Simone woke up. Something felt different. She felt odd. She felt … more — life she was bigger, longer. ‘Shit!’ she thought to herself. ‘Shit! Shit! Shit! This can’t be happening.’ Simone really hoped that it wasn’t. She knew the arms and legs that moved to throw the covers off her were hers but they felt alien. Very alien. She crossed her fingers and hoped that it hadn’t happened but as soon as she stepped out of her bed, she knew that it had. The bed was too close to the floor. She felt a lump form in her throat.
Simone walked over to her wardrobe and looked at herself in the full-length mirror. She had breasts now. And had grown by a foot. Last night, her hair had reached her shoulders. Today, it reached her waist. She had grown! There was no doubt about that. Her parents were going to be disappointed. Her sister was going to gloat. Her life was ruined!
Simone walked down to the living room where she knew her mum and dad would already be bustling about getting ready for the day to come. Instead, she found her sister sitting at the counter, eating cereal. When she saw Simone come in, she stopped eating, her spoon hanging mid-air between her bowl and her gaping mouth.
“Fffuuu … dge” Isabella said as their parents walked in too. “You grew!”
Her parents who hadn’t noticed her until then turned around hurriedly. Simone’s mom let out a tiny shriek — expressing disappointment, despair and sadness — all in one fleeting second. Stunned silence descended over the Anderson household until –
“You effing grew, Simmy! Damn! You’re going to die now! Jeezus!”
Simone avoided eye-contact. She could feel the lump in her throat and her eyes tearing up. She had keep it together. She kept looking at the floor. “RRiigght … guys. Yeah. I grew. Mum, dad, I know that both of you didn’t grow past 15 and neither did Isabella and you guys are going to live forever now … but, I guess … that’s not me, anymore. I am going to grow old. And, like Isabella said, one day, die.”
There was silence again.
Deep breaths, Simone reminded herself and looked around uncomfortably. Her dad had made no reaction yet and she looked at him. He had a very stoic expression on his face and when their eyes met, he nodded at Simone. It was a simple nod but the small gesture gave Simone all the support she was craving. She wasn’t like the rest of her family, but they were going to stick around and support her. And as long as that was true, she could bear to live a mortal life.