I'm Sorry I Can't Be Perfect

Title from Simple Plan song. Anyway, I wrote this a little while ago, and looking back I don't even know why. Heavy involvement of eating disorders! And therefore could be triggering. Anyway. May delete this. Maaaaan

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3. Chapter 3

 

 

I know she hates it, but I was going to get this out of her. I couldn’t let her just escape this now. I sound so manipulative, but I’m not. I just want my Kayleigh to be safe, safe from herself if that’s what I have to do. I don’t know what I was expecting to read on the scales. In the low hundreds, maybe? The number shocked me, but I had to mask it as well as I could.

 

“What can you read, Kayleigh?”

 

I glanced down at the scales through blurry eyes. “One hundred and ninety two point four.” Oh god, oh god.

 

“Kay, it says ninety two point four. Just ninety two point four. Double digits.” He clarified sadly. “How tall are you?”

 

“Five-six, why?”

 

He darted out of the bathroom and into my bedroom; I followed him curiously, to find him searching rapidly on my computer. He drummed his fingers against my desk as I sat down on my bed, watching him closely.

 

Open the browser. ‘Online BMI calculator’ was what I rapidly typed into the search bar. I entered her height and weight and waited impatiently for the results. Why didn’t she have faster internet connection?

 

“Kayleigh, you have a BMI of fourteen point six,” he said, extremely alarmed for some obscure reason.

 

“So?”

 

“So, a normal person would have a BMI of between eighteen point five and twenty four point nine. You’re extremely underweight, Kay.” He turned and faced me glumly.

 

“It must be fake, that website. Is it an official one? It’s not real, Jared, I’m not underweight. I’m a normal weight, verging on overweight. I’m not skinny, I’ll always be fat little Kayleigh.”

 

She didn’t just say that she was-

 

This seemed to anger Jared. He got up and marched over to me, and slammed his hands on my shoulders. I looked into his staring, cold eyes.

 

“Listen to me, Kayleigh. You are not fat. You never have been and you never will be. You are skin and bones and you are killing yourself. I can’t let you do this Kayleigh. Tell me honestly, what was the last thing that you ate?” He demanded, shouting fiercely. I thought for a moment, my head spinning.

 

It was harsh to tell her the truth, but she had to hear it, even if it was be being fierce.

 

“Half a stick of celery.”

 

“Did you keep it down?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“When was this?”

 

“Uh, two days ago.” He still had his hands on my shoulders, but he was gripping them so hard it hurt. He was shaking and tears were beginning to form on his long, dark lashes.

 

“When was the last proper meal you ate?”

 

“Dinner, at yours. We had spaghetti and meatballs.”

 

“You only ate the spaghetti, because you’re a vegetarian. And you only had a little bit, and you didn’t even eat half of that. And that was also four days ago.”

 

“Oh.”

 

“This isn’t good enough, Kay. Can you imagine if I lost you? My world would fall apart, I need you.”

 

“I need you too.”

 

“I need you to stop this.”

 

“It’s not that easy, Jared...”

 

“Then I’ll help you, we’ll do whatever it takes.” He carefully pushed me over so I fell gently onto the bed. He pulled up my vest a little, and I scrambled to pull it down again.

 

“What are you doing!?” I hissed.

 

She thought I was going to take advantage of her. I couldn’t do that to her, that would be so mean. I don’t know what I was feeling, whether I was angry or sad or whatever. I guess I was in shock.

 

“Just trust me.” He tugged my shirt up again, and stared at my stomach. I was terrified to breathe. I looked up at him. He was still upset and angry, I could tell. He drew his breath sharply, and then I felt his cold fingers dancing across my ribcage.

 

“You’re like a skeleton,” he whispered, tracing his fingers horizontally across my stomach.

 

“Don’t say that!” I exclaimed, sitting up abruptly.

 

“Why are you doing this? I know you said you wanted to be thin, but you can’t be serious...”

 

I looked down at my hands. “I don’t know. I just want to be thinner.”

 

“But why?”

 

“Because you would love me more, that is, if I were thinner.”

 

He paused for a brief moment, and then looked up at me, terribly sadly.

 

“You don’t really believe that, do you?” He said, with hesitance in his voice.

 

“Nobody wants a fat girlfriend.”

 

Where did she learn this? This isn’t true! I wouldn’t care if she was 100 pounds or 300 pounds. It wouldn’t make a difference to how much I love her. It made me upset to imagine how she must think of me.

 

“That’s not true, that’s not true at all! Who told you this? Who taught you to think like this?” Tears spilled over his eyes. I’d never seen him cry before. “Jesus, Kay. How long has this been going on? Why? Why, Kayleigh?”

 

I was crying a lot too. “You knew about it. Since like, about two months back.”

 

“And before then?”

 

“About a year and a half? I don’t know exact dates...”

 

“Why didn’t you tell me before? We could have sorted it all straight. You could have been healthy and happy. Now look at you, you’re a mess.”

 

“You... You would have hated me. You never would have spoken to me.”

 

He looked directly into my eyes. “I could never hate you, Kay.” He was speaking softly. “Not in a million years. Never. I just need you to realise how beautiful you are and how you don’t need to change. I promise, I’ll love you no matter what number is on that scale.”

 

I clasped his hands, wrapping my cold fingers against his in a complicated lock, a tight bundle. I looked up at him. “Are you mad at me?”

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