Sara's Story of Anorexia
Anorexia is an eating disorder that makes people obsess over their weight and what they eat.
This story is about Sara, the sister of the narrator, who suffered from Anorexia.
Drops of water slithered down the surface of the unfinished glass of milk, while I sat, staring straight ahead, my mind lost in the remembrance of a similar rainy afternoon, two weeks ago.
It had been pouring, and I had rushed back home, anxious to show Sara what I’d made for her. She was seventeen, with rich, brown eyes, and a smile that had never failed to reassure me. She was my elder sister. I remember waiting for my mother to open the door for a long while before our neighbor had walked up to me, with our house keys in hand.
“I’m sorry I did not see you come. Your mother asked me to give you the keys and take care of you till she came back,” I said. Although he tried to smile, I could not help but notice the grave look plastered upon his face.
“Why? Where has she gone? Is Sara with her?”I asked him, my heart thumping in my chest. I was so confused. I received no answer, at least not the one I had asked for.
“You must be hungry. Do you want me to make anything for you?” The door was opened and soon, I found myself in the living room with our neighbor, who was trying so hard to avoid my questions. I put down my bag and repeated the question. He heaved a sigh and turned to face me. “They are in the hospital. Your sister-” he stopped short, as if not knowing how to explain things to me. But I did not need any explanation. I had known exactly what happened. Whether I had cried or gone numb, I did not remember. I still don't.
That day, Sara did not return from the hospital. The funeral was a morbid affair, one that I hardly remember. All I had been able to do was remember how things had been like for her when she was alive. She had been called all kinds of names. Every morning, she used to have that defeated look on her face, the apprehension of facing people again; of being called fat and disgusting again. Looking at diet regimes and exercise routines took up all of her spare time. It was not like she hadn’t tried to be healthier. But none of her efforts mattered. She was always judged, always looked at in a strange way.
Sara started to cut down on the food she ate. It was good that she was eating healthier and getting fitter, but it did not stop at that. It came to the point where she stopped eating proper food altogether. In just a few months, she had become unrecognizable, like a walking skeleton. The Sara I knew was gone. In her place was a girl who was crushed under the pressure put on her by all kinds of expectations of a ‘perfect body’. Nothing was ever good enough for people, everyone was expected to be perfect.
I had always hoped she would see herself the way I saw her. My big sister, who would do anything for me, who was so intelligent, who was the only person I could confide in.
My mother and I had tried to help her out, sought professional help, but nothing worked. She was too far gone. No one, including herself, had accepted her for who she was. My sister had died suffering.
That day, I had waited in her room for hours, clutching the sketch I had made of her, that I had been so eager to show her. She never got to see it.
The drawing sits in her room, pencil marks smudged by the tears that fell on them. That drawing is the last image of her smiling; carefree, happy.