Am I good enough today?

Submitted into Contest #88 in response to: Write a fairy tale about an outsider trying to fit in.... view prompt

86 comments

Contemporary Sad Speculative

Everyday you look at the mirror.

You look but you donโ€™t see.

You donโ€™t see your perfections.

Because youโ€™ve mastered the artย 

of only noticing the imperfections.

Because surely the flaws are the only thing others notice,

Right?

Others see you everyday

In the morning.

In the evening.

In every mood.

And in every season.

And they know you in ways you donโ€™t.ย 

And never will.

Listen to themย 

Because

they have seen so much that you havenโ€™t

Like the way youโ€™re face lights up when you see each sunset every evening

Like the way you smile when your dog comes into your room.

Like the way you laugh when your best friend sends you a text


On the first day back to school,

You were happy.

You were confident..

You grinned at the thought of seeing your friends.

You looked at the mirror

And smiled back at what you saw

No makeup

Comfy clothes which were sort of old, but still popular

You thought it was going to be a good day

An amazing one, even.

And that was the last time that girl was seen for a long

Long

Long

Time.

The girl that came back was

Destroyed.

On the verge of tears.

You came back in and the first thing you did was

Lift your top and look at your stomach

You thought you were too fat

Too flat

Imperfect.

At school you saw all those girls with those perfect bodies

Big boobs

Skinny waist

Wide hips

Big butt.

And you saw you didnโ€™t.ย 

Youโ€™re still standing there

When your mum walks inย 

And you immediately drop your shirt back down

Because you canโ€™t let her know that youโ€™re hurting

Because that would be weak and if there is one thing that you could never admit to,

It would be being weak.

She offers you a snackย 

Shortbread, orange or maybe lemon

Either way it smells so good

But you adamantly shake your head

Saying you got a snack on the way home

Even though you know itโ€™s a lie

Even though you are hungry.

She leaves

And a tear trickles down your cheek

You turn away from the mirror

And donโ€™t look back

you donโ€™t leave your room

Even when dinner is ready

Even when your dad needs helpย 

Even though you want toย 

but you canโ€™t let your parents see your flaws

Because what if they stopped loving you?


You canโ€™t help it

The next day the first thing you doย 

Is look at the mirror

And lift your top

And youโ€™re face fills with doubt

And you thinkย 

Am I good enough today?

Do I need make up?

Should I hide my body?

Or show it and pretend I donโ€™t care?

But you do.

Your mum knocks and says breakfast is ready.

Without thinking you hold your stomachย 

And it rumbles.

So you say yes, yes you would like breakfast

When you come back up,ย 

You see the mirror, opposite the door.

And you see your body.

Slightly bloated from the food.

And you hate it.

Youย 

Hateย 

It.

You start to get changed,ย 

Pulling top after top after top out of the wardrobe,

But none are right.

Either they are too baggy-

And you canโ€™t let anyone see that you are weak-

Or they are too tight-

And you canโ€™t let anyone see your too flat chest and that extra pound round the waist that you donโ€™t want-

Or too long-

You must show what little butt you have otherwise no boy will ever like you-

Or too short-

And youโ€™ll have to wear a grotty school jumper.

You finally pick a top

And itโ€™s loose, but fashionably loose.

Now for the jeans.

They have to be the right brand, colour and styleย 

Or youโ€™ll get laughed at.

What did you wear yesterday?

Would they be okay today?

Would anyone notice?

Yes.ย 

They always notice.

Pair after pair, until you find a pair of loose mom jeans which fit with your top.

Do you wear makeup today?

You didnโ€™t yesterday

But that was before you realised all the popular girls did.

Maybe just a light layer, a bit of foundation and mascara.

Itโ€™ll make you look good without making you look like youโ€™re trying too hard.

But, damn, you canโ€™t even do that.

Itโ€™s too thick and blotchy.

Just wash it off

Wash

itย 

off.ย 

So you do and you still hate it.

But itโ€™s half eight and you havenโ€™t done your hair

But youโ€™ll miss the bus,

So you scrape a brush through it

Hoping it will be enough

But knowing it never will be.

Youโ€™re at schoolย 

And you canโ€™t stop noticing the

Things you never noticed before.

Why should you care that boys donโ€™t stare at you like they do to other girls?

Are you not pretty enough?

Hot or cute enough?

And you canโ€™t concentrate.ย 

Your mind wanders and you find yourself continually staring out the window.

