I’m in my bathroom, staring at my reflection in the mirror. Nothing’s really changed. My ribs are still slightly sticking through, but I’m not any thinner. “You’re so fat.” the voice in my head whispers. “You’ll never be thin.” another one adds. These words get stuck in my head. “You need to be perfect.” a voice adds.
More and more start to talk, until they all talk over each other. Tears stream down my face. I cover my ears, close my eyes and fall to floor, pleading with them to stop. They don’t. “You’ll never be enough.” a voice shouts. At that very simple phrase, I break down crying. They still continue to talk over one another and I can’t do anything to stop them. I feel helpless as I suffocate against my body dysmorphia again.
“Nova!” someone shouts, taking my hands off of my ears. I open my eyes to see Will. He’s holding my hands. He rubs them until the voices quieten down and I can barely hear them. He pulls me into a hug. I cry a little more. “It’s okay, Novi.” he whispers. We wait until I calm down before talking.
“What happened, hummingbird?” my cousin asks. “I-I could hear these v-v-voices…” I say quietly. He instantly stops stroking my hands. “What were they saying?” he asks with a concerned look. “Th-that I-I need to b-be perfect…” I reply. “Anything else?” he asks. “Th-they said that I’ll never b-b-be e-enough…” I say, my voice breaking. “Oh, Novi…” he says with a sad expression.
He pulls me into another hug. “Is this the first time?” he asks. I shake my head. “So they’ve… bodyshamed you before?” he asks. I nod. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he asks. “I didn’t want to burden you.” I answer, looking away. He puts his hand on my chin and turns my head back towards him. His expression is serious. “Nova, you could never be a burden to me.” he says.
“Do you think you’ll be able to walk?” he asks. I try to get up, but my legs buckle beneath me. He catches me before I fall. “Sorry.” I say. “It’s alright. How do you feel?” he asks. I yawn. “Tired…” I reply. Wil picks me up and carries me into my bedroom, carefully putting me down on my bed. “Rest well, little one.” he says, about to leave. “Wait!” I say quickly. He looks back at me. “Please, stay with me.” I plead. He gets on the bed with me. I snuggle up with him and fall asleep, my head on his shoulder.
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