"Just eat it, a little bit. For me?" As if the words 'for me' would help at all.
The bagel that was pushed towards me didn't look at all tempting. The butter running down the sides, and the crisp burnt edges, they just screamed failure. There was a time when this would've looked tempting, I would have been pinning my arms to my sides to resist tearing it up into pieces and shove them down my gullet without chewing. But now, I was well past that stage, I just didn't like food. My mind associated the food with the pain I'd inflict on myself after eating.
The "You're not worth it"s and the "Well done, you're fat now"s weren't worth the effort of munching on something, no matter how delicious it looked.
"Well, her condition's not improving," the doctor had once sighed, I'd been in and out of hospital for weeks. The last thing I ate was two days ago, when I'd stupidly taken a biscuit I was offered. But now, I could almost be happy.
Looking in the mirror as my collarbone jutted out, tempting to tear my thick skin open at the seams. My ribs were shown so much, even in my back, I could see each vertebrae. My legs were stick thin, threatening to snap under my still too heavy frame. I pushed my finger into my belly, which retaliated with a slight grumble. Almost there, I smiled. There was only a little more way to go, just that last bit of fat and I'd be happy. Or, maybe I would. I think I would. No, I knew I... No, who am I kidding?
It never stops, I'll never be my ideal picture. And as my hair starts to fall out, my teeth and nails start to rot, my skin goes flaky and my mental health deteriorates, I don't know if I'll last that long. I won't last forever. Even at only sixteen, I know I'd look better as a corpse, all those bones. Yep, maybe I should just give up.
"Please? A little bit?" The doctors taunted my with a biscuit, reminding me of how I'd given in the other day. Stupid me.
"No," I shook my head, a little too fast.
"Right, okay, well I'm going to leave this here whilst I go and get your meds," the meds were to fatten me up, I knew that.
"C'mon honey," My best friend put his arm on mine. I smiled up at him and he stroked my thin frame. I looked down at the lonely custard cream on the white porcelain plate.
"He won't love you if you're fat," The biscuit on the plate turned to lips, laughing at me over the tongue of thick cream.
"That's right! You won't love me!" I repeated.
"What? Of course I will! I'll always love you, but I just want you to be the Anna I always knew," Benjamin smiled at me, almost teary eyed.
"You ARE Ana, most girls dream of being best friends with their beloved Ana, but you ARE her!" The biscuit butted in.
"I am Anna."
"You're not, you're a skeleton with skin. You can't get up and move, you're weak."
"You're weak if you eat, you're giving in," The confectionary in the tub on the side desk was starting now.
"I'm weak if I give in,"
"Who said that?" Ben asked, lifting an eyebrow. I pointed at the glistening red lollipops in the jar on the side. He picked up the jar and put both hands around the neck of the bottle.
"You're weak, don't you dare tell her things like that again!" He took a lollipop from it's wrapper and pushed it in his mouth. "Not so smart now are you?" I giggled as the other sugary bullies squealed in horror. "Try one," he pushed the jar toward me, "they're good!" I grinned up at him from ear to ear, and took one from the jar.
The green glass-like sugar hid from under the marked plastic, begging me with a few last words, "Please! Don't! I'll make you huge! You'll be so fat you won't fit back in your apartment!" I laughed, and pushed it into my mouth.
"Good eh?" He smiled.
"You aren't surprised?" I asked, removing the lolly stick from my mouth again.
"At what? You eating?" He replied, almost astounded at my words, "Of course not! I always knew you'd eat something again. You're strong enough to overcome anything!"
"Strong enough? No, I gave in, I'm weak!" He laughed after my naive statement.
"That's what you think? Gosh, no wonder you're in hospital! You're completely nuts!"
He ruffled my hair before looking up at the doctor, who's jaw dropped at the almost empty fruit bowl. I giggled back up at him,
"They were mean to me, and what do you expect! I haven't eaten in two days!"