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Old 10-24-2016, 08:28 PM   #1
Madeline Maple
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 32
Madeline Maple can now be the recipient of "two cans" jokesMadeline Maple can now be the recipient of "two cans" jokes
Default Reality Check - By Madeline Maple (SSBBW, Romance, Imagery, ~XWG)

SSBBW, Romance, Imagery, ~XWG - A woman clashes with her family, finds love, and lives her life in search of happiness.

REALITY CHECK

By Madeline Maple


A short story in 14 chapters and an epilogue


CHAPTER 1
Franny
June 1, 2002

It was just barely noon and Franny was already pleased with the turnout. Since the university was in summer recess she expected the numbers to be down. Not that there were too many college students who showed up at these monthly barbecues anyway, but usually there would be a few. They would huddle in packs, looking embarrassed and afraid, barely socializing outside their own group.

Having graduated the year before, Franny felt older than the college girls. Nevertheless, she would try to draw them out, and if she were feeling generous she'd try to make introductions to any eligible bachelors. But she didn't work too hard at the matchmaking. It was a supply and demand problem: too many fat ladies and too few fat admiring guys. Every straight fat girl knows well this basic ratio, and Franny knew that ultimately you've got to look out for yourself.

She ambled over to the far side of the dessert table with her heavy hips swaying with every step. While absentmindedly munching on a rice krispy treat she checked out the scene. Of course Delilah was already chatting up one of the new guys: a tall skinny man wearing a Cheerios t shirt.

"Geez, she doesn't waste any time," whispered Susie who had sidled up to her friend. After a pause she said, "Do you think that shirt is ironic?"

"I hope not," replied Franny. "Maybe he genuinely loves Cheerios. It would be refreshing to meet a guy who's comfortable showing off what he loves."

Susie took a half step back in mock surprise saying, "Girl, if he really loves a kids cereal he probably has some seriously arrested development. And that means he's probably one of those FA mama's boys who never got over their fat mom." Leaning in and returning to a whisper she continued, "You know the type? When they fuck you it feels like they're trying to climb back into the womb."

"Jesus Christ, Susie, you're often this crude, but when did you get so jaded?" The conversation was cut short when the two women saw the bright yellow Cheerios shirt coming their way.

Franny played it cool and pretended to concentrate on another Rice Krispy treat. She looked up as the guy spoke in a friendly tone, "Excuse me, ladies, but do you know who here is Franny?"

"That's me," she replied with a big smile and an outstretched hand. "Franny Steinfeld." She noticed first his strong chin and kind eyes. He was tall. A good six or seven inches taller than her. And he seemed a little awkward in his body as if he grew too tall too fast and he never really got used to his height. She wondered to herself, Is he lanky? Or just gangly? And what is the difference between lanky and gangly anyway? But then she realized that he had been speaking and that he was waiting for her to say something.

Franny quickly thought to herself, What did he just say? Did he say his name is Stan? He doesn't look like a Stan. Realizing again that she needed to say something she pulled herself together, stopped shaking his hand, and introduced her friend Susie.

"Welcome to one of our big and beautiful barbecues...Stan, is it?" Franny paused to see if he would correct her, and when he didn't she thought about how un-Stan-like he was. She believed he had a more professional way about him that deserved a name like William or Jonathan but definitely not Stan.

"Hey, thanks for those email directions," Stan said to Franny. "I'm new in town. Plus, I'm directionally challenged so I need all the help I can get." Stan nervously scratched his shoulder. "When I saw the info online about the barbecue, I was glad there was an email address attached so I could get directions."

Franny smiled in reply and thought to herself, Am I imagining it, or is he into me? She noticed how he was looking mostly at her and barely glancing at her friend Susie. But more important than that, she saw that he was keeping eye contact just a beat longer than one would normally expect, as if he hated to take his eyes off her.

Franny chanced a look at Susie to see if she was noticing the same thing. And Susie wore a sly smile that seemed to say, You got this guy on the line, do you want to reel him in?

"So, Stan, what brings you to our lovely Iowa City?" asked Franny.

Stan explained that he's a chemist who synthesizes more effective dish detergent and his job transferred him from Nebraska.

