Tracey was 12 when she first saw strands of gray in her hair. She was brushing her hair sitting in front of the mirror. She was so shocked when she saw it. And then it made her sad and went to her mom. She showed it to her mom and asked what that was. She also asked what was happening to her. But her mom was in a hurry as she was going to her work. She told her that she would hear her later.
She also went to school. But when she entered the class all of her classmates noticed her. They gathered near her and asked what was with her. They laughed and said that it looked like she was getting old. Tracy felt scared and ashamed and her classmates' taunts only made it worse. She always wanted to return home whenever she was in school.
One week later she saw new strands of gray. She went to her mom and told her that she was not going to school. Her mom was still in hurry and didn't look at her. So, she made her mom look at her at that time. Her mom was scared to see that. She exclaimed that that was awful. She also told Tracy that her father's genes were showing in her.
Her mom told her that she was right that she could not go outside looking like that. But she forbade her to worry and assured her that they would dye it. She was happy because, after the dying, she was looking like before. She got back her beautiful golden hair. But the dye washed off in a week, and new gray hairs were appearing fast. She was terrified and cried out, "Why on earth is this happening?"
By the age of 18, Tracy went completely gray. No one knew why it happened. She met many doctors and had gone many tests. But they said that she didn't have any conditions that could cause the hair gray. They also said that she was healthy, but her genes caused her hair to go gray.
Every time she met someone new, her hair was the first topic they would bring up. Everyone felt pity for her as they thought she was ill. But she tried to make them understand that she was perfectly healthy. As years went by, she grew to hate herself and her look. She cut off her hair and cried. She could not do that anymore.
And then she introduced herself with the head scarfs. She wore it and hid her gray hair. She was satisfied and said that she would be wearing a headscarf from then on. She felt it was better that way. The scarf attracted less attention than her hair, and Tracy learned to live with it. Her mom also liked that idea and told her that it looked good on her and it was better than showing her gray hair.
After she had graduated from college, she started working as a school teacher. The kids never asked why she was in a headscarf and Tracy started to feel more at ease. One day she was having lunch in the teacher lounge and a man came there and asked her if he could sit next to her. He added that having lunch together is more fun. He told her that he was Greg, a math teacher. And they ate lunch together.
Greg and Tracy often saw each other at work and became good friends. And they often walked together. He told her that he really enjoyed talking to her. But one day he asked about the headscarf. He asked why she wore it. She was so scared that she didn't reply to him and ran away from the place. She came to her room and cried so hard. She knew that she was attracted to Greg and the feeling was mutual, but she could not bring herself to open up and overcome her insecurity. She asked herself how she would tell him. He would not understand and grow distant from her.
But one incident changed everything. One afternoon after school, she was taking her class to a show. She told them to walk fast as they were running late. And suddenly her headscarf was blown off by a strong wind and her gray-white hair showed up. She was scared and felt ashamed. Now she had to explain to the kids about her hair. But when she turned towards them, they were impressed. "Wow! Miss!", "Your hair is so beautiful!", "You look like a fairy!" and many more compliments she heard from the kids.
She could not believe that someone could say so about her hair. So, she asked them if they liked that. Tracy was stunned by the kid's reaction and she burst into tears out of surprise. The kids came to her and hugged her. They asked why she was crying when she was so pretty.
In all those years, no one had given her as much confidence as those kids did. The next day, she went to Greg's house and told him that she would like to show him something. She added that she didn't know if he would accept it but then she was ready to show it to him. Then she took off her scarf and showed her hair.
He saw it and smiled. He asked Tracy if he was ashamed of it. He added that she was very pretty and he liked her the way she was.
At the age of 25, she came to love and accept herself. All she needed for that, it turned out, was just some love and support. The road to true happiness begins with self-acceptance. We're all special, and that is what makes us beautiful.