Chapter 1: The Routine
Wow, I can’t believe I’ve already been home for a month. Although it doesn’t feel like home anymore. Nothing feels normal or right since I lost Samantha. I’ve lost everything that was good in my life. If only I were able to be a perfect submissive like Victoria, things might be different.
I scooch out of bed and go to the bathroom. At least I know what to expect at home. There’s nothing to hurt me here, there’s nothing to bring pleasure either, but that’s okay. At least I’m still alive. For what? I don’t know...to keep on keeping on I guess.
I look at myself in the bathroom mirror. God, when did I get so fat. I pluck at the skin on my cheek bones and hips. This has to change. I have to change. I need to become as perfect as I can be. I’ll show Samantha then!
I step on the bathroom scale and it reads 115. Ugh I can’t wait to be rid of this suffocating weight. I quickly wash my face and get dressed for the day.
My parents are waiting at the table for breakfast like they do each day. “Good morning honey, did you sleep okay?” My dad asks.
“I guess.” I respond flatly.
“You don’t look so well dear, I’m sure your father will let you have the day off so you can rest.”
Rest would be nice, but that would leave me with too much time to think.
“I’ll be okay. I just need some coffee.”
Mom gets me a cup of coffee. “Sugar or cream?”
“Not today, thanks.” I want to taste the bitter disgusting coffee to make me feel something today.
With each sip I taste the dread of blandness and the promising flavor the coffee could have had. This is the life. I joke to myself.
I take two bites of toast and eat one strawberry. I stand up and push my chair in.
“Are you sure you don’t want to work the market today?” Dad asks
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“I think you should!” Mom says cheerfully, “This could be the day you meet your perfect prince there.”
I don’t think mom will ever accept that I don’t like guys. And I’ll probably never date again, so there is no need for me to go there.
“I don’t want to meet anyone.” I say and leave.
Today isn’t a tough one. I water the fields before lunch and finish with feeding the animals after. He’s teaching me how to take care of the farm since I refuse to go to the market again and I don’t think I will return to college.
My phone rings. That’s a rare occasion these days. I look and Susan is calling me. Ugh, what will I say. She probably wants to know how everything is going. I don’t want to get into it. Maybe I’ll just ignore her. I end the call.
She calls again. This time I answer. “Hello?”
“Hey girl! It’s been forever! How’s everything going?”
I smile at her voice, I definitely miss her southern drawl and being social in general. I shut Jack out since returning home. The last thing I told him was that I just wanted to focus on working on the farm and family. I’m sure I hurt his feelings, but I can’t handle interacting with anyone right now.
“It’s good.” I lie.
“I’m glad to hear. Are you eating well?”
“Well, I’m eating three times a day.” I shouldn’t tell her it’s only a couple bites of food for each meal.
“Good, good. What are you up to?”
“I’m just feeding the animals before I go in for dinner. It’s good to hear from you. What are you up to?”
“I’m studying. Well trying to study material we might learn next year. I can’t wait to get another year of school done. Then we will be halfway to our degrees!”
“I don’t think I’m going to school next year. My dad really needs help on the farm. He’s starting to get older and it will be my responsibility soon.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. I hope that’s the only reason for not continuing school. I just want you to be happy in your future.”
“It’s what I want…” I lie again. “I have to get back to work though. These cows won’t feed themselves.”
“It was great talking with you. I hope you find happiness again, don’t be a stranger. Call me anytime.”
“I will. Thank you.”
The phone call left a bit of happiness and a lot of regret. I really should talk with Jack. I just don’t want to be a disappointment to him. I’m scared he won’t see me the same way.
I slowly start walking to the house for dinner. I really hate this time of day. It leaves me with hours to think. I don’t want to think. Please don’t let me think tonight, brain.
When I reach the house, my parents are already waiting at the table to eat. I wash up and take my seat.
“Was it a good day today, dear?” Mom asks.
“I guess. I worked hard and finished strong.”
“That’s good. You should eat plenty tonight to regain your strength. You are starting to look a little thin.”
“Honey, you know better than to comment on her weight. Teenage girls are meticulous about that kind of thing.” Dad scolds her.
“I didn’t say she was fat, I said she looks a little skinny.” Mom defends herself.
“Don’t listen to your mother, Ily. She doesn’t know what she is talking about. You look perfect.”
“Thanks, dad.” If only they knew how much it was bothering me. Well, they will never know. This is my battle to fight. I will be perfect.
Mom makes us all a plate and passes them out. “I made the meatloaf just how you like it. And I put extra butter in the mashed potatoes just for you, Ileana. I’m so glad to have you back home.”
I’ll make sure to only have one bite of potatoes. There is no way I’m putting that extra fat in my body. “Thank you, mom. I’m sure I will love them.”
I start cutting up the meatloaf and moving it around my plate with the mashed potatoes.
Thankfully dad keeps the conversation going about his day at the market and all of the gossip he heard. I’m so glad it keeps them distracted from me.
I really shouldn’t eat. If I eat, I will lose control. I need to be able to control myself. My stomach grumbles and interrupts my train of thought. It’s okay to have just one bite of each. I take a bite of potatoes and let them linger in my mouth.
Mmm...that does taste good. I definitely notice the extra butter mom put in them. I chew the potatoes until there is nothing left in my mouth.
I look at my food and imagine eating more of it. I could eat more, I could eat it all. But I don’t want to. I want to feel the intense hunger. The hunger pains take away the emotional pain. I can control myself, how many people are able to have this much self restraint?
“How do you like it?” Mom’s voice interrupts my thoughts.
“It is great mom, I can taste the extra butter.”
“Yes, It is excellent dear.”
I move my food around a little bit.
“Is something wrong, sweetie? It seems like you have only eaten half of your food and now you’re picking at it.” Dad asks while watching me.
I take a bite of meatloaf. That sweet glazed crust is delicious, mom has outdone herself this time. “I’m okay. I’m really not that hungry. I think I just miss hanging out with Jack.” I say lying about my hunger level. I’m always hungry now...and I do miss Jack. Maybe that’s what is distracting me now.
“You have worked really hard this past month. I think you deserve the day off tomorrow. I’m sure Jack would love to hang out.” Dad suggests.
“He’s probably busy. He has to help out at his farm also.”
“I will call his brother and okay it. I can see you are not that happy here. I can see the number Samantha did on you. I’m sorry you had your heartbroken, dear.” Dad tries to be empathetic but I see the glee on his face.
What would they know about it? They don’t even think it was real. They think it was all a fabrication from the devil and I fell into the trap. It was real. I’m sure of it. I would say the love we shared was deeper than my parent’s even. I start to tear up.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to clear it. I think I will just wander town tomorrow. I’m really tired. I think I will head to bed.” I don’t want to be a burden to Jack. I do miss him, but I also don’t want to relive the pain again. I just want to remove myself from this table. My parents don’t know anything about me anymore. I am not even close to the same person I was when I left for college.
I leave my dishes on the table and go to my room. Normally I put my leftovers in the fridge and dispose of them in the middle of the night so my parents always think I eat all of my dinner, just not at once. They never think to look in the trash for it.
I lay in bed and listen to my stomach groan at me. I am in control of my life. Why am I so afraid to talk to Jack? He should be happy that I am continuing on with life. I do miss him. I should at least call him on my day off tomorrow.
It seemed to take hours, but I finally drifted to sleep.