Starving for love and craving affection
The Monster's Triumphant ReturnAs Chelsea look at the cupcake Maya just placed before her all she could think about was how much fat and how many calories were in that one little tiny pink cupcake. It almost made her want to puke but she didn't because couldn't. There were two things preventing her from puking out her guts. First of all, she hadn't eaten anything more than a couple grapes in nearly four day and secondly, Maya was going to make her stay to help make sure Brian actually ate. The second she found the most hypocritical thing she could do. How could she force him to eat when she wasn't even eating? Maya wasn't at fault for any of this though. She had no idea that Chelsea wasn't eating, she only knew about Brian and for now Chelsea was intent on keeping it that way. Maya didn't need to know. No one needed to know.
It was her dirty little secret and hers alone, "Here Brian eat this," demanded Maya sliding a vanilla cupcake with strawberry frosting and assorted sprinkles Brian's way. Brian took off the wrapper slowly and when the wrapper was completely off he took a normal sized bite and chewed slowly and swallowed. After about 4 bites Brian looked over at Chelsea pleadingly as to say 'save me from this hell' but she couldn't, she had her own hell to save herself from. Chelsea really wished she could have helped him though. It made her cry watching the guy she had been in love with for so many years and cared about for even longer that helpless. He was only a small fragment of what he once was and it was tearing her apart to know that.
"Chelsea, you don't want your cupcake?" Asked Maya quizzically because normally she would be digging straight in the cupcake. Well, not really normally considering for the past few months Chelsea had been eating less and less to the point of not eating at all sometimes. This wasn't a new thing either, it had been happened periodical since she was five just this time she couldn't shake it. It was a monster that kept coming back and every time it returned it was stronger than when it left. She was scared one day it would completely consume her. She knew one day it would. She was just hoping it wasn’t any time soon.
"Not really that hungry I guess," She lied. Chelsea was actually unbearably hungry but she had no plans on eating especially not something was as that cupcake, "Really because you haven't eaten all day," Maya said skeptically. So just to be safe and to get Maya off her back she took a very small bite of her cupcake chewing it slowly, then she took two more giant bites and chewed them very fast and swallowed. She repeated this time and then another. She repeated this until the cupcake was finished. She had this foreboding feeling that someone was watching her, someone who could see through her act, but she just continued to chew in an effort to fool everyone into thinking she was alright when she was anything but.
"Okay, I have to go to the bathroom," she announced.
As soon as she was out of the dining room she ran straight down the hall towards her friend's 2nd floor bathroom. She had been in Maya's apartment so many times that she knew the house back and forth so it was only fitting that she would know which bathroom they never used. There was a reason they didn't use that particular bathroom was because it was located in a little crevice of the huge apartment and was nowhere near a window. That part of the house tended to be the darkest and the scariest.
Once she had completely purged everything or at least all the physical things that repulsed her out of her system she took out a stick of gum. The stick of spearmint gum was meant to disguise the smell of the vomit but it wouldn't and she knew that all too well. Maya probably wouldn't notice but Brian might. He probably wouldn't say anything but he would notice.
When she returned to the table she found that Maya still struggling to get Brian to eat. He'd actually eaten nearly half of it, which astounded her. She almost felt jealous. How was it that Brian could manage to do something he was so afraid of but she couldn't? Why was she such a coward and him so brave?
Brian looked up at Chelsea smelling the faint aroma of vomit. He gave a grimacing look that he thinks Chelsea doesn’t notice but she does notice. And for a second she thinks that he knows, he totally knows. That he can see past her disguise and that he is just waiting for her to crack, waiting for her to make one wrong move so he can call her out on hypocrisy. But she quickly throws that out of her mind because there is no way he can know. She’s put too much time and effort into to keeping this secret for anyone to find out.
"Brian can you at least try and finish it. It's one little tiny little cupcake," Maya pleaded.
Chelsea still found it hard to believe that Brian had anorexia. It had been more than 3 years ago since he was diagnosed and still she couldn't bring herself to fully believe it was true. Something like that couldn't happen to someone like him. He was a guy for Pete sake, an attractive confident one at that, those aren't the type of people who get eating disorders. She wanted to believe that so badly that for a time she convinced herself of it. SHe pretended it wasn’t happening but when Brian hit rock bottom three years ago denial was suddenly not an option anymore.
"No, I've eaten half of it already and that's a half more than intended to eat. You should be happy, I could have refused to eat it all together." Brian said violently.
