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Old 10-29-2017, 11:41 AM   #51
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This is an absolutely well written story, every chapter pulls you right in. Please keep up this amazing masterpiece
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Old 11-04-2017, 12:13 AM   #52
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Just read the whole thing again, cover to cover. Brilliant.
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:43 AM   #53
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So you won't continue the story...?
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:53 PM   #54
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Default Further Chapters

There is purported to be an epilogue, but the story is more about the romance than the weight gain. Now that they are together, beyond an epilogue there isn't many more places for it to go.

Give it time, RL happens, and perhaps after the holidays are overwith.....?
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:42 AM   #55
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I'm looking forward to the epilogue, but I also want to take a minute to thank the writer for an awesome, complete story, with lots of depth and very interesting and believable characters. Nice work and thank you! Hope to see your creativity in the future!
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Old 12-22-2017, 07:23 PM   #56
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This was joyous and beautiful. I loved, as well, your way of characterising Guy; he isn't a villain archetype who generally appears in FA texts, and I was deeply into the contrast between Ben's and Guy's different ways of seeing Tessa and wants for her.
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:07 PM   #57
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Default Epilogue

Sorry for the massive wait. I thought the last chapter made for a nice ending, but we could so with a little more. Hope you enjoy it.

Mini glossary for the non-Brits: CPS=Crown Prosecution Service, Cheryl Cole: Near incomprehensible singer from girl band Girl's Aloud, now a tabloid darling


Epilogue

1st October

Tessa is typing something…

Tessa: I'm starving.
Tessa: And I miss you.
Tessa: And your five am pizza deliveries.
Tessa: I still don't know how you find pizza at five am. Can't in Durham.
Ben: A gut like me just knows
Ben: guy
Ben: Is your heating working yet?
Tessa: Predictive text knows all your inner thoughts and desires.
Tessa: I think the last tenant jammed a trolley token in the coin slot.
Tessa: I am living in a Dickens novel.
Ben: Bleak house?
Tessa: And Oliver Twist. I am actually having porridge for breakfast. It's only been days and I'm wasting away.

Ben is typing something…

Tessa: Ben has stopped typing something because he knows he'd sound like a horny perv?
Ben: Maybe
Tessa:

Tessa: How's Bill?
Ben: <Photo attached>
Ben: Misses you
Ben: I miss you
Ben: Do you want me to send a Tesco delivery?
Tessa: I don't have time to cook anything even if I had the money for food. Starting work at the restaurant tomorrow night. At least I'll get one meal a day.
Ben: Take care of yourself
Tessa: Stay fat, you mean.
Ben: That, too
Tessa: I'll try.
Ben: I know. You don't have to. I just want you to be happy
Tessa: I know.
Tessa: <photo attached>
Tessa: I'll do my best.
Ben: You always do
Ben: Ah, that…that is a nice photo
Tessa:
Tessa: Right. Off to go do lawyery important things now.
Ben: Ah. Yeah. I'm late for work
Tessa: You sure you can function without me?
Ben: I've survived this long
Ben: But definitely function better with you

Tessa is typing something…

Tessa: Ditto.
Tessa: I love you.
Ben: I love you
Ben is offline.

17th October
Tessa: I know you're at court.
Tessa: Just wanted to remind you that your girlfriend is amazing.
Tessa: And is applying for CPS pupilage in Swansea.
Tessa: Just remember that when you next see her and she's lost five stone from stress.
Tessa: *jazz hands* Swansea!

19th November
Tessa: Something just came in the post.
Tessa: You are amazing.
Tessa: No one's ever drawn me before.
Tessa: I thought you said you were bad at faces?
Tessa: I'm gonna get it framed.

5th December
Ben: <Photo attached>
Ben: I made the curry. It is…not awful. I don't think it needed that much ghee
Ben: Oh, and I have the meeting at Jones and Jones next week
Ben: Don't suppose you fancy a mini break?

Ben is offline.
Tessa: Can't. Too much work. I want to. Can't.
Tessa: God. You sure we can do another year of the distance thing?

2nd January
Tessa: 3 pls
Ben: ?
Tessa: Oops
Tessa: Wrong chat.
Ben: 3 what?
Ben: 3 cases
Ben: 3 penises
Ben: 3 pizzas?

