Chapter 2 'Meeting Jewel'
This is the scene I first thought of when I came up with this idea.
Not much to say, so lets get on with it! Enjoy or suffer.
Blu was in Tulio's jeep and they were driving to the aviary. Blu looked out his cage, and saw people enjoying themselves on the beach, and just being happy…He looked up at the sky and saw pretty, beautiful…happy…birds flying in the sky. He wished he could join them. Blu started to tear up, as he couldn't fly, and had such a horrible disfigurement. Looking outside and seeing normal, happy people was insulting to him, and felt as though it was mocking him. He retreated away from view, and just waited…
At the aviary, Blu was being taken in, and saw so many birds of all shapes and sizes. It reminded him of the place where he was diagnosed, and the painful memories flooded his mind. He overheard Tulio mention he's their 'big mama bird', whatever that means.
''Some of these birds got hurt because of smuggling…'', Tulio said in a down voice, ''The birds get hurt, or sometimes even die. But with proper care and treatment, they can make a full recovery. We found this one on the streets yesterday, and he seems to be a bit better.'', Tulio continued.
Blu didn't look out, he just wanted to hide from everyone, and just think…
''So where's the female?'', Linda asked. Blu peeked out,
''Oh we have a special place for her…She's a very spirited bird.'', Tulio told her.
Blu saw a worker turn around, with his face all scratched up.
''Yeah, I must say…'', he said. Blu began to panic, as not only was he horrible to look at, but she was very 'spirited'. What's next, her being the most beautiful bird in the world? Knowing his streak of luck, he knew she probably was.
''Hey its okay…She won't hurt you…'', Tulio said to Blu in an attempt to calm him down. They approached the entrance, and Blu was taken out of his cage,
''Hey, it'll be okay…You're very brave, you can do it…'', Linda said to him, which made him a bit more confident. He walked in the room…
I walked into the room, which was a fake jungle. I walked forward nervously, and heard the door behind me shut.
''Good luck!'', I heard Linda say.
I took a deep breath, because I have to do this…For me, for Linda, for my species. I started walking forward more,
''Hello?'', I called out to no answer. I already bailed, and I ran back to the door, and pounded on it.
''Linda! Linda! Linda get me out of here!'', I cried out to her. Soon I began to cry a bit, but I had to persevere, because they aren't going to let me out yet.
''Hello? Is anyone here? I come in peace!'', I called out, and still received no answer. I was filled with dread, and called out again,
''Please answer me! Hello?'', I cried out. Still no answer, perhaps no ones here, or she's mute, or asleep, or deaf. In any case, I began to freak out when I saw a blue flash. But I followed it, and finally saw her.
''She's so beautiful…Like an angel…'', I said dreamily, but I began to feel even worse, as she was clearly way, way, WAY out of my league. I failed to notice her getting closer, until it was too late…
''No!'', Blu cried out, before the bird pinned him down by the neck.
''Quem é Você? O que você está fazendo aqui?'', she demanded. Blu was crying, and trembling. The female took notice of this, and loosened her grip.
''Você está bem?'', she said in a soft voice.
''D-d-d-don't h-hurt m-m-me…'', Blu said in a quivering voice, whilst sobbing uncontrollably. The female released him.
''Oh you're an American?'', she asked him. Blu was still lying on the ground,
''Y-yes…'', he said, quivering.
''Okay, please tell me what's wrong…By the way, I'm Jewel.'', she asked him in a soft voice, and offered her wing out to Blu. He grabbed it and was pulled up by Jewel.
''I'm Blu…'', he said in a scared voice. He received no answer, and noticed Jewel circling around him, staring at him. This triggered an emotional response from Blu,
''Stop staring at me!'', he snapped in a tone that clearly showed he was hurt.
''Hey, it's okay Blu, I won't hurt you…'', Jewel calmed him, and realised, ''Hey, you look just like me!'', she said surprised.
''No…I don't. You're beautiful, and I'm not…I'm horrible, please, just go away, for your own sake.'', Blu said sadly. Jewel flinched when he said she was beautiful.
''Hey, don't say that…You're actually…pretty handsome. With some feather care, I think you'd be even more attractive.'', Jewel reassured Blu. This made him feel worse.
''I was handsome, but not anymore…'', Blu said sadly.
''No, again, with some grooming you'd be stunning…'', Jewel said to him.
''Its not my feathers…Its my face…You don't want to see me…'', Blu said sadly.
