You Can't Make Me

Jade Lawson has always been a happy 14 year old who lives with her adoptive parents Mike and Rosanne. But then one day the school bully makes a comment, a comment that despite her best friends agruments, Jade can't help think is true. Jade is overweight and soon what was only meant to be a small diet becomes a year long battle with anorexia, an illness that almost robbed her of her life. After living in an adolescents phyciatric ward and meeting other girls in her position does she finally realise: there's more to life that what you look like.


1. Chapter One

"What have we got first?" my best friend Ellie asks me as we approach the large, brick building that is our school.  I drag my timetable out of my bag and scan for todays lessons.

"Biology with Mr Freeman", I reply with a groan.  Ellie copies me.  Biology isn't so bad but Mr Freeman drags all the fun out of it with his rambling on and droning voice.  I actually managed to fall asleep in his class once and ended up with a two hour detention.  We've been studying big cats and todays lesson, if i recal Mr Freeman's departing words correctly, is about lions.  Lions are my favourite animal, but i wasn't banking on todays period being any more interesting that the previous ones.  Ellie takes my timetable and reads todays entire line up.  I see her face growing more and more disappointed.

"No way have we got PE, electronics AND french all in one day!" she exclaims, passing my timetable back with disgust.  I sigh.  PE is my worst subject, electronics and french close seconds.  I get tired out really easily and end up panting and bright red in the middle of the feild whilst all the other girls run around me without even breaking a sweat.  Luckily Ellie hates sports too, but she can perform well when she wants.  She has a slim, athletic body and is quite tall so good at netball.  I'm average height and not as thin as her, but i'm not fat.  I don't think.  I have lots of uncertanties about myself.  We walk into the gates and across the playground where everyone chills at break times.  Karen and Martha, twins from our form and the school bullies with short black hair tied into tow pigtails come stalking up, holding a yellow bucket labelled: DONATIONS FOR CHILDREN IN NEED.  They shake it at us and a couple of coins jangle inside.

"C'mon, cough up!" Karen commands, a stony stare in her black eyes.  Ellie laughs at the box,

"Collecting for charity, Karen?" she asks sweetly, "That's not like you!  The 'children in need' wouldn't mean you and your dear twin Martha here by any chance?"  Karen clicks her fingers impatiently,

"Maybe, now hand over your lunch money, or else".  Martha nods in silent agreement.  I stare at Ellie, waiting for her witty response.  She's acting a look of deep thought with her hand resting on her chin,

"Hmmm, actually, if you don't mind, i'd rather keep my lunch money for what it was given to me for, which is to buy my lunch, so goodbye", and with that she links arms with me and marches off.  I stumble after her, awed.  Karen and Martha are always targeting me, but Ellie always stops them.  She's amazing and so smart.  She leaves them lost for words.

"Well i do mind!" Karen hollers after us, "We'll get you one day you little brat!  Just wait!"

"Oh, i'm waiting!" laughs Ellie, pulling me along.  We finally reach the main entrance and only once we're safely inside does Ellie release me.  I smile at her,

"Thanks", i mumble.

"Don't worry about it", Ellie says airily, pulling off her jacket, "Lets get to class".  We stuff our coats into our bags and run for the biology labs.  We're not late yet, but it's better to be safe than sorry.  When we reach them we line up outside with a bunch of other kids waiting for the first bell to ring.  Most are texting on their phones or checking their homework.  After a few minutes of waiting the bell rings shrilly and the door we're facing bursts open to reveal the figure of Mr Freeman glowering down at us.

"In!" he barks.  We file in silently, knowing him only too well than to play up.  I take my seat at the back beside Ellie and two other girls from our form named Isabelle and Alyson.  They're a bit like dizzy blondes and spend the whole lesson giggling about boys and testing new lip glosses.  Mr Freeman strides to the front of the classroom and taps his computer.  The interactive whiteboard behind him lights up to show a montage of lion pictures.  We all sit in rapt attention except Isabelle and Alyson who are whispering stupidly as usual.

"Lions", he begins, annoyed, "Are the subject of todays lesson.  The trait that most distinguishes them from other felines is their lack of need for solitude.  They travel in a group known as a pride, like a herd of cows or flock of sheep.  The male lions also have one very different physical aspect to females, which is of course, the manes.  The mane of a male lion serves the purpous of protecting his neck when fighting.  However, the weight of it prevents him from possessing the ability to hunt, and thereofre this job is completed by the females alone.  A pride will consist of several females and cubs, but only one adult male.  Why aren't you all copying this down?"  There's a mad rush for exercise books and pens.  I scribble what i can remember, which is rather little sinse i was already beginning to zone out.  It's become an automatic response to Mr Freeman's voice.  Just as he's about to dive into another speech about lions the door swings open and Karen and Martha stroll in carelessly.  Mr Freeman's face contorts with rage,

"Why are you so late?" he demands, trying to remain calm.  Karen looks him up and down derisively,

"Got lost", she answers dryly.

