For the beauty and the beast competition. A story about feeling like an outsider.
By Sabitha Kiritharan


2. Outsider *One Shot*

Ever since Adeline was a young girl, she always felt as if she didn't fit in. Not with her parents, whose dismaying looks towards her let her know how much of a disappointment she was. She wasn't successful like her beautiful model sister Amber whose celebrity status made her parents delighted, and she wasn't as smart as her older brother Ryan who was studying his second year of engineering at a top university. Adeline had always tried to match up to her high achieving siblings but it was never enough. She was good at writing stories and loved reading books, but her parents didn't care about that. In their eyes she was their plain daughter who wasn't good at anything. She wasn't pretty enough for her mother to spoil her, who instead found flaws in everything she did.

"Adeline, do you really think eating a packet of crisps is going to help you lose weight." her mother mocked.

It was so hard for Adeline to feel accepted anywhere. If she thought her family was bad enough mocking her, in school the teachers found some part of her that wasn't good enough and complained to her parents.

"Adeline, is a dreamer, she hardly pays attention and always looks like she would rather be some place else." her maths teacher Mr.Ruler complained.

It wasn't like she wasn't trying, she really was. Mr.Ruler maths lessons were so boring and it took everything in her to not fall asleep, but still she forced her eyes to stay open and pretended to take notes. She wasn't a loner in school, and hanged out with a large group of people. But her so called friends loved to talk about her behind her back, and loved making fun of her.

"Oh Adeline, you really need to sort out your hair, it looks like a mess and you have split ends, urgh!" her so called best friend Brittany cackled, her face expression turning to one where it looked like she was sucking a sour lemon.

Her friends only hanged around with her because of her wealthy lifestyle, in which they loved enjoying the lavish luxuries her family had. At social events, you would typically find Adeline alone in a corner curled up with a romantic novel. Adeline was a hopeless romantic, she loved reading novels about people falling in love suddenly like magic. It didn't matter to her that the books weren't realistic, and in real life love was as far as magical then in the books. Love. Adeline had never experienced the mystical feeling of being in love. It was another of her mother's parties, in which she invited all of her wealthy friends to gossip and chat with, Adeline had been forced to attend by her mother who had taken one look at her before shoving her into a dirty yellow dress which was tightly wrapping her body like a mummy. She was in the middle of her book, when she suddenly felt as if somebody was watching her. Her eyes sharply looked up to see a young boy around her age staring at her. She was surprised to see somebody of her age attending one of these social parties, since it was usually filled with women and men of higher class in their forties or older who loved looking down at teenagers like her. The boy had jet black hair and a spectral, menacing face. He looked like the boys her mother had told her never to talk to, he didn't fit into the party wearing jeans and a dishevelled shirt. She was annoyed with this body for staring at her, didn't his parents tell him it's rude to stare.

"Excuse me, do you mind. I'm reading," she said in annoyance.

"Feel free to read," he started to say before glancing over the title of her book and laughing.

Adeline was angry and disliked this boy for laughing at her, she felt like throwing her book at him. But, that would only damage her book, and that was the last thing she wanted.

"What is your problem?" she asked rudely, which stopped the boy from laughing.

She finally thought that he would leave her alone, before he plopped himself onto the sofa opposite of her and slouched his arms on the sofa. All she wanted was to be left alone where she could just read her book, was that so hard for the world to just leave her alone.

"Beauty and the Beast, I don't know why you would reach such a silly book," the guy declared mocking her choice of books.

Beauty and the Beast was one of her most favourite novels, she loved the story so much. This could be because she saw a lot of herself in the protagonist Belle who also felt like an outsider or the idea of loving someone deeply despite their flaws.

"It's a wonderful book, and I would love if you would just leave me alone," she argued.

"Love isn't how you think it is, it's not as beautiful as the books make it out to be." the boy said, before a pained expression fell on his face.

She wondered what this boy knew about love, as if feeling her eyes on him, he forced a smirk on his face though she could see a glimpse of sadness in his smirk.

"I know that, what do you know about love?" she asked, wondering who this boy was who hadn't even introduced himself.

That painful expression came on the boys face again, he bit his lip anxiously before standing up abruptly and then he said "I know more about love than you would ever think, especially the pain of love." the boy said before turning to leave.

"I'm sorry if I said something to hurt you. I'm Adeline, what's your name?" she asked him, suddenly not wanting this boy to leave.

She hadn't meant to hurt his feelings, asking stupid questions had been a flaw of hers, and now she couldn't help but feel that this boy had been hurt by her question. 

"I'm Alexander, a fellow outsider. Your question didn't hurt me, but it just made me think. I will see you later," the guy announced before leaving.

She watched him walk confidently through the crowd of elderly ladies before he disappeared into the crowd. It was only after he left that she started to think about what he had just said.

How had he known that she was also an outsider.

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