Excuse Me While I S p a r k l e

United States

Flounce, children! Flounce!
Likes: Shiny things, feathers, bubblegum, fireworks, manga
Dislikes: that one weird shade of green, maggots, the last seasons of Voltron
"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"- Mark Twain

Message to Readers

I wrote this about that teenage awkwardness and how much wearing a swimsuit sucks. Nothing says teenage years like hating your body, right? Luckily, I've evened out a lot, and I actually realized I'm pretty cool, and absolutely GORGEOUS (jk, but I still love myself). Anyways, I wanted to sort of drive home the fact that pretty much everyone is awkward, because puberty is basically temporary hell. I'm not sure how well I did that, though, so I'd love any feedback I can get. Thanks for reading my piece!

Mermaid

November 24, 2021

    It's summer, and I hate my body. I hate the way my swimsuit clings to my stomach. I hate the way it's loose around my chest. I hate the way my thighs jiggle when I walk. I hate the fact I'm stuck in the shallow end of the pool, because I can't swim. I hate the fact I am sitting alone is the shallow end, because I can't swim and because my sister stayed home. I am thirteen, and I hate the pool.
    I stand in waist-deep water as the sun bakes my shoulders. Around me, children splash and scream. A whirl of color and soggy diapers. My nostrils fill with that pool smell, the one that only happens when someone's peed in the water. Abstractly, I wonder who it was. My friend, Lily, waves to me before she cannonballs into the deep end. The lifeguard lets out a sharp tweet on his whistle and starts scolding her. She waves to me again. I crouch lower, felling the cool water cover my burning shoulders. I do not move.
    Lily, because she is kind, comes to me. We talk as she treads water, slowly leading me deeper. I am halfway between deep and shallow. Slowly, other friends arrive. Erica, looking effortlessly pretty, and Maddie, looking southern and sweet in a modest swimsuit. Lily waves them over. I sink down to the bottom of the pool and sit cross-legged for a moment. Everything is cool and blue and quiet. I may hate the pool, but I hate how I look even more. Underwater, no one can see my awkwardness.
    Eventually, however, I must come back up for air. I dread the moment my friends say something about my swimsuit, but they never do. We talk about starting a band and discuss names. Lily wants us to be the "Southern Souls" Erica says she can't play any instruments, and I admit I can't either. Lily assures us we can be lead and backup vocals. I don't ask which one I am.
    I doggy paddle after my friends. They are quick and bright, like mermaids. If they are mermaids, I am a goldfish. Clunky and awkward, one of a million. I think that it is poetic, maybe some and maybe not at all.  My bathing suit straps tie behind my neck, and at one point they start to come undone. Embarrassed, I  paddle over to Maddie, holding the straps together with a dripping hand. We stand in silence as she reties the them. I thank her quietly, and she smiles and hands me a "you're welcome". Mermaids are always kind, in the stories I've read.
    Eventually, it is lunchtime. We climb out of the pool one by one and wrap ourselves in colorful towels. I wrap mine around my waist. We travel in a school, a cloud of mermaids and a goldfish among them. We head to the white picnic tables next to the bathrooms, where our mothers wait. They hand us sandwiches and watermelon slices.
    We travel back to the pool, specifically the chairs that line it. I glance around, wondering if anyone will mention the way my legs jiggle, or the way my swimsuit bunches. I notice the others glancing, too. At each other, and at me. The glances aren't judgemental, but anxious. They are tugging at their swimsuits as we walk. Just like I am. Maybe we are all goldfish. Maybe we are all mermaids.
    When we finish eating, we jump back into the pool. This time, I do not hide. The sunshine is bright, and I can hear laughter. I float on my back, feeling the sun on my face. I'm not sure I hate the pool anymore.
Hi! I'd really appreciate feedback!

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2 Comments
  • only_a_mirage (bird)

    wow, this is amazing!! i can definitely relate, i am pretty dysmorphic and i really hate my body, especially in a swim suit
    re: thank you so much for the comment and review, it really made my day!!!


    11 days ago
  • SamRose

    I love this! I can relate, but sort of the opposite, with stick legs XD And my swimsuits were always too big. But this does seem just like my younger sister, she went through a very awkward "I hate my body and I'm definitely fat" stage. Love this! Very well written too. Good luck with the comp!


    13 days ago