I start to get bad again.
Mum drives me to school and buys me smoothies
and my twin sends me videos of the puppy and kittens
and we laugh when I get home
and we still dance in the kitchen to Christmas music in October because we never really grew up.
I cut my hair short and dye it pink
We turn 17 and watch Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia 2 and
I sit on the same chair with two of my friends and laugh at everyone trying to fit into our living room.
I plan another date but he’s late
and I’m so done with guys who don’t put the effort in
so I concentrate on getting McDonalds with my twin after school
and going to Dungeons and Dragons on Mondays
and Mum picks me up and I slump into my chair and pretend that I’m fine.
She knows me better than that.
I stop eating as much and start to lose weight
I’m too pale and feel sick
and my friends force feed me and my sister makes sure I let her know I am eating enough.
I’m tired all the time and that one teacher is not helping.
I go on an unplanned date and tell mum all about the guy,
and she smiles because she knew before I did.
This one is special.
We eat Thai food and he walks me to the bus station and messages me for the next three days.
I talk about him a lot more and I pretend I don’t like him like that.
“I don’t need a relationship. I like being single.”
“Of course.” But still, she smiles and smiles and smiles because she knows.
We go on an official date and mum helps me pick out my outfit
and makes me promise to text her and let her know how it went.
I eat a full meal.
He tells me later that he knew from that date.
I feel safe with him, and conversation is natural.
Mum and I reminisce on the way home.
We talk about what I used to wear
and how I used to act
and how I remind Mum of Jo from Little Women
and I say I need to read that again.
She tells me that I should tell him I am sick and I don’t want to, but I do it anyway.
It doesn’t scare him off.
And Mum smiles because she knows.