Everybody has their own story. This is mine.
Talking to the counselor helped, I guess. Both of the girls wrote me letters saying how sorry they were and how they couldn’t wait for us to be friends. I knew the counselor put them up to it, because they were as cruel as ever. They just couldn’t be seen doing it. This protected me from the physical abuse and any contact with them, but what it didn’t protect me from was them spreading rumors.
Each one they told spread like wildfire. After a few days of constant stares and people laughing at me did I finally hear the rumors.
It was like their voices were everywhere. The torment was never ending; it followed me everywhere I went. They echoed in my head, never going away.
“I heard she’s been pregnant for a while.” She said.
“Yeah, you can almost see her baby bump.” Another one added.
“Yeah, she looks obese.” Jeanette said.
“Yeah, she’s been putting on some baby weight.” He said.
“I heard she’s been with over 20 guys.” Talissa said.
“She probably doesn’t even know who the father is.” The last one said. There laugheter rang in my ears. It was cruel, mocking laughter filled with hatred.
I was numb, I couldn’t feel anything. I was glad I was numb, because otherwise I’d be in tears. They thought I was fat. Is that why they didn’t like me? I knew I was bigger than other girls, but wasn’t that because I was muscular from sports? I was 110 pounds in fifth grade, when the average weight was 96.
That’s it. I’m fat and they all know it. But I won’t be for long.
I began to not eat. I’d go all day only eating a granola bar. At dinner, I’d find clever ways to hide my food. After a while I began to look sick. I hadn’t lost much weight, but my healthy glow was gone, and my eyes had this dull, empty look to them.
“Why aren’t you eating?” my mom asked. She was worried, I could tell.
“I’m just not hungry.” I said, blowing off her question.
“You must be. I haven’t seen you eat a thing. You just came back from swim practice, you must be starving.” My mom handed a plate of food to me. Beef Okazu, my favorite. It smelled revolting as I had lost my appetite for food of any kind. Just the thought of eating it made me gag.
“I’m not hungry. I had a big lunch.” I lied.
“You didn’t eat anything after school. I saw you.” My sister said. S***, she caught my lie. What was I going to say now?
“I ate at school. I was in the cafeteria.” I lied again. Why was I doing this to them? All they’ve ever done was love me and I continued to lie to them. Why was I such a bad person?
“Emma, look at me.” I was starting to zone out on a chair when she began to hold my face so I looked at her. “Emma, when was the last time you ate?”
“I ate at lunch today. I already told you!” I tried to look away but I couldn’t. She looked so pained. I was hurting her, over and over again.
“Don’t you dare lie to me.” She looked at me with the saddest expression I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t lie anymore.
“A few days ago. I’m just not hungry anymore.” My confession brought her more pain then it did to me. She was falling apart, just like me. I couldn’t be doing that to her. Could I?
“Why are you doing this sweetie? You’re so beautiful.” She reached out for my face but I wouldn’t let her. Tears rolled down my cheek.
“I’m fat! Everyone thinks so!” I sobbed. Everyone knew it was true.
“No you’re not! Not even close. Why can’t you see how beautiful you are?” she asked.
“Because I’m not! I’ll never be pretty. Or skinny!” I fumed.
“Who told you that? Are those girls bothering you again?”
“No! Just drop it.” I ran off to my room and locked the door.
“Sweetie!” she called after me but it was no use. I wasn’t going to listen anymore. I was done.