The Brave Beauty

As she sat alone in the empty room with the door closed, she looked closely at the what was in her hand, the sun's rays pouring in from the window made it gleam. This was a symbol, it proved that what she had fought for wasn't just a rebellion. It was her dream, the one which had materialised into this.

'There you are!' her best friend exclaimed. ' I looked everywhere for you, the halls, the washroom, then I thought where else could you be, if not in your sanctuary' she said , speaking very fast as usual.

Maira smiled slowly and whispered whilst pointing to the prize. 'This is just like how I dreamt it will be, even the trophy is just as shiny'

'Ah, let me see, let me see,' Amber squealed, her hands outstretched.

'Wow, it sure is shiny, and heavy. Look at the cute engraving, your parents must be thrilled,' she said pointing to the base, which read: Best Teacher Of The Year.

Maira stared at the golden sun. 'Yes, they are, finally'

'Finally?,' Amber asked, confusion written all over her face.

'Its a long story, starting from my childhood till I was fifteen years. Right here, in this school,They called me "BB" behind my back.'

'You mean "Brave Beauty", I heard your colleagues call you that lots of time, that's what they said it meant.'

"At that time it meant something else.' She confessed. 'Brainless Beauty.'

Amber spluttered, the glass of juice in her hand shook. 'What!?- Why was that?, I know the beauty part is true, but brainless! That's a shock.'

"But that was how it was, before I realized that I didn't want to be a stereotype. Everyone thought just because I was pretty, my hobbies were shopping or magazine-reading.'

'Even your friends?,' Amber asked, with sympathy.

'Even my friends, "The Glitter Girls". Rich and spoiled. The only reason I hang out with them was because I thought that's where I belonged.'

"Aw, now I feel so sorry, I wish I were there then, things would have been different," Amber stroked Maira's fair hand.

"Yeah they would have, but I am glad i met you when I did, remember?'

"Oh yeah I do, three years ago, when I moved here and brought Lisa to school. She practically hugged your legs, kids simply love you'

'Well, your niece loved to hug, she still does,' Maira teased.

"Tell me everything, I don't think you told anyone else all this before?

'Nope, you are the only one I can talk to. " The Glitter Girls' were never good friends. The only reason they tolerated me was to shoe off, like I was some trophy. Obviously, I wasnt rich, but I was, you know' Maira stopped, looking down at her feet.

'You were pretty, is that what you are too shy to say?' Amber offered.

'Yeah, it made them feel superior to the other groups, since I drew attention in gatherings and that's what they wanted: a brand ambassador. When people would notice me and come closer, they would take it from there and push me to the background.'

'God, such mean girls, how many were they, by the way?'

'Four. And they all disappeared once they heard what I planned to do.'

'And what was that?' Amber inquired, raising her eyebrows.

'To live my life the way I wanted, to get rid of everything that wasn't the real me, I made it clear to my mother what I planned to do'

'What exactly did you do and what was her reaction?' Amber asked curiously.

Maira described in detail the day it was sweltering hot and her mother thought of buying an air conditioner for her room but refused to pay for her to take a creative writing class. Her reply was that why would someone as pretty as her, already a work of art, strive so hard. All she had to do was look pretty for people to give her what she wanted.

Disgusted, Maira's mind spun and then it occurred to her. All the expensive, unopened makeup from her so-called friends, massage lotions and scented candles, courtesy of her almost-annoying-like-her-mother aunts, who were blind to the fact that all these were worthless for a teenager, could be useful after all

The next day, Maira made friends with the newspaper team at school, the ones who truly understood her. Hearing her resolve to follow her dream, they made up their minds to also finally take a step and upgrade their wardrobes and work on their looks as they had always wanted to. So it was decided, in exchange for a dozen magazines, they would advertise her yard sale.

It was an instant hit allover the neighborhood, though " The Glitter Girls" did show up, with all their bullying antics. They tried to persuade Maira but it didn't work, finally they turned their backs, never to speak to her again. Which was exactly what Mairawanted.

'Wow, that was awesome! You really took things into your own hands. I can imagine the look on those brats' faces. Hilarious!'

'Yup, I told them I was no longer their "PR girl." From then on, there was no looking back. I took the writing class, and many others, went ahead to train as a teacher and came back here, to my old school.'

'And worked so hard to become the youngest teacher ever to win this award' Amber winked.

Maira blushed. 'Stop it, it's not such a big deal.'

'Yes it is, Miss Brave Beauty' insisted Amber.

The door opened, and the fourth grade rushed in to congratulate their humble teacher, who had left the hall as soon as the function was over.

Gasping, the class admired the trophy, each child passing it on to the other after having a quick look.

Maira smiled, looking at the excited faces of her students. 'Lets go have ice cream together, my treat.'

People stared, as two dozen kids walked behind a tall, smiling lady, giggling and joking all the way to the ice cream parlor.

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