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Maeve’s Glow Up

Folds of scarlet leaflet, given by a stranger at the gate of a boxing gym, rested in Maeve’s view to her right hands; to the left were glass panes separating this girl from the luminous April’s day. The playground was teeming the summer life, greens to gather, winds to chase, cobblestone iridescent in the sunlight. The chirpings of birds heralded the spring. Reaching over the desk to unlock the latch, Maeve slid up the window to let the soft breeze flood into the classroom with bright sunlight. When other kids’ laughter came from afar, a ripple of yearning and curious ran through Maeve’s head. Yet the heaviness on her waist reminded Maeve why she was alone in this empty classroom. Her spirits fell with low moan escaped from her lips.

Maeve could not recall when was the last time she stood on a bathroom scale because the figure in mirror had explained the issue already. Not only had she suffered from a serious illness that lasted for two years, but also fingers pointed at her for her extra-large body size. The hormone drugs cured Maeve’s illness but stole her precious two years of youth away. When all old dresses stuck by swelled thighs, when she was discriminated in class, when her parents felt sorry for how she looks, Maeve went on a hunger strike. Trembling and lightheaded, Maeve was shaking too hard to walk. What she believed will save her life turned out to be fatal and sent this fluffy girl into ICU. Maeve was almost engulfed by the anguish when she saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

Dusk set and the twilight is peeking over the horizon. It was fascinating, Maeve remembered. As if the orange glow was blazing to light up the dark road for people on the street. Tucking her knees up to her chin at the corner of a street, Maeve was bullied that day in school. She was afraid to close her eyes because her brain, as if it was a private cinema, continued to play the unpleasant moment. Despite Maeve’s best efforts, she could feel tears started to pool in her eyes. It was when a stranger tapped on her shoulders and gave her a scarlet leaflet with sorry on his face. He remained in silence until Maeve stopped weeping. Maeve slowly wrapped her face clean of emotions and listened to this stranger offering her a chance to learn boxing. It took Maeve 3 days to make up her mind.

Standing at the gate, she dug her fingernails into the palm. The muscle-rippling trainer inside saw this faint-hearted girl and picked up on her hesitation. With the glint of excitement in his eyes, he invited the girl in. It was till later that Maeve learnt trainee Mark was just as huge as she was. Mark gave Maeve a genuine sweet smile and an unexpected warmth rushed through Maeve. From then on, Maeve went on a journey that transformed her life. In the beginning, Maeve would bite her lip and become stiff when she stood in the boxing ring because other’s gaze felt like burning holes. However, she learned to focus on the movement and became used to the wind whistling in her ears. Flame started to burn in her eyes. Gradually, she felt less shy to stand in field of visions. Going to the boxing gym turned into the daily routine for her. Maeve learns how to slam palms in those heavy boxing gloves. Sweat broke out on the palms of her hands, beading through the bandage and she was out of breath as if her lungs were folding in upon themselves like flowers at dusk. Maeve was too passionate to feel fatigued that frequently Mark had to drag her out from the ring. With dazzling sunsets, with the strong typhoon, with heavy rainfalls, with freezing snowstorms, Maeve’s footsteps became more agile progressively when travelling to the boxing gym.

Her “muffin top” shrank like a sponge and her stout arms became svelte with stream-lined muscle tone glow in sweat. The old gloomy duckling had turned into a confident black swan who loved to grin. She had transformed both physically and mentally. Maeve began to hang out and chuckle with her friends. The playground was teeming the summer life, greens to gather, winds to chase, cobblestone iridescent in the sun light. The chirpings of birds once again heralded the spring. The laughter from afar came in with the soft breeze, and one of that laughter belonged to Maeve.