While Stan was talking, Franny reconsidered her first impression. What she originally took for 'professional' she could now clearly see was 'nerdy.' He wore small oval-shaped glasses, a style that's going mainstream but have been cool with nerds for a while. And it was in the way he talked about his job. He focused on the work, as if he loved what he did day-in and day-out. A corporate guy would talk more about the company he worked for. Franny thought to herself, Nerdy is definitely better than corporate, but it's not ideal.

She had been standing for far too long and needed a rest, so Franny motioned to the table nearby. Like the true friend she is Susie came up with a reason to excuse herself from the conversation. Franny noted that Stan barely seemed to notice her apple-shaped friend depart.

Franny really didn't want to squeeze her hefty thighs under the picnic table, and she took it as a good sign that Stan sat first with his legs on the outside. It showed that he probably had some experience accommodating bigger girls.

While straining a little to sit down gently and avoid rattling the table full of desserts, Franny grabbed another Rice Krispy treat. She caught her breath and waited for Stan to pick up the conversation. She was curious where he would go with it.

"So...um...do you come to this park a lot?" Stan finally offered.

Oh my god, this guy is so nervous it's painful, she thought. Then out loud she said, "Well, we're here every first Saturday of the month from March through October. And then in the colder months we take turns hosting a cocktail hour."

It was clear to Franny she had to take the lead in this conversation or it was going nowhere, so she shared a little bit about her job at Starbucks. She joked that she's been having more than her fair share of frappucinos as she patted one of her hips that spread far from her waist.

Stan said, "Starbucks are everywhere all of a sudden. Back in Lincoln it seemed like a new one would appear every time I turned around."

"Yeah, they're pretty hard to avoid these days," she added. "But my Starbucks gig is just a placeholder."

"Oh, you aren't planning to go career?" Stan said smiling. And for the first time since they met, Franny thought that maybe this guy Stan had an actual sense of humor.

Franny smiled back and continued, "So I keep myself busy, but I don't seem to be doing what I should be doing."

Stan scratched a bug bite on his knee and asked, "And what is it that you should be doing?"

"Well...take today, for example," Franny replied. "I'm spending time planning BBW events while I probably should be working on my writing sample for grad school." She went on to explain that her dream is to be a writer and to go to the writing program. It was the reason she came to Iowa in the first place. But she never manages to get her act together and do much writing even though it's what she loves to do. She then gave her standard line about being too good at procrastinating.

"Of course my sister Zoe gives me shit about it," Franny continued. "These days she sees herself as this focused, disciplined, goal-oriented person, and she loves to lord it over me." Turning her head to Stan, she asked, "Do you have siblings?"

"Nope. It's just me."

"Well consider yourself lucky," she replied.

Feeling rested and fortified, Franny excused herself by explaining that she should probably mingle a bit since she feels responsible for having organized the event. "It's good to meet you, Stan. I hope you make it to the barbecue next month."

They shook hands again, and Franny grabbed a brownie before heading over to chat with a couple of shy-looking first timers.

---

Later that night, while getting ready for bed she mulled over the conversations at the barbecue. Her thoughts lingered on Stan. She wondered how old he was, and she tried to recall if there was any hint of crows feet around his eyes and couldn't remember any. She decided that he was probably in his late twenties. He seemed like a sweet guy, she said to herself. Did I really start bitching about my sister to him? What was I thinking? She bit her lip in frustration but soon eased the pressure remembering how hard it was to get him talking. It wouldn't be the first time I scared off a guy with my big mouth, she considered. Probably won't be the last.

Not yet feeling tired, Franny stopped by the kitchen to grab a couple of leftover brownies on the way to her computer. She munched away as the familiar "You've got mail!" rang through her tiny apartment. She raised both eyebrows when she read the sender's name: Stanley Kramer. "I guess I didn't scare him off after all," she said with a curious smile.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:37 PM   #2
Madeline Maple
 
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CHAPTER 2
Stan
June 8, 2002

Stan had never asked anyone out via email before, and he felt rather self-conscious about it. But there was no other way to get in touch with Franny, and he couldn't wait a whole month to see her again.

On the way to the restaurant he replayed his memory of their first meeting. He was talking to that irritating woman, whose name he already forgot, when he spotted Franny standing behind a picnic table talking with someone. He noticed her gently brush the bangs out of her eyes with the back of her hand, and there was something in the gesture that captivated Stan. It was at once graceful and deliberate.

