All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Everyone has heard of anorexia and bulimia. Everyone knows the danger of these eating disorders and how they affect millions of people both directly and indirectly. Yet how many people know about binge eating disorder?
Very few people have even heard of BED (binge eating disorder) and many of those who have heard of it don’t fully understand it. BED is often perceived as an excuse for obesity and put off as fake or not as serious as other eating disorders. Our community is extremely misinformed. Binge eating disorder is a mental illness (as are anorexia and bulimia) yet it affects about 3.5% of women and 2% of men, making it the most common eating disorder.
Unlike other common eating disorders, BED affects a large amount of men, with one-third of BED sufferers being male. People are also unaware of the dangers of BED. With anorexia and bulimia, the effects of the disorder are obviously life threatening; however not many people understand the effects of binge eating disorder. Contrary to common belief, not everyone with BED is obese and the disorder develops in children, teens and adults.
Some of the consequences of binge eating disorder include: obesity, type two diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, gallbladder disease, heart disease and even certain types of cancer. These effects are just as dangerous as those caused by anorexia and bulimia, yet BED is not thought of as life-threatening.
Perhaps it is because BED is associated with obesity and the society we have created looks down upon being overweight. In order to help people suffering from BED and prevent others from developing the disorder, it is crucial to raise awareness of the truth of the disorder.
People often forget that BED is a mental disorder; therefore besides the physical health concerns presented with BED there are also serious mental issues. BED is not simply over eating-it is a loss of control when eating and results in intense shame, guilt, self-hate and depression. People often binge in secret, hiding their disorder from others due to embarrassment and fear of other people’s reactions. The environment we live in does not accept those who are overweight, regardless of the reason. Our society is centered on beauty and the impossible, unhealthy ideal and people with BED have a hard enough struggle with themselves without the pressure from our society. We live in a community that is more accepting of disorders such as anorexia and bulimia even though they are less common and no more dangerous than BED. BED is a serious mental illness and dangerous eating disorder that needs to be better understood. Although it is difficult to communicate the feelings of those suffering BED it is essential that we try.
I don’t know how I’m going to survive four years without Sandra! I don’t want to start high school alone, but I hope she has an amazing time at college and doesn’t completely forget about me. I love her so much and I hope she remembers that. I wish tomorrow never had to come and she didn’t have to leave. I guess I should be glad Sandra’s only going to Vermont and not somewhere really far away like California. I’ll be able to see her at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I guess I can handle a couple months without her…
“Hey Sandra! How’s it up there in Vermont? We just got back home. Gosh you’re so lucky you didn’t have to sit in the car with Mom for three hours,” Annabelle rolled her eyes and twisted the phone cord around her fingers.
“Aw Anniebelle, I’m sorry. I can just imagine Mom- ‘Annabelle I’m gonna miss her, oh Annabelle. Who’s gonna cook you dinner now Annabelle? You gotta learn how to cook now Annabelle.’ Speaking of which, have you had dinner yet? I know there’s some leftover pasta in the refrigerator.”
“Mom decided to let me off easy and we picked up McDonalds on the way home.” Annabelle wrinkled her nose and loosened her fingers from the knotted phone cord to push back a strand of her copper brown hair.
“Come on Annie, you know not to let Mom pick up fast food, it’s so bad for you! You’re going to end up eating that every day if you don’t stop Mom,” Sandra replied.
“Yeah, yeah whatever Sandra. You’re going to have to call me every time I want to eat so I don’t eat the wrong thing. Well anyway, I’ll call you tomorrow.” Annabelle yanked at the phone cord and rolled her eyes again. Why did Sandra have to be so annoying?
“Love you my brown eyed Annie-baby- belle,” Sandra replied cheerfully.
