You hate gym class. You hate it with all your guts. It’s not just the torment of being the fat one, of running out of breath, of missing every basket or falling behind on the track. You would take all of it, again and again, instead of going into the changing room.
The girls in there are all so pretty, so thin, so feminine. Being in that room is embarrassing. You do not ever dare to look them in the eye, or look around the room as the girls slip out of their gym clothes and stand bare with their tiny undergarments. It feels wrong to look. You feel wrong wanting to look.
Every now and again, your eyes slip from their careful concentration on the floor and catch the gaze of the girl next to you undressing, only for blood to rush into your cheeks and burn the shame of yourself onto your face. It’s in your pulp, that shame. You don’t even know it yet, but it’s there, part of your Catholic make-up, searing into your mind with every accidental glance. The girls don’t ever seem to notice that the changing room is stifling. You need to escape.