Hell, I thought, scowling darkly, as I looked at myself in the mirror. I am so damn ugly. I'm a fucking pig…

I turned myself to the side, my hands feeling my waist, my hips. My stomach pooched out really big from the side; I looked like a snake swallowing an elephant or something. It was really that bad.

I lifted my arms, counting the number of ribs I saw- nearly all, but only with my arms raised. Yep, I was still way too fat.

Letting my arms fall back down limply to my sides, I glared at myself in the mirror, hating the face I saw in it. Nothing was anywhere close to how it should be. My face was dark and unpretty, my eyes set too far back in my head and smudgy underneath. My hair was dull brown and too straight, too flat, not shiny or styled in anything like people on TV. And my body- god, I didn't even want to go there. I was too long and unproportional, a freak. My stomach and thighs were fat, huge, while my arms and legs were pretty skinny. I looked like Garfield, or a kindergartener stick figure with a circle for a body. Not like a normal, pretty person should look at all.

Damn, I thought, how the hell am I ever supposed to get skinny when my stomach won't cooperate? I threw up after dinner yesterday, and lunch, and I didn't eat breakfast. I've been throwing up for weeks now- when is it going to work?

Maybe that was the problem, I thought suddenly. Maybe it was the throwing up that did it- maybe some of what I ate was getting caught in my stomach. Maybe I needed to stop eating at all- I wouldn't even have to throw up then-

"Amber, hurry up in there!"someone yelled at me, banging on the bathroom door. "Other people have to use the bathroom too, you know!"

Growling under my breath, I snapped, "Leave me the hell alone, Crystal, I'm fucking coming!"

Pulling my shirt and pants on quickly, I cursed her in my head. My sister was fourteen, and most of the time I hated her. She thought she was so perfect just because she was older and in high school and had a boyfriend- just because she was thin. Crystal didn't' even have to work at it like I do- she just is always skinny without even trying. It's so damn unfair.

I pulled the door open a few minutes later, scowling at her- she'd banged on it and yelled at me a few more times as I was dressing. She looked at me strangely as I said angrily, "Well get out of my way, why don't you!"

"What do you do for so long in there, Amber?" she said. "Man, if you spend that much time in the bathroom when you're only eleven, you'll never leave it when you're my age. It will be your new home. What DO you do? You don't need to shave or anything yet and you don't wear makeup- and you never fix your hair. Did you even take a shower- it looks greasy."

What, was she trying to tell me I smelled now?

"None of your damn business!" I hissed. "You wanted the bathroom- there it is!"

I tried to squeeze past her, but Crystal still wasn't moving aside, and I didn't' want to touch her.

"You didn't, did you? What do you spend so much time in there for if you don't even take a shower? You need to, by the way, your hair is gross."

"Fuck off!" I snarled. "Let me BY, Crystal!"

She got this pissed-off look on her face then and kind of huffed at me before shoving past me.

"Don't you run your filthy mouth at me, Amber, you horrid little pig."

She shoved me out by my shoulder, slamming the door shut. But all I could do was stare at it, stricken. She had called me a pig, she had said I was a pig. She thought I was fat too…

I ran upstairs, searching desperately for something that would conceal my huge stomach. Loose T-shirt- no- but I couldn't wear anything tight, I'd look pregnant!

Twenty minutes later I still had found nothing… there was no getting around it. Nothing I owned would conceal my monstrous stomach.

"Amber!" Crystal shrieked at me from somewhere in the house. "The bus is here, hurry up!"

Shit… ugly as usual, I was going to have to go to school fat and ugly as usual.

I ran after her, and it was really weird; as I was running up the driveway after Crystal, I felt like my head was spinning. Kind of a headache, but a floaty one, like I was going to faint. I stumbled, almost tripped as I went up the driveway, and I kind of fell into one of the bus seats in the back, closing my eyes. I felt like I might puke, but I hadn't eaten anything.

The next kid to get picked up was Wes. He never used to be too interested in me until this year- he's older, maybe even older than Crystal. But this year he likes me for some reason. He's always sitting near me and talking to me and touching me. I don't like it- I feel weird and it doesn't feel good- but he likes it, and he say's I'm pretty. No one ever says that, but I like to hear it even though I know it's not true. But I let him say it and sometimes I let him touch me, because he doesn't seem to think so.

Wes came blundering down the aisle, smiling kind of like he was trying to be sexy before sliding into the seat beside me.

"Hey Amber, how you doin'?"

I shrugged, almost wishing that today he'd keep his hands to himself. I wasn't in the mood.

"You lookin' good… come here."

As the bus started up again, Wes scooted closer to me. Today it felt too close, and I wanted to push him away… but I gritted my teeth, biting my lip as his hands felt my leg, running up and down it. My head still felt really strange, and now my stomach was twisting more than ever. But I sat there, letting him touch me, listening to him whisper how sexy I was. Not too many eleven-year-olds get called sexy by older boys- but today I couldn't enjoy it. I didn't know what was wrong with me.

His hand slid up my stomach, to my chest. As I felt him touching my stomach, my nearly nonexistent boobs, I suddenly thought how disgusting I must feel- my fat, my blubbery skin. He could feel exactly how big I was… and he didn't care. What kind of nasty pervert was he, how could he not care?

"Get off me!" I yelled suddenly, freaking. "Get your damn hands off me, get off, get off!"

