What They Don't Know

Alli Morgan has been suffering from severe anxiety since she first entered high school, but how is it that nobody seems to notice? Because she's so good at hiding it. What they don't know can't hurt them.

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1. Morning

             The reflection in the mirror was mocking me. Every time it seemed to look just right, another stupid little flaw had to poke out. I leaned forward closer to the mirror to apply just a touch more of mascara.

             There was a loud knock on the bathroom door. I flinched, nearly smearing my mascara and ruining the masterpiece I had just finished. 

             "Alli! You have been in there for almost two hours! We need to be out the door in ten minutes, and you still need to eat breakfast. Hurry up!" My mom yelled through the closed door.

            "Just one second, Mom. It has to be perfect," I replied. I heard her sigh and slowly walk away from the door. 

            She just didn't understand me. Yes, I was just going to school, but everything had to be perfect. What would people think if I just showed up without my hair done perfectly or my makeup done just right? 

            I took one final look in the mirror making sure every strand of hair was perfectly straight. "Perfect," I smiled. 

            I sprayed on my favorite perfume and grabbed my makeup bag. I turned out the light and walked out of the bathroom. 

           As I was walking down the stairs, I could smell the sweet aroma of my mom's pancakes. I stopped on the bottom step and breathed in the smell. Suddenly I was very hungry. 

          I walked into the kitchen and saw my mom flipping pancakes. I looked at the table which had a plate full of pancakes with a bottle of syrup and a plate of butter. My mouth began to water, and I so badly wanted to sit down and eat a couple of them. I wish I could, but I can't eat pancakes! 

         I glanced back at the table, then continued walking to the cupboards. I grabbed an apple and a granola bar. My mom looked at me strangely. 

         "Do you not want pancakes?" She asked quizzically.

         I looked at her hesitantly. "I'm not really in the mood for pancakes today," I lied, but I couldn't tell her the truth. She would freak out on me if I told her I was fat and couldn't eat pancakes. She would sit me down, give me a twenty minute lecture, and then make me eat a lot more than I should. Not only would I be late to school, but I would be bloated. Imagine what everyone would think!

         "Okay," she said, not even questioning my words. 

          I took my breakfast up to my room. I took a bite of my granola bar and went and looked in the mirror. I could almost see my stomach expanding as I took another bite. I quickly threw the rest of it into my trash bin. I looked at my apple and considered eating it instead. Then I looked back at the mirror at myself. My thighs were already slightly touching at the top. If I ate that apple, my thigh gap would probably disappear altogether. 

          I grabbed my backpack and the apple, and I walked back down to the kitchen. I sneaked past my mom and placed the apple back on the counter. I didn't need her questioning why I didn't want the apple either.

         I was just leaving the kitchen when my mom turned around. "You leaving now?"

         My heart started beating fast, and I nodded, unable to speak because I couldn't even get my breathing under control. 

        "Alright. Go get in the car. I'm gonna get your brother out of bed."

        I pulled my Vans onto my feet and looked in the full length mirror in our entryway. My outfit looked fine. My jeans fit me well, and my shirt was cute. The outfit made me look thinner, but the longer I looked at my reflection, the fatter I became and the uglier my face was. 

        I looked down at the ground with disgust for myself. I brushed it off and opened the door to go outside. I climbed into the driver's seat of my car and looked at my house. It was a pretty nice house. I loved living there. I had lived here since I was six years old. It was home. Even though I never invited any of my friends over because they all nicer houses than I did, and I didn't want them making fun of me. 

        The passenger door opened, and my little brother climbed in. I was a junior, and he was a freshman. His hair was messy, and he was wearing a name brand t-shirt and jeans. I didn't understand how he could stand going to school looking like that. He was so casual. I didn't get it. How does he have so many friends when he doesn't even try very hard? That was a concept I would never understand.

        "Good morning," he greeted.

        "Morning, Kyle," I replied.

         I turned the car on and pulled out of my driveway.  My heart was still beating fast. This was always the worst part. This was when I had to try so hard to make everyone like me. Even though I was pretty sure everyone already secretly hated me, I had to make an impression. 

        We pulled into the high school parking lot five minutes later; Kyle and I hadn't said anything to each other for the entire car ride. We were pretty close, but we both knew we lived completely separate lives. We didn't need to be interfering with each other. 

       I parked the car and saw all of my friends standing out in front of the school in a big circle. 

     "Smile. Make them love you. Now's is the time to give them a reason to not hate you," I muttered words of encouragement to myself and got out of the car.                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

           

 

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