Warning: Body image issues
*A Few Years Later*
Despite how much I wanted things to change as Artemis and I got older, they didn’t. In fact, things got worse. I tried everything I could to get my sister to like me, but no matter what she always still hated me.
Finally, after so many years of trying to be nice to her, I realized what I had to do. She always called me dumb, ugly, and fat, so all I had to do to get her to like me was to be smart, pretty and skinny. I was getting straight A’s now, but I just couldn’t figure out how to be pretty or skinny.
“Mew” Dexter’s adorable cat voice pulled me away from my laptop screen. My grandma had gotten him as a birthday present for me, she told me that every young witch needs a familiar. She offered to get my sister one, but she laughed and said she was too busy having a real life to have time for a familiar or anything witch related.
“Hey, Bud.” I smiled at him and rubbed his soft little belly.
Suddenly, he jumped up and folded down his ears.
“What’s wrong, Dex?” I asked, obviously not expecting an answer. It was a few seconds before I heard what he was hearing. My sister was home, and she brought her friends. I hoped they wouldn’t come in here, I had homework to do and I hated when they kicked me out.
Luckily, they went to the balcony. I’d still be able to hear their loud, obnoxious chatter, but at least I wouldn’t have to find a new place to work.
Carefully, I looked out the window to see who was all there.
The usual three girls were with her, as well as Zeus and Artemis’s new boyfriend, who I still hadn’t learned the name of. I probably shouldn’t even bother, she went through them faster than underwear.
“Hey guys, my Grandma and Zeus’s mom are going out of town for some witch bullshit this weekend, we should totally throw a party.” My twin suggested to her friends. I knew the minute my grandmother told me she would be out of town that this would happen.
“I am so down, want me to bring the booze?” The unnatural redhead, Katherine, offered. From what little I knew of my sister’s friends, I knew that her parents owned a bar so it was easy for her to steal alcohol.
“Hell yea, what kind of party would this be without it?” Artemis laughed.
“What about your sister? Isn’t she like, gonna be around?” The blonde one, Brooke I think, asked. My stomach twisted, I hated when I was brought up around them. Part of me knew I should walk away from the window and stop listening, but the rest of me wanted to hear what they had to say despite how awful it would be.
“Yea, she’ll be here. But don’t worry, that loser won’t be allowed to party with us. I’ll make sure she stays upstairs with her only friend, the cat.” She joked, making them all laugh.
“But like, won’t she tell your grandma?”
“Athena is like, terrified of me. She knows I’d beat the shit out of her if she ratted me out. I’ve done it before.” She bragged, as if abusing your sister was something to brag about. They all laughed, I really couldn’t see how they could find amusement in someone else’s pain.
“Yea, I’ve seen it a few times. It’s pretty hilarious. We’ve got nothing to worry about with her, she’s way too weak to stand up to her.” Zeus laughed.
“God, how is she even your sister? She’s so lame.” Katherine asked, causing an outbreak of giggles once more.
“Honestly, I don’t even know. I’m just glad she got all the fat and ugly in the womb. I would probably kill myself if I looked like her.”
I could feel the small lunch I managed to choke down coming back up. They said stuff like this all the time, why did it still effect me so much?
As I was looking out the window, one of Artemis’s friend looked over and made eye contact with me. Stunned, I jumped back and almost fell over. Artemis was going to kick my ass for eavesdropping.
The one who noticed me listening, Hillary, hadn’t said anything yet. I bit my tongue as I waited for her to tell my sister, it would only be seconds before my sister dragged me outside and beat me up in front of her friends.
“Hey, Artemis?” Hillary started, making my breath catch in my throat. I should’ve ran and hid, but I was too afraid to move.
“Yeah Hil? What’s up?”
“I was just wondering, what time for the party this weekend? I have a prior commitment but I think I might be able to make it.” She asked. I was extremely confused, there was no doubt that she saw me listening. Why didn’t she tell her? Why did she steer the conversation away from me?
“Well, any time after like nineish should be ok. I just wanna make sure my grandma is like, too far out of town to come back early and find us. You know what I mean?”
“Yea, yea. That makes sense. I’ll definitely be able to make it then.” She smiled brightly at my sister. Maybe she’d tell her now? I held my breath again, waiting for the ball to drop.
“Awesome. How about you babe, will you be able to come.” Artemis asked the blonde boy she was sitting on.
“Wouldn’t miss it.” He responded. He had an unfamiliar accent, I couldn’t place it and it kinda gave me the creeps. I couldn’t really explain why though.
“Good, I need someone to keep my retarded uncle and fatass sister out of the party areas.” She giggled and played with his hair, flirting stupidly like she did with every single guy she’s dated.
My blood boiled, the way she spoke about Sebastian pissed me off. I hated that word. Especially used in that context. I wanted to punch her, but instead, I felt my lunch rising in my throat once again. This time, I knew it wouldn’t go away.
Luckily, I had thrown up so much that it didn’t hurt much anymore. When it first started, I had to force a finger down my throat a few times to make sure I got everything out. Now my body did it on its own. I was glad, sticking a finger in there was gross and uncomfortable.
I knew what I was doing was unhealthy. I knew it could kill me. But I didn’t care. Maybe, if I got skinny enough, my sister would stop hating me so much. I tried exercise and eating healthy, but Artemis would just mock the way my fat bounced when I tried. So I stuck to vomiting and exercising until I almost passed out, when Artemis wasn’t home of course.
No one in my family noticed yet, though. I hadn’t lost enough weight and I was good about hiding it. I hoped they would never find out, because then I’d have to stop. I didn’t want to. I couldn’t.
As soon as I finished I pulled myself into a sitting position. I started to cry, the things my sister and her friends said about me finally came into effect. I just couldn’t understand, why do some people have to be so mean? Why be mean to someone when you can be nice? If you’re nice, then you both feel good. I wished my sister thought more like I did.
I soon finished and calmed down enough to exit the bathroom. To my surprise, I almost ran right into someone as I came out of the door.
“Sorry Zeus. I didn’t see you there.” I apologized to my housemate.
“No need to be sorry.” He leaned casually against the wall.
“Oh, ok.” I responded awkwardly. I never really knew how to act around boys.
“Everything ok? You were in there a while.” He smirked slightly. I narrowed my eyes, I couldn’t help but wonder if he knew what he shouldn’t.
“I’m fine, I was just cleaning up.”
“Don’t bullshit me, Athena. I know what you’re doing.” To my surprise, he actually looked a little concerned.
“Oh? What do you think I’m doing?” I crossed my arms angrily.
“You’ve been making yourself throw up.”
“No I haven’t.” Technically, it wasn’t a lie since my body did it on its own now.
“You know you don’t have to, right? You’re perfectly fine.” He ignored my defense and continued talking. “Artemis is a bitch, she’s just jealous because she knows you’re better looking and you’re smarter. She only does this so she can get the upperhand.”
“Yea, but I’m way too weak to stand up to her, right?” I quoted what he said earlier to the group and his face paled.
“I-I didn’t mean that, Athena. I have to be on her side, or she’ll beat me up too. You remember the dollhouse.”
“So you just let her continue to do it all to me? Wow Zeus, you’re my hero.” I rolled my eyes and walked away. It was a lot easier to stand up to him, I knew he wouldn’t hurt me like Artemis would. I just hoped he wouldn’t tell her about my bulimia.