Sometimes she wished she had never seen the advertisement. She sat in her room, with all the windows and doors closed. She was not sure of what would happen next. She wished she could go back in time and redo the things again. Only if she had a time machine to go back two weeks!
Alice was a lovely girl in her teens. She was the heartthrob of all in her school. The boys used to try to woo her with their advances and chivalrous attitude. They would buy her a cup of coffee or drink, and seek chances to chat with her. She enjoyed the attention with all her heart, and she knew she was the one every other girl in the school envied. She didn’t mind! She was getting all the attention and appreciation she needed from the boys around.
Her dad used to pamper her with all the love in the world. He bought her gifts and dresses. To him, she was the princess whom he loved the most in the entire world. After her mother passed away when she was only four, her father had brought her up with love, care and responsibility. He had never hurt her or let her feel lonely. Alice had grown up as the nicest girl in the neighborhood. Everyone loved her a lot. She was chirpy, jolly and happy. Life was beautiful, or at least it seemed to be so.
Alice was haunted to look into the mirror- something no one else knew. She was beautiful, but always felt that her nose was too big. This made her very depressed, and she wished to change it from a very tender age. She had told her father about her notions regarding the nose quite a few times, but he had always laughed it off saying that she looked like a princess.
Although all the boys in her school were head-over-heels for her, she liked this tall and handsome guy in the neighborhood. Josh was the perfect prince for her. He knew her and talked to her whenever they saw each other on the road. But, she always felt insecure about her big nose. She wished to date him, but was scared that he would not like to go around with someone with such an imperfection.
She has had feelings for Josh since the past two years, but he never made any such advances. She started to believe that Josh did not like her at all due to the nose. How could he be so uninterested while so many boys in her school were impressed by her? She wondered lying down on her bed, depressed and worried. Then were all the boys in the school also not interested in her? Did they make fun of her nose behind her back? The questions haunted her to the core and she got up from the bed being perturbed by the conjectures.
She couldn’t sleep the entire night. Dad came to her to kiss her goodnight, but she didn’t tell how disturbed she was. She wished for a miracle. If only she could get up the next morning to see her big nose was fixed! She prayed to god so that she could look perfectly beautiful.
The next morning she woke up with sore eyes. She had been crying all night. As she was brushing her teeth, her eyes caught the glance of this advertisement in the newspaper. This ad was about plastic surgery. This clinic was offering services of plastic surgery at discounted rates. The ad read, “Look perfect today!” She knew this was it. She needed to go to this clinic and get the surgery done. But how could he tell dad about it? He would surely not allow her. Where would she get the money? She had to do this somehow! For herself, for Josh, for life!
Dad was to go out for a week’s trip. She chose that time to be the best to have the operation done! Once she got it done, dad would never scold her too much as he loved her to that extent. He would take care of her, and love her like he always did. She decided to get the needed money out of her bank account. She was all ready for the surgery. She looked into the mirror and said herself, “I won’t have a big nose anymore. I will look perfect! Everyone would love me.”
On the next Monday, her father packed his bags and set out for the week-long trip. He kissed her goodbye, and asked her to take care of herself. The winter holidays had begun, and she could stay at home, he believed. She had a glare in her eyes as her dad kissed her goodbye for she knew she could now go to the clinic and get the surgery done. The ad had been playing in her mind in a loop for all these days. “Look perfect today!”
She went to the clinic in the afternoon with all the money that she needed. As she waited in the lounge, she could see the pictures of the beautiful actresses all around the walls. She wanted to look as beautiful as them. She was called to the doctor’s chamber where she said about her big nose. The doctor assured her of a perfect surgery. She needed to go back the next day to get it done.
The operation took some time. She was kept at the clinic that day. She texted her father saying that she couldn’t talk as she was ill. She rested for the day with the hope of seeing that perfect nose when she got rid of the bandages. She went back home the next day. Life was going to be much more beautiful, she knew it.
She eagerly waited to see the new nose. The ad was surely a boon for her, she knew. She was only crying the previous night, and here the advertisement was the next day! It was god-sent for sure!
She opened the bandages slowly standing in front of the mirror. Something didn’t seem to be right. The nose looked weird. The left side of the nose had a bulge that was seriously not okay. She thought it might be due to some irritation of the skin. She called the doctor, and he said it would be fine within the next day.
She lied on the bed all day reading books, and went in front of the mirror many times to look at the nose. It looked a bit swollen on the left side even at evening. She was hoping that this would go away the next morning. Her father called her saying that he would return the next day in the afternoon.
She prayed to God that her swollen nose would get fine by that time. The next day she woke up and jumped to the mirror. The nose was looking swollen even then. Now, she was worried. The horrific thought crossed her mind! Was there something wrong with the operation?? She couldn’t say for sure. Her nose looked pathetically deformed to her now. What had she done!! All she wanted was a perfect nose. There was a knock at the door! Father had returned!
