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  1. Chapter 2­ 16th May 2017 “Fuck!” Her bleary eyes opened to take in their surroundings once more. And what familiar surroundings they were. The sepia hues mixed with ‘patriotic’ reds and blues on walled posters dotted around could only mean one thing. “Fuck you Yesterday Beth!” “She awakes at last” purred the deep voice next to her, as she turned to see the handsome man that lay next to her just stare at her. “Deon, isn’t it?” she grumbled, as memories stirred too. “Ha! She even remembers the name of her illicit lover too. I would be offended but I still think I got the better end of the bargain here” he said, kissing her shoulder. Beth just smiled. “Yeah, after a week of this, I should have cottoned on as to your name by now. And… my end of the bargain was pretty good too” Beth smiled, relishing the attention. “Hang on, what time is it?” “7:30am” “Fuck! I’m gonna be shitting late. And my boss is going to be so… I cannot afford to be late” Beth said, suddenly scrambling around. “Relax. Be chill. You’re not going anywhere...” he smiled as his eyes went up and down her body. “Without breakfast. What kind of gentleman would I be if I didn’t get my lover her favourite breakfast?” Deon said, getting up and stretching. Back under the covers, Beth admired the power of his naked body, lean but agile, panther-like and animal. “Cheese and ham toastie?” “Cheese and ham toastie” he confirmed. “Just the way I like it?” “Ohhh, you can be sure it’ll be just the way you like it” *-*-*-* 15 minutes later, Beth was merrily scarfing away in his bed, biting into her soft ham and cheese toastie to groans of pleasure. “God, this is good. You know ham is such an underrated vegetable” she said with her eyes closed in pleasure. “Ha! So we’re still calling ourselves a vegetarian are we?” “Yeah. I mean, I really shouldn’t be doing this. Fuck, I really shouldn’t be doing any of this. The sex, the lateness, the pig-flesh. Like, Future me is going to be really pissed off with Current me” Beth replied with a guilty smile wrapped around her face. “You have a very strange interpretation of time, Beth. I respect it. There is only one time in the whole universe, and that time is now. The past, the future, they don’t exist. Only now does. Now is the only god. Orange juice?” Deon offered her a glass. “Thanks. And your philosophy is so like mine. Just better worded. Mine is more YOLO” Beth grinned. “The Buddhists would disagree with you on that one. But the sentiment is good” he acknowledged, his eyes not taking themselves off of her. “And like, one ham and cheese sandwich isn’t gonna kill me, is it?” “Well, no but… do you know about something called the Butterfly Effect?” “Ashton Kutchner I think. Early noughties?” Beth replied, and Deon sat himself down and began to explain. “It means that the simplest thing, the most minor decision, can have dramatic repercussions. The idea is that the simple beating of a butterfly’s wing on one side of the globe, can cause a tornado on the other side” “Well, that makes no sense. Like, how strong is this butterfly?” Beth queried, and Deon laughed. “You… no, it isn’t about that. It is about chaos theory. You change the direction of something by just one degree and that seems minor. Inconsequential. But, if it continues to drift, over time, one degree becomes two, becomes three, and gradually it will end up millions of miles apart” “Rubbish. If I ate this sandwich or if I didn’t will make no difference to my life. You and your book-reading won’t change my mind. Unless I get fired that is, so I better go” Beth began to get up, having finished off her breakfast. “Sorry for getting crumbs in your bed.” “Relax. That is a problem for a later now. I’m only interested in the current one” he laughed deeply as he watched her get up. She walked around the room hurriedly, looking for her clothes. He eyed the delectable sway of her hips as she walked across the room, the curvature of her body as she put on her clothes, and the way they strained on her body as she put them on. “Fuck, these are getting a bit tight. I blame you, you know. I missed dance class last week and they kicked me off the team. My body misses the cardio. I’m gonna end up putting on weight if I’m not careful” “The beat of a butterfly’s wing, I warned you” Deon added with a raised eyebrow. *-*-*-*-*-* “Sorry I’m late Rupa” Beth said, rushing into the office where they worked. She was a little red in the face from the rushing, though, in hindsight, she hadn’t actually walked particularly fast to get there. Rupa looked up at her colleague with a friendly look on her face, as Beth caught her breath back. “Beth, sorry but could you close my door and come take a seat please?” “Oh. Oh, sure. Okay” Beth stammered, a little alarmed. She closed the door and sat on the seat opposite her boss. It was a tight, enclosed office, not like the ones you see in the movies. There was barely room for a desk and a swivel chair, and yet still Rupa had managed to cram in a small chair for her young apprentice to sit on. “Right. Okay. Look...” Rupa took a deep breath. “How are things? With you, I mean? We don’t talk often enough these days. Not since your birthday party. How are you holding up?” “Umm… I mean fine. I guess. How about you?” Beth sat uneasily. Normally, being in Rupa’s office would be time for a giggle and a catch-up, but this felt weirdly stilted and formal. Plus, the mentioning of last year’s birthday party was not reassuring, given what happened. “Oh. Not too bad. It’s strange, living with my brother after the break-up but… and Bipin’s got all that stress of running his restaurant. And I’ve got work stress. It’s… it’s fine. Honestly. What about you and Ronald? How are you two doing?” “Oh, don’t you know? Fuck, I thought I’d mentioned it. God, umm… we broke up. Sorta. I mean, I haven’t moved out yet but… you know how hard it’s been for us lately and...” Beth said with teary eyes. “Oh Beth! I had no idea that you’d actually...” Rupa interrupted herself by leaning over and giving her a hug. “I wish you’d said something. When did this happen?” “Oh, last week. I screwed up, Rupa. I screwed up. I keep screwing up. I don’t know why I do that to myself. Why do I keep doing this to myself?” Beth started crying, hugging her boss tightly. Rupa hugged back tightly too. Eventually, they pulled apart. “And I’m putting on weight” Beth added, fidgeting with her clothes. “Oh nonsense, you look great” Rupa retorted. “Rupa, I really am. In the past two years, I’ve… do you remember what you said to me, the first time we met?” Beth said, looking at her boss in the eye. “Yeah. I remember. Clear as day. I remember that interview, you walking in, late as ever” “Well, you can’t say that now. I’m sorry for the outpour. You know how I am” Beth apologised, setting herself back on the chair. “No, it’s fine Beth. And we’ve changed how we look since that day. I just… I wish you’d let me know sooner. Because… well, there’s no easy way to put this, but it’s about your tardiness. Look, I know how hard things have been for you but I did warn you last week and...” “Wait, are you kicking me off the apprenticeship?” 1) Yes, afraid so. There’s nothing I can do, I’m afraid. Look, Klara suggested we go out tonight, the three of us, for drinks. We can drown our sorrows together. 2) I’m supposed to. But I didn’t realise you were going through a break-up. I guess I could lay someone else off instead, but it would probably have to be Klara. 3) I’m supposed to. But… maybe we could come to some sort of arrangement. After all, you know how I feel about you. 4) Definitely. And honestly, I’m relieved. I like you as a person but it’s about time. You are motherfucking unemployable with that lazy attitude of yours *-*-*-*-*- 16th May 2019 “Fuck” It seemed like such a smart idea. And then she saw her and all the poisonous thoughts returned to her head. It wasn’t the voice of her, as she walked through the door, but the sight of her. Again. She saw the friendly smile across her West German face and knew that Future Beth was going to hate Current Beth for this decision. “Thanks Bipin for looking after my girlfriend, I’ll take her from here” Klara said to the kindly man, before coming over to her girlfriend and sitting down next to her. “So, you want to talk to me now?” “No. Not really. Maybe” Beth sulked, eating her food a little more slowly, a little more reluctantly now. “Don’t be like that, my lover” Klara moved closer and began stroking her hair. “You know I will always protect you. You are perfect”. “If I’m so perfect, why are you always trying to make me gain weight? Feeding me? Why aren’t you trying to protect me from that?” Beth spat acidically, pulling her dark mane away from her girlfriend. “Oh. That. We’re doing this again” Klara sighed, frustrated. “Look, I’ve known you for four years now...” “And how skinny was I four years ago?” “Oh, your ass was the skinniest, most toned ass I had ever seen” Klara leered. “Back then… were you trying to fatten me up? Even then, did you have your eye on me?” Beth asked sullenly. But Klara didn’t answer the question, or even acknowledge it. Her thoughts were now drifting elsewhere, floating towards more primitive cogitations. “You were so skinny back then, but look at you now. You look so beautiful, my lover. That dress is so tight, it highlights you beautifully” Klara said, softly running her hand down to Beth’s waist, who just hung her head in shame. “Now eat up!” Beth knew she didn’t have any choice. She just slowly put the fork back onto the plate and poured more biriyani into her mouth and began to chew. Her eyes weren’t in it, dimly backlit and not really looking where they were landing. She just continued to shovel the food into her mouth until she heard the metal of her fork clink against the base of the plate. “Fantastic. Now, I’ll order you some more, you just stay here” Klara said, rising to get up. But Beth leant over and grabbed her arm. “Please. No. I’m full. Please no more” she pleaded. “Oh? You’re full, are you? You know what happens when you say you’re full, don’t you? We feed you up even more. My lover does her best eating when she’s full” Klara said, tenderly but with a quiet aggression. Beth’s head went down in defeat. Soon enough, the plate came out again. Lamb dopiaza on rice, with onion bhajis, pakoras and vegetable samosas. Beth winced as she saw the plate land in front of her, squirming in her seat. Klara sat herself next to her, and slowly loaded up her fork on her behalf. “Here you go, my lover” she said, gently bringing the fork, laden with rice and a thick curry sauce, to Beth’s mouth, which opened and closed on demand. Another forkful, reloaded with the same, pushed towards Beth’s mouth, and her eyes closed this time as it went it. That was better. She was beginning to get back into the swing of it again. The old feelings were coming back again. Another fork in, this time of pakora, soft and falling apart as she bit into it. And another, samosa this time, steaming hot with every mouthful. Beth felt the mechanics behind her jaw creaking into action as she slowly sped up, a gentle rolling rhythm as the gears churned behind the scenes. Back to the dopiaza this time, and again. Beth’s head tilted back at this point as she chewed. Klara watched and smiled a victorious smile. Future Beth was going to regret this. *-*-*-*-*-* Stumbling back into the house, the two girls began kissing one another still in the doorway. Beth flung her shoes somewhere, Klara the same with her jacket. They clumsily worked their way into the lounge, pawing at each other likes puppies, where Klara pushed her girlfriend backwards onto the sofa. Standing in front of her, Klara looked at her girlfriend and was relieved to see reciprocal eye contact. This was going to be fun. “Take your dress off” Klara ordered, staring down Beth like she was the barrel of a gun. “I can’t” Beth gave her best puppydog eyes, a covert smile danced around her lips. “It’s too tight.” “I can help with that” Beth rose to her feet, fiddling with the straps of her dress until her arms were freed of them. Arms unhooked, Klara helped her slide the dress down her engorged body, rolling it down until she could at last free her legs. Lifting them up and out, she fall back onto the sofa with heavy breaths. Klara assumed her position by leaning over her, her breath wispier. “Sex, feeding, weighing? What is the order?” Klara said, allowing herself to look at the woman in front of her. “Oh, you know I hate choices. You put options in front of me and I’ll always pick the wrong one” Beth said with a giggle, the alcohol lowering her inhibitions but ramping up her naughtiness. “Sex last then. I want you to earn it. Food first, I want you to suffer. Weigh-in in the middle because I want to see what you way after eating but before exercise” Klara said, smiling away at the prospect of this. “Fuck, I regret letting you choose already” Beth said, but the biting of her bottom lip suggested that sincerity was not at the forefront of her mind. “You know, I really am full this time.” “I know” Klara said, grabbing some of her famous poppy seed cake, and pushing a slice towards Beth. Beth leant back with her mouth open and chewed, enjoying the taste but enjoying the discomfort more. A second bite, and then a third, and before they knew it, the first slice was gone. Without objection, Klara loaded up a second and began again, watching crumbs of soft dough from the cake down onto the soft dough of Beth. Down it went, both girls enjoying every sensual, sumptuous moment of it. “I’m done” Beth commented after that one. “Just one more, my lover” Klara coaxed. “No. Nothing. I am fuller than full” Beth protested. “Go on...” “Nope, this is me finished”. “Well, no sex for you” Klara said disappointingly, getting up and walking away from her girlfriend. “But you promised...” Beth shouted out, but Klara was walking out the door. “Fine, one more!” “Three” “No, you said one more...” “Three, or I’m going upstairs and leaving you down here” Klara countered obstinately. “Two, final offer” Beth rolled her eyes at the concession. “Excellent” Klara grinned, bounding back into the room with joy. She headed straight for where the cake was, and cut off two large slices. Beth just sighed, knowing she was going to regret this in the morning. *-*-*-*-*-* Klara helped the bloated Beth up the stairs, as the girl cradled her own midriff in discomfort. The last two slices of cake had taken her over any allusion towards having a limit, masochistically punishing her for her coaxed indulgence. German hands massaging her stomach helped, but it was just a watering can to the rogalian scathefire of tensile pain. With winces following each step, at the top of the stairs, the two girls turned and stepped into the bedroom. Beth first, Klara gently following, a considerate hand at the back to walk her through. Ignoring the WWII posters on the wall, Beth huddled with strained steps towards the bathroom. The sharp light bounced tartly off the bleached white tiles, a painful stab after the quiet low lights of the late night. Surrounded in hospital white, Klara did the leaning down and pulled the scales out for Beth to stand on. Beth looked timidly at her girlfriend, who encouraged her with her eyes to proceed. A sharp intake of breath, filling up on oxygen after filling up on everything else, and she stepped on to reveal her weight. Klara smiled as she saw the number… A) 165lbs 215lbs C) 290lbs D) 440lbs *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* 16th May 2015 “Fuck!” Beth stood in front of the mirror to watch her accidentally end up with a soft red lipstick stain on her front teeth. She scrubbed it off with her finger and stepped back to look at herself. She couldn’t help but smile. With her dark, frizzy hair slung over one shoulder and draping down her slender self, she looked elegant and smart. The white blouse, with matching light blue suit and trousers, made her look professional with just a hint of trendy. And it all fit her lithe frame so well, pinching in at her waist sharply, and the trousers needling down over lean and toned legs. She felt ready, she felt powerful, she felt motherfucking employable. “Babe, you’re gonna be late” Ronald shouted to the closed bathroom door. “I’ll be fine. It’s only around the corner. And besides...” Beth popped her head around the corner to smile at her boyfriend. “I wouldn’t want them to hire me, thinking I’m the kinda girl who arrives to things on time”. Ronald shook his head and smiled, before looking at the time. The interview was in 25 minutes and she was still getting ready. What was she even doing in there. He thought she was hot already. His response was a predictable one for all those that knew him. He dropped down to push out another twenty push-ups while he was waiting, just to kill the time. It was better than Candy Crush, after all. “That’s what I like to see” Beth smiled at her boyfriend as he finished the last of them off. And it was an impressive sight, in his tight black shirt clinging to his lean physique, looking every bit the modern day Adonis. His wavy blond hair getting in his eyes as he got back up, and his bicep bulged he ran his hand through it. “Come on though Ron… we’ll be late!” she joked, and he just smiled and shook his head again. *-*-*-*-* “Hey babe, keep up! I mean, I’m not saying you’re lazy or anything… but you’re kinda dragging behind” Beth said to him. “Oh you know I’m just enjoying the view. And if I’m lazy, how come I’ve