disclosure: contains content related to disorder eating and eating disorders, body dysmorphia and mental health issues. please choose another prompt of mine to read if this is of concern to you right now. text NEDA to 741741 for 24/7 crisis help. ngā mihi.
The ocean was mad this morning. Large swells crashed all along the beach. There was a deafening thud as they smashed to the ground. I breathed quickly, inhaling the cold air as I ran down the waterfront. Trying to run faster, further, train better. My legs were aching, vision blurry as I tried to push my pace. Punk music played through my headphones, trying to drown out the call of the crashing waves. No one was else was awake. The town was still dozing before everybody started their day. I knew I needed to get home soon to get ready for school and finish my workout. The hills hurt. First, the usual trail stairs before the mini hills home and up into the subdivision. My breathing was hard and shallow as I tried to keep up the faster pace. Hills we always tough, but my favorite in some twisted way. I sprinted the short flat stretch home and keeled over at the front door. Sniffling and panting, I wiggled my key into the door and headed to my room. Now time for some core before jumping through the shower.
Running always made me rush. I rose early but was still fighting to get to school on time. After showering, I chucked an apple and protein bar in my bag and rushed out the door. My brothers were running even later than I was and it was a 20-minute walk to school. I listened to music as I walked and tried to tune out all the worries I had for the day.
8:35am, 5 minutes to spare as I crossed into the school gates. Economics was first and Mrs. Conall hated when we were late. Abi and Jack were already sitting down, arguing about the pronunciation of Iowa.
“Morning Clary,” Abi waved at me, “What do you think? I – wa or I – O - wa?” She asked.
I shook my head, laughing at the pair of them. “I – wa,” I said much to Jacks displeasure.
“No dammit, you’re just siding with Abi,” He glared at me, “I’m not helping with your demand curves today.”
“Don’t need your help,” I remarked and sat down as Quintin and Mrs. Conall came in.
“Good morning class,” She called, “Did you finish your homework pages?”
I pulled my book out, having finished off the practice curves last night. Abi looked at me frantically. I snickered as she looked pleadingly. “Help,” she mouthed, “I forgot.”
“Don’t help her,” Jack snickered, “Time you start remembering Ab.”
Quintin rolled his eyes as he pulled his work out, “C’mon Jack, where’s yours?”
This was the usual Thursday morning. Half of us remembering to do our work, the others pleading for help. Then proceeding to mess around for the rest of the lesson. The rest of the day wasn’t as chill. Math’s, the class from hell. I leaned against the wall all lesson, hand in the air, waiting for Mr. Lond to come help with algebra. But yet, he was distracted, as always. I couldn’t concentrate on the numbers; they made no sense to me whatsoever. Form time was boring. I read the notices for my class and then tried to beat the boys score on Temple Run as we waited for the bell to ring. Morning tea, the girls were talking about Brent liking Fi.
“I’m positive,” Abi was adamant, “Jack and Will told me!”
Fi looked apprehensive but a little excited at the prospect. “I don’t know,” She shrugged, “I don’t even know if I like him.”
I tuned out the conversation as they continued to try persuade Fi to go for it with Brent. I drank some water and snapped off a quarter of my protein bar. Belle offered me some popcorn, but I shook my head. I had it worked out, I had the rest of my bar and apple for lunch, another workout then dinner with my family. People didn’t understand how I stayed to such a healthy diet, but it felt second nature for me now. It was working, I was getting fitter, smaller, more kilos gone. Just a couple more and I’d reach my goal. The bell went and it was time for English. I was writing our film essay, but Mrs. Alice kept saying I could do better. I stared at my page blankly, not able to think of any new to add. PE was okay. Mr. Robert was one of my favorite teachers. We were planning a multi-day tramp and I was in charge of meals and doing the food shop. I had a table drawn up with light to carry, easy meals for a big group all planned.
“What will you eat?” Abi peered over my shoulder, “You don’t eat meat, what else are we going to get?”
“Don’t worry it about,” I brushed her off, “I’ll sort it out.” But there was no way I would be eating bread or making special dietary requests.
Lunch was after and we all wanted to go play four square. I was excited to have my protein bar but decided to leave my apple for later. I could have it before my circuit, some extra energy. Four square, well I was king once and not for long. It was fun though but Psych after. My head just wasn’t working. My assignment outline was staring at me, but it hurt to concentrate.
I wanted the school day to end. It was freezing. I had two jerseys on, but it wasn’t enough for today’s weather. The hour dragged by. My bag felt heavy and I felt exhausted on the walk home. I wanted out of the dumb uniform and into my activewear instead.
Blooming blue bruises dotted my stomach as I stared into the mirror. My eyes were rimmed black from restless nights. I pulled my singlet over my head and put on tights, hiding my massive tree trunk legs. My thumb flicked the elastic band around my wrist. A ring of red marks hidden under my layers of sleeves. I said hi to Mum and grabbed some water before locking myself in my room. 30 mins of HIIT and another 30 minutes of core. Time to walk the dogs. I grabbed my headphones and the dog lead, yelling that I was taking Roxy not Jasper on a walk.
The peninsula was stunning in the evening sun. I dragged Roxy alone, listening to Avril Lavigne and blink182 as we walked. I thumbed through Facebook, seeing my friends post like for a like statuses and rolling my eyes at their comments. Something new popped up, on a vegan page I followed. Orthorexia, what was that. I scrolled further, skim reading the symptoms. None of them applied to me. I was sure of it. I wasn’t like that, I was just being healthy.
Ana lurked behind me, smirking in the background.