There is only so many times you can look down at a scale before it rips your heart in two. I hit that breaking point about four months into my new regimen. I had cut my food intake by almost half, I was working out everyday, cardio as well a bit of strength training, but every time I hopped on the scale, I weighed the same. Not even a pound, to give or lose. It was like my scale was magically stuck and even if I had starved myself completely, it wasn’t going to change. I probably don’t really have to explain this, but it hurt, a lot. It all felt so hopeless. So many times I would drag myself to the bathroom and then leave in tears. Was it really so much to ask?!
Every night. Every night I took a good hour and a half out of my evening, to stand in front of the TV until I literally had sweat dripping from all possible areas… perhaps even areas that I wasn’t aware were possible. It got to a point where almost every thing I did had me at the verge of tears. I would get home from school, do my homework, have a small dinner and then it was off for my nightly meeting with Soup and Salad, the fitness gurus not the meal… They weren’t mean, they had nice soft voices, but the work out was pretty intense and being chronically exhausted, it was all pretty traumatizing. I don’t really know how to explain it, it just was. I started to lose my motivation quickly.
Then there was my meal of choice. Salad. Salad for lunch, salad for dinner, I had considered a salad for breakfast, but mom and grandma insisted I eat something with a bit more substance for at least one meal a day. I was convinced this was the exact reason why I wasn’t losing the weight, but they were adamant that I eat more than just lettuce. So every morning for breakfast, I had a bowl of low sugar, high fiber cereal with one strawberry sliced on top. Honestly it was the tastiest thing I was eating. Better than that berry awful salad. Just looking at it or even thinking about it, had the power to turn my stomach sour. Yeah, I was having loads of fun.
Day after day I found I had less and less energy. I wanted to quit, but I couldn’t. I had invested so much effort by that point and what if I was just a few days away from finally blasting over that plateau? No I was determined to keep going. Even walking to the car was a chore. I may sound like a whiny baby, but I am hoping a few of my you may understand just how frustrating it all was. Most days the boys would be already waiting at the car, fighting over the keys and who would be in the front seat before I even got out the door. It happened to be one of those days when I had probably the worst day ever. Definition of worst day ever: If it can go wrong. It will. And not only that, it will be really ugly along the way. Possibly dragging you through the mud, and then maybe step on your head, or something else horrible.
I had managed to get myself in the shower, eat my cereal and head to the car. It was a good day… to start off. Reserving as much energy as possible for after school and that evil class called PE. I drug myself out of the house, the boy chattering incesantly in front of me.
“Shotgun!” Affair screached.
“Noooo! You had it yesterday! It’s my turn!”
“I called it! There is no turn. It’s first come first serve and I said… SHOTGUN!”
Sometimes I wished I wasn’t the only one with my licence.
I probably should have seen it coming, but to due to the fact, that my brothers had switched gears and were now arguing over which crappy CD of theirs would be played on our joyous drive to school, I didn’t. I managed to get the key in the ignition after two failed attempts as I let out a giant yawn, turned the little dial thingy to the right and quess what? It wouldn’t start. It tried valiantly, the engine would roll over and whur whur whur, but in the end the old girl just couldn’t do it. Fantastic. I wanted to slam my face int0 the steering wheel, get some well needed rest.
“What happened?” Seance inquired.
“We are walking, so get your stuff.”
“What?!” Affair whined from the back seat.
“The car won’t start. We use to walk all the time. It won’t be that bad.”
“Fine.” Fine… I wanted to take his word fine and shove it down his throat. Ughhh I was so awful and I hated it. Even it was only in my head.
I stepped out of the car and grabbed my phone. Dialing Cerese’s number, I told the boys to go on with out me. When I looked up they were already halfway down the road. Thanks guys, I can see who is really appreciated here. My phone started to ring and the sound of Cerese on the other end of the line was like music to my ears. “Wist! Hey!”
“Hi hi. Look Cerese, the car died this morning. I won’t be able to come by and pick you up. Is there anyway your mom can drop you off? I am probably going to be a little late.”
“Oh, well I should have called you last night, but I totally forgot. I stepped on a giant piece of glass and my foot is all bandaged up. They put me on these crazy painkillers. I won’t be at school today.”
“What?! Are you alright? How did you do that?!”
“Ah you know me.”
I did. She was the most accident prone person, in Twizzlerbrook. It was amazing she was still alive.”
