Picture Perfect

Chloe and Jason couldn't be more opposite even if they tried. Her personality which matched her outward appearance could be described in one word: bubbly. Her eyes had a mischievous twinkle and her face always sported a big contagious smile. Jason was more of the quiet type. He was awkwardly tall for his age and quite wiry. Whilst he preferred the back benches of the classroom, he despised Chloe's easiness at making friends and chatting away. He also resented her for making the achievement of an A in any test look so easy and natural when his incessant attempts at studying hard for any subject brought him at the very best B-minuses. Yes, for twins, these two couldn't be less alike. But, how far can they take their sibling rivalry and at what cost?

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1. Chapter 1

 

“When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sand paper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.”  ― Chris Colfer

 

'Oh, careful not to disturb the elephant in the room!'  - shrieked Jason, gleefully, as he saw Chloe's shivering figure approach the classroom's front door. Peals of laughter echoed down the corridor and her fearful downcast eyes slowly worked their way up to face those of her attacker. His, stared back unwavering, with a mean twinkle of satisfaction. Furtively wiping away the tears that were flowing of their own accord, Chloe turned her back and ran down the corridor, back to the deserted courtyard. As she made her quick escape, she heard another eruption of sniggering as Jason's distant voice trailed on 'Ooh, Earthquake, people! Earthquake! Take cover!!. Involuntarily, a loud sob escaped from her. At the same time, it relieved her of some of the hurt weighing down on her heart. The further she got from that dreaded classroom, the more light-headed she started to feel.. Questions as to how Jason could have so abruptly changed from her confidant and protector to this vicious, spiteful tormentor was beyond her scope of comprehension. As her mind overloaded itself with turmoil, her dizziness catalysed her need to stop and sit down. 

'How could she be so weak, those were just words, stupid, stupid words. How could she let herself be so affected?'

Save for the few squirrels scurrying around, the school yard was completely empty. Even though that summer day boasted a warming sun and a clear sky, Chloe could not stop herself from shivering. As she fitted herself in a concealed space between the wall and the big oak tree by the football field, her two tiny rolls of fat squashed together. With her right forefinger and her thumb, she accusingly pinched them as if willing them to non-existence.  As she stared at her  protruding stomach, she scowled furiously and tried to blink away fresh salty tears. She refused to acknowledge the bulging torso as hers, neither would she accept what her mum referred to as 'thunder thighs' to have anything to do with her. The source of all her problems, there it was, clinging on to her limbs like an unwanted tumour. Yet, she had tried, over and over again to shed those extra pounds. 'No big deal', she had told herself,  'We'll cut on the sweet stuff and exercise a bit more everyday.' This had been before the whole year had decided to join in the taunting, and even before Jason had decided to start his reign from hell.

At first, he had been supportive, but in the next few days, he'd suddenly taken what seemed like a permanent turn into Mr. Hyde. He'd make elephant noises or mimic her attempting sit-ups and openly crack jokes about her weight. At first, they had been subtle and she had shrugged them off as sibling banter. How many times had she, herself, compared Jason to a twig or playfully called him 'frog-legs'? She had meant no harm, why should she question his motives now? Gradually, though, the jokes became harsher and more aggressive. He had gone from his term of endearment 'Cheeks' to calling her 'Fat Ass'. He would spread his legs, bend his knees a little, push his stomach out, blow his cheeks up and waddle around the living room, screaming 'Look, I'm you...Rolly-Chloe!'. She had tried to tell him off, laugh it off but to no avail.. Her passive attempts at bringing him back to order only served to instigate him further. He sought to provoke her, bring her to breaking point,in the end, he always succeeded. She would interrupt her exercise routine, get up and scream at him, restraining herself from hurling something, anything, in his direction. After she had let out her frustration, her voice was hoarse and her head ached but he seemed to enjoy every moment of her suffering and started tormenting her yet again, looking for that same reaction over and over again. He was tireless in this task, he would follow her up and down the house, at times, patiently wait outside her room or throw jibes at her loud enough for her to hear from there. 

Eventually, she had given up exercising and taken to devouring packets of savoury snacks as a means of comfort. She took to hiding them in her room, away from prying eyes and smirking faces.

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