The people were in a rush to reach their destinations. I had to reach office within sometime, and I was already late for work. I was worried about the meetings of the day. Suddenly, I was pushed from behind, and I fell on this lady. I apologized to her immediately while we were getting up from the pavements. I might have hurt her. I was hurt myself. I gave her a hand so that she could get up properly without any hassle.
But, she seemed to be too offended at the entire occurrence. She started shouting at me asking me to stay way. I obviously didn’t do anything on deliberation, and was simply pushed by the person behind that made me fall. I tried to reason with her saying how it all happened. But, she was too stubborn to listen to me. I was so vexed at her rude behavior that I asked her to shut up. I proceeded toward my office.
The face-off was yet to continue. I saw the same lady waiting to get up on the elevator that I was also supposed to board. She gave me a look of disgust, while I was stunned at her rudeness and snobbery. I told myself, “What does she think of herself? Since she is a female, does she think she can get away with such unpardonable behavior?”
I was fuming in anger. We went up the elevator with a few other people. I was astonished to see her entering my office. I found out at the reception that I was supposed to have a meeting with her, she being a client. I knew it wouldn’t go smooth as she was one impolite, weird female who thought only she was right! That is what all females think, I thought!
I had a meeting that day, and I was in a rush to reach the place. Suddenly, a man pushed me from behind and I fell on the pavement. I was hurt and had scratches on my hands. This bulky man was on me! After pushing me so hard, this person had the audacity to show as if he had done nothing wrong! He was insisting that he was sorry. This kind of useless apologies from passers-by is something women are accustomed to. Males push us and grope us feigning nothing was intentional!
As I got up from the pavement, I asked him to walk properly, and that he should know not to push a woman like that. I was irritated at the nonchalant behavior of this man. To add more insult to the injury, this rude and uncouth man asked me to shut up!! He then started walking and was lost in the crowd.
I had not come across such a crass person in sometime. I had to reach for the meeting, and hence I continued to walk. I saw this same man in front of the elevator. I was irritated to the core to share the same elevator with this brute whose face I never wanted to see again. I chose not to say anything more as I wanted to be calm enough for the meeting.
As I reached the place of my meeting, I saw this man entering the same office. The lady at the reception told me that I was to have the meeting with this man only who had reached to place with me. I wondered how such uncouth men who didn’t respect women could hold such meetings. I was appalled by his male chauvinism, and decided to finish off the meeting with least conversations.
- Point of view of a mother
P.O. Box, 60459
23rd Nov. 2014
I hope you are doing well. I am writing this letter to inform you about a tragedy that has hit us in the past week. My son, Joshua, has lost his job due to his ill health. I wish to find you in spirit by us in our times of impediments.
Joshua was suffering from jaundice since the past few weeks, and was unable to attend the work at the gas station regularly. You know very well how I have brought him up. After his father passed away when he was ten, I worked at the parlor to earn a living for the family. Life is hard, and I took a breath of relief when my son got this job. He couldn’t study after school due to our financial crunch, as you know. He was working in the gas station since the past ten years. He did overtime with a smile on his face. He would say how he owes me everything he is today. I was very happy to see my son work day in and day out. He became a more responsible man at a young age of twenty when he started to work. I prayed to God for his health and well-being every day. But, look at the mockery of fate. He has lost his job now. I don’t know what will happen to his wife and young son. I am unable to work at this old age. He is depressed and wants to be able to work again.
Kindly keep him in your prayers. Let’s hope that he finds a job soon. I would be looking forward to hear from you. I know you are pained to know the news. Your support is invaluable.
- Point of view of son
New York, 10003
23rd Nov. 2014
New York, 10003
I hope you are fine. I haven’t met you in the past week. There was some problem at my home. My father has lost his job. He was ailing for some time now. He got the termination letter the other day. People are my place are very sad and upset after this happened.
I don’t know what will happen. I might need to leave school. Mother was asking me not to spend much as we don’t have too much money in our bank. I saw my mother crying the other day in her room. When I went to her, she wiped her tears and asked me if everything was fine. Grandmother looks very depressed too. She was praying to god the other day. I think she was praying for father’s good health and work.
I don’t understand why the gas station fired my father. He is ill, and cannot work properly. They should have considered this fact before taking any decision. I have prayed to god too, so that my father gets a good job very soon. I don’t like seeing all sad faces in the house. I want them to smile, play and live happily.
Please pray for my father’s recovery. I will meet you once the situation at my home gets better. I hope things would be fine soon. I am hoping for the best. I need your support in this hour of need. You are my closest friend, and I am feeling very relieved to have shared my thoughts and concerns with you. We get to see so much in our life. My grandmother says, “Life is not a bed of roses.” I believe things would be back to normal when my father recovers and gets a job.