I HAVE HAD one extremely shitty summer. In-between working at my mothers diner and studying for my drivers licence there wasn't much time left to have fun and relax. Suddenly it's September again, school halls full of people I don't like and a buttload of homework. Senior year, here I come.
I was putting my things in my locker after having to carry a whole tower of books, when I saw her. Jasmine De León, an old childhood friend with whom I hadn't talked in a while. Admittedly, I might have had a little crush on her when we were thirteen, but that crush went away when I figured how school works; popular, pretty girls like Jasmine don't go for shy, awkward boys like me. Still, it stung.
Yet it seemed like Jasmine wasn't the same. She had lost a lot of weight and - most importantly - she looked unhappy. I figured that the one wasn't different from the other. I can't say it didn't upset me. There she was, her velvet blue bag on one shoulder, trying to listen to something her friend Hannah was saying, but she looked distracted. Her turquoise painted fingernails were carving into the skin of her left arm, her eyes looked glassy.
And then she saw me.
He knew. I was one hundred percent sure he knew. The way he was looking at me, like he could see right through me. Stare into my soul. It made my blood boil. How come no-one else figured out how much I'd been struggling but Adam Smith, the boy I hadn't talked to in ages, knew with one glance?
"Are you even listening to me J? You seem... off." Hannah rolls her eyes at me. "Is my story boring you? Or am I not good enough for you, now that you look like fucking barbie?"
I hated her. Her and everyone else too. It was like "That bitch knows a magic diet that she won't tell us about..." No. That "bitch" has been struggling for months to keep her head over the surface. Trying to destroy that little voice inside her head that tells her that she's not good enough, ugly... fat. Still, every single girlfriend I have seems to hate me now. At lunch every single one of them was staring at me. They were staring so hard that I had to eat something. So I did.
I turned around to see that Adam had disappeared. "I'm sorry Hannah, I need to go. And also, you know I love you. I can't wait to hear all about your summer fling." I closed my locker and made my way to the bathroom. "I was telling you about my vacation, not a fling!" Hannah shouted. But I didn't turn around, I just kept on walking.
I was sitting outside of the girl bathrooms. I knew that any minute Jasmine would come out. I also knew that I hated doing this, I felt like a creep. Still, my mother would have killed me if she knew that I didn't help out a girl in need.
Finally, the door opened and a flushed Jasmine came out. "Hey, Adam. How was your summer? Looking forward to senior year?" She was using her friendly, welcoming voice and her fake yet seemingly genuine smile even though she was aware that I knew about the reasons of her weight loss. Her light brown eyes were pleading me to keep up the facade, make a bit of small talk, then leave. But I couldn't give in. "I'm sorry Jasmine but I care about you and I can't not meddle. Do your parents know?" For a moment I thought that she was going to keep on pretending. But she didn't. She seemed tired and mentally exhausted. "No. They know what everybody else knows. That the chubby girl lost weight." "You were never chubby Jasmine. It's all in your head." She rolls her eyes. "Whatever you say, Adam. I'm sorry for making you worry but everything is under control. So, piss off." She then stormed off god knows where.
I decided to leave her alone for the moment. Maybe one of her friends would be a more suitable person to have that talk with. Still, I knew that I had to help her any way I could.
I lit up a cigarette in the school parking lot. I knew that I had been a complete asshole to the only person that seemed to care about me. Which is weird considering that I had pushed him away when we were kids.
I was never confident. I tried to summon some self love from the admiration I received from others; my parents, my brothers, boys and my friends. Boys have always liked me. I have dated a bit in the past but it was never serious. They always wanted to see me naked but they never did. I didn't have the confidence for that.
It's funny, really, how people think that being popular or pretty can make all of your problems disappear. That it can kill your demons. I have a lot of demons. They sit in my head, telling me how useless I am. Telling me to try harder. Maybe Adam is right. Maybe I do need someone to talk to.
The bell rang and I gathered my things. Then I proceeded to put on some mascara in front of a red mustangs window. Adams red mustang it seemed, because he was sitting inside.
"You don't seem to be into this whole first day thing. Want me to take you home?"
“Yes, thank you. Let's go.”