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We all look for heaven

by Essence Bryant, staff reporter

Perfection doesn't mean being the best looking and most attractive, its quite sad that people these days assume to have perfection means that people look stunning and so beautiful. Society today seems to use the term perfect, but do they really mean it and is whatever or whoever they call perfect really perfect? Picture by Essence Bryant
Perfection doesn’t mean being the best looking and most attractive, its quite sad that people these days assume to have perfection means that people look stunning and so beautiful. Society today seems to use the term perfect, but do they really mean it and is whatever or whoever they call perfect really perfect? Picture by Essence Bryant.

With elegant care, her mother set down the plate on the table in front of her. That night’s campaign was to tackle a few pieces of chicken, a dollop of mashed potatoes and a portion of mixed vegetables. Her hand had long since found her utensils, but her stomach would never find the appetite. This she knew from the years that she sat in this very seat doing the same exact thing. She stared down at her plate with the kind of look you’d give a stray dog on the street, a look filled with terror and worry. This was when the anxiety had started its heavy descent upon her shoulders.

Carbs, calories, fats, sugars, proteins, carbs, calories, fats, sugar, protein…

These were the words that started to fill the air and manifested themselves in a physical blend of spices and apprehension on her plate. She looked up and saw that her brother and sister had already begun to work on their food, their forks occasionally scratching the ceramic plates, while she had been staring aimlessly at the plate.

It isn’t worth it, Eva, the voice in her head said, its harsh voice vivid and alluring as it chanted the mantra she lived by for years. You’ll just get fatter and fatter… It isn’t worth it. Her hand shook as she gripped the fork and slowly cut up the little pieces of chicken. With hard concentration, she separated the mashed potatoes, and pushed them into different corners of her plate. She gently speared and ate a few pieces of vegetables, but the thought of gaining even another ounce was enough to make her dizzy and sick to her stomach.

It isn’t worth it, fatty! It isn’t worth it. You’ll always be fat. You’ll never be thin. You’ll never be thin. You’ll never be thin.

“What’s wrong, love?” her mother asked. Her sweet, concerned voice broke the chanting in her head, and made her snap her back to reality, where her fork was still tightly wielded in her hand. “You’ve barely touched your food.” Eva offered her mother a small, apologetic smile. “I had a big lunch,” she said quietly, continuing to push her food around on her plate. Once her mother saw her regain usage of her fork, she looked away and continued to eat her own food.

Eva casually unfolded her napkin and placed it in her lap, quietly transferring the pieces of chicken and vegetables there. She glanced up occasionally to catch her mother’s eye and tell her how great dinner was tonight, or to smile and stuff a piece of food in her mouth. After a while, her sister got up and headed for the kitchen. This was her opportunity to throw out the rest of her food, along with the fistful of food contained in her napkin. In the rush of adrenaline that briefly overtook her, she stood up so fast.  The food tumbled out of the napkin, and hit the floor. Before any eyes could turn to her she bent down towards the floor, dropping her plate on the floor.

You are such a failure. Failure. Failure. Failure. You might as well give up on life, Eva. Go on, starve yourself to death. You’ll never be thin. You’ll never be thin. You’ll never be thin.

As small tear drops welled in her eyes, she murmured a curse. She got up, quickly gathered the food back into the napkin and walked towards the kitchen. She dumped the food in and artfully placed the napkin on top, rearranging the rest of the garbage so that the napkin wasn’t so suspicious.

“Eva?” Her mother called from the dining room. “Everything okay?” Eva sighed softly, carrying her plate to the sink where she washed it and put it away.

“I’m fine, Mom. I’m just gonna go wash my hands,” she said. She gave her mother a smile and headed for the bathroom. She turned on the water and let out a ragged sigh that made her tear up. She grabbed a hand towel and dried her hands, looking up to wash her face.

As she caught a glimpse of her face she let the tears go. It was true. She would never be thin, and no one would love her because of it. She lifted her shirt and stared down at her stomach. Even though she hadn’t eaten much that day, her stomach was too rounded for her liking, but as her eyes returned to the mirror, she saw a facade. It had to be, because she was never that size. She turned to the side and frowned, seeing double, where she looked fat in the mirror, but when she looked down, the ribs that tried to escape her skin told a different tale.

You’ll never be thin. You’ll never be thin. You’ll never be thin.

She cried softly. A headache forced its way through her eyes and into her brain. She dropped her shirt and cried into her hands. She knew the voice in her head was a figment of her own desires, one she had created like the persona she wanted to be. Size two was too big in her eyes, and that extra small T- Shirt she wore seemed to swallow her.

She blinked the rest of the tears away and wiped her cheeks. She was done playing this game. She just wanted to be beautiful. And to her, those bright eyes and timid smile wasn’t enough.

Yeah, you’ll never be thin. You’ll never be thin. You’ll never be thin.

She left the bathroom and went to the living room, where everyone had gathered, and her younger siblings were doing miscellaneous homework.

“Eva?” Her little sister’s voice came from next to her, and a piece of dog-eared construction paper was set in her face. After taking the paper, her sister beamed. “It was a writing assignment. We had to write about someone we looked up to.”

Eva quietly assessed the words, scrawled in her sister’s handwriting. The words brought tears to her eyes, and through the watery blur she caught a few words: “beautiful, smart, pretty.” She smiled softly and ruffled her sisters hair. “Thanks, kiddo,”

Wiping her cheeks, she found that she couldn’t wipe the smile off her face, and that was a feeling she could get used to. She sighed happily, and stared at her figure crudely depicted in colored pencils. It was a picture of a tall, thin girl with a grin bigger than her face, and the sun in her eyes. She was beautiful… And she was sure the rest of her family thought so too, judging by the little smiles on their faces.

What? They’re lying, Eva, you know you’re too big, you said it yourself! You’re just fat, gullible and ugly! came the voice, in a frail attempt to dim her mood. Well, she thought, maybe I’ll just smile more.

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