Chapter 1

"I want to fuck her."

What?! Warning bells went off in my head but I schooled my expression into a picture of calm and questioned Niki, "What are you talking about?" He raised his chin in the direction of my 'friend', Frena. I looked at her then turned back to him, "Yeah, what about her?"

"Babe, aren't you listening? I said I want to fuck her."

What is wrong with this guy? I shook my head and went back to work, thinking he would drop it but no he didn't. He pestered me instead. Finally, I gave in and demanded, "Niki, what do you SEE in her? How is she ANY different from me? And, why are you telling me this?"

Surprised by my outburst, he was quiet for a few seconds. Then sensing that I was waiting for his response, he started, "Well, she's hot and therefore fuckable. And, you, my dear, need to slim down." My jaw dropped when I heard that. He carried on as if he hadn't just offended me, "I am telling YOU this cos YOU are actually friends with her. So, YOU can make things work." He looked at me expectantly.

"No. No no no no no," I announced, sounding like Robin from How I Met Your Mother. "Firstly, I am NOT fat. Secondly, I am NOT helping you with this. NO way am I playing 'cupid' for you." When he just stared at me, I huffed gathered my stuff and made a big show of walking away. He didn't do shit to stop me. That hurt. Just when I had given up on him, someone grabbed my elbow first. That caused me to whirl around. I stumbled and almost dropped my books. I glared at him. He didn't even have the grace to look sorry. Bastard.

Holding onto both my elbows, he lowered his head and gazed into my eyes, "Nadia. Baby, you know I love you right?" Before you jump to any conclusions, no, he doesn't mean it that way. We aren't the best of friends either. I just have a crush on him. Unfortunately. I think he knows but just doesn't care. Pshhh. I sighed then nodded for him to continue. "Baby, just help me." I shrugged noncommittally and walked away from him. He didn't follow. How disappointing…

~...~

That night, I stood in front of the mirror, trying to see what others saw. Am I really fat? I stared at my reflection in the mirror and I stared hard. The longer I stared at my reflection, the more flaws came to my realisation. It is like the mirror of illusion broke. It started with the pimples on my forehead. They weren't big. They were tiny and scattered all over my forehead. They weren't even red or white. Half of the time, they weren't even visible! But at that point of time, once I started looking for flaws, I couldn't stop. I stood in front of the mirror for what felt like hours.

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I've had too much! I am just TOO ugly. I choked back a sob that rose in my throat. I reached into my bedside drawer and withdrew my penknife. Tears blurred my vision as I pressed the sharp blade into the skin on the inner side of my left elbow. I slowly dragged the blade down to my wrist. I repeated the procedure numerous times before switching hands. Not only did my tears flow freely, my blood did too.

By the time I came to my senses, I was on the floor. My cheeks wet with tears and my arms: bloody. I leaned my head back against the wall behind me, took a deep breath and then got up to clean up. When I was done, I texted Taran.

~~ What Nadia?! You are NOT fat! HOW can you think that? Who have you been talking to woman? ~~

When I told her what Niki told me, she burst.

~~ What the fuck?! Where does he go about telling you that?! And you are believing him?! Are you nuts?! ~~