TW: Mentions of Anorexia and anxiety
Authors Note: hehe so a few things. This is supposed to be submitted under the prompt "Write about two people reconnecting after a rough in their relationship." However, stupid me when submitting a story a few days ago that didnt go with any of the prompts, submitted it under the exact one that this story was written to. Sorry if that made no sense at all, but basically, this story goes with this prompt: "Write about two people reconnecting after a rough in their relationship."
Not the one it's actually submitted under.
Second thing, this is a collab!!!! The wonderful Eleanor Eclipse wrote this story from Emilila's perspective, so make sure to go read that, her profile will be linked in my comment! Enjoy!
I had formed my room to be perfect.
And then I wanted to form myself to be exactly like my room.
Dad told me it would be better if I was perfect.
Well, he’s never really said much to me at all, but maybe if I was enough he would care.
He would care if I was skinnier.
He would care if my stomach didn't poke out when I wear swimsuits.
He would care if I looked like all the girls on the front of magazines, their ribs visible, no fat. Maybe then he would notice me instead of always fighting with Lacy or Emilila.
Maybe he’d like me if my hair wasn't so straight, or if I wasn't covered in freckles.
I felt like I needed his approval on everything, but I wouldn't get his approval until I was his perfect little daughter.
And then Emilila and Lacy were introduced.
Father fell head over heels for that woman.
That woman and her perfect little daughter who fit in immediately.
When I turned 16 and got my driver's license, it was my only way to escape everything. The yelling, the fighting, the blaming, the insults. In father's mind everything is pinned on a certain person. I just don't know how to trust him anymore. I went out to buy my first car right when I could. It was the escape I needed.
I snap out of my daze as the front door slams shut.
Father is a stickler for timing and he always comes home at five o'clock, never a minute under or a minute over.
Emilila scampers up the stairs, her tight brown curls bouncing up and down as she reaches the top.
We meet eyes as I step slowly out of my room and a look of fear is plastered on her face. Her pale blue eyes darting around as her hands tremble. She bites her lip and I can see the tears she holds back.
As the word loudly leaves my father’s mouth, I’m stunned halfway down the stairs.
Great, now I was gonna be stuck with my father alone in this hell house. I slipped past Emilila and ventured my way downstairs, avoiding the beast in the living room. And yet his stone cold eyes catch me like a hawk.
“Go back upstairs. I don't need any more worthless kids running around my house.”
The words hit me like a bullet and I stand there shocked. I can't move my feet as father glares at me.
“Lexie Madden, do your ears not work? I told you to go upstairs.”
He repeats, his voice becoming even more stern the second time.
Lacy inches past my father and runs over to me, resting a hand on my shoulder.
“Did you need anything, dear?”
A father that cares. Is what I think about saying but I shake my head in response.
Lacy smiles sweetly and nods.
“I can make you a snack! Your appetite seems a little low lately.”
I shake my head again, wanting to avoid that situation and force a smile back.
“I’m ok, thanks Lacy. I’ve got a lot of homework anyways, so I should go upstairs.”
I duck under Lacy’s arm and hurry back to my room, shutting the door and grabbing my ear buds. I can feel the tears rising in my throat as I snatch my iPod off my desk and collapse onto my bed, the guilt rising in my head. I should've done a workout today, should've eaten less for breakfast, and forgot to weigh myself. God, I hate my brain.
After 20 minutes of the fighting, the voices grow quiet and I hear father retreat to his room, and Emilila trotting down the stairs.
I follow her, knowing Lacy will suspect something if I don't come for dinner and slip into my usual spot at the table.
Lacy spoons out soup for each of us and sits down next to Emilila. Silence rests over us, tension sending us off into our own worlds.
I force myself out of it and glance over at Lacy, who stares at Emilila with a worried look on her face.
“You alright?” I ask, standing up.
Emilila nods, but I don’t believe it as I rest the back of my hand against her forehead.
“You’re burning up!” I watch as Emilila nods again and closes her eyes, Lacy standing up.
“I’m just tired, probably a bug from school.” She mumbles.
Lacy grabs an ice pack and sends Emilila upstairs and I take it as my opportunity to escape the table.
Once I’m safely in my room, I drag over my desk chair to the window next to my bed and disappear into the world of music. Salty tears roll down my cheeks as I pull my hair out of the bun and rest my head against the window.
