TITLE: Stick Figure
GENRE: YA Contemporary
When 16-year-old Elizabeth lands in an eating disorder clinic, she's determined to get out and win back her ex. But when anonymous gifts arrive in the mail, she’s forced to question everything she believes.
No one told me that when I got skinny I’d grow fur. Tiny translucent hairs, fine like white mink, appeared on my arms, legs, and face, giving me soft blond sideburns no girl should have. When I looked it up, the fur turned out to have a name—lanugo. Babies are born with it. Anorexics grow it.
My first thought? What a pain in the ass.
My second thought? So far, so good.
After all, I knew I had to suffer to be beautiful. Of all the things Mom said to me, I understood that this was true. If you wanted people to notice you, want you, admire you, envy you, want to be you, you had to sacrifice. Easy? No. But that’s why people called it suffering.
And even if all your suffering seemed to get you nowhere—well, nowhere except the Wallingfield Psychiatric Facility’s Residential Treatment Center, remember this: There is always success hidden in failure. After all, you might be locked away, but you’re still a size zero.
“I hate this hair.” I’d been at Wallingfield for exactly 21 days when I brought up my fur in group therapy. I don’t know why I chose that moment; maybe it was because the circle felt cozy that day, with the chairs pulled into a tight circle and our knees curled up to our chests to stay warm even though the baseboard heaters creaked and groaned all day.
Or maybe it was because I’d followed the rules, eaten my meals, and they were still there. I wanted to shave every single disgusting one off, except that a razor was sharp, and they didn’t let us have anything sharp at Wallingfield.