I hide between words and smudged paint, masking what I really have to say. I speak of how my life has grown for the better now, but I still find myself waking up in cold sweat, the thoughts of my past haunting me. My fingers tremble at the thought of doing something new. I trace the letters on old parchment and smile at the memories of a long-lost girl. A girl who’d not known innocence. Just snide words and snide smiles. And yet was the strongest girl I’d ever known. My smiles were true and my voice was loud. And I think it’s time these roads I make for myself take me back to that.
My hair was cut to my ears and my lips always sat in a crooked smile. I hated studying but you could almost always catch me reading past the wee hours of the night. I was proud of my words, prouder of the ones I said out loud and proudest of the ones my father wove for me to present to the world. I found my identity in the people I made bonds with, the people I thought I loved.
My shirts almost never fit me and I grew fatter and fatter each day. My parents told me I was fat. My peers told me I was fat. My teacher told me I was fat. I was called an anaconda, a buffalo, a myriad of names I hated, a myriad of names I was scared of.
There was a game online, a Buzzfeed quiz I assume. A list of actresses from a then popular movie and a quiz to tell you false lies of which one you were. Well, I won’t criticise the game. Rather me for being so fickle to take it to heart. I never played it you see. Somebody else did, and remarked that while they got the lead, I would always get the short, stout end of the stick.
Some days, words, they don’t pierce. They don’t hurt, they definitely don’t kill. All they do, is batter you to an inch of your life. You stand there, a showdown against their words, the spotlight on the both of you. And their words come, ten against one, a hundred against one, and soon, a million against one. They’re at the ropes, they wouldn’t know how it feels to fight this fight that has been programmed to defeat you each time, would they?
But you’re always there, fighting. A stare, a whisper. A harmless comment, an ‘endearing’ encouragement. They add on to your fight. Your eyes have swollen shut with the pain but you don’t need to see anymore. Their words surround you, drown you.
“You have more than you deserve.”
“You eat so much.”
“You’re adorable, don’t get me wrong, but you’re also pretty annoying and clingy.”
“You are pretty beautiful, just on the heavier side.”
I couldn’t care. I shouldn’t care. I know. People say stuff. People are poisonous and cruel and words taken to heart will only cut and kill. But how can I not? Your words have left me wanting for an identity from way before I even needed to create one and now I don’t know what I am without your words.
And that’s when I realise, that is what I am. Your words. An anaconda. A buffalo. Fat and stout. I’m all your words. All the insults, all the snide you’ve laid against me over the years.
And, I am more. I am vibrant. I am black kohl and thick eyeliner. I’m bare nails and stubby fingers. I’m thick thighs and hairy calves. I am a bulging belly and stretch marks all over my body. I am small lips and a squished nose.
And, I am beauty. I am fierceness. I am courage and bravery and strength.
Your words are good and true, but so are mine. And I bid adieu to you, because I’ve made my peace with this fight I fight everyday. Your whispers don’t mean nothing to me, they never will lose their insignificance I presume. But today my words mean more. I finally move back to the ropes and let my words do the talking.
Let our words fight, for I’m done losing myself.