Zero: naught; nothing

Zero: naught; nothing

A Story by Elizabeth Mars
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A short fiction story about a teenager struggling with identity and size

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In my freshman year of high school I was deemed a size zero in woman’s clothing while changing at a small thrift store downtown. At school in the girl’s changing room before track or gym I’d always feel a small swell of pride when girls whom I knew and didn’t know would comment on my size: “Wow your so skinny”, “I wish I was your size”, they would look at me with flushed envy and curiosity at my paper thin skin and delicate doll like bones, “What size are you?”, I would say I was a size zero and their wonderment would continue to flourish.


Sometimes I would stare at myself in the long full length mirror in my bedroom and wonder how I was able to fit my lungs and kidneys and liver and heart and brain into such a small baby bird sized body, I wondered if I was missing something because it seemed so impossible. The next day I told my friend of this and she refused to talk to me for a whole day, I asked her why and she told me to stop bragging.   


The size zero section was fairly small, and clothing I wanted to wear was rather scarce. I looked at my friends with long legs and curves I wished I had and told them of my envy. They looked at each other in surprise and confusion, half heartedly thanked me and under their breath called me a b***h. I spent the rest of the day wondering what I had done wrong.


I was often mistaken for a younger child at the high school, students would talk to me as though I were just a kid of ten, when I would tell them what my age really was they would look at me with widened eyes, mouths open slightly, gaping at the strange creature before them. “Wow you’re really small for thirteen”.


In my sophomore year of high school I became one hundred pounds. Though I was still a size zero in clothing I felt an incredible weight in my legs, I looked into the full length mirror in my bedroom and wondered at the thickness of my legs which jiggled slightly as I walked and spread out thicker when I sat. I looked a bit different, but I was still a size zero.


Over the summer I had grown tall enough to not be mistaken for a girl of ten. My legs slowly lost their magical wonder, girls stopped asking what size I was and how much I weighed, but they stilled envied me enough to keep me pacified with pride.  


In my Junior year of high school I became one hundred and five pounds. I had grown an inch taller over the summer and my features had finally begun to settle into place. I was becoming your everyday regular old teenger, and I hated it. The fairy like magic I had once possessed disintegrated before my very eyes. Everyday I stood in front of my full length mirror and watched in disgust as the fat festered on my skin.  


At school my heart would sink as the minutes in the girl’s locker room would tick by without a word of compliment to the size of my body, but as I stood by the full length mirror in my bedroom I understood the lack of attention my skin gained. I was a normal size.


I spent my summer trying to gain back what I had lost. I needed so desperately to verify myself again, to remind myself that my skin was magical and wondrous. I ran in the mornings, ate little amounts of food and kept a bottle of water on me at all times. I kept hoping to lose more weight, I desperately wanted people to look at me with wonder like they had once done. I wanted so badly to me more than just normal. So I ran more, ate less and slept often.


Over the summer I spent my time at the pool, not really swimming, just watching skinnier, smaller, fairer girls walk float around like fairies. I watched as they lounged around on towels and swam in crystal clear water. One time I saw a women mistake one of the girls for only twelve, the girl laughed and said she was sixteen, and I couldn’t help but feel a fevered envy in my throat. I remember when those comments use to bother me, but now, I wanted nothing more but to be mistake for a girl of ten again.  


One day I ran so hard that I saw sparks in my vision.


Bright flashes of light and color danced like fireworks in my eyes. My eyes grew heavy and my head grew dim, and I closed my eyes for only a moment and the fireworks ceased to exist. I felt like I was floating, just like a fairy.  


I woke up in a white room, wearing a white gown. The smell of artificial cleaning and steril metal tickled my nose. My eyes caught a glimpse of a small girl in the reflection of a window that sat next to me. The small girl’s eyes were circled with dark shadows and her collar bones protruded off her skin. We smiled. At last, a size zero again.      



© 2017 Elizabeth Mars



Author's Note

Elizabeth Mars
The point of the story is to jump around and move quickly over the course of a long period of time, however since I didn't add clear transitions I don't know if it moves too fast or even too slow. Feel free to let me know any changes you think I should make to my writing :)

My Review

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Featured Review

Young lady you've certainly been through a lot thus far and I commend you for writing this piece. I think sometimes people need confidence and reassurance in the right areas in life. For me I offer this to you, your a decent person just the way you are. We all have our struggles in life, but all you need is someone willing to listen, support, and help you through it. Whatever awaits you down the road of life, I'm confident that you will succeed and put the naysayers to rest. Take care.

