Well Loved, Well Feed, America and Chubby Reader:
You were tempted to lick the peanut butter off your finger. Making lunch for school was always a struggle for you. You always wanted to add too much peanut butter or an extra cookie or two for your dessert.
"No!" you thought, quickly running your hands through the kitchen sink water and wiping away the creamy sin. You bit your lip when you looked over at your lunch - a peanut butter sandwich, milk, and a bag of chips. You eyed the cabinet where your mom kept the cookies. "No!" you scolded yourself again, stuffing your lunch in a brown paper bag and tossing it in your back pack.
You rushed back to your room. Pulling out your calorie counting book from under your bed, you sighed. You massaged your plump and aching stomach, full from tonight's dinner. You scowled knowing you had easily had over 2,000 calories that day. With a sigh of defeat you slid the book back under your bed.
You tried to stall taking a shower for as long as possible. Sitting down at your desk, you flipped your health book open. "Of course," you sighed, the lesson was about weight gain and diabetes. After you finished some of your homework, you went over to your desk where your lap top sat. Loading up your computer, you opened up "YouTube" and searched for a new song. Once you were satisfied with your song choice you got out your knitting and resumed work on the brimmed jellyfish hat you were making.
Hours later you had nearly finished the hat and had even taken a break to finish your math homework. Now your stomach grumbled and the clock read eleven thirty. You looked down at your growling stomach and scowled. No way should you be hungry. Your mother came in a few minutes later and said you needed to take a shower.
Sighing in defeat you got your things together and went to take a shower. As much as you loved being clean, you hated your body and didn't want to see it. There was a compromise of course. Either you give in and take a shower, ending with smelling like vanilla and peaches, or give up and end up looking like a greasy pig with more pimples than you already had.
After your shower you felt better, clean of sweat and grease. You combed your hair and wrapped it in a towel then climbed into bed where you sat finishing the hat.
The next morning you didn't want to get out of bed, away from the warmth and protection your comforter provided, going as far as not reaching out a warmed hand to smack the alarm off. After a while the beeping became irritating and your mom stomped in, wrapped in her bathrobe and hair a mess. She shut it off before throwing the covers from your body.
"Up and at 'em!" she called.
You groaned and curled up, blindly searching for your covers. You gasped when you realized your mother had taken your covers with her. "Mom!" you whined stumbling out of bed after her.
Once in the kitchen, your mother nowhere in sight (she was probably in the laundry room), you started searching through the kitchen and found a protein bar. You scarfed it down with a glass of milk. Rushing back to your room, you pulled on a pair of jeans and a graphic t-shirt before running a brush through your hair. You winced when you heard the bus slowly come up the drive, picking up other highschoolers on your block.
Satisfied with your hair, you grabbed your back pack and a book before quickly spritzing yourself with peach body spray and heading out the door. You made it just in time as the bus pulled up in front of your house. You ignored the groans the students made when you got on the bus. They were trying to imitate the sound of a car being crushed under weight.
Outside you noticed dark clouds rolling in and tiny sprinkles dotting the side walk and peppering your nose. "Why couldn't this happen on gym day?" you thought.
You sat in the empty chair behind the bus driver. No one ever sat behind him. First they were afraid to get caught or overheard. Second, Mr. Berwald or Mr. Bear, as most people called him, was very intimidating and spoke little English.
You were glad most people ignored you. Sitting in the front seat alone made you an easy target for spit balls, but those were mostly fired at the nerds or science geeks. You, instead, buried yourself in the latest book and tried to ignore the occasional calls of "Bessy" and "Suey".
There was one last stop before the bus went to school. Your heart fluttered and your palms began to sweat. The bus doors creaked and with a jerk, snapped open. Cat calls and congratulations pierced the muggy air as Alfred Jones, captain of the basketball team, climbed on, a smile of triumph spread across his face, a McDonalds' egg sandwich in hand.
Normally you would have noted how many calories someone was eating. Instead you focused on Alfred's sparkling blue eyes and sandy blonde hair, his goofy smile and how he called almost everyone dude. Some people found that obnoxious, but every time he passed you in the hallway and made eye contact, he would call out "Hey, dude!" It made you feel special, almost equal to the other people.
A bunch of squealing and squirming cheerleaders called him over, yet he shook his head and
sat beside you. Your heart thudded in your chest and you tried to hide yourself behind your book without making it obvious you didn't want to be seen with him.
Not that you didn't like him. It was almost obvious that you did. It just brought a lot of unwanted attention your way. If anyone looked over to talk to him or called out to him someone's attention would flicker over you before returning to Alfred and that was the last thing you wanted.
