Not Supposed to Be Here

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“Time to go.” She says. I get in the car and put your headphones on and turn the volume of my iPod up. I don’t want to hear her right now. She’ll probably try to talk about it, and I don’t want that. The hospital is so far away and I make it through a playlist and a half before we park. I take my ear buds out of my head, unplug the wire and wind it around the small silver and black screen. I learned the hard way that an iPod’s headphone jack breaks if you leave the headphones in and wind the wire around it. I try to keep thinking on that thought process. I put the iPod in the glove compartment and get out of the car. The air is hot and heavy in the bottom of the parking garage. We walk to the elevator up in silence. “What floor is it?” My mother asks.

“Two. See, it says it there on that sign.” I press the button with the worn and faded number two on it. It glows yellow and dim. We ride up a floor and leave the parking garage, walking on the sidewalk. Why is the parking garage so far from the hospital? Shouldn’t sick people park close to the hospital? It makes no difference to me, because I am not sick, but I worry about other people. We make it, finally, to the entrance. A woman at a small desk stops us and give us small, beige wristbands with “John’s Hopkins Medical Center” printed on them with a picture of a building and everything. “Why doesn’t our building get one of the cooler colors?” I ask, gazing at the blue, pink, and green wristbands next to the pile of the yellow-brown colored ones I was given. The woman gives a small laugh

“Up the hall, to your right.” She instructs us. We oblige. The sign reads “Eating Disorder Clinic.” I shouldn’t be here. They’ll think that I’m like the other girls, and I am not. We walk in, the only ones there. The receptionist gives my mother some papers and puts me on a scale, taking in my height and weight. Then she takes my picture. She tells me this is standard protocol for all of their patients. I wait in a chair for a long time. Then, the psychotherapist calls me in, without my mother. She talks to me for a long time, and I answer all questions but one truthfully. I cry some. Then she sends my mother out and calls me in. When I come back out, there is another girl there. She looks to be about my age, with pretty blonde hair and a tan. She seems so pretty, why would she do that to herself? I want to say something to her, but I don’t know what. The psychologist, the specialist in Eating Disorders, calls her in. Then the girl’s mother is called in. Finally, they leave, and I see the psychologist. We talk about my eating. How many foods do I eat? About ten. No vegetables? And your only meat is chicken? What about breads? Only white bread? She brings my mother in. And refers me to an Occupational Therapist. I ask what that is. Usually, they deal with people who have trouble doing everyday tasks, apparently. In my case, my OT will help me try new foods. They send us away. I spend the car ride back upset, because this will mean months of work for me





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