Usuki Singing Stars #32: Aubri Gets Glasses
"Hey did you guys hear the news?” asked a blue Zafara.
Scary shook her head. “No I haven’t Zafara-I-have-never-talked-to-before,” scoffed the purple Bruce. She tapped her fingernails on her desk.
Patricia turned around to face the Zafara. “What is it?” asked the faerie Shoyru.
The Zafara giggled. “I heard Aubri, you know that brown Aisha with the red hair, was prescribed a pair of glasses by her doctor! Isn’t that hilarious?”
“So Aubri’s having trouble with her vision...” Scary murmured. “Excellent. I knew my hex would work out eventually.”
Sparkles, who was sitting behind Scary and across from the blue Zafara, shrugged. “What’s the big deal about glasses?” the pink Bruce wondered. “Lots of students wear them.”
“But not Aubri,” reminded the Zafara, “and I once heard her declare that if she was ever forced to wear a pair of glasses, she would ship herself to Maraqua and adopt a brand new identity!”
“Drama queen,” muttered Scary.
Before Patricia could reply, she saw Aubri strutting towards her desk, apparently not caring if anyone noticed her new red spectacles. The red rectangle frames framed her face well and was a great contract against her dark auburn bob. And despite wearing a shimmering white blouse and pink skirt, it seemed to Patricia that her main focal point was Aubri’s face–specifically her glasses. Aubri, acknowledging everyone’s stares, asked, “What? Haven't any of you seen a pair of glasses before?”
A red Grarrl snickered. “Not on someone as stylish as you, Aubri.”
“See what I mean?” the blue Zafara whispered to Patricia. “Those glasses make her look like a total geek.”
“They don’t look that bad,” Patricia insisted.
Yet it seemed like everyone else disagreed. For the rest of the day, Aubri received stares, fits of laughter and taunts disguised as questions. At first Patricia assumed Aubri was thick-skinned and was ignoring all the teasing. “She does have a habit to critiquing everyone else’s appearances on a daily basis,” said Patricia, settling at the cafeteria table she shared with her friends.
“Maybe she really likes her glasses and refuses to give in to the taunting,” Sparkles suggested.
“Judging from how she glares at everyone,” said Scary, “I doubt those tacky glasses are doing her any favours.”
Patricia turned and was surprised to see Aubri eating her lunch alone. Sophie, a speckled Draik, should have been sitting beside her. Instead, she was sitting at another table; giggling and staring back at Aubri every few minutes. Aubri would glare back and, once she noticed Patricia watching her, she groaned and asked, “Could you stop watching me eat so I can…you know, eat?”
“I don’t think Aubri’s feeling too good about her glasses,” Patricia whispered as she turned away. “She seems really upset.”
“Boohoo.” Scary sipped her juice box. “She’s the one that got stuck wearing them, so why should I care?”
“It's really sad to see Aubri eating without Sophie,” Sparkles remarked. “I always assumed they were the best of friends.”
Patricia agreed. This is very strange, she thought, and really sad.***
“I can’t believe Aubri was sitting by herself again,” Patricia murmured, following Sparkles and Scary out of the Neoschool cafeteria. “You’d think Sophie would be a better friend by now.”
“Unfortunately, neither Sophie nor Aubri seem comfortable together,” said Sparkles.
“And I don’t care about anybody,” Scary declared.
Patricia shrugged. “I think Aubri does care about Sophie and wishes they could be friends again. But because of her eyeglasses, she seems really unconfident. And why should a pair of glasses change your life for the worse, anyways?”
“Perhaps all those snide comments Aubri’s been hearing is damaging her self esteem,” Sparkles theorized.
Before Patricia could respond, she heard the voices of passing students, some whispering and others talking loudly, all seemingly intrigued by Aubri’s eyeglasses. The comments varied:
“Did you see Aubri today?”
“I can’t believe she’s still wearing those dorky glasses!”
“What a geek!”
Patricia felt her ears burn. Why was she bothered so much by the teasing when none if it was directed at her? How could it be that, for now, she was feeling sympathetic towards Aubri? At first Patricia was confused: after all, she had been the victim of Aubri’s fashion criticisms many times before. Then again, she never would take any of the comments to heart. Was Aubri letting the comments get to her? Part of Patricia assumed they weren’t, while another part assumed they were. It’s no wonder Aubri looks so alone, Patricia thought. Right now, she needs a friend more than anything…and I guess it just has to be me.