got all these muscles. In fact, I’m hitting the gym while you’re doing your interview. Gotta stay ripped for my girl” Ronald beamed, flexing his arms again as they walked down the street. “And after my interview?” “Yeah, I gotta stay ripped after my interview” “No, you muppet. What are we doing after my interview? I wanna celebrate. You gonna take your girl out for dinner? Maybe drinks after?” Beth walked backwards to see his response. “Oh, you bet. Anything for you. I’ll think of something. And it will blow your mind, trust me. When I do think of it. Which I haven’t yet” Ronald replied, as flirtatiously as he could. They arrived at the imposing building that the interviews were held at, leaning over them like a titan. Just another overgrown monstrosity in a city full of them. No personality, just varying shades of drab in orthodox rectangular shapes, arranged lifelessly from a pre-designed selection of options. In short, it was the perfect satellite office for a large company like Rolls-Royce. They climbed up the stairs, zigzagging the Escher-esque endlessness, up to the 22nd floor. Not even out of breath, the two of them strode out into the corridor to see that the interior décor adhered to the same vapid colour scheme as its exterior. Grey, metallic chairs lined up against one side of the corridor wall, and none of them were taken. “What time is it?” Beth said, suddenly concerned. “11:03am” “Oh, practically on time then. Go me!” Beth grinned. At this point, a blonde girl with a stern face walked out, bidding farewell to what was presumably the interviewer. However, her frown somersaulted upside-down upon seeing the attractive couple waiting. “Hey, are you here for the apprenticeship interviews?” the girl said, with an unusual accent. “Yeah, are you here to interview me? Beth, by the way. And this is my boyfriend, Ronald. He’s just chaperoning me” Beth smiled her usual boisterous smile. “No. I just had mine. Klara by the way. Great to meet you, Beth. And you, Roland” she said, her eyes unashamed to span both of them as she continued to introduce herself. “Miss Tupuola? Can you come in please?” a voice from the room that Klara vacated, called out. “Well babe, good luck. I’ll hit the gym, so text me when you’re done” Ronald politely wished his girlfriend. “Aren’t you forgetting something?” “Oh yeah” he rushed, and then leant in to kiss her. “Good luck”. “That was nice. But I was actually referring to where you were gonna take me to eat after this” Beth giggled, as Ronald winced at his own forgetfulness. “Oh yeah, no, um… what about that place opposite Marmaris? The vegan bar? They do them really nice quinoa salads that you like” Ronald stammered. “Oh my god guys, do you actually eat at that place? That just seems really strange to me; I’ve never seen anybody go there. Like, how does it not have the bankruptcy? But now I know – you two must be keeping the company alive!” Klara epiphanised joyfully. “I mean, we do go there a lot. But it’s not like the company will fold if we stop going there. Anyway, nice seeing you Klara! And see you later Ron” Beth said, waving as she went into the interview room, watching Ronald and Klara walk off. Turning around and entering the room, it was clear how tight the office was. Barely a room for a desk and a swivel chair, let alone the small plastic chair opposite the desk for Beth to sit on. And despite that, Beth squeezed herself in and took a look at the woman interviewing her. She looked to be about 5, maybe 10 years older than her, but her formal yet smart dress style made it hard to tell. Her hair was centrally parted, and her glasses sat with thin-rims on her face. But it was a friendly face of a woman who was not slender but could scarcely be called fat neither. A broadly attractive Indian woman with a curious glint in her eye. “Wow, aren’t you a pretty thing. And so thin too. Beth, is it? Hi, my name is Rupa and I’m here to interview you about the apprenticeship positions.” *-*-*-*-*-*-* “So, you’re name is Roland” “Ronald” Ronald corrected the chirpy German girl, as the two of them headed for the lift. Klara looked at him, her eyes up and down his body like the elevator that they were about to board. “And your way of talking, you sound weird? Are you from Canada or something?” “Not exactly, I’m from Germany. In a small town called Winden actually. It’s near Düsseldorf. And Düsseldorf is the only city in Germany to end in Dorf, which means ‘village’ in German. Did you know that, Roland?” Klara explained. “You mean, you don’t speak English?” “Well, I think my English is pretty good, wouldn’t you say? Maybe even a little better than yours if we’re being truthful. I think that you go to the gym because there are no books in the gym. Your girlfriend, does she go to the gym often too?” She tilted her head as she looked at him. “Yeah, we crush it there. She loves cardio, but she also knows I like it when she works on her lower body, plenty of squats and things” he grinned, happy the conversation turned to something that interested him. “That’s so great to hear, but I am also thinking. In fact, Roland, I have a question for you?” “Sure. What is it?” 2015 I) “Instead of going to the gym, how about I take you out to this really cool burger ** near the city centre? A growing boy like you should be working on his gains” II) “Don’t you think that your girlfriend would look even better if she bulked up a bit, got herself a nice ass. A proper sized one” III) “You two doing anything after this? We could totally just hang out and chill. I totally get the sense we could be best friends” IV) “So, what do you know about World War II?”
  2. This is an honest-to-god honour and privilege. Thank you so much Berserker! And to those who don't know, check out their other contributions - The Comfort Zone, Paul's Dilemma etc. with Polaris. Game changer with Kowlooner/MaximumSpyder. The Sculpting of Kate by Woodsmont. Check out their stuff on their dA page, from the link in their comment - it's awesome
  3. This is the first chapter of an interactive story I'm doing on my DA page. There, people have been choosing which path they want to take at various crossroads, informing what type of story it is. I'm afraid you guys can't interact with it here because I can't edit stories a week later on Curvage to reveal the results. So I have to post it here after the results have been finalised. But chapter 2 has just been put up on there now, so you can interact with that installment Chapter 1 10th May 2017 “I hate Yesterday me” Beth sighed, waking up and hearing the unmistakable breathing of a last night hook-up next to her. Deep, laboured breathing occasionally catching and landing in a snore. “Seriously, fuck Yesterday me” She looked around the room and realised it was worse than she thought. It wasn’t her room. She’d not brought a boy back. A boy had brought her back. And just look. Walls dotted with vintage WWII posters. I mean, just what? What kind of monster has Britain Needs You on their wall? Had she accidentally hooked-up with Nigel Farage? That would have been awkward. She turned around, gently so as not to disturb, and looked back to make sure it wasn’t some grey-haired, middle-aged xenophobe deep-sleeping next to her. Thankfully, the dark skin and shaved head implied otherwise. He actually looked handsome, or as handsome as somebody can look when their face is quick-sanding into their pillow and they sleep with their mouth open. She’d done surprisingly well. She slowly pulled herself up, pausing and wincing every time the sheets rustled. Eventually she found herself up, and began the hunt for her clothes. Standing naked, she felt self-conscious. Nudity in front of a stranger never felt good, even if the stranger is sleeping and even if the body was Instagrammably curvy. It hadn’t always been that way. Beth Tupuola had been bone thin when she had first left school and joined Rolls-Royce on one of their engineering apprenticeships, in a way that felt zeitgeisty at the time but was more just a consequence of her love of dancing. Now, as she put on her underwear that had been lying on the floor, she could not have looked more different. She had what the magazines would call ‘curves’, and what they would describe as ‘generous’. It was all euphemistic, condescending bollocks, but they would have been right in saying that Beth looked good. The wavy black hair from her dad’s Samoan ancestry, her mum’s wide eyes and a body that was all her own. Hips that swung out like they were designed for jeans, served with a complementary arse worthy of the peach emoji. She felt this sway against her flattering dark purple dress. Her stomach may not have clung to her abdominal muscles like they used to in her dancing days, but its softness belied its flatness. And this left her in a place where every mirror that she looked at told her compliments about her 139lb 5ft2 frame. No wonder Mr Snoring-WWII-Enthusiast was so dishy. It was all that she deserved. It wasn’t all that Ollie deserved though. Beth picked up her phone and tip-toed downstairs where she could call her best friend without waking Mr Snoring-WWII-Enthusiast up. Fortunately, she was in a two-story property. One of them old terraced properties you associate with, come to think of it, World War II. Oh god, had she really slept with somebody so creepily obsessed with that era that it affected the house he lived in? “Come on… please pick up Klara” Beth whispered to herself, bouncing on the spot with pent-up anxiety. Eventually she heard the ringing stop and the phone answer. “Oh my god Beth, last night was mental. Where did you even go?” Klara answered down the phone. “I have no idea Klar. Why did you let me drink last night? You know I can’t take my drink. And now I’ve...” and Beth lowered her tone to a whisper. “...woken up next to some rando”. “Male or female? Wait, it wasn’t the hot, black guy was it? No hair?” Klara asked, clearly remembering the night better than Beth could. “Yeah, that’s the one!” “Oh my god girl. You picked yourself up a hottie! Wait, aren’t you still dating that dippy hippy chap? Roland or something ridiculous?” Klara asked. “Yeah, Ronald. I’m… technically still with Ronald. But, like, is that bad that I cheated on him? Cos I weirdly don’t feel guilty so maybe it’s the universe telling me to pull myself together and ditch Ronald. I think so. And it would be rude not to do what the universe says. Like, the universe knows what’s up” Beth whispered into her phone. “Oh, but I liked Roland...” “Ronald” Beth corrected. “Whatever, I liked him. He was cute. And he had no brains, which was nice. Plus, he dotes on you like a puppy” Klara argued. “Yeah, he’s cute and adorable. But he was even cuter and more adorable 40lbs ago. Now he’s as soft in the body as he is in the head. He just doesn’t do anything. Last time I mentioned maybe we should go to the gym, he thought I was suggesting we have a threesome with someone called Jim” Beth said back, trying not to raise her voice and disturb the man upstairs. “Fine, dump him. I’ll have him. You know I like a lover with an appetite” Klara said, winding her friend up. “Fuck you Klara. How does your German arse stay so fucking scrawny when all you do is feed men until their stomach becomes a dick shield anyway? And, who even is this guy I hooked up with?” Beth raged as quietly as she could. “I don’t know, but when I was watching you to dance...” “You make that sound weirdly creepy” “He seemed seriously into you. And he was magazine hot. But you might want to get out of there if you want to get to work in time. You know Rupa has got to make cuts in the department and your attendance is patchy these days” Klara reminded. Ever since the Brexit vote the year before, Rolls-Royce had been looking to reduce their workforce. “Ahh fuck! I was hoping to get to dance practice before work. But Rupa loves me, she won’t mind if I’m late...” “Again?” “Rupa really loves me. I’m her absolute favourite. You know, we hang out sometimes after work you know. She really likes me. Her brother owns this nice Bengali restaurant, you know the one on Leadmore Street, opposite where that new nightclub – Marmaris – is? Yeah, we just go there and hang out and chat shit about you apprentices. She is so fun and naughty, and it’s so inspiring for a woman still in her 30s to run the whole department. She’d never fire me” Beth argued. “She might not have a choice, babe” “Maybe. Oh, I don’t know. I really need to go to dance though. If I don’t, they’ll probably kick me off the team. God, all these dilemmas, off the back of accidentally shagging a hottie. I’m so unlucky at times” Beth joked with feigned self-pity. “You make your own luck. You tell your own story. You shape its every detail. And nobody can decide anything on your behalf. Beth, is it?” a voice came from behind “Sorry, I gotta go, the hottie is awake and talking to me” Beth whispered down the phone before hanging up. She turned around and smiled as if she hadn’t been talking about him behind his back. “So, you think I’m a ‘hottie’ do you?” Mr Snoring-WWII-Enthusiast smiled at her charmingly. “You heard that?” “I heard all of it. The walls in these old properties are really thin. I bet Madge next door heard that, even without her hearing aid. My name, because by the sounds of it you do not remember, is Deon. I’m a graphic designer specialising in WWII memorabilia. And I did not know you had a boyfriend, or I would not have made a move on you. Now… do you want a ham and cheese toastie for breakfast?” Deon asked with effortless chill. “Well, least that explains the creepy WWII posters. I mean, I’d love to but… I’m vegetarian so that’s probably the universe saying that I should go...” Beth gulped. “Did you not hear what I said about you telling your own story? And besides, one cheese and ham toastie for breakfast isn’t going to send you off the rails, is it? Come on… stay. You have anywhere else you need to be?” he smiled. 1) Beth agrees to stay and eat a cheese and ham toastie with Deon. 2) Beth leaves for dance class instead. 3) Beth heads straight to work to get there on time *-*-*-*-*-*-* 10th May 2019 “Future me is going to hate me for this” Beth smiled as she downed her shot. The talking to herself might have looked weird, but the loud, pulsing beats pumping its soundwaves through the sticky-floored dancefloor of Marmaris drowned out her words and most all else. “Seriously, fuck Future me!” She looked around the room and realised it was worse than she thought when it started listing like a rolling ship to one side. It wasn’t even 11pm and already her feet felt uneasy on the ground, despite the stickiness beneath theoretically ameliorating that. She saw the side-door where she could hang out with the vapers and the smokers, and breathe some fresh air to make things feel a little easier for her. It was harder than she hoped for, just getting there. She was uneasy on her heels at the best of times, and these were far sloshier times than the best of times. That, and the usual crowds filling the place with their waving arms and jabby elbows, all conspiring to stand between Beth and where she needed to go. Finally, she bundled past the last of them and reached the outdoor area where things just felt a bit better. The freshness of the mid-May air and the door closing behind her to dampen the sound of bass-vibrating dance music. “Ugh” Beth sighed, grateful for a wall to lean against as she pulled out her phone. Tonight had been a mistake, and she knew she was going to regret it in the morning. She was already teetering on regret as it was. First, her dress was not as flattering on her as she had envisaged it. It wrapped around her like it was trying to mummify her, giving barely her pores space to breathe. It should have been fine. It fit her when she wore it out a couple of weeks back, albeit not loosely, but it seemed as though any air between her and the dress had been suctioned out. It pulled up shorter than she’d have liked on her legs, revealing the duffled texture of her lower thighs as they brushed together against one another. And, being as pear-shaped as her evening was going, the dress heaved out to accommodate her prestigious hips and arse, wide and deep. Above that sat her stomach, leaning against the lining of her dress like she was leaning on the dirty wall. Her breasts were pushed up to the point where it was affecting her posture and her arms felt jumpered. How had she gotten to this size? What had she done to the universe to deserve this? It felt like only two years ago that she looked beautiful and curvy. It had been a tough old two years, that was for sure. And, to make matters worse, more creepy messages from her ex, who had refused to move on and let Beth go. On one hand, it was flattering that she could still have that effect on people, but the sheer clinginess of someone she was no longer seeing made her feel deeply uneasy and conspicuous as she stood outside. Messages, inappropriately flirtatious messages sent from an ex to a girl in a loving relationship; it all sounded like the sort of thing that the police investigation of a murdered young woman reveals. God, everything was the worst. And then it started raining. Now everything truly was the worst. So Beth trudged home, head slung low to protect her eyes from getting sore from the rainwater, but also as a consequence of her Eyeorian mood. Carrying her shoes in her hands, her bare feet on the cold, wet pavement, her dress soddening itself to her bulbous form. There was nothing for it, she ran across the