“Oops! I just took a picture of you.” Sophia Hastings said.
Robin took the phone and looked at the picture. He winced. “Ugh. Freakin’ awful.”
“It isn’t that bad, Robbie.”
Sophia watched him reset the camera.
He gave the phone back to her. “I ain’t knowin’ what Isellta sees in me. I ain’t all that. I’m ugly.”
“No, you’re not.” She put the phone in her pocket and cupped his face with her hands. “You’re still my beautiful Robin. When you meet up with Isellta again, he’ll see it. He’ll see you.”
“Positive.” Sophia released him and pulled out the phone. She smiled as she changed the orientation back and took another shot. “Oops! Another picture of you.”
“What?” He laughed as he caught on. “Ohhh!”
She took another picture as he was laughing. She showed it to him. “See? Not ugly at all.”
Robin took the phone and studied the image on the screen.
Ain’t worth it.
Don’t deserve someone like ‘sellta.
But what does Isellta see when he sees me? What good does he see in this ruined face?
Robin choked up as he remembered Isellta’s touch.
He touched me with no fear or disgust.
He touched me with kindness.
Why the heck didn’t I know it then? Why did I have to be so stuck in denial? Why couldn’t I have freakin’ accepted him?
I was afraid.
He weren’t afraid of me.
He cared about me.
What did he see?
Robin looked past the scar and he saw the whole picture.
A handsome young man, about 25 years old, with unruly brown hair and well-situated features. Nothing out of place. Nothing too big. Nothing too small. Nothing too close together. Nothing too far apart.
His one good eye was bright with happiness. It wasn’t Ambrose’s deep black. Just a medium brown. But it was a warm color.
His smile was brilliant enough to light up center stage all by itself.
Is that how ‘sellta sees me?
He switched the orientation on his phone’s camera and snapped a quick picture of his mother. “Got ya.”
He took her hand. “Come with me. I wanna show you this place I wanna take Isellta to.”
She gave him an uncertain look.
He smiled. “Don’t worry. It ain’t gonna be anythin’ too skeevy or weird. It’s actually all sorts of awesome. It’s where I first met him. Come.”
Her uncertainty left her expression. “Lead on.”
Robin led her to Your Junk = My Treasures. “This place is awesome. Come on inside.”
She looked at her son in quiet wonder. “You really do love him, don’t you?”
“This isn’t just some sort of rare side effect of becoming a vampire, is it?”
“No. This is how I really feel. He is what I really want. He’s all I want. Mama, I just want him to come home to me. To just be with me. E’en if he don’t want none of that physical junk, I’m okay with that as long as he’s here with me. As long as I know he’s safe and happy. As long as he’s here by my side. That’s all I really want.”
Sophia kissed her son’s forehead. “And that is all I really want to know. Let’s go inside.”