Weight Room Title Bar

by Sharon Hall


"A bit more wine, Madame?" The waiter's voice is silky and deep. As if in a dream, I hear myself saying, "Yes, please, thank you."

I sit at the table in a happy fog, the incredibly beautiful music of the concert still ringing in my ears. The silly bottled candle flickers through its lensed sides and reflects, like a bright jewel, in both of our eyes. Sure, this might not be the ritziest place in town, thinks I, but the food here is always the best!

Sean strokes my hand, his long blond hair shining in the candlelight, and offers me a taste of his poached salmon. His deep hazel eyes capture and hold my own blue orbs in a brief moment of sharing that leaves me temporarily breathless.

He has this way of ...I don't know... somehow telling me what he feels without even uttering a sound. Like ESP, or magic or something. His feelings now are warm and comic, like a laughing breeze tickling my soul.

It was like that in the store, just yesterday. (It seems like I've been with him forever!) When he bent to help me pick up the things I'd dropped, our eyes met for just a second- and that second is still going on, his warm, strange aura filling the lonely hole in my heart with a glow that is, at once, infinitely pleasurable, and sad beyond measure.

He gently delivers the promised gift of salmon into my waiting mouth. As expected in this restaurant, its delectability staggers the palate!

And something about that phrase bothers me deeply- it's very hard to say, or even think. In fact, it's very hard to think at all right now. I become aware that, for a while now, growing as out of a mist, I've been hearing...

A sound.

An unwelcome sound.

Creeping up from the depths of my subconscious- a honking, wailing cacophony expanding, getting louder- tearing the very fabric of reality- threatening to burst the fragile blue membrane of the sky...


"Sharon, wake up- you're late! SHARON!" Pounding the bed, Susan reached past me to shut off the alarm.

"Oh, no, Susan- I was right in the middle of... oh, never mind!"

I slapped her arm away and then slapped the shrieking clock even harder, sending the unfortunate device skittering across the floor to take refuge, whimpering, in a corner.

The sensual echoes of the familiar dream died away slowly as the reality of the morning routine set in.

The first blow was always the initial glimpse I caught in the mirror, try as I might to avoid it. Somehow I always hoped that maybe today, by magic, I would wake up and just not be fat.


Nope, not today.

In the dream, I was never really even aware of my body as such, fat or thin, just that I felt right in it- very pretty- and I could tell that He loved it.

In the shower, I had to wash a body that I was still trying to learn to love in spite of the opinions, so freely given, of what seemed to be Everyone Else In The World.

Using a large, luxuriously soft bath sheet to dry off, I sat on the edge of my bed and just gazed at my image in the mirror, letting myself fall back lazily into the dream.

I dropped My Self from the front of my mind,

and looked at my body through Sean's eyes.


The soft curves of her face are a perfect frame for eyes of a sky-blue so pure, so heart-wrenchingly deep and warm...

Such eyes I have never seen before!

She has long, red/bronze/auburn hair- with the color of fire glinting like sunflakes in the ripples of a laughing stream.

Her plump, graceful body speaks to me of unbridled passion- a lust not just for food but for life, and love, and experience- everything that makes living worth the effort. A sweet, chubby girl like her is a treasure to be cherished!

But shy, oh! So shy and delicate she is, so afraid of rejection and so easily bruised... Her

SHARON!!! You're LATE!

Ah, shit.


My roommate Susan and I used to share clothes a lot, but lately I hadn't been finding much in her wardrobe that fitted me. She's almost exactly as tall as me, about 5'7", but I guessed I must be taking the lead in the weight department. When Susan bought this dress last week, I'd noticed it was pretty loose on her; but, borrowing it today, I had to struggle into it.

I quickly looked at the results of my efforts in the mirror. Dusky rose with black accents, the slinky dress hid none of my abundant curves, and it was pretty tight around my hips, but what the hell- I was late.

It didn't really seem to matter what I wore to the office anyway- there was always some joker ready with a nasty comment or two.

And that Bonnie, for heaven's sake! An anorexic girl of the light-haired persuasion, about my age- she asked me, almost every day: "So how much weight have you lost this week, honey?" She seemed to just assume that I was always on a diet.

Of course, sometimes I actually was dieting, but most conscious people always knew it- I was invariably grumpy and miserable. I wasn't sure exactly how much I weighed- the last time I'd been near a scale was a year ago when I noticed that Susan had stuffed ours into the back of the bottom shelf of the linen closet, certainly because she had finally outgrown its 350-pound limit.


The only one out of all those people at work who had never hurt my feelings, in one way or another, was Sean.

