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Have you felt like your life is like a silent film? Every single person is taking direction, every single action dictates a certain reaction, whether it is for better or for worse. Imminent darkness surrounds the very fiber of your soul, your eyes seeing various tints and hues of a murky, unappealing gray color that covers this entire Earth somehow. Gray is the color of the multitudes of people walking in and out of your life; some stay for the better, other leech on and suck every little bit of individuality that you had left out of your flesh, leaving you nothing to grasp onto anymore. What’s the point of it all after that? Where is the freedom of expression and individualism that we all crave so much? We lack a certain substance that defines us a person. But without a definition or a definitive sense of who we are, what does that make us? Who do we become?
She flickered open her eyes for a slight moment, taking in the bleak outlook of the situation that she was in. Her eyes darted over to the alarm clock sitting lazily on her desk, assessing the amount of time that she needed to prepare herself for the day’s countless disappointments. An ominous gray cloud hung over her already gloomy demineer, casting constant showers of depression over her pathetic, overthinking head. It wasn’t even nine thirty in the morning and she could already feel her joints aching underneath the pressure of society. Perhaps she would just lay in bed all day and waste away like she was intended to do; surely there was nothing wrong with that assumption, correct? Surely, there was going to be no one that missed her if she were to say, not attend any of the events that they day threw her way…
Glancing just beyond her alarm clock, a clear pill bottle caught her attention. Ah, yes. Fake happiness by prescription. How long had she been on those, anyway? She remembered that her mother had forced her to go on them due to the constant pounding that she felt within her own chest during countless hours of the day. Anxiety and panic would fill her chest cavity, causing her to inhale sharply and quick; tears would fill her eyes rather quickly after that, and the final task was getting her off of the floor and out of the famous ‘fetal’ position. Numerous doctors had told her before to just take one before she went to bed; she didn’t want to become addicted to these little, round, blue pills.
What a joke.
Sometimes she would find herself pouring the entire bottle onto her bed, counting how many pills she would have to maintain for the rest of the month. If she had more than enough to keep her satisfied with her anxiety, she dabbled in taking more than she was supposed to. Sure, she understood that there was the obvious thoughts of overdosing looming over her head at all times during the night. Who was she kidding, she obviously didn’t mind. Most of the time, she would take two or three at a time, seeing what kinds of effects that would present whenever she went on her ‘trip’. High levels of serotonin in her brain caused her to lay within the sacred confines of her bed, blasting ‘emo’ music throughout her room, making her sway back and forth.
There were moments within her own life in which she didn’t want to come back down. Casey loved the feeling of being up in the clouds, floating endlessly within her own mind. Whenever her body had had enough of the foolishness that Casey presented her body with, it was time to close her eyes for the final time of the night, and she secretly prayed that she wouldn’t wake up in the morning. But morning came and went, and she was still among the world of the living. Life was such a drag sometimes.
A sudden burst of energy allowed her to make her way slowly into the bathroom. She removed her oversized nightshirt that her boyfriend, Joel, had lent her. Standing in front of the mirror, she examined herself as thoroughly as she possibly could; she went over every single detail of her body, skin and imperfections included. That’s all she saw nowadays, imperfections. Maybe that was the reason why she wasn’t eating.
There were honestly days where she didn’t eat a single day; she would make it through her classes just fine, until the rumbling of her stomach begged to be fed. Purging seemed to be the best solution to her problem, however. She could literally hear Joel’s heart snap in half every single time that she did one of her trips to her bathroom; he made her eat, and he made her keep it down.
Bulimia was becoming her new best friend. Self harm was kind of a close second. She picked up the thick rimmed, black glasses that sat beside the sink, placing them on the bridge of her nose. With her hazel eyes now in complete focus, her eyes focused on all of the black and purple bruises that were forming on her olive skin. Joel didn’t inflict these on her; she inflicted this type of torture onto herself. This sort of thing broke Joel’s heart as well. He always begged and begged for her to stop destroying her body, her temple. Joel’s commands easily went in one ear and right out the other, because as soon as he was soundly asleep in his bed, she hit and punched herself to no end.
