By EMILIA VAISANEN
August 11th, 2017
“The feeling of anxiousness steadily creeps throughout your entire body until you are paralyzed.”
“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!”
You stare at the screen in awe. The pixels, dark and stagnant against the white background, just like you in that moment. Time seems to freeze, and you’re almost unaware of the the meaning of these words.
So your eyes flash against the words again to decipher their meaning, only now the black pixels begin to dance into nothingness.
Quickly, you position your hand so it is hovering above the top of the screen and your fingers are poised to shut the laptop, but something stops you. The feeling of anxiousness steadily creeps throughout your entire body until you are paralyzed.
Suddenly three dots begin to pulsate at the bottom right corner of the screen. Their pulsating seems to match the rhythm of your heart.
Your eyes graze past the tiny 4”x4” picture of him the class teen heartthrob with his effortless gel-slicked back hair, rosy cheeks, 1950s charm and bad boy smirk.
Just leave me alone.
He sends the messages just like that. One at a time so each can stab into a different part of your heart one after the other. Then his icon turns grey signalling that he had gone offline.
Surely this is a joke, he is also the class clown. You try to shake off the thought thinking this is all some sort of joke, maybe Ashton Kutcher is hiding in the closet to tell you that, “you just got punk’d.”
After a few seconds your stomach begins to twist like you’ve just been sucker punched in the gut. A lump starts to form in your throat and your eyes burn as hot liquid seeps out.
Take a deep breath control yourself.
Quickly shuffle to the bathroom and lock the door. You begin to shed your clothes and examine your body, all the lumps, and for the first time in your life you truly see the fat and the ugly.
It was never a surprise, growing up you were always compared to your sister Candice. Or entirely left out of the conversation. When you were 13 you asked your mom if you could model like Candice did and your mom told you to stick to your studies.
“God blessed you with brains honey.”
“Then why does Candice get to model?”
“Well I guess that was God’s intention for her.”
That was basically your entire childhood, spent in Candice’s shadow. It wasn’t her fault she was 5’10, petite and beautiful.
You glance in the mirror one final time before kneeling on the cold tile floor and leaning your head over the toilet pressing your fingers in the back of your throat.
You get up and flush the toilet, swish some water and Listerine around your mouth.
But the bitterness is still there.
You look into your deep brown eyes, which now seem black and empty.
“Breakfast!” Candice says shaking you. Disoriented you look around, was last night all a dream?
Quickly you log into the instant messenger on your phone and you see the same messages again, your stomach drops and you feel like you’re stuck again. “C’mon slow poke” Candice shouts.
“I’m not hungry,” you offer back unenthusiastically, which is a lie, and as soon as you say it your stomach betrays you by letting out the loudest groan you’ve ever heard.
“Oh really?” Candice says raising an eyebrow.
“Really,” You say now fixated on the floor.
“I heard you last night,” Candice says now speaking only above a whisper.
“What do you mean,” you say playing dumb.
“In the bathroom.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” you say oblivious
“Don’t be stupid! I’m going to tell mom.”
“Of course you would,” you say now folding my arms over my chest.
“What’s that supposed to mean,” Candice said, now hurt
“You always have to be the best, put me in your shadow, you see me as a threat now don’t you,” you say feeling another lump begin to form in your throat.
“Fine be stupid, I don’t care. I never wanted a sister anyways” Candice said throwing her arms up.
And that was the last time you two spoke.
Candice got a modeling gig in Paris and left without batting an eye.
From then things only get worse, remember that time you went ten days without eating. You could feel the hunger carving away at your insides, but it was all worth it.
Your legs now sullied with etchings and words like “fat,” “cow,” “pig” and “disgusting.”
“Honey will you help set the table” your mom asks with her back turned to you focusing on the meal she was cooking on the stove. While reaching to the top shelf in the cupboard you notice your mother look at you with horror, she knits her brow as her eyes scan your skeletal figure, particularly bulging at your now protruding hip bones that stick out like edges of jagged, broken glass.
Mom never raises her eyebrows she says it’ll make her wrinkle prematurely.
Tug at your shirt, so your now very prominent rib cage can’t be seen. Turn away to hide your embarrassment.
“We need to talk” your mother says gravely. You offer nothing but silence, and a small gulp feeling your heart pace quicken. Images of doctors holding you down and forcing a feeding tube plague your throat. You run to the bathroom and do the only thing that calms you.
Lock the door. Turn on the water. Kneel on the cold floor in front of the toilet. Shove your fingers down the back of your throat. Purge. Relief.
A knock on the door interrupts your temporary bliss.
Carefully you get up and stumble over to the sink, feeling your face heat up and a sense of urgency washes over you. You fish out the blade you’ve carefully tucked away, you begin to apply pressure into your skin until the thick red liquid gushes out. It only hurts for a moment but as the blood siphons down the drain you feel a wave of calm wash over you.
Again there is a knock on the door, this time more urgent.
Angrily, you shout:
“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!”