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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

Cindy woke to the chiming sound of her alarm clock. She rolled to her side, maneuvered her arm around the dog curled up at her hip and turned the alarm clock off. Then Cindy slid that dog over so she could get out of bed. Cindy always got up out of her bed with mindfulness, first coming to a seated position and then placing both feet firmly onto the floor. Feeling her feet pressing into the rug helped to bring her out of dreamland and into the day. From here, Cindy stood and made her way to the bathroom. She stood there staring at her naked reflection in the full length mirror. Her first thought was of how they really should not have replaced those burnt out bulbs with new LED bulbs. The new bulbs made the bathroom too bright and every thing too clear. Her skin was almost translucent in this lighting and she could see her blue veins well enough to trace them. The bathroom was too bright. 

Cindy leaned forward to get a better look at the new pimple forming on her chin. Her eyes then caught sight of a red handprint impressed on the space between the tip of her sternum and her bellybutton. She cocked her head to the side with a curios expression. Cindy knew the imprint must be from sleeping on her hand, yet it was so distinct and detailed. She must of have been laying on her hand for most of the night. Cindy traced the fingers and noticed that even the lines in her palm were noticeable in the impression. She frowned at her reflection, at the hand print that seemed to accentuate her belly. Cindy could see that the stress of the last couple of months had taken it's toll. Her belly seemed bloated and flabbier then she wanted it to be. In the past few weeks, she had started a nightly ritual of placing her hands on the flabby part and willing the fat to dissipate into thin air. That's probably where the hand print came from. She had fallen asleep while waving an imaginary wand. 

Of course, Cindy never believed that willing her fat away would actually work. She just needs to step up her workouts and eat less food. She's working on both of those things, but Cindy is also very aware of the probability of weight loss versus age. She has noticed the signs signaling the changes to come. Those signs are equal parts relief and depressing. Today, as she stares at her reflection, Cindy feels older than forty one. More like eight one. In fact, she's sure she can feel the twinges of arthritis in her left knee. Cindy shakes her head in an attempt to clear out this sudden old tired feeling that has come upon her. She would not fall for it. She would not listen to the hateful girl whispering in her ear. If Cindy were the type of girl to believe, she could say that handprint was placed there by the Gods. They have placed it there as an affirmation that this belly is beautiful. They have placed that handprint there to remind her that the most famous Renaissance artists painted and sculpted women with such bellies. Cindy looked herself in the eye and thought "Too bad I'm not the type of girl to believe." 

With that last thought, she turned and stepped into the shower to start her day.