I was in gym class with her when it happened. One minute she was playing, trying to beam me with a volleyball, and the next she was collapsing. Everyone panicked, she was taken to the nurse, an ambulance was called, all that stuff.
We found out that Jamie was anorexic. That she had been starving herself to keep from getting fat. No wonder she had been so unhealthily skinny. We also found out that she wasn't the only one.
We were posing as high school students in a small high school, probably not much different in size from the high school in Forks. There wasn't an immense number of students, but enough.
There were a group of girls that had been starving themselves, and it set the teachers on the alarm. Soon they were on the watch for others, and girls all over the school were being put on the anorexia watch.
That's what the students called it, anyway. The teachers called it something else, but nobody really knew what. All anyone knew was that if you were suspected of having an eating disorder, you were put on the watch, and you had to eat lunch at a table with several teachers supervising.
Of course it would figure that we would get dragged into this.
Someone had noticed, and had said, hey, the Cullens don't eat lunch. In fact, I've never seen them eat anything. Ever. So we got put on the watch, and had to explain to Carlisle that night why he was signing seven index cards verifying that we had eaten a dinner that we hadn't actually eaten.
Once put on the watch you had to have a parent or guardian sign off on an index card what we had eaten for our meals at home and that we had indeed eaten it. That was easy enough, if a bit of an inconvenience. Carlisle just looked at us for a minute before signing them, and mentioned he was glad Jacob didn't have one too.
Jacob, of course, ate food, and a lot of it. He ate the food on his tray, and usually the food off Reneesme's tray, and often the food off the tray that Edward and I shared. Sometimes he'd tried to steal food from the tray Alice and Jasper shared, but Jasper didn't take kindly to him stealing it, and Jacob wasn't about to just ask.
But the important thing was that he signed the cards, and Esme signed the ones for breakfast the next morning before we headed off to school. We claimed our cards and figured out what we had allegedly eaten for dinner and breakfast on the way to school.
We turned them in in homeroom. Everybody knew by now that we had been put on the watch, and no one was really surprised.
"Can we move?" Jasper muttered at lunch. "Is it too soon to move?" He was positively radiating disgust and irritation combined with dread.
Rosalie wasn't too cheerful either today. "I hate eating." She complained. Unfortunately, it was right at the time the health teacher was walking by, who consequently shot her a concerned glance. Nice timing.
We got our trays and sat down at the watch table. I took a bite of my salad and groaned. It was absolutely disgusting. "Yuck." I made a face.
Emmett shrugged. "It could be worse." Rosalie glared at him, and he shrugged. "At least we don't have to smell dog boy today."
"Hey, that's my Jacob you're insulting." Reneesme chided. "I think he smells fine." She took a bite of her sandwich, and shot me a mournful glance. "And you wanted me to live off this stuff." She reminded us with a shudder.
All of this conversation was, of course, too quiet for the teachers to overhear.
We unenthusiastically chewed and swallowed the food, though it tasted horrible, and had the teacher sign off that we had eaten it. Blech.
It felt weird to have eaten human food after all this time.
When we finally made it home, Rosalie disappeared inside immediately. The others took more time than usual getting out of the car and going inside. It was almost as if they were purposefully dragging this out, as if they were giving Rosalie some sort of privacy or something.
She reappeared in seconds, with a grimace. "All right. I'm done. Who's next?"
I had no idea what she was talking about. Emmett shrugged. "I'll take the upstairs."
Edward looked at me. "We'll take the downstairs." He said, and I just looked at him. The downstairs what?
Alice nodded. "Call Jasper if you need him." She said. "I'll go after Emmett."
Edward led me inside and to the downstairs bathroom, of all places. I continued staring at him. "Um, what, exactly are we doing here?"
Edward sighed. "We can't digest food, remember?"
I didn't get it. "So?"
"So, we have to regurgitate it." He said calmly, simply.
"What?" I demanded. "We have to throw up? Eww. That's gross."
"Well, I'll admit it's annoying, but-"
"I can't throw up on cue, Edward. I don't even feel sick."
"Well, you can't just leave it there." He argued.
"I don't know about this." I said. "This is just plain weird. And disgusting. Is that what Rosalie was doing?" I asked. Edward nodded.
"To her it's embarrassing, so we all keep our distance and let her have her privacy." He explained with a shrug. "It's not so bad for the rest of us."
