[3] Katie

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You stare at the apple on your lunch tray,

Watching,

Thinking

Deciding.

How many calories were in an apple?

In a bite?

In a taste?

It’s too big of a risk,

So instead you take a small sip of water.

Your stomach growls for more,

More water,

More food,

More.

It desperately tells you,

Feed me!

But you ignore it.

If you want to be pretty,

You have to sacrifice food.

Not hungry?

Aiden slides his lunch tray in front of you,

And sits down smiling.

You tell him not really,

And don’t meet his eyes.

Well, I think you’re too skinny.

He catches your glance,

And nods towards the apple.

Eat,

You stare over at Jocelyn,

Who’s stuffing her face.

If she was eating,

Did that mean you could?

Aiden turns around to follow your gaze.

She’s eating,

Why don’t you?

You’re too pretty to waste away to nothing.

His comment catches you,

Surprises you,

Ignites you.

For once,

Something inside you tells you,

He’s right,

You are pretty.

With a shaking hand,

You take a bite of your apple.

Then another.

You drink your water.

Finish off both,

Until,

They,

Are,

Nothing.

Want me to get you something?

Aiden asks,

Staring at your empty lunch tray.

You shake your head no,

But only because you’re full.

Your stomach has shrunk.

It’s no longer capable of taking normal portions,

Meals,

Proper food.

Instead it’s used to going hungry,

But not today.

Today there’s hope.

At least until Gym.

The teachers assign you partners,

And you have to fill in sheets about yourselves.

One is how many push ups you can do in a minute,

Another is sit ups.

Most of them are exercises,

But one is your weight.

Your partner is Jocelyn,

Who insists on doing weight first.

You object.

What?

Are you scared,

Anorexic?

You tell her fine,

And head towards the scales.

No one else is there,

No surprise.

You go first,

Jocelyn nudges you towards the scale,

And you have no choice.

You put your feet on it,

One,

By,

One.

The screen begins to calculate,

Until your weight comes up.

Jocelyn laughs,

As you stare in disbelief.

One,

Hundred,

Ten.

How could that be?

How could you have only lost ten pounds?

Jocelyn steps on the scale,

And smiles when it says 108.

She is better than you.

She always will be.

You run to the bathroom,

Away from Jocelyn,

Away from the scale.

You slam the stall door,

Not caring if you are alone.

You stick your fingers down your throat,

And throw up your apple,

Your water,

Your lunch.

When there’s nothing left,

You wipe your mouth.

You are one step closer to being pretty.

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