I was lying on the couch in my family’s living room, surrounded by bags of chips, cookies, plates, candy wrappers, and a small mountain of empty soda pops that I had been drinking. My entire body was slumped into the long couch that was trying to support my heavy, weight.
When the couch was first purchased it lifted those who sat on it, nearly four feet off the ground, however in the months that I spent lying on the couch, my heavy weight had caused it to sink downward, nearly diminishing it of half of it’s stature. There was trash that had been acquired over several days, stacked into large piles that surrounded the couch, created by days worth of wrappers from the food that I had consumed.
Across the room from me a television set was on, airing a new episode of Jerry Springer. I spent a majority of my time lying on the couch watching television and eating any food that I could find in the kitchen.
I’ll admit to you right now, that I’m a fat, ugly fourteen year old girl with low self-esteem. There, are you happy? I disclosed my entire life to you. I know that right now you’re sitting there, either laughing at me, shaking your head at me, or thinking how happy you feel that you’re not me. The truth is, I’m not easiest person in the world to be. I’m sorry if I sound redundant, but one of the symptoms to low self-esteem is reminding yourself how awful you are as a person.
Anyway, I know you’re sitting there right now, with your perfect weight, pretty skin, and your high hopes for the future, relieved that you’re not reduced to the state that I am, but I don’t think it’s fair for you to use me as a role model of "what not to be". I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to shame you like this, so I’ll try to introduce myself.
My name is Maxine Benson and I’m an overweight, fourteen year old girl with low self-esteem. I have a round, chubby face, which large, wobbly cheeks that are full of excess fat that I’m too lazy to try and burn off through months of exercise and proper dieting. I have long black hair that I always wear tied back in a bun because wearing it down doesn’t feel right to me. Wearing your hair down is something that pretty girls do when they are confident with their self-image.
I was spending the Saturday morning, sitting in my living room, watching television, surrounded by all the trash that I had made over the pass couple of days made of wrappers and garbage. I love to watch Jerry Springer and often find myself staring at the television screen, that display his show, a majority of the day.
I heard the front door open, but I made no attempt to move from my comfortable spot on the couch to catch a glimpse of who it might be entering the house. I was certain that it was a robber, and I was preparing to tell him that he could take whatever he wanted, he just had to leave the television and some snacks for me in the refrigerator. If he could guarantee me those two things then I was willing to direct him to the expensive jewelry that was in my house.
Heavy footsteps from the front door made their way into the living room where I was lying on the couch. I glanced up and saw that it was my older sister, Zara, who had entered the room. Zara was sixteen years old and shared my appearance, with the exception that she wasn’t fat and ugly.
I wouldn’t call her one of those gorgeous super models that make guys drool when they walk across a stage modeling their body. They say they’re modeling the clothing, but it’s really a lie, they’re simply showing off their bony, perfect, figures that everyone who isn’t them wishes that they had.
Zara had her thin black hair bound in a small bun on her head, however her hairstyle wasn’t a symbol of her low self-esteem. She fixed her glasses that were on the tip of her nose and managed to balance her purse that was sliding down her arm, on top of her shoulder.
"Agh!" Zara immediately pinched her nose with her finger tips when she entered the room. "Maxine, this place is disgusting…and what’s that smell?!"
I lifted my sweaty arm pits up and allowed myself to take a deep breath of the odor that my body was producing. The whiff forced me to drop my arms, an attempt to repress the awful smell that my body was giving off.
"I believe that smell is me." I confessed.
"Maxine, you’re nasty. Why don’t you take a bath?"
"I did." I mumbled. "I took one three weeks ago. Agh!"
Zara scanned the room, shaking her head disapprovingly. The thing is, Zara is sort of an organized, neat freak, slash girly, girl, geek. It’s strange to have so many different types of people in one person, but that’s the way my sister, Zara, is.
"You need to clean this place up!" she ordered.
Her eyes rested on the television set just as an angry couple began to attack one another and the security guards pretended to attempt to break up the fight up. I watched Jerry Springer enough to know that the producers told the security guards to delay intervening in the fights as much as possible. They purposely lured their guests onto the show to watch them fight with one another and the guards were simply there to create a false impression that they were trying to maintain order. The more fights, the higher the ratings.
Zara stared at the television and shook her head to show her disapproval.
"When I see shows like this," she said. "I think, ‘this is why the people in China are getting smarter.’" She then abruptly changed the subject. "Maxine, clean this place up! Mom says that we have to go across the street and greet the new neighbors."
Zara wandered out of the room and I listened as her footsteps faded upstairs. Zara didn’t know what good television shows were when she saw them. She was a strong advocator for the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. In my own opinion, it was school’s job to teach us and if you attempted to learn any extra knowledge outside of school, well then you were just showing off.
I rolled off the couch into a pile of trash that was sitting on the floor waiting for me. I guess we were going to have to go and meet the new neighbors.
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