Bitterness rose up her throat like bile. And if there was anything Anuja detested, it was the taste of bitterness filling her mouth. Turning her into a replica of her mother. Bitter to the bone.
She’d gobble down sugar by the handful. From the canister in the kitchen at first. Then from her stash of candies, cookies, and sweet buns from the neighborhood grocery store. Just to drown out the choking, nauseating taste. If only for a while.
A trick she’d learned the first time her mother threw Blenders Pride at her head, missed, and smashed the dressing table mirror instead.
Gobble, gobble, gobble. You ruined my life. Fat, ugly, whore.
Gobble, gobble, gobble. No good, just like your no-good, two-timing loser of a dad. You’ve even got his stupid, squinty eyes.
Gobble, gobble, gobble. I could have been someone. Like Marilyn Monroe or Sridevi.
Gobble, gobble, gobble. Fat, ugly, whore. You ruined my life and now you won’t even let me watch TV in peace. Get out of the way. I don’t want nothing to do with you.
All day long on weekends and after-school hours on weekdays, her mother bickered from the living room sofa.
And all day long, Anuja craved sweets.