road to Flavours Of India, the Bengali restaurant and takeaway. Standing in front of the door where there was shelter, she shivered as she scrolled through her phone’s contacts, looking for the local taxi firm. “Beth? Beth Tupuola?” was heard by her, and she jumped and turned in fear. “Who the fuc… oh, Bipin. You scared the piss out of me there” Beth said, her entire body shaking with cold and fear, to Rupa’s brother. “Oh, I am sorry girl. But I saw you coming from across the street. Come, sit down, let us get something for you to eat” Bipin said kindly, inviting her inside where it was lovely and warm. “Cheers Bipin. Been a bit distracted of late” “Oh relax Beth. God, you look soaked. Let my cousin get you a towel from the closet” he said kindly, before turning and barking aggressively in Bangla to what was presumably his cousin. From the back of the restaurant came a man with a towel, which Beth wrapped around herself. “And I know exactly what to get you. Chicken biriyani? Poppadoms? Garlic naans? Am I right?” “Yeah, that’s the one. That’s my usual. And, thanks Bipin” Beth said, smiling kindly. Beth waited while the wind and rain lashed on the sides of the quiet restaurant, with very few people entering and leaving. It was a Thursday, so it was perhaps predictable that it was quiet. Slowly warming up and lessening her shiver, a cold hand went into her handbag again and pulled out her phone. She flicked through and chose to ring her partner instead of a taxi. And here was the real reason that she had been in a bad mood. She was suffering from severe relationship troubles. It felt like all they did was argue these days. Sometimes the word ‘weight’ would be mentioned, but always would the arguments be full throttle and vitriolic. But Beth couldn’t hide forever. She clicked on the contact and sent a message, requesting to be picked up. “Here you go Beth. Chicken biriyani, poppadoms and garlic naans. I have no idea why you would eat naan bread with a biriyani but you do you” Bipin smiled as he served the steaming dish and sides. “Because it tastes nice. You do the best garlic naans, Bipin” she smiled as she tucked into it, her fork a shovel as she loaded it off the plate and then unloaded it into her mouth. The biriyani was surprisingly moist, the poppadoms were crisp, the naans tasted of oil and garlic. It wasn’t highbrow cuisine, but it served as comfort food to a girl who could do with some comfort. And she ate it with vigour of a starved animal. However, halfway through the meal, she heard the bell over the door ring to indicate somebody had walked through it. “Hey Beth, you text me for a taxi ride back?” “Hey, my lover, let me just finish this and I’ll be right with you” she replied, turning with a greasy smile to see her partner… A) Rupa Deon C) Ollie D) Klara
  4. Just want to thank Dania201 for advice and guidance on this story and, in particular, this chapter. It's a bit longer than I would have liked, but it covers ground with much more insight than I could have mustered on my own - so thank you April 2020*** Part 2/2 “Can I come in Bloob?” Martin said, with a gentle rap on the door. “No” came the muffled, teary reply from inside. “I’ve got rocky road...” Martin added, in an almost sing-song voice. He put his ear to the door and heard no second objection. He took that as an invitation to come in. He pulled the door open and saw his little girl, tucked under her duvet with streaky mascara down her cheeks and brown stains around her mouth. “Hey, Bloob” he said softly. She still said nothing, just glared at the window across her room with a crumpled face. “Look, I’ll just put this here. Ooo, are those KitKats? God, I haven’t had a KitKat in ages. Didn’t know they still made them” he said, noting the half-eaten packet of them by her bed, and their corresponding emptied wrappers scattered over the floor like calorific confetti. “Oh, lay off it dad. You expect me to believe that. And mum’s probably downstairs saying ‘I told you so’, isn’t she? I bet she said I’d be up here stuffing my fat… no, sorry, morbidly obese face” Bluebell sulked, still not making eye contact with her father. “Oh, she said nothing of the sort. Don’t worry. And do away with all that KitKat rubbish and treat yourself to a real snack. Remember rocky road? You used to love this stuff” Martin said, with a big grin on his face, waggling the container like he was trying to entice a puppy. “When I was 11, maybe” Bluebell grouched grumpily. Martin’s face wavered in its optimism, flickering at the corner of his lips. “But, better than KitKats I suppose”. Bluebell turned around and looked at her dad directly in the eyes. There was a tired apathy behind them, like they had just run out of juice. Like she just didn’t have the energy to be angry any more. She didn’t say anything, as she opened the packet and began eating. Neither of them said anything. They just sat next to each other, with Martin sat at the end of her bed, and stewed in the quiet, with Bluebell’s chewing and crunkling of the plastic container being the only noises made. Eventually, Martin moved, leaning down towards the floor and picking up a KitKat. A slight smile slipped across Bluebell’s face as he did it. “Shhh, don’t tell your mother” he said, smiling back as he opened them. He looked at them with a look of surprise. “Huh, they’re smaller than I remember.” “You really didn’t know that they still made KitKats, dad?” Bluebell finally said. “Honestly? Yeah, I did. Dunno why I said it, frankly. Not had one in so long though. Always remember them being a big deal, but these are just puny little things” Martin snickered to himself, holding up a waifish wafer as if to inspect its petty size. Bluebell went to open her mouth with a cheap ‘most chocolate bars feel small these days to me, too’ joke about her weight, but thought better of it, in her current mood and in the current climate. God, how long had she been making such jokes? How much had she normalised it? Instead, they just continued eating in silence. “Hey… do you have any smokes?” Martin asked. “Sure, ashtray’s on the windowsill” she pointed, and he grabbed it for both of them. “So then Blue, why are you so… blue?” Martin smiled at his own joke. “I mean, I know mum’s already told you so what’s the point?” Bluebell grumped with a handful of side-eye. “She may have mentioned something about it all being to do with some diet you agreed to do with her?” Martin exhaled calmly on his cigarette. “Did she now? We both agreed to it, did we? Sounds about right” Bluebell muttered. “So I take it that you didn’t?” “No I fuc… No I didn’t. She suggested it and it should have pissed me off. Treating me like I’m defective, like there’s something wrong with me...” “Oh, I’m sure she didn’t mean that Bloob...” Martin interrupted, defending his wife. “If she doesn’t think I’m broken, then why’s she trying to fix me? You know, I try. I really try to be a good person, positive person. Someone who makes a positive difference in the world. Who loves themselves and others. But treating me like that, it just… it knocks my confidence, y’know. Like, aren’t your parents supposed to love you unconditionally? So what does it say about me that I’m so fat that I breach even that?” Bluebell started her speech with a roar to her voice, but ended it with a tremulous quiver. “Hey, that’s not true. And you know that’s not true” Martin countered, a little curtly. “Do I?” “Yes. Yes you do. You know she loves you, and when she does stuff that annoys you, it’s not because she doesn’t care… it’s because she does” Martin explained, and Bluebell twitched at the thought of it. “Now tell me, why does your mum think you were involved in some diet pact when you say that you weren’t?” “Because… when she asked… I guess I didn’t say yes but I didn’t say no either. And she took that as a yes. Or whatever. And what was I supposed to do? I felt trapped into doing it. ‘Sorry, mum, for the confusing messages but I actually want to continue charting a path beyond morbid obesity’” Bluebell confessed, mocking herself with inflection on the last line. “But… didn’t you… don’t you want to diet?” Martin asked, curiously. “You too? Really?” Bluebell raged. “No. I… I didn’t mean it like that. I just thought that you wanted to. It’s how your mother told it anyway. That you were trying to lose some weight and she wanted to help you. Because she, deep-down, just wanted you to be happy. So, do you want to lose weight?” “No! God… yeah? Maybe? I dunno. I think so. Yeah, I do. No, I know I do. I do want to lose weight. I mean, is that shallow or superficial or whatever? Aren’t I supposed to be body positive enough to be okay with my build? Am I a hypocrite?” Bluebell wondered, discarding the now empty box of rocky road that she’d obliterated. “You made light work of them. I told you that they were your favourite” Martin smiled victoriously. “Hey, you want the rest of your KitKats back?” “Yeah, go on then. Shouldn’t but… I mean I need the calories like I need a whole in the head...” “Trepanning?” “What?” “Trepanning. It’s that thing they used to in early medical times, when they drilled a hole in your head to let the bad spirits out and… this isn’t relevant, is it?” Martin just couldn’t help himself with his history buffery at times. Bluebell didn’t mind, she was back on the KitKats. “And to answer your question, yeah.” “Yeah?” “Yes, you are a hypocrite” “Thanks for the pep talk dad” Bluebell said with a sneer and a healthy dollop of sarcasm. “You hold yourself to a different – a higher – standard than others. You’re allowed to be body-positive and thin; you’re allowed to be health-conscious and fat; you’re allowed to be you Bluebell, as long as who you are is good and kind and thoughtful. And it is. And you are. Don’t decide what you want to do based on what others think but what you think” her dad explained, looking sympathetically at his daughter. “Thanks dad. You always had the best advice. But… it’s easier said than done. I want to not give a fuck, sorry for swearing, about what other people think. But I can’t help it. I walk past someone, anyone, and I think ‘what if they remember what I used to look like?’. They’d look at me with disgust and horror, and wonder what on Earth I’ve done to myself. How could she let herself go like that. Or, what if they’ve never seen me before? Then the opposite happens and they just presume I’ve always been fat, just born a lost cause and a self-made one, and I want to shake those people and say ‘actually, it’s a really recent thing and just last year, I was thin and beautiful’” Bluebell said, blowing her nose on a tissue after she finished her diatribe. “So?” “So, I do want to lose weight. And… I tried. I did. I didn’t mean to hide the treats. It just spiralled. I lasted a week. Literally just one week! That was it. And then I was at work and I was tired and I thought, ‘who cares? nobody can see me, so it doesn’t count’. And then it happened again the next day, but nothing bad happened last time and it was only another one-off. And again and again. One-off after one-off, until the one-offs became the norm. I’d sneak the stuff home in my work handbag, and it would be some pathetic rebellion. And then, every time I’d get some alone time, I’d think about eating. Stuffing it in, sneakily, quickly, to avoid getting caught. It was so stupid. And it just got out of hand again. I began spending my day just thinking about the eating and the avoiding getting caught. If I put that much energy into dieting, I’d be Ariana Grande-sized by now...” “I have no idea who that is” “I know you don’t dad. But she’s basically Tinkerbell in bronzer. Anyway, it just happens. Mum is furious about how much I eat and honestly, she doesn’t know the half of it still. I use work’s bins mainly to get rid of the stuff. It’s a problem. I think I’m addicted to eating dad? Is that a thing? Cos I think I have it?” Bluebell started crying again. “No. It’s not… I mean, maybe, but you’re not addicted to eating. You’re just...” “Fat. I know. And more and more, that’s what people see when they look at me now. I know they do. And more and more, it’s affecting how I am. Even before the quarantine, I’d go out less, cos I just didn’t fancy the walk. The hassle of it. It just… and now I hoard chocolate like a diabetic squirrel. Like, the Mission Impossible levels of subterfuge because I can’t get enough Battenberg. It’s embarrassing. And now, I’m not only not lighter, I’m heavier. Another month, another half a stone. 259lbs. Cos that’s a sustainable rate(!)” “To be fair, Battenberg is good” her dad consoled. “Yeah, it is. But it’s the lying. I hate it. I hate it so much. And it scares me because I hate it so much and I do it still. Because I hate the thought of not eating more. I mean, how embarrassing is that. I must do, or I wouldn’t do it. I hate the lying, but not enough to stop. I don’t want to tell you because it’s embarrassing, but not enough to stop doing it. What the fuck is wrong with me dad? What kind of person is this deranged?” Bluebell heaved heavy tears into her duvet. “Hey, hey, hey. Don’t cry love. Look, I get it. I get it” Martin hugged her tightly, patting her on the back like he used to when she was a kid. “But that’s the thing. You don’t” “Oh child. You have no idea. I completely get what you’re talking about. I was exactly the same at your age” “N… no you weren’t. Y… were you?” Bluebell pulled back from him to frown with confusion. “Maybe not exactly the same, but how you described it sounded really familiar. I was the same when I started smoking” “So I am addicted to food? Is that what you’re saying?” Bluebell asked, defensively. “No. What I am saying is… I used to lie too. All the time. To my parents. Oh god, now I love your grandma and grandpa. And they were really laid-back parents. They were. Never raised their voice. Never got angry. But, despite that, I would lie to them about my smoking. I mean, it was around the time that smoking was treated as unacceptable. My parents’ – your grandparents’ - generation was different. They smoked because it was the norm. But ours were the first to know better. And yet I did it anyway. Literally behind the bike sheds at school. It wasn’t a cliché back then, it was just ‘cool’” Martin explained. “I didn’t know this. I didn’t know any of this” Bluebell said, perplexed. “No, well I… I don’t brag about it. I’m ashamed of it to be honest, still. But yeah, I’d lie to my lovely parents, hide it from them. Do all that spy stuff you were talking about. Oh, I thought I was Billy-big-bollocks for my deceit, but I look back and just wince. It wasn’t fear. They never would rage. Well, it was fear, but a different kind. Fear of letting them down. Fear of disappointing them. Fear of that look in their eyes when they realise and life just deflates out of them like a punctured football. So I did all the stuff you talked about. But the daft thing was, they knew. Ha, yeah, they know all along. Of course they knew, the stuff stinks. It’s not like eating, smoke gets on your clothes, your breath. They know and they didn’t tell me they knew. You know why? I didn’t know why at the time, but now I’m a parent, I do” “Why?” “Fear. Fear of me feeling like I was letting them down. Fear of me feeling like I was disappointing them. Fear of having to be stern and condemnatory when all they want to do is hug you. Your grandma still hasn’t mentioned it. We just never talk about it, still to this day. And I don’t want us to be like that. Secrets. Afraid of each other. So… I’m sorry Bloob. I’m sorry that you felt you had to be like that around us. That’s something we should feel guilty about, not you. Promise me Bloob , promise me that you’ll never feel like you have to keep secrets from us. Because it’s our job to ensure that you never do feel like that. Okay, pet?” Martin had a little tear in his eye too at this point. “I promise dad. I promise” Bluebell sniffled into the shoulder of his shirt, where her face was tearfully buried. “So, what do you want to do, Bluebell? What do you want to do?” her dad said, his face open and supporting. “I want to lose weight” “Are you sure? This is definitely what you want?” “Yes. I want to lose weight” Bluebell said, with more resolve this time. “Well, in that case, how about a different type of pact? Look, rather than have your salad-eating mum go calorie counting with you, that’s not what you need. You need somebody who can relate, somebody going through the same thing. So, Bloob, if you give up snacking… I’ll quit smoking” he said, hoping that the words would take. “Y...you’d give up smoking? To help me?” Bluebell seemed shocked. “It seems only fitting. Smoking is my equivalent of your snacking” “Then what’s my smoking? Cos I can’t give up both at the same time, I’d go crazy” “Hey, that’s fine. If I feel tempted, I’ll ask you to blow smoke towards me so I can just smell that lovely tobacco air. Plus you can have all my cigarettes” her dad reasoned. “And just stop snacking. Of course, if you do, it’s not a big deal. It would, if anything, be reassuring to me, as someone going through the same thing, to know that you can fall off and get back on again. No secrets, no lies and no snacking, and I’ll give up a habit I’ve had for nearly 35. Deal?” he stuck out a hand to shake. “Deal” and Bluebell shook hands with him. “And tell your mum I’m not an enabler” he said, with a smile. “You are such an enabler” Bluebell said, lighting another cigarette as a preventative measure against eating the remainder of her KitKats. “All you do is enable me”.
