The Diagnosis

I remember when the doctor told you I was sick, that I was starving, that my body was eating my heart, my liver. The hospital gown I wore offered no warmth or comfort, the skin of my bare arms raised with goose bumps. This is disease that many intelligent young women have, the doctor had said matter-of-factly. The skull replica on the sterile counter behind him smiled at me. That doesn’t seem very intelligent, you said. Together we can overcome this! The eyes of the doctor widened as he looked at you and then me, as if to hypnotize us into believing. Yes! He raised his hands over his head. We must trick the disease into thinking you are dumb! He tapped a greasy finger on my forehead and the small thud reverberates in my head. It’s all in there! Ah, and that will cure it, Doctor? you had asked. No doubt! Just… stop thinking! It will get bored and move on. Yes! He nods vigorously as he frowns at his clipboard and moves his pen on paper. And what about the… the eating part, Doctor? I whispered. Ah, he says as he puts a hand on my bony shoulder. The eating will come. I let out a long breathe, preparing for the difficult journey ahead.


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