“You’re so ugly that no one will ever want to marry you.” That was it. Just like that. No cushioned introduction or blinking yellow railroad lights—full steam over my heart sticking in my throat like a boiled egg yolk. I lowered my eyes just enough to see the bottom rim of my glasses heavy with insecurity. A pool of tears trapped between skin and glass. Catching. Waiting. Please don’t let him see me cry. Don’t let him know how his meanness will stay with me for ten, twenty, thirty years. How it will follow me like a shadow every time I laugh too loud or cut my hair a little too short. How I will hear it snigger as it dances along the edge of my black eyeliner. “More”, it will sneer. “Don’t you want to be pretty?” Where is he now, that boy with the high-top fade, the paper-cut edge? Does he ever think of me? Think back to the words that hang like fog. Thick. Stinky. Probably not. But, that’s how it goes and goes when you’re thirteen. Just kids. Just words.