I could always tell when people were talking about me.
I knew Ari meant well, but it frustrated me that she'd talk about me and my problems to Jake. Of course, I really liked Jake as a friend, but it wasn't like I wanted him to know every detail of my personal life.
As soon as I saw Ari head over to talk to Jake, I exited the room and made a beeline for the bathrooms. Locking myself inside one of the stalls, I sagged against the stall door and tried what my therapist had suggested. Closing my eyes, I took several long, deep breaths, but it wasn't helping. What was worse, my heart was aching with every beat. Why did my heart hurt so much? I wondered vaguely if it had anything to do with the starving...
I ran my pale hands over my face and continued to breathe in, breathe out. It's gonna be okay. I'm gonna be okay. This happens alot.
No longer caring about the unsanitary conditions of the bathroom stall, I sank to the floor and sat there, my dizzy brain whirling. Everytime I closed my eyes, I could see the number on the scale mocking me, and it made me all the more anxious.
I suddenly didn't care about school anymore. I didn't care about my senior year. I didn't care about preparing for the future. All I cared about was being skinny enough. All I cared about was hiding the bruises on my frail body. Maybe if I lost just a few more pounds, my panic attacks would go away...
That's right. Just a few more pounds, and I'll get there.
My waves of nauseated panic began to fade away, replaced with the dull heartbeat of fleeting tranquility. I leaned my head back against the stall door, fingers absentmindedly tracing my bruises. Maybe I deserved them. Maybe I really wasn't a good daughter. Maybe God was punishing me for being anorexic. I didn't know.
I heard the bathroom door swing open, and I was unpleasantly snapped back to the present. I couldn't let anyone see me like this! Wiping the tears away frantically, I stood and fought against the dizziness that rushed to my head because I'd gotten up too quickly.
I might have been a bad person, but at least I could act normal. At least I could pretend that I wasn't dying on the inside.
I just hoped my stomach wouldn't growl.