They were lying in bed together, talking and laughing. Just everyday things!

As they talked, he was gently stroking her arm and stomach when he suddenly saw it.

There were several healed cuts on her forearm. He hadn’t noticed them before, thanks to her full-sleeved t-shirts. There were also scars on her stomach.

She noticed what he saw and understood what he was wondering. And yet, chose to not say anything.

He spoke after a while.

He – Why don’t you want to get rid of those scars?

She – These scars are a mark of my growth. They remind me of my journey.

He looked confused.

She smiled a sad smile.

She – When I was younger, I was always called chubby. People would pull my cheeks and call me cute. But as I grew up, college wasn’t as good to me. I was made fun of and bullied. I was the centre of hundreds of jokes. I couldn’t take it anymore and saw cutting myself as the only option. Several attempts later, I realized how stupid I was being. Why was I letting them get to me like this? After reading various open letters about self-love, I started loving my body but still saw the need for a little getting-in-shape. And so I worked hard. Harder than I’ve worked in my entire life! It wasn’t easy but I finally did it. And so, the scars on my arms and the stretch marks on stomach and thighs are a souvenir of my journey.

She concluded with a heavy sigh and a smile.

He looked at her. In that one moment he knew, if he ever loved anyone dearly, it was her!

Author: Zainab Haji

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