All You Wanted This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 25, 2011
I cannot be what you want.

It is this thought that wakes me, that draws me from a fitful sleep in sweat-dampened sheets, that pulls me down the hall. My eyes are closed still, shut tightly against what will come next. I am safer this way. The real monsters do not invade my dreams.

But it doesn’t matter if my eyes are closed or not. I know this route too well. I know that tonight will be like all the nights before.

My fingers are shaking as they close around the pewter doorknob, twisting it open. I slip inside. It is just a whisper of a movement made by a whisper of a girl. The door closes silently behind me. I am good at this, at being silent. I am good at not being heard.

It is dark outside still, the moon just a sliver of light slicing its way through the velvet sky. I make sure the door is locked, then check again, before dropping to my knees. My eyelids flutter closed as I kneel next to the porcelain bowl, my slender fingers wrapping around its cold sides. I know this feeling all too well, the steps of this pattern I have chosen. I feel the bile rising, acid in my throat, the taste of copper on my tongue. I lean forward, letting all that is wrong with me spill out. It is satisfying, this measure of control, and it is what I crave most.

I am empty now, empty and cold and shaking with silent tears that drip down sunken cheeks. I am drowning in these tears, and I need someone to save me, to pull me out and help me dry. Because I cannot do it myself.
But I manage to stand, to pull myself up on unsteady legs, to lean against the sink and stare at the girl in the mirror. I already know what I will see. I have memorized the contours of her face, I have counted the ribs that protrude from pale pink skin, and I have felt a twisted pleasure as I documented this self-destruction.
The girl there, waiting, does not disappoint. She is who I expected she would be. I know her. I can rely on her; she will not change. She will keep this little secret of mine, this bitter mix of blood and bile and anger and fractured hope, for as long as I ask her to. And it is not something I will give up willingly.
No, I cannot be what you want.
But I will kill myself trying.

Join the Discussion

This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

craig said...
Feb. 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I am good at not being silent .

Someone wrote most men live lives of quiet despiration.

I feel twisted pleasure at not deing silent .

Im finding the ability to practice something else

I miss the twisted pleasure

I guess there is a reason for our ability too feel so pasionately

I simply want to be real without pain

craig replied...
Feb. 12, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Parting shot...

To the author

Knowing your passion

Its encourageing to engague passion in all art forms 

some of us like to think as well

this work leaves me waiting for your next thoughts

keep it up 

your helping in ways you probably are too humble to admit

computer dummy said...
Jan. 30, 2011 at 6:10 pm

This is an excellent narrative.  The first person point of view makes the voice strong and clear.  A moving piece!

P.S. I am not sure how to do the rating. I hit the first star, planning to hit all five.  This is a five star writing!

LindsayT. said...
Jan. 29, 2011 at 11:17 am
Thank you all so much :) 
Selimile said...
Jan. 29, 2011 at 8:21 am
This story is incredible!  I really feel the narrator's pain.  I never really understood why anorexic people do what they do, but after reading this I think I might just be getting it.  Gret job!
Selimile replied...
Jan. 29, 2011 at 8:21 am
Great job, that is!
MaysileeDonner said...
Jan. 29, 2011 at 12:33 am
wow that was incredibly amazing! you captured the image of this girl perfectly and every detail was accounted for! i love her paranoia and essentially EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS! great!!!
RozaB said...
Jan. 28, 2011 at 10:36 pm
Oh my gosh--now this is what I call amazing!!! I've read a lot of Teen Ink material, and I only put one of them in my favorites list. This is definitely the next. Absolutely beautiful!
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