Posted 5 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elizabeth Mars

4 Days Ago

Thank you for your kind words and advice, I really do appreciate what you have to say :) you have a .. read more



Reviews

Young lady you've certainly been through a lot thus far and I commend you for writing this piece. I think sometimes people need confidence and reassurance in the right areas in life. For me I offer this to you, your a decent person just the way you are. We all have our struggles in life, but all you need is someone willing to listen, support, and help you through it. Whatever awaits you down the road of life, I'm confident that you will succeed and put the naysayers to rest. Take care.

Posted 5 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elizabeth Mars

4 Days Ago

Thank you for your kind words and advice, I really do appreciate what you have to say :) you have a .. read more
I really enjoyed this short story, it was beautifully worded and paced. It's great to read first person narratives about topics like eating disorders, because it's difficult to understand the struggle otherwise. Thank you for this!

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elizabeth Mars

1 Week Ago

Glad you liked it, thanks for reading :)))
This is interesting, i really liked the idea of it all.

well done

I'm new on here, and it would be such an honour if you can review some of my poems!

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elizabeth Mars

1 Week Ago

Thank you for reading, I'm glad you liked it :) I'll be sure to check out some of your poems in the .. read more
I love the way you write, very captivating! Keep writing! And I hope you're okay now! It's a difficult topic to write/ think about. I was always doubting my weight/ looks too. But being healthy is all most people can dream of! x

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elizabeth Mars

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you so much! Luckily this piece is primarily fiction so my own personal problems never became .. read more
I study Nutrition at college and have an interest in eating disorders. What's always so wrong is how they never get the raw feeling. This is what needs to be understood about people, they have so many reason yet in between the lines you can tell it's not really what you want since no one really wants it. I don't think I've enjoyed a short narrative like this for a while. Great work.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elizabeth Mars

3 Weeks Ago

I'm thrilled you enjoyed my work, eating disorders are really difficult to write about, so I'm glad .. read more
You have a way with writing. It's an interesting story that seemed to cover a large duration of time. Your story taught me a lot about the kind of people I'm not, thank you for that. I always like to be educated. Btw, I love your name!!!!

Posted 4 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elizabeth Mars

4 Weeks Ago

Thank you so much, I appreciate that you are so open to learning about new things and different kind.. read more
This was amazing, wow! I love, love, love the way the narrative slowly unfolded and wrapped me into what was really going on in the story. I had ideas at first, but once everything clicked, it was a "holy cow" kind of moment. Bittersweet, but it made me smile no less. :)

"I spent my summer trying to gain back what I had lost. I needed so desperately to verify myself again, to remind myself that my skin was magical and wondrous. I ran in the mornings, ate little amounts of food and kept a bottle of water on me at all times. I kept hoping to lose more weight, I desperately wanted people to look at me with wonder like they had once done. I wanted so badly to me more than just normal. So I ran more, ate less and slept often." This was something that I wish could be read to people everywhere who battle anorexia, bulimia, and so on. You put the reader right into the mind, body, and actions of someone who has personally gone through it.

Strong work, Elizabeth! Looking forward to reading more. :)

Posted 4 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elizabeth Mars

4 Weeks Ago

Thank you so much! I really appreciate everything you have to say, thank you!
Asante

4 Weeks Ago

My pleasure!
Quite effective and also quite scary. We have folks among us like the late, great Karen Carpenter who starve themselves to death..and for what? To fit in or be the girl in the magazine? I like a woman with curves myself and someone healthy and secure in their body. But I completely understand and appreciate your story. Good work.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elizabeth Mars

4 Weeks Ago

Yes the topic is very scary, and its tragic that people feel the need to fit a certain body to feel .. read more
Fabian G. Franklin

4 Weeks Ago

My pleasure and I encourage you to keep up the good work. Your writing is very good. I particularly .. read more
I haven't read a story like this before, I really like the way you have captured a point of view that many don't understand or even have to consider in their lives. If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be hypocritical but I will give it you anyway, have more confidence in what you write. This is a piece of work that is something to be proud of. I look forward to reading to reading more of your work

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elizabeth Mars

1 Month Ago

Awh :) geeze your too sweet and I'm glad you enjoyed the piece, thanks for reading!
I enjoyed this story very much. I'm afraid though I didn't understand something in the last paragraph. I didn't understand artificial cleaning (what?) and stril needs an"e "on the end. Hope this isn't nit picking. Enjoyed the story.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elizabeth Mars

1 Month Ago

Not nit picking at all! Thank you for pointing out the "e" to me, sometimes things just slip my mind.. read more

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12 Reviews
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Shelved in 4 Libraries
Added on October 15, 2017
Last Updated on October 15, 2017
Tags: anorexia, teenager, size

Author

Elizabeth Mars
Elizabeth Mars

PA



About
Hey, I'm 18 years old and I love to write. Despite my ever growing passion for writing I'm actually not that good and I would genuinely appreciate any advice or feedback you have :) Much love more..

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