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How do you draw lips?

I ask.


‘Smile?’

This was easy, as she didn’t have to imagine. She just nodded. But she still needed to be careful. She had long legs and a small, round, slightly-curved butt which gave her all the room she needed to be confident, confident enough to draw lips.

‘You’re gonna get lips? I can’t help that,’ she said. ‘So, do you prefer a wide or a narrow nose?’

‘Wide nose. Wide face.’

Her eyes widened, but she was still surprised how easy it was. She had taken a class on nose length recently but could still do it with confidence, like her boyfriend did.

‘So, um, are you, like, always this small?’

‘Umm, not always.’

She stared at him for a long moment, trying to see all his features and just trying not to let him know she was staring. She didn’t feel like she knew him, not like the other people in the class did. She was an outsider, she was small, not really ‘out’ at school and she knew this was all strange to him. He was just a boy. The thing was, the little bit of information that they shared – her name, her relationship status – made her nervous. She always felt a bit insecure in her own skin and hadn’t had much of a chance to figure it out yet.

But… it was not about the way she looked. It was about the way he looked at her. The way he looked at her, her eyes – as if she was an object to be used, not a person with feelings of her own and needs and needs. The way he looked at her, a little bit in her back. It wasn’t about her looks at all, really, so long as it was the right thing to do.

It was, a little bit, about him.

‘Alright, ok, okay then,’ she said, smiling. It was just a little ‘hello’ and then a quick ‘thanks’ before she headed over to her desk and closed her door before anyone could see her staring – with a little smile – at the computer screen.

‘You have a boyfriend?’

‘Yeah,’ she said without looking away.

‘Oh right,’ he said. ‘You were, like, in this class?’

‘Yes,’ she said, smiling slightly.