Hadley Rose Culvert looked in the mirror and sighed deeply.
She hated the way she looked: long, unkempt reddish-brown hair that hung to the middle of her back in a tangle of curls. Small, dark-brown eyes the exact color of Hershey's chocolate kisses. Short, stubby lashes. A funny shaped nose that reminded her of a small potato (Hadley had accidentally broken her nose during a softball game two years ago). Thick lips. Freckles on her nose, cheeks, and on her arms and shoulders (Hadley never could get a decent tan, her mother always said). Worst of all were the military-issue black glasses that she was forced to wear because her eyes were so bad. Her father got them on special.
A short, dumpy body and thick tree trunk legs. A round, pot belly that pooched out, no matter how hard she tried to hold it in. Hadley was no raving beauty, that was for sure.
Her parents didn't help matters any. Her mother, movie-star beautiful with long, golden tresses, hazel eyes, and a figure to die for, and her father, round, dumpy, and unremarkable in appearances, often told their oldest daughter that she would not be worth anything when grown up or that she would never be able to accomplish her dreams. They saw Hadley as a disappointment because she was not beautiful, nor was she smart. Hedley was in Special Needs class because of dyslexia: she could not read or write well; her grades were oftentimes poor: for her, a C was good.
Her parents weren't satisfied. They wanted nothing but A's. For Hadley, it was a next-to-impossible task. The demands placed upon her by her parents often sent her into a torrent of tears as she ran to her bedroom to hide from yet another tirade from her unsympathetic parents. They kept reminding her of her little brother's stellar academic grades.
Hadley hated her little brother, Howie. Ten, skinny, and tall: he resembled his mother in looks. Howie was also very smart: in fact, Howie was so smart, he was in the GAT (Gifted and Talented) classes at his elementary school and at the age of eight, he was in sixth grade: he had skipped two grades (fourth and fifth). Howie was a champion speller and often won awards for his writing, math, and artistic skills. Quite remarkable, considering that Howie had Asberger's, a mild form of autism.
Hadley's parents were always bragging on young Howie's accomplishments. It made Hadley's blood boil. She hated her brother and she hated her parents even more. She hated them so much, in fact, she often wished that they were dead. She felt that without their constant intrusion or putdowns (or without her geeky little brother) her life would be a lot happier ... or at least, better.
Hadley would often fake stomach aches, just so she could get out of facing het another humiliating day at school. A lot of the kids teased her of her disabilities (as well as her looks), and they often compared her to a frog (or worse, a pig). Hadley did not have very many friends at school; she was awkward and felt uncomfortable around others: she preferred to be by herself a lot of the time.
Hadley often thought about killing herself or her parents (and brother). She would read books about death or dying, just to get ideas, and although she never acted out on any of her thoughts, the thoughts were still there, deep in her mind, and she often wished that lightning would take her out of this miserable existance called Life.
~To be continued.~