  5. Thanks so much! Really appreciate all the help with this
  6. April 2020*** part 1 First were the footsteps. Heavily, crashing things pummelling downwards as she headed upwards. Then came the slam of the door, threatening its hinges as a bile-fuelled push crashed it against its frame. Finally came the uncomfortable creak of her bed, the wooden slats wincing as she threw herself on it like she used to before she doubled in weight. Downstairs, listening to all of this, Bluebell’s mum just put her head in her hands. “Denise, what happened?” Martin said, crossing his arms and seeing his wife puff her cheeks out in frustration. “Just don’t go there. You don’t wanna know” she said, bitterly. Each word said only less poisonous than the ones she didn’t say. Her hand pointed itself at him, an open-palmed stop as she looked away in disgust. “Now, now, it can’t be that bad. If it’s about the mess in the dining room, I’ll clear it up just once I’ve finished painting this P51D Mini Mustang” he offered. “No, it’s not about your toy planes Martin...” “Model planes Denise. Toy planes are for children. Model planes are for historical enthusiasts” he argued pedantically. “Whatever. No, it’s about Blue. She’s been lying to me and keeping secrets from me. You know I can’t stand liars Martin. It’s the one thing...” she wagged her finger at him, but the words felt like she was trying to convince herself. “Blue? Lie? That’s not like her...” “Isn’t it? I dunno. Sometimes I wonder if it is. You know how she’s been trying to diet?” Denise explained. “Yeah, you women and your diets” Martin replied dismissively. “Oh, sod off Martin. Do I look like I’m in the mood for your sarcy comments? She decided she needed to go on a diet and I decided I’d help her. Something we could do together. You know, mother and daughter. Like when we used to do things together. Before she went all… like she is. I thought, y’know, since we’re stuck together during this quarantine… well, we thought we’d do one of them calorie journals. Just to track it. Not even cut back, just get an idea of how much she consumes, so we can work out how many calories she needs to cut out, to lose weight. A real plan, the two of us. And we did it for a whole week of her just eating normally. And it was about 3000-3300 calories, which is a lot for a woman but not as bad as I worried. You know, for her to pile it on like she has...” “Don’t say that. Don’t say it like that” “Well, it’s true. She has” she protested. “Maybe, but… try ‘she’s accumulated some excess matter’ instead. I don’t know. Just, your phrasing there, it goes right through me” Martin said, massaging the temple of his forehead. “So I was worried. That was why I went online, on the NHS website...” “Was that really necessary? It all seems like a bit much. All girls gain weight at her age...” “Martin, grow a spine, would you? She’s officially morbidly obese” “No she’s not. Don’t be ridiculous. You’re exaggerating” “She was there, last month. Remember when I broke my phone. It was then. So could you kindly stop interrupting me to tell me that the facts that I’m telling you aren’t true. Okay?” Denise snapped. “Sorry, go ahead” he said into himself, feeling scolded and a little embarrassed. “It said she needed to eat 1800-2400 to lose weight. At first, I thought that was great, and we agreed to make a diet pact, and we’d both eat 1800 calories together. Together. Even though that’s probably more than I eat normally, but I wanted to be supportive. Like I say, a real mother/daughter thing” she continued. “That’s your idea of a mother/daughter thing? Not eating?” Martin deadpanned. “Oh, like you’d know. You’re the one who gave her all these bad habits. You can’t talk to her without giving her something bad for her. But that’s not the point. The point is that then I thought, ‘how is she putting on so much weight?’. If she can lose weight by eating 2400, how can she be gaining so much weight so fast when she’s not eating that much more. So I began worrying, as I do, and started googling about thyroids and body chemical things… imbalances or whatever. And I was worried that I would have to take her to the doctor. And with this lockdown, I thought, should we wait until after? I mean, all the adverts say you shouldn’t put major stuff on hold but...” “Oh Denise, I’m sure she doesn’t have a thyroid problem. She’s probably just snacking a bit maybe or...” Martin tried to console her and got a death glare. “That is exactly what is happening. Not a thyroid problem. A snacking problem. I checked the outdoor bin… god knows why I did. I didn’t think she’d actually… well, she’s been sneakily hiding all her wrappers in the outdoor bin. Not just the one in the kitchen or whatever. Straight into the outdoor one. At night. So as not to get caught. Deliberately” Denise began pacing again with annoyance. “Oh. Is that all?” “What do you mean, is that all? She lied? She looks me in the eyes and says 3000 or so calories and I swear to god it is double that. You should see the rubbish. It’s quantities that Scooby Doo and Shaggy would baulk at. How? Why? Is she doing this to spite me? We made a pact. Does she just not care. I mean, what did we do wrong Martin, to bring her up in that way? She used to be such a good girl. Not this” Denise rolled her eyes in exasperation. “No. Hang about. Don’t talk about our Bluebell like that. I mean it Denise. I get that you’re angry but I’m not having it. Not in this household. That’s our Bluebell and… look, she spends 8 hours a day working at care homes because she cares. When most wouldn’t, she does. I’m proud of her. I’m proud of the girl she’s grown into” Martin raised his voice in a way he rarely did. “Oh, she’s grown all right...” “Just… let me talk to her. It’s a tough age for the girl and she’s been through a lot recently and now all this is happening… just let me talk to her. Okay? This house is too small for you two to be avoiding each other” Martin reasoned. “She’s probably up there stuffing her face behind our back now” Denise sniped, still palpably bitter. “Oh come on Denise, she isn’t. She’s not. She wouldn’t. Look, just… leave my planes alone for a bit, let me fix things over for you with Bluebell and I’ll sort them out when I come back down” “Why would I touch your toy planes Martin? What’s this even got to do with them?” “Model planes, not toy planes. And, just don’t touch them. And if I’m not back downstairs in 15, call for a search party” he smiled, grabbed something from the kitchen and began to climb the stairs. “That’s not funny and… what are you taking up the stairs Martin?” Denise shouted before he got halfway up. “This? It’s some rocky road. It’s her favourite and I thought...” “For fuck’s sake Martin, did you even listen to a word I just said? I say she’s eating behind our back and you reward her with… god, you’re making me swear… fucking rocky fucking road. I swear Martin, you are...” Denise seethed, her cheeks flushing with frustration. “Trust me. Okay? You did your bad cop routine, she needs some good cop. I get my Bluebell. I understand her. And this… this will help. It’s a peace offering, it’s her favourite, and she doesn’t need judgement, she needs an ear. Do you trust me?” Martin said, looking at his wife sternly. “Fine. Do your good cop thing. But know this Martin… you are an enabler for that girl. All you do is enable her” Denise said, but without malice.
  7. Yeah, you make a really good point about the hiding her eating from people due to how extreme it is. I wish I'd confronted it before the story reached lock down. I could probably find a way to explore it though now her mum has mooted dieting once more. Not in April, but maybe May? But thanks for the tip. I was hoping for relatable, and I think you're advice might help with that
  8. Thanks so much. I love how invested you are, it's really reassuring. As for the weight gain, I split the arc in my head into a series of incremental changes. At first, it was just the indulgent lifestyle she'd always had and grown up with, supplemented by drinking. That was the thin stage. Then she and everyone realised, but she lashed out to spite everyone and they were aware (though she hid it as best she could). That was the transition stage. Then her birthday came and they all sort of unofficially came to accept her eating habits as part of who she was. That was the fat stage and they just normalised it. And this? This was supposed to be the epiphany about how they had normalised it, and how abnormal this new normal was. I love weight gain stories that explore these shifting normalities, where people's eating habits are crazy, but there's nobody impartial around to point it out. I love your idea of it subconsciously affecting her dating life. I think her lack of dating is more like it's tied to her self confidence, her perception of self, and her feelings about Bosh. But also, when I ended the story originally, I really wanted to write a story that didn't end with the character's self realisation being tied up with being in a relationship. But now I've restarted it, I guess I need to explore new ideas. Thank you so much for the kind words and support though
  9. March 2020*** Bluebell sat on the kitchen work-surface with her cheeks puffed out and her legs swinging aimlessly through the air. Her poor, hunched posture squishing her soft stomach out even further than usual. “Ooookay, how about now?” her mum said, walking back over to her with a makeshift mask made out of old t-shirts that Bluebell couldn’t fit into any more. She put it over Bluebell’s mouth to check that it fit this time, and could see from the way that Bluebell’s chubby cheeks bunched up around her eyes that she was smiling underneath. “Thanks mum, this is great” Bluebell said, using her phone to check how she looked in its camera. The t-shirt itself was an old Little Mix one that Bluebell wouldn’t have worn these days even if it fitted her properly. But neatly manufactured and modified by her mum, it didn’t look so cringe. “Hey, I want to keep my only daughter safe” her mum replied. “I know. It’s Bojo’s fault. I can’t believe they haven’t locked down yet, after what’s happened to Italy and now Spain. It’ll be us next, I bet you. And there’s no PPE in the hospitals, let alone for people like little old me in the care homes. Social care needs nationalis...” Bluebell was off again with one of her rants when her mum interrupted. “Just focus on being safe. And stop making everything about politics. I’d like to spend some time with Bluebell my daughter, not Bluebell the politics nerd” her mum gently and kindly chastised. Bluebell smiled back in acknowledgement. “Fine. Sorry. It’s just… I’m nervous about going back. I haven’t worked there in a few months and… I’ve not exactly shrunk in the meantime. It’s just, I figured it was the right thing to do” Bluebell confessed. “Oh, it is the right thing to do. And don’t worry about what they think of your weight. The important thing is you don’t catch it” Her mum smiled proudly at her daughter, rising to the occasion and going back to her old job just to support. The virus meant that they were short-staffed, with staff self-isolating every time they had a cough meaning there were a lot of regulars not there. She knew the job, she knew the people and she cared. So she answered the call of duty while still qualifying for furlough at the tattooists. “I won’t catch it. Don’t worry. I don’t want to spread it to all them old dears. There the ones I worry for” Bluebell reassured her mum. For the first time in her life, Bluebell felt in a position where she could be the one reassuring her mum and not vice-versa. “Oh, I don’t care about them. I care about you” her mum reiterated, booping her on the nose like she used to when she was a kid. “You just don’t want me to bring it back here. Dad’ll probably get it and blame it on 5G again. We really need to keep him away from Facebook. They’re radicalising him into a right numpty” Bluebell giggled. She was pretty sure her dad was only taking the piss and pretending he believed all that conspiratorial stuff. Pretty sure. “Ohhh no, a mother always cares about their child the most. One day, you’ll understand” her mum pressed on. “Yeah, not for a while though, no motherhood on the horizon for me. And the news says it’s only the elderly and those with underlying conditions that should be worried, I’m young and healthy. You don’t have to worry” Bluebell again reassured her mum, this time with her hand on her shoulder. “Yes, I know you’re young. But it’s the other bit I’m worried about” her mum looked sadly at her daughter’s body. “What other bit? The healthy bit? What do you mean?” Bluebell seemed confused before realising what her mum was alluding to. “Hang about, are you saying… you think I’m so fat that I should be considered a ‘vulnerable person’?” “Well… I mean...” “Fuck off!” “Bluebell! Less of that tone with your mother!” “Sorry. But, like, screw you for saying that. I’m a bit chunky yeah. But I’m not Rona fodder because I’m partial to a bacon butty all of a sudden. I’m still your Bluebell” Bluebell protested, her cheeks reddening and warming as she felt her temper flare up. “The NHS advice mentions being overweight and...” “I’m not that overweight” Bluebell protested a little more defensively. “Well, how much do you weigh then” her mum asked, getting her phone out and checking googling for a BMI calculator site to check. Bluebell stayed silent. “Well?” “251” Bluebell mumbled under her breath. “Sorry darling, I didn’t catch that” “I said… 251lbs” Bluebell said with an eyeroll. “And what’s that in stone, sorry” her mum continued, frowning at the website. “Well, 14lbs in a stone so about 18 stone...” Her mum dropped her phone in shock. “Mum?” “Sorry, I...” she stammered, picking her phone up. The screen was all smashed, making it hard to read. “I’m sorry, I know it’s a lot” Bluebell’s eyes began to water, twitching her head to the side as she did. “Oh, don’t worry. I’m sorry I dropped my phone. I wasn’t shocked it was just… I wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Are you sure you got your maths right Bloob?” her mum asked with shaky hands. Bluebell just nodded, while sniffling. “Oh, I… I mean, that actually is quite a bit more than I thought but… let’s see what the website says”. Her mum tried to type in the numbers but the cracked screen made it difficult. “Here mum, I’ll do it on mine. I’m sorry about your phone” Bluebell said with a croaky voice. “Oh, don’t apologise, it’s nothing. I was due an upgrade anyway” her mum lied. “It says here that if I’m… let’s put in 5ft5 and I weigh… that number… my BMI is...” and then Bluebell slammed her phone down onto the side and started crying all over again. Her mum, with unsteady hands, picked up the phone and read what it said. 41.77 Morbidly Obese. “I didn’t realise I was this bad” Bluebell mumbled. “I mean, I know I’ve put on some weight...” And Bluebell’s verbalised thoughts were interrupted by a hug. Her mum began crying. “Look, Bloob. I will never judge. I only worry about your health” her mum said, bracing her tightly. “I know mum. I just didn’t realise I was this far gone. I just thought… oh god, I drink and smoke way too much too. Do you think I should not go? Am I vulnerable?” Bluebell said, hugging her mum back just as tightly, her words muffled by the fabric of her mother’s cardigan. “No. You’re Bluebell and this is who you are. You are selfless and kind. If you didn’t help, you wouldn’t be my Bluebell, the girl I am so proud of. But shall we think about you going on a diet maybe? Might help?” her mum suggested, pulling away to look at her daughter in her eyes. But Bluebell didn't even get a chance to answer. “What’s goin’ on in ‘ere then? My two favourite girls having a moment? And what’s happened to your phone screen love?” Bluebell’s dad asked, walking into the room and missing the conversation that had been had. “Oh, just dropped it. Clumsy hands” her mum said, looking after her daughter’s feelings. “You know why that is, don’t you? It’s them 5G waves messing with your brain signals. This whole coronavirus is just misdirection, it’s the 5G you have to watch out for” her dad said, with a big smile. “Oh, please tell me your joking dad!” “Not summat to joke about. You know, your uncle Jerry shared this intercepted, private government communication with me on Facebook...” and then his face broke and he started laughing. “I nearly had you two for a sec, didn’t I? Oh, you know what, I am funny at times. I do make me laugh.” And Bluebell and her mother both laughed two, though as much out of relief as anything.