“K, love you, bye,” Annabelle ripped her fingers out of the tangled phone cord and slammed the phone onto the receiver. Stupid Sandra, she thought, stupid Sandra and her stupid college. Annabelle stomped away from the phone and plopped herself in a chair at the kitchen table. She sat there glaring at Sandra’s empty spot opposite her. Stupid Sandra, why did she have to go away? Why did she have to go to stupid college? Four years! She left me all alone with Mom for four years. Annabelle’s glare slowly melted and her throat began to close. She could feel the tears welling up in her eyes and she thought, No. Annabelle no, you will not cry. Don’t cry, Annabelle, don’t cry! But the tears leaked out of her eyes despite her fearsome squinting and her shoulders shook as the salty tears leaked through her lips and onto her tongue. Annabelle cried until there were no tears left and her eyes were red and puffy. She sat at the table with her shoulders slumped and her cheeks glazed with tear streaks.
After a couple of minutes, Annabelle slowly stood up and trudged to the sink where she splashed her face with cold water and rubbed it dry with a coarse paper towel, leaving her face tingling and the salty taste of tears still on her tongue. Annabelle rubbed at her sore eyes and walked to the refrigerator. The bright, artificial light made her squint through her damp lashes as she reached up and opened the drawer in the side of the door. Annabelle’s fingers brushed the waxy paper of a stick of butter and she grabbed it and closed the door. She looked down at her catch- an unopened stick of butter; salted, Land o Lakes- her favorite. For as far back as Annabelle could remember, there had always been Land o Lakes butter with the little blue indian on the wrapper. Usually it was unsalted, but whenever Mom bought salted, Annabelle and Sandra would sit together at the kitchen table and eat it and laugh about what their mom would say if she caught them. Sandra liked to cut off paper thin slices and let them melt on her tongue but Annabelle always cut off big, thick chunks and bit into them before they got warm and mushy.
Now, Annabelle sat down alone at the table with the stick of butter and a knife. I’ll just have one tablespoon Annabelle thought as the knife cut straight down the blue line marking a tablespoon and made a satisfying chop as it hit the table; the tablespoon of butter cleanly breaking away. Annabelle unwrapped the wax paper as quickly as she could and took a bite. The moment her teeth sunk into the cold butter and the salty and creamy buttery taste hit her tongue, Annabelle felt like herself again. It was so familiar, so much of a Sandra memory, Annabelle almost forgot Sandra wasn’t there with her shaving the stick of butter and getting it warm from her touch.
Annabelle finished her chunk of butter, letting the last bite melt slightly on her tongue and coat her mouth with the saltiness. It tasted so good, so much like the good old times with Sandra. I’ll just have one more piece, Annabelle thought as she reached for the knife. No sooner had Annabelle sunk her teeth into the second creamy chunk of butter than she was licking the saltiness off her fingers and reaching for the knife again. It’s only three pieces, she told herself, Sandra usually has like twenty. And Annabelle popped a whole tablespoon of butter into her mouth and chewed it before letting it melt on her tongue. It’s so good, I want another piece, Annabelle thought and reached her oily hand towards the knife. But that’s too much, Annabelle paused and licked her fingers. The creamy saltiness danced onto her tongue again and she couldn’t resist. I’ll just have one more tablespoon so it’s exactly half the stick, Annabelle told herself as she popped a fourth tablespoon of butter into her mouth.
But when she finished, her taste buds cried for more sweet saltiness; more creamy butter. This is the last piece, Annabelle told herself as the knife slid easily through the soft butter for the fifth time. The moment the knife touched the wax paper Annabelle already had the chunk of butter half way to her mouth. This is so good. It’s the best butter ever, thought Annabelle as she licked her lips. I have to stop eating it though. I mean, it’s not even cold anymore. But it’s just so good! Annabelle argued with herself as she wiped her oily fingers on her stuffed stomach. Maybe I’ll just have one more piece, I mean we never have salted butter. And with that Annabelle cut herself another tablespoon of butter. The moment the mushy chunk touched her tongue, her taste buds buzzed with a mini sigh of relief and Annabelle almost unconsciously slid the knife through the butter for a seventh time; splitting the remaining chunk into two perfect halves. Annabelle grabbed the butter and rushed it into her mouth before it could melt anymore. The warm butter turned to liquid the moment it touched her mouth, and the salt ran over her taste buds and down her throat. Annabelle sat back and let the velvet saltiness wash over her tongue and taste buds, relishing the last hint of butter.
