“The chair will break!” A classmate yelled out as she sat down. Fifteen mean giggles followed. She didn’t look up as her vision clouded with tears. She could never get used to this. The others went back to their daily lives, not noticing her injured heart.
She wanted a boyfriend like the popular girls in class always had one. But who’d like her? “I’m so fat and ugly,” she told herself every time she dared to have a crush. Her sister told her to just go and say, “I like you.” But how could she? Sometimes she wondered if she hated herself. And sometimes she answered with a yes.
“The annual swimming competition will be next Monday,” announced the teacher. Rita’s heart started pounding. She needed to get sick by Monday. She couldn’t bear to see the other girls looking so nice when a swimsuit would make her look like a big hippo. But mother would be angry – five years of swimming lessons gone to waste, she would say. Rita wanted to run away.
Misery was desire. Hope was the creator of hopelessness. “Take it one day at a time,” she trained herself. But sometimes too much happened in a day. And then there were the times when too little happened. “I guess it’s about taking in every moment,” she concluded.
She felt more than others. It got her into trouble most of the time. She thought about saving the world. Feeling helpless wasn’t her thing. Sleepless nights were normal. When they told her to narrow her focus, she knew she was in the wrong place.
She dreaded the moment. It was cold and dark out there. The touch of his fur and soft purring kept her in bed. She turned the alarm off while muttering some expletives in three languages. Then an hour later the furry kid woke her up with sounds of scratching and playing. She could never be harsh with him.
Flowers were nice but loving words stayed longer. Chocolate was delicious but the effects were hard to work off. She longed for kindness and affection that nobody could put a price tag on. Her dreams weren’t about his gifts. Sometimes she wondered if they defined love too differently. Looking like George Clooney was a quality she couldn’t ignore though.