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Topic: Acceptance (01/12/04)
TITLE: Hideous Love
By Michael Dellosso
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Linda sat in front of her mirror and studied her face. The woman looking back at her seemed like a stranger—a hideous stranger. The years had not been kind to her and her face was a mere shadow, a very distorted shadow, of the young belle her husband married forty years ago.
She slowly raised a crooked hand and gently ran her fingers over the scar stretching across her cheekbone. Images of the accident flashed through her mind: the sudden jolt, shattering glass, and . . . she lifted her chin and stared at the smooth, silvery scar that dominated most of her neck . . . the flames.
She had lived a full life, there was no question about that. There were happy times. Her husband Tom was her knight in shining armor, her soulmate and best friend. And then there were her four children and nine grandchildren; the light of her life. The deep crevices circling her eyes and mouth could attest to many smiles and frequent laughing. But there was always the pain. Not only did the scars hurt, but they were a constant reminder of the nightmare she had to live with.
She had often asked her Lord, Why me? But the answer always seemed just beyond her reach.
Linda pulled her gaze away from the mirror and her eyes fell on a small frame on her dresser—a picture of her wedding day. She picked up the frame and cradled it tenderly in her scarred hands. Where had all the years gone? Where had that young woman gone? The beautiful bride with broad smile seemed like a dream, some apparition haunting Linda and reminding her of the curse she now lived with.
Tears welled up in Linda’s eyes and spilled over and down her wrinkled cheeks. Sometimes the pain was just too much to deal with.
Just then her husband, Tom, wrapped his arms around her shoulders and tenderly whispered in her ear, “You’re still my bride, and I love you just the way you are!”