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14 minutes and 25 seconds until I can relieve this burning feeling in the pit of my stomach. This need to rid my body of excess food and absurd amount of calories aches at the back of my throat. My eyes are starting to tear up and I have an overwhelming headache that clouds my vision. As I look around the room, however, I realize I’m not alone. Out of the twenty five students in my class room, twelve have their eyes glaring at the clock, wishing it to move faster. It seems like an eternity before a high pitch beep is heard followed by the much anticipated announcement over the loudspeaker.
“Will teacher please allow all female students to exit the classroom at this time and have them proceed to the nearest restroom. Thank you and have a wonderful day.”
Every girl jumps from their seats and is pushing to get out the door first. Running into the hallway is like running into a stampede of horses all rushing for the same destination, the toilet bowl. A woman wearing all white with beady gray eyes and a nose as long as a beak is holding the door open for the bathroom I dash into. The sounds of vomiting and sighs can be heard throughout the bathroom. I can barely contain myself as I wait in line for my turn to finally get rid of this burning throughout my body.
The stall next in front of me opens up and a blond stick walks out. I practically trample her as I run for the stall barely making it before I let it all go. The lasagna, cheese sticks, salad, and chocolate cake that I had for dinner last night as well as the cinnamon toast crunch and half a banana I had for breakfast this morning. I lay my face against the cool white porcelain and the pounding in my head and ears finally subsides and the burning settles down, but will arise in the next hour or so after lunch.
The screams and yells finally bring me back and I get up and cautiously open the stall door. Four girls all seize the opportunity to get into my stall. The girl with a brown bob cuts off the other three and quickly locks the lock of the stall. The three less fortunate begin pounding and clawing at the door, all three trying to rid themselves of their same unwanted burden. Two big brawny men dressed in white come pushing through the crowd and gather the girls up by their waists and narrowly miss getting their noses broken by the flailing fists and long manicured nails.
Natasha is standing at the bathroom door as I walk out into the hallway and she looks better and thinner than ever.
“Have you been dieting or just making extra pit stops than me,” I ask her.
“Nah I’m just not eating three meals a day anymore which gives me less to throw up and I’m not as hungry as I used to be. I think I shrunk my stomach so I don’t need as much food as you,” she replies.
“I wish I could do that. I feel like I gained at least two pounds from the vacation last weekend. John insisted that I eat two hot dogs before we could go swimming and so of course I had to. But when Tim found out he was enraged and tried to make me hack everything up into the lake, but you know that I’m shy about that kind of stuff and get nervous when I’m put on the spot.”
Tim, my boyfriend of two years, who is constantly telling me that he loves me everyday and that my body is beautiful. He also notices when I gain a few pounds and doesn’t fail to remind me.
“You need to practice in public more, it becomes more natural and you don’t even think about the fact that other people can see. If you keep refusing to do it in front of Tim or can’t do it, he going to leave you for someone who can so he is reassured of the fact that you actually are throwing up and not just “dieting,” Natasha practically spats in my face.
It’s a sign of weakness not to have the ability to throw up in a public place. And just dieting is out of the question. How can someone actually know that you are comfortable and dedicated to this way of life if you are only practicing it in your private bathroom or in a stall in a school bathroom or simply dieting to lose a “few” pounds.
It also doesn’t help that Natasha has had a thing for Tim ever since the fourth grade and while she tells me she is happy for me, I know that she is boiling inside, just waiting for me to screw up and be able to make her move and leave me in the dust with Tim’s arm wrapped securely around her size 0 waist.
“I’ll work on it, but it will probably take some time,” I say reassuringly.
She looks a little skeptically at me but drops it after a few seconds. I hear a familiar voice and turn around just in time to see a blond blob and freckled face before lips are on mine and strong arms are crushing my body and cutting off my air supply.
I gasp as the kiss is broken off and look up into piercing blue eyes and relief flows through my body. Natasha doesn’t have the balls to say anything bad about me in front of Tim because she knows it will only ruin her chances of ever being with him, so I can relax about being pestered about “the displays in public,” at least for now.
“Miss me?” Tim asks me as he scoops in for another kiss.
“Yeh, but not as much as you missed me,” I tease back.
People are staring at us, or rather at Tim as they walk to their next classes or to lunch. Being the star quarter back and looking like an abercrombie model doesn’t hurt and gives Tim a lot of attention, as well as me. I can get pretty jealous, but being a size 00 since the fifth grade does have its benefits, as well as its disadvantages. But who’s complaining when I have a guy like Tim hanging off me.
We start to walk towards the cafeteria for lunch with about seven other people of Tim’s posey. Tim’s arm is wrapped possessively around my waist as he opens the double doors leading into the cafeteria. He squeezes my waist a little harder than necessary and a gasp escapes my mouth before I can stifle it.
“Have you gained a little weight?” Tim asks looking a little concerned.
I can feel a blush working its way up my neck and a mixed feeling of embarrassment and guilt overwhelm me. I know I shouldn’t have eaten those two stupid hotdogs. Why was I such a pig.
I look around in the cafeteria as my friends stare holes into my back, waiting for me to answer. To my left is big blue and green trash can and I know what to do. I walk right over to it with a determined mindset as I stick my head into the trash bin and hack up what ever might still be left in my stomach. Hoping to finally shed those unwanted and invisible pounds.
I walk back over to Tim and take my rightful spot under his arm. He turns to me and kisses me on the cheek
“I love you,” he says.
“I love you too,” I reply, feeling happier and healthier than ever.