“I have an eating disorder and everyone hates me for it. When I don't have natural, often organic food, I get anxiety attacks. It happened at our school camp trip and I now have to see a nutritionist, counselor, and therapist. I obsess over food and calories. The disorder lost me more friends than I'd lost in my life. I exercise for an hour or more every day and still count calories even though I'm not supposed to in recovery. I'm the thinnest girl at my school and I am obsessed with it staying that way. I hope my ribs are always this prominent and that my thighs will shrink down. I hate the stupid fat I've gained in recovery. I don't need it anyway.”
“we're moving,” she says, taking a spoonful of oatmeal. “three weeks from saturday.”
“to where?” you ask, looking up at her, not as surprised and you ought to be.
“not far. 20 minutes down the road. 45 with traffic.”
you don't respond to that.
“it's just better this way. it's easier.”
the next thing you know, you're standing in the doorway of your bedroom, the threshold to a little museum that displays all of your most treasured memories. 11/12/12. the first time you skipped a meal. you were wearing a cobalt blue knit shirt and you would've eaten chicken tenders. 04/07/13. the day your favourite dress doesn't fit you anymore. you sit on the floor of your closet and cry for hours. 06/15/13. the day the purging becomes regular. 11/28/13. the day your grandfather tells you you've lost weight. 12/24/13. the day your parents find out, and ground you. 01/01/14. the day you lose your first friend. 01/12/14. the day your parents put you in therapy. 02/13.14. you've gained enough weight for your friend to start talking to you again. 04/07/14. the day you found out you've lost it again. you were wearing your favourite dress. 07/25/14. you pass out at a friend's birthday party after spilling over your lunch in the bathroom. you lose them too. 07/29/14. you have your yearly physical. you are assigned to see a nutritionist. your therapist recommends you to a counselor. 08/15/14. you eat three full meals for the first time since 2013, and don't throw any of them up. you were wearing your favourite dress. 09/09/14. the dress doesn't fit anymore. you rent an exercise DVD from your school's library. 9/11/14. you have the exercise routine down cold. 9/24/14. you lie on your back, letting your entire body retreat into itself. you are happy with this. you vow to never go back. 10/13/14. your parents force feed you for the first time. 10/14/14. they don't look at you the same way anymore. the love and the light have gone out of their eyes. 10/31/14. the day you are first hospitalized. the day you lose more people to this. 12/24/14. the day you vow to recover. 01/01/15. the day you take it all back. 02/24/15. the day you see 15lbs manifesting in your belly. 02/24/15. the day you start exercising again. 07/25/15. it is your friend's birthday. 08/03/15. the day your mom tells you you're moving.
you begin to pack solemnly, without a single word spoken. the first things to be stored away are your workout DVD and portable scale. you walk through the rest of the museum, surveying each artifact to see if anything else deserves to be salvaged and taken with you.
three weeks from saturday, you stand at the threshold again, this time with a box in hand that only holds two items. you look over the museum, the walls a light gray, like your skin these days. you count all the memories that others would perceive to be good. the day you really begin to eat again. the weight you've gained. the decision to go into recovery. what has come of that. in turn, each memory begins to glaze over until it's a pale blue or purple colour, kind of like your veins. you readjust the box in your arms until it's secure. it's pretty heavy even though it's ¾ empty. but you smile. you turn, and walk out your room, walk out your house. you are wearing your favourite dress. you take nothing else.
- kiss kiss kiss, saltwater sinks -