His eyes were vacant as he looked out of the screen. I shivered from the intensity. I could feel his loneliness as if it were my own. I shuddered again as I looked away. His pale scarred skin spoke to me of pain.
‘I don’t like it, mum,’ I said, covering my eyes.
‘There’s nothing to be scared of, Rachel, he’s just a person.’
My mum taught me not to judge others by their looks. I glanced back at the screen and realised that it wasn’t how he looked that scared me, it was that feeling of helplessness. It was the innocent way in which Edward trusted others to care for him. When he’s tricked by the nasty boy, I cringe and cover my eyes again.
‘I don’t like it,’ I insist as Edward runs down a hallway. The look on his face makes me want to cry.
As I watched Edward try to make sense of the world, I vowed not to judge anyone by the way they looked. My kind little heart didn’t want to see anyone else feel like Edward did. It was a feeling I related to as a child trying to grow up in the world.
Twenty years later I started to write Avoidables. This short story series is about a world where people are judged by their looks. The Perfects are gorgeous and live in luxury. The Avoidables are people who look, or act, less than perfect. Hope is an Avoidable. When she meets Jason, a Perfect, he brings out the beautiful in her. How did she not realise that she was actually perfect all along?
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Next time: The Birds and The Bees.