Status: Returned. Co-write.
The ED Diaries
Before Seabrook, her mind was a calculator; adding, subtracting, dividing. Everything lucky enough to slip past her lips was analyzed and altered until absolute perfection.
She woke every morning with a number in her head, and if at the end of the day it wasn’t the number floating around in her empty stomach, then she got rid of it, just as she attempts to now.
“670.” Fiona murmurs, as if to remind herself, to protect herself from giving up. So she purges again, unsuccessfully.
Disgusted, Fiona retrieves her fingers from her mouth and glances down into the empty toilet bowl. 670. 670 calories have made it past the point of no return. Fiona bangs her fists against her stomach, kicks the cool tile beneath her shoes, and muffles a scream with her arm.
Then, after a moment, she storms out of the bathroom.
“Fuck your forty minute rule. Fuck it,” Fiona spits at the orderly in the hallway before collapsing against the wall, her skirt pooling around her as she sobs. Her hysterics shock him for an instant, until he reckons his expertise and regains composure. He reaches for her. She glares, her hazel eyes frozen over.
“Get off of the floor, now, Ms. Di’Angelo.” His voice is neither soft nor solid; it just floats, past her ears and past her distress.
“I’m going to get fat.” Her voice is barely a whisper, more to herself than to the orderly.
Nevertheless, he speaks, “Ms. Di’Angelo, fat isn’t a word we like to use here. It’s a very triggering word. Please censor yourself.”
He says fat like it’s a dirty word; like he’s secretly confirming Fiona’s insecurities with one mere undulation of sound.
“I can’t say fat.” Fiona‘s words are not a question, but a validation.
“But I can scream fuck down the hallways.” She laughs now, a broken laugh. “What kind of irony is that?”
“Come on, up, off the floor.” He impatiently grabs for her wrist, the bones protruding delicately from the pale skin. It calls for a firm grip as he lifts her onto her feet and leads her down the hall. Luckily, she doesn’t fight. For a moment, she is limp.
And then she smirks, eyeing him as they shuffle down the corridor and into the main lobby.
His patience is thin, a string in the air she is tempted to snip with her teeth. So she does.
Without warning, she is on the ground, kicking her feet and sweeping the tile with her hair, “Fat! Fat! Fat!”
She beats the floor beneath her until her knuckles are bloody and in a rush of air she is surrounded, being pried off of the ground. Her frame is too weak to fight against the hands pulling her away from the floor, securing her wrists in a contraption resembling a stretcher. Before she can chant the dirty, abhorrent word once more, she is wheeled away.
The orderly watches, almost with remorse, as her pale grey features roll further away, growing smaller, growing minute.
He feels the hair on his arms raise as she smiles before disappearing into the nurse's office.
♠ ♠ ♠So short, so little detail. I'm sorry I couldn't muster something stronger.