Released This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

September 28, 2008
By , Loveland, OH
“I love you. Please don't ever come back.”

These two sentences didn't seem right together, like soggy puzzle pieces that weren't a match. I looked into the chocolate brown eyes of the nurse and nodded. I couldn't think of the right thing to say. “I won't.” “I'll get better.” “I'm not sick anymore.” Somehow these words didn't sound right, and she had probably heard them all before. Plus, I wasn't sure I believed them myself.

I don't remember the name of the nurse who said this to me as I left the hospital, who helped me pack the too-big sweatpants and loose T-shirts I had worn for those two weeks. I don't remember any of the nurses' names, as a matter a fact. They all blend together, all mouthing the same scripted lines and smiling the same fake smiles. That was the way I saw them, at least. To others, their smiles might have seemed real, but I knew what a fake smile looked like. I wore one every day.

So, rather than answer the nurse, rather than look into those honest eyes, I stared at her hands. They were old hands, more aged than the rest of her. She seemed around 45, but her hands were calloused and worn, showing how hard she worked. I imagined she liked to garden. I pictured the way her dark skin would blend in with the dirt as she dug into the earth.

Dirt. Goodness, it had been a long time since I'd seen dirt. That got me thinking. It had been a long time since I'd seen many things. The sun. Bugs. Trees. Grass. Pretty much anything outside of my hospital room. I bit my lip, excited. I was going home. In my mind, I saw a party. Coming home certainly seemed worthy of a celebration. To see the outdoors, to breathe fresh air … surely it was too good to be true!

Of course, I knew there would be no party waiting for me. People like me don't deserve parties. It was no great achievement to get out of the hospital when I shouldn't have been there in the first place. This was entirely my fault, and my dad and step-mom knew it. After all, I stopped eating, and no one could argue with that.

“Thanks. Good-bye.” And I sat in the wheelchair, ready to go home.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

guinea_pig_girl said...
Jan. 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm
I love this article, and hope you're never anorexic again. I really liked how you didn't write that you were in a wheelchair until the end.
kmanley This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm
It has now been almost two and a half years since I left the hospital that day.  My life has changed so much.  I just wanted everyone to know, no matter what, there is still time and still a chance for you.  Writing helped me a lot, and I hope that it helps all of you too.
kmanley said...
Oct. 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm
If anyone here has gotten something published on this before, is there any way I can find out what issue it will be in, or if I can make it not anonymous anymore?
musicgirl757 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 11, 2009 at 2:22 am
this was beutiful ,why are you keeping this annyonous? i loved it, i struggle with anerxicia as well, i can relate to this. i can also relate to the sentance " i love you, please dont come back". ive heard that too many times, and said the lie "dont worry, im better" way too many times. i loved this. keep writting, but next time show your name!!!!
kmanley replied...
Oct. 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm
I wrote this article almost a year ago, and just got an email that it is going to be published in the printed magazine. This has never happened to me before, and I am really excited, but now that I am reading it again, I wish I hadn't made it anonymous.
megan S. said...
Mar. 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm
this story is so sad. to the author of this, stay storng. you don't have a reason to hurt yourself by not eating. i don't care if your 2309482304 pounds, your probably perfect the way you are. KEEP WRITING!
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