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Featured Writer: Dhruti Hegde

Sweet Soliloquy - Prose

Golden sunlight filters through the window, illuminating the walls, the mirror in front of which I stand, and illuminating me.

I stare at the stretch marks that decorate my skin, stark white and resembling the roots of an ancient tree - veiny and divided into so many, many little lines. I examine the rolls of fat around my midriff and arms and frown, poking the cushiony skin.

Why can’t I look as perfect as the other girls I know? Why must I be the one cursed with marred skin and plump limbs, fated to feel insecure forever?

The longer I look in the mirror, the more flaws I see - fat not thin, short not tall, ugly not beautiful.

My heart sinks. Why do I see nothing but flaws in myself? I want to love myself but the world tells me not to - how can I love myself if everyone laughs at me as I do so?

The girl in the mirror laughs at me, and I startle.

“You’re so stupid,” She calls out between breathless peals of laughter.

I blink. “What?”

“You’re so stupid,” She repeats, still grinning. “Why can’t you see that you’re beautiful?”

I narrow my eyes “How do you know about that?” I ask.

“Because I am you - I know what you’re thinking, and might I say, I don’t approve of your most recent ones.”

“And why is that?”

“Because you are beautiful. Your stretch marks make you look like you’re a mystical character from a fairytale - with skin covered in these magical marks that dance along your skin. Your fat makes you look so whole, so happy.” She says, arms crossed with a soft smile gracing her face.

“Besides, who even cares about external beauty? You’re smart, funny and kind and can’t you see that that’s the kind of beauty that matters? It’s the kind of beauty that makes people drop their jaws and stare at you awestruck.” She finishes and suddenly stops moving, arranging herself to the exact position I am standing in.

I huff out a laugh, of course my reflection didn’t actually speak to me.

But...but she was right, right about all of those things and for the first time in what felt like ages, I feel lighter, I feel comfortable with who I am, I feel right. I can love myself - or start to, at least - the way I’ve always wanted to, free-flowing and completely and utterly unapologetic.

So when I look up and smile at the mirror, it’s brighter than the sunlight illuminating my body.

Dhruti Hegde is a 16-year-old writer from India who enjoys writing fantasy, creative non-fiction, and historical fiction. Writing stories is a form of escapism for her, much like the feeling of drowning in the pages of a good book. She also enjoys making terrible puns, much to the chagrin of her peers.

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