Disclaimer – This is a work of pure fiction and there’s absolutely no resemblance to any part of me or anyone else that I know. I hope I succeed in this fictionary monologue.(fictionary is a nice word isn’t it?)
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Red Pill, Blue Pill.”
I can feel the slow trickle of sweat moving slowly down my body. Dammit!! My palms are starting to sweat now. At this rate, my dress will also get ruined. When is this nurse bringing the freaking results? How long does it even take to test your blood? I really, really hope that there’s nothing wrong in my reports. I have to sign my contract today and nothing should ruin that. This is it. The big IT. Everything needs to be perfect.
I put my head down with a helpless groan and I remember the first time I binged. Correction – I vomited. I do not know why people keep saying I have eating disorder. I love food. I like its shape and taste. I just don’t eat all of it. Not everyone finishes every single morsel that’s ever kept on their plate. I do not have a problem. I like myself, just the way I am. If I wasn’t good, I wouldn’t have landed the modelling contract. This is my time to shine, and no one is taking that away from me. I don’t know for how long this has been the running commentary in my head. Sometimes I feel like I have been trying to convince this to myself for a very long time. But I know I am right, right?
Oh finally, it is my turn. I enter the doctor’s chamber. There’s another lady sitting beside him. He is looking at me with this strange look in his eyes, almost resembling pitying. What you pitying me for, you fat fool? I think I almost said it aloud. I wonder how he would have reacted. Will the hypocrite stand by his Hippocratic Oath?
What? I ‘ll have to check my weight? Again? But why? Why everyone I know wants me to keep checking my weight? My career is based on my weight. Sometimes I feel…. There’s no room for regrets in my life. They won’t get me anywhere. And anyways 45 kgs for a 5’8″ is perfectly alright. I wish I can reduce it some more. It’s not as if I am extremely skinny or something. The weighing scale dipped to 44.5 this time. Hallelujah!! It’s working. Whatever I am doing seems to be working. I looked up to the doctor with a jubilant expression. He just shook his head with disappointment, and looked at the lady next to him. She cleared her throat and asked me to sit down.
Fine. Whatever. I will do as you say. But who the hell are you lady?
She introduces herself as a dietician with, special interest in psychiatry. She explains that I have Anorexia Nervosa, some kind of eating disorder. And if I do not take care of myself, this can pose some serious health problems. I tried to interrupt her obnoxious speech that there’s nothing wrong with me. But she refused to listen to me. I just zoned myself out into the world of my future glamorized career and fame and recognition.
I suddenly realise that the room has gone silent except for the occasional drone of the air-conditioner. I look at the two learned mind and it seems they are waiting with some anticipation for some kind of response. I am not sure what they want me to say. So I decided to play along with them and I asked, “So what do you suggest I should do?”
The lady says, “If you are not going to listen to our suggestion of improving diet, I would suggest these two pills for you. The Red one will satisfy your hunger and the Blue one will provide all nutrients and vitamins and minerals.
I was shocked. Holly hell!!! Why no one ever told me about this miraculous thing? This is nothing short of brilliant. I asked her, “Will it affect my weight? What are the side effects?”
She replies saying “This is an experimental drug. All the data aren’t in yet from the research. FDA hasn’t given the approval yet. It is being said that it won’t affect the weight; it will just provide the necessary nutrients. Other side effects are unclear as of yet. So we can start the pills on a trial basis and we will see how the compliance is suiting your body.”
With a supply of two months, I literally skipped out of the hospital. I don’t think anyone has ever been this ecstatic while getting out of the hospital.
Two months went by following the color-coded pills. Even if I had wanted to skip one, I wouldn’t have dared to. Slowly I started having this feeling that if I didn’t take the medicines I wouldn’t be able to cope up with the day. Everything looked better and brighter when I had my daily dose. I only went to the hospital pharmacy to get my stock of pills replenished. I never bothered to see the doctor. I never listened to his opinions in the first place, and I do not intend to go back to him to listen to another series of lectures.
Unlike the rest of the modelling industry, I wasn’t doing any drugs and I have always been professional. I am happy.
