I wasn't too focused on the move to my father's house happening on Friday. My mind was too consumed with other thoughts. However, day by day more of my few belongings were packed. The dark secrets slowly taking over my life stayed locked away and safe. Grace kept her distance from me, watching everything from the background. Lily was in constant tears. She was having nightmares again. The poor girl was becoming scarred from these experiences. And there was nothing I could do about it. The week passed by surprisingly quickly. When I wasn't trying to lose weight, I concentrated on my schoolwork.
"Rose, what's going to happen with Mommy?" Lily asked Friday when Grace brought her home.
"I don't know," I replied truthfully. Lily clung to me when Grace stormed back into the room. It was nearly six that evening. Dad was supposed to show up in about fifteen minutes.
"You're not getting out of here that easily," Grace said sternly. "I have a whole new punishment for you, Rose...Lily, Rose, come with me now." Both of us? This can't be good. I watched in horror as my sister was thrown onto my mother's bed. No. This cannot be. My precious light. No.
"Now you shall see how Rose was treated!" my mother said to Lily. "You've always wanted to know. Constantly asked me. Well, I've had enough of you!" A slap, followed by a scream and tears. This wasn't happening. This couldn't be happening. Red tinged the edges of my vision. Hot, boiling anger bubbled in my veins.
"Don't. You. Touch. Lily!" I growled. I had Grace in a choke hold, pinned against the wall. She looked at me in shock. True surprise. No fakeness here, that's for sure. She nodded quickly. I released her and let her fall to the floor. Some monster in me had risen up and given me the power to overcome my mother.
"Rose," Lily sobbed. I picked her up and ran out of the house without looking back, not bothering with our stuff. That wasn't important right now.
"Where are your things?" Dad shouted from the car that sat running idly.
"Grace hit Lily," I growled, still recovering from my sudden burst of anger. The familiar smell of my father was calming me down a little. However, I couldn't be bothered with such a thing as scents right now. I instead took one last look at the place I had been forced to grow up in. Small, generic houses lined both sides of the street before turning out into a main road. Ours was different. Custom made? Older? Built before this neighboorhood? I had never bothered to ask or cared to know.
"Oh, jeez," my dad sighed. "Come on, let's get out of here before anything else happens." He started to drive away. Lily lay silently in my arms, crying quietly. Now she would start to fall apart. My little angel of a sister, broken by the evils that were only meant for me. I was shaking with fresh waves of anger. How could Grace hurt Lily? I didn't care if she hurt me, I deserved it. But Lily was pure as fresh fallen rain.
"Momma," Lily murmured in her sleep. "I still...love you..." I held her closer as we passed our school. Another place I consider my own personal hell. I'm so fat. Look at all this disgusting fat, swelling and bubbling on my body. I have to get rid of it. Now. I frowned at my too large stomach and elephant thighs. They were widening by the day. Someone was probably fattening me up in my sleep. When I slept, that is.
It was a good thirty minutes before we arrived at Dad's new place, a modest apartment that would fit two or three people. I carried Lily inside and set her on the couch, where she could hopefully sleep in peace. I trudged off into a room that I claimed as my own. To my pleasure I noticed there was a bathroom attached to it. Got to see my weight again. So horribly huge and blowing up like a balloon. I look like a monster.
On the scale. It was electronic, so the numbers would be down to the decimal. Accuracy was key in this dieting process. I hoped this scale didn't add any extra numbers to my already bloated, fatty self. The numbers were thinking. It seemed to take an eternity, but in reality was probably only a minute or two. Then I was reading a new number. Enemy. Horror. Disgust. I had gained a pound. I wanted to scream. I was so FAT!
I turned and ran outside. I ran and ran. Had to get rid of the pounds multiplying like problems in a math assignment. An x here, a y there, and BOOM instant fat. An explosion to obeseness. Fat was ugly. Fat was bad. I kept on running. As always, my head was facing the ground. Not to prevent myself from falling, but because I couldn't look anyone in the eye. I was too ashamed of all this weight that refused to leave. So much running. So much work. So much pain. All for nothing.
I dragged myself back to the house hours and hours later. My muscles ached. My throat burned with thirst. At least I didn't feel hungry. What difference would it make? Food was also an enemy. I was not allowed to have it. I dizzily stood on the scale for the second time that day. One hundred. I lost one measly pound. I sat on the floor against the wall and cried.