"Please do it for us. We hate seeing you like this and you've been losing a lot of weight lately that you can't afford to lose. You need to start eating,” she lectured.
"No!” he responded more loud and commanding than before, “Do you want me get even fatter? I'm just starting to lose all that weight I put on during therapy and now you claim you want me to start eating again. Well news flash I'm too fat to eat."
"You are NOT fat, you've never been fat." Maya said gratingly. She looks to Chelsea for validation of what everyone knew was true and Chelsea wanted help her but she couldn’t. Of course Chelsea knew Brian was way too thin but she didn't think she had a right to tell Brian that after what she had done, not more than 5 minutes ago.
"Yeah, Maya's right, you are really skinny, way too skinny."
"Listen to us, seriously you need to gain at least like 10 pounds, and if you lose anymore weight you will be a freaking' skeleton." That was the understatement of the decade. If he lost any more weight he would be dead.
"Okay, I'll eat," Screamed Brian. He looked almost on the brink of tears, “Happy now I'll eat and become even more of a fat f than I already am but promise me when I'm a big ball of lard you will still love me." Chelsea's instinct was to hug him but she wasn't sure. Maya of course did hug him because her philosophy was hug first and talk later. Chelsea joined in reassuring Brian that even if he were fat they would still love him. And honestly that was true. Chelsea and Maya would always love him. That was one thing that would never change.
"You're into him aren't you?" said Maya suddenly, breaking the silence.
"What are you talking about?" Chelsea looked up from the book she was reading to the wide-eyed girl.
"Brian, You like him, don’t you? Or at the very least you want to f him."
"No, Brian is just a friend," Chelsea spoke slowly for emphasis. Maya just gave her a skeptical look.
“I’m not stupid. don’t give me that you’re just friends crap. You are totally into him.”
"Okay I might like him a little but I can't like him, not when he's like this, not right now.
"I know what you mean, he makes me so angry because he's not fat but yet he's screwing his body up by starving himself. It's as if he has a death wish." For a moment Chelsea actually thought about what she was doing to herself. She was thinking about how she could starve to death but that only lasted a second. She was convinced that anything was better than being who she was now.
"So where's Brian anyway?"
"He had some dinner thing with his relatives." Unlike Maya it actually occurred to Chelsea that Brian was definitely going to end up purging due to the fact that he came from a family of obese, big eaters, which meant he would be forced to eat. But there was also a deeper reason. Brian didn’t like his family. Actually he downright hated them. They put him on pedestal that he didn’t want to be on. To his aunts, uncles, and cousins, he was just short of perfect. He could do no wrong. Except everything Brian seemed to do was wrong. That’s the way he saw it. No one else saw it that way but he didn’t care. Brian was determined to believe that he was almost a failure and he was the only one who could change that. Chelsea wished she could make him see the truth. All the wishing in the world wouldn’t help though. Whatever, Brian believed about himself was ingrained in his mind from birth. "So how long?" Chelsea looked at Maya bemused.
"How long what?"
"Have you been crushing on Brian?”
"A couple months," more like a couple years. Chelsea honestly could not remember a time when she wasn’t completely and totally in love with him.
"And you haven't told him,"
"I never got a chance. First I was dating Jake, then I broke up with Jake but he started dating Olivia and now this. I don't think I will ever get a chance." Chelsea was a cynic especially when it came to romance. She didn't believe in love. It was for the best in her mind. She didn’t deserve love and love didn’t deserve her.
Later that night Maya, Chelsea and Brian were hanging out at Maya's house like they did every Friday night since they were nine. Many things had changed since then but their weekly movie nights had not. It was really the only stability in their crazy lives and they weren’t ready to give it up yet.
"Maya, we need more popcorn." Chelsea yelled from the couch too lazy to get up and it herself.
"Coming." she looked at Brian, whose ice-blue that were surrounded by a thin ring of chestnut brown eyes were glued to the T.V. Brian almost looked angry. For the first time in a while she can see how truly thin he was. His cheeks were a lot less round than she remembered but she’s not sure if that’s a benefit of puberty, a lack of purging or he’s just lost some weight from his face. But that’s not the only thing she notices. She swears he’s losing muscle in his arms and she can see the faint outline of his ribs through his thin gray shirt, not to mention his very pronounces collarbones.
