Book Review : ' Ayesha ' Why Aren 't You Eating? Essay

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“Ayesha, why aren’t you eating?” My father’s thick Punjabi accent suffocates me. He walks to where I am and sits on the floor next to me. I fight back my tears and pretend to read my book, wishing I could just sink into a pile of quicksand. “Do you know how many people in Pakistan don’t have food? You don’t understand how lucky you are.” His voice is getting louder and yet I feel like I am underwater and cannot make sense of what he is saying. I look past my book and at my toenails, which have turned purple - probably a sign of anemia. I feel the guilt of being a nuisance set in my throat, forming a ball, seizing my breath. “You do know that you’re killing yourself slowly?” I look at my father’s hands, which are clenching into fists - showing his growing frustration despite his attempt at patience. “Ayesha, you have to start eating, or else I will stop talking to you.” And when I don’t respond, he follows with, “If you want us to leave you alone, that’s fine.” He gets up from the floor and leaves my room, shaking his head. My eyes follow his exit and freeze on the doorway. Then my mind starts racing. Leave me alone. Stop talking to me. Is it really my fault? Does he think I am being entertaining, or that I want to be the center of attention? Seeking help was out of the question; the thought of me being sick did not even occur to my father. I could not face him with the courage to tell him it was a mental illness-- that my eating disorder was the equivalent of a…

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