The electronic beep of the clock chiming 8:00 PM made Annabelle jump slightly. She crumpled up the buttery wax paper and pushed herself away from the table. When Annbelle stood up, she almost had to sit down again as the extent of her full stomach hit her. Annabelle could feel the double cheeseburger and fries sitting in her stomach and expanding with the melted, greasy stick of butter. A wave of nausea passed over Annabelle as she trudged to the trashcan and threw out the wax paper. That’s disgusting Annabelle. Disgusting. Why did I eat that? I’m so stupid. I’m so so stupid! It didn’t even taste good, it wasn’t even cold anymore! You’re such a disgusting fatty, eating a whole stick of butter. Annabelle, you're such a pig.
Sandra’s coming home tomorrow! I can’t wait, I miss her so much. I can’t believe it’s already been three months, I don’t know how I survived so long without her! Tomorrow’s going to be the best Thanksgiving ever though! It’s going to be like usual again; Mom’s going to be happy, Sandra’s going to be home… It’s going to be like when Sandra was always home and we had the best holidays ever. I love Thanksgiving so much and it’s going to be even better than usual because Sandra’s going to be here for the first time in three months! I can’t wait for tomorrow! I’m sooo excited no one else could understand.
“Sandra, I can’t wait to see you tomorrow I miss you SO much! This is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever! I already made the pumpkin pie and the apple pie just finished baking! And Mom let me get whipped cream and the good vanilla ice cream; you know the one with the cinnamon swirls? And I got the good cranberry sauce that’s not gross and tart. Oh and I also got your favorite cookies; the leaf shaped ones with the orange icing on them. I can’t wait it’s going to be so much fun!” Annabelle plucked at the phone cord and watched it bounce up and down and quiver as if it somehow felt her excitement.
“Annie, calm down! That sounds amazing; you guys have the best food ever it sounds like. I got to talk to Mom though, ok?”
“Ok Sandra! But you’re coming right?” Annabelle grabbed the quivering phone cord and wrapped it around her fingers.
“Let me just talk to Mom, ok? Love you, Anniebelle,” Sandra replied.
“Sure Sandra. See you tomorrow!” Annabelle grinned and handed the phone to her mom before sitting down at the kitchen table to eavesdrop.
“Hi Sandra, hun,” her Mom picked up the phone and smiled. “Oh really? You sure? Well ok, I can’t really do anything about it.” The smile faltered but resurfaced again as she said, “Ok hun, we’ll miss you but have a good time.”
Annabelle was on her feet before her mom had even put the phone on the receiver.
“What do you mean we’ll miss her? Is Sandra not coming tomorrow?” Annabelle demanded.
“Hush Annabelle, stop your fussing. Sandra can’t make it up here for Thanksgiving but she said she’d definitely make Christmas.” Her mom gave Annabelle a stern look when she opened her mouth. “Now you go have a snack and calm down. I have to go to work. I’ll be back after dinner so you’re gonna have to fend for yourself.” Her mom said over her shoulder as she pulled on her heels and wobbled out the door.
The moment the lock clicked shut on the door Annabelle grabbed the phone and dialed Sandra’s number.
“What do you mean you can’t make it?” Annabelle demanded into the phone.
“Annie I’m sorry. I just can’t! But you’ll forgive me right? I want to see you and spend the holiday with you but something came up and I had to change my plans,” Sandra pleaded.
“Something came up? Something that’s more important than spending the holidays with me when I haven’t seen you for three months?” Annabelle asked. “Do you not miss me or something? Maybe you just don’t love me as much as I love you. I bet you have no idea how much I’ve missed you, being stuck here alone with Mom when you know she likes you more than me. You know Sandra, you’re stupid. You’re so so stupid. With your stupid college and stupid plans and your stupid everything. So you go and have a great old time at college for four years and forget all about me while I suffer here at home with Mom. And you don’t even call. I always call you. And half the times you don’t even pick up and when you do all you want to know is ‘Annie, are you being nice to Mom?’ ‘Annie, what did you have for dinner? It had better not be McDonalds again.’ Honestly I don’t think you even care what I do, you just pretend you care. I know you don’t care. If you really did, YOU would call, you would have stayed home with ME instead of going off to college you-”
“Annie! Stop Annie! It’s not like that, you don’t understand! I-”
“I DON’T UNDERSTAND? I don’t understand WHAT? From what I understand you don’t care about us anymore. You don’t care about ME anymore! You wouldn’t even tell me yourself you’re not coming. You probably never cared about me. Did you? DID YOU?”