On the way to school Alfred chatted with one of the basketball players a few seats away from yours. You, on the other hand, were noting that he smelled like cinnamon and oranges, reminding you of cinnamon buns with orange frosting.
Suddenly you felt a poke at your side. You hoped it wasn't because your chubby belly was stretching your shirt, you made sure that never happened, but it still nagged at your mind. "How's the book?" Alfred asked resting his chin on your shoulder, his eyes scanning over the pages.
You turned dark red, and flipped your book shut. Of course he had to look over when you had just gotten to a romantic part, "I-It's good," you squeaked.
Alfred smiled, making your heart flutter and causing you to look away. You could have sworn you saw Alfred frown before returning to his conversation with his basketball buddy. At school, you waited until everyone was off the bus before you got out. You didn't want to be pushed around in the crowd, feeling like an over inflated bumper car.
Arriving at your locker, you opened it to see a note stuffed inside the vents. You sighed at the attempt to insult you, thinking it was another drawing of a pig or a salad coupon. Instead your face grew dark red when you unfolded the paper and inside was a drawing of a heart with "I like you" written in sloppy lettering.
You looked around thinking that someone had mistaken your locker for someone else's. You stuffed the note in your pocket and a small smile struggled across your lips. You hoped it wasn't a joke or a mistake. You turned around and you were face to face with one of the most popular girls in school.
You stepped back, her eyeliner-smothered eyes piercing and poisonous. She smirked as she reached out a manicured finger and poked at your plump belly. That was all she needed to do before turning away and strutting down the hall, her posse cackling as they followed.
You looked down at your beat up tennis shoes. You knew what you looked like. You knew nobody liked you and it made you furious. You stomped down the hall, angry tears burning at your eyes and your fists clenched. You occasionally eyed the other plump girls in school, all in fashionable clothing that stretched and pounds of makeup slathered on their pimpled faces. Yet they stood there with friends and boyfriends, laughing away or having a tongue shoved down their throat.
You snarled and gritted your teeth, angry at being excluded from all of that. You tried to be pleasant, friendly, never snapping, and always helpful. Yet none of it seemed to work. They always singled you out.
"Why?" you thought angrily as you doodled on your arm, drawing a smiley face. That helped you calm down. Soon you had a lined piece of paper filled with smiley faces and smiling characters from your show, almost as if they were happy to see you. "Hi," you said quietly to one of the cuter girls you had drawn.
"Hi!" came a voice. You looked up and saw Alfred, which made your cheeks turn bright red. You hid the paper in your desk. He scooted his chair closer to you and leaned over trying to see what you had drawn. "What's that?" he asked.
"N-Nothing," you said, instantly regretting the bitterness in your voice.
Alfred frowned, "How are you?"
Again your cheeks flushed. Did he actually care? Could he possibly be the one who left the note? You smiled weakly, "Good."
When lunch time came, you grabbed your book and lunch and sat at one of the empty tables. Suddenly a shadow fell over you and you looked up. Your gym teacher looked down at your food with a frown and eyed the chip in your hand. You turned bright red and stuffed it back in its bag.
"Miss. (Name)?" he asked, you nodded quickly. He grunted and scribbled something on his clipboard, turning away he quickly mumbled, "Gym has been rescheduled to today."
You froze, slightly relieved that you wore comfortable clothing, but also panicked. You hated gym. You always ended up panting and dark red at the end and it left you drenched in sweat. You looked down and groaned remembering that you had worn your favorite t-shirt today.
The only bright side was most of the other girls had worn high heels, and skinny jeans. They complained loudly about their makeup running and heels breaking. You overheard the coach assure them they would be getting shoes from the school which only led them to complain about smelling bad.
You looked outside; the grey clouds from earlier still rolling in and small droplets dotting the window. Yet it was not enough for the coach to cancel gym.
"This is going to be awesome!" a voice beside you said, making you jump. Alfred stood with a tray full of chili fries, a hamburger, a chocolate shake, and several apples cut into slices. You usually watched him, in awe and sometimes disgust from across the cafeteria, chowing down on loads of food and never gaining a pound. He sat down across from you, smiling before biting into a burger that dripped sauce.
"What?" you said, hoping you didn't sound rude.
Alfred smiled at you with a mouth full of food, "Gym's rescheduled," he said, shoveling down a hand full of fries.
"Yeah," you said sourly, crumpling up your half eaten bag of chips.