  10. Chapter 29 One week earlier “Rutherford” “I can’t believe I get a full week of being filled to the gills. Like, yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s technically reading week or whatever. But the only thing this whale is gonna be reading is her scales as her weight is going up, ya feel me? And I know you feel me. Geddit? As in, you literally feel me” Rutherford babbled. “Rutherford, love” “Like, it’s gonna be so good. I’m gonna balloon. Nah, fuck ballooning. I’m gonna Zeppelin. Yeah. I’m not gonna be some basic ballooning bitch. Balloons are tiny. I want scale. I want enormity. I want to be so big, I’m only known as OMFG. Not Rutherford, or Ruthers. No, just OMFG. Cos that’s all anybody says when they see me. O. M. F. G.” “Rutherford!” “Like -” “RUTHERFORD!” Minnie yelled, frustrated in a way that she rarely was. Rutherford just looked up, her face draped in shock. “What? What is it? What’s… what’s that envelope in your hand?” Rutherford asked, squirming with nerves. “It’s the university. I’m sorry love but you’ve been kicked off the course” Minnie tilted her head in sympathy as she said it. “What?” Rutherford sat upright in her bed as Minnie delivered the news. So did Shay, who was also in the room just reading a book and snacking from the queued pile of Rutherford food. Rutherford’s face dropped. Shay’s face lit up. “Love, did… have you been getting letters warning you about your attendance? Emails? Cos it says here you have” Minnie asked, with concern but also a murmuration of parental frustration. “Yeah, but like, everybody does. It’s just hot air. Like, they’ve not actually kicked me off the course, have they?” Rutherford asked, suddenly scared, her eyes scanning in their sockets as she tried to map out the extent of the consequences. “Since you’re attendance has continued below out expected threshold – at 0% - and you have not made any attempt to improve, or respond to any of the correspondence sent to your student email account, your registered mobile phone number or through to your registered address, we have no alternative but to terminate your education with Brighton University from this point on. All loan fees will have to be repaid and your student visa will be terminated as a consequence. Please note that, should you wish to challenge findings… blah, blah, blah… we are deeply disappointed given the impressive grades from your first year and glowing teacher reviews from… blah, blah, blah… Finally, please note your parents have been informed. Yours sincerely… Dickhead Mcfuckface” Minnie read. “Is his name really Dickhead Mcfuckface?” Rutherford asked, but it was between heavy, chest thrusting tears, as she finally found something she couldn’t digest. The reality of her situation. “No love. Look, I’m just gonna leave you a minute, okay? But, I’ll be just in the corridor. So if you want something, just shout. Alright?” Minnie said, before gesturing to Shay to leave the room. “I’ll think I’ll stay” Shay smiled. “No, love. You’re gonna shift your arse out of this room, or I’m gonna turn your fucking face into a fucking Picasso picture. Capiche?” Minnie said, her green eyes flickering with a red rub fury. And Shay sulkily slumped out of the room to leave Rutherford on her own, with just her thoughts, her food and her tears. *-*-*-*-*-*-* “Just stop smiling, you weirdly sadistic fuck. I mean, what kinda childhood leaves someone so arse about tit in the empathy department.” Leona grumbled at Shay, who hummed as she snacked on a bag of salted peanuts. They’d all had a day to digest the news, and all the girls bar the borderline bed-bound Rutherford were downstairs and looking at each other, hoping for answers. “Jeez, whatever. Like I totally didn’t tell yinz that this was gonna happen. She’s gonna be deported or reported or whatever it is when you are forced back home, and her parents are gonna freak the frick out when they see her. They will think she’s literally eaten the devil. They will exercise her and exorcise her. And karma is gonna get its bitch on” Shay bragged, strutting around the room like a peacock during mating season. “Why does not she stay here anyway? She can be here. And not at the university?” Wiktoria asked. “Because of her visa, love” Minnie explained. “She’s on a student visa. She’s American, remember? It’s why she talks daft and it’s why she thinks football is a sport that’s played predominantly with your hands, and it’s why, when her visa is removed, she’s ineligible to stay without a replacement work visa”. “Oh, this is not good” Wiktoria wilted, wandering over to the kitchen. “Wicky love, are you cooking right now? Like, I love you feeding people as much as the next sexual deviant, but is this really the time?” Minnie asked, watching Wiktoria pull out pans and ingredients from the cupboard. “I am pissed off. Cooking keeps me calm” Wiktoria explained. “Argh, this is all so fucked up. Fucking red tape bollocks. Where the fuck is Betty?” Leona raged, messaging her friend again. She hadn’t heard from her since reading week had started and they really needed the full gang back together if they were gonna fix this. “She not answer her phone? Maybe is she having a big party with handsome Remus. Because Lionel is sacked?” Wicky suggested, cracking some eggs in a bowl. “No. I asked him and he said she might be with some other girl maybe?” Leona sighed, putting her phone back down in exasperation. “Ahhh, about that” Minnie winced. “Minnie? What are you not telling us? What have you done?” Leona asked, her voice crackling with frayed temper. “Nowt really. Just introduced her to a friend” Minnie squirmed. “Which friend?” “You know that one that I… with her… when me and Ruthers hit that rough patch?” Minnie mumbled, looking down at the floor. “The girl you cheated on Rutherford with? That girl? The fucked up fangirl who fetishises fattened up females? That girl? And you’ve introduced her to Betz? My best mate? Who’s trying to quit over-indulging?” Leona’s voice was rising steadily. “To be fair love, she wasn’t trying to quit over-indulging very hard” Minnie quietly countered. “Look, I’m not angry. With you. With her. I’m just… we could really do with her right now and… I’m just annoyed with what’s happened. Rutherford, for all her elephantine tendencies, she’s a good girl. And… you ever wonder what would have happened if that Shaun lad never opened his mouth and said the words ‘free hit’. Would we be thin? Would we be friends? Would we be here anyway, worrying about how many jumbos the jet will have to be to take Rutherford back to the one place she doesn’t want to go?” Leona sighed. “I guess it’s all my fault then” Minnie said, quietly. Guiltily. “No, I wanna take some of the blame guys. I literally engineered this. This is my master plan. You don’t need a guilty conscience. This is all on me” Shay argued. “Wow, that was almost… kind of you? Are you okay Shay?” Leona asked. “Yeah, it must be the joy of ruining Rutherford’s life that made me do that. Just a temporary aberration, order will be restored and I’ll continue to be the monster yinz know and hate” Shay smirked, opening another bag of peanuts. “What about you, Shay? What are you gonna do? You gonna stay here or go back and taunt her back in the States? And how come you have a visa to stay here actually, come to think of it?” Leona asked, and all the other girls turned around and looked too. “Not gonna tell you” Shay smiled. “Yes. Tell us. Please Shay” Wiktoria pleaded. “There is absolutely no reason for me to do that” Shay pranced around the room with a flaunty cavort. “We’ll make it worth your while” Leona asked. “There is nothing you could give me. Nothing I want more than this” Shay gloated, and the room fell silent. The girls looked around at each other for inspiration, and then down at the floor in defeat. And they were defeated. This was the end of the road. No way back. Rutherford was upstairs, crying her thready heart out, and the other girls slumped around helplessly while Shay barely held back from a victory dance. And then Minnie looked up with a glint in her green eyes. And an old relic returned to her face, a crooked smile, twisted like an old man’s walking cane, wrapping itself round the side of her mouth. “I’ve got something you want more than that” Minnie said. “What?” Shay asked, a little intimidated by the venom in Minnie’s eyes. “You hate her, don’t you? That’s what this has all been about. You hate her. She came onto you when you were kids, 17 or whatever. And they bullied her summat rotten for it. Some homophobic, Bible-bashing, red-hat-wearing backwater, and they tormented her. The kids, but the teachers too. The parents. Even her parents. But then she left. Free from it all. But you stayed” Minnie said, standing up. “They didn’t just bully her, did they? They bullied you too. They bullied her for being gay; they bullied you for being gay. And it wasn’t even your fault. And you couldn’t even escape. Not like she did. You were trapped, weren’t you? Trapped in it all. Everybody looking at you and thinking you’re some closeted queer. No wonder you were angry. No wonder you wanted to ruin her life. And no wonder you wanted to do it with kindness”. “Nothing kind about it” Shay protested. “Sure there is. You could have done anything. Punished her anyhow. But you chose to give her owt she wanted, to such an extent that it cost her. You over-indulged her. What kind of Hannibal Lecter wannabe would do what you did otherwise? You eat her out, you feed her, you wait on her hand and foot? And you call that vengeance? Love, it’s love. You love her. You always did. And you fancied the fuck out of her, all along. Your best mate. And she had to ruin it by acting on how you’d been feeling and repressing all along, and ruined it. You love her, and you hate her, in earth-shattering quantities. And that’s why you’re here doing this” Minnie continued. “That’s crap, that is. But whatever, see if I care” “So, why don’t you have your cake and eat it? Stop this childhood penal bollocks and cut to the chase. You want what’s worst for her, and you want to pleasure her? There’s only one way to do that” Minnie said, licking her lips as she spoke. “What?” Shay stammered. “More of the same” Minnie smirked. “Really? That’s your great offer? Screw you” Shay spat back. “She’s started getting bed-sores. You know cos you help me treat them. Irritated skin in her folds too. And she’s soooo close to immobility. And you’re gonna let that all go to waste. Let her parents… how did you put it… ‘exercise her and exorcise her’? Fix her? You’ll never get fixed, but she will. Is that what you want? Them to undo all this? Or?” Minnie leant in, keen to seal the deal. “Shall we tip her over to immobility. Cross the irredeemable threshold. Feed her til she has health problems. Feed her til she needs a Cpap machine. Feed her until all that’s left of her is her size. Not her fashion sense or her love of films or her intelligence or her sense of humour. Really tip her over the edge. Until she’s not Rutherford or Ruth or Ruthers at all. Until all she is and all people see when they look at her is OMFG. There’s nothing so cruel that her parents can do that you can’t do worse. Kill her with kindness. Death by chocolate. Here lies Rutherford Stones – OMFG”. Shay stopped chewing peanuts and sat down. “I don’t know what you guys call it, but over in the States, we call it a green card marriage” Shay sighed, resigning herself to giving up on her plan right at the finish line. Ensnared by Minnie’s temptation. “Just some online rando, a few hundred bucks and whatever. That’s how I get to stay here. There’s some crappy test and you have to have lived here for a couple of years, but the website sorted all that for me for another couple of K. I told you this plan took some doing. It was long-haul. It was a good plan, right?” “Yeah, I guess it weren’t too shabby. But I think we might do it a bit more legit. You’ve given me an idea Shay. I think I’m gonna marry Rutherford Stones.” -*-*-*-*-*-*- All the girls were in Rutherford’s room for the first time in ages. They’d grabbed all the chairs they had and planted them around the bed and its engorged centrepiece. “I do” Rutherford giggled, wiggling her feet in excitement. “I didn’t get you a ring because… well we’re drowning in debt as it is, paying off your loan and we’ll need money for the wedding. Also, they don’t do wedding bands in your size. You have very fat fingers, don’t you know?” Minnie teased her fiancée. “All the better for eating with” Rutherford smiled. “Wait… we’re not doing a church are we?” “You don’t want a church wedding?” Minnie sounded surprised. “Well, it’s just a lot of walking and… I dunno, I’m just not that into walking” Rutherford shrugged. “Fair dos, love. Maybe best if we just hit up the registry office, celebrate in our own way. Probably best since I dunno how we’d find a dress that fitted you. Unless anyone knows a spare cotton factory! Yeah, we’ll celebrate the old fashioned way. Get you downstairs for a change, nice change of scenery, and feed you. All of us, this time. Everything you ever wanted. 48 hours. Like we did for Betty, but this time for you” Minnie mused. Rutherford smiled and held back joyous tears. “Hey, what about our waistlines? Don’t we get a say in this?” Leona asked with her hand raised like she was at a school assembly.. “What about your waistlines? I thought you’d given up on diets for good?” Minnie asked, quizzically. “Yeah, we have. But there’s a line between not dieting and doing that 48 hour party people thing. Look, I’m only 200lbs less than Rutherford...” “Only 200lbs? Girl, there’s no such thing as only 200lbs. You’re fine. As long as I’m around, you’re gonna look skinny” Rutherford reassured. “Thanks. I guess. But...” “No ‘buts’. And anyway, you’re probably more than 200lbs lighter these days. You know I’m up to 681lbs, right?” “Fuck” “I know right?” “Is that all?” Leona couldn’t hide the disappointment. “Hey, what do you mean ‘Is that all?’. That’s a crazy amou… oh, I see what’s going on here. Go on then, how much do you weigh?” “I’m up to 491lbs these days Ruthers. I mean… that’s scary close to 500. When Wicky reached that, I nearly lost the plot. And she’s 7 inches taller than me and… if I keep going at this rate… I’m 6 to 9 months away from being your size” Leona confessed. It was at this point that all the girls took their time to have a proper look at Leona. With all the Minnie and Rutherford drama, and with Rutherford realigning previous definitions of normal, they hadn’t really noticed how big Leona was. And she always wore it so well. Her make-up was regal, her dress sense as flattering as it can be on a woman her size. Maybe they should have noticed when she shuffled to her size to get through the doorframe. Maybe they should have realised when Leona opted for a fourth chair beneath where most of her weight went. But Leona was not just fat any more. She was following the same path that Rutherford had charted. The ‘free hit’ lineage. “Six to nine months? Oh my god, that is so hot. I love that you measure yourself not in kilos or pounds, but months until you’re my size. But, trust me, it’ll plateau. It’ll slow down, your weight gain. It has for me and you’ve seen how I eat. Honestly, you have nothing to worry about. Keep seizing the day. YOLO diem and all that. Honestly Leona” Rutherford would have patted Leona on the back as she said that, but she was peeling the muffin case off of a muffin. “What about me?” Wiktoria asked, but more with curiosity than trepidation. She still carried herself with confidence. “Well, you’re tall. It’s fine. Like, how much do you even weigh?” “I don’t know” Wiktoria shrugged. It hadn’t really crossed her mind. “When was the last time you weighed yourself?” “The diet. I reached 500. That was second week of term, so… 6 weeks ago?” Wiktoria did the maths. “Let’s do a sweepstake. How about it? We’re all kith around here so no harm in it. Leona, you go first? How much do you think your girlfriend weights?” Minnie asked, turning it all into a game, as ever. “I dunno, 515 or so?” Leona shrugged. “Oh, lay off it. Only 15lbs in 6 week. Nobody can gain that little in this household. Shay, you have a go?” “Who cares? 525Lbs. She looks fat” Shay tried to appear disinterested, but was flattered at the inclusion. “Ruthers?” “520, she looks loads skinnier than me” Rutherford gleaned Wicky’s figure whilst judging like it was sweets in a jar at a fair. “And you Wicky? What do you think?” “510lbs maybe. I’ve been good” Wiktoria lied. “Fuck, I can just tell from looking at you that youse are all underestimating summat chronic. I’m gonna guess 54… 9. Yeah, 549lbs” Minnie decided, plumping for a plump figure to describe a plump figure. Wiktoria got the scales out and took a deep breath, before wincing as she stepped on. The automated voice told everyone in the room who much they’d been underestimating. 