Far from Perfect | Teen Ink

Far from Perfect

February 21, 2014
By crystalrain333, Bettendorf, Iowa
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crystalrain333, Bettendorf, Iowa
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Author's note: I wrote this for a short story assignment in Language Arts. It just came to me. I hope everyone likes it.

“Lyndsey, hit the ball!”
I blinked and realized the ball was on the floor beside me. Maria and Tess gave each other a look. One of annoyance mixed with boredom. They were totally done with my lack of attention. I felt bad for spacing, but I couldn’t help it. I hated gym almost as much as I hated going home. After gym was lunch, then two more periods before I was forced onto a bus and driven back to that place I was supposed to consider home. Lately it was just a place I despised and hated. I secretly hoped I would go home one day to find it was all different. Dad would be happy again, mom wouldn’t eat her feelings, my sisters and brothers would look up to me. I could barely remember a time like that. It had been almost a year that it had been like this. It had been the worst year of my life and I’d practically forgotten how to have fun. My friends tried to get me to be more involved with them, with sports, anything that would take my mind off Kas.

Well, that’s the only reason they thought I was distant. Kas had been my best friend, but she wasn’t the only reason I’d been quieter lately. I wasn’t allowed to be too loud. I wasn’t allowed to have my own opinion. The only thing I was allowed to do was get to school, do good, and get home. There was no exceptions. If I wasn’t there when Dad got home or by the time mom woke up, I was in big trouble. Trouble that would leave a mark for a week that I’d have to cover. But, they didn’t know that. They didn’t need to know that. My friends had put up with me through this year already, surely they could for as long as this lasted.

The whistle blew and we all jogged to the locker room. Jessa Lynn caught up with us as we made our way to the back. Jessa Lynn was in our class, but with a different teacher, so we only saw her when we got dressed and when we left.
“Did you guys hear Ms. Campbell yell at me?” Jessa Lynn asked.
“No, why?” Maria asked, pulling the ponytail out of her long blonde hair so she could brush it.
“She called me stupid and said I’d never amount to anything!” Jessa Lynn said, biting her nails.
I laughed. Jessa Lynn had been my friend since third grade when she was getting bullied for her weird clothes. She was poor back then, so she got clothes from Goodwill. I always felt bad for her, so one day, I stood up for her. I punched Sadie Hill right in the face when she wouldn’t stop. I almost broke her nose. She still holds a grudge, but no one else really remembers. Except Jessa Lynn. She stands up for me all the time now. No one messes with her now. They assume she’s a criminal or a druggie because of her new look. She got two blue streaks three months ago and got it cut to her shoulders. Which is insane, because she’d been growing it out since sixth grade. She also started wearing band shirts from bands no one else knew and wore black boots. She’d stopped with all the clothing, but it left an impression. No one messed with her. She kept the blue streaks, just to prove that point and because we all grew used to them.
“Jesus Lyndsey, are you gonna take your hair down or what?” Maria said.
I quickly pulled the band out of my hair and pulled my fingers through the thick brown strands. I should get highlights or something. Anything to make this brown mess less boring. My hair was so thick and wavy, it took half an hour to straighten. I always had to spend an hour blow drying it too. It was a long process to get my hair to look manageable. Then gym always had to come and screw it up. The bell rang and I grabbed my bag. We all walked out and over to Tim’s locker. His locker was closer to all our classes than ours, so we all shared his during the last half of the day. In the morning, we used Maria’s or mine. After we all shoved our stuff into Tim’s locker, we wandered down to the cafeteria. I could smell that it was taco day. Our school had okay taco’s, so we all got in line.
“I really shouldn’t eat taco’s, too many calories.” Maria said, biting her lip.
“Oh shut up, you’re the skinniest one here.” Jessa Lynn said. She always got sensitive when we all started talking about weight. Her cousin had died from bulimia and anorexia, so her family practically forced food down her throat. She was nowhere near fat, but she secretly thought she was. I’d overheard her tell Tess that she wanted to take a run to get rid of her thighs. Her thighs were fine, at least that’s what I thought. Tess didn’t care about weight and she didn’t need to .She played so many sports that she was skinny and muscular. She had the slight outline of abs, which Maria and Jessa Lynn were jealous of.
“Guys, do they have chocolate milk today?” I asked.
“I hope so.” Tim said as he walked over to us. Tim and Tessa smiled and I still couldn’t believe how similar they looked. Of course they did, they were twins, but sometimes it was scary how alike they looked.
“I think they do, isn’t it Friday?” Maria said.
“Yes, thank God.” Jessa Lynn said.
“Why are you so happy?” I asked, pushing my bangs behind my ear.
“Oh, I’m going to Leena’s, didn’t I tell you?” Jessa Lynn replied.
I nodded, but she hadn’t told me. They hadn’t told me a lot lately. Like they needed to keep everything from me. Like everything was a secret and I was a gossip. I really didn’t know why they felt the need to hid everything from me. It made me feel like I was just being used. Sure, they were around when I offered to buy lunch or when they needed to use my locker, but they never asked me to hang out anymore. I always said no, but it was nice to be asked. I grabbed a tray and grabbed two shells. I moved to get the meat and cheese. I liked my tacos plain, just meat and cheese. I rarely asked for things like sauce or tomatoes. My friends grabbed tons of toppings and then we all grabbed a fruit cup and a large chocolate milk.
“Who is that at the table?” Maria asked, her eyes narrowing down at the girl at our table.
“I have no idea, but she needs to move.” Tess said.
“Come on guys, why are you being so territorial?” Tim said. walking past us.

“Jesus Tim.” Tess said, following him.
We all sat down and the girl looked up. She had bright red hair, like a cherry. Her eyes were icy blue and cold looking. She smiled at us.

“Hi, I’m Casside.” She said, smiling with her bright white teeth.
“Who are you?” Jessa Lynn asked, her face and voice serious.
“Like I said, I’m Casside, C-A-S-S-I-D-E.” She said, bobbing her head as she said each letter.
“I didn’t ask how to spell it, why are you sitting with us?” Maria said, getting annoyed.
“I’m Tim, I apologize for these girls.” Tim said, smiling at Casside.
“It’s fine, I was being annoying.” She said, looking down.
“No, they’re just weird, you’re fine.” Tim said, glancing our way.
“Shut up Tim.” Tess growled.
“That right there is my lovely twin, Tess.” Tim said, motioning to Tess.
“Hi, sorry I’m sitting here, no one else would talk to me.” Casside said.
“It’s fine, I guess.” Maria said, flipping her hair back and examining her tan shoulders.
“I’m Jessa Lynn, don’t believe anything you hear about me.” Jessa Lynn said, smirking.
“I’m Maria, that quiet one over there is Lyndsey.” Maria said, glancing at me.
“Nice to meet you guys.” Casside said, looking at me. I smiled but quickly looked away.

