Whenever my mother asks me to exercise, I defiantly say no.
She would ask, “Why not?”
One of my normal retorts was, “It would make me look sweaty and messy. Plus, it would mar my perfect image. The sweaty oil on my face could cause pimples! I do not want to look pimply in front of the whole student body. As Head Girl, I need to look the perfect embodiment of the perfect student. That-includes flawless beauty. Besides, if I have pimples and warts on my face, how will my boyfriend like me?”
That would be one of my answers.
Actually, half of my answer’s a lie. Last year’s Head Girl had pimples. I could use skin cleanser to wash my face. However, I still did not want to exercise because I could use the time jogging in the nearby park to surf on the Internet and post a lot of selfies and I’m pretty lazy. Besides, I already have a slim figure. Who needs to exercise?
My mother would sigh dramatically but would never reply. I would grin in triumph at another victory. My answer to my mother’s biweekly request would vary to her, but I only have three plausible answers which I alternate with. Luckily for me, my mother has an extremely forgetful memory. I actually think she might have Stage 0.5 dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease (as doctors have proved she doesn’t have Stage 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7, I have smartly deduced that she has Stage 0.5).
Today was another time she asked. I gave her the reply above.
She reacted the same. I gleefully bit into my potato chip. However, as she turned to walk away, I heard her muttering, almost inaudibly, “If Dixie continues with that potato chip diet, she’ll round up pretty quickly. I better stop her sooner or later. I’m not being a good mother either by not encouraging her not to exercise either. I should bring her to my tai ji class. Her bums are already coming into shape-”
“Stop right there, Mom!” I yell with an over-dramatic flair. Speaking of over-dramatic, it reminds me of my best friend Kayla. Let’s take an example. When she flirts, she carries it way too far. Or, if she falls, she’ll start crying crocodile tears and sob in great heaves so that ‘knights in shining armour’ could go and rescue her. She’s all about drama; practically the embodiment of drama. Makes sense that she’s President of Mountainview High Drama Club. I think I’m taking this too far. My bad, I tend to do that. Back to where I was yelling.
“Mom, are you thinking I’m fat? I’m not deaf, you know? My ears are in good working condition!”
She titters. “Go weigh yourself and look at yourself in the mirror.”
I do so and am horrified to find out I’ve gained 2.4 kilograms.
“Oh My God! It was originally 40.17 kilograms!” I wail. My mother nods grimly.
I take pride in being severely underweight. It means I’m slim and lean. Bangles look great on my thin wrists. Now that I was only underweight, I wondered if I was still going to fit that small bracelet that Terence gifted me.
We go to the bathroom. I look at the mirror. My curves seemed to be even rounder. Wait, is that my bottom sticking out? I hoped it was just a hallucination. In the reflection, I could see my mother giving me an “I told you so” look at my fringe (her eye level was there and my fringe is short so I am nearly as tall as her).
"You need to stop eating those potato chips. From this week onwards, I'll take 30% of your pay from your part time job."
"Mom! No! I still need the money for other things! Besides, I'm 18! I'm not a kid anymore. I can do whatever I freaking want with my own life!"
My mother looks at me. "If you want to become fat, well, that's not my problem."
I sigh. "Sure, Mom. I'll go on a healthy diet then. But for only a week."
"Say one more word and I'll extend the 30% to a charge of 70% of your pay. And no, for a month."
Remember when I said was snacking on potato chips? Recently, like a month ago, a new company released a new brand of potato chips called Cullbased Chips. It took the world by storm. Actually, by the word 'world', it meant me. I think. But it said natural 100% potatoes on the bag and it tasted so good. I had to have it. The provision shop near my house sold it at a cheap price. Every week or so, I would go and stock up on those chips. I seemed to crave for them. They satisfied my hunger.
On the very first day I savored it, I ran around the whole house swearing that it was the best food I'd ever tasted in the whole world and shared to all my friends. My mom sighed one of her dramatic sighs.
Surprisingly, no one other than I in Mountainview High liked it. I don't know why. It's just so good! The shopowner whom I bought the chips from one day jokingly chuckled and claimed that I was the only buyer. I brushed that aside and argued that there must be crowds queuing up to buy it. He shrugged but I don't know.
It's not like I'm a potato chip fanatic. I'm more of a candy fanatic. I actually used to hate all sorts of potato chips until Kayla brought it to school (she's the potato chip fanatic).
"Dixie! Try one!" I still remember that very clearly.
"Come on, just try before me! Be my taster, please?" Kayla does a really cute impression of a newborn puppy.
Resigned to my fate, I groaned. "Alright, alright!"
I picked the tiniest potato chip I could find in the packet and popped it in my mouth.
The most beautiful flavor in the world exploded in my mouth. I was awestruck. Who was this potato chip deity? Never in all my life have I tasted potato chips as good as this.
Kayla looks at me weirdly. "Are you alright?" she asks. I quickly calm my ecstatic self down and casually shrug. She shrugs back, then places a chip into her mouth.
After she munches for a few seconds, she makes a gagging face. "It's weird. I don't like it."
My brain screams, "What the hell? I do! It's great, amazing and awesome."
So I quickly ask Kayla, "You don't like it? Can I have this packet?"
Kayla looks at me more weirdly. "You like this thing? It tastes awful. But sure, you can have it if you want."
And that pretty much kickstarted off my love for Cullbased Chips. You should have seen how excited I was when I discovered that the provision shop near my house sold it.
My mother quickly rips the potato chip bag out of my hand, jolting me back to reality. "Dixie, it's time I throw this in the rubbish bin."
She turns and walks towards the dustbin. I know I could have gone after her, but for some reason, my mind tells me that my body comes first before food. Unlike most people, I am proud of my slender frame. I could be a model when I become of age and any modelling agency could accept me if they wanted to.
However, I still felt dejected at the loss of my potato chips. My mother would be rummaging through my wallet after she dumped/locked up all the Cullbased potato chips to take away some of my bills so I would have less to spend on potato chips. I wanted to run after her and stop her. I wanted to eat my potato chips. I wanted to do a lot of things that I actually have no idea that I actually wanted to do like cursing my mom or going on a late night movie marathon while snacking on chips or skipping school.
Unfortunately for me, my body had other ideas. It walked me back to my bedroom. It was actually nighttime on Sunday, and it was 11pm. Normally at this time, I would watch some Korean drama and stay up late until 12.30am but my body mechanically steered itself to my closet and took out my nightgown. I changed myself and went to bed. For some reason, I felt like I couldn't control my body. I set the alarm clock and switched off the lights. Then, it was all darkness as I drifted off into a restless sleep about my potato chips.
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