The Loser

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You’re lucky your body is attached to your inflated head, missy, her mum always says. Else you’d have lost it years ago!


Zara sighs; a particularly long one, dripping with self-pity.


The Loser, people call her, close friends included. The term ‘loser’ here, mind you, has entirely different connotations than the usual.


When one is labeled a ‘loser’, it usually indicates that the person has utterly failed to match society’s insane standards of ‘coolness’. In simpler words, a ‘loser’ is a social pariah.


Zara, however, is a rather unusual species of loser. In her case, the label itself gives the meaning away. To put it bluntly, she loses things.


Be it the popular favourites like car keys, money or watches, or her very own specialties: rucksacks, shoes, the very glasses on her nose— name it, and Zara will lose it. This has been thoroughly tested and proven by time and certain over-eager friends.


It is with a heavy heart and a heavier bag (dare you lose this one, Zara) that she sets off on a hopefully calming stroll around her colony.


Zara pulls out a crumpled piece of paper from her pocket.


“My Ex-Things.” the bold, ironic title reads. Her heart sinks a little lower at the latest additions.


“Favourite New Pumas.” Check. Just last week, she had woken up to a gloriously sunny day, and a gloriously empty shoe-rack. Stolen by the garbage-collectors, the story went. As Zara lifts her head to sigh once more, a flash of blue catches her eyes. She rubs them vigorously, not daring, heck, not wanting to believe the sight.


A young girl of her age is standing at the bus-stop right ahead. Gleaming proudly on her feet, are none other than Zara’s stolen Pumas.


She has half a mind to pounce on the girl right then and there. Luckily (for the girl), a couple of deep breaths clear the scarlet fog, and she realizes that the girl couldn’t have possibly stolen them. Just another one of Fate’s cruel co-incidences. So Zara keeps on walking.


“Knitted Purple Sweater.” is second on her sad list. How does one lose a sweater, you ask? Zara smirks bitterly; nothing is impossible for the Loser. This one is a fresh wound, nonetheless. She had come home after a shopping trip with her friends and the sweater was to be found nowhere. A thorough search of all the little shops on the street had yielded no results, and Zara had lost herself a beautiful, hand-woven garment. But wait, what was that? Surely not…


A Caucasian man is jogging along on the other side of the road, sporting, yes you guessed it, a bright purple sweater. Was the universe playing some sort of a twisted joke on her?


Zara is torn between bursting into sobs and laughing her head off. Neither bodes well, though, so she swallows hard, and heads to the nearest bench, plopping herself down noisily.


She’s almost afraid to look at her list again. But she does, albeit with a trembling lip.


“Silver eye-liner.” This time, Zara chuckles a little. Even Fate would have a hard time using this one, she thinks viciously.


Just then, there is a tap on her shoulder.


“Can I borrow your phone, please?” comes a soft voice.


Zara whips her head towards the voice so fast; she almost hears the crick of her neck.


A pretty lady is smiling tentatively at her, awaiting her response. And do you know what makes her even prettier? Her expressive, silver-rimmed eyes.


That’s it. She has to get the hell out of here, or she just might really lose her head.


So Zara grabs her bag(ha-ha), sucks in a deep breath and flees.


She’s sprinting back home, and her thoughts are trying to outrun her.


What on Earth just happened back there? Had all her ex-things somehow flown out her window and into other people’s lives? Had they all collectively decided to mock her in their sick, warped way, that very afternoon? Was this whole sham just a terrible, terrible nightmare?


Zara pinches herself hard to make sure. The rapidly reddening skin assures her that she isn’t, in fact, asleep and what is happening is quite real, thank you very much.


To hell with it, she thinks all of a sudden. If her things so enjoyed disappearing and reappearing in other people’s possession, she couldn’t care less. They were mere objects, after all. She could always get new ones.

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Fortunately, the things that really count in life, Zara has in abundance.


A family who loves her through thick and thin. (Except when she loses their house keys.)


Friends who make her laugh every second of the day, everyday. (Except when they make her cry.)


A dog who worships the ground she walks upon. (And pees on it frequently.)


Zara sighs; a happy one, for a change. She’d deal with her absent-mindedness just fine as long as she never lost what really matters. She’s home, finally. In more than one sense of the word.


Giving herself a smug little pat on the back for her philosophical epiphany, she unlocks the main door, neatly hanging the keys on the assigned hook. Ha, she’d show Fate that you just don’t mess with Zara.


As she lets herself into her warm, cozy room, Zara snuggles down in her favourite armchair, reaching for some nice, therapeutic bubble-wrap.


Popping the little bubbles of heaven with one hand, she thrusts the other one into her bag to retrieve her phone.


The phone isn’t there.


The Loser strikes again.



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