The Road Long Taken

It was six months ago when the great depression in Brianne’s life started.

Six gruesome months…

Actually it had started before, but during the last six months she let the depression take over. She was tired of fighting.

She stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom nude, and stared at her image. As she stared, tears rolled down her cheeks. She looked at her under-arms and stomach. Thick,angry -looking Purplish-pink stretch marks ran across them. She had tried everything to make them appear, well, less severe ranging from sheabutter to bio-oil, but nothing seemed to be working.

She turned to the side. More tears rolled down her cheeks even more as she stared at her image. Her stomach hung low beneath her waist line, almost reaching her mid-thigh. She shook her head in disgust. It looked surreal, as if detachable. A hump protruded at the the top of her back and more angry stretch marks ran across her buttocks down to her knees. She turned to face the mirror again. Her face looked doughy, round and pale. Slabs of fat rolled along her neck. She then looked at her skinny arms and skinny legs.

Brianne the Ogre, she chided herself as she cried even more. Atleast that was what those people had called her on that stupid website.

It was six months ago she had seen her picture on a comedy website. She couldn’t remember how she had found the site, but remembered surfin’ the internet and clicking on links on several webpages. At first she had seen pictures and watched videos that had made her laugh. Pictures of animals and children doing the most hilarious things. Then she came across pictures of fat people, and there was her picture. At first when she saw it, it took a moment for her to realize that she was looking at a picture of herself- On a comedy website. Someone had taken a picture of her unawares while she had been standing at a bustop, edited it with a text saying ‘Say Hello To Lady Shrek’,  and posted it on the website. She had never felt so humiliated. Not even compared to when she had thrown caution to the wind one fateful day and had gone to the beach, not caring how she looked in a one-piece swimming suit with a sarong tied to her waist and some teenagers had laughed openly at her calling her ‘Big Momma’. To top it off, her picture had elicited 1,052 comments and had been shared on several social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. She had tortured herself by reading all the demeaning and insulting comments made by people  from different parts of the world. She had felt so sick afterwards that she had thrown up several times that day and had cried herself to sleep. She had never felt happy since that day, even up till now. Noone had been there to comfort her, not even her husband.

Remembering her husband and all that he did to add to her depression, made Brianne mewl. Lord, she thought, she didn’t think she hated anyone as she hated him.

Riley and Brianne Mercer had been married for just four years. They had attended the same university and tied the knot immediately they were done with school. Brianne, who was a size 14 at the time, had never felt so in-love. She had considered herself lucky getting married to a man who ‘claimed’ to like his women thick. Things seemed to be going fine until a year into the marriage, when Riley started to cheat on her with other women. In the beginning he seemed sorry about it, even blaming himself for his lustfulness. Afterwards, he started to make hurtful accusations that Brianne’s looks were the cause of him cheating on her. Blamed it on her figure he thought was abnormal, blamed it on her stretch marks, blamed it on everything about her. Brianne had fought every feeling his accusations induced. She had pretended it didn’t hurt, paying attention to something else while he talked on. He hardly slept with her on the same bed anymore,claiming she smelled. Actually, she did because she sweat a lot. After a while, Riley gave up sleeping in their apartment all together, claiming her odour had taken all over their whole apartment. He would only come to pack new clothes to wherever he was sleeping, and while he packed he would torture Brianne by telling her of his tryst with his new lover and all he did with her in bed. That was when Riley got to her, but she never let it show. It was after he was done packing and had left the apartment, then Brianne would cry until her eyes hurt. She had least expected this from Riley, afterall, he was one of the very few people that knew.

Only him and her already deceased parents knew she had Cushing’s Syndrome.

That explained why she looked the way she did, why it was hard for her to lose weight, which was worse since she had no job to keep her active. No one had agreed to hire her anyways because of the way she looked. It explained why she had really bad stretch marks. It explained why she sweat a lot which made her smell funny. It explained why she had a funny skin tone and why even the smallest of cuts did not heal on time. It explained everything.

And the one person in the world, whom she thought would understand, was using it against her.

People had stopped her while she walked on the street, twice or so. Trying to advice her to take it easy on the junk food. It was one of the reasons Brianne stopped going out often, apart from the fact that her limbs hurt for days whenever she took the short walk to the supermarket and back. It had shown her exactly what people thought of her- a foodie.

It hurt Brianne that people were so quick to jump to conclusions. It hurt her even more that people felt it was okay to criticize her because they did not look the way she did. She wasn’t one of those people who went around telling people of their problems so that they would be accepted. She did not want to be pitied. Why did she have to tell people she had a disease before they would have the decency and the courtesy not to make fun of her, or even try to be friends with her?

Brianne wiped her tears, sniffling as she did. She was tired. She was tired of being holed up in this apartment, scared that one of those people that commented on her picture on that website may see her. She was tired of strangers stopping her on the street to talk to her about her weight. She was tired of Riley Mercer, her jerk of a husband. She was tired of being made fun of by people who had no inkling of what she was going through. She was tired of everything.

Without thinking, she smashed the mirror with her fists, most of the shards falling into the sink beneath it. Blood trickled down her fists. That’s going to take a while to heal, she thought absently, but it was the least of her concerns right now.

She picked up a shard of glass and stared at it. How glorious it would be, she thought, if she ended her life right now. That would be the end of her misery..,and her suffering. She continued to stare at it…

And stare at it.

Very reluctantly, she dropped the shard back into sink. She couldn’t give up just yet. Not now…

Probably another day, but not today…

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