#248: Physical education - 2011-11-09
When recess ended, the children from class 6-A went to change clothes in order to start Physical Education class. This class, as usual, started with a 10-minute jogging around the school.
Shortly after starting her jog, Eliana was called by the teacher, who ordered her to stop.
- " Is there anything wrong, teacher? "
- " Come here. "
Eliana walked to the teacher, very untrusting.
- " What's your name? "
- " Eliana Martínez. "
- " Well, look at yourself, girl, you're really skinny! How am I supposed to allow you doing exercise in that condition!? "
- " Oh... that... I knew this was going to happen. "
Eliana covered her face, quite distressed. The teacher didn't know what to say.
- " I'm not anorexic, teacher. On the contrary, I eat very well nowadays. If I didn't, I wouldn't be able to grow this hair, it would become ugly and start falling down itself. Don't you think my hair is beautiful? "
- " Well, yeah... and really long, too... but even in that case... "
- " I do a lot of stuff in order to keep my hair growing like this. Physical activity helps too, because it increases blood flow toward capillaries. Also, I love doing physical activity, it makes me feel good. "
The teacher kept staring at her, astonished. He never met a girl like her before.
- " Teacher, What can I do so you allow me to continue in Physical Education class? "
- " Well, uh... you truly have an admirable willingness, and you gave me very good reasons, although I don't understand your eagerness to maintain your hair that long... It's not annoying for you to keep it like that? "
- " Well, to be honest, it's hard to keep such hair, but I love it, and it would be awful for me to have short hair again... "
When Eliana said this, she felt insecure of her own words. Did she really want that for herself? Or simply she was prey to an absurd obsession, triggered by a childish whim pushed to the limit?
She saw herself at that day of January, when they returned home after getting lost. After taking a bath and washing her hair, she had to get rid of a not-small portion of her hair, as it was damaged by that adventure, dirtiness and sleeping outdoors. She saw herself with tears on her eyes, struggling to force herself to cut what was damaged, and she convinced herself that it was not a simple whim.
- " Girl, you can continue at the class. Go back to your jogging. "
- " ... Thanks, teacher! "
After the jogging exercise, the teacher submitted his students to an easy diagnostic test. Everyone approved it, except Andrea Torres.
During the second recess, Eliana returned to writing down her advice. But Andrea approached her, quite worked up.
- " You! How is it possible that you can enjoy Physical Education? "
- " Huh? " - Eliana answered.
- " Don't you get tired of jogging and doing exercise during all this while? Don't your legs hurt!? "
Eliana stood up, without saying anything. She left her notebook on the ground, and then climbed over Andrea's back softly, standing over her shoulders.
- " Is the weight of my body annoying to you? " - Eliana asked Andrea.
- " No... You have almost no weight at all! "
Andrea then held Eliana's body on her arms like holding a baby.
- " You're so skinny! You're down to your bones! My arms feel huge around your body! You scare me, Eliana! "
Eliana then stood up, and then tried to life Andrea's body over her shoulders.
- " Ow, Eliana! My belly! "
- " I... say... the... same... "
- " No! Drop me down! You're squeezing me too much! "
After depositing Andrea back on the ground, Eliana collapsed, barely managing to pick up her hair with her arms before it touched the ground, and ending up sitting over the ground.
- " Eliana! "
Eliana stayed immobile, with her eyes crossed, unable to answer to Andrea. Andrea couldn't manage to do anything, either. Only the bell at the end of the recess could make Eliana recover herself. "
- " Andrea... you need the Physical Education class more than me. You have a very serious problem... "
- " I know! My sister is skinny, too, and she always pesters me because I'm fat! I too want to lose weight...! But why everything in life has to be so difficult!? "
Andrea then started crying, and walked back to the classroom. Eliana didn't say anything more to her. She just thought the following:
- " ... If you ever did make an effort for something, Andrea... "