The news was disheartening to say the least, but there was nothing to be done, so I sent her some well wishes before hanging up. My day was just about to get longer. Hooray…
School itself wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Of course I was still knackered and felt my eyelids drooping more and more with each class. Our PE teacher was out sick, so at least I didn’t have that torture to deal with, and the rest of the day passed by at a fairly normal rate. I had expected everything to drag but for once it didn’t. School was out and I was ready to go home, but Affair wanted me to meet his little girlfriend and begged for me to go with them to the buzz. It was my turn to use the word fine. I followed both my brothers to our hangout and we were greeted immediately by a thin, sweet looking girl, which I assumed had to be Gloss. The moment she arrived Affair forgot all about me and Seance. He was too busy chatting and my brother does not chat under normal circumstances.
I was a little sensitive already, so when the nasty casheir behind the counter came at me with his snippiest zinger, it cut me right to the bone. I just stared at the register. “You know. This is not my day.” I mumbled. “I think I will pass on my tea.”
It was a familiar voice, and knew right away it was Tap, but the only thing to cross my mind was… great, now I have to tell Tap we have to walk because my car died. The voice in the back of my head was begging. Can we go home now.
“Hey! How are you?”
“I’m… I have been better.”
“Oh no. Is everything alright?”
“Tired. Just really tired. Car died and I’m tired. Think I am gonna walk home now.”
“Oh okay, well let me grab my stuff.”
“K.” Not even an Okay. Just K. I was so pathetic.
I didn’t say a word the whole time we were walking. Something else to make me feel worse, which was pretty much anthing that day. Someone could have told me I looked pretty and I would have found a way to twist it around and make it awful. Poor Tap, I wanted to talk but I just couldn’t. I actually was afraid the moment I started to open my mouth, about what was happening I would collapse on the floor in a flood of tears, which was something I preferred to do in the quietness of my bedroom, not on some poor unsuspecting boys shoulder. I did that once, I wasn’t about to do it again.
“Would you like to come in for a little while? I could throw on a kettle of some of my calming tea. It might help.” Tapestry offered as we made our way up to his mailbox. I was in such a foul mood though, I knew not even the tempting offering of tea was going to be able to shake me from it.
“No. I think I better just home. I need to rest up a bit before I try and torture myself with another workout in-.” I paused briefly biting my lower lip. Why the heck did I just say that? “See!” I laughed “Now I’m just rambling. That’s how tired I am. I’ll see you tomorrow at school.”
“Oh alright then. Bye Lace.”
“Bye Tap.” Still zoned, from lack of food, lack of sleep, and my exhausting regimen, I started to trudge away from Tapestry’s house to head towards home, but I wasn’t even one step onto the sidewalk when I heard a voice ring out from behind me. “I think you’re beautiful!”
My legs froze. The words hit my entire body like an electrical shock. Swallowing deeply I turned back around to face him. His eyes were as wide as saucers, almost as if he was fearful, as if he thought I was about to run over and bite his head off for being so forthcoming. I took a couple steps back towards his house. “You do?”
“I do.” He said again, this time with a little more confidence behind it. “You are beautiful. I only wish you could see it.”
I stood there in awe. Now I was speechless for totally different reasons.
“When you enter a room and every one turns to look at you, you think it’s something bad, but it’s not. They are waiting for you to smile. You light up the room every time you walk in it. Oh man that is so cheesy…” Tapestry covered his hand with his mouth, the slightest bit of pink slightly visible on either side of his fingers.
I was the proverbial deer in the headlights. I tried a couple times to say what was on my mind, but that was the problem right there. My mind was completely obliterated. Like being knocked in the funny bone, feeling so many things at once, but not knowing where to turn to or how to make it stop, so instead you just wait. “I never knew.”
“Why. Didn’t you ever tell me?”
“I… Well…” He let out a deep sigh. “You are not the only one who feels apprehensions sometimes. Do you even realize how amazing you are? Why on earth would you be interested in someone like me.”
“Now you’ re not even making sense. Someone like you. What is wrong with you?”
“Nothing I guess. It’s just you, you’re like perfect. You have the kindest heart of anyone I know, and I have seen people take advantage of that, over and over again and it kills me. I just never said anything because I didn’t know how to. And after Matrix… I was so angry, but I was afraid. Afraid if I got too involved, you might think I was trying to pull the same thing.”
“I never would have thought that. Ever.”
Tapestry threw his hands to his face. Letting out a loud groan. “I’m sorry. I never should have said anything. You were tired, wanting to rest, and now I have you here all wound up.”
“I’m not so tired anymore.” I walked closer and carefully brought his hands down from his face. “Please don’t be embarrassed. It’s probably one of the most beautiful and genuine things anyone has ever said to me.” A comfortable smile started to spread across my lips, which in turn caused his anxiousness to wane.