I didn’t trust this girl, she was too nice. I thought about how she had quickly gotten Jessa Lynn to talk. Jessa Lynn was usually the last to talk to new people. She was shy, always had been. Tess was usually more friendly, but lately she’d been cranky. Tim was always calling her out about it. Tim was probably my second favorite in the group. He was nice and fun to be around. The fact that he was disgusted by dating in high school also made it easy to know he didn’t like any of us like that. Maria still had suspicions, but she thought everyone liked her. She had been a popular since 3rd grade and had just become part of our group two years ago. It was awkward at first, when she wanted to listen to Taylor Swift and Britney Spears and we liked a ton of music she’d never heard of. The bell rang and I made my way to math. The last period of the day, finally. For some reason, I hated being trapped in school today. I just wanted to be outside. I guess that’s reasonable, it’s California, who wouldn’t want to be outside?

Oh my God, we still have five minutes. Could time go any slower?I just want to leave. I want to get home before everyone so I can get a good snack and just go to my room until Dad goes back to work. Maybe after he did, I could hang out with the group. If they even wanted to. I looked up at the clock. 10 seconds, 9 seconds, 5 seconds, 3 seconds, and the bell finally rang.

I walked down the hall to Tim’s locker, knowing I’d be the last one there. My math class was the furthest from Tim’s locker of everyone else’s. Tim might wait for me if he doesn’t have drama or art club today. He might have soccer too. I arrive there about three minutes after the bell rang and of course, no one is there. I put in the combo and the locker swings open. My stuff is still there, which is good. One time, Maria “accidently” took my stuff too. I knew they planned it, thinking I would be able to hang out if I missed my bus to get my stuff. It didn’t work, I just missed the homework that night. Thank God I had a study hall the next day. I slammed the door shut to see Casside leaning against the lockers.
“Hi Lyndsey.” She said, smirking.
“Hi?” I said, confused.
“I just wanted you to know that all your friends hate you.” Casside said, flipping her hair.
“What are you talking about?” I said, terrified she might be right.
“I heard Maria and Tess talking in English, they said you weren’t any fun anymore.” She said.
“So?” I said. I knew that was true, I hadn’t been much fun to be around lately.
“They also decided to stop talking to you.” She said, smiling.
“Why do you seem happy about this?” I said, getting mad. Who was she to tell me about my friends?
“That means I’m the new you, but better.” She said. She giggled softly and walked away. Her hair was so long it practically slapped me in the face.

She had to be lying. She had to be. It must be a joke. Maria and the group loved to joke. I was almost home and hadn’t stopped thinking of what Casside had said. Was she really that evil? Had my friends really said those things? I was terrified I’d show up tomorrow with no friends. All that on top of my problems at home, I didn’t know how to deal.
I stepped off the last step of the bus and waved goodbye to the bus driver. It was about a two minute walk home and I loved to enjoy them. If I had time to waste, I’d spend hours walking. Just to stay away from home, where they barely noticed me while I was there. The only thing they noticed is when I arrived and when I left. It was like a hotel. I check in, I check out. It isn’t really a place I would call home.

As I walked up the porch steps I sighed. Why had I stayed around to talk to Casside? I was three minutes late, which meant I was about to be in trouble. I walked in and froze when I saw Dad. He looked mad.
“What took you so long?” He said, tapping his fingers to a beat only he could hear.
“I’m so sorry, some new girl asked me for directions.” I said, already scared.
“That’s no excuse, this is the second time this month.” He said, standing up.
“Dad, I’m sorry I just..” I said before he interrupted.
“SHUT UP!” He yelled, smacking me.
I fell backwards, reeling onto the couch.
“What the heck is this?” Mom said, wandering out of the kitchen with a plate with toast piled on it.
“Lyndsey was late again.” Dad said, glaring at me.
“God Lyndsey, why can’t you follow rules?” Mom said, sitting in her chair.
“I said sorry, I am.” I said, feeling the tears well up in my eyes.
“Get up.” Dad said, still glaring.
“Listen to your father, get up.” Mom said, turning the TV on.

I got up and blinked away the tears. He’d only hit me harder if he saw me cry. He hit me again just as Kattie walked in.
“She looks like she’s gonna cry, hit her harder!” She said, giggling.
Dad hit me again and I almost fell again.
“HARDER DAD, HIT HER HARDER!” Kattie yelled.
“What is this?!” Said a woman from across the room.

It was a woman I hadn’t seen in years. My aunt Melly. Aunt Melly was mom’s little sister, who was absolutely perfect. She was a little taller than me, tan, blonde, green eyed, and just plain beautiful. She always had a new boyfriend. On top of everything, she was really skinny. Mom always said she needed meat on her bones, but Melly said mom had a little too much meat. I hadn’t seen Melly in three years, since she moved to New York for some boyfriend. They broke up about a month later, but she stayed in New York.
“What are you doing here?” Mom said, shocked.
“I was going to surprise you guys, but I walk in on this?” Melly said, her voice trembling.
“This is none of your business Melanie, stay out of it.” Dad said, turning his head to glance at her.
“I will not just stay out of it!” She said, her voice rising.
“She deserved this, she knew she did.” Dad said, turning all the way around.
“What did she do to deserve her father beating her like that!?” Melly said, walking up to Dad, her eyes gleaming with rage.
“She’s been late two times this month, she knows better.” Dad said, not moving, his jaw clenched.
“That’s why you hit her hard enough to leave a handprint?” She said pointing at my face.
“She did deserve it.” Kattie said, her arms folded.
“Why would you encourage this?” Melly said, turning to Kattie.
“Because, she was late, so she gets beat.” Kattie said, flipping her blonde hair over her shoulder.
Kattie was two inches shorter than Melly, so I could see how Melly just barely stood over her. I could see Kattie’s blue eyes blink, like she thought Melly would hit her.
“Do you hit all your kids!?” Melly exclaimed, turning back to dad and mom.
“When they deserve it, they get punished, you wouldn’t understand.” Mom said.
“How would I not understand that you get pleasure from hitting your kids?” Melly yelled.
“SHUT UP MELANIE!” Mom screamed.
“I’m taking Lyndsey with me, I’ll come back for the others when I can.” Melly said.
“You can’t do that!” Mom said.
“Of course I can, unless you want me to call the police.” Melly said, turning to leave.
“Lyndsey, go get your things.” Melly said, sitting down.

