The plane ride felt weird. "Okay. I'm going to treatment," she thought to herself. Over and over again. But it didn't feel real until she was being driven further and further out into the Arizona desert. "How far is this place?"
After what seemed like forever, Stephanie finally arrived at Appaloosa ranch. It was an older facility- an inn that was now used to house adolescents with eating disorders. Stephanie was greeted by a nurse and take to get checked out. The nurse carefully and somewhat awkwardly examined Stephanie's body.
"How did you get this scar?" She pointed to a scar on Stephanie's left elbow.
"I fell off a bike."
"And this one?...what about this one?..and this?" She continued until she got to one on Stephanie's stomach. "Is this self harm?" She asked as she looked at a particularly angry scar brandished across her belly. Stephanie quietly admitted and the nurse shook her head disapprovingly. She marked something on a chart and said, "every morning you will do a body check. A nurse will examine you for self harm. It's standard for anyone who has hurt themselves. Hopefully it will deter you.." She looked at Stephanie for a while, as if waiting for something, but eventually went back to whatever her chart was. The chart annoyed Stephane.
After about an hour and a half with nurse ratchet, Stephanie was allowed to meet the other girls and boys.She was escorted to the great room and immediately 6 faces turned to gleam at her. One of them was a tech, or kind of a baby sitter, named Jessica. She smiled and introduced herself first. The other five were patients, who introduced themselves as Isabelle, Bre, Alex, genesis, and a small boy who failed to say his name.
"His name is victor..he's 13." Genesis told Stephanie quietly. Genesis was especially beautiful. She had long wavy strawberry blonde hair, fair skin, and dark brown eyes. Isabelle didnt quite fit in, Stephanie assumed she was a binge eater who didn't purge. She was kind of punk, with dark red and purple streaks in her hair to match her eyeliner. Her clothes were all black and conservative. Bre and Alex were complete opposites but appeared to be best friends. Bre was a valley girl from California with a high pitched squeaky voice. She had sun blonde hair and green eyes. Alex was almost a boy. Everyone called her he and she wore boys clothes. Stephaniewasnt sure how to address her so she kept her distance. Victor was a scary sight to see. He looked like a 9 year old. His thin body rested in an old wheelchair and a feeding tube was clicking and making noises. Stephanie shamefully wondered how he gotso bad, why boys got them.
They all sat around (literally, you can't be moving at all barely) and compared disorders. All of them had either anorexia or bulimia except Isabelle who confirmed Stephanie's assumption. Dinner was uncomfortable. Everyone lined up and got their drinks- full to the brim with Ice (less water) and sat down at a place card on the table. Stephanie found her place card next to victor and genesis. The plate was covered but it smelled fishy. It was fish. With carrots, rice and green beans. Stephanie was full of anxiety. She started with the carrots and began to notice how strange it was. Victor was acting out, singing to avoid his meal, Isabelle, Alex and Bre seemed to be used to the food, maybe even enjoying it, and genesis ate sadly but compliantly. The tech offered support and "redirections" (ex: cut bigger pieces, mix your food groups, don't tear your bread) and after 15 minutes nearly everyone was done. Except for Stephanie, victor and genesis. Stephanie had refused the fish while victor refused everything, and genesis was still cutting her food into minuscule pieces. Finally at the end everyone got up and the two who did not finish were required to drink a nutritional supplement that was thick an tasted like iron egg nog. Again, victor refused. But Stephanie complied and was excused from the table. After free time and a snack of cereal, milk and fruit (playing cards and doing nails) it was time to get meds and lights out. Stephanie swallowed each pill but chewed the sleeping pill. She didn't want time to think of her friends at home, or her boyfriend finding someone else. she pulled the covers over her head and tried to forget where she was, and luckily the pill worked fast, because next thing she knew it was morning and someone was telling her to get up for vitals.
Author Notes: Taken from my experience and others. Names changed.