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Today I went to lunch with my reflection. She wore tattered jeans and a band tee. I met her there, sank down on the floor, head over the bowl. We didn’t say much, but instead took comfort in knowing that the other was there. And when at last we both were done we found each other, leaned against the wall, arm draped across the seat for support. Cautiously our eyes met and we saw each other. Really saw each other, for the first time in years. And there, in that bathroom, we whispered to both each other and no one,
“I think there’s something wrong with me…”
Next thing we knew there was a knock on the door. Someone interrupting our appointments with reality. Panic struck our faces drained of what little color they retained after our meeting. Quickly, without even thinking what the other was doing we leaned over the seat and flushed the toilet.
“Just a sec!” we yelled back to the reoccurring knocking hoping they would listen and give us peace again. We scrambled to our feet and splashed water on our cheeks to try to tempt the color back.
“Christina Lynn Myers! Don’t think I don’t know what you been doin in there!” Mama got in my face as she forced her way in. She stalked as I backed up trying to get away only to meet the wall holding me there. Taunting me with the fact that I had nowhere to go.
“Now, you’re in trouble girl, and you’re damn sure getting help.”
I looked to my reflection for help but found that she was stuck in the same situation with the taunting walls that I was, looking to me for help which I had no way of attempting to provide.
My mother wheeled around to face me as she dragged me down the hall. She raged.
“You stupid idiot! How could you do that to yourself!”
“Mom, you don’t understand. It’s not what you think… I… I ate too much and felt sick. I had no choice don’t you get it? It’s not my fault I’m stuck with this… this thing. I sure as hell don’t want it so why shouldn’t I keep myself skinny and show off the body I have.” I smirked knowing my next words would surely get to her. “Besides you were exactly like me once and you know it.” I was almost happy with myself.
Before I knew it was coming and had any time to react when I did, Mama’s hand was connecting with my cheek, throwing me back and catching me off guard.
“Don’t you dare compare me to you! I took damn good care of you. I never once deprived you of food so I could keep skinny. I never once forced myself to throw up so I could get boys. Not like you. Not like you at all… I don’t know where I went wrong…” Her eyes were teary and she shakily, reached up and rubbed my cheek. “I know you’re scared baby but it’ll be ok. You’ll get through this”
“No, you’re right mama. I need to take care of it. After all I got myself into this situation I need to deal with the consequences. It’ll only get worse if I don’t, not go away.” I put my hand on my stomach and rubbed it soothingly. Mama looked at me with approval and walked away shaking her head and saying that maybe she hadn’t messed up with me. and that at least I’d figured it out in the end. I looked down at my stomach and smiled, then started to head towards the kitchen talking to it as I went.
“Well, my little Angel, I guess our secret’s soon to be out to everyone. Let’s go eat to our heart’s content.”
I walked down the all to familiar hallway, running my hands along it’s cool sea foam green walls with ocean blue trim, feeling my feet sink slowly into the matching blue green carpet that was soft as the baby blanket I would later pass on to Angel.