Why was everyone staring at me?
Was it my face? My hair? My clothes?
Were they thinking that I was fat? I hadn’t eaten in two days, I thought I would look lovely in comparison to what I usually look like.
Why were they staring?
Stop staring at me, I thought in frustration even though they couldn’t possibly hear me. I wanted to demand to know why everyone kept on staring at me weirdly when they passed me in the corridor. I wanted to call out to the teachers to tell them that everyone was judging me. I wanted to plea for them to loosen the weight of their stares.
I didn’t like it.
“Is there something wrong?” I asked a younger student, my voice even higher then usual in my anxious state. He dragged his eyes away from me and his cheeks flamed with red.
“N-no.” He stuttered, as he shuffled away.
I knitted my eyebrows in confusion, was he scared of me? Did I honestly look that bad?
I felt tears springing to my eyes, and my lower lip started to quiver. I held my head down, not wanting anyone to see me. They already thought I was fat and ugly, seeing me red and puffy would make it worse.
I walked fast to the girl’s bathroom and I found an empty cubicle at the end of the room. The fetid bathroom was seemingly empty, so I knelt down in front of the bowl and I did what I usually did when I felt anxious or self-conscious about my weight.
When I was done, I flushed the chain, washing away the last piece of evidence of my weakness. I stepped out of the cubicle, letting out a relieved breath when I saw that there were no witnesses.
As I washed my hands, I couldn’t help but scowl at the bile taste in my throat. The fervid sensation was at the centre of my throat and I needed to wash it away.
I tilted my head under the tap and drank some of the water, letting it pour down my throat and washing away the taste of my debility. I then scrubbed my hands with soap, wiping away the stench of vomit from my fingers.
I let out a shaky breath, and I looked up at the mirror in front of me. I was hoping that I would be skinnier, that I would finally look lovely. But all I saw was my chubby cheeks. I scowled at my reflection, poking at the bits I didn’t like. I looked at my eyes and I almost gasped at how frightening my hazel eyes were. They were piercing, with faint hollow dark circles underneath.
I hadn’t slept the night before.
I sighed, picking up my bag and placing it on the sink. I pulled out my brush, and started combing my hair. I muttered curses under my breath as the brush struggled to go through my frizzy hair. When I was done, my dark blonde waves were finally as smooth and as silky as it could get. Which wasn’t much. I heard the door begin to open, so I quickly put my brush in my bag and left the room.
As I walked my way to the headquarters -as we call the sixth forms studying room- I noticed students stare at me as I walked by. I heard whispers, but they were too low for me to hear. As I walked my way down the hall I could feel their distaste and mixture of stares, both pity and disgust. I swallowed hard on the sob that was lodged in my throat, and I blinked severely several times to rid of the tears that were forming behind my eyelids.
When I finally reached the headquarters, I scanned the room to find my friends. Seeing two of them in the far corner sitting on the comfortable red couch, I skipped towards them with a grin on my face.
“Long time no see.” I noted, kissing Mercy on the cheek and hugging Brandon.
Mercy pulled away and stared at me with a serious look painted on her face. “Where have you been?”
“You know where I’ve been.” I rolled my eyes.
“Stop treating this like a joke, Rose.” She warned, glaring at me with her grey stormy eyes.
“I know, I wasn’t even joking.” I replied, raising an eyebrow.
“You still haven’t told us why you were at the hospital in the first place.” Mercy reminded me, mimicking my eyebrows.
“Oh. It was nothing, just a blood test because I was feeling poorly. I’m fine, don’t worry.” I soothed, gesturing to my body. “See?”
Mercy shook her head in disappointment, knowing perfectly well the real reason why I was there. I didn’t even have to tell her, but she knew. Of course, she wouldn’t say it out loud. Last time she tried to speak to me about something like it, I had what must’ve been an anxiety attack. Mercy never mentioned it again.
I sat on the spot in the middle of the two. “So, what did I miss in school last week?” I asked.
Brandon shrugged, “Nothing much. The Harley twins got into a fight outside and I heard that Frank was cheating-” I cut him off with a slap on the shoulder since he was sitting beside me.
“I meant work-wise, Brand.” I teased, rolling my eyes.
“I photo-copied the work you missed from my file for you.” Mercy chimed in.
“What? Really?” A gasp escaped me, even though it wasn’t that big of a deal.
She snapped her head towards me, “What? Why are you so surprised? Can’t I help out with the work that my dear best-friend that I’ve known since I was four missed out on?” She asked, with mock sincerity.
“The teacher made you do it, didn’t she?” I asked.
“Yeah.” She quickly admitted.
I rolled my eyes, laughing. It felt good to be with my friends again, and being happy. Even though my laughs were forced, on the inside I felt an ache in my stomach and a faint burning sensation in my throat.
“You look different.” Brandon stated, staring at me quizzically.
“You think so? People have been staring at me all day.” I furrowed my eyebrows.
“Not that different, did you get a haircut?” He asked.
“No.” I didn’t like the topic we were on, so I was glad when the ringing of the school bell interrupted us.
I smiled at the two, standing up and leading them outside to our classes.
They were still staring at me.
“Why is everyone staring at me? Is there something on my face?” I asked.
Mercy looked around the halls and turned her head to me, looking confused. “No one is staring at you, Rose.”