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The Day I Met Ana

By , Flagstaff, AZ

She opened her eyes to a white ceiling in a dimly lit room. She looked to her life arm and saw an IV stuck into it and muttered “s***” to herself. She wondered just how many times it would take until they gave up on her. She didn’t want their judgment, she didn’t want their pity, and she sure as hell didn’t want their help. There was a time when this wasn’t her life, she was even normal. A person with friends, family, and a life. Until she met me.

I should introduce myself my name is Ana.

I remember this first day I met Delia. She was sitting at her desk after school in the seventh grade for a math tutoring session when she noticed a group of girls in the corner sneering and giggling at her. She tried to ignore them but later she got her friend Joseph to tell her why they were laughing. “Because they think you’re fat” he said bluntly. You could see the collapse on her face. She hadn’t even considered that they would be making fun of her for her weight. She went home that night to her parents screaming at each other. They think that she doesn’t know but she does. Her father takes a breath from screaming at her mother to say there’s a plate in the microwave for you. She takes the plate out and practically sprints to her room. Out of sight out of mind, out of sight out of mind, out of sight out of mind.

Almost without thinking, she went to her bathroom, slid the contents of her dinner into the toilet and flushed. The feeling was something she had never felt before and it was exhilarating. She felt powerful, she felt in control. Why would they make fun of me she thought to herself all night. “They don’t even know me, they’ve never even talked to me. They don’t know a single damn thing about me”

What came next was a whirlwind of laxatives, diet pills, lying, hiding food, bingeing, purging, oh and more lying. Until one day she cracked. “Why?” Delia screamed at me “WHY do I have to keep doing this” with tears streaming down her face. I merely said “Because you have to. Don’t you want to be as light as feather. The world won’t weigh you down anymore. You can finally forget. You can finally be happy...don’t you want that?” And she believed me. She believed that this would finally make her happy. She didn’t want to believe it but she did and couldn’t explain why she physically could not stop.

I own you.

Until one day I didn’t.

One day she opened her eyes and thought “No” and just that simple act of disobedience was enough. She flushed her diet pills and laxatives and fought the urge to stick her fingers down her throat. She found the will to live again, she found the strength and the courage to keep fighting just as I know all of you can.

So as she laid in that hospital bed, she thought “Out of sight, out of mind.”  And she never saw me again.




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