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seventy

Here is a skeleton-thin girl staring out the window at the setting sun. She runs her hands over the wood, clenching it with her protruding knuckles. Her sister runs into the ocean, laughing and scaring seagulls. The girl sighs, squeezing her eyes shut. She wishes that she could join her and run, forget everything, and only laugh. But two steps away from a wall make her dizzy and her head refuses to clear anymore.

She makes her way inside, stopping frequently to get her bearings. Aromas drift from the kitchen, but instead of the pangs that used to arise in her stomach, she feels nauseated by the thought of food.

She remembers second grade, when she knew that she was fat, and was blissfully fine with it. The extra skin at her stomach was a cushion against whatever the world threw at her. Now she knows that fat is no pillow and the lower the scale reads, the better. The first few weeks had been awful, her stomach growling, her mind blank with hunger. She had willed herself to get the needle on the scale down from 130 to 115 to 100. From 100 to 90. 90 to 80. 600 calories a day to 500, which became 400 and eventually 300.

She makes it up the stairs and into her room.

100 calories.

She stands again, reaching for her iPod, and the room spins. Closing her eyes, she lets the spinning settle as she relaxes for a moment.

70 pounds. Then I’ll quit.

Here is a skeleton thin-girl committing herself to imprisonment inside her own body.




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