Her ears glistened with a perpetual sheen. Betty’s otic perspiration was well known by the student body of Mohave County Union High School. Parallels were drawn by biology students when they learned that elephants cool themselves by pumping blood into the thinner skin of their ears, but humans have to perspire.
Poor Betty endured all manner of teasing by anxiety-ridden students who found their way to fit in was to join forces and pick on her. It diverted malicious attention away from their own shortcomings.
It didn’t help Betty’s image that she wore her hair in pigtails. The speculation was that exposing her ears helped them evaporate the sweat faster. That may have been her goal, but it also kept her problem exposed.
The day her fate changed was when she went to a remote corner of the track/football field to escape the taunts and jibes of mean-spirited classmates and met the Big Man On Campus.
Not a class officer. It was Roy. The undisputed leader of the entire school. Already a renowned cockroach whisperer, he was training four abreast to pull a little chariot, à la Ben Hur.
He glanced up to see Betty approaching. The light behind her refracted through the moisture surrounding her ears to burst into a prism of rainbow colors. An aura more sparkly than cut glass.
He was smitten.
Now Roy had been smit before, but this was a smite that smote him with a particular smiteyness.
Some in Roy’s class tried to stage an intervention, but he would have none of it. He liked Betty. If Roy wanted her, then Betty was in. That’s all there was to it.
Students had to go back to taking turns being picked on since whatever Roy wanted was law.
It turned out that Betty’s dad was wealthy. Roy spent the next summer vacation at their beachfront mansion in the Bahamas: horseback riding, parasailing, and scuba diving.
He said that the best part was that he wasn’t wormed until he got back.
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Thank a veteran.