It was early September. My hair was longer and brain lighter. My eyes were full of brightness and a face full of life. My head was full of dreams and aspirations, goals and plans. Nothing phased me too much. I had everything sorted.
I was in the library. The day they visited.
Head buried beneath books and mind folded between pages of textbooks. I was aware of the fading hour and the fact that I still had a lot of study left to do. But I had to get lunch. But the lunch hall was all the way up the hill, and then the queue, then eating. It would be half an hour even if I was speedy. Then the light bulb moment. The one that changed everything.
‘You could just not have lunch’.
The monsters just dropped it in, half heartedly. It didn’t seem a big deal. One lunch, what can that possibly do? Oh, how naive and innocent.
The monsters kept me in my seat until the bell rang and it was too late anyway. No lunch today. Just today. I’ll have a big dinner to make up for it.
They followed me to my next lesson. They sat in the back and whispered, hushed voices, barely audible. But I was listening, even then.
The monsters didn’t go away the next day. They took the bus with me and threw my granola bar in the bin. They were a little bit louder. Barely noticeable, unless you noticed. They pushed me into the library and shoved my eyes in books. Your grades are more important. Your grades are more important. Your brain is clearer with a belly clean of food. You will be better.
Ever so slowly, they got closer. Their fingers intertwined with mine and dripped venom into my veins. They breathed the sweet perfume of obsession down my throat and let it haze my thoughts. They sewed barbed wire through my limbs, and ran tape over my lips. Hush hush. The pain will fade soon.
They were everywhere. Staring back at me in the mirror, pale and sick and full of hatred. Laughing as the tears rolled down cheeks when the scale didn’t show what I needed it to. Failure, failure. They taunted me in my sleep. They wrapped around my vision and squeezed my tongue until words ran dry and speech was impossible. They tugged at skin, hanging loose and purple under my eyes. They stole the warmth from my bones. And they replaced it with ice.
The monsters never rested. As I lay physically unable to breathe, they cheered for me as I did a few hundred extra star jumps. They whooped when I hid food and screamed when I didn’t. They stole and stole and stole and stole. And I watched them, a pure daylight robbery.
The day the monsters visited was a very dark day indeed. They were evil cloaked in roses and the scent was so sweet I lost all rationality. Until the petals fell and the thorns twisted into my flesh.
Stay safe and strong my loves.