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Breathing Underwater

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I shifted on my chair uncomfortably. My tailbone felt like it was bruising again.
"We're just worried, is all." My best friend, Mary Brian, was saying. I rolled my eyes. I shifted forward. I had a feeling if I sat any longer my bone would just snap. It felt heavy. Fragile, yet heavy at the exact same time.
"Yeah Mary Brian is right. It's not a huge deal, Bella. We just think you should eat a bit more, you know?" I looked at my two best friends. Mary Brian was looking at me sympathetically, her blue eyes twinkling sadly. Aria, who wasn't normally ever sullen or serious, was looking at me too. Her hazel grazing down from my big brown eyes down to my bony wrists and thighs. I leaned back trying to get comfortable. I felt another ache in my tailbone. A shiver ran up my spine. I pulled down the sleeves on my baggy Victoria's Secret sweater which was over my tight navy blue Hollister t-shirt. I stared down and poked at my black leggings. Hugging my legs with their delicate fabric. I have nothing to show for myself. I am the space between my thighs, the protruding hip bones, the bulging collar bone. I am the pale white ghost, the shivering walking dead girl. I don't feel alive, but I'm not dead either. Girls ask 'how do you stay so thin?' Do you really want to know? Starve, starve, starve. Work out until your dripping sweat and you feel like every single ounce of frustration and sadness and loneliness in you is gone. For the time being at least. Until you put another speck of food in your mouth. Until you remember how worthless and horrible you are. Once every single muscle in your petite body is crying out for mercy, you can stop. Listen to the whispers and voices in you head. They say everything about you is wrong, wrong, wrong.
"I do eat." I lied. "I eat all the time." I blinked hard. Maybe they wouldn't know I was lying. They exchanged a glance.
"Listen, we know it's hard. But you're going to have to try. For us. And your other friends. And Hunter. And everyone who cares about you." Mary Brian said. Who cares about me? Nobody. Hunter is my boyfriend. I'm not sure why he decided to get involved in a serious relationship with a messed up girl like me. I'm not used to relationships. Usually I just...run. But Hunter didn't let me run. I love him for that, but some days, like today, I wish he'd just let me go. I don't deserve his unconditional love. I brought my legs to my chest, resting my chin on my knees. I felt how bony they were, but that was never good enough. Nothing was ever good enough. I looked between Mary Brian and Aria. They saw it. They saw everything. They knew I was slowly wasting away to nothing. They knew about my never ending struggle to breathe underwater.



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