Hawi stood in front of the mirror brushing her teeth wrapped in her Kikoi. Her eyes sizing herself up, she touched her cheeks tapping on warts on her cheekbones, she pressed hard against them. No pain, just black spots that never seemed to go away.

She rinsed her toothbrush and spat into the sink, gargling some water and spitting out again. She turned on the tap, watching the water spiral down the drain. She pressed her palms against the sink slowly raising her head and looking at her reflection.

She had no idea who this woman was; droopy red eyes, bags under her eyes, a bulging nose, crows feet on either side of her mouth. She felt an itch, darting her finger to her ear scratching her lower ear lobe fiddling with the golden ear stud protruding from it. She removed the stopper at the back and pulled it out, she cringed from the awful whiff that hit her. She looked at the stem of the stud emerging with gunk. She turned her head, looked at the other stud, ritualistically fiddled with it before removing it too. She took both studs and placed them in her palm and then gingerly placed them on the ceramic bathroom countertop.

She pressed each ear lobe, dirt emerging from her ears, grabbing a washcloth dipped in antiseptic to clean her ears. She rinsed the washcloth in the sink and hung it on the bathroom rail to dry. And then resumed her earlier position, palms pressed against either side of the sink, looked at her breasts covered by the Kikoi. She peeled off her Kikoi and let it fall to the ground.

She analysed every visible inch of her body from head to toe, inspecting every single piece of herself. She touched the scar on her shoulder where she had injured it while swinging on trees as a child. Her breasts looked unusually bigger than normal especially her right breast. Her left breast was smaller slightly raised. She cupped them and raised them inspecting her nipples. They seemed fine. She raised each arm rubbing each breast in quarters examining for lumps.

Hawi sighed in relief, she looked at her belly and rubbed her fingers against the now healed scar, shaking off the memory of the stillborn she never got to know or name. She slowly moved her hands to her hips, holding her hands akimbo twisting from side to side, puffing her cheeks and making faces. She giggled from the ridiculousness of her facial expressions.

She looked at her groin and thought to herself, it is time for a shave. And then she looked at the clippers on the counter. She paused and thought for a minute and quickly scanned her legs, bending over and poking at healed leg scars from all the falls playing games and running in forests and on the farm. She smiled and steadily raised her head, slapping her butt cheeks, accidentally bumping her head on the edge of the sink. She rubbed the area she bumped vigourously, cringing from the pain, uttering no sound.

She looked at herself in the mirror once again, touching her locks, playing with them, twirling them around at the root and at the stem. After a few minutes of playing with it as she watched her smiling reflection playing with her hair. Her eyes were once drawn again to the clippers. She plugged them in and turned it on.

Hawi, grinned, raising the buzzing clippers to eye level, increased the speed making it buzz louder and more violently. Then she reduced the speed, raising the clippers to her forehead pushing her locks back. She placed the clippers down on the counter, shifting her weight from one leg to another. She looked at her reflection in the mirror.

“Let’s do this, it’s time, time for a new start!” She convinced herself aloud.

She walked out of the bathroom stark naked, her butt giggling with each step. She sat on her bed and thought for a moment. Head hung between her legs, hands fiddling with her locks and scalp. After what felt like 30 minutes, Hawi emerged from her bed walked back to her bathroom and grabbed the clippers.

She took a deep breath and in one swoop, slid the clippers close to her scalp all the way down, with locks from her hair tumbling silently to her feet. Hawi smiled, relief sweeping through her face. She continued until there was nothing but her scalp and a mound of hair on the ground.

Her eyes brighter, he smile blinding, Hawi thumped her chest and laughed, the weight was gone, all the weight she had felt was gone and this was a new start to rediscovery.