Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Love You A Million

I closed my eyes, and then opened them again. I took a deep breath and looked down. There it was, spilled into the pristine white porcelain toilet bowl like so many times before. The proof that even though I wanted it to be, bulimia was not through with me. Rocking back on my heels, I took another deep breath and felt tears pool in my eyes. My hands were clammy. I was leaving sweaty marks from my palms on the black tile floor. My throat was scratchy and dry. The room was spinning. My stomach, oh God, my stomach hurt. The tears escaped my eyes. I promised him previous time I threw up was the last time. He believed me. That should have been enough reason to stop.

“Zach, I need to tell you something…” I practiced what I would say to my best friend in the mirror. I’d flushed the evidence, brushed my teeth, scrubbed my face, and put on blush to disguise my pale cheeks. No matter how I started, the words wouldn’t come out right. They never would, but in the end I’d tell him anyway. He’d hate me even more if I didn’t.

It had taken me three years to tell my best friend my biggest secret. I endured three years of secrets, lies, and silently torturing myself. It wouldn’t have done me any good to tell him before; I had to wait until I was ready to let him fix me. Telling him was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I could see the hurt and anger in his eyes, smell the anguish from across the room, hear the pain in his whispers of “shhbabyit’sokayeverythingwillbeallright.” I could feel his confusion when he hugged me, and I could taste what I knew would have been his sadness and disappointment in the one time after I told him that I lost control.

“Zach, I’m sorry, I…” Sighing, I pulled my hair in a messy ponytail, violently brushed my teeth again as if I could scrub the morning away for good, and decided there wasn’t a good way to tell him. I would just have to be honest and hope he wouldn’t hate me as much as I hated myself.

Picking at my nails seemed like a smart distraction while I waited for Zach’s reply. pickpickpick. The shimmery coral nail polish I had applied the weekend before was chipping. I should have just used nail polish remover, but it was in the bathroom, and I couldn’t bear to see the toilet and relive that morning. pickpickpick. My phone buzzed. “New Text Message From Zach!” It read, with a happy yellow envelope bouncing up and down, like the message would have to contain the best news in the world. If it were any other moment, I would have appreciated the irony. However, I couldn’t feel anything at all.

After several deep breaths and a short mental pep talk, I hit “Read” on my phone. I took another deep breath and looked at the screen. “You did what?” it read, and my eyes filled with tears again. “I’m so sorry, Zach,” I replied. Please, God, I know I don’t pray very much, but pleasepleaseplease don’t let me lose him. Please.

The nail polish was coming off in shards by then, littering the grey rug I was sitting on with tiny coral flecks. I knew I should vacuum them up right then, or I’d have a sparkly coral floor for months. “New Text Message From Zach!” I reread that simple statement over and over. Maybe I hadn’t lost him. Or maybe this was his goodbye. I wouldn’t really blame him. If I were him I might have been out the door months ago, when I realized my best friend had been lying to me about something as big as an eating disorder. My fingernails were bare and ragged by then, with coral pieces dotting every surface within a three-foot radius of where I sat.

“Was this the last time? You promise, for good it’s over now? I love you too much to let you do this. When you hurt yourself, you only hurt me worse, remember that.” The tears finally fell from my eyes and relief flooded through my weakened, broken, sick, but healing, body. I mouthed the words as I typed them, “Yes. Oh, yes. I promise. We’re never looking back now. For you and for me, it’s over. Thank you so much. Love you a million.”




Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!




Site Feedback