“Fatty fatty, Hailey is a fatty,” they sing while circling me and pointing their fingers.
I couldn’t help but sit on the cement ground while curling myself into a ball, fighting the urge to cry. “I’m not fat,” I grumble, biting on my lower lip. I don’t understand why they only pick on me. I barely even talk to them or cause any trouble. Mom and dad said I’m a good girl.
They start to laugh, a sound that’s filled with joy but made me feel even emptier inside. They made oinking sounds. Of course, they would, I am fat. I’m only eight, but I weigh double the average pounds for a girl my age. Mom said it’s baby fat, and when I hit puberty or something, I would lose it.
One of the boys kicked me, then stuck his tongue out. He put the finger on his nose and stuck it up, making a snorting sound causing everyone to laugh louder. I continue to cry, a loud wailing one, and I inhaled through my stuffy nose. I cover my ears, rocking myself back and forth. “Please, stop.”
“Get away from her!” a voice shouts, and they stop circling me. I continue rocking myself, attempting to find some comfort. I want to go home and sit on my dad’s lap while watching the Umbrella Academy together. Mom said it’s a bad show, but I like it.
He stands there, carrying his giant karate gear bag, still in his white uniform. His face is red, powdering with anger as his fist tightens. He stomps towards me and helps me get up. He glances down, noticing the bruises around my trembling body. I slip behind him, an action I always do, grabbing onto his rough clothes, burying myself in his arms.
“Who-” his voice sounds rough, yet somehow still high pitch. “Who hurt Hailey?” He questions while all the kids look down at the ground, kicking their feet back and forth. “I told you to stop hurting my girl!”
I stifle a cry feeling his hands rubbing on my back. “It’s okay, Hay Bug. I’m here; no one will hurt you,” his voice softens.
“Why are you defending her, Josh? She is fat and ugly!” the pretty girl of my class shouts, stomping her awesome light up shoes. I understand why she would be mean to me; after all, I stole her shoes once. I’m not proud of my actions.
Josh drops his gear, menacing eyes glaring at her. “What did you call her?” I hold onto his rough clothing and shake my head. “Hailey.” I continue shaking my head. Josh inhales a deep breath, “Leave and don’t hurt Hailey anymore, last warning,” he said, and all the kids scatter off.
The prettiest girl looks at me and stomps again to show off her cool light up shoes. I fight the urge to take it off her feet and run.
Maybe, they aren’t bullying me because I’m ugly.
Josh turns towards me while his face softens. “Are you okay, HayBug?”
I smile and nod. “I’m okay, Joshie Pooh.”
He releases a deep breath then grabs the first aid kit from his bag. Josh is like a mom sometimes; I mean, which kid carries a first aid kit? We walked towards the grass and sat down. “They are all going to pay,” he grumbles, treating my wounds.
I shake my head. “They are right,” I said, causing his face to change like he smells something yucky.
I push up my glasses. “I’m fat and ugly, Joshie Pooh,” I pout, not understanding why Josh still hangs out with me.
I’m the ugliest girl in the class where everyone calls me Miss Oinky. Josh smack the bandage onto my cheek. “I don’t care. You’re my Hay Bug, and I will never leave you.”
Josh held my hand and helped me stand up. He smiles, showing his single clear dimple, and I couldn’t help but smile too. I swing our hands back and forth as we march back home. We pass an ice cream store, and I swallow. “Want some ice cream, Hay Bug?”
I nibble on my lower lip, gazing down at my feet, seeing the bump on my tummy. Josh looked at me, waiting for my answer. I smile and shake my head.
Josh chuckles. “Well, I want some,” he said, dragging me into the ice cream store.
The bell ding, and the man looked up with a smile. “Well, who do we have here? The cutest little couple in town, Jailey," he teases.
My cheeks burn while I stand behind Josh, trying to hide from the world. Everyone in town always teases us about being a couple because we were together since we were in diapers.
“Hello, Mr.Middleton,” Josh politely greets him.
He chuckles, “Josh, I told you to call me Peter. No need to be formal. Now, what can I get for you two today?”
Josh looks at me, and I hold onto his uniform tighter. “N-Nothing for me,” I gulp, gazing at the ice cream.
“I would like two scoops of chocolate chip cookie dough, please,” Josh said.
Peter nods then scoops the ice cream. Josh walks towards the cashier while I stand behind him, rocking my shoes back and forth. My eyes wander, seeing a few men standing outside, checking us once in a while. They are Josh’s bodyguards because “He is a very important person,” is what dad told me.
Peter gives Josh the ice cream, and he reaches inside his bag to pay. Peter pushes back the money. “It’s on the house, after all, I want to keep my usual couple,” he winks.
“Thank you, Peter,” Josh said, then walked us towards an empty table.
He drops his large bag and hops onto a chair. I plant my knee onto another chair and climb up across from him. Playing with my shirt, I chew on my cheeks, watching him eat my favorite flavor.
“This is soooooo gooood,” he groans, taking another scoop and smacking his lips.
I hate him.
He kicks his legs that barely reach the floor and eat another scoop. “Yummmmm.”
After the third bite, he stops. “Oh no!” he shouts, dropping the spoon.
I stare at the delicious ice cream. “What’s wrong?”
“Aunty Piper said I’m not supposed to eat sweets since I have a competition in a few days,” he pouts.