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I’ve been a certified criminal for about a week now. A delinquent who eats Cinnamon Toast Crunch, watches Saturday morning cartoons, and spends his afternoons reading a certain stunning blonde’s journal, who also happens to be my current infatuation. Not that she would know that, but still. It’s one of those one-sided relationships. Apparently the kind that involves me creeping among her secrets cover-to-wintergreen-cover. Did I mention it’s a missing one? Oops. I’m not a bad person; just a dishonorable snoop with honorable intentions. I fully planned on returning it the second I found it nestled in a corner of the hallway at school, secrets and all. But the knowledge that lurking at the bottom of my backpack was the key to the inner workings of a teenage girl’s mind was too much pressure. I sympathize with Pandora.

How do I even begin to justify such a breach of privacy? I could never admit to reading it. No, I’ll come up with something.

Hey Meredith, you know that glittery pink ink you write in? Totally allergic to it. No worries.

She goes deep, too. Emotional.

-9/17/12-
It’s as if a thousand eyes are on me, plucking at the imperfections, criticizing. I walk, eyes up and wandering the walls, ignoring. Sarah at my side, her 20 inch waist firmly encircled by my arm, hers around my full 23 inch. 3 inches. It’s a huge difference. She and I have been neck and neck since 8th grade, hers a 24 even, mine a 24.5. It’s become a lifestyle, eating the bare minimum, hours of exercise, dropping those increments. She barely eats now- that’s the only way she’s ahead. I must try harder.

Such dedication. I can relate to the staring, or at least the glances. People take one look at this mess of gangly limbs and curls, smirk at the large glasses and dorky freckles, and move on. Who is she to complain? Ocean of blonde waves, hazel eyes. Any glances she gets are admiring ones.

Hey Meredith, don’t worry I can’t read cursive.

-11/20/12-
I’ve dropped half an inch. The satisfaction of baggy waistlines and less softness gives me hope. I’ve started getting headaches from time to time, but I think it’s the stress. Junior Year has me pulling my hair out. I barely get sleep between school time and gym time. Sarah still has me beat, her 20 inch fading fast to a 19.5. She says her secret is recording what she eats. Calorie counting. All the celebrities do it she says. Maybe I will.

She is a goddess, not only smart in school but healthy as well. How can anyone compete?

Yo Meredith, didn’t go near the thing. See these sharp corners? I’m a hemophiliac. A paper cut from one of those could kill me.

-2/27/13-
6 carrots
4 saltines
1 half apple
Good day today. Worked hard, consumed less. I caught Sarah in the bathroom today, the contents of her lunch being flushed. She swore me to secrecy, said it Works. I can tell. Her waist is an 18 now, the smallest one I’ve seen. I’m stuck on 20, no matter how many crunches I do. Maybe I Will.

I read this entry over my cereal, but it tastes stale in my mouth. Is this what means to be the best, the smartest, the prettiest? The guys I see in the hallways, muscles bursting, is that all a synthetic lie? The other girls, wearing size twos and stilettos, do they live a life of constraint? Is that what it means to succeed, achieve, conform? I finish my breakfast, making sure to eat every last square, thinking of the others who need it more than I do.

Meredith, hello. My fortune cookie told me not to read any suspicious material until the next full moon. Better take this then!

-4/3/13- (last week)
I’ve shrunken, yet the feelings are still there, eating away. But I don’t do that anymore. The little I do comes up sooner or later, whether from one too many miles on the treadmill, or by my own hand, tickling the inside of my throat. I can feel the skin sliding over my bones as I stretch, hip bones prominent beneath my sweatpants, collarbone framing the hollowness in my chest. I feel myself slipping, disappearing, melting like the skin off my bones. Soon I’ll be gone.

I search for her among the rest, a blonde head bobbing in the river of faces flowing to class.
“Meredith.”
She turns, startled as I ease the journal between her fingers.
A thousand words on the tip of the tongue, a hundred stories. Three words slip out.
A single phrase.
“Talk to me.”



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