Title: Eating me alive
Summary: One friend's disease is another friend's heartbreak.
Word Count: 499
Any disclaimer you wish to include: Twilight and everything related belongs to S. Meyer.
It's beeping, popping up every few seconds, begging for attention. The round icon is taking up all the space of my computer screen, making me anxious, because it's reminding me of you.
When you first entered my life, you were full of energy and passion. We bonded quickly, two young adults cherishing our childhood. We were scared to face the world, imagining a future full of possibilities.
Until reality caught us, and hiding wasn't an option anymore.
Until you stopped eating.
You started after you got fired, vomiting everything you ate. The more unsuccessful you were at finding a job, the more uninterested in food you became. You dropped from one meal a day to only nibbling here and there, and nobody was the wiser. Not even me.
It's only when food nearly completely disappeared from your diet that your anorexia finally became obvious. Your parents tried to force you to get help but you were legal and refused to be treated in a hospital. You were feeling misunderstood.
I stood by your side, never judging, always listening to you. I searched for suitable solutions for you to heal, and even found a therapist who understood your disease and needs. I cared and supported you, trying new techniques to get you better. But no amount of cuddling or bargaining worked as you got slimmer, barely a shell of yourself, losing hair, teeth, and nails.
You stopped eating not because of some image issue, but to gain control in your life. If everything else was slipping away, at least you had control of your body. But even when your body failed you, when you were barely able to walk and had to be admitted, you realized that not eating wasn't enough. So you started controlling the people around you. Like me.
You ate just enough to get free of the hospital, promising to take care of yourself. But you never did. Instead, you tested my friendship by creating horrible stories with fake violent boyfriends and expected me to save you. And I did, time and time again.
You didn't need food as you fed on my love. You swallowed my energy, digested my strength, and left me empty. You were eating me alive. I couldn't fight your anorexia. I had to let you go.
For weeks, I cried myself to sleep, mourning our friendship. I had believed that I could save you, and felt miserable for failing you. I was ashamed to end our relationship, but I selfishly needed to save myself.
With time, my pain lessened and you disappeared out of my life.
Until today, when this annoying pop-up springs back so many memories and remorse.
You look healthy on the picture, still thin, but smiling.
You got married.
You are alive.
And all I can feel is fear, pain, and anger.
Sitting in front of my computer, I watch you pop back into my life with a shy "Hello" and I have no idea what to do, Alice.