everyday starts exactly the same way everyday starts.
she will set two alarms at 8.30 and 8.40 in the morning. In between the time, she will close her eyes trying to remember the dreams she had. no significance there, just ritual.
the second alarm will go off and she will rise straight to the bathroom door. She will undress fast, and after she let her clothes slip down, she will head for bath. she never had long baths. she just doesn’t. all she has are hair shampoo and body soap which she sometimes uses alternately. no facial washer, no cleanser, no scrubs, no other else. soap and shampoo. just soap. and shampoo. either.
it’s not that she doesn’t want to have those typical set of womanly proof of existence, not even because she can’t afford one—but she has her own timing and she hates it when things slow her down.
time consuming, she says.
and she does not have time.
in less than 5 minutes, she will be out already with her red towel she brought from father’s house. no sentimental value there, just that she is the type who thinks twice when it comes to buying new things. or shopping. she is not a cheapskate. to her defense, she sees herself as a person with priorities.
well she always defends herself anyways.
she will grab anything she feels like wearing right after she got out of the bathroom. her clothes are not new. she got them at flee markets or internet pre-loved items auctions she sees in blogs. she believes things have hearts, that if she throws them away— they would cry.
if she were those things.
so anyone who goes to her apartment would see all sort of old things. not the antique or vintage kind of old. but outdated and unwanted. she never cares what people think of her. like for example there is this one bag she had from her father. up until her second year in university, she used that briefcase we see only be seen in silent movies. the girl with the big PVC box with four non-functional wheels;
she just cant put them away. she just cant handle the pain. the piercing sounds she hears while leaving them to their own fate. she just cant stand her own tears.
she says sorry to them as if those things hoping they would comfort her; that it is ok for them to end up in the thrash where she left them. she puts them nicely and in order, in gestures of a farewell to a pensioning national war commander—faked smiles with tears running down, as well as a nod with a bucketful of unspoken words.
everyday starts exactly the same way everyday starts.
like everyday, she will wear anything she feels like. she has limited accessories, a choice of only one long bead that can act as a necklace or a bangle, a pair of hoop earrings that can go with basically everything and a faded scarf she sometimes use as a hairband, a hip belt or even a tie.
at every time, she will work her look very well.
perhaps it’s because she is pretty in her own ways, or at least she thinks she is, which in her own definition means not giving a damn about how she looks but still presentably attractive. everyone is attractive, she thinks. one extra mole on one twin will make two different from each other, wont it?
it is safe to say she actually is beautiful.
and a lot safer to continue with “in her own ways”.
she should be. her parents were a beautiful pair of match made in heaven. everyone says that while they smile reminiscing her parents until they stopped the smile in exchange to a sympathetic flat lip. they always switch off the sun when they talk of her mother. on how her mother’s death killed her father more than her cancer was to her mother. On how her father were broken and shattered when her mother passed to the other side.
“do you remember?” ask they.
all the time.
how could she not? left to live in her own definition of living at the early age of ten as her mother had started to wilt then. her siblings were either too young or too ignorant to care. she always feel lonely. her father was there—but there was no father but a hollow man more silent that the dead walls.
beauty was a term she learned by not having. like the word ‘rich’. she understands it by grasping the fact they are the opposite.
growing up, she was not the typical sparkle-eyed girl we want to be friends with. she was a little bit extra on the pounds and was sour smelled because of she sweats all the time. no one was there to tell her and guide her what to do. or how to manage the basic things in life like which powder to use to cover blemishes or what to use when you spill ketcup on a rug. no one at all.
her mother died after two years of mean cycle of ups and downs. mostly downs, of course. at her age of twelve, she was left with her frozen father and invisible siblings. her puberty went with none to refer to. her first sanitary pad was a maternity one just because she thought the thicker the better and as she freaked out, she wore them upside down. she thought the common sense would be glue sticks the discharge. experience thought her tissues absorb better than glue sticks.
she had no friends at all.
that was not bad.
she thought her life was normal.
at 13 she enrolled herself in boarding school so she could breakaway from the silence she was chained to. she was a bright girl in her class, she always has. she was witty and smart with words—she found herself in the school debating team. she likes it when she can speak things out loud. she loves it when she expresses her mind. she cherishes every second on the stage for that is the only place on earth she can be the person she has always wanted to be and can get away with it.
everyone can be someone they cannot be in real life there on the stage.
but she was not the standard look of a representative of a unit. she may be the face of her school, but she was fat and was not attractive enough to be the face. all she had was her mouth, her voice. no one likes a non-attractive smart mouth.
