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Consequence

I twist and struggle to break free from their deathly grip. They whisper sweet sonnets into my ears, asking me where I’m from and what I’ve done. I’m nudged and poked on the jutting bones that I’ve come to know, my hips protruding under the pasty hospital gown. My efforts to escape their constant gaze are slowly failing, and I want to ask them, “Don’t you think I’m beautiful?” My first steps into this vindictive country were that of praise… of vivid lights and people telling me I was going to be on the apex. Now, in the dim shadows of this undersized room, I wonder where all of that has gone. I was so juvenile, so naive of what an industry could do to someone. As I dove deeper into the depths, my weight became a golden number, the lower the brighter it shone. And everyone around me was silver. So close, so intimately parallel, with the same goal of standing out.

I can feel the criticism of my gawky arms. They sit by my sides like vines, resting without a tremble. Oh, how my Russian mother would condemn this lock-up and the way that my veins look painted onto my arms. Another beam shone into my dreary eyes, and a question of how I am doing today. I recognize this voice, the masculinity and deep tone. Am I aware that I was admitted with heroin in my blood system? Oh, what a shocker, what a surprise. How could I have known? But I knew exactly what I was getting into, when the pain of not being special enough was too much to bear. I could be arrested? What a trick, a lie. I doubt they have handcuffs small enough for a beautiful girl.

They call my name with that dirty English accent, repeating “Nad-ee-ah, Nah-dee-ah.” I give them my look of lidded eyes and pursed lips, that which got me jobs just a few months before. That same syrupy voice drifts over me, filling in all of my imperfections. It questions me, asking my dirty occupation. And with a groggy whisper, I utter, “Model.”



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