Through His Eyes
I can’t help but wonder if she knows her own worth. I see her every day: walking the halls, writing in her notebook, gazing out the window when she should be paying attention to the equations on the board. We write to one another when we should be completing the odd numbers on page whatever of our text books. She reads every single poem I write—unbeknownst to her, they are about her. She smiles. She says I’m talented. She praises my genius and swears that I will be famous one day. She makes me feel good. When I first met her, she was full of life. She radiated the room with pure joy. That’s what drew me to her (along with her vivacious curves and beaming eyes). She was unlike any girl I’d ever met, and she pulled me in like the gravitational pull the earth has on its contents. You see, I don’t have many friends. In fact, the majority of the seventh grade berates me. I’ve always been different. Apparently, long, wavy, blonde hair is not well suited for a boy these days. Couple that with black clothing and an introverted personality, and you’re basically asking to get thrown up against a locker. But she accepts me. She sees past the hard exterior and into my soul. She connects with me, calms me, even. Yet all the while, I can’t help but wonder if she knows her own worth.
Her darkest downfall is her self-worth. She can be in a room with a thousand people, every single one admiring her, and she will sit there: bewildered, confused, as to why anyone admires her at all. I used to think that it was humility. She simply did not want to seem vain or boastful or full of herself. I couldn’t have been more wrong. See, she always complained about her figure. The very traits, mind you, every boy in the school drooled over. When she walked, her chest bounced up and down, up and down, up and down in perfect rhythm with her stride. Her hips moved back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, taunting every pair of eyes in the room. Her hair—blonde like the sun—flowed perfectly past her shoulders, falling at the small of her back, in the very place that I envisioned my hand resting. Her eyes, those shockingly electric blue eyes, could cut through ice. She was beautiful. The All-American dream girl. I’ll never quite understand why she hated it so, when everyone around her was drawn to it—to her.
She received compliments at first. Her new “healthy” lifestyle was really paying off. “It’s just a small diet, really. I could barely tell I was losing any weight at all!” she said to me. She stopped eating anything with sugar. She said it was better for her body and mind, to “cleanse the body and soul,” she reasoned. Then she stopped eating carbohydrates because “oh, you know, I just feel so full when I eat them that I cannot make room for anything else!” she swore. Then went anything processed, then red meat, then all meat, then cheese and all dairy. Eventually, everything went, until the only thing she could bring herself to eat was bright red apples and Trident gum. With every pound that she shed, I watched a small piece of her very essence disappear with it. It seems so odd, but even her eyes changed; grayed, as if they, too, were being drained of life. I watched her disappear. Every single day, I watched her disappear. And, although I tried, there was nothing that I could do about it.
She’s beginning to scare me. She no longer resembles Marilyn Monroe. Instead, she resembles a heroin addict: rail thin, hollow eyes, pale skin and strung out on the euphoria she experiences when she starves herself long enough. I am watching her waste away. I’m not a doctor, but I’m not stupid. Her speech is slowed, her hair thinning, lips cracking, knuckles bleeding from too many hand-washes and sanitizing. Paper thin. I call her paper thin in an attempt to make her realize that she is going to blow away, unseen by the world, if she didn’t stop the madness. I cry. Beg. Plead for her to get help. Plead for the girl that I first met—the girl who lit up an entire room with just her presence—to come back to me. She looks at me, smiling, unaware of what exactly it is that is so wrong—swearing, unapologetically, that she is just fine. And in that moment, I am aware that I’ve lost her. I’ve lost the girl with the electric-blue eyes.
Then, as if by an act of God, she falls to the floor. I can’t help but wonder if she will ever know her own worth.