(Sent in by Anonymous)
I just want people to watch and lust over me. I want them to desire and feel me. Closing my eyes I sway from side to side, quietly humming and smiling to myself. In this moment, I feel beautiful. I open my eyes and look at the mirror. She’s not me.
No one wants to know this girl. I stare at the nose, sideburns, her breast-less chest and shake my head. That’s not who I am.
Closing my eyes again, I’m me. I smile. I can hear distant voices downstairs and hope they’re talking about me.
Someone’s said my name.
‘We have to go’
I open my eyes and look at my reflection. She needs to go out, so I have to go out. I have to be the person I hate again.
‘Come on Harpreet, we haven’t got all day!’
I squint at the mirror, maybe I should just take my lenses out. If I can’t see her, I won’t be her.
I groan and roll my eyes dramatically to no one in the room. Wrapping my chunni around my bare shoulders, I sigh further. The silence is overwhelming. My breathing becomes loud and disgusting.
Shaking away the voices, I turn to my side, close my eyes and breathe in, placing my hand on my stomach. I consider the curve of my breasts. My eyes dart quickly around my empty room, why isn’t anyone watching me?
Yearning for attention, I seductively dance at the mirror. Biting my lip and rubbing my hands over my stomach and down to my thighs, bringing my hands back up from my kurta, I catch my chooriya on the sequins and reveal my shapeless, crooked salwar.
‘HARRRRPEEEE’, I hear my dad yelling my name from downstairs, rolling his tongue on the r’s, to really elongate his call. His loud slow footsteps echo the call, as he half-heartedly attempts to walk up the stairs.
I can’t unhook my chooriya quickly enough.
I hear him turning on the landing, he lets out a sigh as he cricks his back and goes for my door.
‘Harpee, what are you doing?’
I look at him from my bed, my legs crossed, my arms placed elegantly across my legs.
‘Nothing, I’m coming’, I smile back and pretend to fix the lining on my chunni without having to move my arms up and reveal myself.
‘We’ve been waiting for 5 whole minutes! What are you doing? We have to see your Masi before she goes back to India, there's no time!’, he’s walking out already, yelling half of this down the stairs to my mother.
‘Bewakoof’. I hear her exhale impatiently.
I grab my bangle and pull, feeling a snap as my dad walks back in the door.
‘What the hell, get your shoes on!’ he stares at me, hands on hips, eyes red from lack of sleep and a bad diet.
Moving to my closet I grab some shoes and glance back at my mirror before leaving. I look down at the sequin hanging tragically off my kurta and back up to my face. I'm not her, I don't like her, why do I have to go where she goes?
'HARPEE!!!' the high pitched screech meant serious business.
'Harpee' I laugh, mocking him as I glide past. My mother's also got her hand on her hips, her eyes just as bright red.
'Come on then guys! We haven't got all day!' I laugh as I elegantly walk towards her, feeling powerful and beautiful. Like a queen.
'Thappar khaana?!' she grabs my arm and looks down at my kurta. 'What have you done, already ruined it! Never going to get you anything ever again! You're an animal!'
'Grrrr!', I get into the car and sigh. There's too many reflections here. I catch my eyes in the rearview mirror and quickly look away. My parents sit heavily in the car, still mumbling profanities at me, throwing bags into the back seat, aiming for my face.
I close my eyes and I am safe. The car starts and jerks my body and I wonder how I move when I orgasm.
They turn a corner and my body drifts in slow motion, I breathe out and feel a movement within me. A moan escapes my lips.
Another turn, another movement.
I wonder how beautiful I must look when I cruise in such a way.
The brakes end all movements and I open my eyes to my parents screaming at me to move out of the backseat and to grab all the bags.
I bend over to reach for the bags and feel the curve of my back. I take slightly longer than I need to.
My auntie is already at the open door of the house, hiding behind her chunni, laughing at us fumble our way in. She sees me trip over some bags as I try and carry everything in. All I see is the neighbour, cutting the grass, topless and beautiful. His arms shaking with the mower as it carries him across the grass. I find myself staring at the movement of his muscles and then my eyes are closed and now I find myself wrapped around him.
'JALDI' my mother screams at me from the door.
He hears her and turns his head in our direction. I instantly look away. He won't see me, he can only see her. I think of her breast-less chest and try to stick it out as I walk away. I feel his eyes on my long nose. I feel his disgust.
I hurry my last steps into the house.
She is not me.