“Why did you do this to me?” she asked herself, crying in the mirror, body full of fat and blood, thick, solid, thumping heart in her chest. “At least let me diet first. This body is too hungry, kills too many. I’d rather starve on a hospital bed than be this.”
And she had. For ten years before being bitten, she had gone between a hundred kilos and forty, bloated body and frail one, a life of self-hatred at extremes, a life both starving and full, in a desperate dissatisfied longing to find a perfect medium and passing it constantly. She had gotten used to the misery. It felt like she had spent less than 1% in that satisfied state before she lost it again, before her feelings, like a black pit of nerves and fear and disbelief, possessed her again and that hate bubbled to the surface again, convincing her she was ugly, that she wasn’t enough, that she had to eat less and exercise more, until her ribs poked out and her eyes sunk, and they had to feed her through a tube again. Feeling so sick, she swore she’d never do that again, and she ate and ate all her body back… until she couldn’t stop. And the process started over again.
She would never be back in that bed again. She was fat forever, a vampire thirsty for blood. Perhaps the vampire who bit her knew that, had a sadistic fascination with bloodlust, liked killing, liked corrupting her. Maybe he was like a soldier, or a serial killer, and wanted her to feel the same fury.
All that blood in her memories, dripping, soaking the ground, soaking people she had known… what was satisfying about that?
He walked up behind her, skinny had she had once been, thin waist, flat stomach, and wrapped his hands around her protruding one. “Because I love you, Stephanie. I hated to see you suffer. I want you to see yourself as I see you: beautiful.”
“I’ve killed people,” she said.
“I know,” he said. “But don’t you love me too? Isn’t this worth it?”
“No. Not anymore. I loved you too. But I can I love someone who made me this?”
“Because you just do. I can see inside your soul, Steph, I know you’re in pain. But love is forever, and I think you know that.”
“I feel no love here. I don’t think you ever have.”
“Stop lying,” he said, “it hurts, you know.”
“Now you know how I feel.”
“Please,” he begged, “just love yourself. Please,” he cried, silent solitary tears sliding slowly down his face. “Please.” He put his chin on her shoulder, looking at her reflection.
“I don’t know how,” she said.