Whitney

It was always raining in my head. The rain masked so many other things. It masked how I never ate and always exercised.

I never really knew when I started to care about my body and how skinny I could make it. I just knew that the wanting to be stick-skinny was always in my head. The very thought of eating a huge plate of dinner disgusted me. I always wanted to run away from the table, and lock myself in my head, where the rain would hide me.

I never did.

When I was 15, I discovered a little secret about my model friends. About how they stayed so skinny. I binged and purged. Over and over and over again. And nobody ever noticed. I would tell myself, this is the last time, I'll tell Kirsten or Mom. I won't do this to my body. I'll be strong. I won't let myself break.

I never did.

Eventually, I stopped. But, that haunting image of how beautiful I looked, how skinny I looked, always stayed in my mind.

When I moved to New York, it was my fantasy dream come true. Here, I could do whatever I wanted and just lie lie lie when anyone worried about me.

No, Kirsten, I AM eating. You just work in the nights and I work in the day, so you never see me.

Mom, Kirsten is just jealous of my modeling and me. You KNOW she is. Don't worry I eat normally.

Daddy tell Kirsten to SHUT UP, and let me live my life the way I want. Healthy and cool.

Annabel…. I am okay, don't worry.

Alex, shut up. I just met you and you have no right to tell me how to live my life.

One cracker a day and 5 bottles of water. Go to go-sees or jobs and come home. Exercise and then come home. Binge and purge and go to sleep. And repeat.

Coming home was hard. I saw Annabel's stunned face when she saw how skinny I was.

And I heard her screams when she saw what I did to my body.

Everyone freaked out over nothing. I was fine, just fine. Stupid Dr. Hammods made me go see Moira. And SHE made me plant herbs,

Herbs. In the freaking winter. Stupid, right?

But they were so beautiful anyway. They pushed up and away, up and away. Against all odds, they grew. I was jealous of them. Jealous of freaking herbs growing in the damn winter. Because they were beautiful growing… so skinny. So skinny.

And then Annabel told us her story. And it broke my heart. Into tiny pieces, because what type of jackass did that?

As I stood watching her by the fountain, so many things flashed by my mind.

Kirsten smiling as a bunny dropped an egg into her yellow basket.

Me begging my parents to let me model.

Annabel babbling in her onesie.

Forcing my finger down my throat.

Staring at my haunting reflection.

Forcing my body to get used to not eating.

And finally, pushing up, up, and away from the ground and pulling myself back up to what I maybe never was, but what I could and what I would.

And it wasn't exactly what I thought, but it was beautiful.

I love the sun. It shows everything, hiding nothing. What you see is what you get. It showed that I had grown into a beautiful flower.

So, what do you guys think? And I don't own Just Listen, Sarah Dessen does!