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Giuliana Centofanti

United States

Purge

February 25, 2016

PROMPT: Lens Change

1

GROUP: True Stories

She kept going until she could feel the emptiness, until she could feel it in her bones. That bare feeling when she knows there’s nothing left inside - body or soul - and it rattles her body. A shiver runs right through her. As the water splashed up she realized where her acne came from. Her ribs slid back and her knees buckled a little. Her mind wasn’t there, though. It was far away. Her phone, sitting on top of the toilet, was humming that country song they used to like; maybe she liked it while he just tolerated it- like her, she thinks. And all she could think about was him and chocolate. After all, that’s what landed her here, right?
She can’t remember what it was like before all of this started. It must have been good, right? It must have been because this is hell. And she doesn’t know why, but she really thought this was a good idea; she never gets anything right, though.

She's so empty. She's so selfish. She's so hungry.

People always want to label each other - sick, better, good or not enough - but they don’t want you to tell them what the label should be. They pick it based on aesthetics, which we all know mean absolutely nothing. She saw him just yesterday and he looked so fine, but they both know he wasn’t. And just today she laughed when they were joking, but they both know that doesn’t mean a thing.
They were always strange- so strange. They were, but they weren’t. They are, but they aren’t. They were an item - and a hot one at that - but at the same time, they were nothing more than friends. And now, they’re friends, but never talk- so maybe they’re just strangers.

She tried to purge herself of him. She thought he might come up with the rest of it - the foul chinese food, the bright orange cheetos, the slimy chocolate, the cold ice cream that tasted the same coming up as it did going down. She forgets that he isn’t here and that she's already purged herself of him, but she keeps going, thinking maybe there’s still something left of him. It’s only in her head though. He's gone, he doesn’t think of her. But she's stuck here, thinking of him, looking down at the red marks on her right-hand knuckles. She's stuck here, thinking of him, trying to forget how he made her feel. The good, the bad. One minute she was his goddess, but the next he was tearing her apart- almost as harshly as she does herself.

She looks back at their time fondly, but she's not sure that she should. It was perfect for a time, but when it was over, everything was exposed. Everything came out. What she thought she'd lost was never really what it seemed. He wasn't always honest and she shouldn't have been so selfless. To do it again would be wrong, despite the strength it takes to give it up.

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