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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 22, 2009

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 22, 2009




Lilium Pomoser sat by the window.

The bright frosty morning made her feel depressed and hungry. Her stomach rumbled like an emptying sink, but she still sat and stared at the grey-whiteness outside on the street below. She hadn't eaten for weeks and it was beginning to show in her eyes and skin.

"Going to sit there all day?” Carlina Pomoser asked, Lilium's elder sister with whom she shared a room.

"Sit as long as I like," Lilium replied, not turning round to her sister in bed. Carlina sniffed and poked out her tongue.

"You want to get a life, you do."

"You want to mind your own business," Lilium countered, as she watched her father leave for work, viewing him from her bedroom window. Mr Leon Pomoser worked as a bus driver; a quiet, shy man,whose only passion was reading drama and watching plays. "Dad’s just leaving," Lilium informed waving to her father's back.

"He’s late, should have gone half hour ago," Carlina stated.

"So what, he's usually there on time most days. Anyway, shouldn't you be at work by now?” Lilium said, watching her father disappear from sight.

"I’m not feeling too good; I'll get Mum to ring in and tell 'em I'm none too well." Carlina muttered from beneath the bedclothes.

"What’s the matter with you, then?” Lilium asked pressing her forehead against the windowpane. "Did Nick have his nasty way with you last night?" she added sensing coldness against her forehead.

"Nothing to do with you if he did. Anyway, when you going out? You've been stuck indoors for ages." Carlina muttered with a yawn.

Lilium turned round and stared at her sister huddled beneath the bed clothes. "I’m out soon. Meeting Chirita down by the river."

"Don’t know what you see in that girl; want to get yourself a boyfriend, someone to hug up to and have a kiss with." Carlina's voice was muffled by the bedclothes and Lilium only half-heard what she had said. Lilium said nothing. Her stomach rumbled. She hoped the feeling of hunger would pass. Her eyes wanted to close, but she didn't let them. It will pass, she mused, it will pass.

Lilium stood by the river.

She watched the slow flow with her hands in her green jacket pockets shielding them from the cold air. Her auburn hair flowed out from beneath her black hat and her plumpish face seemed set in a pale wax-like sternness. No Chirita was visible; she was alone by that stretch of the river. Her stomach rumbled again. She felt nauseous. I have to lose weight somehow, she mused deeply, holding her stomach in, hoping that would stop the rumbling, but it didn't.

"Sorry I'm late," said Chirita coming up behind Lilium as if from nowhere. She gave Lilium a hug and peck on the cheek.

"Thought you weren't coming," Lilium said partly pleased partly annoyed, the former showing most.

"My dad, he wants me to do this and that before I go out. Fathers: who'd have 'em." Chirita paused a few seconds. "You don't look so well. You all right?”

"Fine," Lilium lied. "What’s the matter with how I look? I know I'm fat, but I'm working on it." Chirita shook her head. She studied Lilium for a few moments: the plumpish face; the pale features, the eyes especially seemed unwell.

"You're not fat at all; just ill-looking. Are you eating properly?”

"I’m not eating at all."

"Not eating? Are you mad? You want to be ill?” Chirita said taking hold of Lilium's elbow and moving her along the river's edge.

"Got to lose weight," Lilium stated moodily, "I’m too bloody fat."

"No way are you fat; plumpish a little, maybe, but no way fat," Chirita informed sternly, gripping Lilium's elbow tighter.

"You’re only saying that like my mum and sister; but I can see for myself how I really look," Lilium replied.

"Doesn’t your mum see you don't eat? Doesn't she care?”

"She’s usually at work at meal times and we tend to get our own; I don't bother." Lilium stopped and stared out across the river. She sensed Chirita's hand on her elbow tighten even more.

"You better eat or I'll tell your mother," Chirita threatened. Lilium turned and glared at Chirita. She shook her friend's hand off of her elbow and moved away.

"You dare and I'll not speak to you again," Lilium said coldly.

Chirita closed her eyes and shook her head. "All right, I'll not tell her, but you must eat. If you don't eat you be ill and die. You die and I'll be without the friend I love."

Lilium looked away from Chirita. Chirita was tall and slim, what would she know of fat and the worry it brings, Lilium mused darkly. She sensed Chirita beside her. Sensed her presence, Smelt her mixture of perfume and curry. "I’ll not die; I just want to lose weight. I can't bear being bloody fat," Lilium said firmly.

