the first time she stopped eating was during high school. a cheerleader, she wanted to look her best. the former target of teasing, she wanted to prove them wrong. the girl who got cheated on all the time by her long time boyfriend, she wanted to be the only thing he wanted. she kept her weight relatively healthy through unhealthy methods. she'd drink one pepsi a day and go to mcdonald's once a week as a reward for her hard work.
flash forward to age 18. fresh out of high school, with a freshly broken heart. the man she was in love with just didn't want to be with her anymore. for three months he was gone from her life. in those three months, she ate once every 3 weeks, if that. she exercised 7 times a day: once in the morning walking from the parking lot to the twelfth floor where she worked, five times running up and down the steps with her coworker (her partner in crime), and a two hour walk nightly with her friend. at 5'2", she spiraled from 135lbs to 98lbs. one day, he called her, out of the blue. checking up. she hung up a few minutes later, and within twenty seconds her phone was ringing. he asked if he could see her. she said she didn't think that was a good idea. he convinced her anyway, and they met at a park. as soon as he saw what she had become without him, he begged for her to take him back. later that day they were engaged by a ring made out of a bread tie. within a week, he bought her a ring. two weeks later, he said he feared they were rushing things.
at 20, she got pregnant. he left her again, out of fear. he was just a boy, too young to handle a baby. but once her daughter was born he came back. distracted by her child, she didn't worry about her weight as she gained and gained. but eventually, those old thoughts would come creeping back.
now, age 38, she tells her daughter this story. gloating, egging her on, practically saying, "aren't you jealous you're not that strong?" nikki listens with quiet nods.
am i sensing a challenge?
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