Note: This is the first story I've ever posted for review, but I like it and I've been trying so hard to...well, get in touch with myself as cheesy as it sounds. I was just thinking how it's not wrong for me to see another girl as beautiful. Because I do, in this case. It's not directly about me, kind of focusing on the characters and how I this person sees them. Believe me, I love Merton the most, this is just how so many people would see it.

An Outsider's Perspective
by Haley

She's beautiful, and I envy her. It's tough to admit, I know, as I watch her perfect golden locks flow like a waterfall, framing her delicate features. The tips, curving slightly, barely brush the tops of her shoulders: not too long, not too short.

Perfect.

I wish I was perfect.

Her eyes shine with intelligence: a simply exquisite blue that cannot be matched. My eyes are blue, too, but they're not that blue. The blue that expresses all of the beauty inside her in a single glance, a mesmerizing gaze. Maybe I pay too much attention to detail, because she certainly does not seem to realize how beautiful she is. How her petite frame isn't stocky, but slender. A trim waist, moving upward to accentuate softly shaped breasts.

She isn't gorgeous, no. That word doesn't suit her, it's much to garish. She's quietly beautiful. In the way she walks, talks, moves, and the way she meets my eyes.

She is everything I wish I could ever be, and she has everything I wish I could ever have. I see her and her friends, although she has many, there are two who stand out. A tall, sandy-haired boy with a clefted chin and a deep warming voice, and there's another...

I usually wouldn't think him to be the likes to associate with such a goddess, but there he is. Grey eyes shining as he jokes with her, and they laugh.

Amazing. When I hear laughter, it's usually such a bitter sound. But this is not, and yet it's still hard to believe. From his raven colored hair, to his pale complexion, I know the boy's an outcast, like me. But he is not, obviously, as he walks with life in his step, accompanying the girl across the lunchroom.

Why him? Why did he make it out of the pit? Why is he so different than any of the rest of us? We're all animals, aren't we? Scrounging about, looking for scraps of humanity on this cold, gray earth. But his nose isn't in the dirt, it's in the air.

Two people I envy now.

The other boy, however, I cannot. For I knew him, once upon a time. Sweet, but easily influenced. No brains, all brawn. Typical jock, but with a soft heart. Maybe his football buddies picked on him, drove him to the likes of the hanging with the little Gothic boy. The jock and the girl, though: they paint a pretty picture.

Somehow, the freakish boy fits. I see it now, as they come toward me. Walking together, each footfall precisely syncopated, although I don't think any of them realize. They're just walking, going through the normal perils of teenage life.

If they only knew what I dealt with every day, I could wipe the smiles right off of their oblivious faces. Save for the girl, I wouldn't want to mar such perfection.

She is closest to me as they pass; immersed in a conversation I've most likely never had, and probably would never care to. I feel her shoulder slightly brush mine, the slightest touch, but there is electricity. They are silent for a moment, for I have slowed their rhythm. The group halts, and her head turns, soft and perfect strands of gold whirling about her face as her eyes meet mine, deep and passionate.

"I'm sorry," her voice is music to my ears, perfect as the rest of her. The beauty, I believe, is unsurpassed. So I will leave her be. Her smile brightens my day, though, and I dare mouth words in her direction.

"It's alright," and she smiles, the most delicate and wonderful thing I have ever seen in my entire life. It makes my breath catch in my throat, and she doesn't seem to notice the imperfection that lies before her. The impurities that I know exist are not mirrored in her gentle gaze, as she turns back to the two boys, and they continue on their way.

And I stand still, silent. The sounds and movements of a busy school cafeteria blur as my thoughts of her surround, then overwhelm me. I cannot move, cannot speak. I am taken by her beauty, and taken even more by her charming manner. I fall back, but no one sees. I cry out, a pitiful sound that knows no meaning, but I am not heard.

The story of my life.

But it does not matter. For she heard me, Lori Baxter heard me. I'm suddenly elated, struggling to my feet in the dirty old boots I wear. She uttered no harsh words, no dark, loathing looks.

In that moment, I was accepted. However, being a moment, it passes all too soon. But the feeling still lingers, and as I sink back into that nirvana, my alarm clock goes off.

It isn't a pleasant sound, either. Some sort of radio add, with a little man with a squeaky voice. It isn't like I can see the man, but it's one of those things that's just obvious. My hand slithers out from beneath my down comforter, the wintry chill in the air immediately feasting on my fingertips. As opposed to searching for the snooze button, I simply push the small noisy thing off my nightstand, and silence rings through the air in my bedroom.

And I wake to a day, not much different than the one I had slept to, but devoid of one thing.

Beauty.

Not my beauty, of course, but the beauty held in a certain girl in everything she says and does. I hold no beauty, at least none that my eyes can see, but tonight I'll rest assured that she holds enough beauty for the both of us.

-December 9th, 2001