When did she begin fearing the person she saw in the mirror? When did she start seeing herself as a monster? Susan wondered whether her obsession with her outside flaws automatically meant that she was hideous on the inside. Was the image she examined just a reflection of who she was as a person?
Susan had always hated her neck. She used to always look down to not reveal it. Susan’s father would yell at her in the car when she was sitting in the passenger seat because she was so used to concealing it that she wouldn't sit up upright. Susan would do the same while she was at school. She didn’t want anyone to observe it, not even strangers driving by. Susan didn’t want to be made fun of for her ugly neck with its Adam's apple like bump and stretch mark like lines. For all one knows she caused those lines to develop by always looking down. Slowly Susan might have been making her neck look worse and worse by trying to hide her neck from the world.
Susan should have purchased some scarves or even bandanas to conceal it up instead she did something worse. She got a tattoo on it. One of the biggest regrets in Susan’s life was the tattoo of a crappy looking crooked cross on the right side of her neck. She lied about what it signified to her whenever anyone inquired why she got it. Susan would say it was for a religion she didn’t even believe in anymore.
Susan knew she wanted to get something, but she didn’t know what. Feeling as though she was being peered pressured to get something at that moment or nothing at all, she made a reckless and impulsive decision. After looking at it on her, she despised herself because she hadn’t just said no. Susan hated her mother and the tattoo artist almost as much as herself because they didn’t stop her, didn’t tell her ‘no’ to the cross, and most importantly not telling her ‘no’ to placing it on her neck. What spot could have been worse than that? Did her mother not care about her future?
Why didn’t she think about it more? Susan was being reckless, thoughtless, and foolish... Right now she has to live with something random and imperfect for all to see for the rest of her life. It was a punishment for her future self. It was a symbol of self-loathing. She left a scar on the body part she hated to look at the most, an ugly tattoo on an even uglier neck. She might not have had a reason for it back then but now her tattoo had a secret purpose. It wasn’t a cross; it was an X to mark her weak point. Something that she couldn’t conceal so easily. Currently Susan has to cherish it and her neck or at least she’ll say she does and hopefully after enough time has passed one day she’ll be convinced she does love it.
By Cristina Collazo