5th February
Tessa: My bloody camera is broken on my phone.
Ben: That's why I haven’ t seen you in a while?
Ben: We can use our voices like normal people
Tessa: You think you can wank solely to the dulcet tones of a Geordie accent?
Ben: Sure
Ben: I can pretend you're Cheryl Cole
Tessa: It's Cheryl Tweedy.
Tessa: And fuck off.
Tessa: I'm not that skinny.
Tessa: Yet.

19th March
Ben: Hey
Tessa: Hey.
Ben: You alright?
Tessa: Sorry I rejected your call.
Tessa: I've had a bad day.
Ben: What happened??
Tessa: You remember I told you about Jack?
Ben: Giant selfish wankstain Jack?
Tessa: That's the one.
Ben: What did he do?
Tessa: Went off on one.
Tessa: In front of everyone.
Tessa: Because I got into assessments and he didn't.
Ben: Do you want me to come up?
Tessa: No, you have your thing.
Tessa: And your flat viewings.
Tessa: Don't worry.
Tessa: I'm going to destroy him.
Ben: That's my girl

5th April
Tessa: Did I tell you the restaurant's gone American style? I can actually watch our customers get fatter. It's amazing. Almost makes me want to give up law and waitress full time. And pancakes for every meal? Yes pls.

9th April
Ben: Did it. Resignation letter handed in.
Tessa: Well done, you. xx
Ben: Maria's never going to talk to me again
Tessa: Sure she will, as soon as she figures out you'll have three spare bedrooms and your house is five minutes from the beach.
Ben: Christine's getting really fat, you know
Tessa: I know.
Tessa: You told me.
Tessa: Several times.

13th June
Ben: <photo attached>
Ben: This is weird
Tessa: I'm so proud of you. It takes a lot of bravery to know when it's time to go.
Tessa: Bill is OK?
Ben: Drugged and in the cat carrier

Ben is typing…

Ben: Movers are here
Tessa: Ring me when you get there.
Ben: Will do
Ben: Next stop…the Gower

21st May
Ben: <photo attached>
Tessa: Can't remember the last time I saw sun.
Tessa: Save me a Cornetto?
Tessa: Or five.
Ben: I'll start packing the freezer.

7th July
Tessa: Thank you for offering train fare and for sending me the key.
Tessa: But you know I can't take your money, right?
Tessa: And besides…
Tessa: …
Tessa: (drum roll)
Tessa: (extended drum roll because you're still not answering your phone and I can't wait to tell you)
Tessa: I will be officially be joining the dark side
Tessa: In Swansea
Tessa: In November
Tessa: Jack HATES me
Tessa: AND I have KFC for dinner
Tessa: See you in November, my man. That's not too long now, is it?

12th July
Tessa: PLEASE spend less money on sending me pizza and use it to replace that ridic green carpet in the bathroom
Tessa: Okay, a little less money
Tessa: Make next with one with olives, pls
Tessa: A kid's gotta eat sometime

25th October
Tessa: Hey.
Tessa: Three days.
Tessa: Start warming up now.
Tessa: Because Tessa's coming home.

++

Three days.

The weather in South Wales was terrible; black clouds choked the sky and broken branches and sea grass littered the coast roads, making Ben almost fatally late for an appointment at court.

He was having a very difficult time caring.

He hummed as he swung his leather case over his shoulder, and pushed through the wind and the Crown Court doors. He hummed as the plea was entered, his client taken away in cuffs, and his seat taken by an incredibly dull colleague from his new chambers.

He hummed as he pushed out the door and into the chequered foyer, and ran directly into someone coming the other way.

'Hey,' the person said.

'I-'

Ben blinked.

'Holy shit,' he said.

'Surprise,' Tessa said. She smiled. 'Can we go to lunch?'

++

For a year, and especially ever since Tessa lost the ability to take photos of herself with her phone, Ben had resigned himself that Tessa was wasting away, literally working herself to the bone and surviving on student rations of Pot Noodle and scrounging up bits of bread whilst on shift. She'd said as much, herself, lamenting that she'd had to spend money she didn't really have on new clothes, and that she found it interesting how her colleagues and tutors treated her differently with her weight loss.

