In the End, I Was Perfect
“Sarah! Honey come down for dinner” I heard mom scream from downstairs. “I made your favourite chicken teriyaki with boiled rice”. My stomach growled but my mind refused to allow my body to move towards the door. No... I can’t. I must resist.. food is the enemy... “I'm not hungry mom! I'll eat in a while” I spoke clutching my growling stomach. “It’ll all be worth it,” I told myself and pressed play on another beauty video. An advertisement filled the screen instead. It was a lingerie ad for Victoria's secret. Beautiful models with perfects bodies strutted across the screen. They didn't possess a single flaw, with long doll-like legs and tiny hourglass waists. Luscious golden locks flowed down their shoulders down to their backs. And they're eyes were the most beautiful shade of blue, like the depths of the oceans, they sparkled like sunshine passing through crystals. Unlike my eyes which were a muddy shade of green like swamp water. “I wish I could look like them” I sighed with tears welling up in my eyes. I could feel the bile rising up my throat. My head was spinning and my vision started to fade. “Mom!‟ I tried to scream but my lungs gave out and the sound came out as a whisper instead. I fell to the ground with a thud but my body was too numb to feel any pain. “Honey! you haven't eaten in--- SARAH!” She screamed as she shook me violently. Everything went black.
-A week earlier-
I tiptoed downstairs to the main door, trying to make a successful attempt of running out without getting caught. The smell of scrambled eggs lingered in the air. It made me nauseous. I stopped just outside the kitchen door as I heard my parents talk. "Have you noticed how Sarah has been acting weird lately?" my mom said placing a plate of eggs and toast in front of my dad who was fully engrossed in his newspaper. "Hmm. Why so?‟ he replied sounding the least bit interested. “She's barely eating, she never leaves her room and her face has lost its colour... she's acting just like jess did-" “Enough!" My father roared "Not a single word about her. Do not forget that we agreed to never speak of it again.” “But I am so worried” she cried “I can't lose another daug-“ “I SAID ENOUGH” I flinched as my father slammed his palm on the table. “I‟m leaving for work” he got up and stormed off, leaving my poor mother devastated.
‘Jessica.. my sister. Me? like her? Never! I am not sad, I’m just achieving the body I desire. My arms aren’t stained like hers. My heart doesn’t shed tears day and night. No, I am not like her. I will not end up like Jessica. She was dumb, I am not. I have got it under control' My mind was running wild, I felt like my heart was beating in my throat. 'I am not Jess.’
Sarah’s mother's POV:
The beeps of the electrocardiogram echoed throughout the room. The silence was nerve-wracking. The white room had a haunting aura with its dull grey walls and white tiled floors. There was a single bed in the middle of the room on which lay a lifeless body. I sat beside her bed with my head in my arms. History was repeating itself, Sarah had followed her sister's footsteps.
I came back from the grocery store and went straight to the kitchen. Jessica, my 17-year-old the daughter was sick so I promised to make her favourite soup. I began sorting things out and within thirty minutes the soup was ready. I made my way up to her room carefully balancing the hot bowl in my hands. I entered without knocking, however, the gruesome sight before my eyes made me tumble back, dropping the bowl to the floor. I wanted to scream but no sound came out. Jessica's body hung from the ceiling fan, cold and lifeless. Her hair draped over her head as she swung from side to side like a pendulum. My eyes fell upon a crumpled piece of paper on top of her bed. I gathered up all my energy and slowly reached for it.
“I've had enough, I have been hurting but no one cares, everyone sees my jolly side but no one cares enough to see what's inside. I leave this world with a great piece of art. If you find my body you'll rather find a temple of scars. They were my greatest works. My razor was my favourite paintbrush, and blood my favourite type of paint, and my skin made a great canvas. No need to mourn(not like I expect anyone to) I am in a happier place, this world was just a prison, I am now free Goodbye"
I broke into tears. How could I have not known? She was hurting all along, but she seemed so happy. I guess the happiest people are actually the saddest. They make others happy because they do not want anyone to feel the same way. Jess was one of those people. And now she was gone. I fell to my knees clutching the letter close to my chest. "If only I had known.” I whispered through the tears, “If only”
-the flashback ended-
"Don't go, Sarah. I can't lose you too, please come back honey" I cried and planted a kiss on my her forehead."
I woke up in a mystical garden. It has the most beautiful flowers, luscious green grass and a small stream flowing down a tiny hill. In the middle of the garden stood a beautiful girl with long dark brown locks. She had her back to me. She wore a sparkling white gown along with a silver tiara. She turned around. My eyes went wide. "J-Jess?" I whispered. Tears welled up in my eyes “I-it's you, it's really you. Y-you’re alive” I cried embracing her. She let out a little chuckle and caressed my hair. “No my dear sister, We’re in the afterlife, fortunately, your time on earth has not yet ended ” her smile faded “Please don't repeat my mistakes, Sarah, I beg you. I see mom cry herself to sleep every night. I see dad break down inside looking at her but he tries to be strong, he tries not to let it show. You're the only thing that gives their life meaning anymore. Don't take that meaning away from them. "but-but I am not trying to kill myself, I just want to be beautiful. Just like those girls in the magazines and in those ads." I sobbed “I just want to be beautiful!" I cried. She cupped my face in her hands. “Love, you're beautiful just the way you are. Your green eyes are as rich as the forest during monsoon, your beautiful brunette hair is better than any shade of blonde. You have a beautiful body, with all the curves in the right places. You are perfect my dear! Those magazines covers are photoshopped and those models are miserable with their diets. Don't put yourself through this" she kissed my forehead “Go back, Sarah!" She whispered and disappeared into the light. "Come back Sarah‟ I felt my mother kiss my forehead.
"Mom?" I whispered. I felt her arms wrap around me and she cried tears of joy. “I'm not going anywhere, mom.” I whispered. “never”. I felt her grip tighten around me. Right here, right now, this is all that mattered. My parent's love mattered. Nothing else mattered. Not those perfect models nor my flaws. I knew I was perfect just as I am and the people who truly loved me saw that. They saw perfection through my flaws.
© 2019 Hadia Malik