That’s what I thought

By: A. B. T - Eygypt

I was never the so-called pretty face, I was okey or normal, if you know what I mean. I was a short girl and have gained more few pounds. “You’re pretty” this what my mother’s friends tell me whenever they see me and my mom replies ” She looks more like her father”. What my mother says everytime someone compliments me makes me so angry “ How come I look like a man?!” but then I realized that it’s the truth; I do look like my father.

I had a very wild imagination and I was always absent-minded. I often imagine myself the pretty princess and a bunch of handsome guys trying to win my love. I see myself very graceful with blue eyes and snow-white-like skin. I see myself popular and people look forward to befriend me and...”Have you seen yesterdays’ series?” my friend Muna interrupted my daydream asking me about the Turkish movie. “I hate this series, I don’t see it”. in fact I see this series every single day and don't miss one episode of it!.

I have no idea why I say that I hate romance and romantic movies. Actually, I wish to live a romantic love story. Whenever I read a romantic story, I see myself living every single moment. I often Imagine a genie or fairy asks me of my wishes to make them come true, and I see myself telling her to make me the prettiest girl in college. However, fairies and genies are legends or that’s what I thought.

***

It was Sunday the first day of school, the place I have always hated. I’m sitting in my usual place listening to my friend Muna telling me about the Turkish series she thinks I don’t see. She tells me every single boring detail and I’m only pretending to listen to her. In fact, my eyes and mind are fixed on Sara the prettiest and the most popular girl at school. She has everything I wish to have, if that genie shows up to me, I would ask a life like Sara’s. Yes! I wish to be the happy and the friendly girl who’s surrounded by popular friends. This would be my one and only wish in life. Again, Muna’s voice wakes me from my wild imagination, she was criticizing Sara’s look and behavior but I know deep inside that she wants be like her too!

I take the bus back home every day thinking of the possibilities I have if I was as beautiful and as popular as Sara. I would be the happiest girl on earth or that’s what I thought...

***

It was Thursday, I met my only friend Muna and on the way to class she asked me to join her in a charity event, it was basically about delivering cloths to needy people. I told her to pass me because I can’t take long walks, but eventually she could convince me. We were a group of girls and each of us was given a bag with cloths and an address of a needy person. Each girl headed to the address she was given, my job was easy, the place wasn’t that far. On my way back to the bus I saw a timeworn bookstore. It looked as if it belongs to very ancient eras; dark brown walls and worn shelves full of dusty books...

“Hello” I said, the store owner was reading the newspaper in the corner, he welcomed me saying “come on in my daughter”.

I entered the store and started checking the books; the owner was in his sit and not paying attention to me. I kept reading titles...there were books about history, politics and others about the middle ages. Some books were without covers, others were incomplete and there exactly just right there was a book that instantly caught my attention! Its color was charming ruby-red and compared to other books I felt that it is the oldest. Once I opened the book, dust was all over around me, and obviously, it hasn’t been opened for centuries.

- “50 pounds” said the old man.

- “Isn’t somehow expensive?”

- “Listen my daughter, these kind of books are priceless and they can change one’s life for good”
Of course all sellers have to say the same thing or that’s what I thought.

***

I went back home, I was very tired but curious and I couldn’t sleep without reading few pages of the book I bought. I laid down on my bed, turned on a soft music; I opened the book and finished 30 pages within one hour. The book was a mere fantasy,” I lost 50 pounds for nothing” I told myself. The writer has stuffed some kind of spells and said that they can change your life!

One of the things this madman mentioned in his book is that there are magical spells. He introduced different spells including spells that make you fly; others that make you see through walls and others that permit you change your soul with another one. The writer claims that if you have the strong motive, the well-prepared spell and a clear image of the person you want to be, your soul will possess his body and his will possess yours. Really?! What a maniac! 

I threw the book away and regretted wasting my money on such lies. I sat for a while starring at the walls and...Yes I’m curious! I want to read more few pages of the creepy book.

I opened the book and decided to try the spell of changing souls. I turned the light off, lighted a candle and painted those strange drawings mentioned in the book on the floor. I brought boiling water in a large plastic container and put some ice in and waited until it melted exactly as the book says. I stood in the middle of the container and imagined the person I want to be, Sara of course! She was the reason I’m having this freaky experience.

I said the spell while imagining Sara in my head and did exactly as the book says. I finished the spell and nothing happened, the windows didn’t open and the candle didn’t light off like we see in movies. However, I felt the water getting hotter and hotter, is it my imagination? Or the water is getting very hot! I couldn’t stand the water’s temperature but I couldn’t get out of the container as if I was fixed. Suddenly, the water got cold then freezing, it was overflowing and spilling over, and I was so scared I wanted to scream but I couldn’t. Few minutes later, the water became like a mirror and I could clearly see my face...What?! Who’s that?! This is not me! This is Sara, is this possible?! I looked around and it was her room I guess! Because it wasn’t mine for sure, someone called behind the door “Sara you are going to be late for school, hurry up!” I stood speechless, a miracle has just happened here, I looked again in the mirror and it’s her...I mean it’s me! I’m so confused right now. I opened the closet and it was full of fancy small size cloths and dresses, I felt so happy, I can actually wear this...

