She slammed the mirror down on the counter shattering it to pieces “I’m a freak! I can’t go there, I can’t go anywhere!” Alyssa’s mother smiled knowingly. “You’re one of us Al, you’re not a freak.” In answer, her daughter stormed out of the room.
She followed her “You’re class valedictorian Honey, you have to go.” Alyssa looked up showing her tear covered face “I’m hideous mother. HIDEOUS!” Her mother simply placed both hands on her daughters head, running her fingers down her hair letting them rest on her shoulders. Loving her in a way only a mother could. “They want to hear your words Ali Bear, not see your changes, they need to hear you, they voted for you and trust you.” “They didn’t vote for THIS!” Alyssa framed her face with her hands and pulled her mother’s arms away “Why didn’t you tell me about the family secret. You should have prepared me!”
Alyssa promptly walked to her closet, pulled her dress from its protective bag and threw it on the floor. The hours she had spent searching, scouring the internet and vintage shops to find the perfect gown: wasted. “I’m not going, and it’s final.” “I was afraid you’d say that, which is why I have a surprise for you.” Her mother went to her room and returned with an old black satin bag trimmed with lace and beads, she handed it to her daughter.
She peeked inside and looked at her mother with nothing but question marks on her face. Her mother put her hand inside the bag and pulled out an Italian white leather half-mask jeweled with diamonds and sapphires. “This belonged to my great-great-grandmother. Like you, she refused to go out when these episodes happened,” she smiled “You know, they say the whole Mardi Gras fad was started by her.”
Alyssa looked uncertain, she put the mask on her face and turned towards the mirror. “I have been waiting for this day since Grade 9.”
FREAK (noun) 3: one that is markedly unusual or abnormal: as
a : a person or animal having a physical oddity and appearing in a circus sideshow
This morning I learned my niece was voted class valedictorian. I was also told she’s been preparing her words for such a speech since she was in grade 9. My niece is not a freak, but I did wonder what would it take to keep her from attending her grad.
When she was 5 her halloween costume was a Britney Spears dress. She looked at herself in the mirror and asked me “Who’s sexier: Britney or me?” My sweet, amazing, and inspiring beautiful niece turned into an amazing young woman.