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Past the borderline

Past the borderline

by Ștefania Enache (class 9)

Jude grasped the edge of the desk and kept her face down, making sure that her brown hair was covering her face.  Avoiding eye contact, the brunette noticed Carla and her friends enter the classroom. She saw Carla suddenly turning her head to face her, and Jude rapidly returned her gaze to the dirty desk a moment too late. The other girl smirked and strode towards her, her friends at her heels. Jude gulped, cold sweat trickling down the nape of her neck. She gingerly touched her somersaulting belly and blinked rapidly.

A sudden noise made her look at her right, where Carla was saying something. Jude gulped, trying to pop her ears. The whine in her ears did not ease one bit. The girl looked at Carla, who hit her desk again, then straightened her back. The message was clear. Jude stood up and followed the other teen out of the classroom.

––-

Jude opened the stall’s door and turned the tap on. She splashed cold water on her face, then opened her eyes, when she suddenly heard a loud crash. She looked in the mirror and saw a very bruised Carla scramble to her feet and run out of the door. Jude tried to remember if Carla was hurt the last time that she had seen her, but her mind was blank. She couldn’t remember anything since morning.

She rubbed her pounding temple and looked in the mirror. Jude sighed. She had gotten fat again. The girl exited the bathroom, then stopped dead in her tracks in front of her locker. They had painted it again. She took the pack of wet wipes from her back pocket and rubbed the door of the locker. Fortunately, it had been done recently, so she erased it quite easily.

Jude bit her lip, trying to keep her frustration from leaking out. She had forgotten her locker combination again, she couldn’t remember anything from her last class, the headache hadn’t eased one bit, and people were for some reason calling her Julie the possessed.

––-

Jude whipped her head upwards so fast her neck snapped. She could taste bile in her mouth no matter how many times she swallowed. She gulped, trying to ease the knot in her throat and circled her stomach with her arms. She held her breath, trying to keep herself from hyperventilating, but to no avail. She noticed red drops on her skirt and placed her hands in her lap, silently staring at her reddened nails until her vision turned blurry. Her esophagus untied itself by letting out a disturbingly loud sob.

“Teacher, Julie’s having a panic attack.” rang out a voice next to her.

Jude slowly turned her head to face the person next to her. Why was she sitting next to him? Jude hated him. But she also couldn’t remember how she got there. Her stomach did an impressive stag jump and acid poured in her mouth. She swallowed it, then shuddered.

––-

“Julie, are you all right?”

Mom. My name’s Jude.

 “Julie?”

Jude.

 “I’m fine.”

past the borderline

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