Personal Post

A One Time Beauty

The Lovely Kids

There is an old chair next to my teacher desk. Occasionally, a student will sit to check grades, or just talk. They tell me things. Quick glances into their lives, some troubled, some joyful. Most tell me about their hopes and dreams. A few years ago Maria Theresa was a student in my class. She was a tall, graceful, well-proportioned young lady. She was not pretty in a classic style, but attractive in a basic healthy way. Frequently, she sat near my desk to talk. "You're a senior this year, Maria Theresa, what are your plans after graduation?" "I'm going back to Mexico and study medicine. I want to help my people." Her best friend was Katrina; a brown haired young lady with stunning features. One of the most beautiful girls imaginable. Both were a delight in class, smart, witty, full of laughter and irresistible teenage mischief. In the spring, colleges come and pitch their programs to the seniors. Each school leaves a few minutes at the end of the presentation to fill out surveys and to answer questions. The teachers were walking up the aisle, collecting the papers. Maria Theresa's was blank. Another teacher asked, "Dear, are you interested in this school?" "No, Miss, I'm not." I leaned over, touched her shoulder and said, "This beautiful young lady has a plan. She is going back to Mexico to study medicine and help her people." "That's wonderful. What a terrific plan! I'm proud of you." The bell rang. I was about to leave when I noticed Maria Theresa sitting with her head bowed. I walked over. Tears flowed down her face. "Maria Theresa? Are you all right? Is there anything wrong, honey?" Silence. "Was it something I said? I hope I didn't do anything...?" She took a handkerchief out of her purse and wiped her eyes. "No, Mister, it was nothing you did. It's just...." She put her handkerchief back, closed her purse, and looked at me with the saddest of smiles, saying, "It's just...no one ever said I was beautiful before." She gathered her books, stood up and left the auditorium.

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