A muddled silence covered the classroom and some of the girls became all red in the face. Suddenly he looked exactly like the young man he had painted on the blackboard. Miss Andersen lose the grip of the test papers and they spread across the floor, sailing around the lectern before they landed. -But … she says, I thought … oh, wow haha … -ok, Magnus, please sit down.
When school is out for the day, they all meet up out in the corridor again and Magnus are shown to his locker right next to George. George is the class “regular” popular guy that everyone have to admire. By the door at parallel class, Matilda, Linda and Lena are waiting. -Oh, Lena says, -he got the locker next to George! Matilda, who think Lena is a little too mawkish and actually a bit stupid, asks her -so what? All three girls know George since preschool but more personally now because Matilda has been dating him since seventh grade. Lena squirm, -it was a lousy move placing Magnus locker beside George, I mean, she says as she are making a crooked grimace – we all know that George can be pretty cruel sometimes. -Is that bad? Matilda counters, -No! I think that is great fun! Matilda’s eyes disappear in a thin line, -I just got an idea for a surprise show at autumn break party, she says and smile devilishly! Linda is just standing there and stares angry at Magnus. -he is really ugly, she repeats!
George however seemed quite happy to get Magnus as a neighbour in the school corridor. This on the contrary to what Matilda and Lena had expected. George are thrilled to have Magnus so close to him and dunks him comradely in the back. -See you on Counter Troops tonight Magnus, he says and throws his jacket on before he goes. Two of the girls from Magnus class whispers as they walk by Matilda, Linda and Lena … “oh my God, he’s so so nice, which one of us you think he will chose to date”? Linda turns around as they pass and uttered out loud with an ugly expression: -Whaaat?
There is something fishy going on, -clearly!
That evening when Linda came home from school, she threw the front door open and without closing it behind her she rushed up to her room. Marianne was standing in the kitchen cooking dinner as she heard the bounce of the front door and saw the shadow of her daughter, quickly tramping up the stairs like an elephant. With a muffled roar from upstairs, she hear Linda’s door shut with yet a new bang. Marianne wipes her hands and close the front door. She looks at the muddy footprints leading all the way up to Linda’s bedroom. Outside she stop and quietly listen for a while, before she gently knocks on the door and enter.
-What happened? She asks Linda uneasily, seeing her daughter lying face down in the pillow crying. Linda lifts her head and slobbering all -everything just came out so wrong, making me look bad! -I wrote a note about how ugly the new guy was, but then all of a sudden, I didn’t write what I wrote? Suddenly I had written that he was handsome (Linda cries even more)… and he is ugly and now everyone thinks I like him. Linda clench her fists on the pillow so that her knuckles whiten and press it against her face.
-What? her mother asks. Linda pick the little piece of paper up from the pocket of her jeans and give it to her. Marianne read the note mumbling and look up for a moment. -Why, Linda would you say to someone that he is ugly? Linda continued sobbing -because he is! But what does the truth matter? You don’t get anything? -I seemed to have written that he was handsome! Ahhhh … Linda buries her face in the pillow. Marianne read the little piece of paper again, “So sorry, but God you are ugly!” Marianne moves closer to Matilda on the bed and put her hand on her daughter’s back. -I really don’t understand what this is all about Linda but, do not call anyone ugly. Think of how he must feel? Linda got up and tore the note from her mother. She opens it between her hands and read out loud – “I think you’re so fine! Hug Linda “.
Marianne watched the note with suspicion and then moved her focus to Linda, she got up and walked toward the door, -honey would you like some hot chocolate? I think that to whatever you have experienced today, a cup of nice hot coco, is probably the best.
– And just ignore your homework tonight. Marianne twitched her nose with a smile and said carefully, “I’ll be back in a minute!” When Marianne closed the door on Linda, she mumbled anxiously to herself again. “She is overworked. Clearly, it is the new English teacher’s fault. He puts too much pressure on the students. “
Linda decided that same night to check Magnus up. Something was very strange, for sure.
“He is just too kind”!
In the days that followed before the autumn holidays, Linda spent all her time to find what it was Magnus hid. “You can’t write something on a piece of paper and in the next moment it will have changed. You can’t walk into a classroom really ugly and come out looking gorgeous and being popular! Nothing works like that.” Wherever Magnus went, Linda was only a few steps behind.