"Brian, how much do you weigh?" He just looked up at her; She knew it was the worst possible question but not for the reason she thought. Brian stared at her. She could see how infuriated with her he was but she didn't know the reason why.
"103," Brian answered flatly. Chelsea is almost surprised by how much the number doesn’t seem to bother him.
"You're really light," she sounded more astonished than concerned, as though it was an accomplishment.
"What? “He sounded almost furious but even more annoyed.
"The popcorn is ready." said Maya interrupting the awkward moment at the right time. Chelsea saw the nervous look on Brian's face. He knew he was going to have to eat but little did Chelsea know she would have to eat also. “Open wide," Maya forcing the popcorn in Brian's thin lips. She leaned forward as her voluptuous breast hung out of her low-cut v-neck plain black tee. Brian might have actually liked it, if he wasn’t so focused on other things
"Do I have to?" Asked Brian in a whining tone as he'd done many times before but this time, unlike most of the times Chelsea and Maya would try to get him to eat, he was less serious and more playful.
"Yes," Maya and Chelsea said in unison. Maya's voice was softer and quieter but Brian could still hear her. Brian scooped up a hand full of popcorn in his bony fingers and tossed it in his mouth quickly and without hesitation.
"Doesn't that taste good?" mocked Maya as she jump on Brian lap, pressing her weight on his long, bony legs.
"No," Brian lightly pushed Maya off his lap. Right then his phone began to vibrate. He checked the number on his outdated black Motorola Razr, and then flipped it open.
"Hey, Olivia what's up?" Asked Brian. Olivia was Brian's oblivious Barbie lookalike girlfriend of 5 months. Brian had known Olivia about as long as he had known Chelsea and Maya but until recently Olivia wasn't more than an acquaintance.
"Maya can I talk to you for a moment." Maya brushed off her pink cotton shorts that barely managed to cover her butt, and pushed herself off the floor and head toward her bedroom. Chelsea followed.
"Did you notice that Brian is losing a lot of weight lately? He probably doesn’t weigh more than his Barbie doll girlfriend?"
"Yeah, now that you mention it, I have noticed. It’s actually kind of frightening." It was more than kind of frightening it was downright terrifying. Brian couldn’t afford to lose anymore weight because at this point losing even another pound could mean him ending up in the hospital again or worse dead.
"I asked him early how much he weighs and he told me 103 and then-"
"Damn he weighs less than you. He’s 5’8, he should weigh a hell of a lot more than 103," said Maya cutting Chelsea off.
"I know." Chelsea thought about how she really had no right to be talking about this. She was doing the same thing but unlike Brian she was smart enough not to get caught.
"Wait, is that what I walked in on?"
"Yeah, by the way thank you for ending the possibly awkwardness."
"These shorts are way to tight," Maya said attempting (and failing) once again to fix her shorts to a point where she looked decent.
"Why'd you wear those shorts anyway, they fail to even cover your butt let any other part of your legs" Chelsea ridiculed.
"Did you just call me a slut?"
"No, I just suggested that those shorts might be a little too short, you're not a slut, well at least not all the time."
Chelsea would never admit it but she was jealous of Maya. She saw Maya as the standard of perfection. Maya was tall, thin and gorgeous or in other words everything Chelsea wanted to be but never would be "If you have it, you gotta flaunt it."
"Speaking of showing off, why don't you ever show off yours?" Teased Maya pointed at Chelsea's green and white sweatshirt and baggy gray tattered Hollister sweatpants.
"Because I have nothing to show off."
"Of course you do. You have this little athletic body. Those nice toned arms, that I wish I could achieve and some pretty nice boobs. And let’s not pretend your ass isn’t on that Nicki Minaj status,” and Chelsea laughs because she knows Maya’s making a joke but she also can’t help but feel a little uncomfortable. She knows that Maya honestly believes these things about her, and that should make her feel better about herself, at least temporarily, but it doesn’t because she can’t bring herself to believe anything that’s coming out. When she looks in the mirror she simply doesn’t see any of that.
She sees a girl who is way too short. Her face is too square, eyebrows too bushy, nose too big and too wide, lips too thin, her skin too blotchy but that’s not the worst of it. Then comes her body. There are so many things wrong with her body beyond her being fat. It’s just so misshapen. Her shoulders are too broad, her hips are extremely wide, she’s paunchy, her legs are extremely short and thick. She is willing to admit though that sometimes she likes her arms. They aren’t really that bad. But overall if she had to rate her body it wouldn’t be very high at all.
