People think I am beautiful.

I stare into the mirror, and try very hard to see the beauty that everyone else sees. My blonde hair flows down past my shoulders, my blue eyes look glazed from happiness, and my body is fit but still curvy. I could see how people say I am beautiful. I am the epitome of glamour.

Still, they wouldn't think I was beautiful if they knew who I was inside. If they knew how I thought, how I loved, I would be executed before I was cured.

Love, or amor deliria nervosa, is forbidden in the United States. The government developed the "cure" that is administered to every person when they turn eighteen. The cure completely erases all human notions of love from the mind and soul. The cure takes an individual and turns it into a shell.

I'm to get the cure soon. Tomorrow I get my evaluations. The thought brings a bit of bile into the back of my throat. There is no way I can show it, no way I can even talk about it, but the thought of being evaluated scares me, only because once I am evaluated, only months stand in between me and the cure. That's what terrifies me, the cure.

The cure terrifies me for a few reasons. The first that I could never tell anyone is that I am afraid of losing myself. My personality is what I take pride in, and I will lose most of it when I get cured. Many adults tell me how great life is after the cure, how better they feel, but I just can't see it. Of course, it's hard to mourn the loss of one's self when you can't feel.

The second reason is because when I am cured, I will lose my best friend Lena. We are from different social classes, so once we are cured and assigned a career, we won't be able to really interact. Sure, we will be able to see each other, contact isn't forbidden, but it won't be the same.

The third reason I am scared of the cure is because it might not work. Why wouldn't the cure work for me? Well, it's pretty simple. I fall into the category that the United States terms unnatural. Being unnatural means that you are attracted to, or may possibly even love, other persons of the same sex.

The thought of being unnatural dulls my appearance. My hair begins to frizz at the ends, my eyes look blank, and my body sags in defeat. If people knew who I really was, how I really loved, they would see the person that I see in the mirror.

People would think that I was ugly.