Something about her is off. Her hair, lustrous, rich, glows a deep auburn enhanced by dye, with no stray frizz. Her clear skin, matted elegantly with foundation, is too concealed. Her black eyeliner is a tiny bit too thick. Most of all, her eyes are the wrong color. Such a bright green, you wonder if there is a pupil at all. Contacts. I wonder why she does all this. She is naturally quite beautiful.
And she is not really off. She bubbles with good humor and an easy smile. She wonders aloud why people eat dogs. She is horrified. Her default mode is both pleasant and searching, but she rejects the eating of dogs. When told that in some cultures, dogs are food, she shifts a bit, but it is a blot. It keeps her off balance.
She gets good grades, very good grades, and is a reliable office worker. She buys her books on Kindle to save money. Her desire to do well peeks out from under the trappings of hair color, eye color, smoothed out skin. She has a good mind, and copes with things that do not fit into her tidy vision.
What if she let herself go, let her hair go brown, her skin uneven, her eyes their natural blue-gray? What if the black overline was gone from her eyes—would she see more clearly? If she is able to accept the eating of dogs, what else could she take in?
She is a physical therapy major. This means that all of her assignments are written in a planner and completed on time, or often, early. This means she does all the extra credit options. This means she will try, try to understand about the dogs. But that may just be too much.