Just Try And Fit In
Is tea THAT essential to you?
“Stop drinking all of the tea.”
“Mederra, stop hogging all of the tea before I force it from you.”
“But I need it Sam. You know this more than anyone.”
“I don’t know what it was like in magic land, but in the real world, we don’t eat until we become literal whales.”
“Whatever, get off the couch. You’re starting to stain it. Stop acting like a pet and start acting like a person. You start going to school tomorrow and I can’t watch you all day while I’m there.”
“Why not?” Mederra asks, scratching at his rapidly fading gut. Why’d Leslie shove this kid on me? She’s the one who can take care of him, and she lives alone too. But no, she just needed to smooth talk my parents so that I can “get along with the homeless kid.”. Where the hell did, she even find him?
“Because I have classes that I actually care about, and I won’t be able to do that if I follow you around all day.”
“Yeah. That makes sense,” Mederra snickers. “So, what am I supposed to do?”
“You do what Leslie told you to do. You stick with the story that she told you. You’re a foreign exchange student that will be sitting in classes for the next couple of weeks to see how different education is in America.”
“But I thought I was homeless…”
“Don’t say that to anyone at school, just say that to my parents. At school, you’re a French kid that only speaks English, got it?”
“Don’t try and act out. All you have to do is sit in a corner and put on a smile for whoever looks at you. Also, I don’t know what Leslie was talking about when she said that you ‘transform’ when you eat too much, but I’ll take it seriously, only because she said it.”
“But it’s true. It’s my best bet at defending yourself.”
“There will be no transforming. If you need to defend yourself, then wait until the other kid throws the first punch. Whoever throws the first punch loses. Don’t question it, that’s just how it works.”
“I’ll be waking you up tomorrow and my mom will be driving us to school. Lucky for you, we are in the same class, but reminder, I won’t be able to babysit you like I was today.”
“Babysit? I don’t need anyone to babysit me! I can take care of myself just fine.”
“You ate down our house in the first hour of being here. Then you had all of us run back and forth trying to keep you fed.”
“You think I like being this useless!? I don’t know where I am, all my friends are gone, and I eat when I’m stressed! Food is the best way to get my energy back, and today has been one the toughest days of my life!”
“I can understand where you’re coming from, but your appetite is as problematic as it is astounding.”
“I don’t care what world this is, no normal person can eat as much as I can. Don’t you think that’s proof enough?”
“Your appetite is clearly not normal, and I watched your dad gut fade out of existence. But turning into an orca? That’s something I’m going to have to see to believe.”
“If you want to see me transform then all you need to do is keep feeding me.”
“We’ve been feeding you all day. How much more food do you need to transform?”
“I bet you do.”
“Can you at least get me more tea?”
“No! We can’t afford enough tea for an entire orca to swim in.”
“Oh, I don’t need to swim in tea, or water. I don’t turn into a real orca. My form is just based off of the entity of one.” Just the entity of one…? “Whatever the case, you need to learn how to control your appetite by tomorrow.”
“How am I supposed to do that? I usually control my appetite by eating.”
“You won’t have food all day in school, and the teachers wouldn’t let you eat it, even if you did. You don’t have much of a choice.”
“Oh, about that. What’s this school you keep talking about? Leslie told me that I’d have to go too, but she never explained what it was.”
“You don’t know what school is?”
“I mean, I’ve heard about it, but I’ve never been there myself… At least I don’t think I’ve been to school.”
Really? He can’t even remember if he’s been to school or not? You’ve got to be kidding me. “For now. Focus on not eating everything in sight.”
“Alright,” Mederra mumbles. With no hesitation, he picks up his seventh jug of iced tea and starts chugging, spilling a majority of it on the couch.
“Mederra, stop!” Instantly, Mederra removes the jug from his face and looks at me with longing eyes. He puts the jug back to his lips and throws his head back, making sure no to get a single drop on the couch.
If he doesn’t get a handle on himself soon, then there won’t be any food left in town.
“S—Sorry.” Mederra mumbles under his breath.
He is no shape to go to school tomorrow. Why the hell would Leslie try and force him out into the world so fast?
“You know what Mederra? Forget school. Tomorrow, just say that you’re not feeling well and stay here. You’re not going anywhere until you learn to handle your eating habits.” Before Mederra can respond, I start rummaging through the drawers in my room, looking for something that can get me started on helping him out.
“Yeah. That makes sense. Eating makes me feel good. I used to talk to my friends to feel good too, but I don’t have my friends with me here, so I don’t know what to do with myself. Do you have friends, Sam?”
“That’s good. People take having emotional outlets for granted. You should make sure to take advantage of the friends that you have. In a healthy way of course. It wouldn’t be good for anyone to end up like me.”
“Well, of course. Why wouldn’t I talk to the people that I care about?”
“I’m not saying that you wouldn’t, but some people don’t realize what they have until it’s gone.”
“Yeah… I can definitely agree with that.”
“I’ve been so anxious since I got here. I’ve had to do so much talking to people I don’t know. It’s so stressful that it hurts.” Mederra says, sounding faintly wounded. “Is it normal for people to feel like this way…?”
“Under your circumstances, I’d say yes. But me and Leslie are going to figure out what’s going and take care of you. I’d say that you’re pretty brave for opening up to people that are so different from you.”
“Really? You think so?”
“Yeah. It’s impressive that you didn’t eat Leslie either.” I’m still rummaging through my dressers, but I can hear a soft chuckle coming from Mederra. After searching my last drawer, I find a small bright red stress ball. I turn to Mederra and toss it into his lap.
“W—What is this?”
“It’s a stress ball. Whenever you feel the urge to eat, try squeezing on it as hard as you can.” Mederra grabs the ball with both of his hands, eyes glittering with a childish aura.
“It’s so… soft,” Mederra says. “This feels really nice.”
“That’s perfect. Hopefully, that will provide you with some level of comfort. I’ll talk to Leslie tomorrow to try and see if she can bet you better help. That ball is the best I can do for now.”
“Uh huh…” Mederra whispers, his attention stolen by the ball. “What will happen if I put a lot of pressure on it?”
“I don’t know, you can try it out for yourself.”
“Okay!” Mederra shouts with excitement.
“Alright, I’m gonna let you stay in my room for tonight. You’ve been through enough today and I want you to be as comfortable as possible. Remember to tell my mom that you’re not feeling well tomorrow.”
“O—Okay. Thanks, Sam.”
“Have a goodnight, Sam. Thanks for the stress ball.”
As I make my way out of my room, Mederra toggles the ball in his hands, having completely lost himself to it. In the blink of an eye, his anxiety has seemingly faded away. I didn’t expect that ball to work so well on him, but it’s working its magic, so I see no reason to complain.
About the author
I've been writing for over 5 years now and I'd love for the chance to share my work with others. I specialize with creative writing and short stories.
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