I wake up at seven o’clock and get ready for school. Mom asks if I did my homework and I say yes. One down, many to go. As I go out the door she asks if I have my cell phone and I tell her I do. That’s two in less than a minute. When my friend Cassie and I meet up in the school’s parking lot, she asks if she looks okay. I tell her she looks beautiful, and that’s one more before eight o’clock. In class the teacher asks if I went to class yesterday. Of course I didn’t, and if I did, I wouldn’t tell her. I was home sick in bed.
Lunch arrives and I sit with Jackie and Lauren. As Jackie gets her lunch, Lauren asks if she looks like she gained weight. She looks obese, but I tell her I thought she’d lost 10 pounds. I’m doing well, I’ve stayed below six before noon. When Jackie returns, she tells me someone called her a whore. I know she is but I console her by saying that of course she isn’t. That’s number six and the clock just struck noon.
At the end of last period, Shannon asks if I could give her a ride home. I say I don’t mind at all, and that makes seven. She gives me a hug and tells me I’m the best as I drop her off. No, I have to be humble and not allow her to praise me when she should be kissing the ground I walk on. That’s eight. Barely in my door, my boss calls and asks me to come in at four. I can’t because I have to go to my niece’s birthday party. There’s nine. I’m really on a roll today.
At dinner I don’t touch my food. Mom asks if I feel okay and I just smile weakly and tell her I’m not hungry. She asks if her cooking is okay and I say I love it. That’s two in the same sentence. Dad asks how school was and I tell him it was good, and that’s one more at the dinner table.
Mom and Dad go into the family room as they do every night. As usual, I go to the loft and play a computer game. An hour later Mom asks if I’m doing homework and I tell her I’m almost finished with English and moving on to history. I don’t even take history. Satisfied with my answer, she returns to her movie. Later, she asks if I want some ice cream. I can’t afford the calories and tell her I’m still feeling ill. I’m practically starving but I let it go.
At long last, I go to bed for my last “lie” of the night.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.