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He lifted my shirt and I squeezed shut my eyes.
I dreaded what I knew he would say next.
“What are they?”
Stretch marks lined my stomach, gruesome, horrible, pale streaks.
They were on my arms too, and my thighs, my breasts.
“Just think of them as scars,” I told him.
Scars from a time when I was big, and big is ugly.
Big is unlovable.
“When did you get them?” It was an innocent question. He didn’t know.
“When I lost weight.” I didn’t tell him how much. The number was too big.
Big is unlovable.
“How much?”
“As much as I needed to.” Fifty-four to be exact. It was big. I was big.
And now I have big scars.
Big is unlovable.
“It was hard.” He told me. He traced the scars. It was not a question. I did not answer him.
His kissed just above my hipbones. He kissed the ugly scars.
“Battle scars,” he said, “Victory scars.”
He continued tracing, “They’re beautiful.”
Somehow, I believed him.




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