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She’s young, you know. Fourteen years old in November. It’s February now and more has changed than you can imagine in between those months. Or maybe you can imagine it. I guess it depends on who you are and what you’ve seen. I haven’t seen that much until now. Now, I feel like I hate opening my eyes because I don’t want to see anymore. I can still see her, telling me that she had to tell me something but I couldn’t tell anyone else. And then she did and then I promised to get her through this. I can still see her looking into the glass, pinching the fat that wasn’t there. I can still see her, crumpled on the ground weeping for a comfort that even I couldn’t give. I wish I never had to see these things. But I love her like a sisters love each other and that means I’m not giving up.

And I’m yelling at her, I’m crying with her, I’m holding her hand, I’m yelling at her, “You’re beautiful! Do you hear me? You’re BEAUTIFUL!” But she does not hear me. She is choking herself. She is drowning in all the expectations and mirrors. She is drowning and I don’t know how to pull her back up. So I jump into the water, I grab her hands. “You are beautiful! You are better than this!” I shout, I shout with all that I am. Though I’m not really sure who that is anymore because I’m not worried about me. It’s about her. Because she’s fading into a statistic. That says a lot people don’t beat this. But I’m trying to tell her they’re wrong. Because they are. She can beat this. I won’t let her lose this battle. I’m trying so hard my heart aches. It aches with every smile she gives me that isn’t hers. It aches with every meal she doesn’t swallow, with every meal she denies her starving body. It aches with every whisper that she doesn’t really want this but it’s all she understands. Oh how it aches. It must be broken now because how much can my heart carry? How much more can I try to lift from her? But I must not break. Not now. I am not the one drowning. I will not be weak. I will be strong. To show her that she is strong. I’m not making any sense now, I know, but does this make sense? That a girl who should have everything feels so ugly and disgusted with herself? It does not make sense to me that my best friend is bent over a toilet, spilling her guts for the world. And she really is beautiful.

If you could only see her, you would know this. When she laughs, I laugh. Everyone laughs. When she smiles, and I mean really smiles, I understand what it’s like to be happy. To be content. But the mirrors have stolen that from her. Some said this was her fault but if you are one of them, one who believes that lie, then you do not understand pain or its power. You do not understand that all of us get forced to our knees at sometime in our lives, we all just deal with it differently. And she, beautiful as she is, did all she could to get back up. But instead of rising out of the ashes, the piled onto her shoulders, piece by piece. Until she was covered in the filth, the remembrance of a fire she used to have. Still, through all this, I see her. I see her beauty, her strength, her true person. I’m so desperate to show her what I see. So desperate that I’ll do anything, anything to save her. Anything to reach her. But desperation is exhausting. As much as I wish that I could be everything she needs every part of the day, I’m only fourteen too. And sometimes, when I get in bed at night, when for a little piece of time I let myself rest, my heart breaks just a little and I cry. I cry letting the tears soak into my pillow because that’s all I have left. At the end of the day I am so sad that she hates herself enough to destroy her body. I am so sad and I do not really know what to do. I am so sad, and so desperate and I am fourteen. Sometimes I do not think my friend and I are that different. Maybe we’re both drowning. All I really want is to save her.





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