I ran upstairs and quickly grabbed my pictures. The one of Martin on his 10th birthday, where his brown hair had specks of vanilla cake and his eyes were creased with happiness. I grabbed the one of Ally and Andy last Christmas, just before they turned five. Their cheeks were pink, their green eyes identical. I had somehow managed to work Ally’s thick red hair into a ribbon and mom had slicked Andy’s blonde hair back. They were almost identical twins, other than the hair and well, the genders. I thought of taking our family picture, the one taken before dad lost his job and started getting drunk. Before mom ate her sorrows. Before Kattie began to despise me, just like mom and dad. I threw all the clothes I could fit into the two bags I had. I grabbed shoes, my friendship bracelet from Jessa Lynn, the pictures we all took together when we went to Maria’s birthday party. I felt my heart turn cold as I looked around my room. Would I ever be here again?
As I came back down the stairs, I felt the tension in the room. I could still smell mom’s toast, with lots of syrup. Melly was still on the rocking chair by the door and mom and dad were in the kitchen, whispering. Kattie was probably in her hiding space in the old laundry shoot. I had taught her to hide there when I was ten and she was seven. She fell in love with it and soon started spending the day in there. Now, five years later, we hardly speak. I never bonded that well with Martin or Andy, but I did feel the same sisterly love towards Ally.
“Are you ready to go to New York?” Melly asked, getting up.
I nodded and she smiled.
“I’m so sorry it took me so long.” She said, opening the door.
“It’s okay, no one knew.” I said.
The part she didn’t hear was after she’d already walked to her silver rental car.
“And no one would’ve cared.” I whispered, closing the door to the house.

As we finally pulled up to the airport, I felt guilty I had so many suitcases. Two suitcases plus her three had to cost a lot. Luckily, we found a flight to New York that had a few seats available.
“Do you want anything?” Melly said as she sipped on a smoothie from the coffee shop in the air port.
“No, I’m fine.” I said, turning to look out the window at all the planes landing and taking off. I wonder who’s on those planes, where they’re going. Whoever they are, they’re probably more interesting than me.
“You sure, we’re gonna be on that plane for quite awhile.” She said, slurping up the last bit of strawberry banana smoothie.
I nodded. I knew it was going to be long, but I didn’t want to talk to her more than I had to. She’d taken me away from the place I had always gone home to. The place that was supposed to be home. I don’t know why I felt so emotional about leaving. My parents weren’t great, my friends couldn’t stand to be around me. I had no reason to be here in California, maybe New York would be better.

When I woke up I saw that I’d already boarded the plane. I barely remembered getting on the plane, but I obviously had. We’d already been flying for about three hours, so we had about four more to go. I had no idea if I could fall back asleep with the baby three seats in front of me crying it’s eyes out and the couple arguing in the seats across from me. Judging by the ring on her finger and their conversation, they were running away. She looked about twenty six and he looked a little older. From the bits I could hear, she ran off with a guy from her art class. She was sick of her husband, so she just left. I wish I was able to do that, just leave and go to where ever I felt like going. Just to disappear and never be seen or heard from again.

I took off the headphones the stewardess had brought me two hours ago when Melly nudged me.
“Lyndsey, we’re landing in about thirty minutes.” Melly said, putting her hair up.
“Why did you take me away?” I asked, shocked that those words had come out of my mouth.
“You were being hurt, and that’s not right.” Melly said, adjusting her heels. I had no idea why she felt the need to wear heels on a plane, but that was Melly.
“Well, maybe I deserved it.” I said quietly, unsure if she would hear me.
“No one deserves to be hurt.” Melly said, looking down.

I left the conversation like that. It seemed like I’d hit a soft spot, a wound from long ago that I’d somehow managed to find. She was silent for the rest of the flight, just like me. I wondered if her and mom had gotten along as kids. I knew mom used to be nice, used to be pretty. When dad lost his job, she lost her happy husband. She lost the attention he used to give her. He used to bring her flowers, take her out to dinner, kiss her on the cheek before he left and when he got home from work. When he lost his job, mom lost weight at first. She dropped fifteen pounds, trying to get his attention. He never noticed, so she began to eat. She never seemed to stop eating. Even after dad got a new job, we were all different forever. Mom was big, dad was a drunk, Kattie was a snob, Martin was quiet, the twins grew apart, and I was the one everyone seemed to blame.

“Thank you.” I said as I crawled out of the cab. The driver nodded and popped the trunk. Melly and I grabbed our things and I looked up to see her huge apartment.

“Come on, it’s even nicer inside.” Melly said, smile on her face.

I followed her up the stairs and held one of her bags as she opened the door. We walked up another flight of stairs to an elevator. I set the bags down as she pressed the buttons. Within a minute, the silver doors opened and revealed a hallway with red carpet and deep green walls. The trim on the top and bottom of the walls were golden and the walls seemed to go on forever. We walked until we came to Melly’s white door, plain against the green’s and red’s of the hallway. She fumbled with her keys as my arms began to ache and my feet started to fall asleep. When she finally got the door open, my mouth almost fell open. It was huge for an apartment, bigger than I expected. The door had led into the living room, a room with olive green walls and white carpeting. Everything was perfectly arranged, as if she was always expecting company.

“Well, go look around!” Melly said, flopping down on the suede couch.

“Where will I sleep?” I asked, setting my bags down.

“I have a guest room in the back, I’ll show you in a second.” She said, getting up and walking through another door. I followed her in to find the kitchen.

“Do you want some tea?” She asked, pulling down a box and a mug for herself.

“Can I just have some water?” I asked, not wanting to ask for too much. Plus, it wasn’t peppermint tea, my favorite.

“Sure.” She said, handing me a cup and pointing to the fridge.
I glanced over and saw she had one of those water things on her fridge door. I filled my cup and sat at the table. I looked over the room. It was a dark red room with black and white appliances. The dishes were all spotless white. Just like Melly, her apartment was perfect.
“Do you want me to show you your room now?” Melly asked, putting the kettle onto the stove.
Without an answer, she left the room and I followed. I grabbed my bags and followed her through a dark red dining room and down a small burnt yellow colored hall. She pointed out the bathroom and then opened the last door there was. It was a smaller room, but still bigger than my room at home. It was navy blue with one of those windows you can sit on and watch the cars go by. I set my bags down on the floor beside the door.
“I’ll be in the living room if you need me.” Melly said, shutting the door.

I sighed, laying back on the bed. It was going to be a long time before I saw a familiar face. Maybe I’d never see my parents again. Maybe I would never see Kattie and the others again. Maybe I would never be the same again. I layed back on the bed and within minutes, I was asleep.

About a week later, Melly had me enrolled in a school just down the street. I was terrified to go, but excited. Maybe I would make better friends here. Maybe people would actually like me here. I couldn’t stop hoping for the best, until I walked into school on the first day.

By lunch, I felt terrible. I had only spoken to one person all day, and it was a girl asking how much I weighed. When I told her I was 115, her friends looked at each other and laughed. Everyone here was absolutely tiny. One girl seemed to be about eighty pounds, maybe less. Her name was Grace Carthem, and everyone loved her. She had been staring at me all day and whispering. It didn’t make things better that she was in almost all of my classes.
“Aren’t you the new girl, Lyndsey?” I heard.