I pushed at him, scratching at his hands and arms. He jerked, pulling away from me and staring at me like he was shocked and really pissed. I pressed my back as hard against the window as I could, feeling the cold metal underneath dig into my shoulder blades. I was breathing weird, and I really felt bad, nauseous…

"What the hell?" he sputtered. "You never said anything before, what's your problem?"

"Get your hands off me, don't fucking touch me!" I yelled. Everyone was looking at us, they were staring at me… it only made me madder, more panicked. Could they see how he had touched me, my fat- did they realize-

"Don't fucking look at me like that!" I said loudly.

"Amber!" shouted the bus driver, looking back at me really meanly in her rearview mirror. "What's going on back there!"

"Nothing!" I yelled back, and I could feel my heart beating really fast, my head pounding. Was I going to faint?

"Then why are you screaming like that?"

I glared at her. "None of your damn business!"

After that she got really mad and started screaming at me, telling me what a fresh mouth I had and I might not be quite so cocky once she called my parents. It didn't worry me- I couldn't care less what they said to me or did to me. I had been proclaimed the bad kid, the ugly and stupid kid, so long ago that one more detention or phone call would make no difference.

Once she finally shut up, I saw Crystal staring at me, shaking her head like she couldn't believe what a bad person I was. I flipped her off, getting some satisfaction in the angry way she turned around. Beside me Wes scooted far away, almost entirely off the seat. He kept looking at me and shaking his head in disgust, like Crystal… but I didn't care. He had never thought I was pretty- he was only making fun of me.

As we pulled to the parking lot between the middle and high schools, he leaned over and hissed in my ear, "You are such a prick tease, you little bitch."

I don't care, I don't care, I told myself fiercely as I stumbled off the bus. He's a liar, he lied…

I hate school. I hate everything about it- the classes, the way you have to be crammed in with your body close to a thousand other kids'; smelling their bodies and feeling their disgusting flesh and bony elbows against you. I hate sitting still in a desk and listening to some stuffy fat adult lecture you about fractions. I hate when I try to listen and my brain can't take in a single thing. Of course then they call one me and I get lectured or fussed at for not paying attention and working to my potential. I get so mad because I really am-it's just that I have no potential. I yell back, and then I get in more trouble. I hate it so much.

I hate having to look at all the other girls, to watch the way they preen and smile and flirt, sticking out their boobs like they're attractive. Most of them are flabby, and they don't even care- they wear designer clothes that emphasize how big they are. If I was so fat I would literally not let myself be seen in public.

I slunk down the stairs into the school gym. All the grades have to go sit on the bleachers before school. I hate that too- it's crowded and noisy, and the bleachers hurt my butt bone.

I threw my bag down at my feet, slumping. I hoped no one would try to sit by me, because today I could not deal with it.

That was when it happened, of course. These two girls, Amber Brooks- there are way too many Ambers- and her little sidekick, Rose Yen, came up to me. They sat in front of me- right in front of me, when they could have scooted further down. That pissed me off enough, but then Rose actually had the nerve to set her bookbag down on top of my foot!

That did it. This day had been horrible already, and now this fat, frizzy-headed girl had the nerve to do that! She was one of the kids who thought she was so smart, raising her hand in class and getting all A's. And here she was setting her backpack on my foot! Then pretending she doesn't even notice!

"You fucking bitch!" I yelled. "Get your damn backpack off my foot!"

Rose and Amber both gave me these looks, like I was an awful person. It made me want to punch them.

"Jeez, you don't have to yell and cuss about it," Rose said all prissy. "Don't you dare swear at me, Amber Mott."

"I'll say whatever the fuck I want to!" I nearly shrieked, unable to believe my ears. What made the little bitch think she could order me around? "Get your fucking backpack off my foot before I punch you!"

Rose took it off slowly, muttering something under her breath. My blood felt like it was going to leak through my veins and scald me- or maybe her. Preferably her. My head was still all weird-feeling, and my stomach was worse…

"What did you just say?" I demanded. When Rose just looked at the other Amber, rolling her eyes, I said again, "What the hell did you say, you little bitch?"

"Nothing," Rose said. Yeah, right.

I was about to get really furious, but then the bell rang for us to go to class. I stood up, still glaring at Rose. She acted like she couldn't see me- but then suddenly she picked up her backpack and deliberately slammed it down on my foot! I stumbled, nearly fell, screaming in pain, shock, and fury. I could hear Rose and Amber giggling, and then they were gone, running away from me, the cowards!

"You fucking bitch!" I yelled. I tried to get up, run after them,but my foot throbbed, and my head spun so much I had to lean against the wall. By the time I felt okay enough to walk, a thousand kids had pushed past me, and they were long gone.

I started up the stairs at last, and of course I was late for class. My seventh tardy- which got me another detention. And god was I furious. I could barely even hear because I was so angry, and my head hurt so much…

None of this would have happened if I could just be thin enough. Why couldn't I be? Why couldn't I just make myself thin enough that everything would be okay?

Author notes: I actually wrote this about a real little girl I used to know. In middle school she really was horrible to get along with and she especially seemed to hate me- the backpack incident is true, it happened when we were eleven. I am Rose, incidentally. I guess I kind of made Amber a character. She did have several signs of eating disorders and even told me about dreams she had about vomiting and dieting- at the age of eleven. As for other stuff, mostly made up other than backpack incident.