“YOU WHAT? YOU DON’T CARE- YOU NEVER DID. I HATE YOU SANDRA. I HATE YOU SO MUCH. I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU AGAIN. JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!” Annabelle threw the phone down onto the receiver. She stood there fuming for a moment before stomping over to the freezer and yanking open the door letting a blast of frigid air hit here. Annabelle plunged her hand into the back of the freezer and pulled out the pint of cinnamon swirl vanilla ice cream; the freezing cardboard and ice crystals feeling like a cold blade against her red palms. Grabbing a spoon, Annabelle ripped off the cardboard cover and tossed it onto the counter as she plunged the spoon into the perfect white circle of ice cream. The creamy vanilla taste washed over her taste buds followed by a zing of cinnamon. The soft, cooling ice cream calmed Annabelle and she let herself become immersed in the velvet texture and sweet vanilla and cinnamon flavor as she slowly made her way back to the table. By the time Annabelle sat down, a third of the pint was already gone. Annabelle sat eating spoon after spoon of creamy vanilla, letting the cool ice cream melt on her tongue and coat her senses with pure sweetness and pops of spicy cinnamon. Her motions became almost automatic as she sank fully into the world of cool, sweet, creamy vanilla and swirls of cinnamon; the only disruption being the scrape of her spoon on the bottom of the carton as she ate the last mouthful of ice cream.
That was delicious, Annabelle thought as she placed her spoon in the sink. As she passed the oven on her way to throw out the empty cardboard container, the smell of warm cinnamon, crisp, juicy apples, and buttery, golden brown crust washed over her. Mmmmm that smells amazing. Maybe I’ll have a piece, I mean Sandra’s not going to be here anyway so it’s not like we’ll miss it, Annabelle assured herself as she opened the oven and let the warm spicy cinnamon re-awaken her taste buds already alive from the cinnamon in the ice cream. She pulled out the warm pie dish and placed it on the counter. Grabbing a dinner plate and knife, Annabelle hungrily examined the pie and cut a generous slice. As she placed the pie on her plate, a new wave of baked buttery apple and cinnamon washed over her and the gooey apple filling leaked out of the golden crust onto her plate. Annabelle sampled the buttery crust with molten cinnamon apple filling trapped inside. She could feel the hot pie scorching her taste buds and burning its way down her throat, heating her inside and dousing the coolness from the ice cream. It’s so warm. I think I’ll have one more piece. I mean we usually don’t have apple pie, Annabelle told herself as she cut another generous slice of pie. With every bite she sank deeper into the world of cinnamon swirls and gooey, buttery apple. Just three pieces. I’ll stop after this one, Annabelle assured herself as the first bite of her third slice of pie warmed her tongue. With each swallow the uncomfortable bloating of Annabelle’s stomach increased. Yet the calming hot, sugary, golden apples and buttery crust covered the painful feeling in her stomach so that the moment the taste and feeling of the pie faded, the ache in her stomach returned. The feelings were so strong and so deeply wound around Annabelle that she would not stop; she could not stop.
After five minutes, Annabelle managed to stuff down half the scorching apple pie. She made her way towards refrigerator and felt around until her fingers grasped the red can of Reddi Wip whipped cream. Closing the door, Annabelle pulled off the red cap and leaned against the cool metal refrigerator. She rested her head on the door and let the whipped cream fill her mouth. The airy, sugar taste lighted her taste buds and the coolness calmed her burning tongue like water quenching a flame. The pain from the massive amount of food sitting in Annabelle’s stomach caused her to sink to the floor into a more bearable position. Sitting down, some of the pain from Annabelle’s bloated stomach was released and created more room for the whipped cream that was already half gone. It’s just whipped cream, it’s like air, Annabelle told herself, just delicious, cold, sweet air.
