She giggled, sitting on the boy's lap, and whispered into his ear, "Tell me I'm pretty, won't you?"
He grinned and kissed her. "Brittany, you know what you are. You don't need me to tell you," he replied. She smiled, but it was fake. She just wanted someone to tell her. She knew it, and everyone said that she should know it, but nobody ever said it: "Brittany, you're pretty." It was all she wanted to hear.
"Oh, come on, please? I love you," she pouted. "You know I would say that you're very pretty if it wouldn't sound stupid, Justin." Brittany fluttered her lashes, but Justin just laughed and started talking to her friends. She sighed and put her head on his shoulder. Why didn't he say it? She just wanted to hear it once in her whole life.
"Justin," she said softly, "Can't you say it once?"
"I told you, Brit, you don't need me to," Justin said again, turning back to his friends. Brittany slipped off his lap, kissing him on the cheek.
"Babe, I'm not feeling well, I'm gonna head home."
"Sure, Brit. Text me when you get home" Justin said as she walked out of Justin's house. She smiled, and decided just to make him tell her over text. That was better than nothing.
On her drive home, she thought about some things that had been bothering her. Why did nobody ever come out and say that she was pretty? Could it be that she wasn't?
She realized that that might be the case. Sure, she appeared pretty to herself, but how did she know that she wasn't just biased? She gasped as she thought about how likely it was. A lot of people who she and her friends had classified as ugly thought that they were pretty. Could she really be... ugly?
She picked up her phone and started texting. Who cared that she was driving? This was her prettiness at stake here!
Justin, tell me I'm pretty!
She put her phone down, smiling. How could he not say it when she said it like that? Maybe he was just being shy, so it would be easier if it was over a text.
The phone buzzed, so she picked it up, typing in the password to finally see that someone said she was pretty.
Brit! You are what you are, as long as you know that then you're fine!
She gritted her teeth, staring at the phone. He was so stupid. What did she ever see in him?
"Justin, you're such an idiot!" she exclaimed, glaring hatefully at the tiny picture of him next to his name. She quickly typed a "please" before setting the device down again.
Watching the road, the started thinking again. Maybe this was his way of preparing her for a breakup? That must be it. He hated her because she was so hideous.
How could he do this to her? Didn't he know that she loved him? How could he think that she was ugly, and not even have the guts to say it and break up with her?
Another buzz caught Brittany's attention, and, eyes full of anger, she picked up the phone again.
Brittany, please. You don't need me to tell you anything.
"Justin! I hate you, I hate you so much! I-" she screamed, getting cut off by a shape in front of her rapidly approaching. She swerved the wheel of the car to dodge the giant tree, only to crash into another.
He watched as the casket was lowered into the ground. He felt so guilty. Brittany had been in a car accident, and soon after he heard the news, Justin realized that she had died because she was texting him. He wished he had never asked her out. If they were strangers, she would at least be alive. It was his fault.
After the ceremony, Justin went home to cry and miss her. He wondered if she had done it on purpose because he wouldn't say that she was pretty. Justin quickly dismissed the idea as being ridiculous; Brittany wasn't so insecure that she would let something like that end her life. Right?
Later in the evening, Justin decided to go for a walk. Maybe it would help him get over Brittany if he went along their favorite route. On the way, he passed the tree that she had crashed into. Justin just couldn't hold it back anymore. He collapsed to the ground and sobbed.
He heard footsteps and looked up to see a familiar figure floating on front of him. It couldn't be...
"Brittany?" he whispered in awe. There she was, standing tall with a hand behind her back. Happiness filled his entire being, and he smiled as wide as he could. She was here, she was alive. The funeral must have been faked. Brittany was here.
"Yes, I'm here, you idiot," she spat. His grin faded. What...?
"I'm dead because of you." Brittany was glaring at him, and now he was frowning. How could she be dead? She was right in front of him.
"And now, you will pay," she hissed. Confusion crossed his face when rage crossed hers. What did she mean?
She raised her hand from behind her back and saw that she was holding a knife. She wouldn't.
She lifted the blade high. "Tell me I'm pretty" she demanded. Before he had a chance to speak, her hand slammed down, and he felt the cold steel cutting deep into his chest.
"You're beautiful," Justin gasped, right before a car slammed into him, killing him instantly.