“You’re beautiful,” he whispered.
“I’m not,” she thought. She dressed herself in the tent she called clothes. It barely covered the bulges but it was the best she could do.
She turned her body away from him. What the dark of the night created as shadows, the daylight showed no mercy in exposing.
Plus size, plump, curvy, full-figured. No matter how you tried to soften it, fat is fat. And fat is shame.
“You can go now,” she said. It was better for both of them to avoid playing games. “Just let yourself out.”
She hated the random hook-ups but craved the touch of another human being. A few stolen moments of another body resting against hers.
He picked his clothes off the floor and started to dress. She avoided looking at him so she didn’t have to swallow the discomfort of seeing him avoid looking at her.
“Are you going somewhere?” he asked.
The question surprised her. “Yes, “ she answered.
She headed for the door, pretending not to hear him calling after her. “Will you be long?”
The air outside provided oxygen but nothing more. A gray day reflected her inner crater; a sunny day taunted her.
Thank God for coffee, though. And a muffin. The local coffee shop provided a survival kit to reboot her day. All she needed now was to wait, but not for long. He’d be gone in less than ten minutes. Some used no longer than three.
She gave him an extra five.
The scent of onions hit her even before she unlocked her door. She followed the clattering sounds and morning radio tunes.
He tried to hit the high notes of the song while chopping red bell peppers. He felt her stare from the doorway, turned his head and smiled.
“I wasn’t sure if you were a coffee person but I made some to be on the sure side. I’m a tea drinker myself.” He took a sip of his cup before holding the French press up. Her slight nod was his cue to pour her a cup.
She shook her head and sat down.
The table was set for two.
He continued chopping and frying and not hitting the high notes.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
He winked at her, “I’m not the best of cooks, but I can make a decent omelet. The secret is to use butter. And real milk. God, how I hate almond milk.”
A fat person’s kitchen with food high in fat. Did he have a fat fetish?
“I get it, you’re a decent person,” she said, looking him straight in the eye. “But you don’t have to do this. Just leave.”
He turned the stove off and sat down across from her. Looked at her.
“Have I done anything wrong?”
They sat there in silence for a while.
“You’re beautiful,” he said.
In that moment, she hated him nearly as much as she hated herself.
“Sure, that’s me,” she said. “The jolly fat girl.”
He reached for her hand, but she instinctively pulled it away.
“I think your curves are sexy.”
“Stop calling it curves.”
“Okay, so let’s say you’re fat,” he said. “And fun. Not jolly. Fun. And beautiful. And tender.”
He was too quick this time. Took her hand before she could pull it away and held onto it.
“Look at me,” he said.
“Now, if you don’t mind,” he said, “I have an omelet to make.”
He got up, turned the stove back on and threw some more butter on the frying pan. But he still couldn’t hit the high notes.