You Want My Glasses??

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

“Kutta wake up; it's time to go to school”, Amma hollered from the dining room, a call that is more powerful than any alarm. With my eyes still shut, I direct my hands towards the alarm clock that had been buzzing since 5 in the morning. The early hours of dawn are bliss for many but, to me, it feels like I'm enclouded with huge chunks of coal. Half sunken in bed, I reach out for my glasses beneath the bed and head straight to the washroom.

With my eyes still shut, I try to play the guessing game of who's toothbrush I have in hand, mine or my brother’s. Hehee !! Smirking to myself, ”the odds of using my brother’s toothbrush can’t be quantified !! “ said the inner voice in my head. The gigantic mirror hung up on the bathroom wall was now splattered with water due to the perpetual habit of splashing cold water until my face felt numb. As I wipe the mirror clean, my smirked smile had unfrozen itself.

Behold, a girl of 16short and stout whose waistband couldn’t even fit the mirror's frame along with a body covered with staphylococcus eczema ( a type of infection that causes redness with clusters of puss induced boils ). “This was my identity check,” said my inner voice.

“You’ve been there for more than half an hour; I really need to go the loo. I can’t hold it any longer !! “screamed my brother. The door was open, and he gushed in and yanked me out to get ready to go to school.

A girl of my age is always indulged in following the latest trends, clicking selfies etc. but here, the case was different. It was a huge deal breaker. The very fact of skimming through magazines would give me chills from top to bottom.

“I hope you haven’t forgotten anything!!” exclaimed Amma as I wait for the bus. “ No, Ma, I’ve carried everything”, reassuring her that everything was on track and boarded the bus waving goodbye.

The bus was my comfort zone. I would be the first one to board the bus and the very last to descend. Bus rides are the best. I love how the wind intertwined with my hair as I purge through the window, but the experience was short-lived.

Entering a class with at most laughter and chaos to utter silence with my venture was no less than a death threat. Seated at the first bench, isolated from the rest of the class, I was constantly surrounded by whispers. No one sat beside me unless the teacher punished them.

Though I spent most of my day in school at my desk, I was very popular with the nicknames that I had acquired from my classmates and batchmates. The most popular ones were “ leprosy girl” and “chakka “ (which means jackfruit in Malayalam.
The only time that I move away from my seat was to head off to the washroom. In high school, all the major body shaming begins in the school washroom. A mental preparation actually goes on in my head on how to dodge away from such people.  But to my ill fate, I would get picked on every single day, yet I did not utter a single word to my parents.

I really didn’t pay heed to their comments, even though they do scratch through my self-confidence. The only sight of relief was that I could meet Sibi, a childhood friend, during the weekends. She was the only person that didn’t judge me by my looks, is what I thought. But boy, was I wrong!

We used to go out to parks and game zones together, but she seemed to be distancing herself as time passed. Personal meetings turned into weekly phone calls to one line WhatsApp messages to finally no response.

It was months later that I finally see her during a family get-together, and as I approached, she stepped away from my side and blasted, hurling insults on how disgusting  I looked and the fact that people had made fun of her for hanging out with me.

That was the last of her that I had seen. Though she went away, her words haunted me. I started to question myself, “am I that bad of a person?, does everything revolve around looks?, why am I cursed with such a body”. The self-respect that I had gone downhill.

My love for food turned into hatred. There have been days where I starved myself to sleep even though Amma came behind me telling me to have at least a small nibble. It came to the point where I would puke out the food using my finger right after a meal.

As for my eczema, I tried every trick in the book to get rid of it, from natural methods to homoeopathy to even allopathic medicines, but it caused severe aggravation to my skin. It finally came to a stand where I was injected with steroids to reduce the inflation on my skin. There were days where my hands were tied so that I do not scratch or pop any boil, a never-ending turmoil.

Three years down the lane, the banner reads “ Reunion Batch of 2016”. Walking through the school corridor, reviving those so-called blissful memories, I bump into one of my classmates. “Hey Sara, how are you doing?” I exclaimed in a squeaky voice. With her eyebrows arched, she responded, “I’m good. Umm... I’m sorry to sound rude but do I happen to know you?”

I thus took her back to memory lane, and when she recalls, she scrutinises me from top to bottom. “It can’t be; oh my god”, she gasped. “Liya, is that really you?” The moment I had given her the silent nod, she held me tight and hitched me out in front of the class, telling my fellow batch mates who I was.

There were gasps from different corners of the room. “I don’t know what you are doing, but you look so much healthier now. Props for losing all that weight,” said a batchmate after I developed anorexia.

If only they could see through my glasses!

Submitted: May 03, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Jane Esther Thomas. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Thank you for your wonderful story, it's good to have young writers like you to make an easier road to those that come after...

Mon, May 3rd, 2021 7:18am

Ezra Enzo

This was an incredible read Jane. Being honest, I didn't expect myself to read to the end, but with your witty and smart writing, you held my attention to the very end. The story itself is wonderful, and the last sentence is clever. The emotions described are direct and are very realistic. Overall, a very well-done story done by a talented writer. Great work Jane! - E.E

Mon, May 3rd, 2021 2:39pm

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