As they stood on the doorstep Luke gave her a hug, and she looked up at him proudly. This was the first time he would see Jenny's parents since they had become a couple, and Jenny knew she could count on him.
They went in and Jenny knew from the look on her mother's face that she had noticed, but didn't want to embarrass Jenny in front of Luke. Jenny felt naughty but triumphant; she'd been the good girl who does exactly what her mother wanted for so long, and it was really good just to feel free to do what she wanted. Jenny's parents asked how Luke was doing, and he told them about the job - interesting in itself, and he would probably make useful contacts, but there was no social life and he missed Jenny very much. He put an arm around her, and kissed her forehead, making her blush a little.
When they went up to the dinner table Jenny was determined to do her best, and she knew that having Luke there would help - he would just naturally eat far more than her parents. Jenny's Granny served everyone the same thick slices of pork, heaping helpings of “roast spuds” and buttered peas and carrots, but while Jenny's parents picked at theirs without really noticing what was on their plates, Jenny and Luke ate steadily. Granny didn't need to be prompted to offer second helpings, and mentioned to Luke that it was nice to have somebody who appreciated her cooking, for once, casting a resigned look at her husband and son, who had each eaten about half a slice of pork so far. She winked at Jenny and put three more slices of pork on her plate, while saying to Luke “I like to see a man with a healthy appetite.” Luke was certainly keeping a good pace, though not quite as fast as Jenny, and she managed four helpings to his three in the same time. Oh, it tasted so good, and she was only just beginning to feel full again… She caught a disapproving look from her mother as she took more roast potatoes for the fifth time, and her mom leaned across and hissed, “Leave some for the rest of us.”
“Nonsense, Carol,” said Jenny's granny. “You have three on your plate and you haven't eaten a single one yet. It'll just go to waste if the young ones don't eat them. I haven't been cooking Sunday dinner for your family for twenty-five years without noticing a thing or two. All my children and grandchildren take after George here, except my Jenny. She reminds me of my own mother, and I wouldn't have her any different.” Nobody could say anything to this. Granny's mother had died quite young when their house in London was bombed in WWII. Jenny took this as permission to continue eating, helping Luke to finish off both potatoes and vegetables. There was no pork left over.
Dessert was bread-and-butter pudding and custard, rich and sweet, and nobody dared say a word when Luke and Jenny both took second helpings. She now felt determined that she would eat until there was nothing left; it was delicious, it would be a shame to waste it, and she knew now that two people at this dinner-table were on her side. She passed her plate for a third helping, and savoured each velvety mouthful though her belly already felt tight. She parted her knees under the table to allow it a little more room. A fourth, and she realised that even the elastic waistband of this skirt was stretched to its absolute maximum over her straining middle. Luke still had his third helping in his bowl as she took the last remnant, and as she swallowed the last spoonful, feeling she would've burst if there had been any more, she felt the stitching of the waistband beginning to tear at the side. She didn't care. She leant back in her chair, feeling that her centre of gravity had shifted forwards. She'd have to be careful standing up. Once more, she'd reached a new level of satiety. It was unbelievable that she could eat this much food.
“That was magnificent,” Luke was saying, but she wasn't sure, almost stunned by food as she was, whether he was complimenting her grandmother's cooking or her gluttonous performance. She accepted a cup of coffee, and sipped it very, very slowly. Luke sat beside her, his arm around her again. He cuddled her gently. Although Jenny was sure that he genuinely wanted to do this, she was aware also that he was demonstrating to her parents that he loved her just the way she was. He told them how happy he was with her, and finished up, “I must have been blind or stupid, all these years, not to see that the girl I really want to be with was right here all along.” Jenny smiled back.
When they got home, Jenny's weight on the scales was 194 - another six pounds of food. Maybe closer to eight or nine, in fact, as she must have digested some of the previous pounds by now. Luke had to read it out to her, and to massage her belly for her, because she truly couldn't bend at all, nor see past her rock-hard bulging stomach to read the scale. She had added another two inches to her waist, bringing her to 43 inches. Not surprisingly her belly looked bigger than ever, as if she had a watermelon in there, and it was really causing her to lean back; this also helped ease the feeling of being totally stuffed from hip level right up to under her breasts. Luke felt extremely full himself, and he hadn't been stuffing himself to capacity all day in addition. After her belly rub, Jenny went straight to bed, where she lay prone and drowsy. Luke came through, carrying in his hand a paper bag and a glass of milk.
“Just a midnight snack,” he said. “Open up, it's only a couple of doughnuts.” He broke small pieces off and popped them into her mouth, and she swallowed them slowly. It took nearly ten minutes for them to disappear, so full was she, and at this point Luke climbed in with her - very gently - and snuggled up to her soft warm fleshy side. He avoided pressing on her belly! They drowsed off like that, warm, comfortable and very, very well-fed.
By morning, and after a couple of trips to the bathroom, Jenny had dropped back to 189, some of which might still be undigested food. She was working at home that day, and Luke took an interest in seeing how she edited text for publication. The company specialized in science publications, and most of Jenny's work at the moment was on engineering. It wasn't what she wanted to do forever - she'd rather have been editing novels - but was satisfying in its own way; many excellent scientists can't write clearly and concisely, so she had a lot of input. Luke kept bringing her snacks. “You might get hungry, and then your work would suffer!”
“My devoted slave,” teased Jenny. She wasn't actively trying to gorge herself, but as normally happened after a major binge, she felt unusually hungry (which by now was saying something), so though she wasn't gobbling food down or deliberately stuffing herself beyond repletion, she was eating pretty constantly to fill her stretched and empty stomach. Working on the kitchen table meant that lunch started early and didn't really come to an end all afternoon - most of the leftovers which Luke's mom had given them got eaten, along with a large bag of potato chips, a two-pound box of assorted chocolate candy, two packs of cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, a chocolate bar… Just as well they'd eaten three big meals out of the apartment and been given all those leftovers, Jenny thought, because if not her grocery bill (already high, of course) would have more than doubled, with Luke to feed in addition to her massive bingeing on the two previous days.
