Her name was Katie
Author: Auty

Chapter 14

Everyday at lunch, Katie finds some excuse not to eat.
"I have revision", she'll say or "I had something at break". If I do manage to convince her to eat, she'll just go and throw it back up again. She looks even thinner now which I didn't know was possible. Her face is so thin you can see every bone in her skull, her fingers are like twigs and look as if they could snap off with just a touch. She has started wearing two jumpers under her blazer instead of one but even then you can see her spine through her blazer. Her skirt is much longer than the other girls and she is forever pulling it down so it can't be any shorter than the knee. She wears 3 thick pairs of black woollen tights, half to disguise the thin matchsticks she has as legs and half because she gets so cold. I have only known Katie for 3 weeks yet it seems as though she is dying before my eyes.
"Katie", I say one day at break, "Have you even been to the doctors?"
She looks up from her calorie book and says, "My Dad took me a month after I'd started not eating. I'd only lost 12 pounds, barely anything so the doctor thought I was just being fussy. My Dad didn't protest and I haven't been back since".
"But surely he can see what you look like now!"
"What do you mean? I haven't even changed that much. I mean, my periods have stopped and my hair is always greasy, plus the spots and dizziness but weight wise, I'm still disgustingly fat".
I stare at Katie and can't understand how she can see such a distorted image of herself that other people can't.
"But don't you want to eat and be healthy again?" I ask desperately.
"And go back to being fat and huge again, no thanks".
I sigh helplessly, trying to think of a way I can help Katie without actually force feeding her.
"But isn't it hard?" I ask trying a different tact, "Being hungry all the time and feeling faint?"
"It's a small price to pay for being thin", she says in a monotone voice, "Being thin is all that matters, it's not deprivation, it's liberation".
She sounds as though she is quoting something from a book or a website. I think of Katie night after night sitting on the computer, looking at pro-ana sites, absorbing things that aren't true. I want to cry.


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