Illusion

It was about control. It had always been about control. Controlling what went into her body, controlling how much of it came out, controlling the manner in which it exited. Starvation. Exercise. Vomiting. A vicious circle.

She tried not to think about it too much - when she did, control became nothing more than a parlor trick - an illusion, a dove appearing in the hand of a magician. The audience saw the bird disappear, but they didn't see its brutal death. Didn't notice it had been replaced by another - hidden and cooing gently.

If anyone asked, she would say everything came back to control. That was the easiest explanation, after all. When she was hungry, but denied food, she was in control. When she was exhausted, but continued to exercise, she was in control. When her bones began to protrude under her skin, she was in control.

But what did that mean, really? The number on the scale didn't truly change anything, did it? The soreness in her ribs when she lay on her side may have been an indicator of hard work and success, but success in what? It was as fleeting as daylight.

She tried not to think about it, but it returned. It always returned. Control was an illusion.

That may be the case, she thinks to herself as she kneels in front of the toilet to vomit up the tomato soup she had for dinner. But if I don't control this, I have nothing to control at all.

The first bird may be dead, but the trick carried on. It was an illusion, and it was always about control.