In the second season of Heartstopper, Charlie’s eating habits take a toll on his body, which leads to Nick realizing that Charlie is going through a difficult time.
Now that Charlie and Nick are dating, Charlie likes to believe that everything is fine, even when it is not. It is Nick who starts noticing that not everything is perfect like Charlie wants to believe.
Charlie’s relationship with food is quite difficult. When Nick pays attention to Charlie’s eating habits, he realizes that Charlie eats very less. This becomes evident more than ever when they go to Paris on a school trip and Charlie passes out in a museum. This makes Nick determined to talk to Charlie about his eating habits.
Why is Charlie struggling?
When the students are taken to the Louvre, Nick tells Charlie about his conversation with Ben, who wants to get back together with Charlie. Soon after, Charlie passes out because he had skipped breakfast in the morning.
When Nick talks to him about not eating enough, Charlie admits that he is aware that he does not eat like normal people. His relationship with food was greatly affected because of what he went through last year.
Last year, Charlie was outed and never got the chance to come out on his own terms. Furthermore, he was bullied at school for being gay. He later tells Nick that homophobic people at school called him disgusting to his face, and he started believing that.
Everything that happened made Charlie hate himself, and he started self-harming. Charlie felt like he had no control over his life, and the only thing that he could control was eating. Charlie used to control how much he ate last year.
Even now, there are days when he feels like he needs to control it. In Paris, the stress of being around Ben and his classmates’ reactions to the hickey affect Charlie, and he does not eat much.
Nick admits to Tao that he is worried about Charlie. His boyfriend keeps saying that he is happy, but Nick believes that he is still carrying the burden of what happened to him in the past and that it is still causing him pain.
Nick comes to know that Charlie has never discussed what he went through with anyone before and decides to talk to him about it. After finding out that Charlie used to harm himself, Nick makes him promise to talk to him if he is going through a hard time and feels like harming himself again.
Nick does not see Charlie as a fragile person who needs to be fixed. He just wants to be there for him the way Charlie has been there for him when he needed him the most. Charlie promises to share his problems with Nick, but the road to recovery seems long.