“It is my wedding night. I am walking to my husband for the first time. I have waited for this night for so many years. All my life I have been told that I am not beautiful. When I was a girl, the ore children would mock me. As an adult, men would treat me with disdain and scorn. My very own father expressed dismay that I was not beautiful like my sister.

Ah, my sister. Always the pretty one. Always the lovely one. Rachel the Beautiful. She would make men turn their heads when she walked past, but they would never notice me.

I have been so lonely for so long. All I ever wanted was for someone to hold me, to embrace me, to call me beautiful. All I ever wanted was tok be loved.

I go to my husband. He is tired from the day’s celebrations. It is dark. He holds me close, his arms tender and strong. I close my eyes as he embraces me and whispers “Oh, Rachel.”

I bite back my tears. For at least one night, I can be called beautiful. Yet in the morning, I know that I will once again be who I have always been. I will once again be Leah the Unloved.”

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