Delusion

"My biggest fear is that eventually you will see me the way I see myself."



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11. 8

 

Chapter Eight

   I walk inside the small Seven Eleven on the corner of the street, in hopes of quickly buying a drink and walking out. I sigh at the AC blowing inside the store, saving me from the dreaded heat outside. Walking through the aisles, I make sure to look down, in order to not grab the attention of the magazines placed on the shelves around the store. Avoiding all the magazines and internet is what I've been doing for the past week. Everything either talked about or had pictures of Harry, and it was hard to forget about him when I saw him everywhere.

    A month had passed and we were now in May, closer to graduation and summer. Luckily, I had been going to the gym with the girls for the past month, just in time to get myself ready for bikini season and to lose off those extra fifteen pounds. I grab a tall, ice cold bottle of water from the freezer and walk to the counter to buy it. I was doing fine with avoiding the magazines, until I walked up to the worker to pay for my drink. Casually looking down, while the worker rings my drink, I look at the floor, when a magazine with Harry's face and name plastered on in catches my eye. Quickly looking away, I try to fight the urge of buying the magazine. I pay for my drink, as if I'm in a hurry, and almost make a run to the door. 

    Once I am outside of the shop, I let out a sigh of relief. I shake my head and start to walk to the gym located close-by the Seven Eleven. When I get there, Chelsea runs to catch up with me. "Hey," she says out of breath.

    "Hey," I say with a giggle, laughing at how out of shape she still is. 

    "Ugh, let's get this over with. I have a plate of chocolate cake waiting for me at home," she says, with an eager smile.

    Chelsea hated coming to the gym. She wasn't the dieting or eating healthy part, but I was sure that whatever she ate she would burn off at the gym, hence the reason for her nice body. 

    I run my membership card under the sensor, as does Chelsea, while listening to her mindlessly talk next to me. "Oh my gosh! I forgot to tell you!" she suddenly yells, making us stop walking in the middle of the gym. "Did you know apparently Harry has a girlfriend?!" she almost shrieks in my ear. It's hard not to look shocked, because I am. My mouth opens slightly and I can feel my eyes go wide. Suddenly realizing that I might look suspicious, I shake my head and try to shrug nonchalantly. 

    "Who is it," I finally push myself to ask.

    "That's the thing, you see, no one knows!" she yells with an angry sigh. 

    "What do you mean?" I ask, furrowing my eyebrows. 

    "Well, there are pictures of the two of them from when he was here in LA, but you can't see her face at all!"

    I stand in my spot frozen for about a minute, processing what she just said. What if...But how? There were no paparazzi when we hung out, and we would always go somewhere secluded or hidden. I can feel my heartbeat drumming in my ears. As long as my friends didn't find out, that that was me, then everything would be fine for now. I was not ready to tell them about my week of being friends with Harry and then automatically forgotten. 

    "Whatever," I shrug. I quickly try to walk away, before she can say more. 

***

    "We are going to look so hot for graduation and summer!" Samantha says excitedly, as we all run on the treadmills lined next to each other. In front of us is a flat screen plasma TV, playing a re-run of last night's E! News. We all nod in agreement at Samantha's statement, and talk about our plans for summer. 

     "I can't wait for the One Direction concert!" Chelsea yells out, with the happiest smile on her face. 

     "Chelsea!" Ava scolds at her. The three of my friends were all able to get tickets, I however, was unfortunately not. With my luck, I wasn't too surprised. As if a lamp just switched on, I suddenly remember how Harry told me he would give me tickets on the first day we met. I can't stop the smile spreading on my face, as I simultaneously run and remember the first day of talking to Harry and the following days spent together. I don't realize that I'm zoned out, until I almost trip on my own feet while running on the treadmill. 

     "Just promise you won't bring it up like that again," I hear Ava still scolding Chelsea for what she said. They haven't even noticed that I wasn't listening to their conversation at all.

    "It's fine guys, don't worry about me. At least have fun for me," I say with a small laugh, hoping they'll believe me. 

     The girls quiet down after that and we continue on our run. However, the silence is soon cut short when the woman on the TV says Harry's name. 

