little ugly schoolgirl

An excerpt from the “vertex

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Copyright © 2017, Michael M Wayman

It was Thursday, I was walking from the school and along the High Street. There was Josephine standing in front of a shop window, was she looking into the shop or was she looking at her own reflection in the shop window?

“Hello, Jo. I have something to ask of you.” I had worked out in my head who she was. She was either two years behind us, puberty hadn't hit her yet. Or she was really two years younger than us and had been pushed up into our class because she was so clever. But why was she only ugly with her clothes on?

“Please give me your cardigan, Jo.”

“What do you want that for?” She took it off anyway.

“Look at it! It's grey, it's shapeless, it's dreary, it's ugly, it's just awful. Why do you wear it?”

“Mum says that it keeps me warm...”

“Keeps you warm? It's summer, you don't need it.” I pulled the hairpins out of the bun on the back of her head and let her hair fall down.

“Jo, turn to the shop window and what do you see? Take your glasses off.” Big surprise. “You have a round face, Jo, you look better with long hair, you look much better without that ugly cardigan and those silly glasses. You look nice enough to eat.”

Josephine said nothing, she stared at the window glass, I gave her the cardigan back. “Take my advice, throw that cardigan into the dog's basket, he'll like it. And get yerself a new pair of glasses. And don't let your mother choose 'em.”