I looked up to see another tiny girl. She couldn’t be over a hundred pounds and she had to be about 5”5’ or 5”6’. Her hair was platinum blonde and reached past the back of her neck. Her green eyes looked like she was about to do something.
“Yeah, why?” I asked, scared she’d be another girl to whisper about my weight.
“I wanted to know if I could sit with you.” She said, smiling.
“Okay.” I said, confused.
“My name is Nova by the way.” She said, sitting down.
“Nice to meet you.” I said, drinking my milk.
“So, where are you from?” Nova asked, grabbing a carrot from the baggie in her hand.
“California.” I said, looking down at my tray. The food here was weird and I didn’t like it
“Maybe that’s why you have more of a beach body.” Nova said, crunching her carrots.
“What are you talking about?” I said, scared of what she would say.
“That means you fill out a swimsuit, which is okay, but you’re thick other than that.” Nova said.
“What do you mean I’m thick?” I said, getting defensive.
“It’s the nice way of calling you fat.” She said, closing the bag.
“Oh.” I said.
“I can help you with that if you want.” Nova said, a smirk on her face. It reminded me of Kas when she was telling me about something sarcastically.
“Like, diet?” I said, wondering why she was here if she just wanted to insult me.
“No, like not eating.” Nova said, giggling.
“You mean starve myself?” I said. I looked down at my legs. They did seem bigger now that she’d called me fat. They took up quite a bit of the chair if I was sitting.
“Well, it sounds bad when you say it like that, but yes.” She said, playing with her scarf.
“Is that what you do?” I said, looking at her.
She was really tiny, it was a little scary. At least she wasn’t as thin as Grace. Grace looked sick.
“So, do you want my help?” Nova asked, stealing a carrot off my tray.
I looked back down at my thighs. Maybe I could lose a little weight. I wouldn’t be like Grace, but maybe I could be like Nova.
“Okay, sure.” I said, looking back up at her.
“Good, come to my locker after school.” She said, grinning.
She slid me a piece of paper and walked out of the cafeteria. Where was she going? I opened the paper and saw her locker number and a phone number. Was she being real or had someone dared her to come talk to me? I couldn’t be sure, but at least someone had actually talked to me. I thought that I’d have no friends after the first day. Maybe Nova really did want to be friends, maybe she just wasn’t afraid to speak her thoughts.
After three more terrible classes, more whispers and stares, and tons of homework assignments, I walked to Nova’s locker.
“There you are!” She said when she slammed the door shut.
“Hi.” I said, looking down.
“So, you need to come over so I can train you.” She said, waving at someone who passed by. Grace.
“Is this a dare?” I said, looking at her.
“What?” She said, turning back to me.
“Did someone dare you to be nice to me?” I asked again.
“No, why would someone dare me to be nice?” Nova asked, blowing her bangs out of her face.
“No one else seemed to like me today.” I said, looking down at my black flats.
“That’s because you’re fat right now, but soon you won’t be.” Nova said, smiling.
“Okay.” I said, still not liking how open she was to calling me fat.

She began to walk away, so I followed her. She had really nice clothes. She had cute white Vans and light wash jeans. Her sweater was black with thin white stripes. The scarf she was wearing looked like something Kas would hate. Pink and white in some sort of pattern.

“Come on, you gotta walk faster if you wanna catch the bus!” She exclaimed over her shoulder.

I picked up the pace and jogged to catch up with her. She was walking fast, so I had to keep jogging, which I hated.

“I need to call my aunt to tell her where I’m going.” I said, panting.

“Use my phone, God are you already out of breath?” She said, glancing at me.

I tried to quiet my panting, but she’d already heard it. When we got to the stop, she handed me a pink IPhone and plopped down on a bench. I dialled the number she’d written on my hand this morning and listened to the ringing.
“Hello?” Melly said after four rings.
“Hi, it’s Lyndsey, can I go to a friend’s house?” I asked, hoping she’d let me. I’d already missed the bus back and I had no idea how to get to Melly’s.
“Sure, call me if you need a ride home.” She said. I could hear people in the back, but I couldn’t tell if they were real or if it was just the TV.
“I will, bye Melly.” I said, pressing the end button.

The bus rolled up and I handed Nova her phone as she stood up from the bench. She pushed in front of me and climbed onto the bus. I followed and she showed her ID. I showed mine and we walked to the back.
“So, why did you move to New York?” Nova asked, looking out the window.
“My aunt brought me here.” I said, hoping she wouldn’t ask anymore questions.
“Why would she take you away from California?” She said, looking at me now.
“She walked in on my parents abusing me.” I said quickly, looking at my feet.
“So that’s why you're so timid.” Nova said, looking back at the window.
“Yeah, I guess.” I said, not really knowing what she meant.
“But, that sucks, I know what that’s like.” Nova said, still not looking at me.
“You do?” I said, looking toward her.
“Yeah, that’s why my real dad is in jail and I haven’t seen him since I was twelve.” She said.
“I’m sorry.” I said, watching her breath on the window.
“I hated him anyways.” Nova said as we got off the bus.

I didn’t ask anymore. She seemed irritated by the subject of her dad. I followed her off the bus and down the street. I was able to keep up with her this time, but barely. She slowed down as we turned down another street. We reached an apartment building that looked bigger than Melly’s. She pressed the buzzer and from inside someone buzzed her in. She opened the big gold doors and I followed her in. We reached the gold elevators and she pressed the top floor button. She fixed her makeup using a little compact, reapplying her lipgloss and mascara. I sighed and closed my eyes as I felt the elevator start to go up.
When we reached her door she pulled a silver key out of her bag and unlocked it. She opened the door wide and didn’t wait for me as she walked into the kitchen. I shut the door and a small white dog rushed towards me.
“That’s Sugar, my sister’s dog.” She called from the kitchen.

