“Get out of my way… loser.” Jeremy gritted through his teeth.
Michael’s world came crashing down as the boy left the bathroom he was hiding in. Michael lunged for the door and locked it behind Jeremy. Michael felt his world crashing. He couldn’t breathe. Everything was in slo-mo, and sped up at the same time. He couldn’t breathe. Everything was swirling.
Michael started shoving through the medicine cabinet. Something just.. clicked. He grabbed every pill bottle possible. He popped all the full ones open and downed them. It felt like hours of swallowing tons of pills. He started to black out. He need to leave. Now. Michael couldn’t think, but he had to get out. He opened the door, stumbled out onto the hallway, and didn’t remember getting outside.
Jeremy laid in his bed. His head pounded. Why did he have so much to drink?
The noise was so loud.. so painful..
‘DO NOT OPEN THAT DOOR.’
Jeremy stumbled downstairs and opened the door. It was Michael’s Dad. He was.. crying? Michael’s Dad? Showing emotion? How?
Jeremy let him in and he sat on the couch.
“Mich…Michael… He’s..” Mr. Mell stammered.
“He’s dead! He was at some party.. and people say he killed himself… I don’t know how..” He blubbered.
Jeremy froze. His SQUIP did as well.
“M…Michael’s…” Jeremy stammered.
“He’s gone! My son!”
‘I TOLD YOU NOT TO OPEN THAT DOOR.’
Jeremy felt the world swallow him. He opened his eyes, which he hadn’t realized he had closed, and saw that he was on the ground.
“I.. hav-have to go..” Michael’s dad stepped around Jeremy, still sobbing. Jeremy slowly climbed to his feet, still shocked. He numbly walked up the stairs and face planted into his pillow. Michael killed himself.
And it was all Jeremy’s fault.
Jeremy sat under the covers. He was numb. It had been hours. Or seconds. Or days. It didn’t matter. Jeremy refused to move.
‘JEREMY, YOU CAN’T STAY LIKE THIS. IT’S UNHEALTHY.’
“Michael..is..dead…and..it’s…my..fault..” Jeremy uttered for the 87th time. He would cry, but he had no more tears left. He was numb. It didn’t feel real.
‘JEREMY, GET OUT OF BED. IT’S BEEN DAYS.’ The SQUIP would shock him, but that would damage the boy further, which would be counter-productive.
“Doesn’tmatter..” Jeremy uttered for the 87th time as well. He refused to leave his mattress.
“Go away..” Jeremy wrapped himself in a blanket to hide how skinny he was getting due to not eating.
“Jeremy, you have to do something. Get some sleep. Eat something. You can’t live like this. We’re all worried about you. You can’t stay like this forever.” Jeremy’s Dad tried to open the locked door. “You can see someone if you need help.”
“I don’t want help. I don’t need help. I don’t need food. I don’t deserve food.” Jeremy whispered.
‘LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTAL UNIT.’
“Jeremy, open the door.”
Jeremy reached across his bed and unlocked the door, still not leaving the blankets.
Jeremy’s Dad came in and gasped when he saw his son. Jeremy was skinnier than usual. He had bags under his eyes. His hair was a mess.
“Jeremy!” Mr. Heere breathed.
“Go away. I’m staying here forever.”
“I’ll be back.”
Mr. Heere left the room and Jeremy heard dialing from the home phone. Jeremy picked up one of the lines to hear who Mr. Heere was talking to. Jeremy muted his end.
“Hello?” That was Brooke’s voice.
“I need you and all of Jeremy’s friends to come here.”
“Yes, sir. We’ve been worried about Jeremy.. Where has he been? Is he sick?”
“He’s locked himself away in his bedroom. He hasn’t even come out. I don’t think he’s even been eating. I hope you guys can help him.”
“We can be there in ten minutes.”
Jeremy hung up as well and stuffed it under the pillow. He looked up at his cell phone. Also untouched for days. He couldn’t bear to look at the wallpaper.
