On Writing Fiction About Ed

I wrote this micro-fic in the spring of 2015, after a particularly rough binge the night before.   I had been thinking of writing this piece for some time, inspired by the Hinder song “Get Me Away From You,” which I titled this piece.

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                I paced the length of the hotel room, twisting the ring on my left hand. If she was late, I’d be late. And if I were late again, he would start to wonder where I keep running off to. I paused at the window and used one finger to move the curtain to the side, just enough to peek out, tapping my toe as I did so. Still no sign of her car.

My stomach flipped. I turned from the window and took long strides toward the other end of the room, toward the small bathroom setup, and wiped my sweaty palms on my pants. At the bed I paused, slowly unbuttoning my blazer and draping it carefully across the floral comforter. I rounded the corner and sat on the edge of the bed, on what would be my side if this were home, smoothing the blanket around me softly.

I closed my eyes and counted to five, noticing my heartbeat in my ears and the lightness in my head. No matter how many times I found myself at this hotel, waiting, the anxiety still played its dirty tricks.

“This is the last time,” I told myself, wringing my hands together, letting the coolness of my wedding band soothe me, if only momentarily. I pictured my husband’s pained expression if he found out I’d been lying to him, again, and the kids’ worried looks if they heard that discussion. It was almost enough to make me get up right then, leaving my room key behind me. Almost, but not quite.

I imagined how good I’d feel once she got here, how in an instant my worries would disappear and my insecurities would fade. That argument with Jake last night – forgotten. Lily’s friend drama and Alex’s poor grades would be a distant memory. For a little while, I wouldn’t feel unlovable, or ashamed of my body. I opened my eyes and looked down at myself, at how my thighs touched more than I liked and my stomach wasn’t as flat as my best friend’s. I deserved this.

A soft knock at the door interrupted my thoughts and my chest fluttered with excitement. Finally. I stood, pulling my shirt down at the bottom and smoothing my pants, and headed for the door. I paused to check my hair in the mirror. I unlocked the door and turned the knob, noticing that my palms weren’t sweaty anymore. I was ready. I deserved this.

She stood in the light of the setting sun, her cap pulled down over her eyes, her long hair loose and wavy over one shoulder. A toothy grin flashed across her pretty face. “Another big night, looks like.”

“You know how it is,” I offered with a shrug, playing it off. She didn’t need to know that everything she delivered was for me, every time. There was no party, no business meeting, no ladies night. Just me and my self-esteem, and seventy dollars worth of food.

“See you,” she said, tipping the bill of her cap before leaving.

I barely acknowledged her words, lost in my own world of gluttony. One day I would stop meeting the delivery boy like this, in a small motel room in the middle of the week, when my husband thought I was working late and the kids were missing their mother. But not today. Instead, I sat down amidst my spread of meat and bread and sugar and took a deep inhale. For the first time all day, I finally felt at peace.

As a took the first savory bite, I felt more alive than I had all week, even as I felt a part of me slowly dying inside.

Debbie 2Debbie is an addiction counselor and yoga teacher in Indiana.  She is an avid reader of any genre, and has published fantasy short stories; she is still working on the elusive novel.  Recently, Debbie has ventured into non-fiction writing, in hopes that discussing her life with an eating disorder will help someone in need.  Debbie’s loves include her niece Lillie and her girl-cat, Emilio Estevez.  She is passionate about mental health awareness, especially related to addiction and eating disorders.

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