By the time Luke had to go, Jenny tipped the scale at 195 and a half! More than ten pounds over the target, though only time would tell how much of it would “stick.” If those jeans had been near-impossible to do up at 184 and 41 inches round the waist (was that only two days ago?) they were just going to lie there and laugh at her, eleven pounds and another three inches later. She had now doubled her original waist measurement! In total, her weight had increased by twenty-three and a half pounds since Friday; she wouldn't have believed it, but it was true. She had a go at pulling the jeans on, experimentally, and found they wouldn't come near closing, and it was a real struggle to get them over her hips as well. She tried her mini-kilt while Luke finished packing, but that too just wouldn't go round her anymore, not even at the widest fastening. Luke came in and saw her struggling with it.
“Doesn't it fit anymore, Jen? That's a shame, I kind of liked it. Still, I'm partly to blame.” He put a finger under Jenny's chin, which was beginning at long last to double, gave Jenny some money and told her to get some new clothes with it. “What else am I earning this money for? If they're big enough I might even get a chance to see you in them. I'll try to be back in about a month.” Jenny finally put on a work skirt that had a drawstring, and they drove to the airport.
That night Luke called her to tell her he'd arrived. “Back to work tomorrow. But guess what?”
“I think you're a bad influence, my little cupcake, I can barely fit into the pants of my suit. I didn't weigh myself before I came to see you, but I think you've put a few pounds on me.”
“That's 'cause you were picking at all the food you were supposed to be feeding me! Anyway, if it's only a few pounds, the pants can't have been very loose to begin with.”
“That's true,” acknowledged Luke. “Maybe I had gained a little since I bought them.” He seemed amused, not annoyed. Jenny smiled, and remembered his mom calling him “the bottomless pit.”
When Jenny went into work on Tuesday, the first thing Carrie said when she got a moment to talk was “Well, I can tell how you spent your weekend.”
“How?” said Jenny, who liked Carrie a lot, but didn't suppose she could even imagine what her weekend had really been like. She took the last bite of her midmorning chocolate muffin.
“That boy of yours came home, didn't he? You've had some action! I can see it all over your face.” Jenny admitted that this was basically correct. She threw the muffin wrapper in the trash, brushed off the crumbs and got out a photo of her and Luke which Luke's dad had taken the weekend before they got together. She looked amazingly skinny, though Luke was just the same.
“That's him? You lucky girl,” said Carrie. “He's really goodlooking; no wonder you've been grinning all over your face this morning. How tall is he? He looks pretty big, but maybe that's 'cause you're such a tiny little thing. Come to that - ” her eyes widened “ - how long ago was this taken?” Jenny told her six weeks. Carrie's fascinated eyes went from the photo-Jenny to the real girl and back again.
“Yes,” said Jenny, forestalling the question Carrie was trying to find polite words for, “I have gained a lot of weight since then. I was 134 pounds in that picture, and this morning I was 189. I thought you noticed I was getting a bit of a belly about a month ago? I've put on about another thirty-five pounds on top of that, and you have seen how much I eat.” She smoothed her loose top down over her to demonstrate how very round she had become. She knew Carrie wouldn't believe that she had put on seventeen pounds of fat over the course of her long weekend, so she didn't mention it.
“Well, yeah, I knew you were gaining some weight. I suppose this just brings it home to me how much. I did kind of notice when you overtook me as the office fat girl, a few weeks back.”
“There's an official office fat girl?” asked an intrigued Jenny.
“No! But I'd always felt like the fattest person in the office - not that I'm that unhappy with my size, but that was how I thought of myself - so I was bound to notice that someone else seemed to be heavier than me. I just didn't realise you'd been so thin to begin with; those little shorts really show it off. When you said you weren't pregnant, I assumed you had always been a little chubby and we hadn't noticed because of the long skirts and baggy tops… Oh, God, I seem to have a habit of just embarrassing myself; this is the second time I've brought your weight up.”
“Really, you shouldn't worry,” said Jenny, smiling. “I'm fine with it; I'll probably gain some more, in fact. I love to eat and I could care less about being thin. I know about thin - I was 112 pounds when I first came to work here, and I was so timid, nervy, stressed all the time… I'm much happier now. Really.”
“No question why that is,” said Carrie, looking at the picture again. “So, did Luke fall for you before or after you began your… personal growth program?”
“He's known me since we were kids. But we didn't get together romantically until, oh, about twenty pounds in. He's cool with it; he encourages me just to eat what I want. Every pound is a memento of past pleasure… So if we're both happy with the way I am, I don't see that it's a problem.” Carrie looked sceptical. “No, honestly: I like being fat. I feel like I have a new lease of life. I'm much more confident and happy with myself than I ever was before.” She paused. “Everyone here knows I'm a good editor and a nice person. Anyone who's going to change their mind about that, just because I've gained some weight - I don't value their good opinion of me anyway. And I couldn't have said that six weeks ago.” She smiled again, thinking how far she had come.
“Hey, and you've improved my life too,” said Carrie with a wry smile. “Would you like to take on the job of Office Fat Girl permanently?”
“My pleasure!” answered Jenny, patting her belly. “So, do I get a sign on my desk?”
“I'll do one on the computer. Might have to pay you in cookies, though; would you like an advance?” Carrie went off to the vending machine, and Jenny, feeling that she'd handled that pretty well, opened a pack of chocolate brazils and got on with the chapter she had been licking into shape.