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for empty plates

By BellePublished 10 months ago 2 min read
Top Story - September 2023
by FreePik

Content Warning: Themes related to disordered eating.

It started with breakfast.

She never ate breakfast in high school. She walked to school and she was always running late. She would get out of bed and ten minutes later she’d be out the door, keys in hand. She didn’t really think twice about it. She always ate lunch. She was always hungry by lunch.

But then her genetics kicked in. Bloodwork. Doctors. Prescriptions. You need to take this. Once a day on an empty stomach. In the morning, an hour before breakfast. She did not think that would matter. She didn’t eat breakfast anyway. She wasn’t going to wake up an hour earlier just to have a meal she never ate, and that was fine. Lunch would come and she was hungry then. And she ate. And she was full.

And then came adulthood. Jobs, career, work. Her mornings started in the dark. Her days belonged elsewhere, a long drive away. Her money had one purpose, to fuel the car that brought her there and pay for the spot it would sit in while she wrestled with work. Her days filled up with typing, talking, emailing, memorizing, researching. Lunch came and went and she hardly noticed. Even her stomach stopped growling.

Back in the car. Long streets, highways.


Her motivation abandoned cooking and fell into her work. At first it was takeout, delivery services, small interactions, instant food. Multitasking with one hand to eat with and the other on the keyboard. Money running red down the drain. What about gas? The drain was so full. She could be empty.

The nagging feeling in her stomach turned quiet. The growls like alarm bells were snuffed out. Home fell into a hole where she was cradled in the lining of her stomach. The aches turned to hugs. Fullness was cramped. She danced inside her body with one less thing to worry about.

But people noticed.

Did you eat lunch?

Did you eat today?

Did you eat this week?

…you’re starving.

Starve became a pleasant word. A dangerous thing to say. Eating became a challenge. Gagging on her food, her stomach burned, boiled, cramped. Deprivation allowed her to do other things. She wasn’t worried. She felt fine.

Humming in the kitchen while warming the stove at 6:00 pm turned into sitting in the dark over a bowl of cereal at 2:00 in the morning. Laughing and sitting down for dinner with friends turned into throwing out half of her plate while looming in front of glowing screens. But she didn’t feel sick. She felt fine.

So the truth.

The scale would tell her she was a little bit more or less than she was. Hers was always fidgety. It was variable. She knew that. Still, she would never do it after eating, and she’d remove anything that might be too heavy. The scale was digital. Which was good. She wouldn’t have to be patient. She wouldn’t have to stand there, anxious, waiting for the dial to stop at…

social commentarysad poetry

About the Creator


I host unofficial challenges and enjoy writing microfiction and poetry.

ALL EYES ON RAFAH. 35k+ murdered in Palestine. 80k+ injured. 25k orphaned. ~10k missing/under rubble.

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Comments (8)

  • Ofili Theodora 10 months ago

    Congratulations on your top story 🎉

  • Lena Folkert10 months ago

    Um... this is just. Honestly, difficult to read. But that's because it resonates so deeply. The first two paragraphs I felt like I was literally reading my own words. I saw myself in high school. The exact same way. The only difference was that for me the scales tipped in the other direction. Literally. lol. Food that was once so scarce is the ultimate comfort, the only thing that fills and hugs me. But the feelings. The.. just everything. Congrats on this top story. THank you for sharing it. It reaches people... you reached people. <3

  • Congratulations on your Top Story🎉✌️

  • Test10 months ago

    Well written and engaging, congratulations on Top story! 🤍

  • Matthew Fromm10 months ago

    congrats on top story! this was quite the ride on a tough topic.

  • Kayleigh Fraser ✨10 months ago

    Great work 🙏✨🕊️

  • Alex H Mittelman 10 months ago

    Great work!

BelleWritten by Belle

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