Perfect MAG

February 10, 2009
By Kelsey Hill BRONZE, State University, Arkansas
Kelsey Hill BRONZE, State University, Arkansas
2 articles 1 photo 1 comment

The eyeliner makes the dark circles less pronounced. The lip gloss hides the trembling. The ponytail conceals missing patches of hair. The Abercrombie sweater covers bruises. I might look at bit thinner, but everyone will ask about my new diet. My hair might not shine the way it used to, but the pink ribbon will distract curious eyes. One hour of preparation and I look like myself. One hour of preparation and no one will know. One hour out of 24. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it – wasting a twenty-fourth of my day on a lie. But then I see my wispy hair and baggy eyes, and I have to do it.

Checking my makeup one last time, I push my sleeves up, though not past my elbows. I slip on a cute pair of flats – heels are too dangerous with shaky legs – and grab my Hollister bag. Padding downstairs, I inhale the scent of waffles and syrup.

“Morning, Mom,” I call.

“Morning, baby,” she chirps. “Did you sleep well?”

“Better than I have been.”

She sighs, and her eyes look a hundred years old for a minute. “Any improvement is good,” she says half-heartedly.

“Of course.”

“I made waffles.” Her offering.

“Thanks, Mom. Smells delicious.” My offering.

I sit at the table and she hands me a plate. The thought of all that food turns my stomach, but I force a smile and thank my mother again. She busies herself at the sink and fills the silence with chatter. When she turns around, she takes in the waffles still on my plate, only missing a few bites. I smile apologetically.

“I’m not very hungry this morning.”

“You’ll need your strength for this afternoon.” She bites her lip. She doesn’t like to bring it up over breakfast. I eat another bite.

“I packed your lunch.”

“I’m 18, Mom. I can pack my own lunch. You have more important things to do.”

She reaches for the paper sack. “But now I know you’ll have something to eat. And you need to eat, okay? You have to keep your strength up.”

Sighing, I take the bag. I know this peanut butter and jelly sandwich won’t be eaten, not any more than the one yesterday or the day before. And even if I do eat it, I’ll just throw it up later. Anything consumed after 11 ends up in a plastic basin at 4:07. It’s just the way it works.

“Hon, have you thought about what I said the other day?” she asks.

I shrug noncommittally.

“Sweetheart, you can’t hide this forever. Eventually you’re going to miss school and people will start asking questions.”

“Mom, I have two months left of high school. I can make it ’til then. I’m class president and probably valedictorian. I was voted ‘Most popular,’ ‘Most fun to be around,’ ‘Best smile,’ and ‘Most likely to succeed.’ I’m the girl who’s got it all together. People don’t want to know that the girl who’s got it all together, doesn’t have it all together. People don’t want to know that girl is dying!”

“Honey, don’t say that. You’re not dying.”

“Yes, I am. I have cancer. You heard Dr. Morrison. I have maybe a year left. But that means I can graduate and then never see those people again. I’ll die and they’ll feel sorry for me, but at least I won’t have to endure their pity.”

“But …,” she tries to interrupt.

“Mom, listen to me. I don’t want to be the girl everyone looks at and whispers, ‘Look at her. Poor thing, she has cancer.’ I can’t handle that. I want to be normal. Just for these last two months.”

“Okay,” she whispers. “Okay. Just remember, it’s okay if you don’t have it all together. Sometimes things just fall apart and there’s nothing we can do.”

“Thanks, Mom.” I grab my bag and lunch and kiss her on the cheek. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” my mom replies. This exchange, once taken for granted, is now a vital part of every morning, every afternoon, every night. Three little words, followed by four more, have come to mean more than an entire conversation. They bridge all gaps and disagreements, because we both know there is now a finite number left.

Keys in hand, I open the door and blink in the early morning sun. My silver car waits in the driveway and as I walk toward it, I check my reflection in the tinted window. Perfect.



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This article has 824 comments.


on Jul. 11 2013 at 1:38 am
AdrianaMartinez SILVER, Goose Creek, South Carolina
7 articles 0 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
Carpe Diem .

Absolutely loved this piece. It reminded me a lot about "The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green, since instead of pitying people with cancer, you  describe them as srong and self-independent human beings. The character's actions were very brave and the ending tied the whole story pretty cleverly. Absolutely loved your piece.

on Jul. 9 2013 at 5:48 pm
BiancaRaquie BRONZE, Melbourne, Florida
1 article 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."

Perfect. This piece flows so well! Great job!

on Jun. 7 2013 at 7:44 am
hippiechild BRONZE, Lakewood, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
Not because they are perfect, but because they are free. Because they are alive.

Please Keep Writing!!!!!!!!!