'My treat,' Tessa said, Tessa said, tugging on his hand. She'd said this while his brain reeled, trying to understand why Tessa was here three days early, why she had lied, why…

Why she had gained an incredible amount of weight.

She was telling him, but it wasn't sinking in. 'No drink, no friends, only work and food,' she told him as they walked the slow, short distance from the courthouse to Phillip's Parade, taking up more than their fair share of the pavement. They had to dodge café tables, clogged gutters, people hurrying along with hoods drawn up over their heads. Tessa carried on, oblivious, pink-skinned with her blazer tucked over her arm like she was roasting. 'The restaurant paid peanuts but oh my God, free food? Totally worth it. All feeders, the lot of them, too. Think it kept them from gaining weight, watching me do it for them. Ah, here we are!'

They were outside a diner with a familiar name. It took Ben a moment to realise it was the same one as the American restaurant in Soho.

Tessa was still talking, filling the silence left vacant by Ben's inability to think of something meaningful to say.

'I still have that gift card you gave me,' she said. 'Couldn't bring myself to spend it on Guy. Are you up for it? I kind of want to see if I still fit in the booth.'

Oh God.

Ben nodded. Tessa smiled, nervous, and tucked a flyaway curl behind her ear. 'Okay,' she said, uncertain. Her round cheeks were pink with the wind, her dimples no longer a suggestion but a fact. She bit her lip, like she was about to say something, then thought different of it and turned to the door.

Ben followed her inside.

Okay, he thought, trying to pump the gas on his thought process, get it working again. Okay. His head was still somewhere in grey, dim London two years ago, fixated on that slim if slightly podgy young woman who had walked past his gaping office doorway, chocolate bar in one hand, phone in the other. The slight bulge of a tummy. The slight strain of seams around round hips. The slight pull of buttons around generous handfuls of perky breasts.

That woman was gone.

No, that wasn't fair. Tessa not only was that woman, but she was over double that woman.

And she had lied to him, but he couldn't find it in himself to care.

He did the opposite of care.

This…this was a gift.

Not just to him, no. Why wouldn't she have told him? Ben knew right away: because not only was it a surprise for him, but a gift to herself. An opportunity, perhaps for the first time in her life, to be where no one knew her, to revel in excess without either meaningful disapproval or encouragement, and do it because she wanted it.

And did she want it?

The evidence was right in front of him.

She was waddling. Her hips brushed each side of the opening of the double doors. Her slacks were too tight, pulling lines across her hips and wide, jiggling thighs. The fabric was thin, and he could hear it rub even over the whisper of wind and growl of traffic behind them. He kept close to her, his hand on what had once been a well-formed back. He could no longer feel her spine. Instead, his palm rested on the jut of a roll above her bum, vibrating and gyrating as she stepped into the warmth of the diner.

She had lied, and he did not give an iota of a fuck.

She apologised anyway as she sat down, pushing against the table of the booth to make room for her belly to settle beneath it--fitting, but only barely. The Swansea branch was roomier than Soho, breathing out into the extra space. Back in Soho, Ben thought, still silent, still trying not to suddenly come in his pants, she'd have struggled to fit through the narrow front door.

'Sorry for what?' Ben said. His brain was fuzzy. His cock was fuzzy. Thank God they'd been able to walk, because he wouldn't have trusted himself to drive. He was still standing, awkwardly, at the head of the table, like he was the one waiting to take their orders for drinks. Finally he slid in next to her, into the soft swell of her hip, her thigh. She tried to scoot further into the wall. She couldn't.

'I wanted it to be a surprise,' Tessa said. She took both of his hands in her plump fingers. A ring--the cheap ring Ben had bought her from a street stall a summer and a lifetime ago--pinched into a ring of fat around her little finger. The booth squealed as she turned toward him. The top roll of her belly jutted two inches across the lip of the table; the bottom roll pressed into his leg. 'I know it was sneaky. I just thought--God, tell me you like it.'

Ben concentrated on breathing. Sweat slicked his upper lip.

'What can I get for you?' the waitress said.

Oh God, Ben thought.

'A Coke float and a banana milkshake, please,' Tessa said sweetly. 'Ben?' Tessa asked him.

'Erm,' Ben said.

'A water,' Tessa said. 'Welsh cake for him, and the Belly Burster for me, please. That okay, babe?'

