FREE DAY! Write any scene you want!
“Why? What started it?” She asks as if it’s a simple question. Sometimes I wonder when it even did start or stop. When did I stop eating? When did I start becoming a recluse only induced in art?
“Two years ago, I guess.” I shrug and fill in the small circles I’ve penned in on the paper. I hand it to her to continue onto the drawing.
She looks at it for a moment, not responding to my short sentence and I can tell I won’t be able to get out of this conversation.
“I guess I’ve always kind of not eaten. I don’t ever remember eating lunch at school and a lot of times would skip breakfast. Dinner was the only time I seriously ate. I’ve always been—I don’t know, skinny? But not always with these stick figure limbs.” I watch her hand carefully as she connects the circles of mine in an order to create a star. She keeps adding on to it and I know she’s stalling my chance to draw so I can talk more. “When my parents started fighting 24/7 and Jess started making it her personal goal to make me a laughing stock at school, I started skipping out on dinners too because I had that power. I couldn’t stop my life from spiraling down, but I had the power to control how much of it I heard and saw.
“It felt good to feel that hallow ache in my stomach as my body craved food so badly that sometimes I would binge out so hard in one setting that I’d make myself too sick to do anything. I just stopped eating more and more. It hurt a lot. I don’t know how other people can handle it. I substitute eating for smoking. It takes away that hunger. Now that the fighting between my parents has stopped—even though Dad still fights with me—and Jess has moved out, I can’t just pick it up again. I can’t start eating because not eating has become my lifestyle.”