The Illusion of a Beauty
It seems to me that love is the reason of all mad human acts. If I hadn’t experienced this feeling, I could live another life. Though I was always lack of love. I was the last unwanted child in a large family.
I could hardly see my father for he was always busy with work in order to provide for our family. I didn’t experienced any special care from mother too. On the contrary, she constantly let me know that I was just a burden for the family. It was sad... The situation was aggravated by the fact that I was ugly. I was a certain ugly duckling. It was strange for my parents and elder brothers’ appearance was nice. I seemed to be cursed. Once I heard father saying that mother did me with another man. Everybody hated me more from that fact. Each year I looked worse and worse. I was inconsistent, hollow, my face was dark and ugly. I had small eyes of a dirty-gray shade, thin whitish hair which never grew below shoulders. My eyebrows and lashes were whitish too, they looked ridiculously on dark skin. I was an ugly creature, whatever you say.
When I grew up, I entered the institute and left home. My life became quieter. I didn’t see glances of my folks full of contempt, I didn't hear their murmurs and smiles. I got used to my appearance... And than I fell in love. You may say, why should such an ugly girl like me fell in love? But the heart has its own will. More than half of all students liked James. He was tall, handsome, with beautiful smile, he was just a dream! What chances I had? Whatever hairdress would I make, whatever dress would I put on I always stayed an ugly duckling. Guys looked at me only in case of interest. They were interesting where such an ugly girl come from.
Once our group gathered to go for a picnic in the forest. I was invited too. I didn’t refuse for I was happy to use a possibility to communicate with James. Guys began frying barbeques. When everything was ready they asked us for dinner. James and Mary were absent... I agreed to find and call them to eat. What a fool I was! I found them. When I saw them embracing each other I felt a terrible jealousy. After all, I can never be on beautiful Mary’s place.
- Let’s go to have a dinner, - I said.
Mary burst out laugh and said looking at the guy:
- We are stuffed from love, are we?
I turned back and went away, hearing Mary saying squeamishly:
- I lost my appetite looking at her. She is so ugly!
That moment I hated the whole world. I hated Mary for her offensive words, I hated my folks for their mockeries, I hated even myself for I was burn such ugly. I wish strongly I would die for I didn’t find the reason for living.
I was running, choking with tears, and entrapping in branches, without sorting out the road. A cold rain brought me to senses. I looked around and I understood that I got lost. But I didn’t care at all. I mooched between trees thoughtlessly until it got dark. Suddenly I saw a lawn with a small wooden house similar to the hunting one.
Feeling seemed to come back to me. I understood that I was fully wet and very cold. I opened the door cautiously and entered the house. Well, there obviously lived not a hunter. A pungent smell of spices was in the room. Bunches of herbs were hanged out everywhere, candles in ancient freakish candlesticks were burned. A table was placed in the middle of the room. Books in shabby covers were spread out on the table. The only inhabitant of the house was an old man with a long gray-haired beard. He was dressed in a shabby shapeless garment. He seemed to be a magician.
I confusedly explained him that I got frozen and lost. The old man politely suggested me to spend a night at his place, and promised to lead me to the road in the morning. In usual circumstances the events would seem a complete absurdity to me, but that my mood didn’t let me to realize reality soberly.
- Are you a magician?
- Yes, I am, - the old man laughed. – What troubles you, child?
- What do you mean?
- Why do you ask for death?
- How did you know?
- I know everything. I know that you are in love and you are ready to ruin your soul!
Suddenly I thought that the strange old man could solve all my problems.
- Please help me if you can! – I begged. – Why am I so ugly? Will I be so unhappy through all my life? I would sell my soul to become beautiful!
- I don’t need your soul, - the old man said. – I know many secrets. I can talk with dead, I can kill the living person. I can teach you how to change your face. But I warn you that this magic is dark, you won’t get happiness from it.
- I agree! - I blurted out having heard about the treasured method.
- Think about it, my child. An innocent soul shouldn’t make deals with darkness. Payment will be inevitable and beauty will last twelve years only. You must live as you were born. You will meet a good man that will love you.
But I didn’t follow the warnings. I cried and begged the old man to tell me about that very method. Finally, the magician took pity.
- Now go into the forest and embrace each big tree on your way. As you meet the tree that will be so big that you won’t be able to embrace, grout the soil underneath it and smear yourself with the earth so there wouldn’t be any clear space on your body. In the morning you should go to the river and wash yourself. Than go to your company. And I will conjure here for a while. But you must think twice. As soon as you leave the house, you will have no way back.
I didn’t listen the old man to the end and rushed outside the lodge. I could hardly remember how I went and embraced each tree and than as I smeared myself with the earth. To be more precise, it wasn’t the earth but dirt for the rain didn't stop that night. And than the dawn came. I went out from the forest to the riverbank, washed myself and my dress. Soon my classmates found me. They hadn’t stop the searches in spite of the endless rain. The event began seem unreal to me as if I saw an amazing dream. I wouldn’t be able to find the route to the old man’s house with the best will in the world.
I began changing since that very day… My face brightened, hair became long and brilliant, eyes gained bright blue color, and the ordinary-looking figure of the teenager was gradually rounded. My set of the features improved day by day. Nobody recognized me and I could hardly do it by myself. I didn’t feel the lack of guys attention, James muck-assed about me too. Certainly, I chose him...
We lived happily with James twelve years. Everything was good. The husband loved me, we were not short of money, children pleased us. But suddenly I began losing my prettiness. At first I thought that I was ill, but than I really began feeling bad. In half a year I turned into an old woman. And again nobody recognized me. My happy and steady life failed all of a sudden. I forced myself thinking that the house with the magician was just a dream. Though, to be honest, I had never regret meeting the old man. If I had a chance, I would do the same for I had twelve years of happiness. The husband idolized me, and people smiled to me. But the payment time came. Well, now all I have is just my memoirs. This what happens when you make deal with unknown dark world of sorcery.