Skinny Summer

I was fifteen back then, and it was summer. No worries about school or mean girls. I went on a road trip with my dad. He was always a good father, but he didn't know me. No one ever knew me. I lived a life in my head. A girl was haunting me in every reflection.
I felt insane, but I had to hide it. I couldn't tell my dad.

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9. The dress of a skinny girl

It was Friday night which meant a lot of food. My heart started to beat faster, even when I only thought about it. I sat in my blue tent. I had plucked some yellow flowers I found earlier that day.

People started grilling and music was playing loud. All the old people were talking Danish, so I didn’t understand one word of what they were saying.

I heard someone walk towards me. It was Brandon.

“Dinner’s about to be ready”, he said. I could hear he was smiling.

I got out of the tent and looked around. Everyone sat in the food tent.

I noticed a stage next to the food tent.

“Why is there a stage?” I asked Brandon curiously.

He walked up to me and said:
“Oh, you didn’t know? We’re having live music tonight! It’s folk!”

I wasn’t really into folk music.

I went to the food tent with Brandon. Dad was helping the others.

“You know… I bought a dress for you”, Brandon said.

I was shocked and confused at the same time.

“You… bought a dress for me?” I asked confused.

He gave me the big, white smile of his and said:
“Yeah, I have! Come on, I’ll show you!”

He took my hand and ran over to his family’s autocamper. It was white and had expensive furniture.

I stood and waited for him to find the dress.

He came back with a dress that was more beautiful than any dress I had ever seen.

Light pink, sparkly fabric with tiny, red roses on top. It was fluffy and reminded me of fairies.

It was light and weightless; it flew around like a feather whenever Brandon moved it.

I fell in love with this dress so badly.

“Wow”, I said and walked towards the dress. I felt it slowly float on my hand. It was so soft and elegant.

“Brandon… This dress… Where did you get it?” I asked.

“It was in the charity shop not so far away”, he said. “I thought it would look good on you”.

That was the first time Brandon’s stupid, annoying smile had ever infected me. I smiled, and I felt just as stupid as he looked whenever he smiled like that.

I considered giving him a hug, but no.

“You can wear it tonight”, he said. “After the dinner, the live music begins and we could dance”, he said.

I guess I owed him that since he found such a beautiful dress for me.

“Sure”, I said. His stupid smile came along once again.

I was actually really happy. The fact that someone I barely knew bought such a lovely dress for me was unimaginable.

“You can try it on, I’ll wait outside”, he said.

He walked out and closed the door after him.

I held the dress up high. It was the most beautiful dress in the world.

I dressed down and put on the dress. It fit perfectly. It was so pretty, it almost looked like a gown.

I looked in the mirror in the bathroom. It was like the dress was made for me.

I started spinning around and the dress formed into a big circle. That was the most amazing feeling I had ever had.

I put my clothes back on. I didn’t want Brandon to see me wear it yet.

“Did it fit?” he asked.

I nodded and smiled.

“Perfectly!” I said.

“We should go over to the food tent. I think the night is beginning”, he said.

We went over there, and the food was already prepared; steak with sauce and potatoes. There was also wine, and dad let me have some, but I didn’t like it.

I filled my plate with delicious food. I wasn’t even afraid that night. I was too happy to be concerned about food. I sat with dad, Brandon, his parents and some old ladies. We had a wonderful dinner and I couldn’t imagine it being better. There was also the bearded guy who tried to fix dads autocamper.

That was the first night in a long time that I had been happy.

We talked about everything that came to our minds. Brandon kept smiling like an idiot.

“I think it’s time”, he whispered to me. “Put on the dress, hurry!”

I went over to their autocamper as fast as I could, and I found the beautiful dress.

I couldn’t stop smiling. I was so excited to show the dress on me.

I dressed down and held the dress. I slowly tried to put it on the same I did earlier.

Something wasn’t right. I couldn’t get it on. I tried to pull and do everything I could.

The dress was too small because of all the food I had eaten.

I went to the mirror and turned to the right. My stomach was one, huge beach ball. I was disgusted by my body in the mirror. I had failed. What could I say to Brandon and the others? That I had become too fat for the dress? Tears were pushing behind my eyes, trying to come out, but I wouldn’t let them. I took off the dress, put my clothes back on and went outside. Everyone was eating, talking, not paying attention to anything outside the tent. Then I realized: Brandon had mentioned something about a little forest or something. I had to go there.

I searched the entire camping site and everything near it until I found the forest. I was a little forest, but big enough for me to get lost in. I looked over at the food tent; they were still occupied.

I ran as fast as I could deeper into the forest. I found a good place; a big pile of leafs. I dug through them and formed a hole. I took my entire hand and shoved it down my throat. I was desperate. I had to do something fast to make me fit the dress.

I felt it coming. It was pushing, trying to come up. I tickled myself deep down my throat to help it come up and eventually it did. My knuckles were bleeding. I cried. I simply fell on my knees with bleeding knuckles in front of a hole with puke I had made. What had I become? Hiding in the forest to purge; that was not human. I was ashamed of myself. I was embarrassed; I had let my father down. I was a failure. I was nothing.

I couldn’t stop. She was right. The girl in my head was right.

I got up on my feet, dried my chins and eyes and shouted:

“You got me! You’re right! I’m yours and I am nothing without you! You have taken over my life and I let you! You have given me nothing but sadness and pain, but I let you ‘cause if that’s all I can ever feel, then so be it! I am in your hand, you got me!”

No-one answered. How could she be gone?
“You better answer me! I know you are there! I know you won’t go away so don’t act like you’re gone!”

She appeared in front of my eyes. She stood about five meters in front of me, looking at me.

“Bravo”, she said. Her eyes gave me the deadliest look. She had somehow changed; she looked sicker yet more powerful. She looked bonier than ever before, yet she seemed more powerful than imaginable.

She smiled but not in a good way. She was evil; I could see it in her eyes. She disappeared from my sight, but I could still here her voice inside my head:

“No matter how many times you try, I will always be thinner than you. Don’t you get it?”

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