I patted the dog and walked into the kitchen. It was big, but not much bigger than Melly’s. Nova was eating a small bag of carrots and drinking from a huge water bottle.
“Okay, sit down.” Nova said, leaning over the bar at the center of the kitchen and gesturing to the seats.
I sat down and she crunched down on a carrot and took a sip of water.
“Okay, so have you ever starved before?” Nova asked before sipping on the water bottle.
“No, not on purpose.” I said, twirling my bangs.
“What do you mean by, not on purpose?” She said, crumbling the empty bag and throwing it away.
“One day I was late so my dad wouldn’t let me eat for three days.” I said, gulping. I’d never told anyone that story before.
“Well, you should know it’s hard at first then.” Nova said, gulping down more water.
“I guess.” I said, not really wanting to remember those three days.
“After the first day or two, you get used to it.” She said, throwing the water bottle into the sink.
“So, how long do I have to do it?” I said, hoping it wouldn’t be too bad.
“How much do you weigh?” Nova asked, leaning over the counter.
“Like, one fifteen I think.” I said, unable to look her in the eyes.
“Then you need to not eat two days a week for as long as I tell you.” Nova said, staring at me.
“Really?” I said. I had expected more, but I was glad it wasn’t.
“Unless you don’t lose enough.” She said, grabbing a glass from the white cabinet behind her and filled it up with water.
“Here, when you don’t eat, water is your best friend.” Nova said, smiling. I took a few sips, because I hadn’t really had anything to drink all day.
“You need to drink about twenty cups a day.” She said, as if it was no big deal.
“Twenty?!” I exclaimed, shocked. Why would I need to drink that much?
“Yes, twenty.” She said, grabbing a laptop from the counter behind her.
“Why?” I asked, hoping she might be lenient and let me drink ten or something.
“Water fills you up, burns calories and speed up your metabolism.” She said automatically, as if she’d memorized those words.
“How do you know all this?” I asked.
“Research, my mom, my sister.” She said, scrolling through her newsfeed.
“Your mom?” I asked, wondering if maybe her mom was like mine used to be.
“My mom encourages me to starve, like she does.” Nova said nonchalantly.
“Your mom wants you to starve?” I asked.
“Yeah, she wants the best for me.” She said, shutting the screen.
“What about your sister?” I asked, twisting my hair up into a bun.
“She’s away at the hospital right now.” Nova said, motioning to the picture on the counter by the stove. There was a picture of Nova and a girl thinner than Grace. She was the tiniest person I’d ever seen and it was scary, yet amazing. I had no idea how anyone could become that skinny. It didn’t seem possible.
“How long has she been there?” I asked, still staring at the picture.
“A year and a half.” She said, looking over at the picture.
“Why?” I asked.
“She refuses to eat.” Nova said.

An hour later, I had notes on everything I’d need to know as I walked down to Melly’s car.
“Did you have fun?” Melly asked as I shut the door to her blue convertible.
“Yeah, we did homework and watched some TV.” I said, putting my seatbelt on.
“Well, good thing you made a friend.” Melly said, focusing on the road.
When we got to her door, I could hear people inside. It sounded real, not like the TV. She opened the door and I saw a man and a woman on the couch.
“Lyndsey, this is my brother Perry and his wife, Ellie.” Melly said, closing the door behind us.
“Lyndsey?” Uncle Perry asked. He stood up and walked towards me. He was tall, about 5”9’ and muscular. His brown hair went well with him blue eyes.
“Hi?” I said, confused.
“I haven’t seen you since you were born.” He said, smiling.
“I never knew I had an uncle.” I said, looking towards Ellie.
“Your mom never let me visit.” He said, gesturing for Ellie to get up.
“Well, that’s mom.” I said, looking down.
“I’d like you to meet my wife, Ellie and my daughter Rachel.” He said. When Ellie stood, I saw the kid in her arms.
“How old is she?” I asked, smiling.
“A year and three months.” Ellie said, smiling. She looked like Ellie, same black hair, same blue eyes.
“Can I hold her, Ellie?” I asked.
“Sure, call me El.” She said as she handed me Rachel. I looked down at Rachel and she giggled.
“Hi, I’m Lyndsey.” I said.
“Hi.” She said, smiling. I held her for a bit before she started squirming.
“You can let her down, she loves to walk around.” El said, sitting down.
“Okay.” I said, putting her down.
“El, tell them.” Perry said, rubbing her back.
“Melanie, Lyndsey, I’m pregnant.” El said, smiling.
“Oh my God, congrats!” Melly said, moving to hug her.
“How far along?” I asked.
“About four months.” El said, looking down at her belly. Now that I looked, she was starting to show.
“Sorry to leave so fast, but if we want to get back to Jersey before Rachel gets cranky, we should probably go.” Perry said, moving towards El.
“I keep saying you should move here.” Melly said, helping El up.
“I know, I know.” Perry said.
“My aunt would kill me if I moved out of Jersey.” El said, putting her shoes on.
“Well, your aunt is crazy.” Melly said as Perry grabbed Rachel.
“I guess.” El said.
“Okay, bye guys.” Perry said, waving to us. Rachel lifted her hand and waved too.
“Bye.” El said as they walked out.

I sighed and walked down to my room. I was exhausted. I hadn’t eaten since lunch, but I wasn’t gonna break my fast now.
The next few weeks went by fast. I went to Nova’s almost everyday. We would sit around drinking cups and cups of water and working out. Perry and El would stop by every few days. Melly left me alone to do whatever I wanted. Until one day, two months after I started school.
“Wanna go to a party?” Nova asked one day at lunch.
“Where?” I asked, biting into an apple.
“Grace’s house.” Nova said, eating her second bag of carrots.
“She hates me.” I said, putting my apple down.
“Wear something tight, show off how much weight you’ve lost.” Nova said. She was right, I’d lost about ten pounds and was actually starting to love it. I loved how it felt when you stepped on the scale and saw you’d lost weight. It was a great reward for refusing perfectly good food.
“Do you really think she’d want me there?” I asked, still unsure.
“Who cares?” Nova said. She never cared what I said. If she decided something, it would happen.
“Okay, but we should probably throw stuff away, the bell’s about to ring.” I said. We both got up and I threw away the apple I’d only taken three bites out of.
“So we can take the bus to Grace’s and you can just spend the night.” Nova said as we walked towards her locker.
“Okay, I’ll meet you at your locker after school.” I said before she walked away.

I couldn’t wait till Ms.Marks art class was over. I loved art, but she was a terrible teacher. All she did was talk the whole time about random stories and text. I hated the time I had to spend in her class. At least it was finally the last period and I only had about two minutes left. I didn’t think I could wait much longer. I looked down and started doodling. I thought about how it felt to be one hundred five now and how amazing it would feel to lose even more weight. How jealous Grace would be if I became skinnier than her. The bell finally rang and I slammed my notebook shut and walked out the door. I quickly threw my things into my locker and grabbed my bag before hurrying to Nova’s locker.
“Finally!” Nova said, walking toward me.
“Sorry, Ms. Marks took forever to dismiss us.” I lied. I really had no excuse for taking so long.
“Well, let’s hurry so we can catch the bus.” Nova said, walking down the hall. When we got to the bus stop, the bus was just pulling up.
“You’re lucky we made it.” Nova said.
“Sorry, I won’t take that long again.” I said, looking down as I stepped onto the bus. I dialled Melly’s number on the phone she’d gotten me a week ago.
“Hello?” Melly said.
“Hi, can I stay the night at Nova’s tonight?” I asked her.
“Sure, do I need to drop stuff off?” She asked. I could hear El and Perry in the background.
“No, I left some stuff at her house last weekend.” I said.
“Okay, have fun, bye.” She said.
“Bye.” I said, hanging up.