I came out of my room and sat to the breakfast table with people I don’t know, but they are supposed to be my parents now! I was quiet and didn’t say a word, I kissed mom goodbye and left the house. I was so excited to go to school.

It was incredible! It was the best day I’ve ever spent at school. I was like a queen; I was surrounded by many friends. People were staring at me with great admire. On the way home, I bought some cake, some bites won’t do me wrong I told myself, I had a stunning body and happiness increased my craving.

It was so strange that I haven’t thought about my old life the whole day. I didn’t miss my old life .. I had nothing that deserves yearning or that’s what I thought...

***

I went back to my new home, I met my new mother and she asked me about my day, I told her that it was fine and we talked for a while. I went to my room feeling so happy that I forgot about the book of spells! I embraced my new life with great pleasure; I really had no idea that miracles become true...

I laid down on my bed thinking how bored my life was previously, I remembered how I used to sit on my bed and read this silly magazines of “ how to be loved” or reading beauty tips which I thought they would make me look better. What a miserable life .. I told myself! Next morning, I went to school and it was another lovely happy day, school became my favorite place ever.

After a long day, I said goodbye to my friends and took the bus back home. When I got home I had a nice conversation with my new father, then played with my new 6 years-old brother, he was so adorable and funny. My life was a mere perfection and every second I spend embracing Sara’s life made me hate mine more and more.

It was about 10 pm, I was talking to a friend of mine and I told her that we will meet tomorrow at school. After I hung up I went to my bed thinking about the amazing tomorrow and how would it be, suddenly; I felt sick in the stomach...I tried to hold that feeling but I couldn’t. I rushed to the toilet and threw up, I felt terribly dizzy and fell down. My mother rushed to me and picked me up; she washed my face and took me to my bed without saying a single word. She sat by my side, kept silent for a while then said “It’s been 2 days since you took your medications and you are greedily eating junk food”

“What medications?! What do sandwiches have to do with this?” I said.

She replied “you can’t eat junk food while taking these medications; this eating habit will ruin your health”

She went to my closet and brought 3 packs of medications, a glass of water and said “Take these, I’ll make you some juice”

I didn’t say a word I waited her to leave the room then rushed to the computer and searched for these medications. What I found out was shocking! These are brain cancer treatments! Oh God! I have cancer! Is this for real?!

I was shocked and terrified “this can’t be true” I murmured with fear. I searched everywhere hoping that I can find anything help me understand what I’m going through. I opened files I found in the closet and I found medical consultations and X-rays about my health condition! According to those medical files I have been diagnosed with brain cancer 4 years ago and I have been under medications since then. This is how a new chapter of life called torture has begun. Since then, going to school became a nightmare and going to hospitals at night became my new lifestyle. This was too much for me to handle. It is only then that I realized how good my real life was; I really appreciated my old life and my over-weight body. I have never been to hospital as many as this girl; I used to sleep without the need to throw up medications. It is only then I realized the mistake I have done.

I lost all my energy and I was half-present at school wondering how Sara could bear all of this, how did she smile everyday in the midst of all this. Every day I go to school I tend to pick an isolated seat and check all those healthy people, they eat whatever they want and do whatever they want, I envy them for being so energetic and strong. I have never appreciated the gift of health but no doubt I do now…

Several horrible days after, I woke up with a terrible headache, a very painful headache and I started to scream so loud. My dad immediately took me to the hospital and here was the heartbreaking news!  The doctor said that I must have an urgent surgery because cancer has damaged the retina and it will put my life into danger unless the damaged part is removed and consequently I will lose my sight! What? I will be blind! I acted hysterically, I started to cry and scream “I don’t want this! No! I want my old life! I don’t want to be pretty anymore! Please someone! I want my health back! I want my life back! “These were my final words before I pass out.

***

I opened my eyes with tears still on my cheeks. I looked around and what?! It’s my old room, I’m lying down on my bed holding that book on page 30…I rushed to the mirror and it was me! This is me with my fat body and modest face, I have never been happier than before; I was jumping all over, laughing and literally hugging myself. I checked the date and realized that I was dreaming, it is the same date.

It was just a long ridiculous dream. I will never forget this dream as long as live, I took the book and threw in the trash. I can’t bear another nightmare like this one.

I went tomorrow morning to school and I hugged Muna the moment I saw her, I hugged her as I never did before. She laughed and said “I see that you are so happy, I wonder why?” I told her that I see life from a new perspective now, I appreciate my life more and I feel healthy and free.

I guarantee you that she didn’t get a word from what I was saying, but I changed the subject , and we talks about the Turkish series and this time I was really listening to her. She paused and grievously said “Yesterday, I cried so much when I heard of what happened to her…”

I said:”who?”

She said:” Sara! Haven’t you heard?!”

I said:” Hear what?”

She replied:” She was transferred to another university that fits her health condition”

I wondered: “Health condition!”

She said:” Yes! It is said that she had a surgery and lost her sight”

At that moment I felt the world pausing around me, I was shocked and terrified…So it was true! But I was in my room! It was a dream, wasn’t it? I’m sure that I haven’t left my room or that’s what I thought…