Amour Propre




A glow stick must be snapped for it to glow. The pale moon shone like a silver claw in the melancholy night. Stars spread across like a blanket of infinity. The occasional barking of the street dogs and the purr of engines pulled Elle out of her insecure thoughts. She never liked her real name; Belle, it meant the most ‘beautiful person in the room’. Elle never conceived herself to be the prettiest, at least not in this lifetime. Her caramel eyes and shoulder length brunette hair with highlights of golden were envied by all yet Elle couldn’t see her lovely. The only thing that she wished to replace was her skin color-Black. “Elle wake up. You are going to be late for school!” boomed her mother’s voice from the kitchen, setting Elle up with a startle. “Coming mom” she replied, most vowels engulfed by a yawn. Within minutes Belle was up and about, ready for yet another day in her new school. She didn’t like her new high school since her first day. Too crowded by people who judged her at every step. She did not seem to fit amongst them and their ridiculously high and improbable standards. To make matters worse, Elle had bullies- Whitney, Jack and their ring leader, the queen bee, Brittney. “Try wearing white next time. It will suit your skin color. This black top isn’t even visible from afar!” shouted Brittney from across the hall, obnoxiously loud laughter and snickers in session with the insult. This comment was yet another bruise, the one that fueled Elle’s diffidence. This contemptuous utterance was all the same, another dark stamp inked with cruel words on her white canvas of a mind. She reached home bawling her eyes out. Whimpering and coughing occasionally. “Is that you Elle, honey?” questioned her mother’s voice with concern. “Yes mumma” she responded still sobbing. Within seconds, Elle’s mother had enveloped Elle into a big comforting motherly hug.  Her mother listened to her attentively and pained, while she narrated all the incidents from this week. “Don’t let anyone else’s negativity, thoughts, drama or opinions stop you from being the best and pulchritudinous version of your own self” said her mom, her voice soothing and words inspiring Elle. “I told you to wear white. You might look bearable for once. Don’t get your expectations too high though.” came yet another jab at Elle. This time she did not simply walk away with hands fisted. She strutted down the hallway, towards her tormentor, her head held high. Her mother’s words echoing in her brain. “And I am telling you to refrain from opening your mouth. You might have a bearable personality for once. Don’t get your expectations too high though” retorted Elle, her voice sweet and a smile propped on her face. “Elle!” shrieked Brittney humiliated “It’s Belle” came her voice; happy and strong. The glow stick finally snapped.   Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!