“Come in.” Jeremy heard his Dad whisper. Jeremy locked his door and wrapped even more blankets around him so they couldn’t tell his harm.
“Jeremy? It’s Brooke.”
“And Jake! Duude, What’re you doing?”
“Shut up, Jake. He’s hurting.”
Jeremy just clasped his ears shut, squeezing his eyes tight.
‘JEREMY. LET THEM IN. BROOKE WILL CARE FOR YOU MORE, AND JAKE WILL SPREAD THE WORD. YOU WANTED TO BE POPULAR, RIGHT? THIS IS YOUR CHANCE.’
“Jeremy’s not here.” He croaked.
“Jeremy, c’mon. Let us in.” Jake knocked again.
Jeremy involuntarily unlocked the door. His hand wasn’t his own.
Jeremy sat criss-cross, wrapped in blankets.
“What?” Jeremy muttered.
“We’re worried. You haven’t come left in almost 2 weeks! That’s dangerous, Jeremy! Your Dad said you aren’t eating, or drinking! You’re super pale. You need something.”
“I don’t deserve food. I did this. I did this to myself. And I deserve it.” Jeremy told himself, feeling his throat clog up, but he had no more tears to cry.
“Why are you so upset?”
“It’s Michael.” Jeremy sighed.
“That geek? I saw him. He looked awful. He looked like he was dying.” Jake snickered.
“Because he WAS.” Jeremy hissed. He had a feeling his SQUIP would shock him, so he added: “Sorry for snapping..”
“That’s OK, Jeremy. We know you’re hurting. But you can’t stay like this forever.”
“I don’t have any other choice.”
‘YES, YOU DO.’
“No I don’t.” Jeremy told the supercomputer.
“Don’t what?” Jake asked.
“Nothing.” Jeremy realized he was talking out loud. He had a bad streak of that.
“Well, you’re coming out with us. To PinkBerry.” Brooke demanded.
“My best friend is dead, and ice cream won’t change that.” Jeremy snapped.
“Yeah, it’s sad, but you can’t live your life just sitting in your bedroom!” Jake retaliated.
“It’s not like anyone would notice.”
“Dude, everyone would notice.” Jake scoffed. Jeremy didn’t care anymore. It was all his fault his friend was dead.
“Get dressed. I’ll be downstairs. Jake, help him. Or something.” Brooke pulled out her phone as she left.
Jake started going through Jeremy’s closet.
‘DON’T LET HIM DO THAT. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE COOL SHIRT.’
“Damn, you have a lot of bad shirts.” Jake scoffed. He pulled out a plain striped one. “This one’s OK.”
“Fine..” Jeremy muttered. He unwrapped his blankets. He was only wearing his sweatpants, seeing his bedroom had become too hot to wear a pajama shirt.
“Damn!” Jake dropped the shirt.
“Dude, your dad said you weren’t eating, but I didn’t know he meant this! You look like a skeleton! I can see your ribcage, sorta!”
Jeremy ignored the comment and grabbed some black jeans. Jake was going through Jeremy’s closet as Jeremy changed and when he was slipping on his socks, Jake clapped his hands together.
“Let’s go. Oh my god, your face.”
“What?” Jeremy asked, meaner this time.
“Have you eaten ANYTHING? Like, have you drank any water?”
“I haven’t left my bed. Did I mention my best friend is dead?”
“Sorry dude. We have to go. Like, now. You look like you’re about to die.”
Jeremy did feel weak, but he ignored it. He also did feel a little lightheaded, but probably from dehydration. The mood swings and irritation were probably the same cause.
“Brooke! Let’s go!” Jake called from the top of the stairs. They both stomped down the stairs, Jake faster than Jeremy.
“Oh my god!” Brooke almost dropped Jeremy’s shoes when she saw him.
