She looked around and saw them at the ready, the eager eyes on the faces she had known over different stretches of time. It really did seem to be the only option, those eyes really did seem supportive.
She was feeling pretty confident. She knew she wasn't in great shape but she believed she had realistic expectations of what was to come - after all, she was the one to live in this skin. She carried her own doubt, she drowned and soared with her expectations and disappointments, she was her own burden on her own shoulders.
She removed the covering sheet as she stepped out to the platform in the middle of the group, bending down then laying back on her side. She settled herself as comfortably as she could for what was an inherently uncomfortable situation. Her weight shifted onto her left thigh, her left hip, her left elbow. She placed her forearm across her chest to try to maintain some dignity, she moved her right knee slightly towards the group so that her ankles no longer touched, her silhouette settled into what she felt to be a more flattering pose. As she lay her right arm along the bridge of her hip she sucked in a bit more, the tension only just more noticeable than the constant in-breath she seemed to maintain.
She closed her eyes and tried to steady her breath as she felt the flashes of the cameras go off. Still only for a short period of time before raising her body off the makeshift support and back into the protective safety of the sheet, she was assisted by the friend she had known the longest.
She looked around for one of the cameras that had just witnessed the unlikely event, internally sure that the image on the screen would reflect the image in her head.
Yet what she saw was no mirror image.
The stomach she had tried so suck in could not be sucked in - an indicator that the moments she had felt she was undermining her svelteness were those of vanity, pure and simple. The roundness that was so prominent in her every day life stretched forth, resting on the support so that it was flat along the lay-seat. The camera flashes had been captured in the engorged skin, lighting it up as it reflected the bright light, her biggest insecurity the focus of the whole exercise.
The panic rose in her throat as her stomach, her demon once hidden now exposed, sank.
She pleaded with them to remove the images. She moved from person to person, camera to camera, fighting to hold back the tears and the shaking and the sobbing as she checked each device. She begged them to make sure all evidence was removed, hoping that her faith in them over the years would be repaid in this moment.
Yet she couldn't be sure.
She could never be sure.