For a brief, fleeting moment this morning, she saw herself. Or at least what she thinks is herself. What everyone else claims to see.
She bent over to put on her tights and was struck by the way her ribcage juts out. She was mesmerised by how her concave stomach folds over itself and disappears into her ribs. By how her hipbones hold out her underwear, creating a little peekaboo pocket of air between the peaks.
She saw how sick she looks. How miserable she looks. How dead she looks.
She straightened up.
And saw her thighs. Her fucking fat, disgusting thighs. There's a thigh gap there now -- one she never dreamed possible -- but who the fuck cares? It means nothing when your legs are still sticks of rancid butter, melting in the summer sun.
She saw the parasitic flesh clinging to the underside of her arms. It jiggles when she moves it. It waves all on its own.
It's fucking repulsive.
She saw all her flaws, amplified by a million.
No matter which way she looks at it, she is repulsive. Too big or too small. She is not baby bear's porridge. She is never just right.
Back when she was a real girl with a whole and healed brain, she'd ask her class that. She'd use it to gauge their understanding of the concept she'd just taught. Who thought it was too hard? Who thought it was too easy? Who thought it was baby bear's porridge?
They'd giggle like it was the funniest thing in the world. Every time.
She misses that.
She misses them.
She misses teaching.
She misses having a brain that worked.
She misses the girl she once was.