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


1. Ugly

Ugly. Why is it such an ugly word? So twisted, so repulsive. It's the word that springs to mind when you see a clashing, badly decorated room. Or a rather unpleasant slug. Or my ugly, ugly, ugly face. 
I regularly have nights like this, staring longingly at the fake smiles and beautiful faces of those in the magazines, then gazing for ours in the mirror at my lopsided, ugly face.  I trace the edges of the mirror with a shaking hand, desperately searching for ONE THING that wasn't-too-awful about my reflection. Nothing. 
I was born with a facial disfigurement. 
My parents had a normal pregnancy. 
In a normal marriage. 
Without having any indication there might be something wrong with me. 
Then I popped out looking like this. 
The doctors tell me over and over that correctional surgery can't be done, my disfigurement is too severe, the bone structure can't be tampered with. Every time I am told this, it's like a fresh wave of sadness and destruction, slowly chewing away at my heart and mind, so they become disfigured too. 
By the age of nine, I had already realised what my life would be like. I would never get a boyfriend. Never get married. Never have kids. Now here I am, 15, with no friends, I've never had a boyfriend, and every time I walk down the street I feel like a walking circus. 
The left half of my face completely sags down, giving the illusion part of my face is melting. My left eye is bulbous, and slopes sideways down my face. I have a large lump, about the size of an egg, jutting out from my cheek, which is solid bone. The skin stretches tightly around it like a grotesque mushroom. 
The first time I tried make up, I was twelve. I expected an instant transformation, where I would suddenly be the most beautiful girl in the world. No such luck. I looked like I was wearing some hideous clown mask. I cried for hours, feeling as though I had no hope. Not one shred of it. 
I envy all the girls with problems with boys, girls who convince themselves they need a diet, girls who can't decide whether to go to that party on Saturday. 
Most of those girls are pretty, and are actually satisfied with their lives. 
Most of those girls don't think about ending it
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