Reaching Aubri’s locker, Patricia took a deep breath and approached her nemesis. “Hey Aubri,” she said as cheerily as she could. “Nice weather we’re having.”
Aubri turned and glared. “What do you want?” she demanded.
“I was just wondering how you’ve been doing,” said Patricia.
“And why, must I ask, do you care?” Aubri sniffed.
Patricia shrugged. “I thought you’d be feeling lonely after what happened...you know, because of your new glasses and the ridicule you’ve been receiving. Despite what we’ve gone through in the past, I just want to say that those who’ve been teasing you because of your appearance are not worth your time and–”
“What are you babbling about?” snorted Aubri. “Is this all because you wore those tacky flats yesterday? You know those grey ones with the red bows?”
“No, not at all,” Patricia insisted. “I was just saying that your appearance–”
“Oh, so you think I’m ugly?” Aubri gasped. “That’s a shocker little Miss I-only-own-one-pair-of-shoes.” She flipped her hair. “In case you’re wondering Pa-tri-shee-a, those who are envious of my beauty are going to say hurtful things to mask their insecurities. I, however, am never insecure because I know I’m far more stylish, graceful and talented than any other Neopian in all of Neopia Central! And I know those who are haters are nothing but low-life dweesels who are not worth my precious time.”
Patricia was confused. “Aren’t you upset about how everyone’s been reacting to your new glasses?
“That’s loser talk,” said Aubri, “and I don’t since I’m going to get new contacts from the NC Mall tomorrow! Then I’ll be even more chic than those sweater-wearing n00bs.”
“But–” Patricia began.
Aubri waved her hand. “You’ve said more than enough. Now run along before I call the Defenders of Neopia.”
Shocked, Patricia walked away, too flabbergasted to even mutter a word.***
“Oh Aubri, your new contacts are sooo divine!” Sophie crowed. “They make your eyes look green and they're perfect on you! I wish I had a pair just like yours!”
“Dream on, peasant,” said Aubri, beaming. She eyed the crowd that had surrounded her and announced, “It was such a pain to wear that atrocious eye-wear since they covered my beautiful eyes. But now I look positively more radiant than I had before! Don’t you all agree?” The crowd voiced their agreements.
“Its amazing that just yesterday, I sort of felt sorry for Aubri,” Patricia remarked, eyeing the crowd from a few feet away. “And now…well I’m conflicted.”
“It’s really nice to see Aubri acting confidently again,” said Sparkles.
“Never cared then, never will,” Scary sighed.
“Still, I bet Aubri felt a little bit subconscious because of those glasses,” Patricia said thoughtfully. “After all, why else would she get contacts?”
Sparkles nodded. “Yeah, but don’t expect Her Royal Aisha of admitting it. Remember, she’s not the type who voices her concerns to others.”
“And Sophie’s such a pathetic follower,” scoffed Scary. “Look at her; admiring Aubri’s contacts, sighing dreamily, ending her independent thinking streak because Aubri's looks are superior to hers.”
As Aubri strutted past Patricia, she stopped, did a hair flip, and asked, “Jealous?”
“Of your contacts?” asked Patricia. “No, I’m not.”
“Well I’m sure you’re dying inside,” Aubri snarled. “Only an unfashionable dweeb like you would walk around with your eye color!”
“Totally,” Sophie agreed. “You’re just not as hip as Aubri, I’m afraid. But don’t worry; maybe next season, she’ll give you her old pair!”
Aubri laughed. “Yeah, like I’d ever do something that stupid!” She pulled Sophie’s arm away and said, “Lets go show off my new look to the nerds at the science lab.”
“That would be pointless pointless,” Scary remarked as Aubri and Sophie walked away, cackling. “Besides, why would those nerds ever care about fashion?”
“At least you stayed calm, Patricia,” said Sparkles, beaming. “Now Aubri can regain the rest of her self-confidence, and things can go back to normal.”
“I guess so,” said Patricia. “And besides, it’s not like I need to buy a pair of contracts just to change my eye color. What a ridiculous idea.”
“You should still consider it, though,” Scary suggested as the girls walked down the hall. “Your eye color is, literally, so three seasons ago.”
Patricia laughed. “Fine by me, then!”