The raindrops fell onto his hat. Faint splattering sound echoed in the alley, hissing as lightning struck the sky. Another large boom rang into the far away mountains, and he couldn’t help but feel the rumble of the clap. How beautiful the harmonies of the rain tapping. Suddenly, a splash of water slapped across his face, destroying his serenity of being alone. The little girl tittered with glee as she saw the man recovered with fright from the water. Her mother smiled and gave her a pat. Instead of scolding her for the nasty act, she was encouraged to do it again. The poor man was drenched, shivering in cold; he hugged himself tighter to keep himself warm. Although he was in such a shoddy situation, the man was not disheartened. Deep inside him, he knew that being a nothing could one day become something.
Martin was born into a society where everyone was genetically born to be perfect. Their nose was sculpted into such precision, it seemed almost impossible that they were real. Lips were full and pulped, from young till old; they never changed, and will stay forever the same. Their skin, flawless and porcelain white, were specially modified to never sag or have a single blemish. Needless to say, everyone born into this world was polished and impeccable. Everyone except Martin.
He had never question why he was born this way or how he could change himself. His left arm was filled with bumpy brown tumors, big and small, it covered his arm entirely, not a part of his arm or hand was spared from those malignant growths. Sometimes a boil or two would surface on those swellings, oozing yellow pus. Martin could only ease the painful sores by squeezing his arm firmly. The severe neurofibromatosis had also made him lopsided, limping as he walked. He was transmuted like a mutant. It was one in a billion that somebody could be born imperfect. Martin was known as a ‘ugly’ in the community.
From the day Martin was born, his mother abandoned him. Perhaps, it was because she was too humiliated to have given birth to a ugly. Perhaps, it was better off if she pretended that she had never ever gave birth to one anyway. Left forsaken in an orphanage, Martin grew up learning that he was a vermin in the community. He had never communicated or played with the children before. Even if he tried, he was never accepted. The doll-liked children would ignore Martin, as if he was nothing worth more than a speck of dust. Yet, the spark in Martin’s heart never once douse away.
Once, while Martin was peering from the classroom window, he saw all the children playing delightedly in the yard. How he longed to join them in their games and laugh at what they were all laughing at. Martin felt a sudden cascade of courage flowed through him. ‘Today, shall be the day!’ he thought to himself. With his tiny fists clenched tightly, he marched out of the classroom and into the lawn. The children immediately stopped what they were doing and turned their perfect little heads towards Martin.
“Can I join, too?”. Martin whispered.