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 823 comments.


on Oct. 25 2012 at 3:22 pm
intrepidechoes SILVER, Dover, New Hampshire
5 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." -Albert Einstein

I think it was fantastic!

on Oct. 25 2012 at 1:52 pm
HorseFeathers151 SILVER, Amarillo, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
Actions, faces,names, and money are all forgotten in time. Words, words will last forever.

Beautiful peice! I loved it a lot and it brought tears to my eyes. A suggestion however, would be to have the character feel thing's instead of just stating them. It would really help others relate to the character and pull them into the story a bit more. 

on Oct. 24 2012 at 9:49 am
NoMercy666 BRONZE, Goose Creek, South Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It aint no sin to be glad you're alive." -Springsteen

u r stoopid dis piece wuz bootiful

somrics said...
on Oct. 23 2012 at 10:38 am
somrics, Goose Creek, South Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments
There was a lack of real emotion. The character tells too much instead of showing the reader. The characters were not developed well enough for us to feel any kind of emotional connection. You do make use of proper grammar.The setting seem like it is a real place.The imagery was misleading when she was describing herself, making the readers think something else was wrong with her. There wasn't really a well defined plot, making the story unable to go anywhere.The ending seemed rushed and the part with her saying "...I have cancer.", seemed like too much too soon. There should have been more of a lead up to the revealing of her having cancer. It seemed like they had the same conversation every day.

on Oct. 23 2012 at 10:38 am
notquitesoquaint, Moncks Corner, South Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"How dare you sitdown to write when you have not stood up to live."

The main character is extremely difficult to relate to. She isn't developed properly, and not enough foundation is laid to build a connection with her. All the reader knows is that the main character has cancer, and we are mislead to belive that she has an eating disorder until she told us that she has cancer. The narrorator states: " I know this peanut butter and jelly sandwhich won't be eaten...and even if i do eat it, I'll just throw it up later." This leads the reader to believe that she doesn't want to eat, not that she is unable. Overall, the story needs to be consistant in mood, tone, and character development.

on Oct. 23 2012 at 10:37 am
MasteroftheTroll, Goose Creek, South Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Hell is other people." Jean-Paul Sartre

The imagery was there, some was unneccessary " heels are too dangerous with the shaky legs- and grab my Hollister bag" describied things that were already put in place by other descriptions. You need to show dont tell. The dialogue you used I found realistic in some ways. Other times the mother daughter conversation became too forced and as a reader I did not feel much sympathy for your main character because of that. Speaking of your main character i found her misleading in the descriptions that described her illness, which I'm sure some readers mistook as aneroxia and or bulimia. As a reader I didn't find cancer as a good twist. Futhermore, saying "Yes, I am. I have cancer..." was not a good way to let the reader know. All in all the plot did not come full circle and did not leave me feeling sympathy because it simply was not relatable. However, it was an okay read. :)

MSBCBB said...
on Oct. 23 2012 at 10:37 am
MSBCBB, Goose Creek, South Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 8 comments
I liked it. You held off the fact she had cancer which kind of threw me off.  I thought she was anorexic. You had good imagery and you avoided cliches up until, "Perfect." It was unessacary. She already explained what happpened if people can't read she's covering up then you didn't show them properly. You avoided awkward wording and unessacary big words that could've thrown the reader off.

on Oct. 23 2012 at 10:36 am
NoMercy666 BRONZE, Goose Creek, South Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It aint no sin to be glad you're alive." -Springsteen

Though the idea of imperfection is widely felt among young adults and people in general it's become a very written about topic. The story's lacking of emotion between the characters doesn't make me feel anything for them, but I know it should. The description in the first paragraph was done really well, "The eyeliner makes the dark circles less pronounced. The lip gloss hides the trembling. The ponytail conceals missing patches of hair." That's a good way to show that something is wrong with her, although misleading, it was interesting in the beginning. Your use of vocabulary was decent, it was apparent that you didn't go search a thesaurus for bigger words. But I did feel the conversation between the mother and daughter was almost "clipped", if someones daughter really had cancer they'd be more eager to spend time together, rather than give her advice for school. I feel like you approached this story with the mind set of writing about a teenage girl with an eating disorder then decided to just go with cancer about half way through, if it were intentional to create more emotion it was uneffective. I felt that overall the story was cliche and only averagely written. There's still potential to get a decent story out of this, it's not completely a waste of words. (:

bwriter24 said...
on Oct. 21 2012 at 12:20 pm
honestly love it

Alyssaberry said...
on Oct. 16 2012 at 10:58 am
That was really well written. I could almost feel the girls emotions.   

on Oct. 9 2012 at 5:29 pm
justliveyourlife02 BRONZE, Mahopac, New York
1 article 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
Just hang on tight and enjoy the rollercoaster that is life.

Honsetly great story. So well written.

Jessiemin said...
on Oct. 5 2012 at 6:48 am
so awesome! It's just perfect!

on Oct. 1 2012 at 9:17 pm
iloveyouihateyou GOLD, Lowell, Indiana
11 articles 18 photos 72 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.

i love Perfect. It's amazing what a story like this can do to a person.

vballgirl99 said...
on Sep. 23 2012 at 9:39 am
Wow! This is amazing!  I love the description at the beginning and it kept me guessing until the end.

on Sep. 20 2012 at 6:28 am
snowgirl SILVER, Mooers, New York
9 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life can be short so live it to the fullest

Love it. It was well written and beutiful. Keep up the great work.

on Sep. 14 2012 at 4:39 pm
jenishma BRONZE, Floral Park, New York
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments
Absolutely, and positively brilliant.    This is one of those pieces that you can read over and over again—and yet, you still won't lose captivation. One of the first pieces I've read on this site, and I'm intrigued.    Short, and simple.   Beautiful short story. 

on Sep. 3 2012 at 8:32 pm
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

Was that supposed to be aimed towards me? If so, why? I'm just asking for people to be more constructive in their comments and tell the author what she did wrong instead of just being rude.

on Sep. 1 2012 at 10:41 pm
MarieAntoinette2014 DIAMOND, Scottsburg, Indiana
54 articles 2 photos 238 comments

Favorite Quote:
Isn't it ironic? We ignore the ones who adore us, adore the ones who ignore us, love the ones who hurt us, and hurt the ones that love us.

If one more person ever bashes anyone on this sight, there will trouble. This sight is for CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Please, remember that and stop that crud.

on Sep. 1 2012 at 10:33 pm
MarieAntoinette2014 DIAMOND, Scottsburg, Indiana
54 articles 2 photos 238 comments

Favorite Quote:
Isn't it ironic? We ignore the ones who adore us, adore the ones who ignore us, love the ones who hurt us, and hurt the ones that love us.

Excuse You!!!! How dare you sit there and insult people who come to this website to express themselves! If we were face to face, you'd be in trouble.

on Aug. 29 2012 at 1:58 pm
Everlasting_Love SILVER, Burbank, Illinois
5 articles 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
It's not about the breaths you take, it's about the people who take your breath away♥

The way you explained the character is what made me so interested! You put A LOT of heart into your writing which makes it SO wonderful! keep up the good work :D


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