After swallowing the entire can of Reddi Wip, Annabelle sat back and rested her head against the refrigerator for a minute. Her stomach felt ready to burst, any movement was painful. Yet her taste buds cried for more and her stomach called for relief; distraction from the pain, so Annabelle dragged herself to the food closet and uncovered the box of Sandra’s favorite leaf cookies with orange icing. The cheery orange and pretty leaf shapes cried fall, full of golden foliage and jumping in leaf piles with Sandra. Annabelle took the container of cookies with her to her room where she sat on her warm bed with the container of cookies in her lap. She opened the container and took a bite of the first cookie. It made a satisfying crunch as the crisp, buttery cookie broke into Annabelle’s mouth. With each crunch of sweet cinnamon butter taste Annabelle’s aching stomach and exultant taste buds cried out louder for more sweet relief.
When Annabelle had eaten nearly half the container of cookies her stomach could physically hold no more. Annabelle sat against the bed with her hands on her stomach, just sitting there, her eyes closed, a numbness washing over her body. After a moment, Annabelle opened her eyes and looked at the cookies. There’s still half a box left. I can’t just leave them here, I need to finish them, Annabelle groggily reached for the cookies but as she leaned forward the pain in her stomach worsened and she could feel the food rising in the back of her throat. She physically couldn’t fit one more bite in herself. So Annabelle sat there and looked around at all the crumbs and the half empty box of cookies and she began to cry. She cried from the pain in her stomach, and the pain inside. Her tears ran down her face like drops from the waves of guilt and hatred washing over her. You’re so disgusting. So horribly gross. Annabelle, you filthy pig. I can’t believe I ate all that. I can’t believe I’m so revolting. How could you lose control like that? How could you let yourself eat so much? It’s sickening! I hate it. I hate it so much!
Annabelle’s shirt was dappled with angry, shameful tears, the cold spots against her skin like a penance for her repulsive behavior. Anger and resentment clashed with guilt and humiliation inside Annabelle’s tormented mind. I have to get rid of it. I can’t let all that filthy, fatty food stay inside me, Annabelle thought as a wave of fear passed through her. She struggled to her feet and into the bathroom where she knelt on the cold tiles in front of the toilet bowl. Annabelle looked down into the gaping toilet, like an open mouth ready to swallow her into nothing. You have to do it Annabelle, you have to, the panicked voice in her head cried. But I don’t want to; I can’t! Annabelle reached her hand back into her throat but she couldn’t bring herself to vomit. She sank down onto the chilly tiles and watched as her tears of fear and frustration splashed down into the gaping mouth like raindrops. You’re such a failure Annabelle, she told herself as she sank down and buried her head in her arms, defeated.
When Annabelle had cried until there were no tears left in her, she returned to her room to the container of cookies. It troubled Annabelle that it was still half full so she covered the container and placed it carefully in her closet under a pile of extra sheets. I’ll finish it later, she thought; It’ll be there in case I get hungry.
Annabelle went downstairs to find something to occupy herself with. She tried doing her homework but she couldn’t focus. She kept seeing the half full box of cookies in the back of her mind. Annabelle went to watch tv but the image of the cookies still sitting in her closet chased her. Finally, Annabelle decided it was pointless to do anything but go to bed. Yet even as she brushed her teeth and snuggled under the covers, she could still see the leaf cookies waiting there under cover in her closet. Annabelle slept fitfully, her bloated stomach and dry, puffy eyes uncomfortable. When Annabelle finally did fall asleep, it was fitful and haunted by the smell, taste, texture and sight of the container of cookies buried in her closet.