Your teacher coughs and gives you a warning.

The first one youโ€™ve had in a long time

And everyone knows it and they look back and smirk

Is your hair still okay?ย 

Are they laughing at how you look?

You turn beet red and put your head down

Which gets another warning and a detention.

Now pitiful looks are shot your wayย 

And you hate it even more.ย 


You get home late

And your mum wants to know why

Because she loves you because she doesnโ€™t see your flaws

So you tell her that you had a detention

And the look of disappointment on her faceย 

Is just too much to bear

You run up to your room

Without a snack

Because you canโ€™t possibly become fatter than you already are

And just lie on your bed for hours and hours

Ignoring the messages from your best friend

Who knows something is wrong

But could never understand

Because she is so much prettier, thinner and all round a better person than you.

But what you donโ€™t know is that you only see her

When her face is lit up

With laughter that you caused

And that she thinks the same thing about you.


Once again you donโ€™t eat

But this time your mum notices

And brings food upย 

And makes you eat, even though you protest

And say you arenโ€™t hungry and just why canโ€™t she leave you alone?

And when she does,ย 

You leave your room to go to the toilet

Just to cram your fingers down your throat

And bring up what little food you had in your stomach.

You think

Do the popular girls do this?

Spend the evening worrying?

Throwing up?

Or are they just naturally perfect?


The next dayย 

When you wake upย 

And look in the mirror

You see that you are thinner

And the faint frame of your ribs are showing.

Are you thin enough now?

And day after day after day

You donโ€™t eat

And the ribs become more prominent

And itโ€™s not just your ribs anymore

Itโ€™s everything

Your legs

Arms

Face.

All just echoes of what you were before

And everyone knows.

They tell you that youโ€™re too thin

Put on some weight.

And your mind just goes in circles

Youโ€™re too thin and everyone knows it

But then youโ€™ll get too fat

And thatโ€™s one thing you should never be

Itโ€™s chaos with multiple voices shouting at you

You canโ€™t turn them off

And if you do what one says,

The other just shoutsย 

Louderย 

Andย 

Louder

Andย 

Louder.

No one likes to see your ribs

No one likes to see a fat girl

Eat more

Eat less.

It just goesย 

Around and around

And around

In an endless circle, which makes no sense

Except you know that it does not have an end

Unless you create one

Which you donโ€™t know how to do

Because you donโ€™t know what to do


A doctor stares at you

You flinch away from her piercing eyes

But you canโ€™t run

No matter how much you want to

Because you canโ€™t disappoint your mum

Who stands behind youย 

Even after she noticed your flaws.

She forced you to come here

Because she saw you needed help

And didnโ€™t want to be helped.

Now youโ€™re actually here

With someone who understands what it is like

You still want to run

โ€œDo you want your mum to stay or leave?โ€

โ€œLeaveโ€

You say without thinking.

She does.

Why did you want her to leave?

โ€œBecause I canโ€™t let her know whatย 

I am like.

Because I am

Angry

Andย 

Scared.

She canโ€™t know that or she wonโ€™t love me.โ€

โ€œSo you believe that your mum wonโ€™t love youย 

If you are angryโ€

โ€œYesโ€

โ€œThen why are you starving yourself?โ€

You falter because

You really donโ€™t know.

It started out simple

With the intent of being thin

But it escalatedย 

To something much

Muchย 

Bigger

That you canโ€™t control

And you canโ€™t stop.

But the doctor knows this

And is just waiting for you to admit it.

So you do.

It comes pouring out in a torrent of words

Filled with emotions

Negative

Anger, regret, confusion

Positive

Relief, hope, gratitude.

You set goals,

Reasonable ones, that you should be able to keep

But accept that you will have setbacks

When your mum comes back in,

There is a different girl sitting there

One still too thin, but her eyes are starting to become alive again.

You hold out your handย 

Say goodbye to the doctor

And leave.


You eat slightly more that week.

Having three meals a day

Even though they are small

But it is progress, you think.

Each week you see your doctor,

Each week, you eat slightly more,

Each week you become happier,

Your ribs less prominent.

After two monthsย 

Two months of eatingย 

And looking in the mirror

To see if, for the first time in too long,

You are gaining weight,

You look in the mirror,

And ask yourself the question that started all of this

Am I good enough today?

And for the first time in too longย 

You say

Yes

Yes I am good enough.


