Put your makeup on
Get your nails done, curl your hair
Run the extra mile
Keep it slim, so they like you
Do they like you?
Green eyes looking back at her, a pale skin tone, beautiful nose and natural rosy lips. Her reflection in the mirror made her bite her inferior lip. She took a deep breath as she once again took the flat iron to finish the work she had half done in her beautiful blonde hair.
She always followed her routine after she woke up at 5 am: wake up, get a coffee before her mom woke up, then back to her room to take a shower, shave, make sure she didn’t have any unlady like hair in her body, then dry her hair with the dryer and get it flat, so she could put in into a perfect ponytail, to curl a little bit of the end of it.
After her hair was done, she used a little bit of her make-up, always approved by her mom. A little bit of foundation, then a little bit of powder, blush, lipstick, mascara and eyeliner, when she was done she was the perfect girl next door.
Her clothes also followed with the imagine she had made of herself in the last few years, sweaters she actually hated but that made her… her in the eyes of everybody else. She threw on an approved jean, one of her sweaters, this time green… she didn’t want to use pink, as much as everybody seemed to think it was actually her color.
She hated pink.
One she was ready she took her backpack and went down to the kitchen to get an apple before leaving, she found her mother and siblings already there:
Alice Cooper was the perfect woman in the eyes of everybody else; she was the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect picture of perfection of a successful woman in a small town.
She had three beautiful kids, one as successful as the other: Charles, Pollyanna and Elizabeth. She was married to his high school sweetheart, who had the same job as her, and they both were the owners of the town’s newspaper, who would be Elizabeth’s when she had pursued a degree in journalism in her parent’s alma mater: Harvard.
Her father, Harold ‘Hal’ Cooper was a known journalism in their city, a business man, always traveling to conference he was invited, covering important cases. He was the typical husband and awesome father everybody wanted. Playing with his kids when he was home, giving flowers and gifts to her wife on days that didn’t have an important meaning, just to keep the romance alive. Helping his kids with homework and playing sports with his son, going to each of Polly’s ballet recitals and cheering Betty on her writing achievements.
Then Charles and Pollyanna, the twins, her parents perfect first children, typical sporty type. Charles was a football player while Polly was a cheerleader. They had perfect GPAs, perfect attendance, perfect manners, and perfect couples: Charles was in love with a cheerleader while Polly was with the captain of the water polo team.
And then Betty, the perfect girl next door, the perfect little sister, who was more academic than sporty, who had also a perfect GPA, the one that was going to follow her parents’ steps becoming the next journalist and kept the newspaper in their family name.
She was liked but just in a friendly way.
She was the perfect little girl… perfect little Betty.
But Betty new her family was far from what they claimed to be:
Alice was so obsessed with being in control that she had driven her kids to having big insecurities…
Hal had a problem with alcohol and many lady friends that helped him to get away from his overbearing wife…
Charles wasn’t even her mother’s, he was the result from and adventure his dad had just as the same time her mother had been pregnant with her older sister… but nobody could new that, so they made a deal with Charles mother… her mom’s sister, who was happy to accept an amount of money each month, after all, her aunt was more a party woman than a mother.
Polly was a slut. There was not better way to put it. She had a boyfriend, that was true, but also slept with multiple guys… sometime with other girls too. Betty had seen some pregnancy tests, but didn’t mention anything, not wanting things to get worse with her family.
Then was Betty, who hated her picture as the perfect innocent girl… She was far from innocent, hell, she had learned how to cover her tracks on internet when she was around 14 and started to watch porn and masturbate, she spent most of her time reading books and stories that weren’t Alice Copper approved at all. She hated the idea of becoming a journalist, wanting nothing more than get her hands dirty with oil while she fixed cars. She hated pink, make-up, the sweaters, the skirts, the dresses… she hated all.
She was getting tired of being picture perfect… but also scared to death of the consequences that being she could bring. To the point that when she just felt like exploding, she turned her hands into hard fist, letting her nails break skin to get a little bit of release in that pain.
“Good morning, Elizabeth” her mother said, no doubt that she was scanning Betty’s outfit for the day. “Why the green sweater, darling? Pink suits you better” Betty wanted to just tell her to fuck up, but that wasn’t like her.
“Good morning mom… I used it on Monday… I don’t wanna repeat it so soon” she explained.
“Want to, Elizabeth… only the lazy people says wanna. You don’t want people to think you’re lazy, do you?”
‘I don’t care… I don’t care… I don’t care’
“Of course not, mom” she gave her mother a fake smile and took the apple. “I’ll get going to school now, I need to check something on the Blue & Gold edition for next week” she explained.
“Good to know you’re working hard on the school newspaper, sweetheart, you’ll be an incredible journalist… just like me”
‘I don’t wanna be like you’
“I hope so…” she simply answered and started to walk to the door to leave the infernal house she had lived all her life.
“Elizabeth, don’t forget you have to go to the gym this afternoon… you should lose a little bit of weight”
“Sure mom, I won’t forget…” she answered without turning her head back.
When she stepped out of the house and closed the red door behind her she took a deep breath, feeling her eyes itching with tears.
‘No crying Betty or your make-up would get ruined, then people would start to ask questions’
And so, she started to walk to school as she ate her apple.