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She looks in the mirror and she sees nothing of what her mother does. ?You?re beautiful.? She told her. Annie did not believe her, not one bit. She took note of the stretch marks on her hips and on her inner thighs. It?s because I?m fat... Annie thought to herself. She stared at herself for a long while, taking in all her imperfections, never seeing the beauty.
?You?re beautiful.? Her mother said once more. Annie shook her head and stalked out the front door with a frown upon her baby-like face. She wanted to run, but the cars around her made her fearful. She saw her reflection in each of the cars, fat... fat... huge...fat... She thought to herself. Her friends talked in her ear through their own cell phones, but Annie did not hear them. Annie wasn?t listening.
School for Annie was brutal. She lowered her head and tried not to listen to the whispers around her. But she heard them anyway.
?God, look at her, she?s fat.? She couldn?t be sure if they were talking about her, but when she raised her head to glance at them, the smiles on their faces told her that they were.
?No she?s not. She?s just curvy.? Another said. Though it was meant as a compliment, it didn?t register as such in her mind.
?Whatever, I still think she?s huge.? A girl rolled her eyes and leaned against the wall. Annie glanced at her small figure, the small curves of her hips that led down to her muscular legs. Why can?t I be beautiful? She thought to herself. The compliments didn?t stick in her open mind, only the insults that she was so used to hearing.
* * * * * *
?Annie, what?s wrong?? She turned around slowly in her chair, her now-baggy jeans following her. She sipped on her water, wishing it would quiet the immense growling inside her body. Her stomach was screaming at her, telling her to feed it, just the smallest solid food would do. But she refused. Thinking it would make her huge.
?Nothin? really, why?? She scratched her stomach, feeling the scabs beneath her thin shirt. Her best friend raised a thin eyebrow. Annie watched, thinking how beautiful she could be if she were as thin as that eyebrow.
?Because you?ve lost a lot of weight in just two months, your shirts are huge; your jeans are even bigger, what?s happening to you?? There was sincere concern in her eyes, Annie looked away.
?I?ve just been exercising a lot...? she lied. Her friend sighed and went back to work. Another drink of her water, and she also went back to work.
?Ms. Annie, can you come back here please?? her English teacher, he noticed everything and asked about everything. Annie got up, hearing her elbow pop, and soon feeling the sharp pain that went with it. She walked over slowly, feeling slightly dizzy. She silently told the room to stay still. ?Annie, are you okay?? he asked.
?Yes Mr. Andrews, I?m fine.? Another lie. These days Annie couldn?t seem to get the truth out.
?Are you sure? You seem to be losing a lot of weight.? Mr. Andrews stared at her stomach, which had gotten smaller in two months.
?I?m perfectly okay Mr. Andrews, I?m just on this diet, and I?ve been exercising a lot...? The bell rang, releasing Annie from the millions of questions she knew Mr. Andrews wanted to ask.
A note was taped on her locker, a white piece of printer paper, folded, and taped to the blue metal.
How are we today Fatty? How is it that someone as huge as you can fit through the door of the school? Go die cow.
Annie did not recognize the handwriting, but it was painful nonetheless. She crumpled the piece of paper and threw it across the hall, making it in the trashcan in the corner. Her best friend walked up to her to ask what was wrong, but she pushed her away and ran to the bathroom, fighting the tears that were threatening to fall.
?Annie, what the heck is wrong? What happened?? Her best friend pounded on the door of the stall Annie had fled into, her tears were flowing freely now, accompanied by loud sobs.
?I?m fat!? she yelled.
?Annie, you?re not fat! You?re perfect just the way you are, and you?re losing weight! You?re beautiful!? She yelled back. Annie didn?t reply, the tears were causing her throat to swell. Her breath came in short gasps, the room around her started getting fuzzy, and soon it was black. She could no longer hear the words of her best friend, or the snickers of a few other girls that were standing at the door.
?Annie, I can?t believe you, after what happened four months ago you?re still doing this to yourself!? Annie?s mother yelled at her through the bathroom door.
?I?m not doing anything!? She yelled back. Annie had shed herself of her clothing, and was staring at herself in the mirror. Instead of seeing the skeleton she was becoming, she saw a large girl with the same face, and the same sad smile upon her face, yet when she ran her hand over her stomach and her hips, she felt bones, and this made her smile. The girl in the mirror smiled too. Annie frowned once more.
?You need help!? her father yelled. Annie threw her shoe at the door.
?There?s nothing wrong with me except the fact that I?m huge!? she screamed hysterically.
Everyone stared at her when she walked through the halls of that school. She held her head high, listening to every word everyone had to say.
?She?s anorexic...? she heard one whisper. She shot that girl a look. She shut up.
?God... That?s terrible...? a boy whispered. Another look. Everyone stopped talking when Annie looked at them. But she didn?t see the same disgust they once held in their eyes. Instead she could tell that they felt sorry for her.
She walked up to the board, about to write the definition to a word, when a sudden wave of dizziness hit her, she could no longer feel her feet, and she found the ground coming closer to her, and then she hit it. Feeling a pain in her stomach, she was going to pass out again. Not again... She thought, she prayed to keep the consciousness.
?Ha!? Annie heard a few people laugh, and then someone put a hand on her shoulders and lifted her up.
?All of you be quiet! She has a disease, and you may think its disgusting, and it is, but she thinks this is right because all of your horrible jokes, and the notes you write and stick to her locker! You have fueled this!?
Annie stared into the eyes of her mother, she lay in a hospital, wires and tubes around her, taking up space, making her feel small. ?Hi mommy.? Her voice cracked when she looked at her mother, and the tears ran down her thin face. Her mother started to cry too as she wrapped her arms around her fragile child. ?I?m sorry I?ve hurt you.? She hated hearing the sound of her mother?s sobs, the pain hidden beneath her skin.
?Its okay baby, I still love you. I?ll always love you. I love you baby.? She sobbed into Annie?s bony shoulder.
?I love you too mommy.? She saw her dad standing outside of her room. He was crying too.
?You?re beautiful.? He mouthed... Annie nodded at him, hating the tears rolling down his tan cheeks. Hating the pain she now knew she was causing.
?I?m beautiful...? She whispered.