Jeremy slipped on his sneakers. He blocked out Brooke, Jake, and his Dad’s conversation. They all were talking about where they would be, how they’d make sure Jeremy was eating, and when they’d be back. They treated Jeremy like a young child who couldn’t care for himself. Jeremy sat down on the stairs as he felt a little lightheaded.
“Can we go now?” Jeremy huffed.
“Thank you, you two. I mean it.” Mr. Heere slapped Jeremy on the back gently.
The three left, and when Jeremy got in shotgun (Brooke insisted) he immediately took a breather. He was out of air.
“Woah, my god.” Chloe said.
“Yeah, that’s how bad it is. We aren’t going to PinkBerry. We’re going to dinner.”
“Dinner? What time is it?” Jeremy asked, leaning back against his seat.
“It’s almost 6. Wanna pick up Christine?” Chloe asked Brooke without moving her eyes from the road.
“No!” Jeremy sat straight up.
“OK, well we’re going to go pick up Jenna.”
Jeremy leaned back against his seat. His eyelids felt heavy for the first time in days. He slept a lot the first two days he locked himself away, but wasn’t able to sleep a wink any other time. And before he knew it, Jeremy was out like a light.
“Jeremy.. Jereeemyyy..” Brooke waked him.
“Whuh?” Jeremy flew his eyes open.
“You fell asleep before we even left your driveway. Are you OK?” Jenna asked, leaning against the car. Everyone was out of the car, but his door was open. Brooke was leaning over him.
“Jus.. yeah. I’m..” Jeremy was about to say ‘fine’ but he heard the voice in his head.
‘SWITCHING PROGRAMMING..SWITCH 0% DONE.’
“..fine.” Jeremy unbuckled and looked out the window to see they were in a Wendy’s parking lot. Jeremy slipped out of the seat and followed the group inside. When they stepped in, Jeremy was blasted with cold air. He wasn’t used to not being surrounded by blankets, so he let out a shudder.
“You want my jacket?” Jake asked.
Jake handed Jeremy the varsity jacket with ‘DILLINGER’ imprinted on the back.
“What do you want? You two go get a seat.” Chloe asked, motioning for Brooke and Jeremy to go sit down.
“I’ll have some chicken.. oh and some fries.” Jeremy added.
“Hmm.. I want a salad.” Brooke studied the menu.
The two sat in a booth nearby. Jeremy crossed his arms and laid them on the table, resting his chin on the table, too.
“Your hair’s a mess.” Brooke laughed. She pulled out a small hairbrush and went to work. Jeremy didn’t protest.
A few minutes later the group came back and sat down with a number card. They were table 9.
“So.. you wanna talk about it?” Brooke asked, putting away the hairbrush.
“Not really..” Jeremy sat up.
“That was rhetorical. You have no choice.”
“Why were you so upset?” Chloe asked.
“I..just.. He was my best friend for 12 years. And one day, I just.. got mad at him.. and called him a loser. He has-well.. had..- social anxiety. I can’t believe I called him a loser. And then.. At your damn party.. He..” Jeremy rested his arms back on the table and hid his face. He didn’t want everyone to know he was crying, or at least about to.
The silence hung in the air.
“Here comes the food.” Jenna broke the silence.
“And Christine.” Chloe added.
“Wait, Christine?!” Jeremy shot straight up. He leaped out of his seat, which he was fortunately on the end of the booth, and hurried to the bathroom.
He looked at his reflection. His face was red and blotchy, and almost white as a ghost. He splashed his face with water. He dried his face with a paper towel. He barely looked any better. He either looked like he was crying, or on every drug possible. Jeremy hoped Christine didn’t think the ladder.
He took a deep breath and marched outside.
He slipped into the booth across from Christine.
“Oh my god! Jeremy?” Christine gasped.
“Hey.. Christine.” Jeremy started to sweat.
“Are you OK?!”
“Y-” Jeremy started.
“No he isn’t.” Jake intervened. “He’s been mourning in his bedroom for two weeks. He hasn’t eaten or drank any water or anything. He hasn’t even left his bed.”
