“You are so sweet,” I was always told. Now I am convinced they were right. I AM sweet, really sweet. Even sweeter than it should. And this sweetness is all natural. It must be hereditary, running in my blood. My mom is sweet too. I remember having a great aunt who was like us.
Unfortunately, a day always comes when even “sweetness” has to stop. That we all need to get rid of any excess. Days when we’re told – sometimes we’re ordered – to destroy any temptation that would bring out our natural flaws. For me, it means that the days of a good hot cup of tea with cream puffs in the early afternoon and late night ice cream are over.
Doctor Sarah Black raised her brows, giving me a stink eye. I returned her the favor. She looked old and her skin sagged as if she’d lost a great amount of weight, yet she was bigger than me. “317,” she said.
What the hell was this? Why all these doctors think we already know the right numbers, or at least we have the willpower to reach the goals they set for us? “Is it a good number?” I asked, trying to smile.
She shook her head. “Too high,” she said. “149 or less.”
I sighed, my sweetness evaporating (just in my head). Bye-bye, my old me. Bye-bye, my carefree youth, I thought, craving for a dark cup of coffee with fake sweetener. Hello, oldness!
“Exercise, healthy eating, enough sleep,” the doctor said and I wanted to scream. “You also need to relax,” she said. “Sleep early, at least for 8 hours.”
Was she kidding? I didn’t mind about going to the gym! Actually, I’d always found my best ideas to fix a messed-up scene at the gym, while sweating in a spin class. But I HATE sleeping. It is like being half dead, or temporarily deaf and mute. What’s going to happen to my delicious Facebook time-out? Or my “stressful-happy-hour” reading Iranian.com at 3 AM while enjoying a sweet tea? Or listening to The Nutcracker, cracking sunflower seeds and editing my failing scenes? Who is going to finish the damn novel while I am sleeping on pills? I need to be restless, even sad, to be able to write in my normal voice. My mind was going ballistic. “I am a writer, you know,” I murmured.
“So?” the doctor shouted. She had already gathered all her papers and was about leaving the room.
“Do you think those pills would affect my mood?” I asked.
She smiled, opening the door. “I hope so, my dear,” she said and slammed the door behind her, leaving me with this bitter-sweet taste in my mouth.
That was two days ago.
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