the skirt working its way up my body, tightly around my neck.
The edges of reality grew faint as I fell to my knees and the pain of my ribs breaking, piercing my lungs.
I could hear them laughing at the drunk ugly bitch on the floor as my blood soaked the dress, making it even more beautiful for the next person trying to be something they weren't supposed to be.