Once again, he was there, helping me gather up my schoolbooks right after third period ended. "By the way, I'm Nate," he says as he sets my textbooks in my arms.
"Oh," I reply. "I'm... Maria?" My sentence ends in a question, trailing off into uncertainty. "... But I think you already knew that."
He nods. "I... I know a lot about you, Maria."
I blink, long and slow. "Okay," I say, slowly stepping away. "I think..." I attempt to pivot on my good foot. Immediately I gasp, nearly falling to the floor if it wasn't for the desk my hand was on. "Ow!" I shrieked, earning glances from several snickering classmates.
"Aw," Marilyn asks, stepping in front of me. "Are you okay?" Her snide expression morphs into a false look of concerns as the teacher walks.
"Maria?" Mr. Sinc asks, pushing his glasses up his face slightly. "What's- ah. Your condition."
I can't help but flinch at his words.
"Well, if you're in such pain that you can't function, perhaps you should head down to the office, have a family member pick you up."
I bite my lip. "Okay."
"Good." He says. "Marilyn, would you please take her to the office?"
"Of course, Mr. Sinc," Marilyn says sweetly. As the teacher walks away, Marilyn grips my arm harshly, pulling me out of the classroom. Her sweet, angelic expression changes to the devils as she drags me down the hall.
"You're such a liar, Maria."
My brow furrows. I walk alongside Marilyn, my right foot dragging on the ground. It hurt more to walk now, every movement seems to cause my hips to twitch harshly, causing me great pain. "What?"
"Yeah." Marilyn stops, poking my chest with a long, manicured finger. "A big, fat, phony."
I smirk. "What are we, in second grade?"
"You're a liar. You don't have a condition at all. You're just acting."
I hadn't quite realized it until then, but we were in front of the office. Wincing, I managed to salute Marilyn before dragging myself into the office.