We passed our usual stop to even nicer apartments. We got off about ten blocks away from Nova’s. I had no idea where we were, but Nova obviously did. After walking for a few minutes, she walked up to an apartment building and pressed the button. The doors clicked open and she walked in. I grabbed the door and closed it behind me.
“Okay, so just act like you don’t care what anyone thinks, and did you bring that shirt?” Nova asked.
“Okay and yes, why?” I asked. I always kept a backup shirt in my locker, like Nova suggested.
“Go change in the pool room over there.” Nova said, pointing to a room near the front desk. I locked the door and looked in the mirror. I took my shirt off and looked at my stomach. Nova was right when she said I still had weight to lose. I could almost see my hip bones and ribs. I quickly put the shirt on and smoothed it down. I sucked in and smiled. I patted down my hair and walked out. Nova was sitting on a bench near the elevators and looked up at me.
“See, you look better, still fat, but better.” Nova said, standing up and pressing the button.

When we got to Grace’s floor, Nova strutted down the hall. She knocked three times and some football player opened the door. He was obviously drunk. I could hear tons of people in there and I was already nervous.
“Come on in pretty girls.” He said, a drunken smile on his face.
“Oh shut up Conner.” Nova said as she strutted past him. I followed her, looking down.
“Jeez Lynds, settle down, have a beer.” Nova said, handing me a cup. I had only had beer once a year ago at Jessa Lynn’s brother’s party. It was terrible, but I could keep it down. I took the cup and sipped it.
“Don’t drink too much, way too many calories and you’re still fat.” Nova said, chugging her cup.
“I know.” I said, sipping it. Some other football player and his girlfriend, Kari walked past. Kari was obviously already drunk, even though it was obvious the party hadn’t been going on too long.
“Wow, Lyndsey, you’re here?” I heard behind me. I turned. Grace.
“Yeah, I came with Nova.” I said, looking to see where she’d gone.
“Well, I’m shocked you came while you were still fat.” She said. She smirked at me and walked away.
“Why did Grace come over?” Nova said as she came back up.
“Where did you just go?” I said, frustrated with her. She’d dragged me to this stupid party just to ditch me when I needed her?
“What’s with the attitude?” Nova said, hand on her hip.
“Sorry, but I needed you.” I said, looking down.
“You need me all the time, so you better stop being rude and follow me.” She said loudly. I nodded and followed her into another room. A few kids I knew from school were lounging around on the ground. Nova sat on a blue couch and I sat beside her.
“Hey Nov, want some?” said a girl from my math named Jen. She looked a lot like Kas and it brought back memories I didn’t want to think about. I couldn’t help but think of Kas laying on the concrete of the alley near my house, her eyes lifeless, her body twisted unnaturally. That was the worst day of my life and I hadn’t stopped thinking about it since the night it happened. It had been my fault. My parents said so, Kattie said so, everyone at school thought so, I even knew my friends thought so.
“Yeah, obviously.” Nova said, taking something from Jen.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Weed, obviously, I know you’re fat but are you stupid?” Nova said, taking a hit.
“I knew, I was just checking.” I said, swallowing. Kas and I had promised never to do drugs and I intended to keep that promise.
“Try it.” Nova said, holding it out to me. I shook my head no and she glared.
“No, I’m sorry, I can’t.” I said.
“Do it or I’ll never talk to you again.” Nova said, staring at me. What could I do? Nova was my only friend and my only chance at making other friends. I knew I had made a promise to Kas, but did promises still count to dead people? I took it from her and quickly did it before passing it to a boy named James.
“Good, now lets go find Grace.” Nova said, walking out. I followed her out and we made our way through the crowd, looking for the pretty young cheerleader who was the hostess of the party.
“Looking for me?” Grace said from behind us.
“Yes, I heard you called my girl fat?” Nova said, staring Grace down. The way she seemed to be calling her out reminded me of something Kas would’ve done.
“Yeah, so?” Grace said. Her green eyes bore into Nova, ready to argue all night.
“Well, even if it’s true, you don’t insult my girl Lyndsey like that.” Nova said, punching Grace in the face. I gasped and Grace screamed. Blood started pouring out of her nose and Nova started walking toward the door. I followed her after staring at Grace for a second longer. Nova had hit her hard.
“Why’d you hit her?” I yelled as we walked out of the building.
“I was defending you, you should be grateful.” Nova said, spinning around to face me.
“Well I didn’t want you to punch her, why would you do something like that!?” I said, screaming.
“Well I guess we can’t all be perfect like you!” Nova yelled.
“I’m far from perfect, but I would never punch someone for calling me fat!” I yelled, getting in her face.
“You should be lucky that someone fat like you even has a friend like me!” She yelled, hands on her hips.
“I’m not your friend anymore.” I said, walking away.
“Get back here!” Nova yelled. I kept walking.
“I said get back here!” Nova yelled as she grabbed my arm and pulled me around.
“Get away from me!” I yelled in her face. She punched me and before I knew it I punched her again.
“Don’t start thing like this with me, I will win!” Nova yelled, punching me. My dad used to say that back when he would play chess with me. More recently, he said it when he hurt me. For some reason, that made me mad, it made me want to hurt her. I punched her again, but not as hard as I intended. She kicked me and hit me until I fell onto the ground.
“Don’t talk to me ever again.” Nova said as she kicked me once more before walking away. I layed there for a minute before pulling out my phone.
“Melly?” I said, whimpering.
“Yeah, what’s wrong?” She said, sounding tired.
“Can you come get me, I was at a party and Nova left.” I said, wiping the blood from my lip.
“Sure, where are you?” She asked. I told her the address and shut the phone. I sat on the curb with my head in my hands. When I pulled them back, they were covered in blood. I pulled my phone out and took a picture of my face. When I looked at it, I saw the cut lip, the bloody nose, the bruised eye. I looked terrible and I had barely even hurt Nova.
When Melly pulled up, she freaked. She wanted me to go to a hospital, but I refused.
“What happened?” She said.
“Nothing okay!” I said as we walked into the apartment.
“Alright, alright.” She said.
“I’m going to bed, there’s ice cream if you want some.” She said, smiling. I didn’t look at her as she walked out. I was curious why she’d been offering me so much food over the last few weeks. She never forced me to eat, but she always told me what food there was and where it was. It was like she knew what I was doing. Either way, I needed some ways to cope with the cravings. I went into my room and made sure I was quiet when I opened the door. I looked everywhere for the notes from the first day I met Nova, but just like our friendship, it seemed to have disappeared. I needed to write down everything I could remember before I forgot it all.
I started looking around everywhere for paper but I couldn’t find any. I decided to go into the one place I wasn’t supposed to go. Melly’s study room. The one time I asked to go in there to find a pen, she’d freaked and went to get it herself. I had always wondered what was in that room. I opened the door, the first one in the hallway. I made sure to do it slowly so I wouldn’t wake Melly. I closed the door and fumbled for the light switch. When I found it, I flipped it up and saw the burnt orange walls and the hardwood floors. It was big and fancy, just like the rest of the house. There was a desk, a chair, and three filing cabinets in the room. The only window showed the streets outside. I went over and opened all the drawers until I found a few pieces of paper and a pen. I looked around. When would I ever get a chance to be in here again? Melly almost always made sure I was asleep before her, probably so I wouldn’t snoop around. I got up and looked around before opening one of the filing cabinets.
I didn’t find much in the first one other than business papers and useless mail. I made sure everything looked the same and closed it. I moved to the second one, which was just as useless, just the same kinds of things and some pictures of the family. A picture of her, mom, and Perry, a picture of them with Nanni, mom’s mom. They were nice, but not anything useful. When I got to the third cabinet, there was a number lock. Luckily, I knew Melly wasn’t smart enough to mess with the numbers after she’d put the code in. It opened, just like I knew it would.
I looked through the top compartment, which was useless things again. But, the second one contained medical records. Just out of boredom and curiosity, I looked through them. Melanie Diane James, thirteen, admitted for Anorexia Nervosa. Melanie Diane James, fifteen, admitted for Depression, Anorexia Nervosa, Panic Attacks, and Bulimia. Melanie Diane James, sixteen, admitted for attempted suicide. Melanie Diane James, sixteen, admitted for attempted suicide and self harm. Melanie Diane James, seventeen, admitted for Anorexia Nervosa. Melanie Diane James, seventeen, admitted for Bulimia, Anorexia Nervosa, and Stress Disorder. It went on and on, until she was twenty one. Was this why she’d been trying to make me eat? She had done the same things, so why did she think she had the right to stop me?
I woke up the next morning in bed, with the notes by my side. I couldn’t decide if I should say something to Melly or not. I walked out of my room and into the bathroom to look at my face. The cut was deep and big, the bruise was getting darker and I still had dry blood under my nose. I took a piece of toilet paper and got it wet. I dabbed it under my nose until the blood came off and I did the same to the cut, just to clean it. I walked out to find Melly outside the door.
“El and Perry want to take us out to get ice cream, so you should get dressed.” She said before walking into the bathroom. I walked into my room and looked through my closet. Nothing seemed right to wear. It would all make me look fat. I grabbed the loosest black sweater I could find and jean I’d never worn. I pulled a brush through the tangled mess of my brown hair, so hard that a few pieces were on my jeans at the end. I grabbed a ponytail holder and did a quick side braid. I didn’t bother putting makeup on. Nothing I had would cover how messed up my face was right now.

