Sweet Like Honey

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42

A few weeks pass by. Benjamin and I are doing well. We were taking about him moving in. Henry is doing good too. He's got lots of friends, and he's getting out of trains into planes.

I've lost a little weight.

But you know what? I think I'm...happier. Yeah. I think I am.

I'm not sure. What does happiness feel like? Is it...is it where you're a little dizzy, and your knees are weak, and you're so afraid that anything will change that your chest locks up at that thought?

I'm happy then. I'm happy. I'm close anyway. I knew this was a good idea. I knew I'd figure it out. I always do. Benjamin was initially a little skeptical but now...he's happy too. He's smiling and laughing more.

I still hear my fathers voice in my head. But you know what, I was ready and they said your inner voice is how your parents talked to you.

So it's makes sense. Heh.

"Honey," he steps in the house, giving me a kiss. "How was your day?"

I smile. "Oh it was good. I finished work early so that's always a relief."

He grins, putting his arms around me. "I'm glad. What did you eat today?"

"Oh some grilled cheese," I grin. "I've been craving them."

He kisses my head. "As long as you're eating. You're losing weight."

Am I?

"I see. Well, that's not bad."

He pauses. "You're at a healthy weight, Jess. But if you lose more weight you'll be severely underweight. That's not good."

I chuckle. "What woman doesn't want to be thinner."

"You don't need to be thinner," he says immediately. "You're gorgeous. And you're healthy."

He puts his hands on my hips. "Did I mention gorgeous?" He smirks.

I grin. "You did,"

He kisses my neck playfully. "Henry will be getting home soon. Do you think we can squeeze some fun in before he comes?"

"Not any fun that ends in fulfillment," I joke. "He'll be back in ten minutes."

"You know I can do a lot in ten minutes," he suggests.

I just laugh. "I want him to have some food when he gets home. Let's see what you can do by the time I finish."

He laughs, and sits down watching me.

"Thank you for giving me a chance, Jess."

I say nothing.

He watches me closely. I feel his eyes. We grew up together. He knows me very well.

"I think you should go to rehab, Jess."

"Am I doing drugs without my knowledge," I joke.

"For your eating disorder."

I pause. "You say that silliest things—"

"The one you've had since you were...five? I think. That's when I first noticed it anyway."

"You know how strict my diet was then. And I've just been feeling...peckish. Don't exaggerate."

"Your bones are starting to show," he whispers behind me. "I thought you were eating. But you keep losing weight."

I swallow. "It's probably just hormones—"

"You're not well, Jessica. You need help."

Why is he doing this?

"I'm fine. I told you. It's just that I haven't been feeling all that well. I am eating. It's just everything turns my stomach these days."

He says nothing for a moment.

I turn around, a little too fast.

I pass out.

• • •

Amateur move. I sigh. This is bullshit.

He starts at me as we ride in the ambulance. I sit up.

"This isn't—"

"How long?" He asks.

I slump back down. "I told I can't keep anything down...so...a few-a few days is all."

"How long is a few days?"

"Like...5?"

He sighs. "I watched you. I watched you eat. How?"

I smile feebly. "Like I said...I couldn't keep anything down."

He says nothing. "As you know they have you on fluids. And...you're going to get help for this Jessica."

"I don't need—"

"Henry asked if you had cancer. Because his friends mom has cancer and you're thin like her."

I pause. I really am an eyesore huh?

"Sorry."

"Don't be sorry, Jess. It's not your fault. Let's get you some help. A therapist. You can't smile the problems away Jess. You gotta address em."

I snort.

"I was doing so good wasn't I? I wasn't an eyesore was I, Benji?"

He smiles, putting his forehead against mine. "You never were and never will be an eyesore, Jessica. You're beautiful."

"No I'm not."

"Who are you gonna believe? Me or the woman who turned down McDonald's nuggets?"

I chuckle. Yeah. Those shits are the bomb.

He sighed. "I know when you came to me, smiling, that something was wrong. I should've addressed it. But I...wanted to try. I wanted to see if we could make it work—"

"I'm sorry—"

"Don't be sorry, Jessica. It's nothing to be sorry about. You know that I'm here for you. Until the end of the world."

That's true.

"What would I be without you, Benjamin?"

He smiles. "You. You would be you even if I never existed."

His hand stays in mine.

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