“I walked naked in the school hall”
"Why did you do it? Are you crazy or something?"
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"Should we talk about it?"
"Tell me about it?"
Voices from every corner of the room, trying to sound reasonable, sounded as clueless to her as their faces seemed. They really didn’t know, did they? She was their daughter, wasn’t she?
They should know, even if her teachers in school didn’t, they should. They had raised the girl who locked herself up in her room all the time. Her parents should have been turned off by the repugnant smell that oozed from her 24-7.
Her clothes were worn out before they were thrown out, that’s a clue. She did not join the swim team or gymnasts in school even if she loved doing both – with her clothes on.
Marissa felt her tears let loose when she heard her mother ask, “Why did you walk naked in the school hall?”
They should be happy she hadn’t puked or fainted or had an attack while doing so. Mom should be grateful she wouldn’t have to force her to change clothes anymore; Dad should be ecstatic that she would mingle with others now without being told she stunk.
Grandma had a knowing look, she couldn’t look her in the eye. Was it possible? Had grandma known all along? Could it be that her grandma had known that she had been trapped with a phobia she could not explain?
Being naked or seeing someone naked had seemed like the worst thing in the world before her resolution. She had decided yesterday that she would be better. She had wanted to break free from the cage of her mentality.
Breaking free in a public place was both the worse and best thing she could have ever done. She wasn’t completely free but she had taken a huge step.
Her parents hadn’t even noticed in all these years and her grandma had known and ignored her. Now, she felt even worse and ashamed. Marissa was embarrassed that her body was something they had decided to ignore, she was nobody even to them.
She had to say it even if they did not want to accept it. Stronger than she looked, Marissa was determined to be different from the rest. In her hands she held her freedom from this thing doctors called Gymnophobia.