(A/N: yes, I am aware that this chapter is much longer than my others, yet I think you guys deserve it for waiting)
-3 months later-
Biting my lip, I rubbed my head. It hurt so much – if I didn't know better, I would have called this a hangover. It felt like a few dozen rampaging bulls running around in there. I rubbed my hand over my stomach, and suddenly sat up.
I squeaked in surprise, and started patting my stomach, hoping I wasn't imagining it. I bit my bottom lip. Nope. Not imagining it. Leaping forwards, I jumped to the full size, three part, angled mirrors. Again, this was something that I did not want. It was so ostentatious – something I strived not to be.
Examining myself in the mirrors, I frowned. Something was off, to say the least. I had always been a few pounds heavier than I would have wanted, but now. What was this? Pulling my t-shirt up, I gaped. There, instead of some cellulite, I had a sexy six-pack. My face went bright red. There was no way those things just developed – at least, I had never heard of any such thing.
Feeling silly, I tensed up an arm. A defined arm was reflected back at me. Pulling my shirt off completely, I twirled in the mirrors. It was shocking, but, all my excess chub was completely gone. I mean, there hadn't been that much to start with, but, it had all disintegrated.
Maybe that was why I had been feeling so down for the past few months. Every morning at eight, I'd wake, feeling like a new brand of truck had run over me, each one heavier. I tried to think back to the first time I'd woken up with this pain.
I sighed. It was no use – I couldn't remember. Going to my bed, I dug to the back, trying to find my baggie clothes. Instead, my fingers touched upon a piece of paper. My heart sunk. I pulled out the scrap, already knowing what was going to be written on it.
You lose. Please play again.
I really, really wanted to strangle whoever was doing this. It was so frustrating – I had been hiding my other clothes for a few months now – otherwise they'd disappear. I was seriously annoyed – I just wanted to have a normal life, not fight someone else for my existence. Pulling on one of the loosest things in my wacked-out closet, I put it on, and frowned. It was so….tight! It wasn't me at all.
Shooting a glance around my room, I smiled. Finally, it had stayed clean all night. Usually, it was dirty in my room when I woke up, even if it had been spotless the night before. I glanced up at the black walls, and sighed.
Looking at the note I had left on the desk, I nodded – I needed to remember my sleepover tonight. Getting ready for school was quick, and I popped in my brown contacts.
Running upstairs, I snagged a granola bar, and trotted outside, jumping into my little Sunfire.
Right when I got to school, the bell was ringing. It wasn't fair, I huffed. Even if I set my alarm for seven, I'd never wake up until eight, no matter that I went to bed at eight every day. It wasn't fair – how many teenagers did I know that needed twelve hours of sleep?
Pulling into the parking lot, I walked inside, and over to Mel, my new friend. She had just invaded, but I was very grateful. I was too shy to initiate – it was one of my worst flaws.
She waved an arm at me, and yelled out, "Good morning, Elizabeth!"
Shyly, I waved back, once I was close. "Good morning, Mel."
Nearly strangling me in happiness, she squealed out her greeting. She was the loudest person I knew – maybe that was why I hung out with her. Then again, maybe it was because she just wouldn't leave me alone.
A few weeks back, she had gone into the bathroom, after me, and ate with me in there. Turned out she was in some of my classes. We started hanging out – actually, she just showed up wherever I was, and insisted on talking to me. I really didn't mind it – I hated not having the guts to have any friends. She had just accepted me.
Going into my Chemistry class, I blushed. Tyler was at our desk. Pulling up beside him, I swallowed.
"Good morning, Tyler." I nearly stuttered, but managed not to. Dang, I would be able to speak with my boyfriend, and not stutter. Yes. Boyfriend. Who knew that shy, awkward Elizabeth could snag a cute boy?
He sent a gleaming white smile at me. "We are still going out together on Friday, right Iz?"
I nodded, blush still present. That was his pet-name for me. Iz. I kind of liked it. Sometimes he acted differently around me though, or seemed like he was expecting a different reaction.
"Hey, Tyler?" I looked over, still pink. "Where are we going? On Friday?"
He smirked over at me, making me blush again. "You'll find out Iz. I know you'll love it."
I smiled shyly at him, trying for the most open smile I could. He reached over, and grabbed my smaller hand, tucking it into his as the teacher marched to the front, and started writing notes down.
At lunch, I met Mel in the library – I didn't like eating in the commons area. It was too crowded, and made me nervous.
Sitting in the library, I ate my sandwich as Mel chattered away, about boys and such. After school today, she had invited me over for a sleep over at her house. It would be our first one – she was persistent in asking me over, and I finally gained the courage to say yes.
School flew by, what with me worrying and upset about how this was going to go. Mel found me after the bell rang, and looked at me knowingly. "No ducking out, you!"
I jumped, startled. She had appeared out of nowhere. "Uh, Mel? What do you mean?"
