Thursday, February 22, 2007


Troy was a fairly good looking young lad. He didn't have chiseled features of any kind, nor did he have an impressive body frame. In fact, he was a little inclined towards the scrawny side, but he looked pleasant enough to be considered slightly above average.

Borned and raised into a wealthy, close-knitted family, he grew up in a environment full of warmth and love. As the only child, he was given undivided attention by both of his parents; they gave him anything he asked for.

When Troy transited into his adolescent years, he became increasingly aware of his "slightly above average" physical assets and features. His awareness began as passing thoughts that came and go, but as he started to dwell in them, they escalated into becoming a "real problem" for him. He began to feel hideous on the outside and lousy on the inside. And as such, his self esteem took a nosedive to a point he decided to go for an extensive plastic surgery.

Troy followed through with the surgery after discussing it with his parents, who were initially quite apprehensive, but nevertheless granted him what he wanted.

He went through rhinoplasty, sillicon chest implants, face lifts etc. He even got the surgeon to surgically break some bones to make him a couple of centimetres taller. The surgery was intensive and gruelling. It took him almost 2 whole years to complete it and allow the wounds to heal. Within that 2 years, Troy spent most of his time in a private hospital. He was bandaged up and drifted in and out of consciousness because of the amount of painkillers they pumped into him to ease the excruciating pain. He felt like giving up the whole idea a couple of times, but looking like a totally different person spurred him to perservere. He wanted to be someone new. He hated his old self.

When the time finally came for Troy to emerge from his bandages, he was pleased with what he saw in the mirrors. Finally, he thought, I am no longer that hideous monster, but someone new now.

But the happiness was short-lived.

It was barely 6 months after the operations that Troy began to be dissatisfied with his looks again. He realised that there were still others who look better than him. It wasn't long that he felt the need to be someone new once more; he was sick and tired of looking at the same old face in the mirror everyday knowing that there were better looking people than him.

So back to the operating table he went and he spent another 2 years under the watchful eyes of nurses and doctors alike.

This cycle went on for almost 10 years: Troy would go under the knife to have himself altered, but each time he did, he'd get disgusted at what he'd see in the mirror after 6 months.

There came a time when Troy's health began deteriorate rapidly. He did not know what was causing it and didn't think much about it till he was bed-ridden. It was only when he was hospitalized that the doctors told him a silicon implant in him broke and caused an internal infection. The doctors tried to save his life by administering antibiotics, but it did not help (Troy had already built up a strong resistance to antibiotics because he never finished the course of antibiotics prescribed to him after each operation; he was too distracted about looking like someone new.)

Troy slowly faded away. As he laid dying in the hospital with his parents by his side, it dawned upon him that he had no friends at all. All the years he spent chasing his dream of looking like someone new robbed him of the opportunity of making true friends. He also noticed that his parents did not look one bit sad at all, in fact they look like they had difficulty trying to recognize their beloved son. It was there and then that Troy began to see that he did not recognize himself either.

He took a mirror on the side of his bed and stared into it.

Who is that dying? The "someone new" I always wanted to be or the "real me"? Who is it that is already dead? The "real me" or that "someone new" I always wanted to be?

Putting the mirror aside, Troy turned to his side with his back facing his parents. Tears flowed from his eyes as the truth slowly settled into him:

Everything he has done revolved around himself but he didn't seem to exist at all now. Nobody seems to know who he really is, even himself.

He has no friends.

He never took the time to appreciate what he had. Even when he became a new person after an operation, he never took the time to truly appreciate what had been given to him. He simply gave it up by going for another operation, expecting even better results.

He always wanted more, but ended up with nothing.

Picking up the mirror, he decided to, for once, be contented with who he is and what he has. He smiled at himself in the mirror, held on to his parents hands and died.

His parents finally cried when he went, for it was the first time Troy ever smiled at himself in the mirror.

"Satisfied, what a priceless treasure it is to be content. To wish for nothing more than what I have right now..." - Lee "Scratch" Perry

This is fictional story. Anything references made to real persons or events is pure coincidence.

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