I stand there facing her with clenched fists, grinding teeth, trembling with rage. I look into her sea-blue eyes blazing with hatred and think about what she has done to me.
My mind jerks back to reality when the shrill shriek of the lunch bell rings and lingers in my ear ceaselessly as I say goodbye to her. I nervously make my way through the overflowed hallway teeming with laughing children. Shyly, I cringe with fright and enter the congested cafeteria and slowly make my way to Table 3 where my friends and I eat lunch. I restlessly sit on the wooden bench; my overwhelmed mind fills with angst and terror as the tempting smell of French fries flourishes over my pounding head. A swarm of jealousy looms over me as I think about how happy everybody else seems.
She tells me not to eat. Not to be weak and give into the harrowing urge. She says I’m not working hard enough, despite my constant efforts. I submissively obey her like I always do. My head spins apace like the propellers on a helicopter as she tears down what little self-esteem I have left. I begin to feel dizzy. It’s been days since my last bite.
Hours later, I trudge onto the crowded school bus; my overwhelmed mind is filled with self-consciousness as I drag myself along the isle and shrink into my coveted seat at the back corner of the bus. I break down in whimpering sobs over how she has taken over my life. I don’t know what to do to gain control. I desperately try to recall the last time I was happy with myself. I can’t. It is a lost mystery.
When I get home, I stumble to the bathroom upstairs and take the scale out from under the white cabinet. I strip myself of my clothing and look angrily at my body in the mirror. I am disgusted. My body trembles with terror as my unsteady foot steps onto the scale. I quiver with fear as I wait for the number, drowning in self-loathing, and pray that it’s lower than before.
The days go by burdensomely and I slowly begin to realize that she isn’t such a good friend. No matter how badly she wants me to be thinner, or how much time she has sacrificed for me – her project – nothing would ever be enough for her. I begin to realize that she is eating me alive and feeding off of my never-ending list of insecurities. Each time I bring myself down, she gains even more control. I am stuck in the dark abyss of sadness and the only way out is to silence her voice. But how? How can you silence someone who has become the biggest part of your life? How can you break the bond you’ve formed with someone who has become nearly your entire identity? How can you part with your worst enemy who also happens to be your best friend? Despite all of the awful things she’s said to me, being mad at her seems impossible. Our fate hangs precariously for days as I think of how to go about the dreaded confrontation.
Life becomes harder. Days go by slower. Her villainous voice grows louder and louder, and her whispers of hate turn into screams. I am trapped in the black hole of loneliness, and she is controlling me as if I am her puppet. My own fear grows stronger just as she does. A constant battle is being fought inside my head, and every night I go to bed, all I can wish for is for it to all go away. All I want is freedom. Freedom to gain control over my own life and start the long winded journey of recovery. But the first step to that is to let go. Part of me does want to let go. But that part is weaker than the part that demands our friendship last. Needless to say, deep down, I know which side is right. I finally make the decision to stand up to her and take back my life.
I plan to look her in the eye and tell her that I’m done with her. That I won’t keep destroying my body just to please her. That I’ll never be good enough for her; so why should I bother trying? I’ll tell her that there’s no way I’ll ever make the mistake of being blinded like this again. That one day I will love myself for who I am and all that I am.
I finally muster up the courage to part from my enemy: the demonic voice that lurks within me and seems to never cease.
And then, I step away from the mirror.