0Tricia0 GOLD said...
on Apr. 21 2013 at 9:17 am
0Tricia0 GOLD, Springfield, New Hampshire
10 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead."- Benjamin Franklin

This is beautiful!  I see no mistakes or problems with flow.  It's a flawless piece that definitely deserves the attention it's getting.  Great writing, keep it up!

rroland GOLD said...
on Apr. 19 2013 at 10:28 pm
rroland GOLD, Cazenovia, New York
12 articles 0 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
We except the love we think we deserve

So beautiful!!!! It made me cry!!!

on Apr. 18 2013 at 7:58 pm
Cburns658 SILVER, Tewksbury, Massachusetts
6 articles 0 photos 4 comments
One of my favorites!!!! Beautiful!!! :)

on Apr. 8 2013 at 9:53 pm
nicf1999 BRONZE, Vienna, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
This story was amazing!  It fills so many emotions in a short piece.  You are such a talented writer.

RoseLink said...
on Apr. 7 2013 at 10:43 am
RoseLink, Buffalo, New York
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Things happen. Life wouldn't have meaning in it without sufferance. There wouldn't be darkness without love. And there wouldn't be love without hate.

Wow. You're amazing. I would really like to know you. Emotions are important and very hard to grasp in stories. But you honeysweet did it without a sweat. Bravo!

on Mar. 25 2013 at 3:39 pm
PrincessClaire BRONZE, Fayetteville, North Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 41 comments

Favorite Quote:
don't do me do your hair

This was sooo amazingly good. I loved how it ended... and, I guess honestly how it started and the middle too :) You are an amazing writer, and I hope you keep writing! Please check out/rate/comment on some of my work! XXX-Claire

holly1999 GOLD said...
on Mar. 20 2013 at 2:29 pm
holly1999 GOLD, Middlesbrough, Other
12 articles 8 photos 114 comments

Favorite Quote:
'There was no need to clarify my finger snap, the implication was clear in the snap itself' - Magnus Bane

Amazing. I love the emotion and suspence created within the story. You're obviously a very talented writer. Love this!

on Mar. 15 2013 at 9:55 pm
Wontgiveup17 PLATINUM, Normal, Illinois
23 articles 0 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life beats down and crushes the soul but art reminds you that you have one. -Stella Adler
He who lives upon hope will die fasting.
-Benjamin Franklin
If you're absent during my struggle. Don't expect to be present during my success.

That was an amazing story. I love the emotion and suspense it created within myself. It's like I could feel the emotions through your descriptions. Great piece of work, please continue writing. You have a true talent. : )

S_dee5 BRONZE said...
on Mar. 5 2013 at 11:01 am
S_dee5 BRONZE, Grover, North Carolina
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
I really like your story. The way you wrote how you were feeling and everything you was going through. It was very suspenseful how you was describing the things that was happening to you. I wouldn't have thought you had cancer.

on Feb. 22 2013 at 9:07 pm
Emily_96 BRONZE, Lake Worth, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't grow up, it's a trap."

You are obviously a talented writer with a knack for pulling on the heartstrings. At first I thought she was being abused, but once you said cancer it all made sense. The bags. The bruises. The exhaustion. All of it, together, hints at something terrible such as cancer. I do suggest adding more background to the character, such as when she was diagnosed, how she reacted, things like that so we can relate to the character just a little bit more. I do love what I got, though, and I can't wait to see what else you have in store!

on Feb. 20 2013 at 3:21 pm
KatelynHanks GOLD, Henderson, Nevada
15 articles 0 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
nothing last forever

Ahhh I love this :D

yaruuna BRONZE said...
on Feb. 7 2013 at 12:19 am
yaruuna BRONZE, Calgary, Other
4 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Amazingly well-written. Love the voice!

on Jan. 30 2013 at 9:33 am
Stepsisters_suck BRONZE, Waterloo, Iowa
1 article 2 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.

I agree this really is going to help me still have confidence in myself because I beat a Brian rumor last year I have breast cancer and I have all timers + bronchitis!

on Jan. 30 2013 at 9:31 am
Stepsisters_suck BRONZE, Waterloo, Iowa
1 article 2 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.

I low this story! I have breast cancer and it sucks and adding a brain tumor recovered last year AND bronchitis I sometimes am scared that I'm going to die!

on Jan. 15 2013 at 1:32 am
TheSkyOwesMeRain GOLD, Irvine, California
13 articles 1 photo 303 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life isn't measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments which take your breath away.

You are only as strong as your weakest link.

I was honestly not expecting that ending... I suppose this really serves to bring up the point that even popular people suffer. You are a great writer!

on Jan. 9 2013 at 7:53 am
In_Love_with_Writing GOLD, Easton, Pennsylvania
12 articles 0 photos 389 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

*Heheheh whoops I already posted here :P

on Jan. 9 2013 at 7:50 am
In_Love_with_Writing GOLD, Easton, Pennsylvania
12 articles 0 photos 389 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

This was soooo good! Great job! I liked it a whole lot! Can you comment and rate some of my work?




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