"Got lost???" splutters Mr Freeman, "You've been attending this school for two years nearly!"

"So?" Karen questions, narrowing her eyes.  The entire class is staring from her to Mr Freeman, who is breathing so heavily i'm surprised his lungs can hold so much air at once.

"Detention young lady", he manages to choke out after a strained silence, "After school, my office, and your friend can join you, for arriving late".  Karen glares hard at him but does not argue.  Martha follows her to an empty table near us, muttering angrily.  I catch the word 'dick' and smirk to myself.  Mr Freeman begins his rambling again and i spend the rest of the lesson daydreaming about my favourite rock star Evan Sage.  I love rock music, it's like my escape, Ellie prefers classical though.  For best friends we are extraordinarily different.  I have long, dark brown hair i want to dye black and spaky green eyes with creamy coloured skin.  I like the whole rock culture and my bedroom walls are plastered with posters of famous rock bands.  Ellie was silky shoulder length blonde hair and sky blue eyes.  She does ballet every Saturday and can play the violin.  She's the kind of dreamy, cutesy girl who lives in a fantasy world.  She's very intelliegent though, way more than me.  By the time we can finally escape Mr Freeman we're all mentally exhausted.  We trudge down the corridors to french and endure another hour of torture including drearily repeating french words and then being scolded for not pronouncing the e's properly.  After that it was lunch.  Me and Ellie went down to the cafateria and join the que for food.  Ellie orders a slice of pizza and salad.  I order a sandwich, chocolate milkshake and blueberry muffin.  I always get more than Ellie, but she says she has to mantain her skinny frame in order to progress in ballet.  We go and sit away from all the babble and talk quietly about home.  I was adopted when i was one by a couple named Mike and Rosanne.  I don't rememebr anything about my life before then but i've been told my parents were on drugs and i was taken into care after police discovered their stash of cocaine in the attic.  They're still serving their prison sentence.  I've been asked if i want to see them but i've always said no.  I like how i am now, Mike and Rosanne are nice to me, and if they really wanted a me they wouldn't have screwed up when they had the chance.  Ellie lives with her birth parents and annoying older brother Sam.  Apparently i went to a temporary foster placement first while they established what was happening with my parents.  After the court date when they were sentenced to 20 years i was given to Mike and Rosanne, who had just been deemed appropriet adoptive parents.  I've been there ever sinse.  All i know of my real parents are there names: Alan Lawson and Kerry Michaels.  I kept my father's name because i don't want to be completely cut off from them.  I still miss them sometimes; not them exactly, as i can't remember them, it just feels as though a part of me is missing, the part where parents should be, the part Mike and Rosanne could never quite fill...

"Hey Smart Arse", a voice breaks my chain of thoughts.  I look up and see Karen standing over us, Martha behind her, addressing Ellie.  Ellie looks back in mock confusion,

"Um... acutally, my name is..." she starts, but Karen interrupts angrily,

"I know what your name is, only Smart Arse suits you better, considering you seem to think it ok to give out bull shit to everyone".  Ellie sneers,

"Oh well then, can i call you Pudsey, considering you seem to think it ok to wave a yellow bucket labelled Children in Need around?"  Karen's cheeks turn an ugly red.

"You think you're so witty, but you're just another little fucker who was a mistake to the world", she hisses, her eyes set in her face like black stones.

"Well if i'm a little fucker then God know's what that makes you!" Ellie retorts.  Karen smiles cruelly,

"I guess that makes me the girl who needs to teach you a lesson or two about what happens when you get on the wrong side of Karen Jenkins", she whispers, still smiling in a way that a king might with a helpless slave at their feet.  I feel anger boiling in my stomach at this.  I can't just sit here and allow her to threaten my friend like that!  Ellie's stood up for me loads, it's about time i repayed her.

"Don't you dare threaten Ellie like that!" i yell.  Karen turnss sharply to face me, glaring murderously.

"I don't remember asking your opinion, you fat idiot", she snarls.  I blink as i allow her insult to sink in.  Ellie's staring at me in shock.  Karen's smirking triumphantly and Martha is frowning at me for arguing with her twin.  But i don't care.  Her words are ringing in my ears like alarm bells.  Fat idiot.  Fat idiot.  Fat idiot.  She called me the very name i've always dreaded being called.  FAT.









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