I have an unhealthy obsession with boobs. Being an A cup in grade eight wasn't exactly good for the 'ol ego. Girls flaunted their new curves with skin-tight shirts, and there I was in my baggy tees counting down the days with ✖️'s on a calendar till mine filled-in too.
When they finally arrived, I invited my best friend Akiko over and we had a bra stuffing burning party. Cliché I know, but in my defense it was the first time in my life I felt like a real girl. After that, I spent my entire savings at Victoria Secret. Dad nearly had a stroke when he found out his only child had over $500 of unmentionables in her room. He grounded me for a whole month. Still, it was best money I ever spent.
This is why I am pained, literally pained, to be flattening them with a tensor bandage. The thing is, I have something I love even more than my new curvy figure. This may come as a surprise to you, but my dream is simple--I want to be a professional drummer.
You're probably thinking something along the lines of, "Why do you have to flatten your boobs to be a drummer?" That's a great question, one I'm not entirely sure of, and that brings us to my current state-- glaring at Akiko as she cuts off my oxygen...
"Hold still," she says as she loops around me.
I lift my arms and she passes under. "Can you at least give me room to breathe?"
She shrugs and continues another lap around, the tensor bandage following in her wake. "Breathing was two cup sizes ago. Seriously Rae, who goes from an A to a C in one summer?"
It's a good point, I can't argue. But I'm feeling whiny, so I say, "Why can't I just go to the 10FOUR audition as me?"
She jolts to a stop, tugging on the tensor, making me gasp in air. "We've gone over this already." She taps her foot, which she only does when she's frustrated.
"I still don't-"
Akiko cuts me off, "What part of all-boy pop band don't you understand?"
"The all-boy part."
"Rae!" She tilts her head, sending thick black hair whipping about her frowny-face.
"You look upset Akiko, is Sum Ting Wong?" I bite my lip to cover my laugh and it results in a snork-like-cough.
Akiko starts wrapping the bandage around her fingers like boxers do in the movies. "Do you want me to hurt you Rae, is that what you want?"
All I can picture is my little Asian friend coming at me in a tornado of furry. "Kiki," I say, offering my arms in a gesture to hug her, "Kum Hia Nao. I Lub Eu!"
"That's it!" She dives across the bed, taking random swings at me. Her face is red and I'm pretty sure steam is puffing out of her flared nostrils.
"Alright, alright," I say backing up and raising my hands in surrender. "That was the last one."
"Better be!" She pushes off the bed and plants her hands on her hips. The corner of her lip turns up and she snuffs her laugh.
"In my defense, I know, you know this," I say pointing to the flattened boobs, "isn't right. I can wait for a drum audition that allows girls-"
"10FOUR is a big deal, Rae!" She stomps her foot. "Auditions like this don't come around every day. This could be what you've been waiting for. A way to do what you love and help your dad out with money."
Once again she leaves me with no argument. My dad could use the help. Since he got laid off things have been tight. I know he's trying to keep me from the details but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice all the unopened bills sitting on his desk. I can't imagine the pressure of being an only parent. Maybe Akiko's right. If pretending to be a boy can get me drumming, and take care of my dad, it wouldn't be so bad. Would it?