She laughed. "I saw that look in your eye – the flight response was kicking in."
I shook my head. "I wasn't thinking that!"
She laughed, and eyed me knowingly. "Uh huh. Sure, hon."
That was my nickname, at least for Mel. Hon. I kind of liked it. It was personal, yet not overbearing.
"I'll follow you home, and then drive you to my place, yeah?"
I nodded once, and drove home. Mel followed as I grabbed the bag I had packed last night before I went to bed, and took it upstairs, without checking it.
Mel picked up my bag, and carried it out to her car. I wrote a note, and left it beside the purple cup my caretaker frequented. Both of us piled into her truck, and we were off. Nervously, I sat in the navy Ford, playing with my fingers.
I pulled my bag into the house with me, and Mel grabbed my arms, introducing me to the family.
First, she pulled me into the living area, where her father was. I nervously extended my hand to him.
"Hello – nice to meet you, Mr. Anderson."
He chuckled, and shook my hand, very seriously. Humor glimmered in his brown eyes. "Well, it's nice to meet you too!"
I blushed bright red, and muttered out something or other.
Her mother wasn't around – they were divorced, and she lived with her dad. One of her brothers lived with her mother, and her other brother lived with her father. She pulled me along to meet him.
When I did meet him, I flushed red. He was really, really cute. Like, black hair, tanned skin, and brown eyes. I turned to Mel, and whispered in her ear. "You never told me you were part Native American."
She shrugged, showing nonchalance. I gulped. To me, there was nothing cuter than Native American guys – I had told Mel this. She had just smirked at me.
I shyly smiled, my face brilliant red. "I'm Elizabeth. Nice to meet you."
He laughed, like all out laughed. "I remember you. Good to see you again, Iz."
I blinked. Iz? Why was he calling me that?
He took in my look and smirked. "Oh, I got it. Right. Nice to meet you, Elizabeth."
Mel and I left the room. I was thoroughly creeped out – why did people keep on calling me Iz? I had never introduced myself as Iz."
We played Dance Dance Revolution – something that I was actually good at. Before I knew it, it was eight. I was exhausted.
I opened my eyes, a smirk on my face. Time to act like my other self. I had seen that I had a sleepover coming up – brown-eyes was so anal about it, she would even write notes to herself. Which just helped me. I had to act as much like her – yes, it would be fun to act like me, but too dangerous. I didn't want to be medicated into hiding in Elizabeth's mind.
The smirk was wiped off my face. "So, what are we doing now?" I tried to emulate the quiet, nervous, totally out of character style that I was sure Elizabeth used. Until I saw her brother.
"Hey, Eric. How've you been?"
Mel wasn't in the room, which was good. He smirked at me, and spoke, deep tones washing over me. "Better, now that you remember me."
I laughed lightly. "Yeah, sorry about that, gorgeous. I need to pretend, you know, for your sister. She's a little different."
He laughed. "So are you, Iz."
I sauntered up, and plucked out my contacts, staring at him with green-gold eyes. Waltzing up, I wrapped my arms around him, and purred. "It isn't a bad different though, right?" I puckered up my lips a little bit, and stared at him with puppy dog eyes.
His warm arm wrapped around my –finally- sculpted waist, and held me close to him.
Just as we kissed, Mel burst in. "Eric!" she screeched. "Stop trying to kiss my friends!"
Internally, I grumbled. Should I continue kissing Eric here, or should I pretend to be brown-eyes.
I peeked around Eric's shirt at her. "Actually, I initiated, therefore, it isn't his fault."
She gaped at me. "E-elizabeth?!"
I shook my finger at her. "No, no, no, that's not me. I'm Iz."
Prancing forwards, I smirked. "Nice to meet you, Mel."
"Uh, Elizabeth…are you…okay?"
Smiling, I looked at her as if she was nuts. "Of course I'm okay," I exclaimed. "Why'd you interrupt my smooching session?"
She stared at me. "This better be some sick joke – Eric?"
I looked up at him through my eyelashes, then smiled at Mel. "Let's go paint our fingernails! Oh, I want to do yours."
She blinked at me, and then I watched as Eric left. Darn, I internally pouted. I wanted to kiss more – that boy was a darn fine kisser. Right when he was gone, I put on a façade.
I turned to her, meekness in every move. "Yes, Mel?"
She stared down at me piercingly. "Why didn't you tell me you wore colored contacts?"
I looked down and blushed, like brown-eyes would. "My eyes are so bright – I wanted to be normal." Playing with my fingers, I avoided her gaze.
She seemed to buy it, which was good. "I'm sorry I tricked you – Eric convinced me to trick you. I used my drama class expertise, from last year. My character had to say those exact things. Did I fool you?" I asked meekly, trying to act as brown-eyes would.
She looked down at me, and then suddenly smiled. "Well, you're still acting a bit strange, but that's okay! Now, off to paint our nails!"
I mentally high-fived myself. Now, how to get back to Eric.