He had rejected her. Time continued, but not for her. She had tried all manner of manipulation; she had even starved herself because, surely, perfect beauty would catch his eye. Unquenchable tears fell .

All the hours she had spent devising ways to please him… to make him love her…  All the hours she had spent bent over a toilet until her throat bled…  All the discipline she had incurred in her search for his approval until she had collapsed… All wasted!

Now she was in the hospital with an IV in her arm and a tube to her stomach. The psychiatrist came twice a week and the pills twice a day.  And he came and said, “You got problems, baby, and I can’t handle it.” I wanted to scream, to argue, to do something other than lay here, eyes bulging like a cartoon character, tongue languid as a stone in my stupid mouth. I must have looked like a crazy person then because he turned a walked out the hospital room door. I didn’t say anything. Why didn’t I answer? I’m such a fool. I guess it was for the best. I wasn’t in my body anyway.

I hadn’t been, not for a long time. Ever since he had pushed me up against the wall outside his house. He slammed his hand over my mouth to keep me quiet. He was drunk and determined.  I’ve been hovering just over my body. Hanging, strangling, since that night.