She was a pretty woman. The prettiest one I saw in George and Geoffrey’s Coffee Shop that light blue day. Corkscrew curls the color of cream. Fair skin.
The barrista shouldn’t have called her “Ms. Bug Eyes” when he handed her the Mocha Frapuccino she ordered, I thought. She shouldn’t have even stayed in the place, I thought. But she did. All because one of her eyes was brown, and the other eye was green.
Like mine. But no one laughed at me, because no one knew, except her.
After she sat down, and after one of them hissed, “Get some contacts, freak,” I quietly approached her table, hot chocolate in hand, my shoulder bag strap in the other. Her gaze flitted to mine.
She raised an eyebrow. “Can I help you?”
“Please… don’t subject yourself to this,” I whispered. “I know what it’s like. I used to get comments, too. On my green eye, like yours.” I pointed to my right eye, the one that held the brown contact. “But after I put on this contact, they’ve stopped.”
She gently pushed my hand back down on the table, smirking. “Well… looks like you do need my help.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t want contacts. Never have. Never will. I’d rather be who I am than be like everyone else.”
A stinging heat pulsed through me. I swallowed, fighting back the lump in my throat. “Why?”
“I told you. I want to be who I am.”
“But you can be who you are. You’d just be who you are without all the laughter. All the comments. You won’t feel like a monster.”
She shook her head. “But then I’d be someone’s dog, taking orders. I wouldn’t be Miss Bug Eyes. I’d be Miss Matching Eyes. And that’s not who I am.”
“But why, though? Why would you want to suffer? To be everyone’s… eternal laughing stock?”
She sipped her frapuccino, chuckling. “I’m not suffering, little doggie. You are.”
I blinked. “What?”
The words struck a hot nerve in me, and by the way she grinned, she knew it, too. She finished the last of her frapuccino with a loud, unabashed slurp. She flicked the empty drink over on the table. “Go on, little doggie. Pick it up, and throw it away.”
“I am not a dog,” I hissed.
“Pick it up.”
“No! I don’t need to listen to you! It’s your drink!” I swiped the empty cup off the table. “You pick it up and throw it away!”
The plastic cup clattered onto the floor.
Stares fell on both of us.
My ears burned. I shouldn’t have done that.
But it was too late. Her grin widened. She bent over, picked up the cup, and threw it away with quiet steps. And before she turned to leave, she whispered coldly against the hot edge of my ear.
“Who’s the monster now?”
This post was inspired by Thain in Vain’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Thanks for reading!