Annabelle woke with a start after dreaming of raking up and then jumping into a pile of leaf cookies. She could practically taste the butter and cinnamon on her tongue and her ears strained for the satisfying crunch of the crisp cookies being bitten. Annabelle lit up her watch which read 3:18 in blaring blue numbers. She couldn’t hold back any longer. Annabelle slid out of bed and tip toed to her closet where she knelt on her knees and felt around until her hand uncovered the plastic container of cookies. Pulling them towards her, she didn’t bother to go back to bed. Kneeling in the complete darkness of her closet, Annabelle ripped off the plastic cover and plunged her hand into the cookies. She shoved them in her mouth, bite after bite, as fast as she could. If she didn’t eat them quickly they would disappear. Annabelle didn’t wait to finish chewing and swallowing each bite before shoving the next cookie into her mouth. In a matter of moments, Annabelle had inhaled nearly half the remaining cookies. Her stomach cried out in pain but Annabelle couldn’t stop. She had to finish all the cookies; she needed to fill the emptiness inside her. Annabelle shoved bite after bite of cookie into her mouth, never letting her mouth empty for a second. When Annabelle had forced down the remaining cookies, she shoved the empty container away from her and sat back against the closet wall feeling not unpleasantly numb and looked down at her watch which read 3:21. The blazing blue numbers seemed to imprint themselves in the back of her eyelids; burning themselves into her as a wave of realization washed over Annabelle. 3:21 screamed the numbers on her eyes. And a great tidal wave of shame and revulsion engulfed Annabelle as the full extent of her actions sank in. Annabelle! How could you? You’re so disgusting. I can’t believe you ate half a container of cookies in three minutes! You didn’t deserve those cookies; you don’t deserve anything. You’re so disgusting. I hate this, I hate it so much. You have to stop. Stop it! STOP IT ANNABELLE! You fat lump; you disgusting pig.
Annabelle dragged herself to bed and lay curled around her practically bursting stomach, letting her hot tears stream onto her face, into her mouth, over her taste buds. Annabelle bit down hard on her lip until the metallic taste of blood swirled with her salty tears. Tear after tear flowed out of Annabelle’s eyes until she was washed up in their warm saltiness and floated off to sleep.
I don’t know what to do. I disgust myself in so many ways I didn’t know it was possible for a girl to hate this much. This week has been thoroughly awful with only one consolation: I haven’t had a single piece of junk food. Not one square of chocolate, not a single scoop of vanilla ice cream. I didn’t even try the pink frosting on the cake at school; although it looked so good, like pink clouds. But what good is that if I fail at everything else? My history test was a mess. I’ll be lucky if I get above a C. And then I got in a fight with Mom and Sandra’s still not talking to me even though I apologized. Mr. Brenner said I might need to go to the algebra help sessions even though math is my best subject! Or was. Whatever. Tomorrow’s Friday, I mean it can’t be that bad…
“Don’t you slam the door like that!” Annabelle’s mom screamed from upstairs as Annabelle stomped into the kitchen and threw her bag down on the floor.
“Mom, I need you to sign my algebra test,” Annabelle called as she dropped into a chair at the kitchen table.
“What do I have to do, just sign it? Cause I’m not doing anything else,” Annabelle’s mom said as she appeared at the bottom of the stairs.
“Yeah, just sign it,” Annabelle passed her mom the test.
“A D+? YOU GOT A D+?”
Annabelle stood up and opened her mouth. “Mom I-”
“You what? YOU WHAT? YOU’RE STUPID! THAT’S WHAT!” Annabelle’s mom rounded on her as Annabelle shrank back into her chair.
“YOU GO GET OUT OF HERE. GET OUT! GO BUY YOURSELF DINNER AND GET AWAY FROM ME. YOU’RE SISTER WOULD NEVER HAVE GOTTEN A D+” Annabelle’s mom threw down the test and stomped back upstairs.
Annabelle blinked back her tears as she grabbed her wallet and ran out of the house, taking extra care to slam the door as hard as she could.
I hate Mom. I hate her so much. She doesn’t even let me talk, she doesn’t get it. And how does she know Sandra never got a bad grade? I hate it I hate it I HATE IT! Annabelle ran and ran as fast as she could until she thought her legs would give out and her lungs would burst into flame and she had to stop. Hot tears spilled down Annabelle’s cheeks as she dragged herself down the sidewalk. By the time she reached the convenience store her cheeks were taut with dried tears and her hair wild around her face. Annabelle looked at herself in the mirror and attempted to make herself more presentable before entering the store.
