There was once a camp counselor who loved training her children. She was an undergrad in physical therapy, albeit ironically because she was on the heavy-set side; but she always enjoyed teaching the kids at camp every year how to move their bodies in a way that was safe and fun. She’d worked at this particular camp every single summer since she’d graduated high school, so many years ago.
This year was a little different. This year, they’d gotten a new counselor. This young man was about the same age as herself, but he was the most attractive thing the counselor (we’ll call her Jamie.) had ever seen. He had striking black hair and glittering green eyes, he had broad shoulders and thick biceps. He was a walking dream.
Jamie was pretty certain that this young man (We’ll call him Trent.) and herself would have fairly evenly nothing in common. But as the days began to pass of the month-long summer camp, they began to talk and find that they had a lot in common.
It came to be that Trent confessed his love to her beneath the awning of the cafeteria during a sudden rainstorm after all the kids had trundled into their cots. And so, they began a hesitant relationship.
A week passed, then two, and the camp was drawing to a close. There was a softball tournament coming up as the final activity of the camp, and the whole grounds were excited. Jamie was in charge of teaching the little girls how to throw and catch the softballs. Trent was working with the boys.
They’d spent so much time together since that fateful night beneath the cafeteria awning that neither had slept much, and some of their duties had been shirked in lieu of spending time together. However, they didn’t know much about each other.
The truth was, Jamie had a big secret.
And that big secret was that at a certain point during the year, though it was never exactly the same, her face turned absolutely grotesque. Her ears would wind up, her nose screw and bubble, her eyebrows turned downward. She became what most people would call a part-of-the-year goblin. Her hair, normally a plain brown, would turn a drastic red that would curl past her hip and tangle atrociously. She likened herself to an ugly troll-doll.
So when it came that she had exhausted herself so thoroughly in spending time with Trent, she found herself beginning to change a little earlier than she’d expect.
Of course the camp knew about her condition, and it was no surprise to them. Nor to many of the children who had attended many years as well.
However, Jamie absolutely did NOT want to let Trent in on this awful secret.
She began to fear that Trent loved everything about her that he saw on the surface. Maybe in all that time they’d spoken, they’d not touched the very inward parts of what made them who they were; so they loved the thought of one another.
When it came to the softball game, Jamie hadn’t seen Trent for days. This was quite unusual and Trent was afraid that she had gotten sick or worse–that she wasn’t feeling their relationship. They’d seen each other every single day for hours, would spend hours into the night talking. So to go without even three or four days was alarming to Trent, who was beginning to invest serious thought into what they would do after the camp ended.
Jamie was terrified that if he saw her the way she was, he’d run screaming. That he’d find her grotesque and never wish to speak to her again. Trent was terrified that he’d said something wrong, or let her in too much and she found something displeasing.
On the one side of the field stood Jamie in her troll-esque appearance, on the other stood the striking prince. The boys and the girls were playing a competition against one another for a final cup.
At first, Trent thought she’d shirked her responsibility off on another camp counselor to stay away from him. His eyesight, you see, was pretty awful.
But as the game progressed and much head tilting had occurred, he began to realize the truth.
Half-time came about and he marched across that rustic baseball diamond and took her face in his hands and kissed her, before all of the counselors and children, who let up a whooping cry.
When they ended the kiss, he was very upset. “Why didn’t you tell me?” He asked, frustrated.
And she told him she’d been afraid of what he’d think.
He faltered a moment, remembering his fear as well. He cracked a smile and shook his head, “From now on, I want to see all of you, always. I want to see the bad, the good, the funny, the sad, the happy, the ugly.” He ran a timid hand over his scalp and grinned sheepishly, “Because that’s the only way to love someone, isn’t it?”