Promise of a Queen
By Ty Di’Angelo
I’m on the floor of my bathroom again. My stomach was upset because of something Alex was cooking. I flush the toilet, wipe my face and wash my hands. I unlock and open the door. To my surprise, Uncle Phil is standing there. He’s staying over at ours for a few weeks. “Are you okay, mate?” he asks worriedly. I nod. “Just an upset stomach. Probably just something I ate.” I lie. The truth is, I haven’t eaten in three days. However, I know better than to tell him.
He sighs. “Look mate, I think we need to talk about something.” he says. My throat dries. “Um, sure.” I reply, trying not to show any signs of anxiety. We leave my private bathroom and sit on my bed together. He puts his arm around me. “Look, me and the others have noticed certain… behaviours that you have when it comes to eating.” he states bluntly, playing with my hair. I look at him puzzledly. “What do you mean?” I ask, playing dumb.
“Well, you don’t really eat a lot and whenever you do, you always go to the bathroom immediately afterwards. Strong smells make you feel sick and you spend an unhealthy amount of time in your studio dancing, sometimes without a break.” he explains. I sit and stare at him. “How can you be so sure that I-” I start. “I know you better than you think, Nova.” he replies, cutting me off. “Oh. Anyways, what point are you trying to make here exactly?” I ask.
He sighs. “Nova, I think, no, we think you have an eating disorder.” he says. I scoff. “No, I don’t.” I reply. “Nova, please…” he pleads. “Phil, I’m sure if I did, I’d know about it.” I reply. “That’s the thing though, mate. People with these types of issues don’t realize they need help sometimes until it’s too late.” he says, in an attempt to reason with me. “Are you accusing me of being in denial?” I ask irritably.
“Look mate, I really don’t want to argue with you. Just, please-” he starts. “Phillip, I do not have a problem!” I interrupt, raising my voice and pushing him off of me. “Mate, you need help.” he says quietly. “I do NOT! I don’t have a problem, I don’t have an eating disorder, I am completely fine!” I shout. I sit up. “I don’t need ******* help, so stop treating me like a mentally unstable person, you *******!” I yell at him. He looks at me, hurt. I realize what I’ve done. “Oh my god, I am so sorry, I didn’t mean-” he pulls me into a hug, interrupting me. “It’s okay, I know you didn’t mean it.”
We let go after a few minutes. “Look, I’ll drop it for now, but just… promise me that if you do need help with something like that, you’ll come to one of us?” he asks. I hesitate before nodding. “Good.” he says with a smile. He puts his arm around me. There’s a knock at my door. “Come in!” I call.
The door opens, revealing Will. “Hey guys, Alex made dinner.” he says kindly. “Alright mate. Cheers.” Phil replies. Alex nods and leaves. “Come on, mate.” he says, getting up. “Nah, I’m not hungry.” I lie. Phil looks at me with a concerned expression. “Please? If not for yourself, then for us?” he pleads. I sigh. “I’m not getting out of this, am I?” I ask. He shakes his head. “Fine…” I reply, rolling my eyes. Phil helps me up off of my bed and we go downstairs together.
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