Act of Contrition
Eileen O’Shaungessey was the typical college student. She managed to keep a pretty good balance up between her studies and her social life. At least in her eyes. When she went away to college, her parents had refused to let her stay in a dormitory. She had the choice between either staying at home and not going to college or going to a college that had a local convent where she could stay and the nuns could keep their eyes on her. As a result, she stayed home for a few years after high school to agonize over what she really wanted in life. At the age of 21, she finally relented and agreed to her parents’ terms. If she took more than half an hour getting back to the convent after class, the nuns would be waiting for her with unhappy looks on their faces. They tried to tame her by giving her an after school job as a salesgirl in their bakery. The young men of the town soon figured this out, and it did wonders for the bakery’s sales. The nuns were not amused.
Mother Superior held a meeting with the bakery sisters and asked them what they should do to “help” Eileen. It seemed to them that if she stayed so popular with the boys, she could end up jeopardizing her college career, or worse, her very soul. Sister Monica suggested that the young men liked Eileen because she had perky breasts and a lithe trim body. The middle-aged nun was secretly jealous of this fact as she had to struggle with an extra fifty pounds that haunted her like an evil spirit. “I have an idea,” she said.
“We are putting the child at risk if we let her keep carrying on the way she does. What if we told her that she needed to take time off from school and work on her faith until we felt she was ready to go back?”
“What do you have in mind?” Mother Superior asked.
“If the fellas did not find Eileen so attractive, she would be forced to focus on her studies and her prayers. If we can get permission from her dad, we can help Eileen save her soul by getting so immensely fat that no one will even look at her. I know he will agree to anything we suggest because he is a good Catholic.”
Mr. O’Shaungessey readily agreed to the nuns’ proposition. While he wanted his daughter to be able to study and make something of her life, he feared she would get pregnant and bring shame on his family. He told his daughter that if she wanted to one day continue with her schooling and have a career, she would straighten herself up and do what the sisters told her to do. Eileen had dreams of one day leaving her village behind, so she conceded to her father’s wishes. Her sisters did what they were told, so she would not be the only “rebel” to stand up to Da.
The nuns told Eileen that because what she was doing showed them that she cared about her religious duties and was willing to sacrifice up to several school years to accomplish it, they would let her have a more spacious suite of rooms on the first floor of the main building. Her senses would be bombarded day and night by the aromas coming from the bakery. They asked her to hand over all of her bras and gave her several large cottons shifts to wear. “So they want me to get fat and have saggy boobs,” she thought. “No problem. When I have a good career I can hire a trainer and get my body back without a problem. I can gain a few pounds to keep everyone happy and then they will let me go back to school.”
Eileen ate with reckless abandon, eager to please her father and the sisters so they would let her get back to her life. She didn’t anticipate enjoying a life of gluttony and laziness, but they sure beat studying and keeping fit with miles of jogging. The cotton shifts soon grew snug as Eileen developed a second roll of fat over the first one that hid her once firm tummy. Her thighs blossomed with cellulite and so did her once buff upper arms. Her weight climbed over 150 pounds in a short time.
All of the nuns took part in Eileen’s supposed quest to save her soul from the sins of dating and boys. They acted like a squad of cheerleaders, constantly making sure she was comfortable and had enough good food to keep stuffing her face. The bakery delivered cart after cart of custard pies, éclairs, fudge-frosted brownies and other delights. The refectory made trays of lasagna and other cheese and butter laden masterpieces just for her. Eileen developed a third and fourth chin in quick succession and her dimpled arms began to hang over both her elbows and her wrists. She caught onto the sisters’ religious fervor and convinced herself that she really was doing herself a favor by dedicating her life to making sure she never behaved scandalously again. She daydreamed about becoming so fat that she filled the entire room and asked the nuns to increase the amount of food that she was given. They did and also supplied her with a wheelchair and personal assistant so that she could virtually avoid all physical exercise.
When Eileen’s father came to visit her, she was in bed. Her stomach was piled up in front of her in grotesque jelly rolls and her face was no longer recognizable due to the chins and chipmunk cheeks she’d developed. She barely acknowledged him and continued to eat, several nuns handing her one treat after another. Mr. O’ Shaungessey suggested that his daughter was now too fat for any young man to want to date her and that she should be allowed to go back to school. The nuns agreed and told Eileen that she would be free to do so if she chose to. Terrified at the idea of being separated from her “mission,” Eileen stated that she did not feel “rehabilitated” enough and asked to be allowed to continue her contrition. Soon her rear end was so large that the double bed was no longer able to hold her. They supplied her with a California King and continued to feed her devoutly.
The day finally came that Sister Monica felt good about herself. Eileen’s personal attendant screamed for help. She and one of the bakery sisters had tried to help Eileen up to the restroom, but she could no longer walk and they certainly could not get her huge body underway. Monica and a bunch of other sisters ran into the room to see Eileen standing in obvious pain on her weak legs. Her belly aprons hung almost to the floor and she was at least five feet wide. She could no longer be said to have breasts of any kind, just nasty stretch-marked “things” that hung on either side of her massive gut. Her thighs (what little of them could actually be seen behind the blob of fat hanging in front of them) were so full of rolls that they looked like popcorn. Eileen’s face was so swollen with fat that her eyes were barely visible.
Mother Superior was impressed with what Eileen’s fervor had created and planned a special surprise. The best plastic surgeon in Ireland came and fashioned a pig’s snout from the young woman’s nose so that her transformation would be complete. The nuns’ order told Eileen’s tale for many years as a way to convince young people that one should always look out for the good of their own souls. Most of them decided that watching their behavior and praying was enough, and perhaps it was.
None of them ever stole Eileen’s place as the fattest Catholic who had ever lived.