therefore always at the dining room, she will sit alone with no one joining her. what is worse than hostel food is obviously hostel food eaten on your own. after a while, she stopped dining. thank god for the allowance money her father gave her she used to buy light snacks to substitute her meals.
it is harder to survive loneliness than hunger.
of course, she lived.
but she lost massive amount of weight from week to week. she might be depressed, but no one saw it. “she was just being her”, snickered they. the way she lived her life was how her invisible siblings and statuette father did when her mother died.
quietly, she had made numerous attempts of suicides but that was the farthest she could go; attempts. she still cries on the sight of syringe at times she has high fever, how in the world can she even try to cut her wrist? She tried overdosing but always at the tenth tablet she would refrain herself as she feared the other side is just too big for her and she realized that she was not prepared. good thing, though—at least those drugs will calm her from her loud, mean and abusive mind.
there was nothing much to talk about of her next decade. the typical frustrations, the normal shouts of teenage angst, the classic puppy love made believe the truest. friends in and out. life up and down. the standards.
but whatever they were signifies nothing much to her in present time, except she is now is in her perfect figure and her parents looks are now more and more visible in her features.
she had become a swan.
but this swan grew up thinking she was a toad—
so of course,
she never knew she could fly.
if only someone would tell her she is beautiful.
if only someone would just hold her and say to her face she is wonderful.
but none did.
none at all.
so no matter how much she had grown into a woman, the only person she sees every morning in the mirror is the girl with humongous thighs with few layers of chin she sees all this while. it is a tragedy, actually, to live a life of one who wishes to be someone you never knew you were all along.
a swan who wishes she were a swan because no one ever told her she was one.
a simple little swan who loves her simple life of her every simple day.
and like every other day after she is done with putting on clothes and accessorize, she will powder her face and paint her lip nude. she will get into her car and drive to her office. it takes her only ten minutes to get there had no force of nature or brutal accidents on her way.
at ten every morning she is will be in her office. she will always make sure she gets there before anyone else. she loves coming early to work so she doesn’t have to see people looking at her movements every second from the door to her cubicle. she can’t stand being looked at, other than the times when she is on stage debating, or at times when she enjoys being the class clown pathetically in desperation of friends making.
she will make herself busy until the office closes. she doesn’t even go out for lunch because she cooks to work. she may be a superb cook because she was born with amazing taste palate, but truth be told: when she was little, all she wanted to be was a housewife.
she still keeps that thought secretly to herself. but in reality she feels too ugly to date, and assumes she would never be married. and she has this understanding that so far, all of her assumptions had always been right.
perhaps she was protecting herself.
in the office, she is more like an observer. she is kind and never tried to be rude even though she was visibly quiet. she helps the office help when they come in. when people make silly jokes, she will laugh together with the joker, no matter how bland the punch line is. she smiles in support whenever people present their proposals, be the ideas are weird and outstandingly stupid. she avoids talking much so she wont have to shut her ears to office dramas. she blends better that her cubicle’s wall.
she tries really hard to not be significant.
at 7.30 when the sky is dark, she will be out of her cubicle, far from her computer and files. by now, everyone had left. and everyday, after work, before she gets back to her apartment, she will drop by at the supermarket. she buys her groceries in small portions on daily basis because she has nothing else to do. she has her own movie setting at home. her apartment is complete. at least to her.
right after, she will head directly to her nest. she will change to appropriate homey attire, and then she will start cooking two portions. one for now and another for work the morrow. she will cook and then she will turn on her film of choice on her small box telly—her favourite genre is autobiography and myth. with food in the plate on her palm, and she will enjoy her dinner while sinking in her little cinema date with herself.
her body clock is everyday demanding for early sleep. the latest she could go is at twelve and at that is very rare. she is more of a morning person than a night owl. nothing happens at night, she said.
nothing but beautiful dreams she cant wait to be in.
she will then clear the mess she had made for dinner and will pack her food for work. she has never let herself sleep in untidy. she will clean everything up and put everything back in order. she would feel terrible if she notice any of her stuff fell off unattended—because they have feelings.
and she has feelings, too—
everyday, her ritual ends with her tucking herself between her cozy bedspreads and blanket. she will smile as soon she is comfortable with her position. she does that all the time. she smiles to signal her thanks to the bed who every night had kept her safe and warm.
she will doze all the way in bliss. she will find what she wants to find in her dreams. she has always been so eager for night time. it is the best time of her simple every day.
as everyday starts exactly the same way everyday starts,
everyday ends exactly the same way everyday ends.
except this morning,
she wakes up dead.