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In a World of Skeletons

You use all of your strength to open the big glass doors that read TENDGA on them. You walk passed the counter all the way to the podium where you find a short man standing. You tell them that you and your five friends want a table in the big room. So, not to p*** off the six Westport teens with their Daddy’s credit cards, he grabs six menus and brings you to the best table in the restaurant; placed perfectly in the middle of the restaurant.
You scoot your chair in closer and all six of you lean into the table. Laughter and chatter are echoing from the table. The gossip is being purged from the skeleton like girls that surround you, each one of them tinier than the next. Then without a moment to spare, the waitress rushes over. Her shirt is surprisingly low and you know the reasoning is so that she can receive a bigger tip. This puzzles you because you are six girls, not three boys. But regardless, she comes over to the table in that daringly low cut shirt and asks, “What do you want tonight?” As she goes counterclockwise around the bare table the responses seem to be, “umm…I’ll have a garden salad but like with no crispy noodles and fat free dressing on the side. Oh and a water with very little ice please. Thanks.” You feel as though these requests are programmed into your friend’s brains; they don’t even need to look at the menus to see what they want. However, unlike them, you surf the menu and of course stumble upon the indulgent foods. As you continue to skim the menu you count all of the calories in your head for something as simple as a California Roll. Even plain, grilled, white meat chicken seems to be too fattening for this crowd, so like the other five girls you begrudgingly say, “Umm.. I’ll guess I’ll just have what they’re having.” The waitress clicks her pen, takes the stack of laminated menus and leaves.
You all smile and look at each other; the skinnier the girl, the bigger the smile. They know that they won you over and turned you to the dark side. Now, this is a side of no return. No disclaimers allowed. The second you order that salad with no drink is the minute your life changes forever. You have just turned over your soul to the devil and everyone around you knows it. You are now in an elite sorority of girls in which your secrets are kept forever. Everyone knows what to do once the meal is done with, but no one will speak of it; it is the first time you will purge.
Within 20 minutes she comes back with a tray full of six salads that consist of dark greens with an array of different veggies. You look down at the plate in front of you and sit in awe. Did I really just order this? You question as to why you went with the crowd and didn’t order that California roll you desperately wanted. But as you look up at the table and see the skeleton-like-limbs that are surrounding you, you remember why you ordered the dull greens.
To save your taste buds, you put your hand on the dressing to gingerly pour some on top of your salad, except no one else follows you. So, without anyone seeing, you drop the dressing on the table and begin to ingest the plate of cardboard you paid $20 for.
By the time the waitress comes back to take your plates, she notices that no one touched their plates. Practically the entire plate of cardboard is still there; mountains of green cardboard still lay atop their Asian plates. However, unlike the skeletons that surround you, you ate about ¼ of your plate. While this is nothing compared to the amount of food you typically eat, the raised eyebrows and empty stares make you feel as though you over indulged. As though you ate too much. You now feel like a whale in the sea of guppies.
You desperately need to go to the bathroom to complete the mission,you’re your legs are shaking too much to stand up. So you think to yourself- another 20 minutes and then I can move. So, you causally talk for 20 minutes about that new dress you need to buy in a size 2 or that hot varsity baseball player you got with while you were wasted at this weekend’s party. Then, when the time is right, when you finally built up enough courage to destroy yourself, you nicely excuse yourself to the bathroom; the only place you can now feel comfortable after indulging yourself with slices of tomatoes and carrots.
As you lock the one stall bathroom you begin to feel weak again at your knees. They start to buckle in as you lower yourself to the ground. Sweat is dripping from your forehead all the way down to your chin. Your body begins to tremble as you shed a tear or two and pull your long locks back into a ponytail. You brace yourself for the mission you are about to take on. You take a deep breath in and ready…set…go.
After about 10 minutes of loosing the pounds that you would have gained, you feel safe. You lay at the base of the toilet as you hastily wipe the tears from your eyes. You aren’t crying because you feel insecure about the way you look or because you are mad for eating those calories, you are crying because you know that deep down, you are slowly destroying yourself from the inside out. However, in this moment, it doesn’t matter. You know what else will kill you? Being called fat in a crowd of skeletons, not hooking up with the hottest guy at a party, or fitting into that size 2 dress you want for prom. Just those three small things will kill your social life. Who cares about your teeth or your stomach at a time like this? Not you. So, you look in the mirror take a deep breath in and splash some cold water on your face. You turn off the lights and walk out the door. You proceed to walk to the table and sit down. Just then your friend smiles at you, and in that moment you know; you’re keeping up with the pack. Mission: Complete





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