April 04, 2021 12:20

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86 comments

I'm not really sure what happened here. It is just kind of a long rant with a random structure. I go from loving it to hating it, but that doesn't matter. As long as the message about mental health gets across, it's fine. Before you ask, this isn't completely based on me. Parts of it is, but some is from reading and some from friends. Also because it is just such a confusing mess, there probably will be grammatical errors. Thanks

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21:16 Apr 07, 2021

I really didn't find many errors. It read like a long prose poem to me, rather than a rant. I felt the confusion and sadness of the protagonist. And it's such a relatable struggle that spoke to me, even as a middle-aged woman. It's every female's (and even male's) struggle. No one is immune, really. Thanks for writing this. Very well-done and necessary.

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thank you. i'm sure you're beautiful, even if you don't think so. :)

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21:13 Apr 08, 2021

Thanks! I'm sure you are too :)

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Donna Rowe
01:21 May 11, 2021

That was so insightful. I don't know much about writing but I know about reading and I thought it was wonderful.

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C.G. Campbell
04:26 Jun 01, 2021

I actually can't find anything wrong with this amazing piece. I wouldn't call it a rant with no structure, I would call it one of the best pieces of emotionally epic poetry I have seen in months!

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thanks. this means a lot because i rarely write poetry or anything like this and it was mostly an experiment! :)

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05:02 Apr 06, 2021

I don't really know where to begin with this. The structure is great, it's very unique and abstract and I like it a lot. The message is clear, and honestly, it breaks my heart that so many people go through this, so I loved the positive ending. Excellent work! If you haven't already can you please check out my 2nd latest story, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not"? I would love some feedback on it! :)

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11:02 Apr 06, 2021

Thank you! :)

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21:37 Apr 06, 2021

โ˜บ๏ธ

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Angel {Readsy}
13:09 Apr 07, 2021

Perfection and mastery is your art of writing , I want to see your angelic fingers on a writing pen

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Carrie O'keefe
14:37 Apr 07, 2021

This hits the spot on so many levels. Nicely done!

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Ruth Smith
00:05 Apr 11, 2021

Wow, this piece is very emotional, very raw. Great job!

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Julia Sara
06:20 Apr 08, 2021

This made me cry during class. This was honestly so beautiful and I love it so much. Thank you for making this,

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i apologise for making you cry. sorryyy. but thanks! :)

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Julia Sara
09:28 Apr 10, 2021

haha no pls

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Julia Sara
09:28 Apr 10, 2021

haha no pls

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Julia Sara
09:29 Apr 10, 2021

haha no pls

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Sam Ackman
15:09 Apr 07, 2021

This is a really interesting structure with a character we can all relate to. Most people (even the popular ones) donโ€™t feel good enough and itโ€™s a stage in our lives where we are searching for approval from peers. Great story :)

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Angel {Readsy}
13:06 Apr 07, 2021

Your story is like a rose growing in heaven, you pick a bunch for me, like stars in the sky, like birds singing by, like dew drops on the grass, it is marvelous than the jewels and gold

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Susan Joy Clark
01:27 Apr 06, 2021

I think this is how a lot of girls feel at one time or another, perhaps not the eating disorder, but some form of insecurity about their appearance. Interesting perspective from the mirror's point of view. I think your piece encourages the reader to have empathy and step into the shoes of someone with these kinds of insecurities.

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This story...it's true for too many people, unfortunately. I remember reading A Dog's Journey, where the main character CJ was like this. She thought she was fat, and she did all the things your main charrie did. (I'm not trying to call this basic in anyway, btw) You told this better in 2nd person than W. Bruce Cameron did. Also, more on the 2nd person: I love it! I think its a great writing style for you! In this story especially, it fits perfectly. It shows the feelings of those who want to fit in, who want to be like everyone else. It'...

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thank youu it actually took me a while to decide on the perspective. it started out first person but after writing about 100 words i realised i didn't like it. then i started from the perspective of the mirror which was interesting to write, but i couldn't include all the aspects i wanted like school or doctors. eventually i realised second person was the correct one, and i did enjoy writing it, even though it isn't the most cheery thing to read. thank you again :)

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np! The mirror's pov is interesting! but you're right, you can't include the essential elements. np :D

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Wallybear 1227
21:44 May 01, 2022

This is so amazing!!! My favorite part was the part about her best friend who 'thought the same about her' which I adore because I went through something exactly like that with one of my best friends and we both though we were perfect. I made a small thing (i didn't know what to call it) that shows that :) "There were two best friends who though each other perfect but when you looked inside, you could see behind the curtains. For one thought she wasn't enough, and the other thought herself too much. But in truth, although they never seemed ...