“Here. We ordered you two large waters.” Brooke slid them to him. Jeremy hesitated. “You aren’t doing anything to you drink those. You know how pale you look?”
Jeremy started to suck on the straw when the group started to tell Christine what was going on with Jeremy. Christine would glance at Jeremy every now and then. When he finished the first water they passed him some food. Jeremy hesitated. He would feel worse than before. If he ate, his body would store the food thinking it wouldn’t eat again, which it probably wouldn’t. Jeremy only knew this because one time when he was smoking with…when he was high, he googled stuff about it, because he had the munchies.
Jeremy started to eat. When he finished the first chicken strip, He laid his head on the table. “Oh dear god!” Jeremy hissed.
“What?” Asked Jenna, who sat beside him.
“Holy crap!” Jeremy yelled. “Oh my fuck! My stomach!” And there it goes. Suddenly, he felt like he’d never eaten before. Before he didn’t feel thirsty or hungry. Or tired. But as soon as he left his bedroom, he felt so tired. Jeremy didn’t lift his head but clenched his stomach with one arm and banged his fist on the table with the other. He was so hungry he felt sick.
Jeremy rested his arm. “I want to go home now.”
“You haven’t eaten anything.” Jenna commented.
“I want. To go. Home.”
“Let’s all go back to my place.” Chloe volunteered.
Jeremy stood up, but only to feel pain in his stomach. He could make it to the car. Right?
Christine came back with a To-Go bag. She poured all the food into it and they all headed to the parking lot, everyone behind Jeremy as he tried to disguise his pain. Good thing they parked right in front. Jeremy climbed into shotgun. Christine passed the food off to Jenna and went to her own car. They all piled into Chloe’s Mom’s SUV and Jeremy buckled in. He was going to fall back asleep, but he felt awful.
Jeremy felt so dazed, he didn’t realize that they were pulling into Chloe’s neighborhood. Did she live so close? Probably not. Jeremy unbuckled as they pulled into the garage. He wobbled to his feet and walked inside.
“MOM! I’M HAVING SOME FRIENDS OVER!” Chloe called.
“That’s fine, Honey. And I’m right here.” Chloe’s mom replied from the couch. Jeremy hid behind Jake and they all went upstairs. Jeremy took off Jake’s jacket and handed it to him.
They all sat down on the floor as seconds later Christine came in, too. Brooke dialed on her phone and then handed it to Jeremy.
“Hello?” Jeremy’s dad asked.
“Hey, Dad. I’m staying over at Chloe’s with everybody else.”
“OK, Good. I was worried. I’m happy you’re getting better. I also booked an appointment with a nearby therapist. A buddy of mine told me about him. It’s tomorrow around dinner time.”
“Wait, what?! I don’t need a therapist!”
“I’m sorry, Jeremy. But I’m worried about you. Maybe you’d like to talk about it with a third party?”
“I don’t need a therapist. Bye, Dad.” Click.
“You’re getting a therapist?” Christine asked.
“Apparently. Pass the Wendy’s.”
Jeremy finished his last water after all his food. He still felt hungry.
“We ordered you another chicken in case. You want it?” Brooke asked.
Jeremy pulled it out of the bag and chomped it down.
‘GOAL, 100% COMPLETE. GOAL, UPDATED.’
“Can we go to the mall tomorrow?”
“Sure. What for?”
“I need to stop by Spencer’s Gifts.” Jeremy tugged on his shirt where his heart is. He squeezed it in a fist.
‘ACCESSING MEMORY. OH, GOOD.’
‘Yeah, I guess.’
‘I’M PROUD OF YOU, JEREMY. YOU’RE EATING AGAIN.’
Jeremy still felt so sluggish and fatigued. The metabolism was still so low, as his body stored the food.
“When you don’t eat for days, and I mean days, and you suddenly start eating again your body doesn’t trust it’ll get food again, so it stores the food thinking it won’t eat for a while. And you’re even more sick than before.” Jeremy leaned against the edge of Chloe’s bed.
