bacon grease

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Because it's easier to tell secrets to strangers.

Submitted: January 12, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 12, 2012

A A A

A A A


 

(and these are)

 

(eggs)

 

(over hard)

 

(cooked)

 

(in bacon grease)

 

the words fall off her mother’s tongue and roll into the air, lingering softly in the empty oxygen before dissipating.

 

the smell of the bacon wafts through the space and into her nose, tickling it with tempting scents.

 

(no)

 

her mother warns.

 

(you’ll get fatter if you eat that)

 

so she avoids the eggs and the bacon and her stomach protests and it growls and rumbles, churning around inside her with a burning hunger.

 

 

she eats a box of oreos.

 

all the cookies are gone and all that remains are the crumbs.

 

she feels fat and guilty and throws the empty box away in a trash can at the park to hide the evidence from her mother.

 

she can hear her mother whispering in her mind, over and over again

 

(you’ll keep getting fatter and nobody will love you)

 

 

she’s hungry again today.

 

she’s still not used to the burning of hunger yet.

 

so she stands in the mirror, her shirt pulled up to reveal her ribcage.

 

and she counts her ribs to keep her mind off the hunger.

 

 

she goes to the park to dispose of the evidence, again.

 

this time, it’s an empty bag from mcdonald’s, and she’s just finishing up a large drink.

 

never has she felt more disgusted with herself than she does now.

 

after hearing the satisfying clunk of the bag and drink cup hitting the bottom of the can, she turns to leave, only to come face to face with a boy.

 

he’s tall and lean and a nerdy kind of handsome.

 

(just hiding the evidence)

 

she jokes, trying to get around the boy in front of her.

 

he cocks his head to one side

 

(from who?)

 

she doesn’t want to tell him, but the words tumble out before she can stop them. the words snowball and grow bigger and bigger until she can’t control the avalanche of fragments and phrases and she’s pretty sure half of what she’s saying is nonsense.

 

(…she says i’m fat and i should eat less but if i do i’ll slip through the space between the oxygen and i’ll be gone, gone forever and ever but i still get skinnier and skinnier and the vomit is just…. just not helping)

 

the boy just stands there and drinks it in. he still doesn’t say anything after she’s done and panting and she’s crying mascara tears that leave big inky tracks down her cheeks.

 

he places a hand on her shoulder to try and comfort her. her bones are sharp and pronounced under his palm.

 

her body heaves, and the sobs are heavy and her hand is over her mouth, as if she’s trying to silence herself.

 

(i’m just so hungry all the time)

 

she says, ashamed of herself.

 

(you’ve gained weight)

 

her mother says, sadly.

(you need to stop eating so much)

 

she prays to the porcelain god after dinner.

 

 

she breaks down and buys a box of cheez-its. sitting on the swing in the park, she eats the orange squares greedily. finally, the mournful growling of her empty stomach stops.

 

just as she’s throwing the empty box, she sees the boy again.

 

(you should eat more)

 

she shrugs.

 

(if i eat, i’ll get fat, and then no one will love me)

 

her statement hangs heavily in the air between them.

 

(who told you that)

 

his words are whisper quiet and they float up and away.

 

(my mother told me. and mother knows best, right)

 

 

when he sees her again, she’s just skin stretched over bone. her clothes are too big and they hang loose on her frame.

 

neon colored band-aids stand out against the too pale skin of her fingers.

 

(how’d you get hurt?)

 

he asks as she throws away several twinkie wrappers.

 

she looks at her hands, seeing if she can try to remember why she put them on in the first place.

 

she smiles but it doesn’t reach her eyes.

 

(it’s nothing. the knife nicked me a bit when i was cutting something up)

 

he tries to smile too, but it turns out wrong. it's all lopsided and messy and it just doesn’t seem right on his features. he doesn’t feel right smiling about kitchen scrapes and neon band aids that are all too vibrant against her fingers.

 

(you really should eat more)

 

he says to her.

 

she laughs.

 

(you’ve already told me that, silly)

 

 

he doesn’t see her again for awhile.

 

she hasn’t shown up at the park to “hide evidence” from her mother. and he’s left to wonder what happened to her.

 

he sits on the swings that squeak and groan slightly as he swings gently, and he thinks about where she is and how she’s doing and how his new skinny pants are really comfortable.

 

 

he doesn’t see her again until the ground is white and his breaths come out solid in the cold air.

 

she’s throwing away food boxes and she stands for a minute after she’s done and watches the clouds of her breaths and the cold makes her head hurt behind her eyes.

 

(i haven’t seen you in awhile)

 

he walks up to her, his hands stuffed into the pockets of his jacket.

 

she shrugs

 

(i had to go away for awhile)

 

he gestures towards her with his elbow.

 

(you look good)

 

even under the material of her coat, he can see that she’s got a bit more to her than the last time he saw her and he’s quietly happy for that.

 

she smiles a little and her cheeks get a bit redder and she looks away a little. he guesses that she isn’t really used to compliments like that.

 

(thank you)

 

and they sit on the swings together. and the old chains squeak and groan as they enjoy a muted kind of happy together.

 

 

 

 


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