Four years later
I am meeting my school friends today. It has been twenty years since I have had any contact with anyone from school. I don’t know what to wear. Should I go as the model, or should I go as the girl they knew once. Hmmm…. Semi-casual should be fine I think.
Shit!!! Shit!!! Shit!! I am late. I have become accustomed to having my own timing. Oh wait!!! I forgot the stupid pill-box!!! Shit!! This is going to make me late more now. Oh there you are!!! Thank god!!!
Oh wow!!! People sure have changed!!! Damn!!! I can’t believe I had a crush on that guy. He is balding now. And look at her, she used to be the prom queen, and now…. Well, time truly has changed. Anyways, it doesn’t matter any more right now. Let’s hope that we have a good time. I might as well order some liquor.
Hmmmm… Why are they giving me such strange looks? Just because I am not hungry doesn’t mean I am stopping them from eating their food. But damn!!! That steak does look juicy and delicious. I can almost taste it. I wonder how long has it been since I have eaten something delicious. But why should I regret after all these years? The pills have taken such good care of me. I haven’t gained any weight at all in the last four years. My skin might look a bit old now, but it’s not because of the pill. All that make-up hasn’t exactly helped my skin. I haven’t been sick even once. All hale and hearty. What more can I want other than a successful career! Oh wow!!! Cheesecake!!! And that chocolate thing looks very tempting. I wish… Oh how I wish!!! There’s so much temptation around me. I really need to go home.
Time might have passed, but I still felt as if I was being judged. It has been a long time since I felt like an insect under the microscope. Anyways, I doubt we all will be meeting up again. Might as well sleep now. I have an early morning shoot to worry about.
9 months later
Another modelling assignment cancelled. This time the reason that has been told is my hair isn’t suitable for the campaign. Last time the reason was my face looks slightly puffy. I don’t understand. The pills are providing all the nutrients and it’s keeping me away from starvation. Then how come all of a sudden they are being so detrimental. I think I should pay a visit to my hair stylist. Maybe he will give me a better judgment.
I am trying for the last half an hour to put a damn to all these tears, but I can’t… I am just unable to stop crying. When the Jacob put his hands on my hair and tried to comb it, a huge chunk of hair just came out. This has never happened before. My hair used to be the pride and joy of my life. According to him, my skin looks unnaturally older than what it should be. I feel shattered.
With my limp hair and old skin, I made an appointment with my old doctor. As usual, there was a long queue in front of his office. The first thing I was asked to check was my weight. 42 kgs and not an ounce less. Finally when my turn came for the doctor to see me, he looked at me and the first thing that he asked me, “Are you still taking those pills?” When I provided an answer in the affirmative, he explained how the pills have been found to be addictive to the other individual and how it has been completely withdrawn from the market. Then he said, “Ishita. It’s about time that you get yourself checked in for your condition. It is not right that a young individual of your age should have such poor health conditions. You set out for a path full of glamour and fame, and I never stopped you considering the fact that I knew you wouldn’t listen to any sound advice from my side regarding your weight issues and eating habits. But the time has come now. If you don’t listen to me this time, you will not only start possessing bleeding disorders, thanks to the pill, but also severe systemic failure because of your poor eating habits. It’s time to quit those pills. I know an excellent program that can help you further. Please, I beg you. Listen to me this time.”
The pills took me to new heights, but it definitely brought me to a level beneath what a model is accustomed to. I never considered myself to be a quitter and I have always counted on the currency of my health and good looks. But the time has come to take care of my health. I get myself checked into a rehab facility where they teach you to love yourself for what you are, and not what others want you to be. I do not regret my modelling career. But I definitely regret those moments of indulging in one piece of cheesecake. I used to be a foodaholic, before fate took me on a new path of direction. They are teaching me healthier ways of appreciating food. The red and blue pills definitely provided a path for my career but they colored the view of it into grey and white. The girl who loved colors became a monochrome. And I will change that. I will always miss the opportunites that were presented to me for tasting good food, but I will never miss the red and blue pills.