“Oh..Kay?” Chloe raised an eyebrow.
“I’m going to sleep now.” Jeremy added, so they got the point.
“You and Jake can take the bed since: A, you’re both guys, and B, it’s a double sized. I call the futon.” Chloe started to switch the chair out to a bed.
“We can make sleeping bags out of blankets and pillows!” Christine said giddily.
“Yeah!” Jenna and Brooke chimed in.
Jeremy climbed into the bed, still fully clothed, and fell asleep in seconds.
Jeremy woke up in the middle of the night. He sat up sluggishly. He looked down to his right to see Jake asleep. He peered out to the floor to see the three girls all snuggled up, and Chloe passed out on the futon. Jeremy smiled. He saw on the bedside table Brooke’s phone with a little note “If you want to call your Dad, he’s on speed dial :)” Jeremy picked up the phone, and got blinded by the light and lowered the brightness, and saw 3 missed calls from his dad. Sure, 1AM was a good time to pick up.
His dad answered on the second to last ring.
“Hello? Brooke? Jeremy?” He asked. He sounded wide awake.
“Hey, Dad.” Jeremy mumbled.
“Oh, Son, you gave me a heart attack.”
“I just fell asleep after I ate. Remember that metabolism fact I told you? Yeah, That happened. I’m sorry, Dad.”
“That’s fine. I was just worried. You can’t do that to yourself, Jeremy, god.”
“I’m sorry, Dad. But hey, I’m getting better, I guess.”
“You’re still going to that appointment. Now, get some sleep.”
Jeremy woke up to see the group playing cards on the ground. He woke up laying sideways.
“Oh! Dude! You’re awake! I thought I woke you up when I got up because when I got out of bed you slowly turned sideways.” Jake laid down his cards facing up so everyone could see.
“Jake, you lost again. Stop putting you’re cards up!” Jenna snickered.
“Do you still feel sick?” Christine asked.
“A little. I am pretty hungry. What time is it?”
“It’s around 10:30. You guys want some cereal?” Chloe asked the group, collecting the cards and storing them back in the box.
The group started to go downstairs.
Before they got to Chloe’s parents he turned to Jenna and asked “Do I look any better?”
“Not really.. probably because of that meta thing you said last night.”
“Metab.. never mind.”
“Hey mom. We’re awake.”
“I made pancakes!”
Jeremy sighed. Just the mention of food wiped his appetite away. He sat down next to Brooke as a plate was set in front of him.
As everyone else dug in, Jeremy avoided eye contact and felt embarrassed.
“I thought you said you were hungry.” Brooke said between chews.
“I promised Mr. Heere, Jeremy. Please? For me?”
Jeremy wasn’t in love with Brooke, but he can’t say no to that face. He started to cut his pancake.
He ate pretty fast. But when they went back upstairs to get dressed, Jeremy felt a little sick.
Jeremy grabbed a comb from Chloe’s dresser and attempted to fix his hair. Which was impossible. But he tried.
The group all went down into the SUV, including Christine.
“I’ll sit in the back.” Jeremy shyly announced. “I need to grab my phone from my house, too. If that’s fine w-with you, Chloe.”
“No way. You’re sitting up front with me. And yeah, your house is on the way to the mall, so it all works.” Chloe said back, not lifting her gaze from her phone. Jeremy tried to not turn red; He wasn’t used to all this attention. He liked it, but he felt like they were caring too much and he felt a little guilty. Christine and Jenna sat in the back-back, or the 3rd row, and Jake and Brooke sat in the middle. Jeremy lived only a couple blocks away, so it was only a couple minute drive.
‘Helloooo? What’re you doing? Why did you change the goal?’
‘WELL, I FEARED YOU MIGHT BE SLIPPING BACK INTO ISOLATION, SO MY PRIMARY GOAL IS TO MAKE SURE YOU’RE FUNCTIONING SAFELY. PEOPLE CARE ABOUT YOU, JEREMY.’
