She got so close.
She got so close to discovering the bruise on my shoulder. She got so close to discovering the truth about my relationship with my parents. I shuddered and tried not to think about what would happen if Ari knew all that goes on at my home.
Worse things had happened, though. Like the time I showed up at school with a huge red mark on my face - one that the expensive cosmetics I buy couldn't cover up. Ari had been suspicious about the mark, but I had come up with some clever excuse.
That was the thing about me. I felt as though my entire life was made up of excuses. "I have seizures because of a medical complex that the doctors can't figure out," or "There are bruises on my arms because I ran into a tree while riding my bike," or "I ate before I came." The strange thing was, people always believed my excuses. They never stopped to question the validity of my words.
Well, I supposed there was one exception: Ari. More and more often, she had been doubting my various excuses. I wondered if she was beginning to catch on...
All around us, people were excitedly chatting to one another, gushing about how the summer went by too quickly or about how crazy senior year was going to be. Someone waved at Ari and me, so we waved back, but my mind wasn't on all the people we were seeing. My mind was still mulling over how I was going to evade lunch today. Maybe I could say I didn't feel well...
No, I'd used that line far too often. Maybe I could grab a bit of lettuce - without salad dressing, of course - and pick at that for awhile. Or maybe I could buy a sandwich or something and hide pieces of it in my pockets. Either way, I had to succeed. If Ari knew I didn't eat...that would be the end of me.
Ellie, one of the most annoying girls at school, raised her eyebrows as she surveyed my outfit. "Look who's been shopping at Goodwill," I heard her whisper as I walked past. Cheeks burning, I pretended not to hear.
Ari was watching me, so I feigned a smile. No sense making her worry. But even as I let the smile grace my lips, something in Ari's eyes changed. She was always able to see past my fake smile. At times, I appreciated her intuitiveness. Today, though, I wished she'd believe that I was okay. Things were always easier if people didn't see your weakness.
Ah, yes. Senior year. It could either go really well or really badly. And from the looks of things, I decided the latter was more likely.