The silver-faced judge stood before her-passing judgment on the worn tile floor. Her case was next. She stepped up and the silvery surface starred her down. She starred back-waiting. She could see it contemplating her sentence, but there was no suspense. She already knew the verdict; she knew because she was the one to decide it. She trembled.
But Ö I think I look better.
But I lost three pounds.
Iíll do better this week. I promise.
I will only have half a banana for breakfast.
It was just one piece of chocolate
I canít do it again. Theyíll find out
She now wept. I wonít eat anything at all
It burns. Not again.
No, please no.
YOU ARE GUILTY. YOU CANíT EVEN CONTROL YOURSELF.
I can. I will.
NO, YOU WONíT. YOU WILL FAIL. IT WILL ALL COME BACK. DO YOU WANT THAT, AGAIN? SAY GOODBYE TO PRETTY. SAY GOODBYE TO SKINNY. YOU ARE A FAILURE.
I know. I know. The tears fell harder.
Iím a failure, but Iíll fix it . She fought for breath as the sobs filled her throat.
THEN PROVE IT,it sneered.
Quaking, she moved from the mirror and lowered her emaciated form beside the porcelain bowl. The contact with the hard ground caused her protruding kneecaps to ache. Squeezing her eyes shut from the pain and disgrace, she lifted her gaunt arm to the level of her face and slowly uncurled the bony, callused finger. She smashed her eyelids closer together and plunged the finger down her raw esophagus. A burst of pain came with the initial contact of bile to her tender throat and then the residual burning. Her eyes fluttered open.
I did it.
A sudden sense of accomplishment and relief flooded over her at the sight of her lunch-two carrot sticks, a celery stalk, and half a square of Hersheyís chocolate- now residing in the toilet. The guilt momentarily subsided, and with the flush she felt free. Elated, she pressed up against the bowl and shoved her knees further into the tough ceramic causing her to gasp in pain as she struggled to stand. She made it and stepped back in front of the mirror. It smiled softly at her. Then she watched as her own hand came to her face and fingered the slight fleshiness left to her cheeks. The smile vanished. The guilt returned.
Iíll do better next week.