skinny

skinny

A Story by Abigail Penn
"

To comment on weight is always deemed inappropriate, unless you're telling someone how skinny they are. Body shaming can go both ways.

"
Everywhere I go, their eyes follow. Hungry, rabid eyes, tracing my movements with intensity to rival a vulture. It is a pure, pre-evolutionary instinct, I suppose. A leftover habit from a more barbaric time, a time in which life took a back-seat to survival. I understand. I am small, I am simple prey, they are waiting for me to die. 
The volcano in my skin erupts, sending waves of lava-red blood into my cheeks when the heavier girl scoffs at me before turning to her friends. I hear them talking, but I am used to it now. While I cannot make out the words, I have heard the adjectives enough before to know what they are.
Freak.
Anorexic.
Skinny.
I remind myself not to scowl as I turn into the shop. Scowling is not polite, it is not pretty. Perhaps if I smile, their eyes won't look at the layer of meat wrapped around my bones. It is a long-shot, but still I hope. I hate this store, and all it stands for. Everything is marketed towards people who are like me, but not at all those who think like me. It is marketed towards girls with smaller frames, the dainty, the petite. I know what these words all point back to, what they avoid saying. I am skinny, and this is my sin.
In the changing room, my heartbeat triples. It is a painful process, to strip off my clothes and to replace them. It is impossible not to catch myself in the mirrors, to see what the others see. Can I truly blame them for the descriptions they use? To in every way belittle my size, to tell me to eat more, to tell my I'm too skinny? Can I blame the woman last week who informed me I made her daughter feel fat, and that she could see my ribs, as if to show the cage defending my heart was as heinous a crime as to expose my breasts themselves? My face is hot again, and with a jerking motion I replace my shirt. The dress will fit, I assure myself. I do not need to try it on, It is the correct size. It will have to be, it is the smallest they carry. 
I meet my friends for lunch in the food court. It is a busy place this time of day, but I still hesitate when the cashier asks which salad I would like. It is with stumbling words and a knotted tongue I request something fried. I hear the girls behind me whisper. This time, I hear their words. They hurt, they cut, and the knowledge of their judgement on my dietary habits burns hotter than the irons of a blacksmith. I turn to retort, but Ida stops me. Today is not a day for scenes. Quietly, I excuse myself to the restroom as a wave of nausea races through my chest and into the cramps in my stomach. I know it does not show on my face, it is far too normal an experience for that. 
When Ida finds me, I am still bent over the sink, staring at the taunting white of the porcelain. I know it is her by the placement of her hand between my shoulder blades before I detect her reflection in the mirror before us. Her eyes hold the knowledge of far-too-frequently repeated events. By my white face and still-trembling hands, I know she can see. I will not eat what I ordered today, and I am another nutrition-less day closer to getting the damned needle put back in my vein. I close my eyes and take a shaky breath before I find myself led away from the restroom, and I know we are headed home. 
'I knew she couldn't naturally be so god-damned skinny.' I hear muttered as I pass the girl from the line a few minutes before. It is here that Ida releases me, allows me my one act of vengeance for the day.
It is with great speed prejudice I turn, feeling my eyes ignite with the fury of a threatened animal. For all my rage, I find my words absent, my fists still. I may have a passion, but the years of abuse and restraint smothered it into nothing more than an ember of the flame it once was. I am skinny, I am a freak, but worst of all, I am silent.

© 2018 Abigail Penn



Author's Note

Abigail Penn
TBH, this is a twenty-minute piece more to test out the site and get back into practice than anything. Critiques are encouraged, any comments welcomed. Ending changed 03-2-2018

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Featured Review

I'm 16 and I used to have an eating disorder, luckily I got help before anything too bad was able to occur. And this was the first time that I ever told anyone, apart from family.

This story was truly inspiring- in my eyes. Not because I want to continue this past experience, but because it reminded me of how precious life is and how hella good food is. Your words and the message you transmitted in this piece were utterly amazing and thought-provoking. So thank you, because you were the first person to break the wall that I had created around my thoughts and emotions.
Have a lovely day.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Abigail Penn

6 Months Ago

So like an idiot I've realized I've read this comment like a thousand times and never actually repli.. read more



Reviews

I'm 16 and I used to have an eating disorder, luckily I got help before anything too bad was able to occur. And this was the first time that I ever told anyone, apart from family.

This story was truly inspiring- in my eyes. Not because I want to continue this past experience, but because it reminded me of how precious life is and how hella good food is. Your words and the message you transmitted in this piece were utterly amazing and thought-provoking. So thank you, because you were the first person to break the wall that I had created around my thoughts and emotions.
Have a lovely day.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Abigail Penn

6 Months Ago

So like an idiot I've realized I've read this comment like a thousand times and never actually repli.. read more

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1 Review
Added on July 19, 2017
Last Updated on March 3, 2018
Tags: Dark, eating disorder, fear, self-conscious, swearing

Author

Abigail Penn
Abigail Penn

About
I'm a young writer desiring to grow. Most of my stuff is pretty dark, but I write primarily short-stories, and hope one day to finish a proper novel. If you're looking for a fluff-piece, don't even tr.. more..

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