Elephant in the Room

January 2, 2010
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Dawn contemplated long and hard to find that she had never been more humiliated in her entire life. She never felt fatter, uglier, or more out of place in her entire life. She stopped looking around the room and stared at her feet. Dawn was the elephant among antelopes. And the antelopes were staring at her and whispering to each other. Was it possible that Dawn was the only girl who everyone didn’t know? And was it possible she was the biggest one in the room?

After about ten more minutes of staring and sweating an adult finally entered the room. He had a bald spot and a pot belly, but his brown eyes were full of character. He kicked the door closed and took a swig of his coffee before sitting down. Dawn didn’t feel so alone and stupid because he looked different too.

“I’m Mr. Beans,” he told everybody. He said this with such authority and confidence, he could’ve been talking to a roomful of businessmen instead of ten teenage girls. Everybody blinked at him. Dawn made a private joke in her head. Coffee beans. The blank stares on all of the girls showed that none of them made the same connection as she did. “I am a child therapist and I specialize in eating disorders.” Mr. Beans had the habit of annunciating all of his words slowly, like they spoke a different language than he did.

“Now you all are here for a reason. How about we go around the room, say our name, something that makes us special and then explain why we are here at Eating Disorders Anonymous?” He clapped his hands loud and pointed to a girl with black hair that puffed on the top. Usually Dawn would find this kind of hair ridiculous, but looking at the girl with elfin features made her finger her own hair in longing. The girl snapped her gum and ripped her pink earphones that were blasting something with screaming vocals out of her ears.

“I’m Ariel, there’s nothing that makes me special and ummm…my dad stuck me in here ‘cuz he said mom will get custody of me if I don’t get over my ‘rexia.” She stuck one earphone back into her ear. Mr. Beans just nodded and jotted some stuff down in his little yellow notebook.

“Thank-you, Ariel. That was an important step into your recovery.”
After that, everybody cooperated. A girl named Kensi, who was captain of a cheer team had anorexia. Newsome, a singer, had bulimia. By the time it came around to Dawn, she was sweating harder and couldn’t think of a single talent that she could say aloud. She’d basically spent the entirety of the past three months throwing up and body-bashing herself. She thought maybe she’d skip over that.

“My name is Dawn…and I’m here because...my best friend told me it would help me think of myself as beautiful.” She folded her hands in her lap politely and looked at the next girl expectantly, as if willing her to go.

Mr. Beans leaned back and folded his hairy sausage fingers over his chest. It made Dawn fidget and twist in her chair.

“Do you have something that makes you special?” He asked politely.
Dawn thought about shaking her head but then Caprise popped into her mind. She imagined Caprise being upset that Dawn thought nothing of herself, when she loved Dawn so much.

“My best friend.” She said more in her mind than out loud. Even Ariel sat up. Mr. Beans ate this up. He liked answers and talking that wasn’t coming from him.

“Dawn, can you tell me what is so special about your best friend? Why is she an important part of your life?”

“Capri doesn’t care what anybody thinks. But she cares enough to get me to some help, and I don’t think I’ve ever had that before.” Without realizing, Dawn had tears that were coming down her face at a million miles per hour. But she didn’t mind anymore that all the girls were gawking. They all had problems, just like her. She thought of Ariel and her custody troubles.

Mr. Beans took a tissue out of his chest pocket and nodded at Dawn sympathetically.

“Thank-you, Dawn. That was an important step in your recovery.”

Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

remembermeplz said...
Mar. 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm

wow! this one and the first one are very amazing!

I cant wait to see if theres a next one =D

Bee16 replied...
Apr. 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm
Thank you so much :)
remembermeplz replied...
Apr. 22, 2011 at 8:46 pm
yr welcome =D
Site Feedback