‘So? I’m fine..’
‘10 DAYS IN YOUR BEDROOM DOES NOT DEFINE ‘FINE’.”
“Jeremy? Why’re you making that face? Are you OK?” Jenna asked from the backseat.
“O-Oh! It’s nothing.. I was just.. thinking.” Jeremy was caught so off guard, he had a whole pause between the “O” and “H”. Chloe pulled into Jeremy’s garage. His dad must’ve gone to work, or let his coworker use his car. Most likely the former.
Jeremy hopped out of the car and walked up to his bedroom. He locked his gaze on his bed. How badly did he want to just crawl in there and not leave? Was it worth ditching his friends? Well.. maybe he could lay down just for a little…
“JEREMY HEERE! YOU BETTER NOT BE HIDING AGAIN!” Jake shouted, making Jeremy jump. He landed on his back and had to check to make sure his own heart was beating. His eyes were wide open.
“J..ake..” Jeremy huffed. He was having trouble breathing. Jeremy sat up and started having a coughing fit.
“Oh, sorry man. Brooke just told me to make sure you weren’t hiding.”
“I thought about it.” Jeremy scowled.
“Jesus, Man.. you can’t do that to me.” Jeremy said between coughs.
“Sorry dude. Grab your phone and lets go. Brooke also told me to talk to your dad.”
Jeremy grabbed his cell hesitantly and followed Jake downstairs.
“Mr. Heere?” Jake asked.
“Right here! In the office.” The two took a sharp right into the home office.
“Wow. This is nice.” Jake gazed around the room.
“Hey, Jeremy, your appointment is at 5.”
“I don’t need an app-mmph!” Jeremy started, but Jake clasped his hand over his mouth.
“We’ll take him.”
“Thank you so much, Jake. I really appreciate it. You guys are such good friends for Jeremy, and he really needs it in this time, especially with what’s been going on.” Jeremy’s Dad monologued while Jeremy was trying to wrestle Jake’s hand off his mouth. Jeremy’s Dad grabbed Jeremy’s phone during this.
“Hey! Give that back!”
“Give me a moment.” He surfed through what felt like hours, and then tossed it back to him.
“Let’s go! We gotta get to the mall. After that, we’re visiting Rich!” Jake started to leave.
“Oh, and Jeremy?”
“I want you to talk to your mom. Go to her house, call her, doesn’t matter. I want you to talk to her.”
They pulled into the outlet mall. Jeremy tried to sprint, but he was so sluggish, it looked like it was in slo-mo. He gave up and just speed walk, which was also slow.
“What’s the rush?”
“I need to get to Spencer’s gifts.”
“Isn’t that behind the store? That place is super shady..” Jenna started, but Jeremy was going as fast as he could, which wasn’t that fast.
He hurried through the center of the mall and around a huge fountain, and hurried into the small store.
“I need a Mountain Dew: Red!”
“OK, dude. Chill. Aren’t you Mell’s friend?”
Jeremy bit his lip. “Y-Yeah.. Just.. give me the soda. Please.”
“That’ll be 2.56.”
Jeremy paid her a 5. He hurried back to the group, hiding the soda in the paper bag he was given. They all gave quizzical looks, but continued back to the car with him. He looked happy, so they couldn’t protest.
When they all buckled in, Jeremy opened the soda.
“This is going to hurt like a motherfucker.” Jeremy announced. “I’m going to scream a lot but ignore me.”
“Because. Now, nothing can stop me.”
Jeremy downed the entire bottle. He let out a scream. He slammed his hands against his forehead, shoving himself back against the seat, and howled like a wounded animal. He was trying not to slam his head into the airbag, and setting it off. He didn’t remember to stop screaming until he felt emptiness. He kicked his feet all over. Chloe and everyone else was trying to hold him back, but Chloe had to drive. She ended up pulling over. Brooke unbuckled and reached down into and lowered his seat into laying position. They all were pinning Jeremy down while he screamed like in the Exorcist.
