The first day of school finds them all crowding the halls, lips painted with plastic and ribbons in their hair that's been teased into so many impossible positions it's starting to look fake. The hallways smell of sugar and treats and cinnamon and all the things that make her gag.

They stare at her curiously, and their eyes are like little weights. Her huge bones almost snap right then and there, but she keeps herself together. This was what she wanted, right? Once upon a time, this was what she wanted.

Somehow she catches their eyes; catches the eyes of those who are still young and hopeful. They break free from their packs, their cliques, and stride over curiously. They smile at her with cotton candy smiles and eyes so full of hope and youth that it makes her stomach hurt just to look at them. They glance over her body carefully before looking up at her face, kindness and naivety shining like the sun from their collective expression.

"What's your secret?" They ask.

Her spirit crashes.

Her secret is slits up and down her thighs and droplets of disinfectant that run with clumps of blood that remind her of fat. It's the silence that makes an iron blanket that smothers her like a table full of the meals never eaten; never even dreamed of. Her own shining eyes in the dark mirror while her hollow stomach howls and she smiles because the howling means she's beautiful.

Well, almost.

And the almost keeps her going without the food she needs. It chips away at the mass clinging to her skeleton, the gelatinous form she resents every time she sees herself. There are a thousand and one incisions speckling her body where she tried to bleed out the endomorphic deformity from her body in blood that must taste like chocolate.

If you are what you eat, then she must be saccharine. Her entire mass, like a huge cake waiting to be eaten by whoever comes along who is hungry enough to eat ALL THAT.

Her secret is the flies that climb into her room while she's sleeping. They want to lick the plentiful sweet from her bones and eat her up until nothing's left but those enormous enamel-white fixtures that are no doubt the size of a giant's, but you can't tell now because she's weighted down. They hum and buzz around her wall and watch her jiggle while she dresses and undresses and bears her scars for each time she got hungry and thought it wasn't worth it to be pretty. They want to eat her.

But the eyes that stare down at her from the ceiling are the artistic, aesthetic eyes of all those women who have walked before her with steps that don't make a sound and the bodies of the goddesses, well worth statues to commemorate. They ooze grace and sensuality, even as those ideal bony faces turn and tilt on the wall to watch her cut away at all that skin that she doesn't need.

There are stitches up and down her body where the scissors got liberal, but does it matter? A perfect body comes at a price after all. All those obsessed midnight hours spent hunched over those thick thighs of hers clipping away until she's paid her pound of flesh and now she can be a divinity, too.

And that knife, the one she covers so lovingly in alcohol and rubs all over her body while begging the pockets of fat to just drip out, already - the knife that ironically has a cross on it's hilt. It reminds her to beg God for forgiveness, but she always pleads instead. Why couldn't he give her the amazing form she craves-

No, she won't let herself go there. It's her fault she's like this.

Another cut won't hurt.

The flies won't touch her blood, which is still just as thick and sickening as ever. It fills her with despair to see it. According to her scale she's lost so much, so why does it still look like heated frosting sliding out of her? The rubbing alcohol dilutes it, ebbs it away in droplets like tears as though her wounds were crying, but that doesn't change what it is.

It's disgusting.

The nail marks in those massive sheets of flab over her ribs are from where she pulled it back as hard as she could, trying to see what made her tick beneath it. She's thought so often (and it's so tempting) that she should just take the shears to it and throw it all away, but she still hesitates. Where would she toss all that pulp?

Snip. Snip.

Each cut to make her perfect, every cut to make her perfect. The goddesses approve. She wants it bad enough, and she will have it.

And now her stomach it so empty it's folding into itself, and food makes her choke and vomit. And she won't forget the claw marks on the back of her throat, oh no. She jammed her fingers so hard back there so that none of her hard work will be in vain that she'll probably always have the imprint of her nails in the back of her mouth from where she involuntarily moved as her body purged of her gluttonous, wretched sin. She watched it all wash away in unclean water while she shook on the ground, half-naked and dazed, praising herself. She knows she shouldn't. It's her fault she's a fat cow anyways.

The plate is always clean from the time it's set in front of her to the time it's put in the dishwasher, and she admires her thin, waning face in the glass. The flies must have licked her clean - even though she's still got that unsightly lard hugging her, it's nearly started to go away. People tiptoe and whisper around her, not understanding that she's not deaf, just desperate. She would do (WILL do) anything to achieve that dream. She deserves to be a sexy supermodel with a glorious body strutting her stuff on a Paris runway. So far the path of her life has been pathed in mistakes, but she can and will fix that as she goes along, correcting every bite, every mere nibble that lead to her current condition. She will purge no matter how many times it takes to get rid of the sugary sweets she always wanted but should never have had. She wants to blame other people for not being her guideline, but she knows it's not their fault.

'You chose to be a fat, lazy bitch after all,' She reminds herself frequently.

There is no food she can keep down. There is no food she will keep down. And besides, she won't partake unless she absolutely can't help it; really really has to eat. And just the sensation of having something in her mouth is enough to send shivers down her spine, never mind the taste. It's ugliness, unholiness, ungodliness. Each bite because a grotesque blanket that wraps itself around her and she can't seem to get out of. She always coughs until it comes back out, barely even digested because her body has started to forget how. All those fats she could accidentally metabolize haunt her, and they're part of the reason she's up at night watching the flies dance around her room, waiting for her to sleep so that they can suck her dry.

There is no ice cream, no cookies, no caramels. Not for her, not anymore. Just the sight of them makes her sick. There is nothing anymore, just the air that fills her lungs. And if she could absorb anything from that, sometimes she thinks she'd even go without oxygen. The ideal body, the horrific price. It scares even her how far she's willing to go while she's musing tiredly three days into a fast.

But she can't stop. Not now. She has to be pretty. She can't handle the unattractiveness any longer. She'll melt it off of her, burn it off of her, CHEW it off of her and spit out all the pieces if she has to. Anything to get there. Anything to be there.

The skin of her face cracks into an awkward smile like porcelain giving out.

"I just eat lots of grapefruit," she lies, her dead eyes refusing to process that innocent trust. It's for the best, anyways. They couldn't handle it, anyways.

It's not like it's their fault.

Author's notes: I'm so tired right now it's not even funny, but I needed to bleed this out NOW. It's sort of based off of personal experiences, and I needed to mentally purge myself before it started eating away at me (no pun intended) even worse than it already is. My goal with writing this story is to help someone know that they aren't the only ones who feel like this or to give understanding to someone who doesn't get eating disorders. I know a lot of people find them shallow, but I guess you could say it becomes an obsession. It's not ignorance that drives people to abuse themselves like this, it's dedication to something they want.

Note on my other works: No, I haven't given up on Distortioned or anything. I just apparently needed to puke up some emo this week. Go figure; I really didn't see it coming.

Also, I know that men can have eating disorders too. It's just as serious as with women. I was bored and watching this reality TV show one day where they devoted part of it to a man with an eating disorder tendencies. It looked so horrible and painful for him. The reason I wrote this from a female perspective isn't that I don't 'appreciate that men have the same issue' or 'realize that men have the same issue'; It's just a lot easier for me to write from the point of view of a female, since I am one.