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Pageants or Love? - Chapter Three

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It hit the back of my throat; I choked. Nothing came out. My gag reflex was just starting to go to work.

My mouth and eyes watered heavily. What next? I put the toothbrush down before continuing, and looked at myself in the mirror. My ribs stuck out like extra limbs. My long blond hair just hung down below my chest, my bright blue eyes glowed.

“You’re not skinny enough.” I reassured myself, giving myself a hard stare. I shook my head and closed my eyes. I rocked back and fourth. “Come on, Jenny. Don’t be a chicken.”

I felt a bit of my late night snack coming up– Cheesecake and candy. 

I would binge and binge, and throw up and throw up. It was nonstop, like a never ending spiral of self hate and harm.

“Eugh!” I gagged, a load of food coming up, almost projectile vomitting all over the counter. I felt so sick, yet I was so used to it. 

Just as I went for another round, the bathroom door erupted open and in came my mom, going first for the toothbrush, throwing it into the trash, then grabbing me. 

She didn’t yell. She didn’t blame me. She didn’t even cry. She just held me and made sure I was far away from that toothbrush.

I sobbed.

“Do you induce vomitting before or after meals to avoid gaining weight?” The questionaire read. My mom had taken me to a therapist the very next day, and since I was in such a ‘horrible state’, I was evaluated to see what I was diagnosed with.

I darkly circled “Yes”, and continued, thinking of just the night before.

“If yes, how many times have you done it in the past 3 months? 

A) Once a month or less

B) Once a week or less

C) Twice a week or more”

I thought about it. I didn’t really keep track of it, but I’d been doing it after every meal since I’d started competing for Pageant Superstar, which was about three weeks. I cracked my knuckles while the silence crept around me.

I circled “C” and continued. The rest of the questions were straightforward and similar. I felt as if everything I was circling now would be held against me later. But who knew– maybe it would?

“Boo, finish your cereal.” My dad kept a close eye on me. I felt so intimidated by everyone. If I did even as much as go to the bathroom and close the door, my brothers became my body guards. Even though the therapist made directions not to let anyone else know except ourselves, (myself and my mom) I knew mom always vented to dad and dad always vented to the boys. It was sure thing. Almost guaranteed.

I sighed and took another bite, wondering how many calories it would be. I wondered if it would make me gain weight or if I would look like a fat slob eating it so fast and shoving it down. 

At the moment, I didn’t care. I’d just binge and binge until the cycle repeated itself. I was a monster. A monster who only cared about her outside appearance and was starting to damage the inside one. I needed someone who would help me repair my inside appearance.

I thought of the boy from the pageant.

Him? No. I didn’t even know him.

But he was nice. And goodlooking. And had amazing hair.

I had to keep telling myself, though… I didn’t know him. At first I didn’t even think I’d ever see him again, yet I had this gut wrenching feeling that I would. And usually when I had a gut feeling, it was true.

“You done?” My brother, Sam, put his hand on the empty bowl, his eyes almost pleading for me to eat more.

“I’m full.” I forced a smile, and pulled out my phone. 1 new message.

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