For today’s short story, write about a person who is “ugly” by conventional societal standards and make this ugliness resonate with the main character. The person may be ugly in their actions, in their soul, or physically unattractive, but make something about their ugliness unique, tragic, pleasurable, sinful, appalling, or simply human. Regardless, have the ugliness of the character connect somewhere deep inside your MC, and reveal something about them both.
There are numerous examples of this theme in literature and movies (more than you might think), but the first relationship that comes to mind for me is Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester.
For an excellent short story on attractive ugliness, try reading “Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story” by Russell Banks.