Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH (08/31/17)
- TITLE: No One Knew Her
By Judy Sauer
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She struggled to make friends. To start again in high school filled her stomach with acid reflux. Severe acne and crooked teeth caused her to withdraw from others. Insecurities blew away any self-confidence; they dominated her every social interaction. She sat alone at lunch, yet would smile back at others after she received a smile first, which was rare.
The signature item she wore was a turtleneck top to hide her elongated neck. Her large round glasses hid her eyes; no one knew how pretty her ocean-blue colored eyes looked from behind the barricade. She had thin wispy combed-over short hair, but all the pretty girls had long hair and some of the boys too. Tortured by the thoughts that banged around in her head—“You don’t fit in or look like them; Go hide; hide from the world,”—she withdrew deeper into a shell of a person.
Each day was the same; she kept her head down with her face buried in her school books. She drew no attention to herself, and on a rare occasion, her voice made an awkward sound that pierced the silence.
Her locker saw no taped-on party invites. She was absent at school functions. She hid the loneliness within; a broken and shattered heart of not fitting in. She was unmemorable.
After four years of high school, by all accounts, Lauren was an unknown. In the Senior Class yearbook, nothing was listed for her participation for any of the years. Because no one had befriended her, Lauren’s interests remained hidden; only she knew of her dreams and goals. After graduation, she fell off the face of the earth, as best as anyone knew.
Ten years later, the Reunion announcement arrived in the mail.
The Reunion reception hall was filled with chatter and laughter. Friends huddled together. The cliques in no way cracked; even ten years later, their walls were impenetrable.
No one knew who the lovely woman was when she entered the hall. Time stood still as they turned their heads and admired her beauty. This woman carried herself with great confidence. Nothing distracted others to notice her face was gorgeous and displayed dewy-smooth skin. When she smiled, her entire face lit up. She had perfectly straight teeth that looked like shiny pearls. Atop her head was a stylish updo that resembled Audrey Hepburn’s in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
She wore an elegant gown that outlined her physique, one that many wished they too had. The design featured her high neckline and it plunged down to reveal her tanned skin. Her well-toned arms flaunted ‘to die for’ muscles, and as people gazed down her arm, they noticed she carried a small Judith Leiber clutch. She was one classy woman.
At the Check In table, she announced her name, “Lauren.”
The air was sucked out of the room. Could it be? Was it true? Was she the invisible, awkward girl that knew no friend in school?
Yes. It was true. This was ‘the’ Lauren. Her dramatic transformation left the crowd speechless.
She bloomed after high school, like a flower that would not fade. Now everyone wanted to talk with her. The forgotten student was now the belle of the ball.
After high school, she went to an Ivy League university and earned her Doctorate in Psychology. Dr. Lauren wanted to guide gawky girls and boys to not feel ignored as she had. No one knew better how to counteract low esteem and looks, like Lauren.
She reversed life lessons and transformed herself from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. She had arrived, in grand style.
Only God knows a person’s capabilities, even before they know. Lauren let God prove what he could accomplish by his grace, through her, in his time.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
Lauren is real. She was my high school classmate. I shared my awkward smile with her.
Scripture is from New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
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