Allie is born with a facial disfigurement. She decided from the age of nine she would be single forever. Then Tom comes along.


6. Homework Help

It was 6:12pm two days later when I got the text.

Hey Allie, I don't get part of the homework. Do u want to come round and we could do it together if u haven't done it yet either? Tom x

I could not stop smiling at the little kiss on the end. I tried to play it cool in my reply. I had done the homework, but I could re-do it, right?

Hey, yeah sure. I'll be over in 5 minutes. Allie x

I quickly spritzed on a little perfume and changed my t-shirt, before grabbing my school bag with my english books inside. I tried not to check the mirror, as I was in such high spirits I felt it could completely knock my confidence. 'I'm just going out, Mum!' I called through the house. She came down the stairs.

'You are?' She asked. I never went out.

'Yeah, to my new friend's house.'

'That's really great, honey! Be back by 9:30.'

'Ok, Mum.' I sighed. I left the house and checked my phone. 6:16pm. I'd said 5 minutes, and I didn't want to look too eager, so I walked very slowly. By the time I'd reached his front gate, it was 6:19pm. Maybe I should just wait for a little, just until 20 past?

'Allie? What are you doing out here? Come on in!' I turned around to see him coming down the front path.

'I... Um...' I reddened.

'Doesn't matter!' He said. 'Have you eaten yet?'

I shook my head.

'Ok, I'll ask my Mom if you can eat with us. This way then!' He led the way up the path. His house smelled deliciously like him, and it was very jumbled and mismatched, with most of their things in boxes. We shuffled through the crowded hallway, taking care not to disturb anything, and into a small kitchen, which had a table in the centre. Sat at the table was a striking middle-aged woman with elbow length black hair, who I assumed was his Mum, and a girl who looked about 2 years older than me, who I assumed was his sister.

As soon as I looked at the girl's face, I immediately looked straight to the floor again.

Her blistered skin was stretched over her face, parts of it red and shiny, parts of it looking destroyed. Many of her facial features had stretched and changed, half of her nose drooped, her lips were dry and cracked, and her eyes looked inflamed and half shut. The only part of her face not affected was the right half of her forehead There was flaky, scaly red skin all over her arms and hands. I recognised all of it as burns.

I understood why his sister was still home schooled. She would have been torn apart by bullies. Even my disfigurement didn't look quite so bad next to her.

'Mom, Bex, this is Allie!'

His Mum smiled at me. 'Hey there Allie! We've heard a lot about you!'

Had she really?

'Hey.' His sister, Bex, said, quietly.

'Can she stay for dinner?' Tom asked.

'Sure, we're having meatballs, is that alright, honey?'

'That's fine, thank you.' I replied, trying to make a good impression. Tom turned to me.

'Come on then, Allie. We've got work to do.' He took me upstairs and into his room.

There were more cardboard boxes littering the floor, a pile of school books and novels in one corner, a bed in another, a makeshift desk created by a stack of more boxes, and a battered guitar under the window. The walls were lined with posters of what I assumed were American bands, as I hadn't heard of most of them.

He sat down on the bed and patted the space next to him, pulling his english book towards him. I sat down.

'You didn't tell me about your sister.' I hadn't meant to say it, it had just burst out.

'Bex? Well, you didn't ask.' He said, thoughtfully. 'But I can tell you about her, if you want me to.'

'Yes please.'

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