No patch or area of skin was safe. No muscle was left untouched. Her arms were easy targets, but not as easy as her stomach. This whole muscle was disgusting to her. She turned to the side of her mirror, examining the flatness of her muscles. “This is gross…” She said out loud, pinching the skin that was present in front of her. Thoughts of what she had eaten the previous night rolled through her head: Joel had ordered Chinese food.
Sodium and caloric intake flooded her mind. How much sodium was in plain white rice, anyway? Joel had poured so much soy sauce on every single particle of food before she could even open her mouth to protest; he claimed that she needed the extra calories, anyway. They had this argument at least once a week. And it was rather sad, because Joel would make her any meal that her heart desired, she just had to ask and he would provide the service for her.
She just didn’t want it. She didn’t want anything to be in the pits of her stomach or to be in blood. She believed that she could take in true happiness if she stopped taking in the amount of calories every single day. No food meant no worries, and no worries meant more late night trip sessions in her room when Joel had late classes. However, that still left her the rage of letting herself get this fat in the first place.
In retrospect of the situation, she really wasn’t even fat; she must have only weighed about 110 pounds. She glanced over to the toilet, and grabbed her favorite toothbrush. This was just one swift movement now. Casey didn’t even have to think twice about shoving the instrument down her throat, allowing herself to gag and throw up the remaining contents of her stomach. Casey wrapped her legs around the toilet and prepared herself; she had a lot of making up to do after last night’s ‘feast’.
This is for the dumpling that you ate. Vomit filled the toilet as soon as she pressed her gag reflex. This is for the soy sauce that you used. Another force pushed out of her. This is for the sweet and sour chicken. Jamming the toothbrush down her throat even farther, she felt the need to grip the sides of the bowl with all of her strength. This is for being fat.
She stopped midway through her purge, pausing for a half of a second. She peered her head towards the bathroom door, frozen in place. S***… “Uh, Joel?”
“What’re you doing in the bathroom? Don’t you have a class at ten?” She heard a sudden ‘thud’ hit the kitchen table. “You’re going to be late for class, babe. Traffic’s really crazy today. I could barely make it to Krispy Kreme.”
Doughnuts...He bought doughnuts! She brought her fist down to her stomach, hitting it twice to shut her brain up. “I was about to take a shower. I’ll be out in like, ten minutes, maybe.”
She knew in the back of her mind that Joel wasn’t stupid. He knew exactly what she was doing in there, they were fighting about it last night before they went to sleep. “If you’re showering, then you won’t mind me coming in, then.”
“No!” The volume of her voice surprised even her. She flushed the toilet once more, tucking her toothbrush in the side of her underwear. “You can’t come in.” She pressed against the door, using all of her strength (ironic) to hold him back. “I’m naked.”
“How many times have we had sex, Casey? Honestly, I want you to think about that.” Joel leaned his frame against the door, waiting for a response. “Nothing’s changed. Unless you need to shave.”
“Very funny,” She retorted.
“Look, Casey. You need to go to class. I’m not playing this game with you…” He grabbed the knob of the door, turning it to the right, trying to open it. “Just let me in, would you?”
“I don’t want you to come in here!” She shouted.
“Then maybe you should have locked the door.” He pushed the door open, and immediately his jaw dropped. “Babe...What did you do?” He came over to her, but she was already on the defensive, covering herself. “Uncover yourself.” She became defiant. “Open your arms, Casey.” He pried her arms open, and looked over her abused skin. “Baby…”
“I didn’t want you to know…” She looked up at him, tears flooding her eyes. “I’m so sorry, Joel… I-I messed up. I messed up big time.” She let out a scream, covering her face with her hands, bawling.
“Baby, no…” He grabbed her gently, pulling her weak body towards his thick build. “You just need to stop. This is getting out of control…” He rubbed her back and then proceeded to run his fingers through her hair, trying to soothe her sobs. “You can’t do this to yourself.”
“I need help…” She managed to choke out through tears. “I can’t do this alone.”
Joel smiled, and tilted her head up in his direction. “I will try to fix you.” He leaned down, planting a kiss softly on her lips. “It won’t be easy, but you have to promise me that you won’t do this anymore. No more purging, no more hitting. None. All of that stops today.”
Casey nodded, and returned the kiss. “I’m sorry…”
“Just let me help you, that’s all I want.”