It was a cold dark night. The loneliness just seemed to go on forever. I grew bitter and my patience wore thin as I lay on my bed. It was like everything and everyone in the world was just a shadow of the past. Not the bright reflections of myself I used to see. I felt twice my age and nothing more than an empty lifeless shell that was once alive and well.
I was in mourning. Yet there was no body nor casket. No trauma or tragedy. I was simply mourning my youth. That young fearless woman I once was, no longer there. Just a barren and beaten soul that never got the chance to do anything but survive in the world.
I got up and turned on the small lamp by my bedroom window. I couldn’t bear to see my world in anything brighter than 20 watts. I lazily waddled to the mirror and looked up slowly.
“Jesus, what have you done to yourself?” I muttered in disgust.
I leaned in and pulled the skin from my cheeks. Lifting and lowering my head to force myself to see these drastic changes in my appearance. I straightened my back again and lifted my shirt. I turned to the side, then looked in the mirror again, shaking my head in disappointment. A massive excess bulge had taken over the area where my lean muscular abs used to be.
I put my shirt back down and plopped back on the bed. My arms and legs spread like an exhausted starfish. My breath got shallow from my chin being mushed to my chest. I looked up at the ceiling fan woefully, watching the spin blur as my eyes welled up with tears. I was so disappointed. Appalled and annoyed with myself. I can’t believe I let myself get so unhealthy.
It was definitely time for a change. In my mind, I still saw what my body used to look like and what it was supposed to feel like. There had to be a way to get myself back. My choices were slim. I either try or die. Just as that small glimmer of hope arose in my breast, my phone chimed.
I didn’t get up, but just looked slowly to the side. It sounded like an email notification. Nothing important enough for me to get off the bed. I closed my eyes. Then, I heard my phone again. This time with triple beeps and a vibration. It sounded excited… a hell of a lot more excited than I was to pick it up.
“Fine. Ass. You win.” I said grumpily.
I rolled to my side and suddenly, the weight of my massive arms rolled me further until I crashed face down on the floor. I lay there a while. Surprisingly not as upset as I thought I would be. More amused than anything.
“That’s what you get, fat ass.” I grumbled to myself.
After a few minutes of struggle, I finally got on my feet. I picked up my phone and saw dozens of notifications from this writing platform I used sometimes. I haven’t turned anything in for months but I noticed a new follower who was reading every single piece I had.
“Alana Carter started following you,” I read aloud, “Alana has commented on 5 of your stories. Alana sent you a private message…”
My eyes widened when I saw her picture. She was beautiful! Not in an Instagram-model-type of way, but a classic beauty. The features of a starlet. One of those girls who’s probably been fit all her life and doesn’t wear makeup.
I read quite a few of her comments and it made me smile. She wasn’t afraid to be flirtatious. Even from afar, I could feel her admiration for me. Well, at least for my writing alias; who, in all honesty, was much cooler than I was in real life. She even left her phone number in a private message, which made me excited. But I was also reluctant and nervous to contact her back.
I played it all out in my head. What if I do call her. She and I become friends, possibly more. We get to the picture exchange, then boom! Disappointment. I would suffer alone in the end.
Then, I came across a specific part of the message that made me change my mind. She mentioned something about the definition of change. How we all have the ability to be reborn. It was a spark of enlightenment she got from my piece, and in turn, shined upon me.
At that moment, I felt it. I mean, really felt it. This peace I haven’t had in a long while. That profound moment of clarity. If I didn’t like what I saw…I could change it. Then, I did something I haven’t done in a very long time. I went to the wall, flipped the switch, and turned the lights on in my room at the brightest capacity. It was almost blinding.
“Oh wow, I need to clean this place. It’s disgusting!”
Now that the lights were on, I could see all the dust and dirt accumulated in every part of the floor. The entire house was a mess. I gathered some cleaning material and got to work. It took all day, but I didn’t stop until every corner was spotless. I even did the stand with my arms folded proudly like the Mr. Clean commercial.
Next on the agenda was me. I needed to clean myself in the same thorough manner as my house. I peeled off my sweaty clothes and neatly put them in the laundry bin. It felt good to be out of them. I looked down at my stomach again and poked at it. I wish I could take this layer off, too. That’s what it felt like to be overweight. Like a thick layer of clothing you just couldn’t take off.
The shower felt soothing at least. I cleaned every part of myself from head to toe until I was satisfied. I don’t think I’ve ever been this thorough. I even shaved and put on some lotion, which I haven’t done in a while. It took fo…