Writing Wednesday – The Beautiful Effect Excerpt

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means! Another #WritingWednesday post from yours truly. I’ve been writing quite a bit this past week and managed to make it to the fifth chapter. Then again, they’ve all been quite short, so I’m trying to write longer ones just so I don’t end up with like 99 chapters!

The scene I’m going to share with you today is when the main character, Halsey, and her roommate, Hilary, go to the dining halls for dinner. Halsey has gone to her first day of classes in her PJs, so she’s already incredibly insecure about how she looks compared to Hilary, who looks every inch the goddess with her blonde locks and floaty dress. What’s important about this scene is Hilary pointing out that the girls aren’t high school any more and that she’s not everyone’s type after an encounter with a cute frat guy. Halsey just can’t grasp that maybe, she’s not as unattractive as she thinks…

I definitely relate to Halsey here because I’ve always felt like people were judging me whenever I walk by. I’m short, have got quite a baby face (I think?), so it’s no surprise when people think that I’m younger than I actually am. Someone actually told me that I look 13…that’s a major insult to me considering that I’m 10 years out of middle school, which is why I’m incredibly insecure about my looks, just like Halsey is here.

Rather than walking all the way to South or East Green to one of the better dining halls, we decide on walking the two minutes to Boyd Hall for food. I can feel the eyes on us as we walk around the dining hall to fill our trays. Hilary obviously looks perfect with her cute French braid and floaty coral dress, but I look like a slob in my pyjamas and jean jacket. I see guys eye Hilary with lust whilst staring at me with disgust. I’m incredibly relieved once we find a table and dig into our meals.

“Lighten up, Hals! No one’s going to hurt you,” she teases with the wave of an arm.

“I’m sure that’s the least of my worries,” I groan as I dig into my alfredo sauce-covered pasta.

“You’re kidding, right?”

My eyes quickly dart up to Hilary’s in confusion as my mind tries to decipher her words.

“Hil, I look like shit. Of course I’m not kidding,” I mumble in annoyance.

“So what if you’re wearing PJs right now? I overheard a couple of frat boys say how they’ve love to take your innocence away and um…stuff.”

Hysterical laughter exits my mouth at how silly that sounds. Hilary’s had quite a long day if she’s willing to say stuff like that to me. She rolls her eyes once I regain my composure.

“That’s a great story,” I say between giggle fits.

“It’s true!” she exclaims. She points to table of boys who are clearly too busy staring at girls to finish their meal. “They mentioned it when we passed by. And I know they were talking about you because one of them said, and I quote: She’s already dressed for bed. She might as well join me in mine.

The clatter of my fork dropping onto my tray echoes throughout my cochlea. My eyes widen and mouth becomes agape in disbelief. No way would anyone say something like that about lil’ old me. I’m so shocked that I have to stand up. That was a stupid move on my part. Hilary pushes me towards the boys, allowing me to uncontrollably land in the lap of the really attractive blonde with a lip ring.

“I’m so sorry!” I squeal as soon as I land in his arms.

His cerulean eyes take me in with kindness and a million Watt smile spreads across his face.

“It’s okay,” he politely assures me, bringing my gaze back to his after I tried to drop it to the floor out of embarrassment. “You should tell your friend, Hilary that shoving people is mean.”

A weak chuckle escapes from my mouth at his words. I slowly start to stand up, but he stops me. I look from his friends to him before convincing myself that everything’s going to be okay.

“You seem worried,” he observes with the utmost kindness in his voice.

“I’m more pissed at Hilary for what she did,” I point out. “Wait, how do you know Hilary?”

“We have a chem lab together and she’s my partner,” he replies. He holds out his hand for me to shake as he says, “I’m Landon Skell.”

“Halsey. Halsey Benson.”

I shake his hand and smile as I stand up. I’m still finding it really weird that a cute frat boy like him would even speak to me.

“Um…I should go.”

“Go where?” a familiar, sweet voice asks from behind.

Hilary stands by my side and waves to the boys. Not surprisingly, they’re all looking very interested in my roommate.

“Hey Landon! So…I may have told Halsey what I overheard you say to this lot. Not exactly word for word, but the gist of it, so I pushed her over to say ‘hi.’ I knew it’d be harmless because you two obviously find each other attractive.”

Landon and I both turn pink when Hilary said that we find each other attractive. At least I know that she’s not lying to me now.

“…you two should exchange numbers. Maybe we can double once Seb and I get back together.”

“Hilary, he doesn’t even know you’re here,” I whisper.

“Shh! I’ll call him later tonight or something,” she whispers back.

“That’d be fun,” Landon agrees with another million Watt grin.

We exchange numbers before I practically force Hilary to leave Boyd. As we walk back to our dorm, the smug look on her face for playing matchmaker is stuck. She has this “I told you so” aura about her that’s become extremely annoying at the moment.

“Don’t you dare say it,” I warn her as we climb the steps to the front door of the building.

“Oh, Halsey. When are you going to realize that this isn’t high school any more and I’m not everyone’s type? You’re hot, too! You just haven’t accepted it yet,” Hilary calmly counters as she takes out her student ID.


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