Sean wasn't exactly what you'd call a hunk, but he was close. He just had this look about him- the way he carried himself, his gentle manner, and eyes that looked like they had experienced far more of life than his lithe body had. They actually twinkled, but they also had some private sadness deep in them.

Let's face it- I'm a sucker for anyone who's nice to me, and Sean was never anything but. That was one of the things that made me avoid him whenever possible. I didn't want to grow to like him, because I was sure that he was laughing at me, too, behind his nice-guy facade.

Like an abused puppy, I was so used to being whipped that even a gently-proffered hand seemed threatening.

But even as I avoided him, he haunted my dreams, awake and asleep. And ah, those eyes... what if he really was as nice as he seemed to be?


With the warm Mediterranean sun glinting in the salty droplets clinging to his deeply bronzed skin, we walk, hand in hand, up from the beach. The air inside the villa is cool and sweet, and alive with the delightful aromas of whatever unpronounceable but undoubtedly irresistible delicacy is being prepared for tonight's feast.

Sean hands me a frosty drink, and his fingers linger on mine as our eyes meet... and time stops. I'm aware, for the first time, that he's not only looking into my eyes, but also at my body. Through the Link, I can feel the playful caress of his thoughts as they travel over every soft curve and bulge of my big figure.

I find myself sharing his excitement, and his honest admiration of every plump inch of me fills my soul with joy- a blazing white light of happiness spreading out from us for all the universe to see.

No words are necessary, or possible- every atom of my body is bathed in the glow of his love. At the speed of thought, the joy passes back and forth between us in a mental analogue of the physical act of love...

And the sun bursts, right there in the bar, with none of the other patrons being any the wiser.

Dazed, glowing and full, I reach up to touch his cheek and


Ah, shit.


I swore to myself that as soon as I got out of there, I was going to go home and make a sign, sneak back after closing, and nail it above the door:

NOTICE: Availability of shopping carts in this establishment is inversely proportional to the quantity of groceries that you wish to purchase. Thank You.

Arms full of groceries, I stood waiting in line behind an illiterate cretin who had defied both the "15 Items Or Less" and the "No Checks, Please" portions of the sign above the register when Murphy's Law struck yet again.

Ah, Damn. Why did it have to be the Oreos?

An armload of groceries and what did I drop? Of course, the Oreos.

Normally, I'd strategically place things like this under a pile of lettuce, apples, and carrots, and then innocently look the other way as the checker rang them in, ignoring the frown of silent judgment as the skinny bitch stuffed them into my bags.

The man behind me, seeing my plight, bent to retrieve the errant wafers and, placing them on the turntable, he smiled at me.

Oh, god. It was HIM!

My first thought was, inane as it seems, "He knows my secret- I can die now." But then, true to my long-cultivated habits of self-hatred, my next thought was, "Who are you kidding, girl? As big as you are, a predilection for Oreos ain't what you could call a secret!"

As our eyes met, a great weakness ran through me- I felt like I was going to melt into a puddle then and there. I put on a lopsided grin and did my best to look as small as possible.

"Hi, Sharon!" Sean said, all innocence. "I didn't know you shopped here, too!"

"Gawp!" I gawped. Suddenly I was remembering the dream I'd had just this morning, about him, and me, and this store... and a concert...

No... This can't be real. Susan, wake me up now, please.


"Listen, Sharon, I've been wanting to ask you..." He hesitated, looking suddenly shy and vulnerable, a look I had never seen him wear before.

"Mmmp?" Blushing fiercely, it was all I could manage.

"I have some tickets for a concert tomorrow... would you like to go with me?"

Curiosity won out over disbelief as my love of music urged me to say, "Uh... Who's playing?"

"Where Are You Going," he said.


"No, Where."

Oh, yes, I'd heard of them. A new band, supposed to be hot.

And then he stopped fooling around. He looked straight into my eyes and touched me. Just... touched me, gently- deep in a place that I had thought, until now, was so carefully hidden, so private that it was safe from all intruders.

But he hadn't come to intrude- he had come to comfort me, to heal the wounds that he found there, still bleeding, even though they'd been a part of me for so long I hadn't believed that they could ever be healed.

He had come to offer something I had thought no one would ever offer me...


As we shared the moment, I watched that sadness in his eyes slowly melt away into the distance, leaving behind only joy.

I didn't really care what the people waiting in line behind us were thinking.


With the warm Mediterranean sun glinting in the salty droplets clinging to his deeply bronzed skin, we walk, hand in hand, up from the beach. The air inside the villa is cool and sweet, and alive with the delightful aromas of whatever unpronounceable but undoubtedly irresistible delicacy is being prepared for tonight's feast...