I am starting over.
I used to try to be everyone’s
Vision of a ‘perfect girl’.
I sat quietly at dinner, and never
Spoke loudly, or often.
My clothes were simple and
In pink, or other colors
‘Acceptable for a girl’.
And then I realized that this
Perfect illusion was tearing me
Apart at the seams, and I was going
Insane. But everyone said,
‘You just need to practice’,
‘I like this version better’,
And that the other me was
‘Too loud and arrogant’,
Wore ‘Shameful, dark, clothes’
And was ‘embarrassing’ for
My friends and family.
So I stopped eating. I couldn’t
Control the person I was inside,
So I had to starve her, purge the
Bad from me. And day by day,
Week by week, month by month,
She quieted down, the only sign of
Her existence being the sharp pains
Of my stomach, groaning in protest
At my sudden fast. But all my friends said,
‘You look great!’, ‘You were so fat before
But I didn’t want to tell you’,
‘I told you that you needed to be skinnier’,
And, ‘You’re still not thin.’
So I continued, and my family told me,
‘I’m not ashamed to be seen with you anymore’,
‘I can finally send a picture of you to Aunt Sidney’,
And, ‘I love this new you!’
So it became an obsession, a disorder.
And at last, when I couldn’t do
Any sports anymore because of the
Overwhelming dizziness and nausea,
And I was always freezing,
My sister softly mentioned,
‘I’m worried about you.’
‘Maybe you should come over,
I can bake you some brownies.’
‘I thought you looked fine before.’
‘Are you okay?’
‘What happened to you?”
‘I miss you.’
So I tried, I really did,
To eat those cookies I
Bought with shaking hands
At the store last week,
And I tried to eat desserts
And fatty foods.
But I couldn’t.
So I stand, in the bathroom,
Watching scarlet drops of blood
Fall to the ground, and angry red
Slices overlapping older scars.
And I shove the blade down,
Hitting major veins, I know,
Feeling weak and useless,
Until my knees buckle, and
I collapse to the ground,
My head hitting the red-stained
Tile with a sickening crack.
That’s how my sister finds me,
Hours later, sprawled on
The floor, wrists bleeding freely,
Eyes hidden, having fluttered
Closed hours ago. And she dials
The hospital, tears flowing down
Her pretty cheeks, holding her sister’s
Bloodstained hand in hers. And
Oh, I never wished this for her.
But I awaken to find that I am not
Dead, much to my dismay.
I never meant to stay alive.
There was no backup plan
For an alternate ending.