I stared at him. I wasn't sure if I wanted him to clarify that or if I wanted to forget we'd ever had this conversation. "Really?" I said at last. Edward rolled his eyes but humored me.
"Well, I just think it's annoying." He said. "I have better things to do with my time. But Emmett thinks it's kind of cool. He likes to indulge in what he calls projectile vomiting."
"That's disgusting." I said with a shudder.
"Tell me about it." Edward agreed. "Now Alice, on the other hand, is practical about it. She just opens her mouth, and blah. Out it comes. I don't know how she does it so easily."
I groaned. "Are we really standing here talking about how the family throws up?" Edward nodded. "So what about Carlisle?" I asked. I couldn't really imagine him throwing up. Ever.
"He's a doctor. He's immensely practical about it too. He just does it and gets it over with. He's not as good at it as Alice, though." He paused as the toilet flushed upstairs and Emmett switched places with Alice. "Esme thinks it's disgusting, and avoids it whenever she can. I've only seen her eat once."
I was amazed at how quickly I was accepting this. "And Jasper?" Edward shrugged.
"No one's ever seen him throw up, or heard him, or otherwise caught him at it, so I don't know. I've never even caught a stray thought about it." Edward puzzled over that for a minute. "It's probably of no significance to him whatsoever then, I'd wager."
I sighed. "So how do we do this?" I asked.
"Well, you can always try to force it yourself, or if you aren't any good at that, we can ask Jasper to make you nauseous." Edward decided. "Which would you prefer?"
"I'd prefer not to have you hovering while I'm trying to figure out how to make myself throw up. It makes me feel unattractive."
He smirked. He thought this was funny. "Fine. Alice is done upstairs, Jasper's in the living room." He left me alone and headed upstairs to hurl.
This whole situation was ridiculous and disgusting and absurd. Ugh. I set about trying to figure out how to make myself throw up, but five minutes later was still as full as I had been when this whole mess began. I peeked out of the bathroom and into the living room.
"Um, Jasper?" I asked, feeling ridiculous. And stupid. He was there in a flash.
"Yes?" He inquired, and I hesitated, trying to figure out how to ask if he could help. Edward had said he could, but it just sounded a bit strange to me. He smiled, a smile that was barely there, barely noticeable unless you knew where to look for it. He led me back into the bathroom.
It hit me all at once, and I lurched towards the toilet. I felt someone gently gather my hair back and out of the way as I emptied my lunch into the toilet. When I was done, I let out a sigh of relief. That had not been fun.
"Done?" Jasper asked kindly. I nodded. "Rinse your mouth out, but don't swallow." He said, tapping on the sink. He flushed the toilet as he left.
"Thanks." I called after him.
"Anytime." He returned, and I could hear him chuckle softly. I rolled my eyes. He had a weird sense of humor.
I was reading later that afternoon. It was something I still enjoyed, though I could read much faster now. I was curled up on the couch when Jacob came through wearing a confused look on his face.
"What?" I asked.
Jacob frowned. "Why, exactly, is Jasper praying to the porcelain God?" He asked, and I snorted.
"Because apparently while vampires can swallow food without it harming them, they can't digest it, so they have to get rid of it some other way." I informed him. "The others were all throwing up earlier. You missed that."
Jacob stared at me as if I were insane. "You're telling me he's fine, that he's not dying or anything?" I nodded. "Because he doesn't look fine. I walked by and he actually looked more like he was in pain. Or more so than usual, anyway. He always looks like he's in pain."
"It's your fault." I teased him. "With your smelly human blood." He remained, serious, though, and that worried me. "I'll check on him, if it makes you feel better."
He nodded. "Okay. Great." He hesitated. "Hey, Bella? Don't tell the leech I was worried about him, okay?"
I nodded. Jacob was on good terms with most of the family by now, except Jasper. But then, Jasper always did have a reserved nature that came off as stand-offish if you didn't know better. "I won't tell." I promised.
"Thanks." He said, and continued on his way.
I set my book down, carefully, and stood up. I made my way swiftly to the bathroom, noting that everyone else had gone out somewhere. I wondered if Jasper had realized I was here.
