I tuck my hair behind my ear and cock it to one side. I barely breathe, do not move a single muscle as I wait for the car to crunch across the driveway gravel and pull out onto the road. As the silence of an empty house descends, I breathe again. And in one fell movement, I leap off the bed and crouch on the carpet, thrust my arm beneath my bed, and grab my scale.
Dash to the bathroom, and set it precisely in one of the tiles that make an endless grid on the floor. My heart begins to beat furiously. I peep my head outside the bathroom door, just in case she comes back, having forgotten something. Perhaps weighing yourself is an innocuous action to some, but in my mind, it could only prompt questions and suspicions. One, two, three, I slowly count. Nothing. The coast is clear.
But my heart beat hasn’t settled back to a steady rhythm. Here comes the pivotal point of my day. It enables me to write off the cruel pain in my stomach as hunger pain, and the price I must endure if I want to get what I need. It is what has kept me from dashing to the store and buying every item I can afford. The potential of it has absolved me of poorly done homework and scant revision. What I weigh.
I eye up the scale, and then my stockinged feet. Here we go. Indeed. I square my shoulders and step on, one foot, two foot, perfectly parallel on the white platform.
The little rectangular screen flashes at 0.0 lbs. Then another one, two, three flashes as it reads my weight.
And there it is. 132.0. Perfectly rounded off. One pound less than yesterday.
How can I bring myself to eat dinner after that?