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  • I used to be embarrassed of it, nervous that others would look at it and consider me ugly. I stayed away from swimming, Capri’s, and somersaults. Those were all unwelcomed reasons for my pants to hike up too far and reveal the secret scar.

    “Are you coming to senior prom? Oh please tell me you’re coming to senior prom!” my friend asked me while we ate lunch in our high school cafeteria. She knew that my parents were strict and didn’t like the thought of me going to dances, but I had promised her that senior prom might be different.

    “Yea, I’m pretty sure I’m going to senior prom!” I responded, while in the back of my mind dribbling between the thought of what I will wear and whether my parents might change their minds and say no.

    “Great! Just so we’re clear, I’m buying your ticket for you! And, I’ll bring some dresses in for you to try on if you don’t want to go out and get something to wear!” She was the most giving person I had ever met and she made me feel entirely loved and cared for.

    She was much taller than I was, so many of the dresses she brought for me to try on were quite short. As I put them on, I would gaze down at the burn scar on my leg and imagine how pretty the dresses might look if I didn’t have that scar. To try and fix the situation, I decided to go shopping for my own dress.

    All the dresses were either too short, which was completely unacceptable for how my parents had raised me, or too long and would need hemming, which I was not willing to pay for. Then, my dad pulled out a dress, which I thought looked strange on the hanger, and convinced me to give it a try. It was gorgeous and reached halfway past my knees. I could still see the burn scar, but for some reason I felt completely confident in it.

    When people asked what had happened to my leg, I realized that it was a story I could tell. Not everyone has a story they can tell, but I had one and I quickly realized that it was more of a gift than a curse. It was a story that tied me back to my roots and allowed me to belong to two worlds at one time. It made me who I am today, and there’s absolutely no reason to be embarrassed of it.

    I won prom queen that year, and I’ve never been afraid to roll up my pants ever since.
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