“You know, maybe a cup of tea would be just the thing right now.”
“Sure! Come on in and I will throw on some water.” Opening the door, he ushered me inside, leading me to the couch, before heading straight into the kitchen. Cupboards could be heard opening and closing, before what sounded like a box of tea hit the ground, followed by a “Oh Sugar.”
I leaned over the couch. “You alright in there?!”
“Yup! Water is heating up.” He assured me, re-entering the living room. Taking a seat next to me, I scooted a bit, so I could face him a little easier. “Thank you.”
“For the tea? No problem at all”
“No. I mean for all the nice things you said.”
“Oh… of course.”
“So… how long have you… you know. Felt this way about me?”
“Since our first day of school I guess.”
“Were you ever going to tell me?”
“Well I wanted to, but something always seemed to happen. I was going to tell you one time, but then you started dating that one guy. Then, I was going to tell you again, when you started dating that Bubble kid, but then you guys split and you were so heartbroken, it just didn’t seem right. It wasn’t right.”
I started to reply, but a sharp whistle coming from inside the kitchen interrupted me mid thought.
“I better get that.” With that he was up again, and I slouched back in my seat. My mind was a whirlwind of questions. There was a stirring deep in my belly, unlike anything I had ever felt. I could hear his words over and over again in my mind.
“Here we are.” Handing my cup, Tapestry took his seat next to me again. Tapping the side of the mug with his fingers, it was obvious this situation had him incredibly nervous. Not knowing what else to do, I took a sip from my cup and set it on the table. For the first time in months, my mind flashed back to those nights with Matrix. Causing me to feel more ashamed than I ever had.
“Whats wrong.” Tapestry asked, concern taking the place of all the nervousness from just a few moments before. I stared down at my mug, the steam still gently wafting from its top. “You don’t think less of me because of what happened? With Matrix?” I didn’t have to courage to flesh it all out, but I was pretty sure he got what I meant.
“No, I don’t. I think a jerk misused a trusting and caring heart. ”
One tear drop began to roll down my cheek.
“Please don’t cry. He’s not worth it.”
“He’s not.” I laughed, taking in a sniffle. Things started to get quiet again, so I took another sip of my tea. There was a pregnant pause. I wasn’t sure what to say next.
“I really hope you don’t mind that I call you that.”
“Okay. Lace? Would you like to go on a date with me?”
I set down my mug and turned in my seat. With a huge smile on my face, I said. “No.”
Tapestry’s face fell instantly. I could feel my heart crumble.
“No. Okay. I understand.”
“I don’t think you do. It’s not that I don’t want to go out with you. I’m just not ready. Not yet. I need some time to get things sorted out. For myself. I say no, but it’s not forever. I just need some time. I’m sorry Tap. This isn’t meant to hurt you, but can you wait? Just for a little while?”
He took hold of my arm and gave my hand a gentle squeeze. “I would probably, just about, wait forever.”
My whole face lit up again. “You are amazing.” I grinned.
“So are you.”
I didn’t stay much longer after that. I needed to get home, start organizing some things. Probably start off with a nap, I thought to myself. A welcoming thought if I did say so. I gave him a small hug and a kiss on the cheek. “Well.” I grinned. “Hopefully I will be back soon.”
“Take care Lace.”
“Gonna try!” I teased. I was definitely feeling a little better, the thought of going home and not having to torture myself was incredibly uplifting.
It all started on my walk home. This was the time, I needed to make a change.
Love had given me an awfully strange hand to play. No, it wasn’t really ever that bad, but it certainly had not been the best either. Most would say, I really had little to no insight on the matter. Sure I had a boyfriend and a… well what ever he was, but you were definitely not looking at an expert. I had said before, I held no illusions, that a knight in his pristine armor would come riding through the mist and rescue me. But then… why not? Why couldn’t I have my fairy tale ending? Was it really impossible? If I was able to love unconditionally, was it really so much of stretch, that I should want that in return? I was finally starting to see, the answer to my question was no. Maybe the problem was not so much the illusion, as it was my part to play. Maybe it was up to me to make sure my ending happened. Every boy on the planet could tell me I was beautiful but what good was it, if I couldn’t tell myself. Maybe it was up to me to be my own shining knight. Perhaps it’s not the love of another that I needed, but a deeper love and understanding of myself… Then maybe, just maybe I would be ready to share that love with another. I had another long road a head, but this one seemed a bit more obtainable. Like struggling in the darkness before you find the that light. I was on a path to find a better Wisty and hopefully lead her to a new place in my heart.