Helga woke up and began looking for a reason to miss school. Finding no reasonable excuse to call absent for the sixth time in three weeks, she grunted and dragged her feet out of bed. Her tan, slender leg waved around the floor to search for the fur-lined pink Crocs she had forced dad to buy her on a recent airport visit. When the pair of expensive fur and foam was finally found, she sleepily slid them on her feet and wobbled to the bathroom.

The toilet seemed shorter than usual this morning, which made her glad. During a trip to Europe the past summer, she had desperately longed to return to Vietnam in order to be considered taller than average. Helga hated being small.

She pulled down her off-white panties and drop down the toilet, which was neither cold or warm. Her skinny legs were then puddles of thighs spilled on white seat. Pinching her left thigh, she cursed mom for not letting her go to the gym when she’d missed school last week. Legs flexed, her bladder released, her shoulders slumped down. Even though she had a full sleep, she peed little. Helga was never a fan of water or nice-smelling breath. Looking down, her piss was a deep, rich yellow.

When done with the relief business, she stepped in front of the sink with an eager agility. She smiled at the mirror and crooked teeth smiled back. Once, she had loudly claimed that they make her look more attractive when kids pointed them out; while in fact she was terrified of the orthodontist. The water rushed out the faucet just as eagerly when she turned it on, and she spent five minutes washing her hands while looking at her own smiling mouth at different angles.

On her head, she donned a short, black, and slick bob. She cut her hair that way in order to look classy, even only at certain angles. This morning, it was a struggle to keep the stray hairs in place, so she skipped taking a selfie. She had many times proudly called herself ugly in front of her friends, but can’t stand the ugliness she was seeing in her reflection. She wanted to be paler, skinnier, taller…

With the rest of her morning routine completed, Helga stomped out of her room and downstairs to leave the house. Passing mom in the kitchen, she scowled at the smell of frying herbed eggs.

“MOM I’M LEAVING!” She yelled when she was two steps away from the front door.

Surprised by the loudness, her mom flinched, almost dropping the pan along with its content. Swiftly scooping the egg to a blue porcelain plate, she called out.

“Helga! Wait! I made you breakfast!”

Plate in hand, she hurried out towards the door where Helga stood in midstep.

“You know I hate herbed eggs mom”, she sneered and push herself out the screened door. Helga’s brows knitted into an angry knot on her forehead. Mom’s food was never her favorite, and she was not afraid to publicize her dislike.

As a last attempt for contentment, Helga’s mom put her hand on her daughter’s arm. She had only muttered “I’m sor…” when the arm jerked back, hitting the blue porcelain plate and sent it airborne. The sound of its shattering echoed painfully through the room. On top of her left slipper fell the yellow and green omelette. It left a permanent greasy stain.

When she looked up, Helga was already gone.

Published by Triangle