Ben nodded numbly.

The waitress smiled and left them.

'I-' Ben said, then stopped, forgetting what he was going to say. 'How-'

'I fully intend on eating this all as quickly as possible,' Tessa said primly, cool and business-like, 'then going back to your house and fucking your brains out. Is that agreeable?'

Ben nodded.

'Ben,' Tessa said.

His eyes had been straying, down to their joined hands, hers so small and soft and plump in his, to the squeezed belly they rested on, to the fat thighs that spread across the booth, to the breasts that strained at the buttons of a royal blue blouse, to her face. Her cheekbones, still there beneath the freshly added layer of fat. The dimples, The soft double chin.

The eyes were the same. Her eyes. His Tessa, still looking at him like he was the only person in the world who mattered.

'I am sorry,' Tessa said, her eyes narrow with uncertainty, with worry. 'Are you sure you're okay with this?' She flattened his hand over the bulge of her belly. He squeezed the thick roll, more than his hand could hold. 'With all of this? I know we want kids, and I could lose weight before trying, but I just thought--God, it's been amazing-' her voice dropped to a husky whisper, her eyes bright, excited '-and just thinking of seeing you again, and how you would look at me…God, just like this. You're sure, you're--'

'It doesn't matter,' Ben said. 'Whatever. You are incredible. Fuck. God, I--' He stopped, getting his thoughts in order. Then he made a decision, and before he could overthink it, backpedal, chicken out, said, 'Marry me.'

He'd said it too loud. There was a gasp behind them, and every table within ten feet went completely quiet.

A jukebox nearby played faint strains of Americana. The plump hostess stood behind the till, watching them, grinning. Everyone was staring, and Ben's face was on fire, and he couldn't release his hands from the fat swell of her side.

Tessa smiled at him. His heart raced, jumped. He felt like it might choke him.

Her eyes shone.

'My mum's dress…' she whispered. She paused. Ben felt like he might throw up, but he didn't care. She could ask him for a gym membership and he'd get it for her. Jog alongside her for miles and miles and miles.

'…can be made into a shawl.'

Ben nodded. Tessa laughed, then sniffed, stifling a happy sob. He slid his arm around, around her wide sides, between her belly and the booth.

He couldn't reach.

'Is that a yes?' he murmured, an inch away from her lips. She smelled like lavender. Her breath smelled like mint.

'Are you joking?' Tessa whispered. Her breath hitched. Her breasts bobbed. 'Yes.'

Ben dove in so hard they nearly butt heads. They kissed so long it left them panting, so long Ben thought they'd be arrested, so long Ben wondered if they'd ever make it home…so long he wondered if he'd even care. Finally, they pulled apart. Ben laughed, face burning, cock aching. Tessa, too, turned red, trying not to cry.

A woman at another table clapped. A booth of teenagers cheered. Behind them, a milkshake and a Coke float slid onto the table, sweating, and the waitress told them she'd bring out celebratory ice cream sundaes. On the house.

'It's three-twenty, by the way,' Tessa said, grabbing a hold of the banana milkshake and taking off a dollop of cream with her tongue. She slicked back a tear with a fat hand, smiling, then reached down beneath the table to undo the pinching button of her slacks. She took a sip. Her belly swelled to fill any remaining void with the muffled sound of a zip. 'Oh God, she said. 'This is better than in London. If it's all like this in Swansea, I won't stay three-twenty for long.'

She grinned at him. He grinned back, or tried, because he was concentrating on her eyes and not the rest of her, not those numbers, which were like mathsy pornography for his brain.

Instead he stared into the fine, dark eyes of his girlfriend, his fiancée, his fat, fat future wife.

Fuck, Ben thought, with the heady, half-drunk bliss of someone both so turned on and so happy he wasn't sure he'd ever have a coherent thought again. I love this town.

Last edited by lurkymcduck; 03-03-2018 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Slight edit
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:02 PM   #58
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A very nice epilogue for a wonderful story - such sensitively sketched characters whose hopes and fears and victories and failures you handled quiet ethically(?)...responsibly(?). I don't know the right word there, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing it!
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:55 PM   #59
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One of the best stories on the site. You are a gifted writer.
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:42 AM   #60
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Yay! Thank you for that epilogue -- what a plaeasant surprise
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