Anita gently passes her eyeshadow brush over her eyelids. This ritual –eye shading- normally has a characteristic to give her a pink tinge-pink is her favorite-, making her eyes look like they are popping out. Nowadays however it seems not to be doing the trick. She tries to do it all over again, nothing! The dark skin streaks running across her eyelids are adamant and lucid from afar although if you stand a few feet away you may not notice them but you can tell something is amiss with her eyes. Perhaps the most noticeable thing is the fact that her sockets have sunk just a little bit for someone standing across her a few yards away to notice. Well not that alone even her make up isn’t either. You see make up can hide a number of things such as acne, dark spots and many other blemishes name them but it cannot hide sunken eye sockets, droopy retracted eyelids and even skin sores that had started showing up. “The pills must have taken their toll.” She mutters beneath her breath.

Anita wasn’t the type to hide her imperfections. She was the kind that wore her imperfections on her sleeves and found grace where she had fallen short. But this was before it all began. Before she became a victim of the opioid explosion that that had left many in irrecoverable turns and twists. She is among the multitudes that turned to methamphetamine for a ‘pick me up’ but ended up getting more than they bargained for, her meth face for example.  It was before she began applying to much make up to mask her meth face. She stares down on her tits they to have fallen like the walls of Jericho, a stark reminder that even her physique is slowly giving in. This was before she met boys. As she stares herself on the mirror she can tell that indeed they left her scarred like a whiteboard for lessons she refused to learn. Boys that took notes on her body. The ones she went up to for quick fixes and when they couldn’t satisfy her needs they taught her how to sniff ‘chalk’.  It did the trick and saved them the embarrassment of being nicknamed ‘toothpick’. At first the sniffing helped fill the voids in her but when it was over she ended emptier than before, this created a yearning for even more and even more and even more. It was never enough.

Anita has seen it all, threesomes, well that’s tough, gangbangs, even tougher. All this while however she notices she had been numbed thanks to the tabloid sensation.  She has washed up in the most wretched of places bars, sex parties name them. One lesson stands out. She has learned that indeed she is a slave to her human passions. That we all are. And that we all have that part in us that is yet to be exploited and a single tap on it initiates a chain reaction. Just like everyone else. She has learnt that everyone is battling demons it’s only that some are battling fiercer than others. She has also learnt that people go through happiness without finding happiness but no one lives long without experiencing real hurt but for her she has vacillated between the two but the latter has taken her to the deepest recesses of her life.

Today she stares at herself in the mirror or perhaps what remains of her. The roller coaster ride has returned her hollow but she considers herself lucky. The image she conjures up is that of a prodigal son that is lucky to be embraced by his loving father regardless of how low he has fallen short of grace. She must have stood in front of the mirror too engrossed in her own world that she failed to notice that there were the two of them in it or even her countenance was tear streaked.

“You have cried enough Anita.” Stacy her sister gently massages her shoulder as they both stare at themselves in the mirror.

“Give that to me. There is nothing to hide anymore. It’s time you walk with your head held high and your flaws up your sleeve because after all is said and done you survived this one.” Anita reluctantly gives away her eyeshadow brush and the two get into along embrace. Her sobs slowly die into the night.

Omenge Paul


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