Sub-junior 2nd Prize Winning Story
“Beauty Is Pain” by Nusaibah Ahmed, Beaconhouse School System NNPVI, Pakistan, is the Second Prize winning story in the sub-junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Beauty Is Pain
The rich family of the Johnson’s was well known in the neighborhood, people praised and looked up to them. But the most famous, Isabelle daughter of Mr Johnson is exceptional.
Cradled in the lap of luxury Isabelle is a very beautiful princess indeed. Her long silky blond hair matched perfectly with her alluring icy blue eyes, it was easy for her to become the idol of all the little girls. Isabelle herself enjoyed every moment receiving gifts from unknown visitors that came to praise her beauty, but one sunny afternoon her life came to an abrupt change.
One evening Isabell’s mother agreed to take Isabelle to the park, her elder sister Margret also accompany her ……While sitting at the bench her mother glanced her daughters and found Isabella being adored by another women of her age, she smiled and kissed her face.
“Excuse me, Is that little girl your daughter?” the lady said while pointing at Isabella
“Yes” her mother said proudly.
Instantly the lady was reminded of the similar face, “My... My... she looks exactly the way others told me... but more beautiful! It’s lovely meeting you Mrs. Johnson!” She said extending her hand for a shake.
Mrs. Johnsons chuckled, “It’s a pleasure… I am sorry but I didn’t quite catch your name.”
“Annabelle, and that’s my daughter Lilly the one in yellow sun dress… Anyways... Mrs. Johnson Why don’t you participate in the beauty pageant competition this Sunday...”
The great Mr. Johnson went speechless, “but ummm... I need to talk to my daughter...”
“Oh! she wouldn’t refuse! her looks need to be identified in the world!” Annabelle said laughing, but her tone suggested a great offer.
“You’re right Annabelle, Maybe I should give it a chance… is your daughter in these pageants too?” gazing at Lilly Mrs. Johnsons asked.
With a long sigh Annabelle smiled, “Well of course, lily has even won the very last year!” She cried in cheerfulness.
When the sun dipped down, they bid their farewell and walked back to their houses, yet the entire evening was spent pondering over this subject, her mother looked at Isabella and was reminded of Annabelle’s words until she finally gave in and registered her daughter.
One night before the lights went out, Isabella’s mother came into her room to find her sister Margret and her playing on the floor with dolls.
“Mommy! Look at my doll, isn’t she pretty oh how gorgeous her dress is!” Isabella stated in joy.
“Honey both of your dolls are beautiful, anyways belle I wanted to talk about something...” she said, her voice becoming serious. “Mum what is it?” she asked.
“Belle I have registered you for those beauty pageants you know? Now you’ll be a princess all day, ... but wait still now it’s what you have to decide!” she exclaimed happily.
“Mom I really do like pageants but-”
“But honey its going to be fun!” her mother reasoned.
Her mother held her forehead, Isabella observing the distress of her mother and she reluctantly agreed.
“We will start next week don’t worry dear… we will keep things nice and simple as possible” ... Isabella smiled. It was no doubt, belle was able to win the hearts of the crowd at the event, and this led to another segment of her life.
Time flied pass, eleven years gone in the blink of any eye and Margret now twenty had decided on leaving the family living in the suburbs of the town while Isabella was still with her parents, Mrs. Never realized that now his eighteen-year-old daughter had lost her precious childhood in the wave of time.
“I never had a childhood” Isabella said while laying on her bed and gazing out the window to see some kids her age playing football, frustrated she climbed from her bed and rushed towards her mother,
“Mom! can I go outside and play there are some kids playing and I..” Isabella pleaded,
“Don’t act foolish you will ruin your skin!” her mom screamed too suddenly.
Sighing she moved towards her mother, “Moomm! Please!” Her eyes filled with tears. Her mother rolled her eyes and finally settled, “fine… but just be careful you are starting a new pageant the very next week!”
With a silly smile across her face, she dashed outside the house wearing her hoodie that covered her face. Nervousness swept over her,
“H-hey…I am Isabella can I play with you guys?” she asked blushing.
The kids were surprised but they agreed and like never before Isabella finally had the best time of her life.
It was seven, the sun had disappeared behind the hills and Isabella cheerfully returned back home, “OH MY GOSH ISABELLA! WHAT IS THAT ON YOUR FACE!” her mother shrieked in horror.
Isabella gave her a perplexed look, rubbing her face she found a little mud over her cheek, “Oh this... mother it’s just mud.” She laughed lightening the tension in the room.
“YOU STUPID CHILD!” her mom hissed as she slapped Isabella on the face. The entire house echoed with a shrill pain, tears filled her eyes as they dropped to the ground one by one, “That’s why Margret left us...” she whispered.
“What!?” her mother yelled.
Gathering the courage Isabella looked at her mother dead in the eye, “It was good of Margret to leave us! You made me a spoiled child! You are responsible for this damage mother!” and with that she ran towards the roof her mother following behind, as Isabella stood on the end, before turning to give one glance to her mother.
And there she was, no beauty reflected her messy face, eyes tried and face in distress she half smiled, “Mom... I lost my childhood...” and before her mother could do anything she lurked into the air like a free bird.
Her mother yelled after her, but it was too late, mistakes now couldn’t be corrected as the little beautiful girl flew away.