One day when it rained at its worst and the class had no English lesson because mr Rally was sick, Magnus sat on a bench outside the classroom and repeated a 50 word glossary homework. He smiled to himself, thinking that it all started here. He had started a new school, a new class and here was the exact spot he saw the girl of his dreams. He had fallen more or less instantly in love. Of course he knew what she had written to him that day but he couldn’t resist to get back at her, giving her a bad day through a new version of that mean note. Magnus get dreamy, she have long dark hair, big green almond-shaped eyes and skin like white alabaster.
He knew that without his pens and colors, he would be nothing. He never understood why people became instantly impressed with him when he drew something. Magnus was aware of that he was a talented painter, but how could his paintings make people adore him? Somewhere deep in heart, he thought that their conviction was just as shallow as the surface on lake Montamore behind Misty Lantern. The old lake had a creepy past and looked like a puddle of mercury.
Magnus mother said when she defended him in the hospital after his birth, that his ugly appearance is a curse, and she told everyone she knew who made it. Or, she thought she knew it, because after all real magic isn’t true. He rose from the bench and went to the bathroom between the students two locker lines. Looking at himself in the mirror, he grew a little sad. When he looked at himself, it was exactly the young man he painted, that he saw. “Why am I considered ugly”? Magnus knew that his mother saw him as he did too. He never had to draw to get her attention. He was nothing until people took the time to get to know him.
Magnus leaves for the corridor again. On the bench by his books and notepads a few years younger girl sat. -Could she be a fourth or fifth grader? Magnus thought to himself. She sat with her face in her hands on the table where Magnus all stuff was and cried quietly. Magnus saw that she jumped a little when she sobbed. -What? he says and sat down beside her. The girl shuffles further away and moves to the bench against the wall instead, still with her face in her hands. Magnus pick a pencil up and spin it between his fingers.
-You took my seat and now your tears are smearing out my English notes! -If you don’t want to write them again for me, you should tell me what the problem is, that makes it worth for me to do them all again.
The girl lifts her head and then makes the grimace that he was waiting for. Magnus was sure she would say he was ugly. He would pick up his notebook and draw something, then she would become happy and finally in a good mood.
The girl look at him for a moment and say -you do not know how it feels to be ugly!
Magnus drops his jaw and look around as if he needed witnesses to this. -Heeeey? Of course I do! He says with a trailing voice. The girl look at him with big sad eyes. -No, you don’t because you’re perfect!
Magnus looks around again and can’t help himself asking before he asks -why do you think that? The girl gives him an oblique expression and answers, -You have perfect hair, beautiful face and the bluest eyes on earth! Then she put her face back in her hands again and continues to crying. Magnus was blown away and didn’t quite honestly not know what to say. He looks at the girl and try to see what could possibly not be beautiful about her. He can’t see anything that is ugly. He thought about the scholl intern, who everyone thought was Miss Perfect. A blonde 17 year old that everyone adored. She was ugly to Magnus, he thought, because she like a spoiled princess. He thought life can be so unfair!
Magnus put his little suitcase on the table and opens it, but only that much so he can get a white paper out from one of his notebook’s. He juggles the pen in the air once before spinning it between his fingers a few times more, then he and start drawing.
-So, young friend, this is what I think you look like, Magnus says to the girl. She lift her head a little and watch the drawing, suddenly she sit up straight and seem to have forgotten that she was sad. When he finished, he smiles and ask -what do you think?
The girl yanks the drawing from Magnus, and make a pirouette turn and jump over the tables and benches and rushes to the bathroom. She compare the drawing with the image in the mirror. -It is the same! She scream to Magnus. The girl who looked back at her in the mirror, was not overweight or ugly, she was perfect! With her heart bouncing in her chest, she run out and throw herself around Magnus neck. -Thank you, thank you, thank you so much! -You are just so kind!
Linda observed everything and leant with a disappointed sigh against the wall when she saw the girl happily run pass her. It was normally awesome that the windows in school facing the atrium, worked like a aquarium. Thanks to the design, you could see everywhere across the school corridors but now, they made things worse. -He has a heart of gold! Linda says out loud and slide down on the floor with her back against the wall.