The bell on the door jangled gaily and the smell of sugary glazed donuts and frosting washed over Annabelle. No, Annabelle sternly told herself, You’re in here to get dinner. That’s it. So Annabelle hurried to the far side of the store in an attempt to distance herself from the donuts. But this new route brought her down the candy aisle with all the cheerfully colored wrappers and pictures of gooey caramel in rich dark chocolate and crunchy chocolate coated wafers. You can’t Annabelle, she told herself, desperately trying to ignore the grumbling in her stomach. Maybe I’ll just get one small bag, I mean I didn’t have anything bad this week and I just ran all the way here…” Annabelle tried to convince herself as she placed a bag of chocolate coated caramels in her shopping basket. But as she walked down the aisle, the other candies seemed to pop out at her and she couldn’t resist. Once Annabelle had given in to the chocolate caramels she couldn’t stop. She couldn’t take only the chocolate caramels. Her hands grabbed for the king sized Twix bar and a bag of Reeses peanut butter cups as she made her way out the aisle. Annabelle’s eyes strayed from the candy to a box of chocolate chip cookies. It was as if her body had a mind of its own as her feet marched her to the next aisle and her hands grabbed the box before her mind could tell her no.
Stop Annabelle, stop! Her mind screamed as she tore herself away. Go pay for it and leave. Just get out before you can take anymore, Annabelle thought desperately. But the path to the register was lined with more sweet temptations. Annabelle passed a rack of boxed donuts and she couldn’t resist grabbing a container of chocolate glazed. She stopped for a tray of six mini vanilla cupcakes, a container of brownies, a chocolate bar, and to wash it all down Annabelle grabbed a bottle of Coke from the refrigerator. By the time Annabelle made it to the register, her basket was full and heavy but her mood had lifted considerably.
“Having a party?” the cashier, an older man, asked as Annabelle placed her full basket on the counter.
“Uh yeah,” she replied and examined her shoes very closely as the man rang up her food.
“Looks like a good party to be going to!” the cashier joked. “Your total is thirty-six dollars and ninety-eight cents.”
Annabelle handed him two twenty dollar bills, put her change in her wallet and grabbed her two bulging bags and hurried out of the store cutting off the jangling bells as the door shut. Once outside, Annabelle began walking as fast as she could to the park near her house. When she got there, she found a quiet, shady bench in a corner away from the happy kids and chatting grownups. Annabelle placed the two grocery bags next to her on the bench. First Annabelle put all the candy bars in one bag and then she stacked up the remaining food with brownies on the bottom, cookies, then chocolate glazed donuts and vanilla cupcakes on top. Annabelle took out the Coke and placed it on the bench next to her. Next she lined up the candy bars in order: Twix, Reese's, the chocolate bar, and lastly chocolate caramels.
Annabelle sat back to survey her treasure and then, unable to hold back any longer, she tore off the Twix wrapper and stuffed the whole bar in her mouth. Before she even finished chewing it, the Reeses bag was ripped open and a peanut butter cup nearly on her tongue. After inhaling about a third of the bag of mini peanut butter cups, Annabelle gobbled down the whole chocolate bar before moving on to the chocolate caramels. The sticky caramel glued her teeth together after chewing about five caramels so Annabelle uncapped her Coke and gulped down half the bottle. Annabelle’s stomach screamed in pain from the sugar and bubbly soda. But the other part of her stomach, the part that felt empty and bottomless called out for more. Annabelle pushed aside the bag of extra candy and wrappers as she opened the box of mini cupcakes and stuffed a whole one in her mouth. After wolfing down all six mini cupcakes, Annabelle grabbed the box of cookies. More food! called the empty pit inside Annabelle, Faster! More! And Annabelle responded by shoving a whole handful of cookies into her mouth. She grabbed at the box of donuts and stuffed the soft chocolate dessert in with the last swallow of cookies. Finally, Annabelle reached the bottom of the bag with the brownies. Her stomach was stretched painfully but a feeling of calm dazedness began to descend on Annabelle. But the voice in her head and the pit in her stomach still called for more and she watched through hazy eyes as her hands grabbed at the brownies and guided them into her mouth. Her body continued to take bite after bite, even after Annabelle’s mind began to numb, until her fingers scraped the empty container.
Oh goodness, Annabelle, what did you do? She asked as her thoughts began to slow and her eyes began to shut. I wish Sandra was here. Or anyone. I need help, Annabelle thought as drowsiness took over and her world faded to black.