Halloween comes around, and he’d been running again, this time past a bunch of kids in discount Wallmart costumes, being shepherded by weary looking parents. He did this every day now, when he could. After the recent unicorn problem, he’s got his speed up by like, five percent.
Then a few weeks later, it was Thanks-giving, and he and his Dad were at the McCall house, with Isaac, Scott and his Mom, because it turned out that she could actually cook, and his Dad is all for abusing their friendship for real food.
Everyone else dug in, and Stiles was playing this game where the pieces of food had to be exactly a centimetre in length and width, when Isaac called out. “Hey, Stiles, what’s happening on your plate? Is there some kind of battle strategy I don’t know about?”
Suddenly everyone looked at him, plates all half empty, and all the food is still on his.
“Is there something wrong with it, Stiles?” Mrs McCall asked, and she looks half worried.
Truth, or lie? Truth or lie?
Both. “Sorry, it’s a bit much for me. I’m kind of- on a diet..” Everyone all out laughed, like he’s cracked some joke, and Stiles had a sickening thought that maybe everyone saw him as just that greedy. The laughter quietened down, and the Sheriff asked, voice low. “Are you serious? What are you on a diet for?”
“I-uh..” Truth. Why are you on a diet? “I was thinking if I’m ever actually going to get on the team- I might as well, y’know, sort myself out.”
“Wouldn’t hurt to gain some muscle.” Scott agreed. “I remember having to bulk up for La Crosse.” Stiles shot him a glare because all Scott got was some magical bite, and then hallelujah, ABS.
“You’re fine the way you are.” Nurse McCall interjected, and Stiles put down his knife and fork entirely, because there was no way to justify that sentence. Not about him.
“It’s just a couple of pounds. I was talking to someone at the gym about it..” He began, and the sheriff interrupted him. “You’re skinny enough kid. It doesn’t matter, you’re not gonna be a professional athlete.”
Stiles felt some kind of rage inside him because they didn't have a right to input on his body, or his choices. They just COULDN'T. “I just want to at least be on the team for once in my life.”
“There are more important things than fitness.” Isaac cuts in, chewing with his mouth open. Stiles was still clicking his fingers under the table, and opened his mouth to speak when the Sheriff spoke. “Just eat your dinner, yeah? Melissa has a great dessert, I hear she spent all afternoon making it.”
After a moment of staring angrily into space, the topic already moved on, Stiles speared one of the 1x1cm pieces of food on his fork and put it into his mouth, trying to lower it in without touching his lips. Each chew was measured and counted.
“..Such a good kid…” The conversation flowed in and out of his ears, as he worked on the food, expression dull and numb and angry. There was too much inside. And not enough out.
3: 29 am saw Stiles on his back in his bed, legs high in the air and circulating. Round, and round, and round, and round. The effort was draining his face pale, and he was so tired, and yet the only thought Stiles had in the darkness was of the words ‘good kid’, and how they could never be applied to him. He imagined how much happier his father would be with someone else. With Isaac as a kid, with Scott. With a pretty little daughter like Lydia. Or a talented strong minded girl like Allison. With someone as passionate as Erica, alive and in his place. Boyd, strong and silent and caring. They deserved it more. He was the one who should have died.
Circling his legs around and around and around and around. Straight up, no shaking allowed.
Fifteen more, till 70. Then only 30 more till 100.
The time passed, till 4:00 am struck, and Stiles stopped at 150. He climbed off the bed, blinking slowly, and stepped towards the door. Slipping across the corridor, and into the bathroom, he eyed the scale, kicking it gently into action. And then stood on.
126. 126. 126. 126. 126. 126.
126. 126. 126. 126. 126. 126. 126. 126. 126. 126. 126.
He kicked the scale so hard it clattered and slid and hit the base of the sink.