Friday. Thank God it was finally Friday. Work and school created twelve hour days for me and my weekends were a heavenly reprieve. After leaving work at 8pm, I headed back to my apartment. As I was entering it, my phone rang. I glanced at it and saw Laura’s face smiling at me.
“Hey!” I exclaimed.
“Hey bestie! So, I was thinking I could fly into Indianapolis two days before the concert and spend like a week with you, if that’s okay?”
We were discussing travel details when a great idea popped into my head.
“So, for the concert,” I interrupted, “we should have a theme.”
“What if…we went neon/glow in the dark? I have glow in the dark nail polish we could use and some neon eye shadow. We could wear neon clothing and make glow in the dark posters. We’d stand out in the crowd!”
I was so pumped about this idea!
“That’d be awesome!” Laura exclaimed excitedly.
We spent the next half hour discussing details of our attack for the concert and then hung up. I went to bed happy for the first time in a very long time. Tomorrow, I decided I would be hitting up the mall in search of the perfect outfit for the concert.
“Nothing in here is right,” I whined to my friend Sabrina. She laughed and picked up a bright orange shirt off a table. I scrunched up my nose.
“Not sexy enough.”
She rolled her eyes at me. “They’re not going to be close enough to see you anyway, Tiff,” she stated.
A flash of anger shuddered through me. I couldn’t afford to think like that right now, even if it was reality.
“Maybe. Maybe not,” I smiled.
She rolled her eyes at me again, "If you say so."
We walked over to the clearance rack and I began scouring for something bright. Then, I found it. I loved it before I even pulled it off the rack. A black mini dress outlined in various bright colors. I held it up in admiration.
“That’s perfect!” Sabrina exclaimed.
“I…” I started. Then I noticed the dress had a gaping hole in the side. Was it damaged? I pulled it closer to my face and realized the gap was there purposefully. A cutout dress.
“Damn it!” I swore under my breath.
“It’s missing a huge chunk of fabric!”
“And I’m not skinny enough to wear this!”
“Oh puh-lease! You’re fucking tiny!”
I looked down at my stomach in response to that. I couldn’t even begin to fathom what Sabrina was talking about. All I saw were rolls of fat. I glanced up at the dress I held in my hand and grimaced. It really was the perfect dress for the concert. Why couldn't I be skinny like all the pretty girls? I wasn't sure if I was more angry or depressed at this concept. I looked down at the price tag, hoping the dress would be out of my price range anyway. $20. Damn it, the dress was a steal all the way around. Why did I have to be so fat?!
“C’mon,” Sabrina mumbled, “it’s on clearance! You’ll look great in it.”
I looked at her and shook my head furiously as I set the dress back on the rack.
“Damn it, Tiffany!” she yelled, “Just get the fucking dress!”
She yanked it off the rack and threw it back at me. I stared at it, trying to convince myself she was right, that I would look great in it. I just couldn’t see it. I looked up at Sabrina; she was pouting.
“It is a good deal,” I started.
She vigorously nodded.
“I suppose I could just go on a juice fast or something. I still wouldn’t be skinny, but it might look okay…”
Sabrina’s frown returned. She shook her head in dismay. I couldn’t help it. Really, I wasn’t anywhere near having the body necessary to rock this dress.
“I’m going to look at jewelry. Come find me when you’re done being abusive to yourself,” Sabrina fumed.
She walked off to the other side of the store, leaving me alone with my thoughts. I considered what I had said earlier about the juice cleanse; I did have one at home that I hadn’t done yet. And some diet pills wouldn’t hurt. Plus, I could stand to put a few more hours in at the gym. I had six weeks and if I did things right I could lose around ten or fifteen pounds. It wouldn’t hurt me to lose some weight and if I could pull that off I’d look at least suitable in the dress. Definitely not beautiful, but decent. I turned the dress over in my hands a few times. Oh why the Hell not, I thought to myself. I went to find Sabrina and we checked out.
“I’m glad you got the dress,” Sabrina said as we left the store.
“Me too,” I smiled, “I’m just going to have to kick things into gear for the next six weeks.”
“Oh whatever. You’re perfect just the way you are.” She leaned over and side hugged me.
“Mark would disagree with that," I shrugged.
The words were out of my mouth before I even had time to think about them. I realized the severity of them the instant they were spoken and they cut, deep. Sabrina was silent. I’m sure she didn’t know what to say. I didn’t even know what to say. We walked back to my car and left the mall in silence. After I dropped her off, I cringed. I was left alone with my demons that were apparently never going to leave.