Scarred Beauty

By: Sam Crescent

Noelle went into the kitchen and made them both a cup of tea. “With how long you’ve been gone, does that mean it was a huge success?”

“Yes. We don’t know much about each other, but we are going to see if we can form a relationship together.”

“I’m so happy for you,” she said. She stirred the cup and handed him one. Her hands were shaking slightly from the images she’d seen.

“You’re looking a little flushed. Are you feeling okay?” he asked and reached out to touch her head. She pulled away, not wanting him to touch her.

“I’m feeling a little tired. I think I’ll go to bed if that’s all right with you,” she said. Going to her room would be the only way for her to calm down her erratic thoughts.

“I’ll see you in the morning.”

She nodded, leaned up to kiss his cheek, took her cup and book and disappeared into her room.

What would Brad think if he knew what she’d been searching for?

Closing her eyes and shaking her head at the stupidity of her thoughts, she lay across her bed and opened up the page of her book.

After a few minutes of reading about a virgin being fucked, she lost interest. Staring at the ceiling above her bed, she allowed the pain to come to her. The pain of knowing no man would ever love her. She wished that just once, one man would look at her and want her to be with him. The tears she kept locked up fell from her eyes in a trail down her face. For so long she’d sat and cried about her predicament. Paying a man to pretend to care was the lowest form of self-pity, but wouldn’t paying someone to care for an hour be better than living a life without any form of love?

Brad was her best friend, and she wouldn’t dream of asking anything from him that he could not give. He was gay, and he was in love with someone else.

She heard him move around outside the door, but her tears were as silent as before. When he called her name, she didn’t answer. Speaking at the same time as crying would be a disaster. The lump in the back of her throat made it hard to breathe. He moved away from her door, and she could give in freely to her emotions.


Brad watched as she left the kitchen. She looked flushed and embarrassed, two combinations he’d never associated with Noelle. He grabbed his cup and went to the laptop still set up on the table. He frowned as he noted the internet connection was still hooked up. Turning the screen saver off, he checked the history to see if Noelle had been using his laptop. What he saw had him frozen to the spot.

He went to her door without thinking about what he’d found.

Knocking on her door, he called her name. When she didn’t answer, he took a breath and went back to check out the sites she’d been looking at.

The escort agency had him in a panic. Did she really need to seek out male companionship? The question was a stupid one. He knew their friendship would never go beyond the bounds they’d set. He loved her as a friend, but he didn’t find women attractive in that way. The man he’d seen while they’d been shopping together with Noelle, who had been checking her out only to recoil had been a shock to Brad. No other person had responded like him when they’d seen her face.

His heart ached for her. Closing down the laptop, he made his way into his own room. Lying on his bed he sat and thought about her situation. How would he feel knowing there wouldn’t be many people who would love him with scars?

Putting himself in Noelle’s shoes had opened his eyes up to the daily life she led. She worked inside a studio they had decorated together. Clients came to the apartment to buy her paintings, and he sorted through the transactions. At twenty years old, Noelle was one of the most talented artists he’d ever met. Her drawings bought to life so much emotion, that simply staring at a drawing made him believe he was looking into her soul. She refused so much in her short life. There were people out there who would love to get to know her, but she cut them off. She wouldn’t go out and live her life. Brad didn’t know how to get her to see past her scars and embrace the life she could lead.

Rolling over he glanced at the only picture he had of her. They stood together, their first Christmas inside the apartment. She’d not long turned eighteen, while he’d been approaching his twenty-first birthday. Her hair was pulled back, the scars a light red across her cheek. Later, after the picture was taken, he’d learnt how she’d gotten the scars, which was why she refused to drive.

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