You could practically hear Alfred swallow before he asked, "Is it alright if I have that?" he pointed to the chips. You turned dark red, now regretting crushing the chips. You handed the bag over and watched as he poured the salty contents onto his burger. Suddenly Alfred started to laugh, light and cheery and leaking happy tears. It didn't sound like he was mocking you, more like he was laughing with you. "Your nose crinkles when you laugh," he said breathlessly.
You frowned, "Was the supposed to be a compliment?" you thought. Your stomach flip flopped and suddenly you didn't feel very hungry. You stuffed your remaining food in the bag and stood to leave.
Alfred seemed to notice this and panicked, his food falling to his plate with a splat, "I mean
it's cute!" his words stumbled out. "You look different." Your grip tightened on your lunch bag, and a frown appeared. Was he mocking you? You started to stomp away, but an arm caught you. "(Name), wait!"
Suddenly the whole cafeteria burst out in laughter, all of them thinking - weight, not wait. Several of his basketball buddies hooted and laughed. You didn't know what was so funny. It was stupid to think a word mix up was so funny. A sliver of anger bubbled inside you before erupting into molting, spitting hatred.
You smacked his arm away and whispered hoarsely, "FYI Mr. Chuckle I've lost fifteen pounds," before stomping away.
Telling Alfred that you had lost fifteen pounds was a mistake. Now you no longer trusted him. People walked around you as you sneaked down the hall, trying to blend in with the crowd. Some called out, "Hey (Name), a hundred and eighty five pounds left!" or "Hey 15 pound! Maybe you can wear a tank top now!" your new name officially being either 15 pound or Diet Girl. Something you had been so proud of now diminished into nothing, no pride left in your heart. In the locker room at gym class the other girls teased you saying you should get dressed in the locker room like the rest of them, instead of the bathroom.
Now outside on the track, wearing school appointed sweat pants that smelled like old cheese, and an oversized, sweat stained t-shirt, you waited. The coach paced up and down the line of hormonal teenagers snapping at any one with a phone.
"Today we will be running laps!" A rumble of thunder overhead calmed your stomach, with the hope that class would be cut short because of rain. "Ten each, you are only allowed two cool down laps!" he barked.
You sighed and took off, of course instantly falling behind and panting after only one lap. Suddenly you felt something wrap around your waist and heft you over their shoulders. You saw a glimpse of sandy blonde hair and the shine of silver glasses.
A squeak emitted from your throat as you zoomed past people, Alfred laughing happily almost skipping. You beat against his back and tried to kick his stomach. He looked back at you and smiled. You returned it with a frown and crossed your arms. Alfred laughed again and shouted something, but a rumble of thunder cracked through the sky dimming the noise around you.
"What?" you shouted.
Alfred's face fell, "Will you go out with me?"
It was like time stopped. The rain breaking from the sky, the shouts and hoots around you were like they were underwater, even taking a breath seemed like a life time, but the heat that rose to your cheeks was instant and fiery.
"W-What?" you stuttered, mouth wide open. Now girls were running off the track, screaming about their hair, while the boys cheered two guys wrestling in the mud, but all that mattered was Alfred motioning to you and wondering if you wanted to go out. "Was this a joke?" you thought, but you finally stuttered "Y-Yeah
Alfred beamed and his feet left the track. You clung on for dear life as he bounded over to the stands, shielding the two of you from the rain.
"(Name)," he breathed, his clothing and hair dripping wet and clinging. Suddenly he cupped your face, and practically attacked you with his lips. You froze in place, shivering from the cold that tickled your wet skin and the warmth Alfred brought your trembling lips. Suddenly the kiss was broken and you were wrapped in Alfred's arms, "You smell like peaches." He said, making you giggle.
Your light blue dress danced around your feet as you held onto Alfred's hand and ran up a hill with a picnic basket in your other hand. You had to stop to gasp for air several times, laughter pounding away at your lungs.
The two of you set up your lunch under a tree and feed each other grapes. After lunch, Alfred rested his head in your lap. Suddenly he reached a hand out and pinched your flatter belly and pouted, "I liked your fluff."
You laughed, "Fluff?"
"Yeah", Alfred sat up and pinched your muscled arms. "There was more to love," he said before lightly nipping at your neck.
"Alfred," you squealed, before he attacked your neck with kisses, and wrapped his arms around you.
"Yeah?" he said, giving you a lopsided grin that still made your heart flutter.
"N-Nothing," you said, tugging on the edge of your dress.
"I love you too," he said, making you turn dark red, before he resumed his work of making sure you were well loved and well fed.