Please Stop

May 7, 2010
You’ve heard of it before. You’ve heard the stories of young girls –slightly rounded ones and also pencil thin –who would make themselves vomit in order to lose weight. Some people make fun of them, denying them the help and attention they starve for. Literally.
You slip away from the dinner table. You have licked your plate clean, and now you walk into the bathroom, turning on the radio to drown out your upcoming retches. While lifting the toilet lid, you look at yourself in the mirror as their voices whispered in your ear,



You kneel before the toilet, holding back your hair. You open your mouth and stick your right forefinger inside, flicking the uvula with a well practiced ease. Your dinner surges up and you take your hand back just as vomit began to pour into the toilet. Your shut your eyes tight, not wanting to see the regurgitated leftovers, not wanting to see it. Your shaking hand reaches for the handle and you flush it down. Your eyes snap open and you wipe your mouth with the back of your hand, smiling a tiny bit. I’ll be just like them, and then I’ll finally fit in. But as you stand up and begin to wash your mouth out, you notice that your forefinger is slit. You wonder where it came from, but you shrug it off.

What you don’t know is since you repeatedly shove your finger down your throat; your incisors have slit your finger. As you wash out your mouth, your teeth begin to tingle a tiny bit. You again unaware that the tooth enamel –the hard white stuff that protects your teeth –are being eaten away by the stomach acid you frequently spew. You step out of the bathroom, turning off the radio and stepping onto the scale. Two months ago you weighed around 154, and now you’re down to 131. Just twenty more pounds, you tell yourself, and then you’ll stop. The little voice in your head reappears.

“Please, stop. You’ve lost enough weight…

Just please stop.
I’m begging you.”

You look in the mirror and how much you’ve changed. You smile proudly at yourself, deciding to ignore the little voice and go to bed. But what you don’t know as you pull the covers over your head and drift away to your perfect dreamland of skinny people is that parotid glands begin to form inside your throat, another after effect from self-induced vomiting. You toss and turn in your bed during the night, hungry for food.

Like the regular three course meals you eat every day, you throw up three times a day. Your dentist has been babbling about some nonsense that your teeth and throat were being damaged. He didn’t ask whether or not you were what he thought you were. As you dream of delicacies you’ve forbidden yourself to eat, night turns to day. Your mother goes into your room to wake you, only to find an inflammation on your neck. When you open your blood-shot eyes, she asks where it came from, and what happened to your finger. You said you don’t know about the thing on your throat, but that you were careless with the kitchen knife.
She leaves and you scramble for the bathroom, taking in the sight of the inflammation. A cold stone of worry settles deep into your stomach, making you unable to eat breakfast, but you still stick to your routine of throwing up before school. Brisk February air greeted you as you stepped out of your house. Shivering, you tugged your coat tighter around you. When the bus came chugging around the corner, your stomach began to growl again. As you get onto the bus, you check your schedule and see that today is a G Day, meaning gym class with the skinny and perfect people. You step off the bus and enter the four-story building, sitting in front your locker and opening your backpack, quickly taking your lunch out and empting out its contents. A ham and cheese sandwich, some change for milk, three chocolate chip cookies and a small bag of 100-Calories crackers. You shove the change into your pocket and expeditiously eat everything, only the image of a skinny you plastered to your brain. You jump up and run to the bathroom, throwing yourself into one of the stalls –not bothering to lock it –and hurriedly shoving your left forefinger down your throat.

You jab the uvula and everything comes pouring out into the porcelain bowl. You flush the toilet and walk to the sink, washing your hands of any evidence of your early lunch. You stick a piece of gum into your mouth, washing away the taste of regurgitated ham and cookies. The first period bell rings and you shuffle your way to the gym. You stop at all the water fountains, since you feel dehydrated –which is also a common side effect. As you change, someone asks if you lost weight, noticing your new figure. You smile broadly and say yes. As everyone begins to file out of the locker room, you feel a tad dizzy, but shrug it off.

You start running the track, at first fast, but then you gradually begin to slow down, until you fell behind everybody. You breathe hard, scratching at the inflammation on your throat as it began to irritate you. Your heart is beating like a hammer against cloth, the echoing sound making your head ache. You try to catch up with the other girls, but then your heart stopped. You collapse to the ground in a heap, gasping like a fish out of water. A whistle blows, and the gym teacher runs towards you. He presses his finger against the pulse point of your throat, not getting anything. But before you died, you could see the lacerations on your hand, and realize that it’s your fault.

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