I frowned as I came up behind him. He really did look like he was in pain. His entire body was tense, rigid. "Jasper?" I asked, and he whirled around in a flash, straightening from the crouch that was instinctive to him into a more human stance.
"Hi, Bella." He said softly. "I didn't realize you were home."
I shrugged. "You okay?" He nodded.
"You didn't look too good, there." I said. "I was worried." I was worried. He had straightened as if he had been caught at something. It was weird. He shrugged, awkwardly. "You only just now getting rid of lunch?" I asked lightly, trying to get him to relax.
He ducked his head ever so slightly. Then he sighed. "I'm fine." He reassured me.
"Why'd you wait so long?" I asked, but realized what the answer was. He had been waiting for everyone to be gone. "You don't like anyone to see you doing this either." I said. "Like Rosalie."
"Rosalie thinks it's improper." Jasper corrected. "I just don't like people worrying over something that isn't a big deal." He shrugged. "People throw up different ways. I just have a hard time doing it."
"You helped me." I pointed out. "You can't make yourself nauseous too or something?"
"It doesn't help." He said. "It's still painful." He smiled again. "I'm fine, Bella. Don't worry about it."
We stood there for a moment, for once in a silence that wasn't awkward or uncomfortable. Finally, I spoke. "Do you think Carlisle would let us move? This is gross beyond compare. Or maybe he could get us doctor's excuses."
Jasper raised an eyebrow. "Please excuse my children from lunch, except for Jacob. Their metabolisms cannot handle the type of food served in the cafeteria. They will eat when the get home. They really don't need three meals a day anyway." He scoffed. "I'm sure that would work."
"It might be worth a try." I commented easily. We stood there a moment longer. "You want me to leave, so you can finish throwing up?"
He shook his head. "I was done, anyway." He said.
"Oh." We left the bathroom. "So, Edward said that Alice just 'opens her mouth, and bah.' Is it really that easy for her?" I asked conversationally.
Jasper snorted. "Edward said that?" He asked. His amusement was leaking onto me. I chuckled.
"Yeah. He did. Why is that funny?"
Jasper rolled his eyes. "That would be how Emmett would describe it. Edward's usually not big on discussing stuff like that."
"So she really just, you know, blah?" I asked, feeling silly. It was a pleasant feeling, though, and Jasper rarely radiated amusement like this.
"Yeah. It's not very attractive, though." He said. "Still, at least she's better than Emmett."
Neither one of us had noticed her behind us. "I would hope so." She murmured. "Although Rosalie would disagree." She was thoughtful for a minute. "Of course, Rosalie might also want to know when you've been cuddling with Emmett."
"Aw, that's just gross, woman!" Emmett thundered from outside. The family had returned. "I wouldn't cuddle with Jasper-"
"There's nothing wrong with Jasper!" Alice shouted back. "He's perfectly cuddly."
Jasper was mortified. Usually he and Alice were rather quiet about their relationship. I had a feeling if vampires could blush he'd be red from head to toe. I also wondered what had sparked this.
Alice kissed him on the cheek. "You forgot to flush the toilet. That's bound to raise questions you don't want to answer, dear." So she was providing a distraction. She called back to Emmett, "Besides, I want to know why you were cuddling with my man in the first place."
Rosalie joined the fray as Jasper slipped away. "He better not have been cuddling with anyone! Who was it, anyway?"
Edward put an arm around me as he answered Rosalie. "Jasper hasn't been cuddling with anyone, Rosalie. Emmett's fine." He turned to glare at Alice. "That is disgusting."
She smiled sweetly. "I don't think he's disgusting at all." I rolled my eyes. Apparently age did not necessarily bring maturity with it. Sometimes these guys were ridiculous.
"Jasper!" Rosalie demanded. "Have you been cuddling with my man?"
Emmett entered the house. "I didn't Rosie, I swear. Why would I even want to?"
Jasper reentered the room and shot a glance at his wife. It was, surprisingly enough, one of gratitude. They were a strange couple.
Author's note: There, it's done, I'm sorry I did it. The idea just grabbed me and wouldn't let me go until I wrote it out. Then it held my ideas for a new story ransom insisting I post it. An immensely stupid, pointless piece of idiocy, but it you actually read it, maybe you got something out of it. Anyway, please don't loathe and detest me because of it. I couldn't help it.
Diclaimer: None of this stuff belongs to me, duh.