"You’re not fat; I'm not lying to you. See in the mirror at my house. Mirrors don't lie," Chirita informed.

"What do you know of being fat, Chirita. Your figure is perfect. Men would be only too pleased to be in your company, but me, they’d feel embarrassed to be with.”

"What do I care about men. You're the one for me."

"Me? A fatty like me?” Lilium said almost mockingly.

"Yes, you."

"Get yourself someone who's not as fat as me."

"I don't want anyone else." Chirita grabbed hold of Lilium's elbow again and pulled her close. "You die on me and I'll..." Lilium put her hand over Chirita's lips and stopped her words.

"Trust me?”

"I pray you won't die." Chirita said moving Lilium's hand away. They stared at each other and into each other's eyes. Such as lovers do. Lilium saw how slim she wanted to be and Chirita saw only tragedy.

Lilium puked into the toilet bowl. Her mother had forced her to eat her Sunday dinner saying she wasn't having any of that slimming nonsense in her house. Lilium recalled how she had to force the food down, gagging, her throat closing on her, her mother moaning, her sister joining in with her unhelpful comments, and her father sitting saying nothing, looking sad and helpness. Two fingers down the throat had done the job; she'd read it somewhere. The acid burned her throat and the smell made it all seem like death. Sitting back on her haunches, she wiped her mouth on a piece of toilet tissue. She sat staring at the wall, the greenness not helping. What was it Shaw said about mothers and elder sisters? she mused, but couldn't recall, feeling the vomit rising again. She moved over the bowl and closed her eyes, not giving a fig what Shaw had written or what he'd said as she puked somewhat defiantly, staining the off-whiteness of the porcelain, as if it were a gesture to all and sundry, echoing her recalcitrance.

Lilium climbed the stairs.

Chirita's house had a cloying sweet smell that made her nausea worse. Chirita beckoned her upwards after her along the narrow landing towards a room at the far end. Lilium followed, looking behind her and listening to the voices of the rest of Chirita's family from rooms downstairs. Chirita opened a door and they entered. Lilium gazed around the room while Chirita closed the door quietly.

"My father is that way with all those not of our culture," Chirita said excusing her father's coolness towards Lilium a few moments before. "He means no harm," she added standing with her back to the door as if afraid he might enter to prove her wrong.

"Doesn’t matter," Lilium said. "It’s you I came to see."

"I didn't think you would come." Chirita moved away from the door and went to the window where Lilium stood looking down at the well-kept garden. "You are looking thin. You are still not eating?”

"My mother makes me eat," Lilium said moodily,” but I vomit it up afterwards without her knowing." Chirita made a face and touched her friend's arm.

"This is madness. You will make yourself very ill."

"I will not be fat," Lilium stated firmly staring at Chirita. She wanted to Chirita to understand, to feel her anxiousness about her weight. "I must lose this flabbiness," Lilium said clutching at her stomach.

"You’re not fat, Lilium, look in the mirror," Chirita said pointing to the dressing-table mirror. Lilium studied herself in the mirror for a few moments. "Can’t you see how thin are becoming?” Chirita said softly. Lilium turned and stared at her friend vacantly.

"You’re the one who's blind, Chirita; I can see how plump I am." She grabbed Chirita's arm and pulled her forward towards the mirror. "Look. See all this plumpness?” Lilium pinched her waistline and held Chirita's hand against it. Chirita laid her hand on Lilium's waist gently.

"Perhaps we only see what we want to see or fear?” Chirita said.

"It’s there," Lilium stated. "Fat. I've got a backside like a bloody Hippo."

Chirita shook her head and removed her hand from Lilium's waist. "You have the face of an angel," Chirita said softly,” but that doesn't mean you are one."

"Friends should tell each other the truth." Lilium walked across to the small tidy bed and sat down on it.

"I’m speaking the truth, Lilium. You're not fat. You're not even plump any more," Chirita informed.

Lilium stared at Chirita in silence. I'm going mad, she mused sadly, staring at Chirita, at her calm exterior, at her tall slim frame. She sighed deeply and closed her eyes. She sensed Chirita sit beside her on the bed and put an arm about her shoulder comfortingly.

"I'm going mad," Lilium whispered in her darkness.

"No, you're not going mad, Lilium."

"I see fatness, you don't. I feel plump and you tell me I'm not. Either you're lying or I'm going mad." Chirita squeezed Lilium towards her.

"You must see someone."