"I want to be pretty," I sobbed into my arms. "Please, God, someone, make me pretty! I want to be so skinny I can feel all my bones. I want to be pretty like other girls. I want to be loved." You'll never be loved fat not good enough worthless horrible ugly idiot not good enough not good enough never good enough always so fat get rid of it now now cut because it isn't going away you have to cut you want to cut you need to cut to take it all away-
Before I knew it there were fresh, bleeding cuts all over me. I didn't even bother to count. My clothes had been strewn all over the floor. The tears didn't end. I could hardly breathe, I was crying so much. Save me? Someone? Was I worth saving? No. Of course not. I gasped again and again, lost in my spiraling sorrow. I told you to try harder and you didn't. We will begin again tomorrow. From the top. You know what to do. I had no choice but to listen to Ana, my one and only friend. I drowsily got my clothes on and went to bed.
Ruthless Nightmare Ruthless Nightmare Ruthless Nightmare Ruthless Nightmare Ruthless Nightmare
Monday was proving to be another day of torture from the moment I stepped on campus. Everything ached from constant workouts. Nothing I wasn't used to, but last night's session had been longer than normal. I was so consumed with guilt and shame that I saw nothing else. Only a dark, suffocating cloud that hung over me wherever I went. My eyes were a little puffy from hours of crying. My cuts still stung. I healed at a human's rate now, thanks to my lack of food and blood.
"I have my ways of getting around, Janice," Angela was saying. I stopped up short. What were they talking about now? "This Luke kid is part of a poor family and I want to expose his secret to the school. I want you to start with the chess club, Janice. Go on and tell them for me, okay? Oh, and keep an eye on Rose, I have a feeling she's hiding some especially juicy gossip."
I could have sworn Janice glanced in my direction as I slunk off to class. The remainder of my morning was uneventful. However, my head had plenty of thoughts to keep me occupied. So pathetic look at all those thin people they hold the secret you just need to try harder to get thin so you'll be pretty you're worthless and should die starve yourself thin all those pretty bones showing a thigh gap and no stomach sticking out for all to see you will feel so much better in the end-
Lunch time, my least favorite part of the day. I avoided the cafeteria altogether. What was the point, anyways? I ate half a granola bar and felt too horrible to even finish the thing. I threw it out and took out my notebook, prepared to fill a page with my thoughts. What else was there for me to do? I sat on the cream tiled floor of the hallway just outside study hall, blue fuzzy notebook open on my lap. The pen was warm and familiar in my hand as words spread across line after line, ink flowing like blood.
I hate that no matter what I do, I can never feel good enough! Everyone is so thin. I need to find their secret, because I'm still so fat. I've got to get a thigh gap. A small, flat stomach. Ribs poking out painfully and wonderfully. Hipbones that can be caressed lovingly. I can picture it now. Thin and beautiful. My goal. Ninety pounds isn't far away right now. But will it be enough? Most likely not. One goal at a time, though. We shall see how much of the fat is gone once I weigh in again later on.
All these cuts on my body. I don't heal at my super speed anymore. I prefer it that way. I want the pain of my cuts healing. LOSER and NOT GOOD ENOUGH. What words shall I carve and slice into the blubber today? FAT. How did I not think of that? Of course. Where? Legs? Seems good. Legs, legs, thick legs are so fat, so I have to write fat in something I can see. Off to do it now, can't resist anymore.
I ran for the out of order bathroom near study hall. My jeans slid off my body easily. The minisule weight I had lost said I'd need to go down a size soon. From size three to size two, I bet. I couldn't wait. With my goal in mind, and glass in hand, I carved the letters F, A, then T. Once on the left and once on the right. FAT. FAT. Permanent reminder for me. There we go, much better.
The remainder of the day passed in a blur of pain and torture within myself. As I walked home to my dad's house, a familiar figure ran up to me. I stopped, recognizing Luke. What could he possibly want?
"Hey there!" he said to me.
"Hi," I greeted uncertainly.
"I noticed you looked a little down and thought you could use some cheering up!" Luke smiled at me. "Come on, I don't think I've ever seen you smile." Of course. I've had no reason to smile.
"I just don't smile that much," I said truthfully.
"Well, I guess we'll have to change that, won't we?" I shrugged and kept on walking. Luke kept up with me easily. "So, this isn't the way to your house..." he murmured, looking around. "Did you move?"