     "Oh my gosh! Look Haven, look! That's the girl," Chelsea says, as she runs faster, almost as if she was trying to reach the girl in the picture and rip her to shreds. Carefully looking at the girl, I realize that the girl and I have the same chestnut colored hair. Also, we're both wearing the same outfit. It doesn't take much to figure out that the girl is me. The picture is of the two of us walking to Harry's parked car, after hanging out at Starbucks for the first time. 

     "Hey, Haven, she has the same color hair as you," Samantha says with a smile. 

     I suck in a breath and hope they don't say more about the picture or the "Mystery Girl". "Pfft yeah, imagine if the girl was Haven," Chelsea laughs out in hysterics. I let out a sigh of relief, grateful that they haven't caught onto how true it actually was, and try to laugh as casually as I can with them. 

***

    When we leave the gym, I let Ava drive me home. I had outdone myself and exercised too much, to the point where I was feeling too weak and tired. I yell out a "Thanks!" and run out of the car, desperate for a shower. I can feel the sun burning on my back, and the California heat making me even more sweaty.

    "Guess what?" my sister asks, popping up right in front of me, when I walk in.

    "What?" I ask clueless, dropping my gym bag on the floor from tiredness. My breathing is uneven and my chest begins to hurt. I knew it was because of not eating anything and working out, but somehow the pain was all worth it. I would be fine. 

    "Harry has a girlfriend!" my sister answers, with a cocky attitude and a haughty smile. 

    "Ha! Yeah, sure," I say rolling my eyes, and pushing her out of the way to walk upstairs. Bad move. I walk too fast and feel a sense of dizziness come over me. Out of nowhere, colorful, tiny stars appear right in front of me, and I have to close my eyes for a while to relax. 

    "Hey, are you okay?" I hear my sister ask, but her voice becomes lighter and muffled. In it's place, a sharp ringing is replaced, making every other sound almost unclear. 

     "Yeah," I want to lie to her, and keep moving forward to my room, but I feel stuck. I feel as if I am about to puke everywhere. But instead, I feel myself slowly and then all at once, fall on the ground, unaware of anything else that happens to me, as everything goes black.

***

     "Oh God! What are we going to do?! What are we going to do?!" 

     "Wake up!"

     "Haven, please!"

     "Emma go get some water!"

     "Here, here I brought it."

     I sit up with a jolt, and take a huge gasp of air. Swallowing some water, I realize that my face is all wet. "Oh, thank God!" my mom yells, wrapping her arms around me. 

    "W-what happened?" I ask confused. 

    "You fainted," my sister, Emma, says calmly with a navy blue bucket in her hand.

    "What did you do? Are you okay?" my mom asks, still in shock.

    "N-nothing," I start to explain, "I'm fine. Really, I'm okay. It was just really hot outside and I had just worked out, so that's probably it." It wasn't totally a lie, it was only missing one part. 

    "Here, come and lie down." My mom grabs me from my underarms and pulls me off the floor, helping me to the couch. 

    "Ugh, mom. I'm all sweat," I say, crinkling my nose in disgust. "Please let me just go take a shower, I'll be fine."

    "No way. You stay here and relax, until I know you feel better. I'll go bring you some food, you must be starving!" She starts to make her way to the kitchen, until my yell stops her.

   "No!" They both look at me strangely. Maybe it came off as too much. "I-I mean, I'm not hungry, seriously." I can feel both of their eyes staring at me, while I try to look at the ground to keep the truth from them. I was starving though, and I wish I could eat, but then the whole work out would go to waste.

    "What do you mean? Last time you ate was in the morning. Let me bring you something small at least," my mom says stubbornly. 

    "Okay," I mutter, "But I only want some vegetables." That would be okay. They were low in calories, had no sugar, and most of them were water based. I would be fine eating some of them. 

    My mom hurries to get me a plate of veggies, while I lie down on the couch, still in shock that I actually fainted. How was I ever going to prevent this from happening again. Surely, my mom would freak out even more if it happened again. Even worse, they would find out that I wasn't eating and maybe try to stop me, as reassuring and great as that sounded, but I knew that could never happen. If it did, then everything would be ruined and I would go back to hating myself even more.

   "Well, my show's going to start," my sister says casually, as if nothing just happened. She plops on the couch in front of me, and turns on the T.V. without a care in the world. I silently stare at her in wonder, knowing that if she didn't care now, then everyone else most probably wouldn't either if I ever fainted again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

     

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