“You know, if you don’t believe me I could always give you a makeover, prove to you that you’re hot stuff”Maya says sing-songy, snapping Chelsea out her daze. Maya lived to do makeovers. She was a future makeup artist and everybody knew it. She often loved to practice on Chelsea. Maya began search through her black makeup bag and pulled out an eye shadow quad with light pink, baby blue, chrome yellow and white and an expensive tube of red lip-gloss. She started dust on blue eye shadow onto Chelsea's right eyelid with a small eyelid brush. Then she carefully applied the lip-gloss to Chelsea's thin, pale pink lips. She have applied blush but Chelsea’s not exactly sure, "Now all we need is a better outfit." Maya started raiding through her closet. Maya had more clothes than she'd ever need and she was forever looking for a way to get rid of the clothes that she didn't need or want. She could only give so much to charity. Maya pulled out a bunch of clothes and threw them at Chelsea. "Put on this." Chelsea put on the outfit quickly because she really didn't care how it looked. She wouldn't wear an outfit like that even if she had Maya's body. It just wasn't her style.
"You look nice," Maya smiled sincerely, "Now go show Brian,"she says as she all but pushed Chelsea into the living room.
Chelsea stood by the couch twiddling her fingers as she waits for Brian to get off the phone. The longer he stays on the phone the more annoyed she gets because although she would never admit it but she hated Olivia more than anything. She didn't hate Olivia simply because she was dating Brian, she hated Olivia because Olivia didn't know what she had.
After about five minutes Brian finally ended his phone call. He looks up at Chelsea and began laughing.
"Does it really look that bad?"
"No. You actually look kinda nice. I’m lying, you actually look really nice but why are you dressed up to sit around the house?"
"Maya decided she wanted to give me a makeover."
"Practicing her makeup skills again?" Brian asked.
"Yep." Chelsea noticed the textbook in Brian's hands.
"What are you doing?"
"Studying for my math midterm. Did you take it yet?"
"Well I'm gonna fail. I kind of need you to help me study,"
"Sure." Chelsea liked when people needed her help especially when it was Brian who needed her help, it made her feel needed. The doorbell rang. " I'll get it, " yelled Maya from the kitchen.
"She's actually insane."
"Yep," Brian gave his typical half-hearted, apathetic response.
"Get your fresh hot pizza." Maya placed the box of grease filled pizza on the table. It looked utterly disgusting but Brian and Chelsea both knew they had to eat it. Chelsea grabbed a piece of first and put it in her mouth and Brian tried to follow.
"You're eating the pizza too," insisted Maya observing the look on Brian's face. Brian took out a pepperoni slice and hesitantly took a bite. "So, Chelsea, do you have a date to the end-of-semester dance?"
"Nope," Chelsea answered simply.
"What about Nalin?" Brian asked, not particularly caring if she gave him an answer or not.
"Too much history. We're just starting to become friends again. So that would probably be insanely awkward."
"Brian if you care so much why don't you take her yourself?" suggested Maya.
"Because I’m kind of dating Olivia, if you weren’t aware." Brian responds sassily.
"Do you have a date?" he challenged in an attempt to get her to shut up.
"Yeah." Maya said somewhat triumphantly.
"The guy in our chemistry class?"
"You know he's a big-." Right in the middle of her sentence Chelsea was cut off by Brian's phone starting to vibrate. He flipped open his phone, read the message and quickly shut the phone.
"Who was it?"
"What did she want?"
"She sent me a text saying she's breaking up with me." Brian was a little relieved that she had broken up with him. He knew they weren’t t gonna work out.
"What a b**ch. How do you break up with someone by text?"
"I knew eventually she would realize I'm a fat slob and dump me." Brian put down the half a slice of pizza he was eating.
"Okay, this conversation is getting toO depressing for me," said Maya being her usual cheery self. "So, Brian since you don't have a date for the dance how about you go with Chelsea." Chelsea's big honey colored eyes widened.
"I'm going to the bathroom." Chelsea got up and headed straight to the upstairs bathroom to purge all the fattening food she had just consumed in an effort to calm her nerves. She leaned over the porcelain toilet, stuck her thin long finger down her throat and begun to purge the food that she believed was making her fat. After getting out as much food as possible Chelsea looked up from the off-white, vomit filled porcelain void to find Brian staring at her. His facial expression was a mix of anger, disgust and melancholy. She didn't know what to say.