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marble statues and montparnasse

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Enjolras was a marble statue in the shower. He tried not to look down, not to see the disgusting thing that was his body, but he did anyway. Skin so pale the veins looked bright blue beneath the dripping water droplets. He could see how wrong it was though, how he needed more carving out. He still looked like he could be ripped apart. He still looked like the girl his parents tried to force him to become, he still looked scared and looked ugly. He had fat,no, that's not right. He was never fat, but he was curvy, he was feminine, and maybe he was marble but he needed more carving out and he could do it himself.

Enjolras was constantly comparing himself to others, but with Montparnasse it was different. Maybe it was because Montparnasse had the same type of personality, the same burning anger that coursed through him whenever the world shoved injustice down their throats. Maybe it was because they both broke the law when they needed to, but Montparnasse had saved Enjolras when he hadn't known he needed saving, and by getting Enjolras away from the police and into a shelter, he had earned a special place in the younger teen's heart. Maybe it was because Enjolras had seen Montparnasse and Gavroche together and he wanted that sort of kinship. Maybe it was because Montparnasse was charming and sure, he could be terrible, but so could Enjolras, and the difference was Montparnasse had the social skills to read people and manipulate them and get the world on the other side of the fence, and Enjolras was just an autistic kid who didn't understand the world, nor the world him. Maybe it was because Montparnasse was a cisgender guy, and he was punk, and he had the aesthetic Enjolras wanted. But whatever the reason, when he asked Montparnasse how he became what he became, Montparnasse said "Hunger was not a sign I needed to eat, but a sign I was getting closer. There's more to this than just stealing pretty clothes, you know?" And, instead of feeling afraid for Montparnasse, because that sort of thinking was incredibly disordered and easy to get sucked into, Enjolras thought he should try that. He should try being hungry.

It hadn't always been this way. Enjolras was once loved by his family, once he had been their pride and joy. He was the tall girl who was best friends with Combeferre, but all that changed when Combeferre came out as bi, and his parents told him he wasn't allowed to be friends with people like that. It changed when Combeferre and him emailed behind their backs, when Enjolras began going through puberty. He left when he was thirteen, after he had decided to tell his parents he was a boy, and his father had hit him, and he doesn't like to think about it. He went to high school in the center of town, he had slept on a park bench those first few months. Now he didn't have a family, so there was nothing stopping him.

It was hard at first. He was used to eating regularly, because he had money from his job, and he was a sophomore in high school, so he would give in by dinnertime most nights, when he had started. But it became easier. Everything does, eventually.

He had met Combeferre again a few months after he had started getting closer. Combeferre didn't like Montparnasse, but hung around anyway. Enjolras wasn't reading as much as he had been, but he was still educated. Hope was hard to hold on to, but Combeferre was his guide. Combeferre taught Enjolras everything Montparnasse hadn't, and one day Enjolras would return the favor.

Nobody notices when high school kids don't eat. Enjolras didn't have parents anymore, and Combeferre didn't notice the missed lunches, or if he did he didn't care. Enjolras felt sad about how easy it was to fall between the cracks, how if he had an eating disorder it would go completely unnoticed. But that was nonsense anyway, he didn't have an eating disorder. He couldn't have one, he never puked.

Montparnasse disappeared after a while. He graduated in June, and Enjolras never saw him again. His last words were "Kid, you're getting thinner than me. Here's a slice of chocolate cake. Eat it." Enjolras did. (he felt guilty afterwards, the kind of guilt that lasts and kept men up at night). In September he would hear that Montparnasse killed himself that July. Enjolras felt hollow. But most statues were hollow anyway, weren't they?

Combeferre introduced him to Courfeyrac that October. Courfeyrac noticed everything. Courfeyrac felt like a threat to Enjolras' perfectly constructed life, but he saved it.

Enjolras was almost at his goal (flat chest no hips be like Montparnasse be like a real boy prove the parents wrong prove everyone wrong be something more), but Courfeyrac took him to the hospital when he fainted, and Combeferre read him books on what could happen, and Enjolras began to realize even marble statues can die. And he wanted to live.