'Ankles' by Susmita Bhattacharya
The day cousin Liz told me I had fat ankles I started hating myself. I was ten and she was fifteen. And she had kissed very boy on her street.
There she was, balancing perfectly in her stilettos, her honey tanned legs glowing in the soft evening light. She shimmered, all gold and white and pink while I took in her loveliness. My eyes swept from the swell of her bosom to the curve of her hips, down the length of her legs stopping to look at the beauty of those perfect ankles.
Her words buzzed around me like wasps, stinging me with their cruelty. Always the subject of ridicule: the shape of my body, the heaviness of my walk. I watched her giggle with the others, the bunch of flowers that she clutched in her slender hands. Her knuckles white and strained. But I smiled. It was okay. It really was. She didn’t matter anymore.
The music started and I felt his arm link through mine. We walked slowly, passing friends and family, who looked at us through teary eyes and smiles. I felt her presence behind me, following me. This was my moment. The girl who always fell behind. The butt of all jokes. But today, I was the one who made it to the aisle, while cousin Liz hung behind, perfect in her perfectness. Only a twitch of envy marring that perfect face.