Chapter Seven

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I was giving Cameron his space but the truth was, I didn't want to get in another fight with him. It took so much out of me. It was like battling with myself, but it hurt more. There was this unexplainable feeling in the pit of my stomach and it was sickening. I knew it was because we weren't speaking. I had always relied on him, he was my rock. The longest we had gone without talking was twenty-four hours and it had almost been a week.

Noah had really stepped up for me, instead of Cameron. Noah was my rock. He let me cry on his shoulder and come over at all hours of the day, without complaining. He was so good to me, even though it was my fault that he and Cameron weren't speaking. I felt like I wasn't worth them abandoning ten years of friendship for and I felt so guilty. I tried to keep the faith though, Cameron couldn't stay mad forever.

My parents were worried about me, but they knew pressuring me would only make things worse. I put in my headphones and started walking down the street. It was a nice day and I knew a walk would help me clear my head. I was starting to feel trapped being in my room all the time.

It was about a ten-minute walk to the park. We used to go as a family at least once a week. Cameron and I used to sit on the swings, while Mom and Dad pushed us. We thought that if they pushed us high enough we'd be able to touch the clouds. For a long time, they made me feel like I could, but this secret sent me crashing to the ground.

I sat down on one of the swings and pushed my feet through the gravel. Curiosity got the best of me and I opened Facebook. For so long I blamed social media for my illness. All of the weight-loss ads, models and cyberbullying, so I made a choice and deleted my accounts. I decided people would no longer influence how I felt about myself, but it was hard. It wasn't easy to change that mindset. I still cared what people thought about me, especially the people I loved.

Sitting there, scrolling through my newsfeed felt like giving in. It felt wrong but I wanted to know what Beth looked like. I wanted to look like her.

I had a message request, from Beth Jackson. My heart dropped into my stomach. Tears clouded my eyes so I could barely read the message. My hands shook, but I took a deep breath and read it.

I was wondering if you know who I am and if you wanted to hear what I have to say.

I wanted to throw my phone away, crawl up in a ball and hideaway. I have to answer, don't I? I clicked on her profile picture. She was beautiful, like a girl out of a movie. There were similarities, similar nose, eyes, smile. It was hard to think about myself looking like her. It was hard to think about her being my mother because she felt like a stranger. I didn't know what she worried about at night when she was trying to fall asleep, the first food she'd reach for when she opened the fridge, or what color she would paint her room if she could choose from any color of the rainbow.

She didn't know that I could only fall asleep listening to music, or that I was scared of horses because I fell off when I was 13, or that my favorite food was Mom's homemade macaroni and cheese.

We didn't know each other, but I felt like we were supposed to.

I shoved my phone in my jacket pocket and zipped it shut. I swung back and forth, clung tightly to the chains and tilted my head back so that I was staring up at the clouds.

I wished that I could just have a sign, something to lead me in the right direction. Could the message be a sign? Does it mean I'm supposed to meet them?

I was torn between what I wanted and what Cameron wanted. It was like he was a part of me. I wanted to want that, for him because I knew that there was a part of him that needed to know them. Of course, I was curious about them, they gave us our biology and they gave us each other. I just wasn't sure I wanted it enough to change things and risk their rejection.

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