Who is she?

*Rated green but with occasional swearing*

14 year old Elsie Brammet has had enough. She's been bullied for years by catty girls about her weight, appearance and personality. She feels so insecure, insignificant, alone. She needs a friend who can help bring her back up to the happy person she was before the bullying. Then she meets Anna. Sparky, full of fun, she seems the perfect friend. She would never turn against Elsie, would she?

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1. Eye-opener

I can see the bus from the school gates, approaching the stop. I check the time. 4:05. School finished an hour ago. I stayed behind for science club, or geek central, as Melissa calls it. The bus comes nearer still. If I run, I should be able to catch it. I'm a little way away, there's a long queue of people waiting to get on, I should be able to get there--
BAM!
A pink suede shoe comes out of nowhere and trips me up. I sprawl on the floor, my school bag bursting open. The contents fly everywhere. Then comes a voice. A catty, squealy voice:
"Hey, watch where you're going, fat ass!"
Melissa Salaco.
The cattiest, bitchiest girl in the whole school.
Also, the slimmest, most beautiful, perfect girl in the whole school.
The bus trundles by, I've missed it. I lie there, gasping. She's winded me. My school stuff flutters about in the calm wind. It's summer. Football season. Of course, Melissa stayed behind for cheerleading. I'm usually careful and manage to avoid her, but this time it slipped my mind.
She calls to her cronies. They run over and laugh at me lying there. A screechy, fake laugh that only they seem to know how to do. I try to stand up. It's a struggle, I pant and slide down to the ground again. They continue their laughter.
"What's up, can't lift your fat ass off the ground?"
"You've really beefed up this summer, haven't you?"
"Yeah, you used to be plump, but now it's really--"
She puffs up her cheeks and waddles around, a crude imitation of me. I can't see her face properly but I know from her voice it's Fergie Bamphrey, Melissa's best friend. She comes towards me and kicks me in the stomach. It's not a hard kick, but she's wearing her designer pointy wedged shoes so it smarts horribly. Tears spring to my eyes. Melissa jeers.
"Aww, did mean old Fergie hurt you? Poor little baba."
I try to get up again. As I pant, my face red, my nose running, my eyes dribbling silly tears, one of Melissa's other friends whips out a trendy BlackBerry from her expensive flowered purse. She snaps a picture before I can look away. She shows Melissa, who hoots with laughter. I finally stand up and run after my science essay, the wind picked it up. More  laughter from behind me. I try to block it out, but the screeching makes its way through.
"Call that running? Have you seen her thighs? Wibble wobble, flop, flop. Were those jeans really a good idea?"
It's the girl with the BlackBerry, Shylar Winters. She runs after me, flitting past so effortlessly. She seizes my essay, holding it above my head. She's much taller than me, so it works. I try to get it for a minute or two, but she holds it higher, taunting me. Another one of Melissa's friends grabs it from her, almost tearing it in two. Her name is Ashley Penton. She looks at it, and screeches.
"Hey, Shylar, have you read this nerdy drivel?"
She throws it to Shylar, who catches it. I give up, and run after my pencil case, which Melissa is about to kick onto the road. I grab it, and shove it into my school bag on top of my other stuff. It's a messy jumble, which I hate, but I have to get to Shylar before she tears my essay into pieces. She's reading it out in a high pitched whiny voice with a pronounced lisp.
" 'Eating disorders are conditions defined by abnormal eating habits that may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake to the detriment of an individual's physical and mental health. This includes anorexia nervosa, bulimia and obesity.' " She stops and switches back to her normal voice. "Obesity! Yeah, that's what you'll have in a few months if you carry on like that!"
I grab my essay from her, and start running off. I can hear their screechy, raucous laughter and jeering behind me. I turn a corner and slow down, panting and out of breath after only a few minutes of running. I walk home, dwelling on what they've said.
My name is Elsie Brammet. I'm fourteen years old. I've often been labelled as fat in the past, but I've known that I'm not. I've always been chubby. Plump. But I've known I'm not fat. Could I really be a few months from obesity, as Shylar said?

 

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