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aaah! i'm so glad i checked my account again! that gave me goosebumps. im not sure what id called it, but it's amzing anyway!

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15:24 Dec 30, 2021

Hey, what's up. I really enjoyed reading your short story. I'm currently developing a app which includes short stories and I would like to implement yours. Is that ok with you? Have a nice day

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yep that great! can you send me a link to the website as it sounds very interesting?

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Dhwani Jain
12:06 Jun 26, 2021

Wow! I LOVED THIS Dako~Bear! I loved this as much as I love your name....why'd you choose it? It really describes the fears we face and the faรงade we try to create for ourselves.... Really appreciate your efforts. Where are you from?

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Thank you! My name is Dakota hence the dako part and bears are one of my favourite animals so I mushed them together. I am from England

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Dhwani Jain
16:14 Jun 26, 2021

Cool! Wow! I am from India. Are there any other of your stories you want me to read? Another random question: Why'd you put "I LOVE COWS" in your bio? Please do read my stories too. Also, I have decided to write a story with the characters introduced by you, yes, YOU. Fill this form to JOIN US!!! https://forms.gle/sH57gUnwx4a2rPtHA #new #DreamDJ #DhwaniJain #JoinUs #join #joinme #Google #Googleform

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I don't mind which of my stories you read. Which stories should I read? As for the bio, I decided to completely change it and this is one of the most well known things about me irl lmao

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Dhwani Jain
16:44 Jun 26, 2021

Okay... For mine, 'The Gecko', 'My 80th Birthday Party' (and its sequel) are good points to begin with.... Nice =D

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Dhwani Jain
16:45 Jun 26, 2021

Nice, will check it out!

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Dhwani Jain
18:24 Jun 26, 2021

Just uploaded the story involving your character!!!

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Thanks! I'll read it tomorrow along with the other recommendations because I am currently exhausted. โ˜บ๏ธ

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C.G. Campbell
04:23 Jun 01, 2021

Gorgeous, so insightful. It perfectly reflects how lots of people feel everyday. The structure is unique and perfect. I can already imagine you writing an amazing book out of this.

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thanks- even though im not sure i could write an entire book out of this. i do do a lot of writing (though i don't post a lot of it) about body shaming, racism, sexism, homophobia etc because i just hate it so much.

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Nyx โ›ฅ
19:02 Apr 28, 2021

I love this story, it really shows anorexia well and as some one who has anorexia I think you did a good job.

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I am so sorry. I hope you have recovered from it. I myself have not had anorexia but have been body shamed and have frequently skipped meals. This is what I imagined it would be like so I am glad that I got it accurate. Thank you

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Nyx โ›ฅ
13:06 Apr 30, 2021

Im sorry that you have been body shamed, I hope u are doing better!

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Elaine Preston
18:37 Apr 11, 2021

I hadnโ€™t thought of this structure for writing, really interesting. This makes me emotional as itโ€™s so true to life, reminds me of my teenage years.

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i'm sorry if you had hard teenage years. but thank youuu :)

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Ann Tillinghast
04:29 Apr 11, 2021

I enjoyed reading your story ๐Ÿ˜Š I was bullied in 6th-8th grade. In 9th grade, I decided to see who really wanted to be my friend. I didn't wear makeup and I didn't wear my school clothes to school but I wear my home clothes to school. I got changed into my school clothes when I got home from school. I made some friends in school. Please read mine and like it if you want ๐Ÿ˜

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I'm sorry you were bullied :( thank you:)

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and i'll check out your story now ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Meera Lakshmi
16:30 Apr 10, 2021

HIIIIIII :)

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Meera Lakshmi
17:11 Apr 10, 2021

I am good!

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Meera Lakshmi
17:12 Apr 10, 2021

u?

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I am good too! What are you doing at the moment?

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I'm writing my next story currently.

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Ashley ๐Ÿ’œ
18:08 Apr 08, 2021

I LOVE IT, it completely reflects the struggles insecure people go through, how messed up the world is inside their heads. Seriously, congrats!

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Xolo Mqotho
04:47 Dec 18, 2021

Nice

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Moriah Passero
00:13 Jun 17, 2021

Really good story!

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