The bell rings, and my stomach churns. "Food food food" screams one part of my brain, "Stop Stop Stop" screams the other. Already I feel nauseated, and I haven't even begun the argument with myself.
I watch everyone file past my desk to the door. I want to be last; I want to make sure no one looks at me with weird faces, because I know what they're going to think-"Why is she going to lunch-shouldn't she be on a diet?" "I can't believe she wore that. Her thighs are huge!" "Average face, but she'd be hotter if she lost some weight."
"Shut up shut up shut up" I whisper to myself. The other part of my brain, the one where my 'friend' lives, makes a bet with myself: If one person looks back at me with a judgemental face, then I won't eat. I won't eat with people judging me.
"No, think of your recovery. You can eat normally-remember what Shelby said to you in the bathroom? You don't have anything to hide. You can eat normally. No one will care."
My mind instantly flicks back to the first day of ninth grade. Me and my fat thighs and my fat stomach and my fat arms sitting at the table with my lunch, then looking up; beautiful, thin girls laughing at me, pointing and making jokes. That's when I made the deal with myself: I've got to be 90. It's 90 or nothing.
"Really? *Recovery*? You can't possibly want to go back to fat-Didn't Cheyenne put it so nicely yesterday? 'You either recover and get fat, or you stay thin and die'. I know the one I want, what about you?"
"That's not true! There are loads of girls that had eating disorders and are still pretty healthy looking!"
I shake my head, as if I could jumble all of their words and make them shut up.
I get to the lunchroom, and my first instinct is to run to the bathroom. I'm safe there, I can lock myself in the stall and cry and no one will care.
My friend Shelby stops me before I can turn around. "Eat with me today, okay?"
"She's just trying to make you fat-look at her! She's your walking perfection. 94lbs, super skinny, and she's even got the thigh gap!"
"No, listen, you can eat, okay? EAT EAT EAT EAT!"
I close my eyes for a brief moment. "Um...yeah. Okay."
Shelby smiles and takes my lunch bag from me and sets it on the table. "Keep a seat for me, 'kay?" She runs off to get her lunch, and I'm stuck.
It's either admit failure to Shelby and run to the bathroom, or admit failure to myself and eat.
Tears burn into the corner of my eyes. I look up to the girls that made fun of me on the first day. They aren't even paying attention to me. "They hate you, and so does everyone else. Do you see anybody paying attention to you? Who would pay attention to greasy pig like you?!"
My stomach is twisting itself. All the thoughts of other people come into my mind. "PIG!" "Oh my GOD, do you SEE what she's eating?" "Gained another three pounds, looks like she's going to be stuck on the fat train for a while."
My feet go up on the chair, my arms on my knees, and my head tucked into my legs. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.
It doesn't work.
I get up from my chair, pick up my bag, and rush out of the lunchroom. I can feel all of their eyes on me, burning into my back.
"Good, you're not eating today. Keep it up. Together we'll win this."
I run to the second floor bathroom, fling open the door, and lock myself in a stall. Slowly the tears fall.
I don't notice the footsteps, only the slight murming from the otherside of the stall.
"Hey...you don't have to eat if you don't want to, you know?"
I'm silent. "You have it ALL! You can eat whatever you want and not gain, you can wear whatever you want and not feel ashamed, you don't HAVE problems!"
Even though I wish I could speak.
She continues, "But just...just eat when you're hungry, okay?"
"It's not that simple." My voice is so small.
I sigh, and open the door. I avert my gaze, I can't handle looking at her.
We walk out together, and she babbles about homework.
"Eighty-five. If you get down to eighty-five, you'll be thinner than every girl in school. We'll beat 'em."