“Oh my God, Lyndsey what happened!?’ El and Perry exclaimed as they walked in an hour later. Rachel waddled past them and started playing with the shoes.
“Nothing.” I said, glancing at El’s stomach. She was now 6 or 7 months and really big. She looked like she could give birth any moment.
“Obviously something.” Perry said, looking closer.
“She doesn’t want to talk about it, Perry.” Melly said, coming closer.
“Who’s ready for ice cream?” El said, sensing the tension in the room.
“Obviously something happened now Lyndsey tell me!” Perry said, his voice rising.
“I don’t want to talk about it!” I yelled. I got up and almost knocked him down getting to my room.
A few minutes later, El came in. She waddled over to my bed and sat beside me. I was still face down in my pillow.
“Lyndsey, it’s okay if you don’t want to say what happened, but we all want you to come with to get some ice cream.” El said, rubbing my back.
“I don’t want any!” I yelled into my pillow.
“Why, who doesn’t like ice cream?” El said.
“Can’t you see that I’m fat!?” I yelled at her, sitting up. I felt tears coming down my face and burning my lip.
“Lyndsey, you are not fat, I bet you’re only like, a hundred pounds.” El said, looking at me.
“Ha, more like a hundred five.” I said, not looking at her.
“That’s nowhere near as much as I weigh Lyndsey.” El said, rubbing her belly.
“You’re pregnant, not fat.” I said, wanting to lay back down and never show my face again.
“You know how often I have to tell myself that?” El said, looking at me.
“El, I bet your tinier than me when you’re not pregnant.” I said, getting up and moving to the window.
“I have to work to get like that, you know how hard it is?” El said, as I sit down on the ledge.
“I work too!” I yelled. She looked shocked that I yelled.
“Starving yourself isn’t the kind of work you should be doing.” El said as she walked out.

I stayed in my room until I heard the door slam shut. I walked out and grabbed one of my water bottles. I chugged it and refilled it. I put it in the fridge and grabbed a second one. I sipped that one before I went and grabbed one of the workout sheets I’d printed out a few weeks before.
When Melly came back, she put a chocolate shake in front of me.
“I thought you might want something.” Melly said, smiling.
“Get it away from me.” I said, pushing it.
“El bought that just for you.” Melly said, sitting across from me.
“I don’t care who bought it, get it away from me!” I said, feeling myself getting angry.
“Lyndsey, you have to eat.” Melly said quietly.
“You didn’t, so why should I?!” I yelled, getting up so fast I knocked the chair over.
“What?” Melly said, nervously.
“I know you were like this too, you were worse.” I yelled.
“You.. you weren’t supposed to..” She said, looking down, stuttering.
“What, I wasn’t supposed to know?” I yelled. She stayed quiet.
“Well I do, no use covering it up that you have no right to try and stop me!” I yelled, not even sure why I was so upset.
“I don’t want you to be like me!” Melly yelled.
“Why, you’re perfect!” I yelled at her.
“I’m not perfect Lyndsey, don’t you get it!?” She yelled.
“Get what!?” I yelled.
“I’m still struggling with the same thing you are, I’m single, I’m alone, I hate myself!” Melly yelled.
“I hate myself too, can’t you see that!” I yelled.
“You still have time to change, I’m a lost cause, no one wants to be with me!” She yelled.
“Everyone wants to be you, everyone wants to be with you!” I yelled.
“You’re wrong, you have no idea.” She said quietly.
“How bout you just don’t talk to me?” I said, walking out.
I didn’t talk to Melly for three weeks. It was awkward, walking around not being able to say anything. I only ever ate carrots and apples, after she went to bed. It was hard not talking to her, she seemed so sad. The only good things that were happening lately was watching myself getting skinnier and skinnier. In that three weeks, I got down to eighty two pounds. I was slowly becoming okay with how I looked. Everything was alright, until about a month after my fight with Melly.
Nope, nope, nope, nope. Why is there never anything good on TV? I turned the workout channel on and started to work out when the bell rang. I knew it wasn’t Melly, she had keys. I thought it could be El or Perry. I opened the door to see the last person I expected to see.
My dad.

