She hated when he commented on her looks, only because it made her feel different when she looked in the mirror. The first time they had lunch together he had walked her to her car to say goodbye. As she turned to open the door he spoke one word barely louder than a whisper. Beautiful. She didn’t dare stop in her movement but instead pulled the handle quickly, push start and drove away. Not even a single parting glance. But as she reached the 5N freeway she paid attention to the feelings swimming in her stomach and dangerously pulled down the mirror to get a quick glance of the face which she had looked at her entire life. Driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic she realized for the first time, indeed, she was beautiful.
The second time, he came so close that she wanted to stop breathing. Instead, she took one deep breath hoping to inhale his scent and keep it in her memory forever. Leaning in, he brought the tip of his nose to her temple and again, that one word slipped out of his mouth. Beautiful. As she heard each syllable she closed her eyes and wondered why no one else thought so.
Each time was a new time. Each time he says the word, she smiles. Each time she wanted nothing more than to believe. Her transformation truly was beautiful.
Why hadn’t the other men ever told her she was beautiful? What about her parents and family? Why didn’t they see what her lover saw? She was everything and more, even if it had taken a lifetime to learn it.
That was just how she felt. Before he started beating her. Before the other women started calling him late in the night and he whispered into the phone, Hey, Beauty.
She was beautiful. The blackeyes would never take that away from her.