Alice was measuring herself – again. There was a certain art it, like every slap of the tape against her skin was the stroke of Leonardo da Vinci's paint brush, and Alice's own anxiety was that infamous artist angst.
Not that she was producing a master-piece.
Each number went down in an old notebook – every fluctuation in her size and weight had gone down in it for the last six years; it was very nearly full. The despair Alice felt every time she compared last month's numbers to the size she currently was like a stab to her heart, or something much more painful. She wondered why she ever thought she was fat at that weight – sure, there was a lot of work to be done, but right now, she would kill to be that size again.
There was no excuse for gaining thirteen pounds in a month.
Worse yet, there were people mocking her. Every single day, there were people coming up to her, and (the sarcastic ass-holes) would tell her how good she looked, how healthy she seemed. Alice knew exactly what they were really thinking: that she had no will power; that she was fat, lazy, and couldn't even make herself throw up or diet right. If only they knew how badly it hurt her to hear the world 'healthy.'
Alice finished by recording the size of her fingers, groaning when she saw she had gained weight even there. There are some places you just don't gain weight in, and your fingers are supposed to be one of them.
She wanted to cry. Alice could even feel the lump in her throat begin to form; the water gathering in the very back her eyes. No, she would not let herself cry – crying was what weak people did, and she had proven herself weak enough already.
She had proven herself weak, when she once thought she was strong.
After staring at the paper for several seconds, like a man on death row accepting his fate, Alice threw open the door of the bathroom and put on her magically happy front. She could have spent a half hour with her fingers down her throat, or maybe pinched every part of her body she could reach, looking for fat, but she could always walk out of the room and act as if it had never happened.
What a lie her entire life was.
No one was home; Alice was slightly disappointed that her wonderful acting skills were not going to be appreciated. It was only times like now, when there was nothing but dead silence, that Alice could hear her cell phone vibrate from the other side of the house.
Hoping that it was Rosalie – Alice had not heard from her in quite a while – she went to retrieve it. Once she grabbed it off the kitchen counter, Alice quickly looked at the caller I.D. before answering; once again, she was disappointed: it was her cousin trying to call her.
"Hey, Emmett," Alice said, trying to mask her dissatisfaction.
"Hey, what's up?" He asked.
"Nothing… didn't you have a date last night? How did it go?"
Once the conversation had shifted to his love life, Emmett seemed to spark into life. "It was amazing, Alice. Absolutely perfect."
This got Alice's attention – usually, the only thing Emmett talked about when he described his dates was how 'hot' or 'sexy' his date had been. "What was the girl like?"
Emmett sighed, "I can't explain her. She's just… perfect."
"Well, what's her name?" Alice asked, wondering why it was so hard for him to throw out a couple of adjectives and be done with it.
"Rosalie Hale," Emmett answered.
Alice had to chuckle at the irony of it all – she had known that her cousin lived in the same city as Rosalie and that they were about the same age, but… well… fuck. She wanted to share this amazing coincidence with Emmett, but there was no way in hell she was going to explain how she had met Rosalie….
"I'm glad you had a good time," Alice said, stifling her laughter.
Emmett didn't sound happy. "What was the laughing for?"
"Nothing – I'm just glad you had fun!" Alice insisted.
"Well, good… because I did."
"Good," Emmett countered, as if they were having a battle for the last word.
"Good, and now, I have to go." Alice lied, wanting to call up Rosalie the moment she got off the phone with Emmett.
"Okay, I'll talk to you later, I guess." Emmett said lazily, like he was surprised by the abrupt ending.
"Alright, I love you,"
"Love you too," Emmett said, and then hung up. Alice always hated when he hung up only a second after saying good-bye… what if she had come up with something important to say?
Nevertheless, Alice did not waste time scrolling through her contacts and bringing up Rosalie's number. She answered on the fourth ring, and sounded like she was severely hung-over.
"You sound like death," Alice told her, flopping down on the living couch and sprawling out.
"I feel like death – someone spiked the drinks at the dance I went to last night." Rosalie groaned. "God, I was falling all over the place and acting like an idiot!"
"Well, you'll never guess who your date was!" Alice said, excitement dripping from her voice for the first time in… she didn't even remember. "He's my cousin!"
Rosalie was silent for a moment, "that's a load of shit, and you know it."
"It isn't! I swear," Alice said, slightly annoyed that Rosalie didn't believe her. "You have to stay with him, if you guys got married, we'd really be family!"
Rosalie didn't answer for several seconds – Alice was about to ask if she had heard her or not. "Alice, I don't think I can talk to you any more."
"What?" Alice asked, sure she had misheard her.
"I can't talk to you. I'm going into treatment, and… well, it's not like you'll be a good influence on me."
Alice could not believe what was coming out of Rosalie's mouth – if anyone was dedicated to Ana and Mia, it was Rosalie. Now she was going to give it up?
"Are you sure?" Alice asked, panic seeping into her voice.
"Yes, Alice, I'm positive." Rosalie answered.
Alice shook her head, even though Rosalie would not be able to see it. "It doesn't mean we have to stop talking! I just won't talk about Ana and Mia to you."
"It's not what we talk about," Rosalie said, like she was talking to a child. "You bring back memories."
"So you're just going to forget we were ever friends?" Alice asked, mad now. "What, was our friendship always about you just having someone with an eating disorder to talk to?"
"Yes, it was!" Rosalie said, "don't pretend it wasn't the same for you, too. We would never have met if that wasn't what we wanted!"
"Whatever. Good luck in treatment." Alice hung up before Rosalie could say anything else, sure that she would be talking to Rosalie again before long.
That was how it always went – you go to treatment, last a couple months in the normal world, and then come back to Ana and Mia. There was no such thing as taking the eating disorder out of your heart; as long as they were there, you would always come back.
Rosalie was fooling herself, Alice was sure. Had she forgotten all the people they had both talked to who had been to treatment centers five or six times? It never made a difference. Besides, treatment was hell. Eating disorder hell, that was what one girl had called it. She would never make it.
Just to prove it to herself, Alice went back into the bathroom, and made herself throw up. It was deeply satisfying to feel the acid burning her throat; taste the sourness that would always be stuck to her index and middle fingers. It reminded her that she was doing everything she needed to get lose the weight that she had so horribly gained by binging, and that, someday, she would be skinny once again.
This update is long over-due, I know.
Unfortunately, I relapsed into Bulimia last August. Despite my experience with eating disorders, I was sure that this time, I could make myself stop when I wanted to. Needless to say, it didn't really work out that way. As of right now, I don't know what's going to happen - whether I'll go back to residental treatment, out-patient, or just rely on the skills I've learned in my past recovery attempts.
I can't say when this story will be updated again, but I am promising to you right now it will get finished.
As always, thank you for reading.