"What? See some loony quack? "Lilium said opening her eyes and staring at Chirita. “No way. I'm fat and you're lying. You won't tell the truth. "Lilium stood up from the bed.” Friends don't lie to each other, Chirita, they just don't bloody lie."

"I’m not lying to you, Lilium; I'm speaking the truth to you."

Lilium shook her head and giving Chirita a last hard glare left the room, slamming the door noisily behind her.

Lilium sat by the duck pond.

The water was dull and still and the ducks were few and far between. Carlina sat beside her silent, staring out over the pond at the trees beyond.

"Don’t know why you have to follow me everywhere," Lilium muttered.

"Mum said to keep an eye on you; make sure you don't make yourself sick anywhere," Carlina replied glumly.

"Fine chance I've got of doing that."

"Make yourself sick as much you like for all I care, it's Mum who worries about it." Carlina turns and stares at her sister, at her auburn hair sticking out beneath her black hat.

Lilium doesn't reply. She stares ahead wishing it was Summer and not three days after Christmas. If Chirita hadn't told Mum I wouldn't have had such a tiresome Christmas, Lilium mused grimly, sighing deeply. I'll not speak to Chirita again, not after this, she told herself, looking over her shoulder at her sister.

"Wish I was dead," Lilium muttered quietly.

"We’ll all die some day."

"What is there to live for?”

"What is there to die for?” Carlina replied.

Lilium said nothing. She wanted to vomit; wanted to empty herself of all she'd eaten that day. But she couldn't. Carlina was everywhere she went: watching, listening, spying like the enemy she was.

Lilium lay in the dark.

The bed was warm, but an odour clung to the room that made her feel nauseous. She moved her hands over her stomach and pushed them down hard. "They’ll not find me here," she whispered," not be able to watch me anymore."

Behind her closed eyes she saw Chirita and wished she'd not told her mum about her vomiting and not eating. She missed Chirita. Missed her kindness and warmth. "Why did she have to go and blab. Why couldn't she just keep things to herself," she muttered. "But she did blab and that was that. Hell let loose. Bloody spies everywhere I went day and night. Couldn't even go to the toilet without Carlina or someone outside listening for sounds of me vomiting."

Lilium opened her eyes and searched the dark room. The smell was making her feel more nauseous. She felt about the floor beside the bed for the bucket. Kneeling over the bed, she vomited. No one to witness, no one to care, she thought as she held the bucket at arms length. "Neither heaven nor hell, just a long dragged out purgatory," she muttered into the surrounding darkness.

Chirita opened the door.

Carlina stood beside her mother on the doorstep of Chirita's house.

"Where the hell is Lilium?” Mrs Rose Pomoser asked.

"I’ve not seen her in months," Chirita replied.

"You sure she's not here?” Carlina said coldly.

"She’s not here. I don't know where she is. If I knew I would tell you," Chirita said firmly. The Pomosers looked at Chirita coldly then turned away, walking and muttering between themselves like witches.

Chirita knelt by the bed.

Lilium seemed asleep. The room was dank and poorly furnished. Odours made the room almost unbearable to stay in. Chirita took hold of a hand that lay limp across Lilium's naked thigh.

"What have you done?” Chirita whispered. She brought the hand to her lips and kissed it. It tasted salty and cold. "Lilium, why?” she muttered. Holding the hand against her cheek she stared at Lilium's unmoving body. The faint light from the window revealed little of what had happened, but the bucket and soiled sheets conveyed a sort of story. Who had undressed her? Chirita wondered. "So thin, so sadly thin," she muttered.

She leaned forward and kissed Lilium's upturned cheek. It was cold and unresponsive. "Lilium, I loved you. Why did you have to do this?” Chirita said. There was no reply. The auburn hair was matted and unkempt, but a certain degree of her beauty still exuded itself even now, even amongst this, Chirita mused sadly kissing the cheek once more. "I could have helped you," Chirita said to Lilium's still face. "We loved. We cared for each other. Then this," she whispered.

Getting up from the floor, she sat on the edge of the bed and lifted Lilium up. She was surprised how light she was. Lilium's head fell forward against her shoulder with a soft thud. She held the limp body against her own. She'd not seen Lilium naked like this since they last made love some months before Christmas. Then the body was warm and responsive, now it was cold and inattentive.

Chirita held Lilium to her, rocking her back and forth like a sickened child, murmuring soft words like a lullaby into the darkening room, far away from witnesses, spies and tormenting tongues.


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