''Who's been telling you these things? Because they're wrong, you are actually rather handsome.'', Jewel reassured him.
''Jewel, please…'', Blu said.
''No, you're not ugly at all…'', Jewel said as she went closer, and noticed something slightly off about his beak.
''Really, that's it? Your beak just looks a little off, that's all.'', she said to him.
''Oh, no, you don't want to see my beak. Its way more than a little off…'', Blu told her.
''Oh come on Blu, you're being ridiculous! Just tell me what's wrong…'', she said in a mildly annoyed voice.
''You don't want to know…'', Blu said.
''I do.'', Jewel said firmly.
''No you don't.'', Blu responded.
''Just tell me what's wrong!'', Jewel asked him, annoyed.
''Fine! You wanna know what's wrong?'', Blu yelled at her. To Jewel's horror, he grabbed his beak, and pulled it off. He looked at her, and Jewel saw the remnants of his actual beak. A bit of saliva was suspended between his mouth and fake beak. His tongue stuck out, and Jewel gasped.
''THIS! THIS IS WHAT'S WRONG! THERE, YOU HAPPY NOW! HUH?! NOW GO, AND GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!'', Blu yelled at her in a hurt voice. He started to cry and ran to the door, as Jewel was left in shock, and shame.
''Linda! Please, I want to go home! Linda! Get me out of here, please! Linda…'', Blu said crying. He sat by the door and wept. He calmed down a bit, and walked over to the stream, and softly cried to himself.
''Hey, I'm so sorry…I didn't mean to hurt you like that…'', Jewel sincerely apologised to Blu.
''Its okay…'', Blu said in a strangled voice.
''Whatever happened that made your beak like that…I'm so sorry that it happened. I can't imagine how this must make you feel…'', Jewel said in a soft voice to Blu.
''No need to be sorry, its not your fault…'', Blu said.
''But, I want to tell you that it doesn't matter if you're not beautiful on the outside, because you're beautiful on the inside…'', Jewel tried to make Blu feel better.
''Wow, I've never heard that before. And I'm not beautiful on the inside or the outside. What's beautiful about guts, stomachs, flesh, blood, hearts, lungs etc.? Perhaps the majesty of how complex it is, but it certainly doesn't look nice…'', Blu responded dryly.
''You know what I mean…And if you don't, then I'll tell you: It doesn't matter how you look on the outside, because its surface level. If we were to strip away our feathers and skin…we would die, but we'd look practically identical on the inside. Those organs that keep you alive are there, and they truly matter more than how you look. Someone who looks drop dead gorgeous, and someone who is absolutely hideous on the outside, both look the same when you take away the skin. Your personality is what matters, not how you look.'', Jewel gave a motivational speech to Blu.
''Thank you, I appreciate your efforts. But, I just always feel bad. If someone tells me it doesn't matter, then I feel bad because I feel they're being dishonest, and they wouldn't know. And it does matter to me. If they tell me I'm beautiful, then I feel as though they're lying, or being dishonest. If they tell me upfront I'm ugly, then I still feel bad. If they ignore it, then I still feel bad, because I feel as though they're just avoiding it. Anyone who shows me kindness, I feel like they only do it because they pity me. No matter what, I feel bad. There's no solution to making me feel better. I know they mean no harm, but it still hurts…Its an unhealthy mentality, I know. But I can't avoid it, I can't help it.'', Blu gave his own speech to Jewel.
''Is there any way for me not to make you feel terrible?'', Jewel asked with a slightly guilty voice.
''I don't know. I just always feel bad, and my sadness builds and builds, I become stressed, irritable, anxious, depressed. It builds up slower when I'm alone, but when I'm near others, it builds faster. The pain is omnipresent, and the only thing that helps me is Linda…She's the only person that makes me feel better- the only person who makes the pain go away…'', Blu continued, opening up to Jewel.
''Who's Linda?'', Jewel asked.
''My owner…She's the only one that I feel truly loves me…'', Blu answered sadly.
''Oh, you're a pet…'', Jewel said.
''Yeah…But you must understand, I feel as though as a pet, I can escape from it all. I can be alone, yet still with someone who cares for, and loves me. If I was a wild bird, I'd be dead. I couldn't live with my disfigurement, because nature is cruel. But living indoors keeps me safe.'', Blu told her in a calm voice.
''Um, may I ask…What disfigured you?'', Jewel said unsurely, ''No offense is intended, by the way.'', she quickly added.
