No Matter What They Say


The tall blonde sat at one of the SeeD's reserved tables at in the Garden Cafeteria the table and took a careful sip of her cocoa. She'd been thinking a lot about the past since everything had quieted down, trying to remember. Bits and pieces of her childhood were starting to come back to her.

She remembered being a gawky, graceless child. Remembered her beautiful adoptive mother fussing over her, forcing her to attend charm school and making her wear orthopedic shoes and medicated skin creams. Even though she'd forgotten most of that, she'd never quite shaken the sense of insecurity and dread. Even now, with Garden seemingly half-full of her admirers, she'd just started believing that she might be pretty.

She stole a glance at her best friend, who was reading a borrowed mystery novel and idly running one hand through her chestnut-colored hair. The girl could never stop moving, even for a moment. Her former mother, she thought, would have taken one look at her in her short yellow sleeveless dress and declared her a hopeless case, and prohibited her daughter ever to associate with her again.

They were two very different people, she mused. Her friend was so happily unconcerned about what others thought of her. She rarely even touched make-up, and she wore her dresses with sneakers because she felt like wearing them together. Everything about her screamed that she was happy with who she was and what she looked like, and anyone who didn't like it was just going to have to deal with it or go somewhere else.

That must be why I envy her so much, she thought with a private smile, and took another sip.