"Jo's eatin' a cookie," the little girl my mom babysat tattled on me in her bubbly baby voice.
"Shut up," i hissed at her. I didn't want Ana to find out. I didn't need her to tell me that i was doing wrong; i just knew it.
But Ana already knew, and there she stood in the kitchen doorway, shaking her head. "You are a pathetic waste of entirely too much skin," she insulted.
"I stayed under 900 Calories," i defended myself.
"On a 400 Calorie day!" she countered.
I hung my head. "But i'm not going to eat anything else today," i said to the floor. "Under 900 means i'm in control of a binge."
"Would you rather be in control of a binge or in control of everything?!" Ana shouted. "And look at you; you're not in control. You're standing in the kitchen eating a COOKIE! At least take it to the blasted table, which is supposed to be the only place you ever put food into your mouth. And at least binge on something worthwhile in nutritional value. What is wrong with you?"
"I don't know," i said sarcastically. "Maybe i was hungry?!"
Ana snapped, "Don't you get smart with me."
I looked away. It was the first time i'd ever picked a fight with her. Perhaps she wasn't out of line at all in asking what was wrong with me. "I'm sorry," i muttered penitently.
She snorted. "You'd better be." Then she was gone, leaving me to throw the last bite of my cookie into the garbage can.
"Mia?" i cautiously mouthed the name of the friend whom i hadn't seen in forever.
She was there. "Yes, hunny?"
"Can you help me?"
She shook her head. "You can't throw up, remember?"
I remembered that fact far too well. "Yes, but i can't stand having this food inside of me!"
"Laxatives," she suggested in her musical voice.
I rushed to the medicine cabinet and tore it apart, only to find that we had no laxatives.
"Sorry, hunny," Mia said, disappearing. "Better luck next time."
I sank down to the kitchen floor, pulled my knees into my chest despite the horrid pain that caused in my too-full stomach, and wept. "Damn cookies. Damn cravings. Damn mouth. Damn food!"