Dinner passed by quickly. I refused to eat, already disgusted by my weight as it was. I'd have to starve for months to get this blubber off my once-nice body. I shoved the thoughts to the back of my mind, resolving to plan out my diet later.
After Ash had introduced everyone, he had fallen silent. No one else had bothered speaking.
That shrill, annoying bell rang again, and Ash stood, tugging me with him. He grabbed my hand again, already striding quickly through the crowd. Some people were milling about, talking or finishing last bits of food, but Ash didn't appear to notice.
He led me through the hall again, not stopping for anything. A few people called his name, but he flatly ignored them.
Within minutes, he'd brought us back to the room. He pushed me in, locking the door.
Silently, he moved over to his bed, picking up his iPod and laying down. I carefully sat on my own bed, crossing my legs and sighing. He shot me a curious glance, but I kept my eyes on my hands, which I'd folded in my lap.
He didn't say anything, but I could feel his eyes burning a hole in my head. My hand twitched, and he shifted on his bed.
I sat silently, trying to make sense of my thoughts.
This place was unlike anything else, but mostly, it was terrifying. It was something out of a horror novel. I couldn't fathom why my parents sent me here, disregarding that they were scared of me now. Yes. I now scared my parents, they said I was too unpredictable. It was further proof I was just a mistake, a useless, fat, waste-of-space of a girl. They thought they'd cured me, that the rehab had worked. They thought they could fatten me up again, probably for their own sick amusement.
I weighed 96 pounds. 96. I was disgusted with myself. I drew my knees up to my chest to hide the rolls of fat, wincing at the size of my thighs as I did this. I buried my face in my knees.
Ana*. I needed Ana. Where was she? I knew she'd hate me, now, since I'd betrayed her. I had broken our pact, I had failed. I'd become so weak, I was pathetic. But I'd be better again soon, I'd show them. I'd be strong, stronger then anyone.
Ana! I called in my mind. Where are you? I need you! I'm sorry! I know I was weak!
You betrayed me, She said. You're pathetic. You're just an ugly, fat piece of shit.
I know! I know! I'm sorry! I squeezed my eyes shut, tears leaking down. I was grateful for the curtain of my hair and the wall my legs made, they hid this. Ana's cold eyes appraised me, taking in my bulk. Her eyes hardened to a glare, and she looked away in disgust.
I'll help you. But you've got a lot of work to do, bitch. You got fat. Her voice was icy.
Thank you! I screamed to her. She nodded stiffly, shifting her weight from twig leg to twig leg. I envied her, she was beautifully thin. Perfect. I, meanwhile, was huge. I felt like I'd break through the bed and onto the floor. I couldn't wait for the weight to go, I had to do something about it. Anything…
Mia*. Mia'd help me. She was as gorgeously thin as Ana. I swallowed nervously. I knew what I had to do to talk to her.
Discreetly, I wiped my tears from my cheeks, and lifted my head.
"I need to use the bathroom." I stated. Ash looked up from his iPod, nodding. He took his time pausing his music and wrapping the cord of his headphones around the iPod, shoving them in his pocket as he stood. He gestured towards the door, and I stood up.
He unlocked the door, nudging me out in the hallway as he shut it. He locked it again, throwing the key around his neck. I hadn't noticed the chain it was attached to earlier, probably due to my shock at being here had distracted me.
He led me down the hall to the twin doors at the end farthest from the stairs. One was blue, one pink. The paint was chipped, the doors worn. I pushed the pink one open, entering the bathroom hesitantly.
It looked like a public bathroom, black stalls lining the wall on one side, chipped porcelain sinks and dirty, scratched-up mirrors on the other. I ran into the first stall, closing the latch behind me and turning towards the toilet.
I took a moment to prepare myself, mentally and physically. I tied my hair up at the base of my neck, steeled myself for what was about to come.
I bent slightly, giving myself a good angle. Then, I stuck two fingers against the back of my throat, tears springing forward as the gag reflex kicked in, relief flooding through me as some, even if it was very little, of the fat was purged from my body. I took in a shaky breath, wiping away the strands of hair that hadn't stayed back.
Then I tried again. I purged until my body shook, and until I'd gotten that lightheaded feeling of weightlessness, even if I knew it was a lie. I flushed the fat away, and washed my face of the sweat in the sink.
Oh, you disgusting bitch. You want my help? Why should I help you? You clearly aren't strong enough. Mia! She was even more vicious then Ana. But who was I to complain? I deserved it.
I'll be strong! I'm sorry! I begged. Please help me be beautiful like you!
Well, as much as you don't deserve it… Mia stared at me in total distaste. Fine. I'll help you. You're just so pathetic, I feel sorry for you.
I know, I know. I'll never disobey you again, I swear! I dropped to my knees, tears streaming down.
She eyed me with pity, sniffed, and turned away. She crossed her amazingly thin arms, her perfect stick-like body my dream.
Between her and Ana, they'd make me beautiful. They'd make me perfect. And finally, I could be loved. I wouldn't fade away into the background anymore, I wouldn't be second-best. Not like last time…
No. I wouldn't think about that. Not now. Not ever.
I stood shakily, and stared into the mirror, disgusted at what I saw. I was pale, now, and shivering. But I was still fat. I grabbed onto my sides, shuddering at the roll of lard I was holding.
I pulled my hair out of the loose bun I had it in and turned away, not wanting to see myself anymore.
Ash didn't say anything when I came out of the bathroom. He studied me for a moment, his eyes sad, before gently taking my wrist and leading me back.
He kept his silence until he'd locked the door on the inside and turned to look at me.
"Why?" It was a simple question, really, but the answer was so hard to explain. He walked over and knelt in front of me where I sat on my bed, reaching eye level.
I looked away fro his intense look, fidgeting slightly.
"Does it matter? You don't even know me, I don't know you. So why do you care?" I asked bitterly.
Evidently, this was the wrong thing to say. The next thing I knew, I was pinned against the wall by my wrists, him sitting otherwise calmly in front of me but for the glare on his face.
"I don't," He ground out. "Forget it. I'm sorry for trying to help." He pushed away from me, but didn't stand up.
I shrank away from him, huddling into a ball. His face softened, and he stared at me in shock before abruptly standing. He backed away, unlocking the door and bolting out. The tumblers clicked as he locked it again and I was left alone.