Seventh grade started with a heat wave to rival any other. The year before the school had discussed putting in air conditioning but hadn’t raised enough money yet. Go figure.
As I took a step on the school bus I could hear the comments coming from the kids I had always went to school with. I went from being pretty over weight when I left for the summer to showing up this week being pretty skinny. Too bad I didn’t get any taller to let that be the excuse I could tell them. There were two other boys on the bus who could blame there weight loss on that, but I was the exact same height as I was three months ago. It didn’t help that one of the girls I wasn’t friends with had been telling people that someone else told her that I wasn’t eating anything. The last thing I needed was for them to catch on that quickly. I spent a few hours the night before on the phone with my best friend talking about how we were going to get that rumor stopped.
I spent a lot of time looking at my body last year not understanding why I was so different then all the other girls in my class. Everyone else could show there belly without being mortified. They could wear tighter shirts that showed off their new boobs and it actually looked good when they did it.
I looked like a beach whale. I had rolls and a muffin top that the boys in my class wasted no time before making constant comments. They would lean in and talk to me like I was one of them and ask me if I seen the new shirt that Robin was wearing. They would wait until I said I had before they asked me why I didn’t stop eating so I could look like her more.
They would laugh and joke in gym class about how much I jiggled as I ran around, so I slowly stopped. Then they commented that I was fat because I was too lazy to even chase after a basketball.
At home I would get out of the shower and pinch areas of my body, turn in every direction and wish I could just take a pair of scissors to them. I could heal from the wound and be happy at least.
The last week of school the boy that I had been crushing on came and sat beside me while we were out at recess. Normally the boys and girls didn’t play together but today we were playing kickball so we needed everyone. He sat so close to me that I could smell the soap he had used that morning. As I sat fighting the urge to take in a deep breath through my nose, he was leaning back and stretching his arms across the back of the bench on either side. He knew the effect he was having on me.
“Damn there is no teachers even paying attention to us over here. If you weren’t so fat we could easily be over here hitting third base before they even noticed we were here.”
My mind blanked as I was appalled at the language he used. Within the minute he snickered, stood up and took off.
Fast forward to the start of seventh grade, multiple pant sizes smaller and enjoying the looks that the boys in class were giving me suddenly. As long as I could keep the girls from pointing out my eating habits, I would be good to go.
More to come.