''Psittacine Beak and Feather disease…10 years ago, I was 5 years old. I was handsome, normal looking, and I lived happily with Linda, and her mother. My feathers started to wear out, and I was taken to the vet. I got diagnosed with Beak and Feather disease, which was like a death sentence. The doctors offered to euthanise me, which my owners refused to do.'', Blu answered
''What does euthanise mean?'', Jewel cut Blu off by asking.
''Euthanasia, derived from Greek, meaning 'good death'. Its used as a form of mercy killing, by giving someone a quick, painless death to spare them from a slow, painful death. In the case of animals, its given to them usually by injecting them with a barbiturate, which will render them unconscious, and a second dosage is given, which shuts down their organs.''
''But isn't that murder?'', Jewel asks.
''In a way, yes. But its typically used to spare one from unnecessary suffering, especially if they would die anyway. But back to the story. My owners refused to euthanise me, and instead wanted to keep fighting, as they argued that I could survive. My condition deteriorated, and my feathers fell off, and my beak decayed. I was cured eventually, but it left its mark. I was given a ceramic fake beak, which can open and close, and is functional as a beak.'', Blu concluded, and was about to put his fake beak on, but Jewel stopped him.
''Blu, you don't have to put it on when you're around me. Besides by wearing it, you're in a way, lying.'', Jewel attempted to make him feel better.
''Look, Jewel, I feel better when its on. And it also helps keep my mouth moist, as my tongue dries out, like its doing right now.'', Blu said as he put his fake beak on.
''Do you feel better now?'', Jewel asked him softly.
''Actually…Yes, I feel much better now. Thank you so much Jewel, for letting me vent, it really helped.'', Blu thanked her with a smile.
''But I want to go back to Linda.'', Blu told her.
''Wait, you'd rather be with a human, than with your own kind?'', Jewel asked him, confused. Blu looked down at his talons, and was conflicted. He took a deep breath,
''Jewel…I realised something that I've been missing…Friendship. I've never had a family, apart from Linda. I've never had friends, apart from Linda. I was content with this, but now that I have met you, I've realised something that's been missing from my life. Another bird. I knew two geese that would mock me all the time, but I just pay no attention to them, as they're just pathetic. The only friend I have is Linda, but I can't really talk to her, apart from writing. But that's slow and awkward. But, we're birds, and so I can freely talk to you, and I've felt appreciated.'', Blu told her, and sighed, ''Jewel, I know you would say no, and I understand perfectly, and its okay if you say no…But…w-will you come to…Moose Lake with me?'', Blu nervously asked her.
What did he just ask me? I was confused, but also flattered…In less than 10 minutes, he's felt such a strong connection with me, that he wants me to come with him.
I realised just then the true struggles of a pet: Not abuse, not being locked up, not being forced to perform, but its instead…Loneliness. I can't imagine his loneliness, he can't talk to anyone, apart from Linda in the form of writing (whatever that is), he has no self-esteem, and he is looked down upon by others. No one deserves that desolation. He said so in such a blunt, but sincere way…I almost want to just go with him, but at the same time, I'm a free bird at heart.
''Blu…I don't know what to say…'', I told him, unsure of what to do.
''What do you mean?'', he asked.
''As in…I'm touched by what you said, but I really don't know what to do. Blu, no one has ever showed me the kindness you have, and I assume in your case, no bird has showed you the same kindness I have…But, we just met, and I don't think I'm ready to decide if we should really live together.'', I told him in the most clear and polite way I could.
''So, we should get to know each other more?'', Blu asked me.
''Yes.'', I answered.
I do apologise for the oddly blunt dialogue, I can't really write dialogue that isn't like this. I know most people (and birds) don't talk like this. However I actually can't do dialogue any other way, as I'm not a normal person. I have autism, and therefore don't communicate in the same way as others, and I'm not very social, so I write dialogue that is the way autistic people would speak.
I also wanted to portray the toxic mindset I imagine many horribly disfigured people would have. The social isolation, as well as the belief that others only show kindness out of pity, is something I imagine they might have. This mindset is what Blu has, and is also the reason behind the title of this story, 'Too Ugly To Be Loved'. As in Blu feels as though his disfigurement would make it so that others would not date him due to his looks, or the ones that do only do so because they feel sorry for him, and if he didn't have his disfigurement, they wouldn't date him.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy this long, dialogue heavy chapter, that is kind of sappy. Next chapter of Reborn and Two Blues should be out sooner or later. I apologise to the followers of Reborn for not updating it in a while.
Until next time, goodbye.