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She usually had a perfect complexion.
She was breaking out. Badly. Her face was covered in pimples. They looked a little off, but they were still there.
She tried to hide them. Tried to make them go away. But no matter how much she tried, no matter how many washes and creams, no matter how much makeup, they wouldn't go away. She was suddenly the laughing stock at school. She couldn't go anywhere without being stared at. Her best friends wouldn't be seen with her. So she did the one thing she told herself she never would.
She popped them.
The cases started a few days later. All across her city, everyone started getting sick. Everyone had thought it was gone. But now it was back. Most people, teenagers and children especially, weren't vaccinated against it. The city was put under quarantine. The people who didn't get sick were removed from their homes, unsure if they would see their loved ones again.
Lucky children who somehow hadn't gotten it were vaccinated and went with their parents, if their parents were old enough to not have gotten it. By the time all this was done, deaths were in the hundreds. There ended up being over 20,000 deaths. The people who did live were scarred horribly, or blind, or worse. Most of the cases were children.
The cases were eventually traced back to her. It wasn't her fault, there was no way she could have guessed what she had. It had been gone. No one was sure how she had contracted it in the first place. No one had any logical guesses. The most accepted answer was that she had gotten something from a cow and it mutated to a stronger, but familiar, strain.
She had survived. She got off easy, her scarring wasn't so bad. It looked like she wasn't going to have any nasty side effects. She was lucky.
She asked to be placed under observation because of her mental health. She was under agonizing guilt. All those people dead or scarred or in pain. Because of her.
One of the victims had been her baby sister.
She was never as happy as she was beforehand, but life still went on. Most of her friends were OK. Her parents were happy that at least one of their children was OK, and were never angry with her because of what had happened.
She grew up. She went to college. She had decided to study disease. She wanted to know what to do if something happened again. They talked about that disease in class, and she had to leave that day.
Life went on. She got married. She had children. But she had become paranoid. She made sure her children got every vaccination allowable. She shared her story with people. She became a source of inspiration. Everyone shared condolences for her losses.
She became sick one day. But she was old, had lived her life. She knew she had to die at some point. But there was still something she had to do.
She returned to her hometown. The population had taken a major toll after the disease ravaged through. It was now a small town, home to a brave few. She went to her old house. One of her old friends lived there. She told him what the doctors had said and asked to come in. He let her.
She looked around. The style was basically the same. But she knew it was all new furniture. It had to be, the old stuff was contagious, had been destroyed. She went upstairs, and to the place that had served as her room.
There was a large mirror, like she had when she lived there. She looked into it. She saw her scars and started thinking.
She used to have a perfect complexion. She started laughing. Odd what could happen because of a few pimples.