She slammed the door of the stall behind her, throwing her backpack on the dirty bathroom floor. She needed to act fast. A few pill bottles escaped through an open zipper, and rolled into the stall next to her, occupied by another girl. She froze, holding her breath as she waited for the girl to finish and leave the bathroom. After a few short minutes, she was free to retrieve the pills, and continue her ritual.
She habitually kneeled to the ground, and tied her hair back, ensuring there would be no evidence when she went back to class. She took her deep breaths, and stuck her index and middle finger to the back of her throat. Flinching, gagging, and finally relief. Her vomit lined the toilet, resembling a morbid Rorshach test, which she flushed periodically, so no one would encounter the smell of her lunch coming back up prematurely. She knew what she had to do to keep this a secret. She was so good at it.
Her fingers continued to make their way into her throat, repeating the same ritual like clockwork. She loved routine. Routine meant order, and order meant control.
Her two fingers met once again in their meeting spot at the back of her throat, this time not yielding any result. She gagged loudly, knowing she had did what must be done. But still, she stayed kneeling on the bathroom floor, shuddering until the only thing she had left to taste was the salt that poured down from her eyes and into her mouth.
She reached for the pills, and grabbed her water bottle from her backpack, shaking as she continued to cry warm tears into her mouth. Her hands shook with subtle rage, as she resisted the urge to swallow them.
She opened the bottle, dispensed a pill into her hands and held them, staring at their shape, esteeming them in high regard, almost jealous of their power. She breathed slowly, popping the pills back into their canisters.
What do you think you’re doing.
Frantically she poured the pill into her mouth and gulped. She just wanted Him to stop talking.
Now, wasn’t that easy?
She entered the cafeteria, with her two best friends, who quickly made their way to the pizza sticks line, a high school cafeteria delicacy provided only every once in a while.
They giggled with excitement and grabbed their trays.
You can’t eat that. They can. They’re skinny enough. Don’t ruin what we’ve worked for, all I’ve done for you.
The voice fought with her valiantly for ten minutes as she waited in line.
I can’t believe you’re doing this to me. Betraying me. I am all you have. You answer to me. You’re nothing without me.
No, she thought. I can’t do this today. She fought Him, pushing herself towards the line of hungry students, standing strong with her friends.
You’re so weak. You disgust me. All I’ve done for you and you’re doing this.
The line moved rapidly, but she was frozen in time as He screamed at her, berating her, as she trembled in fear while raising her tray.
You piece of shit. You’re a fucking piece of shit. Worthless. You’ll never amount to anything. You can’t eat that. You know you can’t eat that. You’re pathetic. Your body is pathetic.
She faked a smile, and took the tray, shaking as she walked back to her seat. He got even louder.
Here’s your last chance. Prove to me you’re not weak.
She wanted to prove him wrong, but her friends were staring. She didn’t want them to become suspicious. She shoved the pizza sticks in her mouth, forgoing the marinara sauce, desperate for the gratification of grease, bread, and cheese.
You. Fucking. Idiot.
She felt sick.
He was angry. She blinked back tears as she at the table, her friends’ heads in their phones, unaware of her turmoil, unaware of the battle raging inside.
She stood up, slowly, pushed her chair in to the table and headed towards the bathroom.
He won. He always wins.