“What are you doing here?” I said, hoping my stomach would stop making noises. I hadn’t eaten anything, not even carrots, in five days.
“I’m your father, I can be here.” He said, looking angry.
“I live with Melly now.” I said. He looked like he was up to something.
“I am your father, you will come with me.” He said, his voice rising.
“No dad, I’m never coming back.” I said, looking down.
“If you don’t come back with me, you’ll regret it.” He said.
“I am never leaving, you hitting me doesn’t scare me anymore” I said, twisting my hair.
“If you don’t come with me, I’ll do more than hit you.” He said.
“Like what?” I said.
“I’ll kill you.” He said. He had a straight face and his eyes were cold. I slammed the door and ran to my room. I fell to my bed, dizzy.
I grabbed my phone from the desk and I heard my dad pounding on the door. I tried to dial Melly’s number, but I dialed it wrong. I tried the second time and it started to ring.
“What!?” Melly said.
“Melly, my dad.. he’s here.” I said, feeling light headed.
“What, I can barely hear you.” Melly said.
“My dad is here, he wants to.. to take me.” I said, rubbing my head.
“Did you lock the door?” Melly said.
“Yes, but.. but he threatened to kill me.” I said, feeling so tired, so hungry.
“I’ll be there soon, don’t open the door.” Melly said.
And that’s the last thing I heard before I passed out.

I blinked my eyes open and I saw a lot of white.
“Where.. where am I?” I asked.
“You’re at the hospital, Lyndsey.” I heard someone say. I looked around to see Melly, looking scared.
“Melly?” I said, still dizzy.
“Yeah?” Melly said, coming closer.
“What.. what happened?” I asked, looking around.
“You passed out, you weren’t eating enough and you almost died.” Melly said, her eyes red.
“I.. I passed out?” I said, trying to sit up.
“Yes, but you have to lay down.” Melly said.
“Did.. is dad gone?” I said, looking around.
“Yes, I called the police, they got him.” She said, smiling.
“They got him?” I said, confused.
“I showed them the pictures from when I first visited, the hotel gave them the video of him talking to you, he was arrested.” Melly said, caressing my hair.
“Miss.James, Lyndsey really needs some sleep.” A young nurse says from the door frame. Melly nods.
“I’ll be back later okay?” Melly said, looking worried.
“Okay.” I said, starting to fall asleep.




I opened my eyes to see the last person I thought I’d see ever again.

“Kas?” I said, scared.

“Hi Lyndsey.” Kas said, sitting at the end of my bed. Her hair was still long, blonde, with black underneath.

“Kas, I’m so sorry, I should’ve walked you home.” I said, close to tears.

“No, you would’ve died too.” Kas said, smiling. Her brown eyes looked so sad, but warm.

“I should’ve, it should’ve been me who died.” I said, starting to cry.

“No, you didn’t want to die like me, it was good for me to die.” Kas said.

“What are you talking about?” I said, looking at her.

“I’d wanted to die for years before I actually did die.” She said, pulling up her sleeve. Her skin was scarred with little cuts. How had I never seen these?

“Kas, Kas, why?” I asked, a tear rolling down my cheek.

“I hated school, I hated people, I hated myself, the only thing I didn’t hate was you.” Kas said, crying.

“Kas, I miss you.” I said, sobbing.

“Don’t cry, don’t.” Kas said, smiling.

“Kas.. who killed you?” I asked, the tears beginning to dry.

“You’ve always know, haven’t you?” Kas said, smiling, her eyes wet.

“No Kas, who?” I asked.

“Your dad.” She said, getting up and coming towards me. My dad killed her? A year ago, my dad had killed my best friend?

“Why?” I asked, fighting back more tears.

“He wanted you to be alone, he wanted you to never have anything else to waste time on.” She said.

“I was a waste, according to him.” Kas said, looking out the window. I couldn’t help it, I started to cry again, unable to stop.

“ Kas, I miss you please, don’t leave.” I cried out as she started to walk out.

“You need to get over me Lyndsey.” Kas said, before she walked out.

“Wait, why?” I sobbed.

“You shouldn’t waste time on the dead.” She said before leaving. I continued to cry, unable to stop, until I fell asleep.

“Alright, looks like she’s okay to go now.”

I waited a month to hear those words. I went through a month of therapy, a month of crappy food forced down my throat, a month of doctors and nurses everywhere. I went through one of the worst times of my life in that hospital, just to hear those eight words. Melly was there by my side almost everyday, supporting me. She never mentioned the fight we had or the time she spend in the hospital. She never mentioned anything that might make me upset.

As I left the hospital, I passed a room with the door open. Inside was Nova. I walked in an over to her bed.

“Nova?” I said.

“What are you doing here?” Nova said, looking up with panic.

“I just got out.” I said, coldly.

“Well, lucky you.” She said with a smirk, grabbing the water on her table.

“You’re the one who put me here.” I said, glaring.

“Please, you did this to yourself.” Nova said, giggling.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“You got fat again.” Nova said, slurping her water.

“I was never fat, you were just crazy.” I said, walking out.

“You should be thanking me!” Nova screamed as I left. I was ready to go back and slap her, but I stopped myself. I knew she needed help, she was crazy.

“Ready to leave?” Melly asked, her hand on my shoulder.

“Not yet.” I said, walking up to the doctor about to enter Nova’s room.

“Sir, can I ask you something?” I said, tapping his shoulder.

“Sure thing.” He said with a smile.

“Where is her sister, she’s been here for over a year.” I said, gesturing to Nova.

“She died over a year ago, she was admitted with the same problems and refused to eat, one day she died.” The doctor said, walking away. Maybe her sister’s death was what caused her to follow her path. Maybe her sister was what she lived for and when she died, so did Nova.

“Ready to go yet?” Melly said, coming up behind me.

“Yes, I never want to be here again.” I said, looking at Nova one last time.

I got out of Melly’s car and looked up the building. The building where I’d been found passed out about a month ago. The place my dad tried to take me from. The place where I had become happy, but then sad. As we go to her floor and then to her apartment, I was nervous. When she opened the door, inside was Rachel, holding a rose.

“I got this for you Lyndsey.” Rachel said, grinning. I bent down to take the flower and smiled.

“It’s as pretty as you.” I said, taking it and putting it in my hair.

“It makes you look pretty Lyndsey.” Rachel said before running off.

“Hi Lyndsey.” El said. I looked up to see her, tiny again.

“Did you have the baby?” I asked, looking around. She nodded and Perry walked out with a little bundle of blankets.

“Lyndsey, I’d like you to meet Kassidy Lynn James.” Perry said with a smile. I felt my eyes well up as I saw the little baby in his arms.

“Can I hold her?” I asked.

“Of course you can.” El said, nodding to Perry. Perry handed her over and I stared at her. After a few seconds, her eyes opened and she smiled. I felt a tear run down my face as I looked into her brown eyes, identical to Kas’s eyes.

“Hello Kas, I’m your cousin Lyndsey.”

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