After Today

Contributed by Lauren Belcher

The bathroom was small. The walls were a cream color with black and red etchings that flowed from the ceiling to the floor tile. A bright red shag rug stretched out on the floor. On the wall, next to the shower, there was a giant mirror above the sink.

I had been in this room hundreds of times. I grew up in this house. But the room didn’t hold its familiar feeling today; today it felt smaller than ever: cramped.

I ran to the sink and turned on the faucet. I watched as the stream of water ran down the drain.

Mesmerized. Thinking.

I broke my gaze and filled my hands with water, splashing it on my face.

“Get a grip, Lauren!” I yelled at myself.

I undressed and looked in the mirror. I hated what I saw.

My hair was the same oily mess held together by a ponytail. I had worn it this way for as long as I could remember. I didn’t see the point in styling my hair. You can’t hide ugly. Plus I normally avoided mirrors anyway.

My face was covered in pimples. I was 17 but this acne was far more than the average teenager.

Will I ever be able to look in the mirror and like what I see? Is that going to be one of the many things that change today?

If the oily hair and acne weren’t bad enough, I had a huge round belly and stretch marks; another trait that I could not remember not having. Red stripes crept down my midsection and came to a point at my bellybutton. I looked like a beach ball.

“Not after today,” I reminded myself. “Not after today.”

I looked in the mirror like I never had before. I snapped a picture with my camera phone.

Never again would I look like this after today. It would all be over.

I put my hand on my stomach, and I started to cry. I let it all out. All the years of torment and pain were released in those few moments before a shower.

It’ll all end today. If I can just get through today.

This piece of literary work was contributed for our Creative section.
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