A/N: Hello everyone! This is the sequel to my previous story, Little Talks. I suggest you read that story before you attempt to read this one, or else you won't understand any of the references to what has happened previously. This takes place on the Monday following the end of Little Talks, which is the start of the new school year. We're back to Jeff's perspective.
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee or any of the characters. The title of the story and chapters are by Of Monsters and Men.
Warning: Some coarse language, it's not too bad. References to self-harm, suicide, and eating disorders.
Chapter 1: Heaven Calling in the Distance
Monday morning dawned bright and early. Jeff rolled out of bed and hit his alarm clock, silencing its constant beeping. He walked over to his dresser and pulled his pants and dress shirt on before wrapping his tie around his neck and sliding his blazer on. Jeff was nervous to go down to breakfast. Sure, he'd eaten with the Warblers every day last year before he was pulled out of school. But now, Jeff knew that every Warbler knew about his problems with eating. Yes, Jeff had gone through therapy and was now no longer skipping meals or restricting food, but he knew that the boys would be watching him to make sure he ate.
But that was probably for the best, Jeff decided as he left his dorm room and began to walk towards the cafeteria. It was good people would be keeping an eye on him now. This way, it would be harder for him to fall into old habits.
Jeff entered the cafeteria and instead of simply grabbing a bottle of water, he moved himself into the food line and grabbed two slices of toast and a scrambled egg. He also grabbed a cup of coffee before moving to sit with the rest of the Warblers. Before he could do more than set his plate and cup down, he was engulfed by strong arms.
"Jeff! How have you been? I've missed you so much, we all have, and you look so much better!"
"Blaine, let him breathe. Jeff, it's nice to have you back." Jeff simply laughed and returned Blaine's hug before pulling back and sitting down next to Blaine. Most of the Warblers were already there, the only people missing people being Wes, who had graduated the previous year, and Nick, who was almost always late to breakfast.
Jeff smiled and began to eat his egg and toast when he saw a scruffy head duck into the cafeteria and move immediately to the Warbler's table. The boy sat down on Blaine's other side.
"Hey Nick," Jeff said. The boy looked over at Jeff and offered a small smile.
"Hey. How are you?"
"Not too bad. No breakfast for you today?" Jeff gestured to the empty space in front of Nick with his right hand, a bit of egg falling off the fork he was holding.
"Nah, I'm not too hungry. Not used to being up this early, I suppose. My body will adjust, I'm sure."
Jeff nodded and continued to eat his meal while Nick initiated a conversation with Sebastian.
The boys continued with their conversations and eating their breakfast. Every now and then, Jeff would see one of the Warblers peek over at him and his plate, clearly making sure he was eating. Though it was slightly annoying, he knew that they honestly just cared about him and he didn't let it bother him. He would need help with this, after all.
After clearing his plate, Jeff stood and put it with the rest of the dirty dishes in the cafeteria and exiting, heading to his first period anatomy class. None of the Warblers shared this class with him, so he sat down next to some boy he didn't know and pulled out his notebook, ready to take notes immediately. However, his professor had other ideas.
"Notebooks away, please. You won't need them. Instead, why don't we just get to know each other. If you'd each just stand in turn and tell us all your name and something about yourself. That way we'll get to know each other. I'll start." The middle aged man introduced himself and gave his credentials before he pointed to a student. It went around the room like this until it was Jeff's turn. He stood and turned to face the majority of the class.
"My name is Jeff Sterling. As for something interesting about me…" Jeff paused, unsure of what to say.
"Aren't you the kid that tried to kill himself?" Jeff stared at the boy he had been sitting by and narrowed his eyes slightly. It was none of this kids business. How dare he bring it up in front of the entire class?
"Yeah, I heard you cut yourself last year and had to be taken out of school for the rest of the year."
"Boys!" The professor's voice was sharp and silence fell immediately. "Jeff," he said hesitantly. But Jeff couldn't handle it. He turned on his heel and quickly left the classroom, not even bothering to pick up his notebooks.
As soon as he was in the hallway and had closed the door behind him, Jeff broke into a run. No one was around, so Jeff just ran until his legs were tired. He ducked into the nearest room, which happened to be a bathroom.
Jeff allowed himself to fall forward against a stall and let the tears run down his face, making no movement to wipe them away. This was the first day of his sophomore year, and it was already hell less than an hour into the first day. God that's pathetic, Jeff thought. I can't even make it an hour without falling apart.
Jeff then realized exactly where he was, and realized that less than a year ago, he had run into this exact bathroom to shove his fingers down his throat. Stop it, he thought while he shook his head. He was past this, he went to therapy for months to learn not to think about such things. But as hard as he tried, Jeff couldn't help but notice how full his stomach felt from the toast and eggs and how simple it would be to remove them from his body.
Jeff sighed and moved to a sink, moving away from the temptation that the stall brought. He was stronger than that. He didn't need to throw up. He instead looked at himself in the mirror hanging over the sink and was surprised to see that he was still crying. He hadn't even noticed. He turned the sink on and cupped his hands, allowing them to fill with cold water. He lowered his face and splashed the water over it, feeling immediately relief.
A buzzing sound and small vibration he felt in his pocket signaled that he received a text message. He quickly dried his hands and took out his phone, reading the message.
Hey, Trent said he heard from Blaine who heard from some kid named Zach that you ran out of anatomy. What happened? Do you need someone to be with you right now? – N
It was the first text he received from Nick in close to a year. Jeff looked up and stared at the bathroom stall again, and felt the urge to vomit surge through him. Asking for help isn't weak Jeff, he reminded himself. He glanced back down at his phone.
I'm in the bathroom near the cafeteria. Can you please come here? – J
Less than thirty seconds later, he received an answer.
On my way. – N
Jeff let out a sigh of relief and stood with his back pressed against a wall, as fall away from the stalls as he possibly could be.
A/N: Tadah! Hopefully you guys enjoy this story :)