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


12. 9


Chapter Nine

    "I really don't want to see these people," I refer to my cousins, as I complain to my mom in the car. We were on the way to my now five year old cousin, Aria's, birthday party. As much as I loved to see her, I didn't want to exactly see the rest of my family. Never having an all too perfect relationship with some of them, I didn't feel comfortable around them. I was always scared of what bad thing they would say next to me. All in all, they taught and showed me that even family can hurt you. Still though, I had to show my respect. 

     "Just ignore them. They're your family, whatever happens, they will always love you."

     "I don't feel comfortable around them. I know they're going to say something. Well, not exactly all of them, just Stella," I grumble, dreading the moment my mom pulls up in front of my cousin's house. 

     "I don't know about you, but she likes me just fine," Emma says, sounding proud, in the back seat. Unlike me, Emma was fine with our cousins. They didn't bother or question her as much as they did to me. 


     "Haven!" my now six year old cousin yells when she sees me. I walk through the doors of my cousin's house and grab her in my arms. 

     "Happy birthday angel," I say with a big kiss on her cheek, making her scrunch her nose in small fits of giggles. "Where's your mom?"

     "Kitchen," she points, as I put her down and let her run to my sister. 

    "Hey," Aria's mom and my first cousin, Poppy, says with a hug when she sees me. "Wow, you look amazing!" Putting her hands on my shoulders, she spins me around to take a good look at me. 

    I laugh her compliment away, muttering a low, "Thanks."

    "How much have you lost?!" my other older cousin, Tina, says, as she walks by us. I shrug at her, not wanting to tell them how much I've lost in fear. Thirty pounds in three months, wasn't going to sound or look realistic or healthy to them. 

    "Keep it up, you look great!" Poppy says. I force a smile on my face, wondering what they would do if they found out the real way I lost all the weight.

    Aria runs to me in her pink tutu and silver tiara. Grabbing her in my arms, I carry her to sit on the couch, while the guests come and the kitchen is full with the ladies preparing the buffet style table filled with food. Trying to avoid the fear of what I'm going to eat, I give all my attention to Aria. 

    "Haven," she looks up at me from my lap, "who is this?" Pointing at my phone's wallpaper, I look at Harry's face and sigh. 

    "That's Harry. You know him, you always listen to his music." 

    "I love Harry!" she yells happily, giggling with the phone in her hand, as she looks at his picture. "Do you love Harry?" 


    "I like his brothers too," she says with a big smile, showing all her tiny teeth. 

    I laugh at her, knowing that by 'brothers', she means the boys in the band. "I like them too."

    "I love you too, do you love me?" 

    "I love you more than anyone," I say, squeezing her in a hug and kissing her soft cheek. 

    "Haven!" I hear my mom call from the kitchen, "Please take these plates to the outside tables."

    I look down at her hands to see two plates filled with different kinds of vegetables and fruits. I feel my eyes slightly go wide, the sight making me take a gulp to control myself from eating one. From that moment on, the battle in my head begins. Eat it, don't eat it. Eat it, don't eat it. Eat it, don't eat it. In the end, I take the side I had to. Don't eat it, don't eat it, don't eat it. I keep repeating to myself, as I hold the plates carefully in my hands and take them outside to place on the white buffet styled table. 

    A silent groan leaves my lips when I see Stella. Saying that I hated her would sound too harsh, but I wouldn't be lying if I said I disliked her. Placing the plates of vegetables and fruits on the white tables outside, I quickly turn around to avoid the variety of food that makes my stomach grumble in hunger even more. 

   Walking over to Stella, I decide to greet her to not seem rude or unmannerly. "Hey," I give her a hug. 

   "How are you?" she asks me, while looking over me. It seems as if she was the twentieth person who either did that or asked my mom if I've lost weight today. It was annoying, especially when someone like me hated any kind of attention. 

   "I'm fine, you?" Maybe she wouldn't be rude or bother me today. 

   "Okay, I guess." She fans herself with a plastic plate, the hot weather almost unbearable to be under. "So, have you heard back from any schools?"

   Surprised that she's interested in knowing, I answer back with the list of schools that accepted me. "I'm deciding on going to the art school in Malibu though," I say, feeling a sense of trust and comfort.

   "You really want to do art?" she asks. I expected a 'Congratulations!' or a 'I'm happy for you', but nope, nothing like that. 

   "Yeah, why not?" I ask, ready to defend myself. 

   "Cause," she shrugs, almost as if that was her best reason, "it's art. You have to be really good at it and they don't even make that much money."

   "I am good at it, and it's something I like to do. So, no matter what happens, at least I'll have a job I love to do." I cross my arms, but avoid rolling my eyes at her. This was a birthday party, there were guests everywhere, and I did not want to start a fight with my cousin. 

   "Okay," she shrugs, continuing to fan herself. What bothered me the most, was that she was my cousin and she never encouraged or seemed to be proud of me. She was family. 'Family' was supposed to offer you support, love, and guidance. They weren't supposed to judge or make you feel horrible.


    After finally coming home from the dreaded birthday party, I run upstairs to my room to escape my mom's annoying requests. "Haven!" she calls after me, loudly shutting the door. "Haven, come back downstairs." I hear my mom yell, along with her footsteps that will soon reach my door.

    I angrily throw open my door. "What?" I groan, trying my hardest not to lash out on my mom. 

    "You didn't eat anything at the birthday party! Can you at least come downstairs and have a few bites of something, please.

    I stare at her for a while, actually considering if I can or should eat. Yet, the voice in my head beats me to it and lures me in the same direction I've been following for three months now. "I'm not hungry. I ate at the party, while you were helping clean up inside." The lie easily rolls off of my lips. She sighs at my response and closes her eyes for a few seconds and looks down. When she opens them, she gives me a look that shows she's already given up.

    "Let me know if you want anything," she says, with a low, monotonous tone, and turns around to head for the stairs. 

     When I close the door, I hear my stomach loudly grumble. Once again, I can feel the hot tears pool around my eyes. Almost. I had another chance. I could have told her I actually was hungry. Maybe I could have even confessed to her that I was not okay and that I wanted help. But even with the minimal hope I had for some kind of release, I knew that I would hate myself even more if I went back.

   I wipe the clouding tears from my eyes and lie down on my bed. In order to not think about the few pieces of fruit I ate earlier, I open my laptop to scroll through my Twitter feed. Following all the One Direction update accounts always kept me up to date with what was happening. Most of them were completely freaking out about the whole magazine incident of Harry and me. However, aside from that one, little information, Harry was apparently MIA - much like how Zayn was half the time. According to them, he had barely been seen and hadn't tweeted much. Suddenly curious, I gather up all the courage in me and click on his name, after searching it in the blue bar.

   I try not to stare at his icon picture and scroll down, only to find that the update accounts were right. In fact, he hadn't even tweeted since the week we met in April. It seemed weird and odd, especially when he was one of the most tweeting members of the band. 

    Not being able to take the heartache of seeing his picture on his twitter anymore, I close the website. Instead, I divert my attention to my phone and stare at it, as it lays on my bed. Grabbing it and opening a new message, I contemplate if I should text him or not. One text wouldn't hurt. Who knows, maybe we could still be friends? As I think of the different situations it could end up in, I begin to feel too awkward texting him and become scared of what could actually happen. In the end, I decide not to text him, the decision making me throw my phone across the bed. Laying down on my back, I stare at the ceiling and think about earlier when Aria asked me if I loved him. Of course I didn't. I had only known him for a few days. I didn't exactly love him, but he had a place in my heart. And I knew that if I had known him longer, then maybe I would've had the privilege of falling in love with Harry.















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