"I live with my dad now," I replied simply.
"Divorce, I see," Luke said sadly. "That really has to suck." No more than anything else in my life. The divorce is a relief.
"Doesn't matter," I told him. "I'm glad to be living with my dad." That much was true. "I have to get going. I'm sure my dad is expecting me." False. He probably didn't care what time I came home, unlike...I tried not to think about Grace.
"Oh, okay then. I'll see you at school, Rose!" He turned and walked off in a different direction. I still didn't understand why he bothered talking to me. Not worth it at all. It took a long time to reach my dad's house. Thirty minutes by car translated into over an hour of walking at least. Even with my speed, which was beginning to diminish due to the lack of blood, it took some time.
The first thing I did was check the scale. I had to. It was a habit for me now that I couldn't remove from my routines. Ninety-eight. Perfect. Well, not perfect. Nowhere near it. But getting there. I then took a look at all my cuts, deciding if I needed to make more. The urge had quieted itself for now. I didn't hate myself any less, though. If anything, the hatred had grown, making itself at home in my head and heart.
"Hey," Dad said to me at dinner that night. I was hardly touching my food. "Is everything alright, Rose? It's over, you know, no reason to dwell over it." I gave him a look, before resuming my glaring contest with the plate. It was hard to tell who was winning, since plates didn't really show emotions.
"I'm fine, Dad." No, I'm not fine, I cut myself, I'm worthless, I hate myself, and I'm fat. Help me. The thoughts won't stop and I have to listen or else it all explodes even worse. Help me!
"Okay, try to eat some more." He left the table. Lily had already gone into her room to play. Over the past few days, Dad had gone about replacing our things. So far, we had clothes and some basic necessities. I waited a minute before scraping the rest into the trash. No way was I finishing that. Maybe some crunches...around five hundred should do the trick.
Ruthless Nightmare Ruthless Nightmare Ruthless Nightmare Ruthless Nightmare Ruthless Nightmare
Another week went by. During that time, I had lost five more pounds, putting me at ninety-three. Already I knew my original eight goal wouldn't be thin enough and proceeded to set my sights on eighty pounds. That number sounded wonderfully small. I'd be pretty at eighty. There mere thought of it made me almost happy. Not satisfied, though. That burning voice said there is a small chance of looking thin at all.
Nobody was telling me that I looked thin, either. Or that I needed to gain weight. I saw no looks of concern in the halls. In fact, I was practically invisible. How could I be, with my enormous folds of fat filling up the hallway? Yellow, nauseating fat. Swelling. Bubbling. Inflating. Filling out, out, out. It made me want to throw up. I was sure that I could smell it.
"Why are you wearing all those layers?" someone asked. "Are you pregnant or something? Oh! It must be Luke's kid." A fiery slash to my chest. The words burned into my mind and translated into one word: FAT.
"Why do you walk with your head down?"
"Look, it's the emo! She's going to go cut herself!" I ran for the closest bathroom, tears streaming down my face. The teasing continued and only got worse by the minute. On my right arm, instead of my left, I carefully carved in a new message. LONER.
"Make it stop," I whispered as the tears mixed in with the blood, causing my cuts to sting sharply. The bleeding stopped over ten minutes later. I turned and walked out, continuing with my tortorus day. Then it happened. My world tilted out from under me as another attack of dizziness suddenly assaulted me.
"Rose? Are you okay?" I picked myself off the floor and stood to see Janice standing there. The last person I wanted to talk to right now.
"What do you care?" I muttered as I passed by her. Then she said the last thing I expected before I was out of earshot.
"I'm sorry, Rose." Those three words just pushed me to walk harder. My head swam, but I needed to burn off more of the fat. I had to. There was no question about it. Cuts and gashes burned. I could feel a few of them beginning to split open from the movement. That was no excuse to stop. I pressed a hand to my stomach, where I felt the blood trickling down, then kept walking like nothing was wrong.
The bleeding got worse when my last class ended after running into something due to another wave of dizziness. Something was wrong. I tried healing the cuts on the way home, but could only partially stop the bleeding to something much slower. In my roon, I applied pressure on the cuts. At long last, I was able to get the bleeding to stop. I sighed in relief and laid on my bed. That was a close one. I was lucky no one else had noticed anything.