Dysmorphia

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The First Floor

“You can open your eyes now” came Dr Levi’s voice from beside her, she was just glad Dr Marsden with his prodding ways hadn’t come in here to interrogate her.

Levi was the head doctor here and he gave you a feeling like everything would be okay if you answered his softly spoken questions which was probably why he’d managed to persuade her parents to force her to come here, she narrowed her eyes at him, this was all his fault.

“How did you know I was awake?” she snapped.

He smiled, “Years of experience, so I’m going to tell you where we go from here”

He handed her a glass of water and a packet of zero calories popcorn.

“But first eat, and drink” he said.

She accepted the glass and took a sip feeling her parched throat experience the cool feeling of water, she carefully prised open the packet and put three pieces of popcorn into her mouth, relishing the crunch but wishing that the food wouldn’t have to eventually settle in her stomach building up until she couldn’t move.

She put down the glass and packet, he nodded like she had passed a kind of test and she wanted to throw the packet in his face.

“We have four levels here, though you will be confined to the lower two. The second floor is the eating disorders unit; drug and alcohol on the third, and the top floor is long stay and terminal care.” he said.

“And where am I?” she asked.

“This is the first floor; it caters for both eating disorders and intensive care. For now, you will be confined to your room until you earn privileges.”

“Privileges?”

He nodded. “Once we start working together and you show a willingness to cooperate, we can add privileges to your daily program. Outside time, personal items, television, phone – those kinds of things.”

He pointed to the small bag on the floor.

“These items have been approved, along with the clothes you were wearing when they brought you in. They’ve been washed and placed in your cupboard.”

She swallowed.

“Is there a bathroom?”

“Yes, but you will be escorted there for now. You’ve been allocated a day nurse who will assist you.”

He saw the tears welling in her eyes and sighed.

“Florence it will get easier. Things seem at their worst right now, but we are going to help you find the clarity you need.”

Clarity? Right.

“But I don’t need your help!” she burst out.

“I don’t know what you told my parents or what they told you and okay I admit maybe I went a bit overboard with the calorie counting but I’m absolutely fine, if you just let me leave here and carry on with my normal life then you’d see how little I need anybody’s help, I don’t need you all watching me and most of all I don’t need you forcing Chase to come in here and talk to me when he clearly doesn’t want to, by the way you realise he should be in school right now I could report you for illegally employing minors”

To her annoyance he simply smiled at her, a sympathetic smile, the type of smile you would give a small child having a tantrum because they wanted another sweet.

“It wasn’t your parents who approached me Florence, your Father and I had been talking regularly every time I went to your diner and he happened to mention something to me which caught my attention something to do with a knife they had found on your person. That caught my attention straight away and I asked to see a recent picture of you which confirmed my saddest suspicions. I’m an expert in this field and I assure you I am trying to help you, it is my mission to help those in need of my help whether they would like that help or not. And as for young Mr Roberts I assure that the authorities are well aware of his situation”

Instead of arguing, Florence turned her head towards the wall. He’d never get it, and she had no intention of trying to explain anything to him, she got the feeling that nothing she said would manage to sway him. He’d made up his mind about her already.

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