What Makes You Beautiful

Riley Summers is your everyday overweight girl, who thinks looking like a model is the only way to be beautiful. In her pursuit of realizing her dream, she comes to terms with her blind belief of magazine covers and the truth behind what makes you beautiful. [Cover by Lucy Style]


5. 4. An Eventful Future


It took ages for the classes to get over, I really couldn’t stand the sight of him sitting in front of me at all. Even his mere presence, annoyed me. Sure he was hot, but I think he thought too much of his looks.

It was Lunch Time, when Mr. Ross came in to inform me of my duties, grudgingly I was taking him on a school tour.

“This is the swimming pool,” I announced when we were reaching the Aquatica hidden by the Paragon High Woods. “People come here to swim.”

He snickered. “Sounds lame,” he smirked. “Do I have to go on this stupid tour with you? I can just download the app.”

He was talking about the mobile app made for this school. It provided locations, student profile, lunch menu, and everything one should know about the school.

“I don’t want to be seen with a Bigfoot,” he added without any shame.

It was the fourth time. I was getting irritated. He didn’t even know me and he was getting on my nerves. I was quiet, and non-existent in class, but he wasn’t even here for one day. Why was he being so mean?

 “Unless you want to talk to Mr. Ross,” I concluded, trying my best to hide my irritation, “You’ll have to do it.”

“I don’t want to do it,” he retorted. “I don’t want to have a Yeti around me.”

If he said one more thing, I was going to explode.

“Just look at you, whatever your name is, I re-”

“Riley,” I interrupted, stopping along the pathway to the pool, much to my own surprise. “Riley, is my name.”

“Whatever Riley-is-my-name, I don’t want you around me.”

That did it! Sure, I took insults from everyone. But this time, something was different.

“What is your problem?” I snapped, which I had never done in my entire school life. My confidence flared with my newfound anger and annoyance. There was something so annoying about him, which made me angry. He made me angry.

He looked at me in a way I couldn’t make out.

“My problem, Riley?” he repeated, jerking his head back. “My problem is you.”

“What have I ever done to you?” I bit out.

He bore into my eyes and spoke, “Riley, you think you’re pretty nice, don’t you? You’re looked down upon, you’re insulted, you’re made fun of, yo-”

“I know that, you don’t have to tell me.”

“I know, you know that, Riley,” he smirked, with his green eyes on mine. It was so intense that I had to look away. “But, Riley. If you had a chance to finish them off, all those people who have been rude to you, all those people who called you names, even me, you wouldn’t think twice before pressing the kill switch, would you?”

What was he going on about? Kill switch? Finishing people off?

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I rumbled in confusion.

“You don’t?” he laughed. “I know girls like you. Very well, actually. If you could turn tables, you would without any hesitation. You would even be worse than them.”

Anger and confusion mixed within me. What was he trying to imply? That I would be even worse than girls like Georgina and Tracy? I would never be mean like them.

“Are you saying that if I became like those girls, I would be worse than them?” I couldn’t even believe what he was trying to say.

“Look me in the eye and tell me that you won’t be like them,” his voice grew serious as his eyes met mine. “You probably can’t, can you?”

I looked into his eyes, which was harder than I thought. “I wouldn’t know that, would I? I don’t know what it’s like to be in the other side. I don’t know what it’s like to be at the top of the social pyramid. So your question is actually baseless.”

“It’s not, Riley. Tell me. What is beautiful in your thoughts?”

Without hesitation I answered, “Being beautiful is being pretty.”

“You said- ‘being beautiful’, I asked what is ’beautiful.’ What does beauty mean to you?”

“Beauty is looking attractive, having the perfect weight and figure. Yes, that is beauty.”

He laughed. “I knew it!”

“What are you trying to do, anyway?” I snapped. He was acting like a lunatic. All the thoughts about how good-looking he was just flew out of my head.

“What I did, Riley,” he explained, “is I just proved that, once you have established yourself on the top of your so-called social pyramid, you would be ruthless to the ones who are like you. You would be ruthless to the so-called inferior people. You would look down upon them.”

“What?” I almost screamed in shock and anger.

“I wouldn’t blame you, Riley. That’s human nature.”

“I wouldn’t be like what you are claiming that I would be. I’m not that low and despicable.”

“Really?” he exclaimed. His eyes had grown a bit darker. Maybe the trees that surrounded us gave that effect.

“Yes,” I affirmed.

“Shall we test that then?”

“How? I don’t even exist in the social pyramid.”

“If I could bring you to the top? Would you, then, not look down upon the depressed class?”

“Bring me to the top?” I laughed out. It was established. Beneath the smouldering good looks, Kyle Jensen was a freak.

He frowned for the first time we had entered the woods of the school campus. “I can, Riley. I can do anything. Making you the Queen of Paragon High is nothing compared to what I can do.”

Somehow I believed him. There was something dark and mysterious about him. But there was something in him that made me trust him at that point of time.

“So, would you like to take up the challenge?” he asked me. His eyes were blazing. My heart thudded.

“Wha-what challenge?” I stammered. My confidence vaporized as it had appeared.

“I will make you the most popular girl of Paragon Valley,” he answered with a confidence I had never seen in anyone, “Would you still keep your head and not let the fame or beauty affect you?”

I swear I would have laughed if someone else were saying those words. There was something about the seriousness in his voice, something about the intensity of his eyes, something about the confidence that surrounded him, which made me believe that he would indeed do what he said.

“Yes, I would,” I replied with disbelief at my own answer. As I met his eyes in the Paragon High woods, I knew he was trouble and danger would lurk around every corner if I were to spend time with him; but I also realized that this was the first time, the very first time I had ever seen someone in the eye and spoke for myself instead of gazing at my feet and apologizing a hundred times over.

That was also the first moment in my life, where I loved myself for being me. Where I was proud of myself. There was a hint of happiness and self-worth hidden behind the anger and confusion.

I didn’t understand why would he want me to be at the top. I didn’t understand why he was being so mean to me. I didn’t even understand why he brought up the scenario where I would be the bitch. But one thing I did understand was:

Kyle Jensen would be the beginning of an eventful future.

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