I run to the bathroom at top speed, ignoring my mom’s questions. “I just have to throw up,” I tell myself internally. “No big deal, it’s gonna be okay.”

Leaning over the porcelain toilet bowl, my eyes squeezed shut, the contents of my stomach empty. Over and over. There must be an end. And it hurts—oh god, it hurts! Just please let it be normal…

I open my eyes, and begin screaming for my mom. No words, just screams. Because the vomit in the toilet is red, and it shouldn’t be. No. This isn’t happening to me. It’s happening to some other girl, right? Wrong.

“Oh my god!” Mom screams. “Hang on, Katie, sweetheart!” I hear her receding footsteps and the all too familiar beep beep beep of the phone dialing 911.

I try to protest. “No—” but then another wave of vomiting overcomes me.

I’m lying on something white, there’s a needle in my arm. “You passed out, Katie,” Mom says. “Do you know where you are?”

“Ambulance,” I tell her. “Ambulance.”

She nods.

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