Beautiful

     I drummed my fingers against the table, glancing at my watch for the millionth time. Gentle sounds from the waves reaching out onto the shore soothed my nerves as I shifted in my seat. The sun was setting and seagulls flew around, casting shadows against the floor.

     The scene was beautiful. Unlike me.

     A waiter refilled my water, and there was a shine of pity in his eyes. I had been sitting at the restaurant patio for the last fifteen minutes, waiting for my date. Or maybe that wasn’t the reason behind the pity in his eyes and it was, instead, the scar on my face. After all, who would like a girl with an ugly scar on her forehead. The oceanside restaurant gave a clear view of the boats drifting through the water.

     Ugh. Boats.

     My stomach clenched as the old wound on my forehead burned as a reminder of that day.

     “Mommy, look over there! I think I saw a big fish over there!”

     “Careful, dear. Don’t lean in too far over the top or you’ll fall off.”

     “I’ll be fine. Look, look!”

     “Lena! Be careful, Lena!”

     “Mommy!”

     I had lost my balance and fallen off the shade of the steering wheel. I hit the floor and the collision left me with a scar on my forehead. It wasn’t too large of a scar, but it was ugly. Ever since then, everyone seemed to watch me, judging me for my five-year-old self’s decision on the fishing boat.

     What if Andrew did too?

     I never met him before, but my friend convinced me to meet him. She was flabbergasted that a twenty-year-old had never dated a person before. If only she realized that no one wanted an ugly girl in this day and age. Everyone had to be pretty to some extent. My scar was too visible. Maybe he’d think less of me. Maybe he’d never want to meet me again. Maybe I’d grow up to be an old, lonely woman. I took in a deep breath. I was being too dramatic again. All I needed to do was remember what my friend told me.

     “Relax, Lena. Let your personality shine through and he’ll forget about your scar. Don’t even worry about your scar: just remember, you’re beautiful.”

     That was right; I am beautiful. I am beautiful. The more I repeated it, the smoother it flowed.

     “Excuse me? Are you Lena?”

     “Yes, are you Andrew?”

     “Yeah. It’s so nice to meet you. You look beautiful.”

     “…Thank you.”