554lbs. “Oh my god, I’m so jealous. I can’t believe you’re still outpacing a pound a day at your size. It’s just not fair. I want your metabolism” Rutherford bleated. “I am… really fat” Wiktoria wilted. “Yeah” Shay sniped. “If you’re gaining at that rate, nearly 100 days away from being Rutherford sized. And she’s nearly immobile” “Oh, lay off it. All of you” Leona yelled. “She’s gorgeous. A stylish Hollywood star. And yeah, she’s not light. But she’s also tall. I bet she’s healthier than me” And Leona made a good point. Wiktoria carried it well. But there was such a lot to carry well, even on her frame and with her broad shoulders. In fact, it seems counter-intuitive, but the immensity of her scale somehow drowned out her weight. She looked fat, undoubtedly. Huge even. But not Earth-tremblingly so, her adipose baggage spread across her with as much uniformity as can be afforded when in that quantity. Her stomach still had drag to it, as it hung like a hot dog’s tongue over her waistband. But it didn’t swallow her body as it might on a different build. “It is okay. I am confident and happy, and I am never dieting. It is fine” Wiktoria proudly stated, before glancing insecurely at her girlfriend. “It is fine?” “Yes Wicky, you look great and I will never pressure you into slimming. At any weight” Leona reassured. “Even 600lbs?” “Oh Wicky, you’ll probably get there by the time new year rolls around. So of course not” “700lbs?” “I reckon… end of the academic year” “800lbs?” “Probably by the time you graduate. As long as you plateau like Rutherford says” “And you won’t make me diet? Even at 800lbs. Even at 120lbs more than Rutherford is now?” Wiktoria stared intently at her girlfriend. “You will still find me sexy?” “So very, very sexy” Leona said, leaning in across their respecting stomachly protrusions for a smooch. “I reckon we’ll be the fattest couple in the whole world”. “Oh my god, guys. That actually reminds me…” Rutherford interrupted, flapping her flappy arms about. “Did you guys know I’m the fattest woman in the UK? Seriously, Google it and it’ll say it’s some 672lb light-ass who has lost the weight anyway. I mean, UK’s standards are kinda low. Back home, I’m barely overweight. But yeah, over here, I’m a record-breaker. And you two are probably a record-breaking couple already. All we need is to get Betty over here and get her to fulfil her potential and I reckon our house will be the fattest place in the world”. “Fuck off” Leona laughed. “Betty’s small-fry compared to us, bless her. She’s about Minnie’s size”. “Oh love, you have no idea, do you? Betty’s a 200lb girl these days. None of us were that size this early on in the academic year, last year” Minnie commented smugly. “Fuck” Leona replied. “We should totally get her to join the club. She could do great things. Oh my god, you all should help her out. I mean, between you and this new girlfriend she’s got...” Rutherford suggested, licking her lips at the thought. “You mean fatten her up. Even more than she’s doing herself? Inflict our issues on her?” Leona argued. “Hey, they’re not issues. We’re record-breakers, remember? Given time, I reckon she could be a record breaker too. That’s all” Rutherford said with a cheeky grin. “C’mon, she’d like it, her girlfriend would like it, I’d love it. Everyone’s a winner when everyone’s a sinner. Let’s promote her to the big leagues.” The girls sat around and looked at each other and shrugged. They could have said no. Defied how they were defined. Spared Betty their way of life. But to do so would be to accept responsibility, guilt for how things have gone. They had to take pride in their size, because the only other option was shame. So they all decided, unofficially, that being fat was a good thing. Because then, they were something to be proud of. And, if being fat is good, then why not invite Betty to the cause. Betty Bollingbrooke, marathon runner. Let’s see what damage they could do to her, if they tried. If everyone, including herself, ganged up on Betty. “What about me?” Shay said sheepishly. “What about you?” Minnie sneered. “Am I just gonna be ignored? I mean, I’m not saying I’m a record-breaker or whatever, I don’t wanna get like fat or whatever. But can’t I join in the fun? You talk about everyone in this house and just pretend I’m not here. It was my idea for you two to get married?” Shay argued, weakly. “Yeah, but you also tried to ruin her life” Minnie glared. “I guess… but I do so much for Ruth. Tell her, Ruth. Tell her. Tell her how much I help you?” Shay turned to her oldest friend, worst enemy, deepest crush. “It’s Ruthers. Not Ruth” Rutherford snarled back, and Shay slumped. “But… I guess… I mean, your hateful vibe has been kinda hot. And you’ve been kinda gaining just by osmosis”. “I have not” Shay said defensively. But it was true. She’d come over in the best shape of her life. In a Minnie mouse dress and with a bow in her hair. Freckles and a red dress and looking like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. And now, it was starting to look like maybe a little too much butter had been melting in her mouth. And now she’d been resorting to wearing Rutherford’s old clothes. Albeit, clothes from last year, well before she went supersonic. But still… she look puffier than she started. “Fine. She can be an official musketeer, I guess. For you Ruthers, though. And if she tries any over her basic Kylo Ren bullshit, I’ll strangle her with the straps of her dungarees. But, for now, welcome to the club. Now, I’m thinking, we might need your feeding skills on Betty”.
  11. Chapter 28 Her head felt ironed onto the pillow. Her eyes felt sealed closed. She was awake, but every part of her body was telling her that asleep was a better condition to be in. It didn’t help that the pillow has so soft, her head just sunk into it. It was blissful, mushy, warm and contenting. Hoovering up all those little feelings of relaxed bliss. She could stay here forever. Here, in Ebba’s bed. Next to her beautiful, tall girlfriend looking every bit as varnished as Betty felt imperfect. Which couldn’t be better. And now she could lie here forever. “Come on, up you get sleepy head. It’s morning time” Ebba hoarsely whispered. “But I’m comfortable. It’s so comfortable here. Let me sleep here Ebba. It’s shaped just for me” Betty groaned as Ebba pulled the covers back and let the cold rush in. “No, it’s morning time and you have a job to attend” Ebba said, hands on hips and looking at her bloated girlfriend shrivelling up into a foetal position to retain warmth. “But it’s reading week” Betty’s voice dragging like a teenager. “No, reading week is finished. Work time for you, uni time for me” Ebba slipped off her nightie and let Betty ogle her new girlfriend. Everything about her looked sleek and extended, as if photoshopped live and in front of her. And she hadn’t got used to the image yet, the novelty hadn’t worn off. This oasis of stunning fawning over the clumped up teacher. “I’ve been round here for a week? Already? Where did the time go? It feels like we met at Kebabland just yesterday” Betty scrambled for her cigarettes as Ebba scoured through her walk-in wardrobe for today’s ensemble. “Well you have spent a lot of this week in a food coma, and a lot of it blackout drunk” Ebba reasoned, watching Betty reach out for the half-quaffed bottle of gin on the floor by the bed and took a grimace-invoking swig from it. “Yeah, how much did we drink last night?” “Me? Nothing. I don’t drink. My body is a temple” Ebba said, as she climbed onto the bed and towards Betty, now in a cute halter neck and mini skirt combo. She crawled up towards a smirking Betty and started kissing her. “If your body is the temple, how come it’s mine that being worshipped at?” Betty laughed as Ebba’s kissing slipped down into something more sensuous and bodily. “You’re right” Ebba said, pulling back to the frustration of Betty. “No more being worshipped for you. My roommate is back today, you have classes in a couple of hours, and your breakfast is being delivered.” “Breakfast? Lemme guess… does it rhyme with… what rhymes with Kebabland? Flebabland?” Betty said, before giggling. “Look… um… you know, now this week is over… are we a couple still?” Ebba asked nervously. “Oh. Ummm… it’s… do you want us to be an official couple?” Betty suddenly sat up straight, choking on her swig of her gin. “Is it okay if we keep this quiet? I don’t want my friends to think...” Ebba said, nervously. “Think what? That you’re dating a heifer?” “No!” “That the woman you’re seeing is 8 years older than you and is so big she could be mistaken for being pregnant?” “No...” Ebba seemed less defensive this time. “So you don’t think I look pregnant?” “I mean… maybe a little. But only 4 months or so” Ebba smiled crookedly now. Each time, it felt like she had to re-learn that it was okay to tease. Each time she was nervous about Betty’s feelings and it was Betty who had to instigate it. But, each time, once Betty did, she was drawn in. “Maybe last week I was… but I must have added an extra month of gestation over the past week?” Betty said, exploring her midriff with her hands. And, with the duvet pulled back and having not got a stitch to wear, there was nowhere for her physique to hide. Lying back and on an empty stomach, she didn’t look too engorged. Her middle still pooled softly to either side of her but gravity hid its natural outward tendency, though did nothing about the tiger stripes that marked her expansion. Above were her breasts, no longer as averse to growth as the rest of her body now, bulking up to handfuls. Her arms were thicker than she remembered in the olden days, as thick as her legs were in those olden days, and they leant her a broader, pudgier look. As for her legs, they’d bulked up and mottled themselves with cellulite substantially, with her hips expanding accordingly. For a girl so apple-shaped, she was impressively bottom-heavy. Her face hadn’t an exemption notice to the carnage that had befallen the rest of her. Her cherubic cheeks replacing the mesh of skull it once was, her sharpened chin now the glacial glide of a ski slope with softening. Her hair was now parted, her fringe no more, as a result of not having it cut for the past six months or so. And the longer it got, the faster it seemed to accumulate grease, and now it splattered like roadkill next to the pillow. “Oooo, I should get that” Ebba beamed as she got the text to tell her that their delivery was there. Breakfast. And with that, Betty knew what was coming *-*-*-*-*-* “You should eat two Betty meals” Ebba had said to her, earlier in the week. “No. Nope. No chance. Not even Leona could do that” Betty refuted as Ebba coiled seductively around her bloated teacher like a snake. “Leona? Is she the benchmark?” Ebba said, rubbing her forehead down Betty’s neck. “I mean, she is massive. About three times the size of me” Betty said, though her thoughts were elsewhere as she felt the Swede’s breath on her neck. “Twice. She’s only twice the size of you now. Cos you’re a fat girl too now” Ebba said, letting her tongue flicker out adder-like along Betty’s pale skin, before retracted it. “Am I actually...” Betty paused as sexual reflexes took over briefly. “Am I actually fat now? Like, not chubby, not curvy. Out and out fat.” The words sounded strong. Dangerous. Wonderful. “You’re officially obese, Teach” Ebba smirked as she drew her nails down Betty’s body. A Minnie move if ever there was one. “I think fat undersells you. Notably fat fits better, I think. People must see you, strangers on the street, just look at you and think to themselves, ‘god, she’s fat. What must she eat all day?’ And they’ll have no idea.” Betty closed her eyes at these words, and felt shoots of muscular tightness. “Fine, I’ll do it. Two Betty meals.” “Great to hear, Teach. And I’ll be your personal trainer. And we’ll see if you can do it by Monday”. *-*-*-*-*-* And so, here she was. Betty sat up for the meal, feeling her naked stomach richly swell out as she did so. She heard Ebba pay the courier downstairs, as she caught her breaths between drags of her cigarette. It wasn’t like when she used to run, she hadn’t been maintaining her breathing exercises regimen. Instead, she spluttered into coughing, like trying to start on old car engine without flooding it. The coughing was a relatively new phenomenon and could easily be just a tickle as anything indicating she should smoke less. That said, she stubbed the cigarette out and numbed her throat with some hearty gulps from the bottle of gin. Poor Ebba came up the stairs barely able to see where she was going, the two boxes stacked atop one another obscuring her view and struggling to squeeze through the narrow door frame. Eventually, she dropped them on the bed, ready for Betty to start. “Are you ready for this, Teach?” Ebba asked, but Betty wasn’t listening. She was starting. Charging at the meal, like it was a matador. This. this was where she was strong. Maybe her breathing regimen had gone to pot, along with quite a lot else. But put a surfeit of gelatinous Kebabland gastro-nightmare and Betty was a pro like no other. The Tiger Woods of Betty meals. The Michael Phelps. The Simone Giles. The Eliud Kipchoge. Ebba just sat back and watched her go. She should have been preparing for her day ahead, but Hurricane Betty was in motion and there was little else to be done but spectate. And spectate she did. As Betty troughed and glutted with barrelling abandon. Losing herself in this familiar excursion to stomach-cradling bloatedness. Frequency pushing it to rigmarole. She might not have done the famed 10000 to qualify for expertise, but she was clearly well versed in this domain. Betty’s training over the past week hadn’t exactly been rigorous, however. It hadn’t been binging boot camp. Ebba didn’t really take it seriously enough. Not like when Betty was training solo during the Summer break. Her libido just didn’t allow her the discipline to stick to anything like rotas or approach things systematically. It was all impulse and whim-sating. But, it all stacked up and what Ebba lacked in discipline, she made up for in enthusiasm. Over the course of the week, Betty had pushed herself to new extremes as the two girls tried to work out the full extent of their feelings towards their fetish and each other. Each day was an experiment, testing the boundaries to find out what worked and didn’t between them. And, it turns out, more worked. More. More everything. Betty loved more and Ebba loved Betty’s love of more. Every indulgence ratcheted up to Spinal Tap 11. There was sex and there was eating in quantities that surpassed even Betty’s norms. They quickly found themselves caught in an echo chamber of their own enabling tendencies. Betty enabling Ebba to enable Betty and so on. It lead to a hedonistic Monday that was only the lowpoint in the hockeystick uptick of exponential growth of indulgence. And, by Sunday, they were both drunk on each other and the things that they were doing. Betty pushed the first container to one side in triumph, but without hesitancy or pause. Straight away, she continued onto the second one. Ebba had suspicions that Betty would be able to do it. Suspicions cultivated over their long week together. Betty’s weekend was spent barely sufficiently ebriated to cotton on, but Ebba was pushing five of these meals at her over the course of a day. It was a challenge and it was a game and it was foreplay and habit and curiosity and greed. But, most of all, it was just Betty doing her Betty thing and it was this as much as the lack of sobriety that meant that Betty didn’t realise how much she was eating per day. Though, put a gun to her head and she’d have hazarded that the answer was lots. *-*-*-*-*-*-* “What day is it?” Betty had asked, earlier in the week. “Pfft, who cares about days?” Ebba batted away dismissively. “When there is food to eat?” “Do I have to eat more? All it feels like we’ve done this week is drink and eat and fuck and eat and smoke and eat and then drink and eat some more” Betty grumbled, scratching her stomach absent-mindedly as she spoke “Oh, sorry. Do you want a day off?” Ebba flinched as she was asked it. But Betty couldn’t keep her face straight any longer. “I’m kidding! Please feed me, I’m wasting away” Betty beamed a smile. *-*-*-*-*-*-* Betty slowly pushed the second box away from her and let out an accidental and