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


4. 1


Chapter One

     I follow my mom through the line and take a spot next to her, patiently standing while she looks over the menu. Coming to Malibu on Sundays for fish and chips almost became a tradition for us, but it always went bad when the afternoon ended the same way. She would order tons of food, in hopes that I just might eat, but due to my stubbornness and the guilt, I couldn't put more than one fry and half a fried fish in my mouth.

    The wind is blowing softly and because we're at the beach, the weather is cool, but still hot. People are chattering with each other in the line and others are either picking up their food from the 'Pick Up' counter or finding a place to sit. I take a look in back of me, barely catching my mom's words suggesting that I maybe try something new this time, when someone catches my eye. My eyes bug out a little and I try to concentrate hoping that I am not hallucinating. I quickly whip my head around and lean in closer to my mom.

    "Mom," I whisper urgently to her, lightly pulling on her sleeve for her attention.

    "What?" she asks looking at me confused.

    "Mom," I whisper again,"It's Harry Styles."

    "What? Where?" she asks quickly, almost as if she were a bigger fan of his. Though, it was expected considering all I spoke about was him and his band mates.

    "In back of us," I whisper, trying to take a look at him again.  

    All of a sudden, she laughs loudly and throws her head back. "Well, what are the chances?" she giggles. "Go take a picture," she says lightly shoving me towards him.

    "What? No. I'm nervous, I don't want to bother him," I tell her shaking my head.

    "C'mon," she says quickly and out of nowhere I'm being pulled out of the line and towards the back.When I walk up to him, he's talking to the person next to him, whom I'm assuming is his
friend. He notices us and I give him a smile, hoping he won't be freaked out.

    "Hi Harry," I say shyly.

    "Hi love," he says with a smile of his own.

    "Can I get a picture with you please?" I start to say, when my mom cuts me off and decides right then to embarrass me.

    "Oh! She's a huge fan! You should hear-" I cut her off by elbowing her in the arm and giving her a look with wide and pleading eyes, begging for her to stop.She gives me a small smile and 
shrugs apologetically before Harry nods his head and says, "Sure," with a smile showing off his white teeth. I giggle to myself before sliding in next to him and passing my phone to my mom,
hoping she'll take a good enough picture. His hand rests in the middle of my lower back, as I feel his curls softly tickling my forehead when he lowers his head to his right side. All too soon, 
my mom snaps the picture and I turn to say, "Thank you."

     Realizing that our spot has now been taken in line, my mom and I decide to stay where we are in the line, which is in back of Harry and his friend. 

    "Oh, this is my friend, Cal," I hear Harry introduce to us, leaving me rather surprised that he might be starting a conversation.

    "Hi," I say with a smile to the all too familiar man standing next to him, while my mom shakes his hand. 

    "Do you guys come here often?" Harry asks us.

    "Yeah," I nod, "Almost every week," I continue to say, shaking my head with a small laugh.

    He chuckles before saying, "So, then you would know what's good on the menu?"

    "Yeah right! I can't even get her to eat," my mom cuts in, rolling her eyes. 

    "What do you mean?" Harry asks, looking confused.

    I look at my mom quickly with wide eyes in confusion. Maybe she knew something was wrong with me, maybe she might notice and try to help me. The thought of it brings a kind of
excitement and relief to me, yet the thoughts in the back of my mind begin to rise back up again. Thoughts of guilt and being fat again soon debate over the relief I would feel. Relief for what?
Being fat again? No, thank you. 

    "She's a very picky eater," my mom says, catching me off guard. Soon enough, all hopes die down, leaving me stuck with them again. I relax, but can't help the disappointed look on my face, as my mind won't quiet down. His eyes squint at me and I'm left feeling self-conscious once again. I clear my throat and look around the seafood joint and the people flooding the line; anywhere 
besides him. 

    "Their calamari tastes really good," I say reassuringly, hoping he out of all people won't suspect anything. 

    I see Harry nod slowly from the corner of my eye, as his friend Cal looks between us oddly. "So, are you coming to our concert?" he asks, with a smile that makes me realize that he really is 
standing in front of me. 

    I sigh in relief at the change of subject and answer with the sentence I've been repeating to everyone who's asked me the same question, "No. I, uh, couldn't get tickets," I shrug in disappointment.

    "Oh, sorry," he says quietly, pressing his mouth into a straight line. 

    "It's okay, at least I've got a picture with you," I laugh. He looks down at me while laughing. "Isn't it a little too hot to be wearing a jacket?" he suddenly asks, pointing at the black cardigan
I'm wearing. 

    "N-no," I say, trying not to stutter, "It's a light jacket and anyways, I just brought this jacket with me just in case," I lie confidently. Due to not eating the amount I was supposed to, as a teenager, I was always colder than everyone else. 

     I look up at him staring at the sun with squinted eyes, then looking down at me, and back at the hot, scorching sun. While everyone might have felt hot from the weather, I was cold, thanks
to my lovely disorder. Within ten minutes, it is Harry's and Cal's turn to order. When they walk up to order their food, the young boy, who appears to be in his twenties, working at the cash register looks up at Harry in shock.

    "Dude! It's Harry Styles!" the young worker says excitedly and continues to yell, "Hey, check it out! It's the One Direction guy!" to the workers in the back. They all come out and huddle around the cashier, all of them wanting to see Harry with their own eyes.

     Harry laughs at his exclamatory excitement and says, "That I am."

