Community Stories. Get Inspired, Get Underlined

Sweet as Candy: A Novel in Verse

By @Madison


It isn’t until the middle of our merry making

That my stomach begins to protest my meal

Leaving the color draining from my face

As I rush inside without explanation.

I race down the hallway to the bathroom.

I am just barely able to close the door behind me

Before I fall to my knees

Heaving the contents of my stomach into the toilet bowl.

Tears burn at the corner of my eyes as I retch to no end

Trying my best to keep my hair back.

Just when I wish that there was someone there to hold it back for me

Izzy bursts through the door

Left unlocked in my urgency.

“Oh, Candace!”

Without being asked

She kneels behind me

Collecting the long, slightly sweaty strands at the back of my neck.

My nausea slowly subsiding

I finally lift my head from the bowl.

Throat raw, I manage one word in Izzy’s direction.


She doesn’t reply, gently placing the back of her hand to my cheek as I turn to face her.

After a while, she pulls away with a sigh.

Just when I stand up

Flushing the toilet and preparing to brush my teeth

She places her hand on my arm.

When I turn around

Her eyes are fixed on mine

And it’s clear

That I’m not getting out of this easily.

This fact is confirmed when she speaks again.

“Tell me what’s going on. Now.”

Suddenly, under the bathroom’s bright orange lights

I know that I am no longer the girl I was thirty minutes ago

Celebrating her freedom.

I’m back to being screwed-up Candace

Puked out and frozen in fear.

Unsure of what else to do

I sit back down across from Izzy

Forcing myself to speak.

“What do you mean?”

She stares at me sternly.

“Candace,” she says.

“I’ve been trying not to pry, but something’s been off for weeks now. You hardly ever talk or eat. You aren’t speaking with your boyfriend. You’ve obviously been dancing around Alex and I. And now, you’re throwing up.”

I just barely see the flash of worry in her eye

Before every horrible possibility except the one at hand comes spewing out of her.

“It’s an eating disorder, isn’t it? Or are you depressed? Did Todd do something? Or is it someone else? Is there another boy? Or maybe a girl? Does it have anything to do with your mother?”

All I can do is shake my head

Pained by how clueless she is.

Unable to listen to any more

I interrupt her spiel.


She freezes.

“No?” she asks.

“No what?”

I shake my head.

“It’s none of that.”

Just when she looks as if she might ask another question

Her face falls.

Realization dawning

She crumbles before my very eyes.

She reaches out and grabs my hand

Eyes already becoming misty.

She says my name again.

“Candace,” she whispers.

“Please tell me you’re not pregnant.”

Pain returning to the pit of my stomach

And climbing up to my chest

All I can do is hang my head

And repeat that one word from earlier.


Join the conversation

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Post a comment
8 Likes 0 Comments
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

Become a Book Nerd

When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.