semi-stifled burp. It should have been with triumph, but there was honestly too much exhaustion rippling through her to muster such vim. Instead, the second Betty meal was eaten without any verbal acknowledgement from Betty, besides the puffed cheeks and wetted brow that such exertion had brought upon her. Ebba was not so lost for words, however. “Oh my god, that was… it was… you are… amazing!” Ebba said, eyes widened cartoonishly as her girlfriend winced from overdoing it by even her own standards. “Shower...” was all Betty could mumble before the sleepiness from indulgence and all those lazy habits she’d been cultivating caught up with her and she fell back asleep. “No, come on… wake up Teach. You have work, I have my flatmate coming back so no more sleepy time. Come on” Ebba said, gentle shaking her shoulder to rouse her. “Buuut I don’t want to” Betty grunted with Kevin and Perry resistance, flinging a pillow at her girlfriend in protest. It stopped well short of her. “Please Teach, for me” Ebba said with a level of unplayful sincerity that Betty didn’t recognise too much. “Sorry, yeah. I’ll… I’ll get up. You’ll have to give me a hand. There’s more of me to get up these days” Betty resigned, offering her hands so that she could be hoiked to her feet. Ebba stood back and looked at Betty again as she stood up, naked and unsteady on her feet. Standing up did Betty’s body none of the favours that lying down did. Her stomach, scorched with exertion, heaved out from the rest of her and allowed itself to succumb to the tantalising embrace of gravity, to the point wherein her crotch was disguised by its hang-down. Betty no longer looked like a skinny girl, no even a distant relative of one. She wielded her body in a way that implied that she had only ever been this way. Fat pooled in places around the ribbing along the side of her stomach in a way that suggested that it was a constituent part of Betty. No onlooker or observer would hazard even a hopeful guess that this girl had ever experienced thinness before. Let alone, just six months ago. And it settled on her like it belonged there. Like it had its claws in her. And, in so many ways, it did. Curvy had been kicked to the kerb. Betty Bollingbrooke was big. “Looking good” “I’m not sure good is the word I’d have used to describe me. More like the anthropomorphic personification of too much yes and not enough no” Betty said, yawning and thrusting her arms in the air as she did. “Okay, you look terrible. But I guess you’re just lucky that your girlfriend has a ‘terrible’ kink” Ebba smiled, leaned down to her girlfriend and kissed her gently on the lips. “Now grab a shower and get yourself presentable. Well, more presentable” Betty semi-waddled to the bathroom with an air of reluctance. “And if you are good Teach, I might reward you” Ebba said back, trying to cajole the woman 7 years her senior as if she was a pre-schooler. “With sex?” Betty perked up, turning around with a smile on her face. The side-on view presented the best perspective for evaluating the extent to which her stomach had taken the strain of a lot of the incoming calories over the past six months, angling out defiantly. “Even better. With food. I’ll do you some breakfast” Ebba winked. “Please no. I actually don’t think I could eat any more. Not after that” Betty weakly pointed at the two empty Betty boxes on the floor. “Yeah, but you’ve said that before. And I’ve always been able to coax some more into my growing girl” “Yeah, but this is different. This is actual maximum capacity. This is Betty’s true limit” Betty pleaded. “You’ve actually said that before too” Betty looked at her girlfriend strangely, not remembering that. *-*-*-*-*-*-*-* “No. This is different. I literally can’t. Literally” Betty had begged on the Friday, cradling her engorged stomach like a newborn. “I thought you were my eating machine” Ebba said, stroking Betty’s knotty hair. It hit right in drunken Betty’s ego. “You’re not going to let me down are you?” “Please” Betty implored, more out of desperation than anticipation. She haphazardly poured herself another shot, spilling some on the bedside table as she did so, trying to numb the pain with everyone’s favourite anaesthetic. “One more. You can manage one more donut. Just one more” Ebba teased with a tender caress of her lover. “You always say that though. You always say ‘just one more’. And then, when I have one more, you say it again. You always say it” Betty protested, but without the strength to truly put her foot down. She wanted to be overriden. “And I’m always right” Ebba said, squeezing one more Dunkin Donut into her beleaguered mouth. *-*-*-*-*-*-*-* Once Betty was showered, she felt better. It declogged some of her pores and removed some of the foggy grogginess that seemed to permanently linger around her these days. Less pleasant was brushing her hair. It brought back painful memories of childhood, of her mum yanking a brush through Belinda’s cotty mess as a young child. And despite currently being in a similar state of discomfort as the brush raged against incessant knottiness like Hercules against Hydra, Betty was a long way from being that little girl any more. Indeed, Betty was a long way from many of her previous incarnations. Betty put her hair up in a scrunchy as she walked out the bathroom, still bloated from earlier. Her hair hadn’t been cut during the past six months – indeed none of her bodily hair had – and the cute and well-maintained bob of a bygone time now tended towards a horse’s tail that rode down her back. Remedying this was on Betty’s to-do list. But Betty and to-doing weren’t currently on the best of terms. “Breakfast will probably be fifteen minutes Teach. So sit down, make yourself comfortable” Ebba said, carrying a bottle of wine and a pack of cigarettes. She poured the wine into a glass and through the cigs next to it. Betty delicately poured the wine into a glass, smelt its bouquet and tasted it, swilling it around in her mouth before swallowing. Content that she liked it, she necked the glass. She then picked up her cigarettes and lit one, before pausing and looking nervously at Ebba. “I should probably cut back on these” she said with resignation. “Yeah, good one. Betty cutting back on something. I’d like to see that” Ebba inadvertently snorted in amusement. “You make everything seem so inevitable. The eating, the drinking. Like I’m a lost cause. Just a firework that’s been set off and you’re just watching and waiting for me to explode” Betty reflected, sober enough to think straight but still drunk enough from last night to philosophise. “Well, if the cap fits… and not much else fits on you, Teach” Ebba teased, spitting out her tongue and disarming Betty’s introspection. “But what about the smoking. I know you like me eating. And don’t mind me drinking. But smoking? That’s not your fetish, is it? Doesn’t it worry you or put you off or whatever?” Betty mused still, dragging on her cigarette and attempting and failing to blow smoke rings. “Maybe I don’t like it, like I like you eating. But you do lots of other things that I like, and I feel very special to have you. And this is something you like and do. You like it because it’s self-destructive or whatever” Ebba shrugged sincerely. “No, it’s cos it reminds me of my sister” Betty explained. “No. That is a lie you’re telling yourself. Because every time we fucked, which was a lot, you smoked afterwards. Now, unless you are a Lannister, sex and thinking about your sister does not go together. It is just more self-destruction for you Teach, trust me. I know you. I know how your brain works. You like the impurity of it. You’ve spent too much time hanging around teenagers at work and you’ve developed a test for rebelling. And I’m okay with at. I like that you like that.” Ebba smiled, pouring Betty another glass of wine. “Oh” Betty said, processing that information. “Anyway, enjoy your wine, your smoking. Do all your bad habits. I’ll be back in ten. Oh, and I bought you some clothes, so you’ll have something to wear for work” Ebba said, pointing at her dresser. “Really? Wow! Thanks, I’ll… pay you as soon as I can. You didn’t have to do that” Betty blushed. “You deserve it. And I did have to do it, there is no way you can fit in size 16s any more” Ebba said. “Size 20s should be okay, I hope. You’ll like the style too” “20? I think 18 would have been okay” Betty said. Thought. Wanted. Hoped. But Ebba just laughed and walked back downstairs. “Hang on… when did you even buy these?” *-*-*-*-*-*-* “Hey, sorry if this isn’t a good time, but I need your advice” Ebba had said down the phone yesterday, while looking at her passed out drunk girlfriend snoring blissfully. “Frettle not ye fretlocks, love. It’s actually a crackin’ time, I’ll tell ye for nowt. You’re talkin’ to the soon-to-be new Mrs Stones” Minnie replied, unable to contain the giddiness in her voice. “Wait, you’re getting married?” Ebba exclaimed, before worrying that she’d wake her girlfriend so hushing her voice again. “Oh my god, congratz babe! I’m so happy for you” “Yeah, we’ll catch up some time in the week and I’ll tell you all about it. I can’t believe it, it’s unreal. But, that’s for later. What’s up missy? What’s crackalackin’?” “Oh. Yeah. I… I ordered her clothes” Ebba admitted. “Her current ones are not gonna fit, so I waited til she was passed out, which she does often, and ordered some online. Size 20”. “Size 20? Nice. Sounds like you’ve been doin’ reet. Following the Minnie guidelines to the letter” Minnie sounded genuinely impressed. “Yeah, but is that a bit much? I mean, we’re barely together. And I’m buying her clothes. Am I doing it again. Over-committing. Like with you. Fixating or whatever.” Ebba asked, nervously. “Yeah, probs. But don’t fret, Betz won’t mind. Well, she will. She’ll feel guilty as fuck. But, she likes feeling guilty. She likes to loathe herself. Her kink is self-loathing and self-destruction” Minnie said, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. “Really?” “Yeah. Why do you think she smokes? She says it’s because of her sister, but is it bollocks. It’s just another form of self-destruction. She’s rebelling. Against herself. Her internalised ideals. But don’t worry about it, love. You get a girl getting fat out of the deal, so just roll with it” Minnie elaborated. “Now I gotta go, I have a fiancée to fatten. But you keep scratching her self-destruction itch and you’ll get a heifer out of her in no time.” *-*-*-*-*-*-*-* Ebba came back up to see Betty wearing the clothes that she’d been bought. The high-waisted skirt presented her waistline unfavourably, but it was otherwise a flattering outlook. The cardigan was loose and stylish when unbuttoned, and its length veiled over the larger contours of her waist and arse. The skirt went down below her knee, shielding her chunked up thighs from being judged. The colours worked, off-set each other nicely. Everything worked but the size. “It’s so fucking tight” Betty smiled a big childish smile while looking down at where the skirt fastened. “Glad I didn’t choose size 18 now?” Ebba smiled. “Yeah. It’s been a fucking productive week by the looks of it. I’m huge. Can we weigh me after the meal. Just curious to find out what a girl who should be wearing size 22 weighs. I hope I’m up to 209lbs” Betty asked. “Sure. Why 209?” “Cos then I’ll be 100lbs heavier than when I started six months ago. Can you believe it? 100lbs. If that doesn’t sound like a cry for help, I don’t know what does” Betty beamed. “Anyway, what’s for breakfast?” “Well, you told me about something Wiktoria used to do you for breakfast. You described it as the Skinny meal of breakfasts...” Ebba lied. Betty had told her no such thing. This was another tidbit that Minnie had parted with while educating Ebba. A mythical meal of mish-mashed moreishness. A cooked breakfast that somehow incorporated blocks of cheese and spam and chips. Then there was the peanut butter and toast. Followed by the pain au chocolat, the pain au raisin and the two croissants, coupled with buttery brioche for those with a French fancy. Finally, a muffin, two cream cakes and a donut. “There’s no way I’m gonna eat all that Ebba. Sorry. But I’m still reeling from them two Betty meals. I’m...” Betty closed her eyes and realised. “I’m gonna end up eating all this aren’t I?” Betty waddled to her Uber ride in a huge degree of discomfort, and Ebba strode effortlessly alongside her. The contrast between the two of them was remarkable. Betty was hunched over with bloating, cradling herself to ease the pain. The brunette looked like her waters had broken. Besides her was Ebba, tall and straight-spined, with a lengthy gait and a Hollywood smile, blonde hair glistening like a L’Oreal commercial and a waist so thin she could hula-hoop a donut. “So, my 214lb girlfriend, have a nice day at work” Ebba smiled. “I can’t fucking believe it. 214lbs is a proper number isn’t it? I’m about double what I used to be. I’m going through red flags like I’m downhill skiing. I should be scared, shouldn’t I?” Betty said, unable to hide her pride. “Yes. A normal, healthy well-adjusted person would. But you, Teach, are not healthy. In so many ways” Ebba cooed. “And I’ll see you at the weekend.” “The weekend?” Betty’s face fell. “You don’t want to see me earlier?” “No” Ebba said. “Just at the weekend. At your place, so my flatmate doesn’t see you.” “Oh. Okay, sure. Yeah, weekend is good too” Betty collected herself. “But I don’t think I’ll be a size 20 by then, any more!” “You better not be” and Ebba watched Betty struggle to get into the car without straining her painful midriff. The University was only down the road, but Betty was in no fit state to walk. Which was just the way she liked it. And she did like it. There was no use hiding it, it couldn’t be concealed. And there was no fun in the shame of it, she was too proud to feel shame. Betty Bollingbrooke had most resoundingly fallen off a wagon she’d never really clambered back onto, and she never wanted to be anything other than off the wagon ever again. Her mind was made up. This was Betty. For better or for worse. Well, probably just for worse. But this was it, she had a wonderful girlfriend, a doting boyfriend, a good job, a wonderful sister and a great group of enabling friends. And if any one of them friends didn’t want to deal with this Betty, well that sounded like a them problem. When Betty got to work, she went straight into Leona’s office as fast as she could snail-pacedly crawl. “I’ve got something to tell you Leona. And it’s important and kinda a big deal” “And I have something to tell you Betz” Leona replied. “Oh. Do you wanna go first?” “No Betz, you do yours first” Leona said, with a smile. “Oh. Okay. Sure. Fine. Ummm… so...” Betty stammered, the wind snatched from her sails. “Just spit it out Betz” “I’m gonna continue getting fat. I never stopped. And I know it caused challenges between us in the past, but I have a girlfriend now and… I also have a boyfriend… and the important thing is I don’t want it to come between us. But I also want to continue drinking and eating and self-destructing. And I love you Leona. You’re my best friend. But if I have to choose between you and being myself, I’m gonna choose myself. So if you have an issue with this, you gotta say” And Betty took a deep pause, and stared deep into Leona’s blue eyes. She scanned her face for anything, any microexpression that revealed anger or betrayal or fury. She saw nothing. “Yeah, sure, whatever. Why would I mind?” Leona said dismissively. And Betty stood agog. This was not the response she expected. This was not how she had it in her mind. Didn’t Leona realise she had just put it all out on the line? This was her big moment. A week of building to this point. Cumulating. Each day standing on the shoulders of the previous day for just over six months. Betty wasn’t just ignoring the red flags of her ballooning weight, but waving white flags to embrace it. She was careering, careening, swerving into any and every ditch. A breathless freefall. Head-spinning, vertiginous freefall. This was Betty deciding who she was, who she’ll be, consequences be damned. And Leona just swatted it away with a rolled up newspaper of dismissal. “Look Betz, you gotta hear my news…” Leona continued, not really investing in Betty’s proclamation. “Minnie and Rutherford… they’re getting married”. “They’re… getting married?” “Yeah. So you can eat whatever the fuck you want, drink whatever the fuck you want. I know I will. This is a time for celebration and I intend to let my hair down. Fuck McDonalds, let’s have wine and Betty meals. Because Betz… we’re gonna be bridesmaids!”