The music drowns out noises from downstairs, father’s complaints from his bedroom and sends me into a peaceful abyss.
Halfway through my playlist, someone taps my shoulder.
My hand flies up and I pull the earbuds out of my ears and turn to find a shaking Emilila who stutters as she tries to muster some words. “
“Not here, ok?” I say, pushing my window open.
The outdoors greets me with a cool breeze, drying the tears still smudged on my cheeks.
I climb out into a tree right next to my window and climb down, Emilila close behind me.
I get in my car and let Emilila into the passenger street and start it up, pulling out of the driveway.
After moments of silence, Emilila bursts into tears and tucks her knees into her chest.
I turn on my headlights and sigh, unsure what to say.
“So I’m getting the feeling something’s going on that’s more than school?”
Emilila shrugs, then slowly nods, glancing over at me.
“What happened at dinner?” I ask.
“They’re not working!”
“What’s not working?” I ask again, turning off our street.
“Those stupid pills! I get so nervous that I can’t breathe so I shove one of those stupid pills down my throat and it just makes it worse!!!” She yells, heavy tears streaming down her cheeks.
“I feel like I can’t ever catch my breath, like I’m always on the verge of running out of air. Like I’m drowning in a pool of my thoughts.” Emilila finishes, her voice shaky.
“What are you afraid of happening?”
Emilila opens her mouth then closes it, going silent.
“I-I don't know I always convince myself that someone's gonna die or I’m gonna die or someone's gonna take me, or that no one likes me, I just end up getting trapped in my own thoughts.”
I pull into a parking lot and stop the car, turning to face Emilila. She shakes in the seat, her eyes focused ahead and her breath quickens.
“Let’s play a game,” I suggest, and she looks at me but nods, snapping her head back to a forwards position.
“Tell me about that really annoying kid in your class. What was his name, Joel?”
Emilila nods, still dazed and afraid.
“And he always tries to bring his rat to school?”
Emilila nods again, her lips curving a bit, but quickly goes back to a frown as her hands shake more.
“And he always talks about his business?”
Emilila lets out a small laugh, and my heart slows down a bit.
“What’s his business?”
“H-he makes cardboard weapons.” She said through a mix of a laugh and a sob.
“And corrects the teachers.” She adds, taking a deep breath. She closes her eyes and wipes a few tears off her face.
“Why don't we go home, alright?”
She nods and I pull out of the parking lot and start on the road home, putting on a Broadway playlist. For the first time in a while, the drive home didn't feel so lonely. It’s people who had never gotten along quite like they just did. Emilila and I.
It’s a year later and god am I ready to turn 18.
Emilila has been moping around the house for about a month now because even if father is gone and Lacy takes care of both of us, she’s definitely not ideal to take care of a 13-year-old. Though her basically living at the gym helped Emilila and I grow closer.
We got better at sticking together through her anxiety attacks and my anorexia.
Everything just feels so real now. Emilila has helped me build the reality I wanted. It’s far from perfect, and definitely still has its problems, but it’s improved. And Emilila’s gonna have to quit her moping by next week. I’ve got a few surprises up my sleeve.
18 was probably my best birthday since like 3.
Emilila and I spent the entire day driving around blaring our Broadway playlist and belting our hearts out.
It’s the end of the night and Emilila is in my room helping me pack.
I can tell she’s holding in tears and I’m struggling to hold in my surprise.
Once the last suitcase is zipped, Emilila starts to leave when I stop her and run over to my desk. I pull out a large yellow envelope and she looks at me, cocking her head.
“Open it,” I say, my smile growing. My heart flutters as her long fingers rip open the seal.
She glances up at me after a few seconds and I nod, uncontrolable excitement building in side of me.
Her hand reaches in and pulls out one of the many adoption papers that I had stuffed in there the other day.
Her blue eyes well with tears as she holds up the paper.
“All you have to do is sign it.” I say, wrapping my arms around her. As I hold her in my arms my life-with it's many struggles-feels put together.
I'm no longer trapped in the cage of numbers and sizes. No longer shoved down by words and insults.
Emilila had set me free.
And just hours later, we were finally together permanently. It’s just us. Emilila and I.