Jeremy finally started to calm down, but then he felt a sharp zap in his head and screamed more. He didn’t remember stopping.
Jeremy woke up in the car. He looked up out the windshield to see they were at the hospital. Chloe was looking for a parking spot. All the others had gone inside. The SQUIP must’ve been keeping his stomach fueled the best it could, because he felt worse than before.
“Go back to sleep, Jeremy. We’ll wake you up in an hour.”
Jeremy was shaken awake.
“Jeremy.. Jeremy?” Jake asked.
“Mmmph.. I’m up.”
“Wake up. Rich wants to see you. Are you OK?”
“Has it been an hour?” Jeremy asked. He sat up to see he had a blanket on him, which was obviously from the trunk. It was Chloe’s Mom’s car.
He sat up and climbed out of the car. He was still half asleep. His brain felt so scattered. Like it was ripped in pieces.
The receptionist stopped the two when they walked in.
“Are you checking in another patient? He looks very malnourished.”
“We’re just visiting.” Jake told her, as they hurried into the elevator.
Jake jabbed the button, and Jeremy struggled to scatter his brain back together.
“Are you OK?” Jake asked again.
“You were screaming. A lot.”
“I told you guys to ignore me.”
“Yeah, but it’s hard to when you’re kicking and punching everything and screaming your head off.” Jake joked as they walked into the room.
“Woah.” Jenna immediately looked up from her phone to see Jeremy.
“Yo? Jeremy’s here?” Rich asked.
The curtain was shoved back to reveal Rich, who was in a full body cast.
“Holy shit!” Rich screamed.
“Rich!” Brooke hissed.
“You told me not to be worried if he looked messed up. He looks like a monster!”
“Thanks, Rich.” Jeremy sat on the empty cot next to him.
“Dude, what is your problem?”
“I..uh…well.. at the party..” Jeremy stammered. “My..Uh..The SQUIP..Michael..just..”
“Jeremy, you don’t have to tell him. I can do it if you want.” Brooke told him slowly.
Jeremy swallowed and nodded frantically.
“At the party, Michael and Jeremy had a fight and said things they didn’t mean. And Michael… took his own life. Jeremy..”
“I locked myself in my room for 10 days. I didn’t eat. I didn’t leave my bed. I almost died. And I just got locked OUT of my room. And.. my metabolism-” Jeremy said numbly.
“If you say that metabolism fact one more time, Jeremy Heere I swear to god!” Jenna called from the seats behind the curtain.
“And I’m slowly dying.” Jeremy continued numbly.
Jeremy didn’t move his body and just flopped backwards.
“Can I go home?” Jeremy asked. “I’ve had a lot of fun and all.. With the sleepover and the dinner and.. But I’m tired.”
“If you lock yourself in your bedroom, for more than a day, we’re calling the cops.” Chloe threatened.
“The receptionist thought he was a patient because he was so malnourished.”
“Then let’s check him in as a patient. He can stay here.” Chloe scoffed.
“Yeah, Yeah. Very funny. I’m calling my mom.” Jeremy dialed her number and put it on speaker.
“Hey Mom.. Dad wanted me to call you.”
“I heard what happened. Oh, honey, why? Why did you do that to yourself? You don’t deserve that. You’re doing all that you can to make it through high school. That doesn’t mean you can starve yourself.”
“Mom. Can you just pick me up? I want to go home.” Jeremy clicked off speaker phone, embarrassed. He didn’t expect his mother to blurt out the fact he was an outcast.
“I’ll come get you. Where are you?”
“At the hospital. I was checking in on one of my friends.”
“I’ll come drop you off at the appointment your father told me about.”
“I don’t need a therapist, Mom.”
“Well, I’m on my way. Be ready in 10 minutes.”
Jeremy flopped back onto the bed with a sigh.