Suddenly he was beautyful.
She was sure she was still looking at the same fool. The same fool who used to pull her pigtails out when she was eight. The same fool who moments ago pulled her ponytail in jest. Yes, he still thought that was funny. Seemed to enjoy it more when she got annoyed. Always made her end up laughing when he smiled at her as if he hadn’t just annoyed her.
There he was suddenly beautyful. Suddenly making her feel things she had mailed express to guys who didn’t deserve her time. He was always there when the things she sent were returned unopened stamped “return to sender”. He’d brush a runaway tear off her cheek, serve her all the gin she wanted then let het write sad poetry and listen to love songs. He’d leave quietly when she started to howl the songs.
She gazed at him trying to figure out when it was in the last twenty years of friendship that he had become this. Beautyful.
“What?” he smiled.
“You’re beautyful,” she said.
“I know,” he said. He chuckled at her frown. “I’ve always known it from the way you look at me. Even that first day we met when I pulled your pigtails.”
She was stunned as he averted his eyes, doing that funny chuckle he always did when he felt awkward.
“You know I hate it when you pull my hair,” she said. He glanced at her and smiled. A goofy smile she had never seen.
“I pull your hair to find out if you’ll stop looking at me that way,” he gazed at her. Reached over and instead of pulling, brushed a stray hair into place.
And just like that, it was she who suddenly felt beautyful.