Fairytale Princess

January 22, 2009
By
Like most young girls growing up, Morgan grew up watching any Disney movie she could get her hands
on. Morgan loved, and still loves, Disney. She even has a Disney theme in her basement. And like
most young girls, there was a certain princess she always dreamed of being. For her, it was always
Princess Pocahontas. This was a perfect fit. Both are strong willed and independent women.
However maybe it would be a better fit if she had dreamed of being the classic princess that, to
everyone else's knowledge, seems to be perfect in every way, but deep down this princess hides a
curse she is forced to live with. See, Morgan gets excellent grades in school, is involved in
multiple clubs, volunteers regularly, plays three sports, and still manages to get everything done
at home to keep the house running. But she is cursed. It's an addiction that she cannot part
ways with. What curse could this be? Morgan is bulimic. At 7:15 the little blue truck that could
pulls into my driveway to pick me up. It's much too early for me to be up on a Saturday morning,
especially considering that the reason I'm up is to volunteer with my girlfriend, Morgan. I hop
in the truck and strap on my seatbelt while praying in my head Morgan doesn't get us in another
near accident. At the Special Olympics Morgan gets to work at the concession stand while chatting
with the many athletes that, from seeing her once a year, recognize her. Three hours later we leave
the Special Olympics. But we aren't done, no; the next destination is onward to the food drive.
Seven hours of stocking food for people that we haven't met, and probably never will, was a
surprisingly satisfying feeling. What kind of teenage kid spends their whole Saturday volunteering
for people that get lost in the view of civilization? This fairytale princess does, and she does it
knowing that she is a better person for it. My phone vibrates. I flip it open to see the ongoing
conversation I've been having with Morgan. "I have to tell you something, I feel horrible for
keeping this a secret, but I need to tell you." That is what I was told one late night through a
text message. I begged to know what it was but Morgan constantly told me, "No, not now. Not this
way." She told me it was something that needed to be confronted face to face. This was on a
Tuesday. Having to wait until the Friday night that I could finally see my girlfriend almost killed
me. My emotions muscled my brain and all I could think was what the hell is going on. I didn't
sleep well. My sweet dreams I used to have turned to nightmares, all imitating different scenarios
of what this secret could be. Every night was worse than before. Then it was Friday and Morgan was
knocking at my door. I let her in and we couldn't look each other in the eye. We move to my
bedroom on the second floor, lock the door, and sit on the bed. I take a good look at her and
notice how nervous she is. I break the silence asking her what it is she needs to tell me. After a
lot of shuddering breaths and me telling her she could do it she began her tale. We have to stop
many times for her to catch her breath and cut off tears. I hold her tight and try to hold back
tears of my own. As prepared as I thought I was to hear the news, I was devastated. I never
expected my role model, my hero, my savior to carry the burden of such a curse. We didn't talk
much after, she said that I could ask any questions I wanted answered yet I remained quiet. We
would have another session in a time when I fully comprehended what Morgan told me and then I would
ask that questions that flooded my head, burning to be answered. How long has this been going on?
How often do you do it? Why? "It feels like after you get done exercising," Morgan tells me
down in my basement a few days later when I start to ask my questions. "When you run on an empty
stomach and your stomach feels cold." The feeling obtained after vomiting is like euphoria to
her. I learn she started New Years Eve of her freshman year. Morgan was up north with the family
and had just eaten broccoli and crackers, which was a lot for Morgan, and felt disgusted with
herself. She may have never made herself throw up before this night but she limited her eating so
much that she was too light to have her period. "I never really thought about throwing up before,
I have no clue where I got the idea". Morgan just walked into the bathroom without conflict,
stuck her finger down her throat, and went to bed. She had no idea the chain reaction that started
that night. What she thought was going to be a "One time thing" snowballed and soon she had the
mentality that she could now "Eat as much as she wanted and then not have to worry about it". In
just a short amount of time, Morgan was throwing up one to two times a week. She was able to start
eating more regularly but afterwards felt absolutely disgusting. The foods that Morgan ate were
affected by her curse as well; puking wasn't painful, as long as she ate the right foods.
"Sometimes you eat so much you feel like you don't even have to put your finger down your
throat, it just comes up". That was how severe the disorder was becoming. If there was a random
day when her parents were gone, even if she didn't eat anything, Morgan would take advantage of
the situation and throw up. For how severe and damaging this disorder can be, Morgan is lucky. She
only gives in to this desire around once a week. However once a week since New Years Eve is 116
weeks. Around once a week may not sound too bad, but if all this holds true then she has thrown up
116 times. January 7, the day is long and stressful for Morgan. The past few days have been
stressful as well and the urge to give in to her cursed instinct is overwhelming. But Morgan is
fighting with all her strength. So much is going on in life she just wishes it could slow down.
The results are in, twenty-six on the ACT. A good score, but not good enough for Morgan. She looks
at her father who is sitting on the couch, watching TV; she can see in his eyes that he is sick and
tired of being laid off, why did the mill have to close? Her brother Paul and his girlfriend, Meg,
got a flat tire on the way back to school a few days back. The urge to feel better is growing
stronger and stronger. Morgan's mother, Betty, is still mad about her missing work last Saturday
because she was gone in Minnesota. It's a long night ahead of her. Down in the basement, Morgan
starts to do the laundry. Her father has been on her back about calling to schedule her
confirmation retreat all day. Doesn't he understand she tried calling Mary Ebben and no one
answered? Morgan realized that she has a small window of time to herself. Now she is in the
bathroom leaning over the counter, head in the sink. Her father walks down the stairs and notices
the door closed but thinks nothing of it. He walks back up to continue watching TV, but something
compels him to go back. His hand outstretches for the door and he twists the door handle, Morgan
realizes what is happening and tries to wash the left over vomit down the sink. It is too late.
"Morgan call Mary Ebben then come upstairs, we need to talk". Morgan is a strong-willed person
who feels very strongly that she can take care of herself, much like Pocahontas. But she is now
starting to realize that she may not be strong enough. Even the proud, independent, Indian
Pocahontas needed guidance and help at some point. Maybe Morgan will get that help. Maybe she
won't and will continue to fight this battle alone. But what path she takes is up to her. All
that I know is I will be right there with her, urging her to keep fighting. And as I finish asking
Morgan questions and my flashback of how we got her I turn to her, who is still sobbing on the couch
in my dark basement and I tell her one more time, one more time as I have so many other times
before, "The blue of heaven is bigger than the dark of any cloud".





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