Wasted Away This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 13, 2008
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She’s never been this cold before.

Not the type of cold that aches in your feet and causes convulsions in your jaw; the type of cold that jams up your mind, like a song set on repeat with no power or volume dial to make it stop. Really cold.

She twists in her sheets, one hand making its way between the air particles. Her breath comes in a screaming whisper and words she’s never known trail along the tip of her tongue. The deep red of the muscle flexing beneath her ribs seeps in the edges of her vision, pushing away her thoughts as they transform into words.

She’s never been this alive before.

Months have dragged along, seeming so tedious and endless in the present tense, until they evaporate into the rest of yesterday. When her long-term memory compacts them, she can’t remember what she wore or said or how many things she ruined.

She only remembers how, after a while, all the food she wasn’t eating didn’t tempt her anymore. Her convex mirror distorts her hollow insides and blends the shadows under her ribcage.

The boy she wants with the murky eyes and the sharp jawline doesn’t utter a word, not counting the occasional, “Are you sick?” or “God, eat something.”

Before, they had had nights that lasted until sunrise over telephone wires. And she thought that he knew.

The love she kept for him, she thought he’d seen it coming and would take it. But his pockets were filled with the hands from a body wearing the perfume of money and perfection, and her own pockets were filled with the pressed pennies she collected at museums and carnivals – useless.

She’s never been this obstinate before.

It’s a commonly known fact that she’ll never reach perfection before the hospital doors, a fact that means nothing. Like the fact that smoking offers potential health risks such as lung cancer, that birth control has the risk of heart attack or stroke, that gum contains two calories that could be the deciding factor between a size 0 and a size 00.

It’s a fact that denies processing.

The foundation in her head will break soon, though, and she’ll fall through in a whispering scream until her arms are wound through with needles and wires, pumping artificial life into her.

She’s a lithium battery, ready to be recharged when all the energy is used up, until the socket in the wall sparks into white light, and the boy’s murky eyes become clear.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 24 comments. Post your own now!

thegreatmorry said...
Mar. 7, 2013 at 6:55 pm
did anyone elsethink this could be better presented as a poem, not the rhyming kind, I don't want it changed but not all poetry rhymes.
Aduke9 said...
Jun. 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm
That was so...WOW. Amazing, BRAVA, BRAVA!!!!!!!!!!!! So descriptive and full of feeling!
OurSTORY said...
Nov. 22, 2011 at 11:11 pm
Perfectly discret and beautifully written.
HollerGirl26 said...
Aug. 26, 2011 at 9:59 am
That was very intense..and the vocab: impeccable. Like DreamingOutLoud said, you hardly said anything but made it into very much of something! Brava, brava<3
PoetLaureate07 said...
May 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm
i really love !!this
LiveInTheMoment said...
Apr. 16, 2011 at 9:09 am
I agree with DreamingOutLoud, your vocabulary was perfect. The words that were chosen fit like perfect puzzle pieces. Keep on writing, you're amazing at it. If you have time, please check out, comment, and rate my poem, The Girl Inside. Thanks!!! 8)
DreamingOutLoud This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm
Wow. You draw unique comparisons. Your vocabulary is top-notch. You said so much without actually saying anything. Just wow.
Hi-5_Girl said...
Jul. 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm

I liked how this peice was written and the different emotions through-out, however the part about the boy is not so clear in some parts. All in all though, top notch!

~ The Hi-5 Girl

Alyse T. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 10:01 pm
I agree about the parts about the boy not being too clear. I didn't understand where he fit into the story.
waiting_to_be_found said...
Jun. 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm
Wow. That was wonderful. 
LeilaniLives said...
Jun. 12, 2010 at 1:25 pm
Well written. I liked all the different trains of emotions.
gkegrace This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 29, 2010 at 4:32 pm
how beautiful! the descriptions... and everything... i'm speechless. you have a wonderful control over language...wow.
greenwithvelvet said...
Jan. 25, 2010 at 3:03 pm
This is great. You tell us so much about who the girl is without actually saying it. I get the feeling that she is pretty smart, for example. I want to read more of your stuff!
have_a_heart said...
Nov. 28, 2009 at 11:53 am
to say this was good, would be an understatement. The implications of her eating disorder kept the story interesting; better than just out right saying it. I think you described emotions so beautifully that it makes me feel them; understand them. That is a true talent that should not be wasted, please continue to write. :)
David Deepwood said...
Nov. 4, 2009 at 11:21 am
WOW! Very Detailed story, i like the part where she describes the boys murky eyes.
Simplygraceful This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 5, 2009 at 12:48 am
very good!!!words are so detailed...and fit so well w/ the story!
snc947 said...
Aug. 4, 2009 at 7:04 pm
oh my gosh. I absolutly love your story. It's so sad. I usually stay away from words pieced together like this but I think it's perfect and I find myself glad to have read it. KEEP WRITING!!! :) Peace.
Amanda said...
Aug. 4, 2009 at 4:55 pm
I liked this, but teen angst ED stories are a bit ubiquitous...just a thought
LeslieAnn replied...
May 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm
While stories about eating disorders may be common, this story sort of rises to a new level. Its not so blatant about the fact that she has an eating disorder. It takes more thought, and more thought was put into it than your run-of-the-mill ED story. Don't you think?
tweedle dee said...
Aug. 4, 2009 at 2:26 pm
wow, this was amazing. it was... abstract and beautiful.
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