  12. February 2020**** “I get she’s a good communicator, I just don’t know what policies she stands for” “Towns. She stands for towns” “Towns isn’t a policy!” Bluebell ranted to her new colleague, Jordan. Jordan, for their part, knew it was best to not discuss politics any further when Bluebell got frustrated. They had come to really like Bluebell ever since she started at the tattoo parlour, but she was politically very headstrong and not quite mastered the fine art of agree to disagree. So Jordan side-stepped the issue by changing the subject subtly. “But she’s good-looking, isn’t she? That Lisa Nandy? Or is she not your type?” Jordan asked, as they finished up their lunchbreak and headed back onto the shop floor. It was well-light in there, and the walls were ornate with pictures of flowing flower stalks reaching flower head crescendos. “She’s cute. I guess. Looks a bit frumpy sometimes” “Wow!” “No, I’m not saying she’s big or anything. She’s really cute and thin. I just don’t think she dresses well” “Wow! That’s all I’m saying. Just wow” they replied, with an open palm to express shock and disapproval. “It’s not sizeist of me to say that. It’s a sartorial comment, not a size comment!” Bluebell was smiling now, realising she was being wound up. “Never said it was sizeist. That must be just your guilty conscience making that leap” Jordan jibed. “The fact that you think it’s sizeist… is sizeist. Against me. You’re just saying that because I’m fat. Oh, and can I take a fag break?” Bluebell asked cheekily, after a quick glance at the waiting customers. “You just had a lunch break? And besides, you’re not fat” “Yeah, a lunch break. I spent it eating. Because I’m fat” “Please Bluebell, stop saying you’re fat. You’re gorgeous” Jordan pleaded. “I know I’m gorgeous. I’m also fat. Fat girls can be gorgeous. And that is what size-acceptance is really about. If you weren’t so sizeist, you’d know that!” Bluebell triumphantly declared, before sticking her tongue out playfully. “Okay, fine. You win that round. But no cigarette break. Or, at least, you have to serve a customer first” they bartered with Bluebell. “Please?” “No Bluebell, now go and serve the customer” “It’s just… that girl in the waiting room next to the brunette. That’s Bosh” *-*-*-*-*-* “Oh my god! So you’re the Bosh! I’ve heard so much about you. Including that you’re hot, which you so are by the way. Love the polo shirt. And is this your new girlfriend? Eh. She’s alright I guess too. Anyway… hi! I’m Jordan. Pronouns are they and them. Bluebell’s told me all about you” Jordan gushed, hand out for a handshake to the girl waiting. “Hi, I’m Louise. Pronouns are fuck and you. How do you know Blue? You’re not her partner are you, cos she can do a lot better. I mean, I like your boots. But the face is a bit...” Bosh sneered. “Not my partner, my colleague. Hey Bosh, long time no see” Bluebell walked up with a bit of sideways shuffle to the pair, deciding to face the music. “Oh. Umm… hi Blue. It’s me, Louise… Bosh… I dunno, whatever you wanna call me. And yeah, this is my new girlfriend. Lily” Bosh stammered, introducing her girlfriend to her ex. “And Lily, this is that ex I told you about. This is Bluebell” “The one that got really fat really quickly?” Lily asked, with innocence in her eyes. Bosh’s eyes, however, winced into closure as that detail got revealed. “Oh, relax Bosh. It’s fine. It’s all water under the bridge. And yeah, I’m the one that got fat. This time 14 months ago I was… about 112lbs. Now I’m more than double that. But it’s fine. More fat just means thicker skin” Bluebell tried to smile, but her hands were shaking. “Double? Shit Blue! I mean, I’m not judging or anything. And I’m glad that you’re happy. You are happy right? Cos, I mean...” “Yeah, I’m happy. I’m 232lbs and between all the eating that took me to this ‘really fat really quickly’, I’ve still found time to be happy. But thanks for offering to leave your girlfriend for me, out of guilt” Blue snarked a little back. She looked every inch that size too, under her dark hair and thick-rimmed glasses was a round face with a round body beneath it. And she felt it too, opposite Bosh and her new girlfriend. Bosh looked smart, as she tended to these days. Her jeans sucked in at the waist and hung firm on her legs. Her polo shirt revealed a lean physique with a little strength to it. And next to her was this Lily girl. The new girlfriend. Looked like the kinda girl who could confuse Austria with Australia, but had doe-eyes and another infuriatingly well-tended body. “Did you?” Lily asked innocently. “No. I didn’t” Bosh protested. “Wait… are you only going out with her because her name’s also a flower” Jordan mused with epiphanic concentration. Bluebell took a while to catch up with that thought, but it was true. She’d replaced Bluebell with a Lily. “Are you?” Lily asked again, her concern rising. “No! Look, I just came because Lily… my wonderful girlfriend who I love very much thank you, wanted to get some ink and I didn’t know Bluebell worked here. I thought she worked at like an old people’s home? Since when could you draw? I thought I was the arty one?” Bosh suddenly scrunched her face up in realisation. “Yeah. You did” Bluebell stated coldly, staring her ex down. This was followed by a resigned closing of the eyes. “Look, I’m sorry. I was just… look, Jordan, could you do this one solo… I need to have a chat with Bosh. In private” Lily got up and walked across with Jordan to pick out a design while Bosh and Bluebell wandered out back. It was a scratty looking courtyard that doubled up as a loading bay for the supermarket next door. No sooner had Bluebell got there, was there a lit cigarette in her mouth and an anxious hand running through her dark hair. “Oh, you still do that?” Bosh said, before wincing at how snarky it sounded. “Yeah. I keep meaning to cut down but… but then I crave a smoke. And I’m discovering that will power might not be one of my strengths” Bluebell joked, and suddenly the mood felt a bit lighter. She started picking at a muffin between drags, offering one to Bosh who politely declined. “You know, I thought we were passed all this tension stuff. After that time I thought you were an Amazon driver and you thought I was Bluebell’s girlfriend”. “Fuck, I remember that! That was embarrassing. And yeah, we are passed that. it was just unexpected. This is probably the last place I expected you. Apart from maybe a salad bar. Plus, Jordan’s a bit much” “Yeah, but they’re really fun. Anyway, so this is me. A tattooist apprentice, a political activist. I applied to be in the audience for Question Time one time. Didn’t get to go but… y’know. It’s nice to have interests. I help out at the food banks. And I’ve started to waddle when I walk” Bluebell said, puffing away as she listed all of her achievements. “You… don’t mind? The weight thing? Cos that’s really badass if you don’t” “I dunno. Sometimes. I mean, I do have mirrors. And I do miss the way I used to look. And I do know about all the health stuff. And if I felt I had it in me to actually diet, I probably would. But I don’t, and it’s nice to be able to make size-positive comments and not feel like a hypocrite. And I do feel kinda powerful. So, I guess… mixed feelings?” Bluebell explained. “Yeah. Mixed feelings. You get them too, do you? I swear, I miss the days when feelings weren’t mixed all the time” Bosh said with reflection. “Anyway, less about me, what are you up to? Snagged a pretty one in Tulip… no, Rose was it… no… I’ll get this...” “Fuck off!” Bosh laughed. “You know I hadn’t even realised the name thing until you mentioned it. I mean, is Lily an actual flower? Fuck, I guess it is. Maybe I have a type. But she’s great. I met her at work, which feels really grown up. We did the whole ‘date’ thing, with a meal and both of us offering to pay and so on. And she’s cute. And really nice and pleasant and...” “You don’t like her, do you?” “Arrggh! It’s not that I don’t like her, it’s just… she’s too… acquiescent?” “Bosh? Have you swallowed a dictionary since we split?” “Thesaurus… and no, I’m just saying, like, she should have blown her gasket back then. She shouldn’t be letting me go out and chat with my ex. She’s too trusting, too naive… I need...” “Oh, don’t say it Bosh...” “I need you. I miss you Blue. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m… I tried to move on. I have moved on. But I haven’t moved on too. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. Like, fuck… just pretend I didn’t say anything” Bosh put her hands in the air in frustration. “I miss you too Bosh. And it’s different for me because… well, I haven’t been with anyone since we… broke up. Unless you count my ongoing love affair with Colonel Sanders” “Ha! You and your love of chicken!” “My second favourite Sanders after Bernie. But we’re in different places now. And I want to look forward. And yeah, I still love chicken. Honestly, I look back and I’m amazed it took me so long to get fat.” “Right? I was thinking that too?” “Were you?” “Yeah! Bluebell, you were born to be a big girl. Honestly, whoever ends up with you is one lucky fucker. And if you ever… well, you know where I live.” Bosh said, getting up. “I thought you didn’t like fat girls?” “I don’t. I like you Bluebell” Bluebell winced as her ex said it, words that she wanted and didn’t want to hear so much. “Don’t… go. Just yet. I mean, they’ll be ages and… I’m gonna have another smoke and another muffin. Keep me company. For a bit. And you sure you don’t want a muffin? There really good” Bluebell offered Bosh the muffin container. And Bosh acquiesced. “I shouldn’t. I’ve completely removed refined sugars from my diet. Oh fine, I’ll have one. And stay a bit. For you” And the two girls sat together, discussing old times and eating muffins. “So, you hear about that virus thing going about… apparently Italy have got it bad now too” Bluebell said, chewing chirpily. “Oh, it’ll all blow over. Things like that always do. Something about nothing, I reckon” Bosh smiled, chewing chirpily herself.
  13. Yeah, I might keep Bluebell going on and off across the year. See what Bluebell's 2020 looks like, while we all try to survive 2020 ourselves!
  14. January 2020*** Light scattered on her dark, knotty hair as she lay head down on her own bed. Messy and frazzled, and up in some haphazard bun. It suited her, in as much as it was exactly how Bluebell felt. It was exactly who Bluebell was. According to Bluebell. And while she nuzzled the pillow her face had collapsed on, Bluebell’s eyes hung weary once more. Sure, the wine and sherry that they had been drinking were helping with yesterday’s hangover, which she’d truthfully only self-inflicted to get over the one from the day before, but, underneath her new, thick-framed glasses, her eyes still ached with exhaustion. Why had she gone to Emporium last night? They didn’t even have their special offer on, which meant the drinks burnt a whole deep into her pocket. But Bluebell wanted to go out, and so she went out. With hair frothed like a shampoo commercial, Bluebell heaved herself up and looked at herself in the mirror, just like she had done a year before. Her heavy eyes scanned the rest of her reflection with wry amusement. She didn’t care about her hair, dark and uninspired. It wasn’t who she was. Dark and dour, and completely unkempt. She gave herself her best cutesy smile and a girlish pirouette. But it wasn’t a look that suited her and pirouetting was no longer her forte. So no need to grab her phone and selfie the results, before Snapchatting it to anyone. Tonight was not that kind of night. Omg babe! U look so hot! That was what she whispered to herself, under her breath. It was a facetious comment. Entirely unearnest, and this tickled Bluebell’s heart warm. She didn’t feel hot. Her normal crop top and dungarees that had made up the majority of her clothing were long for the bin. Instead, trickling down her ivory skin like rain down a window was her high-waisted jeans and a crop top, something she hadn’t worn in a while. But she’d been feeling brave of late. She felt that spark again, that spark of rebellion and courage, and her reflection only sparked it further. The crop top, draped over her pronounced breasts like they were coathangers, celebrated every inch of the 5ft5 girl. And boy were there many inches on that 5ft5 girl. It concealed her collarbones and flattered her pronounced bust. It then ended at her waist, revealing skin where the 220lb girl was least slender. It was mitigated by her jeans, pincering her flesh like the tie at the end of sausagemeat, and gripped the rest of her tightly down her thighs so that her trunk-like legs could thunder their way like cement blocks to the floor. And, best of all, her arms were left uncovered, so she could bear her pride and joy, the redly inked rose on the inside of her forearm in all of her ornate glory. Bluebell wore it with pride, the thick black and red lines of her identity needled into her arm. She always did wear her heart on her sleeve. And the mirror gave her the chance to reflect on where how far she had come, and where she had come from. Whether it was for the better or the worse, felt subjective and ultimately pointless. It just was, and not a lot else really mattered. She was who she was who she was who she was. And it didn’t feel to bad. Despite the heartache and despite Labour doing terribly, lumbering Britain with a cruel megalomaniac for five years. Despite the change and the tears. She had hope. She still had hope. Friends, family, work, hobbies, music, politics, voluntary work, ambitions, art, an appetite. Yeah, 2020 wouldn’t be so bad. Like, what's the worst that could happen?
  15. I love the idea of her volunteering to help in some capacity. Given her old job, maybe back to support in a care home. And I think it's the best platform to discuss covid in a wg story that doesn't feel trite or disrespectful. Good idea 👍
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