    "Can we get a picture?" he asks with wide eyes, clearly still in shock.

    "Sure," Harry shrugs with a grin. And just like that, all movement stops in the kitchen, pick-up counter, and cash register area for a five minute break of picture time with Harry Styles. All the workers in the small seafood joint gather up with Harry in the middle of them as Cal takes their picture.

    "Wow, thanks man! I'm framing this in here," the worker laughs, as the others thank him for the picture. Harry simply laughs back, already used to the daily limelight and after the whole ordeal, orders his food with Cal. I take notice of how he takes my suggestion and orders the calamari as a side order.    

    All the meanwhile, the sound and scent of all the food around me makes my stomach growl in hunger even more, but nothing seems to make it possible for it to be okay for me to actually eat. Before Harry leaves to his table, he smiles and gives me a small wave. "Hope to see you again," he says. All I can do is simply smile back and nod at his spoken thoughts, too preoccupied with my own thoughts to actually reply back.


    When my mom comes to our table with a tray of food, I stare at it wordlessly, while a million thoughts rush to my mind. There are two bowls of fish and chips, calamari, clam chowder, and coleslaw. The first thing I do is bring forward the bottle of ice cold water and start to sip at it tentatively. This is safe; water is good - especially ice cold water since it apparently 
boosts up your metabolism. The higher my metabolism, the better. 

    "Go on, what are you waiting for? Eat," my mother tells me, pushing the plate of fish and chips towards me. I nod at her, reassuring her that I will eat, but instead, I just stare at the food.
My hands are frozen in my lap and I can't seem to put a piece of food in my mouth. "Honey, I ordered all of this for you so that you can eat. What's wrong now? It tastes delicious. I don't
understand," mom says, already sounding tired of me.

    "I'll eat, don't worry," I say. Cautiously, I take one of the smallest french fries I could find on my plate, and bring it to my mouth. The movement of my jaw hurts, after not being used to chewing
for a long time. Before I know it, I'm cutting the fried fish in half. Dipping it in its tarter sauce, my mouth begins to water at the sight of the food set in front of me. After putting the small
piece of fried fish in my mouth, I eat a calamari too. But that's all I can do, all I can eat. More than that will make me fat and "a moment on the lips will stay forever on my hips".

    "That's it? That's all you're going to eat?" my mom asks, as she stares at my full plate with shock. 

     I nod slowly, and fake an apology. "Sorry mom, I know you probably paid a lot for this, I'm just not that hungry. Maybe we can box it and I'll eat it later at home?" I suggest the idea, even
thought I know it isn't going to happen. 

    "Okay, at least it won't go to waste then." After my mom finishes her food, which doesn't take that long, she walks off to the back at the 'Pick Up' counter to get a take home box and a bag to
put all the food in. I open my phone and scroll through twitter, reading through my friends' tweets, when the sun in front of me is suddenly blocked again. I look up thinking it's my mom, 
but am surprised to find Harry sitting in front of me instead. 

    "Thought I could have a five minute conversation with you," he smiles. "So, did you like the food? I really liked the calamari."

     I gulp before answering back. "Told you, and yeah, it tasted really good," I say looking back at him. 

    "Hm, that's weird," he says, furrowing his eyebrows together, while looking down at my food. 

    "What is?" I ask confused.

    He looks back at me before answering, "I don't know. I was just wondering why your plate is still full if you liked the food." He arches his left eyebrow and looks at me, as if waiting for an

    "I, uh, had a big breakfast. Don't want to over stuff myself," I lie with a small convincing smile, while patting my stomach.

    "Okay, whatever you say," he shrugs off. "Anyways, I came here for a reason. I've got a sort of compromise for you," he smirks.

    "Shoot," I say as I play with the cap on my water bottle. 

    "I'll give you two One Direction concert tickets, with backstage passes, if you go on a date with me."

    When he finishes his sentence, I try not to choke on my own saliva. Excitement bubbles in me, and I try hard not to bounce off the chair I'm sitting in. However, it all seems too good to be 
true. I narrow my eyes, before answering back, "Why would you give me free concert tickets and take me out on a date?" I ask suspiciously. 

    He shrugs before answering my question, "Can't I take a pretty girl out on a date? And besides, you told me yourself that you couldn't get tickets, so why not help you," he finishes off with an
innocent smile. 

    I look all over his face for a minute, trying to see if he's lying at all, but his face doesn't give one clue. "Okay," I shrug, as if it's no big deal; as if I did not just simply get concert tickets for
the band I've been obsessing for for the past year, and as if Harry Styles did not just ask me out. 

    "Great," he smiles a smile that shows all his teeth; a smile that could make every fan drop dead.

    "Here's my number," he says as he takes a pen out of his pocket and writes it on a piece of 
brown, paper napkin. "Oh, and you never told me your name," he grins up at me when he finishes writing his number. 

    I smile at my stupidity and say, "Haven, my name's Haven."

    "Cute name," he smirks. "You're very mysterious Haven, like you're trying to hide something. But whatever it is, I'm going to figure you out, and I'm going to find out whatever it is you're 
hiding," he says with a confident grin as he looks me over. "See you soon," he finishes saying before leaving the table, and walking away leaving my heart beating fast. 

    I look down at the paper napkin in wonder, thinking of how I now have Harry Styles' number. But one thing that caught my attention and left me wide eyed, was the word written down at the
bottom of his number. Written in cursive and in the clean handwriting of Harry Styles', lay the three letter, haunting word: eat. 


















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