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


2. School

I fling my school bag over my shoulder and plant a kiss on my parent's cheeks. 'Bye Mum. Bye Dad.' I mutter in a monotone.

School again today.

Luckily, most people in my classes had gotten over how I look, so I didn't get too many stares. I only got a few around the school site, as pretty much everyone knew who I was and what I looked like. I was the girl with the wonky face.

During lessons and at break and lunch, people simply ignored me, and avoided me like my facial disfigurement was some disease they could catch. To be honest, I enjoyed being ignored, as opposed to being stared at all day long.

I cross the street to Kenton Road. School is only 5 minutes walk away from here if I hurry, which I normally do, to get away from the stares. For a tuesday, it is surprisingly quiet. I slow up a little. I cross the pretty little bridge that leads to a footpath. I relax.

Suddenly, I hear laughter up ahead. I glance up to see a group of boys from another school. They all spot me and nudge eachother. Stay calm.

'Nice face!' One of them calls as they pass me, and another wolf whistles. My cheeks burn with embarassment, as I try to hold back tears.

I hurry on, not stopping and keeping my head focused on the floor until I reach the school gates. I head straight to my first lesson, English, despite being ten minutes early, to avoid hanging around on my own.

'Hello, Allie.' Mrs Madbury smiled.

It was not an irregular occurence for me to turn up early.

'Hi Miss.' I reply. I sit down and pull out my pen and book.

Slowly, people begin to trickle in, once the school bell has rung. At the start of the year, Mrs Madbury let us choose one person we wanted to sit next to. As expected, I sat alone. I enjoyed this, it meant I could spread all my belongings out on the table.

A boy I had never seen before walked into the classroom. He had a cute face and dimples, with dark chocolate curls and sparkly brown eyes. He looked exactly like the sort of boy I would fall for but could never have.

He said something to Mrs Madbury I couldn't catch. She stood up and peered around the classroom, before her eyes rested on the seat next to mine. She pointed. He came over to my table. I hurriedly pulled my stuff over to my half, and waited for him to stare at me or look disgusted. Instead, he simply glanced at me, flashed me a friendly smile and chucked his bag under the table.

'Class, we have a new student, Tom.' She beckoned towards the new boy. 'I hope you will make him feel welcome. Allie? Can you make sure he knows what he's doing and understands the work, please.'

She sets the work, which is annotating the script from Romeo and Juliet. I brace myself for a long awkward silence.

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