When I got home, I found that my mom had laid out cookies and milk for me on the table. It would have been a sweet gesture, if I hadn't known that the only times she ever did nice things for me were when she was about to ask me for something.
I dumped the milk down the sink, then crumbled the cookies and shoved them down, too. I ran the disposal to get rid of any evidence that I'd thrown away the treats.
Mom came into the room. "Hi, Tamar," she said, and I could tell she was about to butter me up for something. "You look beautiful. How was the first day of senior year?"
I grunted. "Fine, thanks. I'm glad Ari and I can graduate together." Even though I was frustrated with my mom, I had to be a perfect daughter. I just had to be.
"Are you in any classes together?" Then, she frowned. "Are you okay, Tamar? You look kind of pale."
It's taken you that long to notice I'm malnourished? I panicked. If Mom had only just noticed that I was pale, then I must not be a good enough anorexic!
These thoughts were still racing through my clouded mind when Mom held out her arms. "Sweetheart, are you okay? You look sick."
I evaded her embrace and headed for my room. "I have a headache."
"Tamar, I was going to ask you if you'd mind me using your cell phone for the next few weeks until I can afford another. Mine broke."
I raised my eyebrows. "How?"
Mom blushed. "I don't know."
In other words, you were drunk.
Since I was one to avoid conflict no matter what the cost, I only hesitated for a moment before grabbing my phone out of my purse. I gave it to her without so much as a complaint. "Just don't break that one. I paid alot of money for it." Instantly, I felt bad for saying so. Who was I to order my mom around? I was not a good daughter. At all.
Sighing, I headed in the opposite direction. "I'll be in my room."
"What are you doing?"
Dying. "I don't feel well. I think I'm going to go take a nap."
Once in the safety of my room, I locked the door and fell back onto my bed. I would allow myself a couple minutes of rest before I started on my homework. I hadn't been getting much sleep lately, and I was dead tired.
Then, I remembered I hadn't weighed myself yet. A burst of panic came over me. What if I'd gained weight in the last few hours? Reaching under my bed to find the scale I'd bought, I took off my clothes and stood on it, associating the number with my self-worth. Strangely, I hadn't gained any weight. The scale must have been lying.
But the underlying fact was, I was still fat. Another wave of panic washed over me, and I had a hard time bringing myself under control. My anxiety was getting so terribly controlling, and the worst thing was that lately, I didn't know how to keep the onsets of anxiety from overwhelming me.
I got back into my clothes and lay down on my stomach, but that only made the hunger pains worse. Rolling over onto my back, I closed my eyes.
And dreamed of scales.