Kieran McDermott needed the refreshing air of freedom to embrace him. Lately he had an unsettling feeling that there were unwelcome forces that had changed and wanted him to do so as well. Maybe he was thinking too deeply on it, but there was someone that came to mind instantly as these thoughts worked their way into every nook and cranny of his mind. Haunting his days and nights with self-doubt. Was he even good enough? What was wrong with him?

As he walked along the path he did what he could to shake the tumultuous feelings that overtook him with each step. Lately his mind was burdened; troubled even. He needed a vacation from his life, from his past, from that person that was darkening his doorstep and bringing doubt to his heart.

Screaming in frustration that was what he wanted to do as he took several more steps and stopped near the water. It was relaxing. As though all of it could be released like breath. Still, even as he stood there he could not let the thoughts go. Why were there people that wanted him to change? He screamed out in frustration, loud and long. Then, did it a second time because the force of it made him feel slightly better.


“Goodness,” A soft little voice pulled his attention. Instantly, he felt a warmth travel along his cheeks. How embarrassing was it to realize that he was not alone and that someone had witnessed his outburst.

Only for a moment did he brave glancing at the young woman as he tried searching the furthest recesses of his mind for some inclination that she might have been there. No, he was certain he would have noticed. “Sorry,” He managed to awkwardly say. “Did I startle you?”

“No, your outburst was not unexpected.”

Not unexpected she had said. A curious statement, but he simply nodded his head several times as though he was accepting her words as they were. The silence that engulfed the two of them was not uncommon between strangers on the precipice of life. Now he was just being dramatic, but that was how it felt.

Kieran had his ups and downs in life. It was not the first time that there was frustration, but this one affected his entire existence. It was no small thing. One day he looked in the mirror and thought I am doing alright and the next day everything was wrong. His nose and eyes were too big, his jaw not chiseled enough, and maybe he had a bit of pudding here and there that needed to be worked out. Those things never mattered before and yet, now he simply was not perfect enough.

He groaned, rubbing his face in frustration as that soft little coo of her bedroom voice pulled his attention, “Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”

“How did….” Kieran was silenced as he kicked the ground, shoved his hands in his pockets, and considered that his face might give away more than just his emotions.


“There is nothing in this world smaller than people that make you feel broken, simply because you do not fit their skewed view of beauty. They are a disease that infects one person after another and before you know it, they cannot even think for themselves. It is all about that view; that illusion. What they see through their clouded colored lenses is as fake as they are.”

“How do you keep from being tainted by it?”

“It is an easy answer, but not something that can be accomplished without sacrifice. All you can do is be yourself and rebel against what this world calls beautiful. There is nothing normal about being cattle and following the same path over and over again to slaughter. That is what it means to allow someone to change you. It is a death sentence and little by little, there is nothing left of the person you were before that ugliness tainted your insides, and it a hollowness that will always be reflected in your eyes.”


The words of the young woman resonated as his gaze shifted toward the water again. He was being a bit foolish letting the thoughts of him from others fester. There was no reason for it. He was Keiran McDermott; not now nor ever would he allow anyone to change him.

Turning to tell the young woman thank you he was not surprised she was gone. It was almost as though she was a ghost in living form, sent to give him a kick in the ass when he needed it the most.

Kieran MacDermott belongs to McKatSims

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”~ Sophia Loren