High School

TW: eating disorder, alcohol abuse


My reflection stares blankly back at me. Exhausted, I am half tempted to just leave my makeup on from the long day of smiling, starting conversations, and looking like I care when I truly don’t. Today I was my parent’s prize pig. I just graduated high school, (a year early I may add) and my ideal way to celebrate is not by putting on a dress, I had to starve myself for three days just to be able to have it fit.

Coldwater runs down my face, replacing my once perfect mascara with raccoon eyes. What the water doesn’t take off I decide can just stay. If my mother saw this she would have a hissy fit, and demand I do my normal skincare routine. Luckily she is asleep, filled with so much champagne even a thunderstorm wouldn’t wake her. 

After struggling to get off my dress for five minutes straight, I finally get it off and throw on a large, baggy t-shirt that has Stanford printed on it with big bold letters, with sweatpants. I allow myself to binge Stranger things, while I reflect on today’s events. I finish two episodes, and I can barely keep my eyes open. It is 1:28 am when I finally decide to go to sleep. 


I wake up to the sound of my phone ringing. I jump out of bed and scramble to reach it.


*Missed call

*Missed call

*27 snaps

*87 texts


I turn my ringer off and I set it down. It’s too early for me to deal with that, I end up just taking a moment for myself. The sun hasn’t quite peeked over the mountain tops, the sky is filled with cotton candy-like clouds. I often dream of sitting on one of those fluffy clouds, just being able to relax. Feel the breeze brush past me, carrying the cloud and me away, away from my stress, and worries. 

I jump back to reality and decide to make my bed. Getting ready, I change out my sleepwear with a plain white crop top, ripped high-waisted jeans, in addition to an oversized green button-up. As an accessory, I add a necklace I got yesterday as a graduation gift from my friend Nora. I thought it would be a good idea since I am meeting up with her to get ready for high school graduation today. I pre-pack my items for the hangout with the girls. 

By the time I’m ready, the sun is seeping through my window, and I hear birds singing a peaceful full tune. Picking up my iPhone I light up when I see a few messages from my best friend Maddie out of the many texts I received. 


Contact: Maddie



-I can’t wait to see you today, finally we can escape high school!!  

-What are you wearing to graduation, I have no idea what to wear

-I heard Oliver and his friends are hosting a party later tonight 

-Cannnnnn weeeeeeee please go <3


Maddie is a year older than me, as are most of my friends. I have many friends, but she is the only person who gets me, she sees behind the picture-perfect me, and my blurred identity. She knows my insecurities, struggles, as well as some of my deepest secrets. I smile at her texts, happy I will have her by my side today.


Contact: Maddie



-I can’t wait to see you today, finally we can escape high school!!  

-What are you wearing to graduation, I have no idea what to wear

-I heard Oliver and his friends are hosting a party later tonight 

-Cannnnnn weeeeeeee please go <3



I will be wearing the dress I wore for Emily’s birthday.-

And about the party I’ll pass, you know it’s not my thing.



It does not take long for Maddie to respond.




-Oh come on! I need you at that party! 

Noah is going to be there and you are like my emotional support animal.

I will make it up to you I swear! You’ll get to see Oliver ;)


Sure <3 -



With a weak smile and a reluctant sigh, I give in. Maddie has helped me so much lately it's the least I can do. Besides, I do like the idea of seeing Oliver. He has been my crush since the 7th grade when he gave me roses after I did a solo in the choir's performance. I have never had a boyfriend before. My parents always thought it would be too distracting in my academic studies. 


I make my way down the winding staircase and into the kitchen. I see my mother drinking coffee, sitting at the island. 


“Morning,” I say as I riffle through the fridge trying to find something to eat. 


“Good morning” she exclaims, smiling. 


She acts as if nothing happened last night. She always ceases to amaze me, she can get so drunk but then never have a hangover. At least if she does she hides it pretty well. I guess if I drank that much I would be a pro at covering it up too. 



Cutting out the small talk, I blurt out “May I please go to the party tonight. Maddie needs me there.”


“Sure, just be home by 1:00” she answers. 


I am surprised by her reply, I know she always wants me to be social and hang out with my peers but I didn't think she would agree to let me go to a party. 


“Really?” I question 


She just nods. 


“Thanks...” I utter, I wonder if she is having a hangover. I choose to just skip breakfast, there is really nothing good to eat anyways. I hurry out the door before my mother changes her mind. 


My social battery is running low already. I think Maddie notices since she pulls me aside. 


“Hey, are you alright?” She asks. 

“Ya I’m fine, just feeling a bit tired” I confess. 

“We don’t have to go to the party later if you do not feel up to it.” Maddie comments.

“No, it's all right. I know how much you want to go.” I smile weakly


She gives me a skeptical look. When we re-join the conversation again, Nora's mom comes in and, we all go silent. 


"Sorry to interrupt," she laughs, "I think we should load up and get to your graduation." 


We arrive at the high school with minutes to spare. After what feels like years of people talking, it is my turn. Since I am Valedictorian I walk up nervously to the stage. I have to hold my right hand from shaking. Grateful that I didn't eat lunch or breakfast or it would surely make an appearance. Locking eyes with Maddie I take a deep breath and deliver my speech. 

Dots field my vision, and I start to sway. Luckily a hand guides me to a seat after my speech. The water I grab from under my chair helps calm my nerves. I don’t partially enjoy public speaking but I have never had a panic attack from it. I relax as my turn is over. 

Completely drained from hanging out, graduation, and this party, I can’t wait to be in my room reading a book. The only thing that is making it worth it is Maddie’s happiness and that Oliver keeps making glances my way. I try to look like I don’t notice, but my cheeks glow bright red. In the corner of my eye, I see Oliver walking my way. I can’t help but smile. For the first time in hours, I think I might enjoy myself.


July 30, 2021 03:58

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