From a distance he couldn't quite make out her features, but he saw enough to know that he wanted a closer look. So he started walking toward her without knowing what he would say, a true rarity for Stan who always knew what he'll do before he did it. And then it hit him. Someone emailed him directions, and he could ask after her as a pretense to talk to this captivating woman.

Of course the captivating woman and the woman who emailed the directions both turned out to be Franny. It was a week since the barbecue, and he still marveled at his good fortune in finding her.

But Stan remembered his early reservations. As he walked toward Franny he only saw her from the waist up. Her lower half was hidden by the dessert table. As much as he thought she looked beautiful, he also wondered if she were big enough for his tastes. Judging from the waist up Franny looked chubby, a BBW to be sure, but she didn't look very fat.

In that moment Stan felt a familiar feeling of shame. There he was, walking over to meet a big, beautiful woman and all he could wonder was whether or not she was fat enough. Long had he wrestled with his preference for supersized women, wishing he could just be satisfied with those who were of a more regular size. But as he got older, the more he realized his true desire was for really big women. And when he was being honest with himself, he would admit that the fatter a woman became the more she turned him on.

He recalled how excited he felt when he walked around the picnic table and saw Franny from head to toe for the first time. Her pear shape was more than evident with slightly plump arms, breasts, and belly but with very heavy hips, rear, and legs. Stan took stock of Franny's tight multicolored sleeveless dress with an attached skirt that jutted out from the waist by several inches to frame her more than ample hips.

As a lifelong fat admirer Stan had a lot of experience estimating a woman's weight, and he guessed that Franny was at least 250 pounds and probably even more. He closed his eyes and tried to piece together the details he remembered of Franny's form. In addition to a protruding backside, her thighs seemed to carry a tremendous amount of weight. Stan knew that very thick thighs can add a lot to a woman's weight. Still, Franny wasn't that tall, maybe five foot, four inches at the most. So Stan was pretty sure she weighed less than 300 pounds.

He arrived at his destination, standing in front of the Italian place that Franny picked out for their date. He was a few minutes early, so he went ahead and asked to be seated. It wasn't a big restaurant, so he felt assured that Franny would spot him. The hostess led him first to a booth, but remembering Franny's proportions, just to be safe Stan asked for a table with chairs, and he was happy to see that the chairs looked strong with no armrests.

He saw Franny smile and wave to him as she came through the door. She wore a fitted rose-colored blouse over a flowing red skirt. Her dark brown hair looked artfully disheveled as it brushed just a bit past her shoulders.

The restaurant was crowded, so Franny had to navigate the numerous tables to get to where Stan was sitting. This was no small feat given the size of her hips, and three times she politely had to ask people to get up and move so she could get by.

As he watched Franny run the gauntlet he wished there had been a table closer to the door to make this easier for her. But at the same time he was happy to have a chance to watch her as she approached. He noticed the way her hips shifted up and down when she walked. He saw how her body tilted just a little from one side to the next with every step to give her a graceful waddle. I'd better refine my earlier estimate, he said to himself. She's definitely closer to 300 than 250.

"Hey there, Stanley," she beamed. He gave her a few moments to catch her breath and take a few sips of water while he said hello and commented on the restaurant decor.

"What, no cereal t-shirt?" she said in a gentle, joking tone of voice. "I was really hoping for Froot Loops this time, but I would have settled for Frosted Flakes." Franny gave Stan a warm smile to help take the edge off her teasing.

Stan looked down at his button down blue shirt and black jeans, and he suddenly felt boring and plain compared to Franny, whom he saw as vivacious and unpredictable. He wanted to know all about her. He wanted to ask all sorts of personal questions, but instead he settled for, "What's good to eat here?"

"Well...it looks like they changed their menu a bit, but you can't go wrong with their pasta." Then Franny sat up and in an excited voice said, "Oh my god, they have eggplant parmesan as an appetizer. We have got to get that! Okay?"

Stan nodded his agreement. Although he didn't think of himself as a feeder, he also made it a policy of never coming between a woman and her food.

"But I loooove their garlic bread." Franny bit her lip in frustration, and stared hard at the menu as if it were an ancient manuscript she was trying to translate. "But I'm getting the lasagna, which I always get, so I should try something new." Slamming the menu down she exclaimed, "So that settles that!"

Their server appeared and asked for their order while setting down a bread basket. Franny didn't miss a beat and started buttering a roll while she ordered her eggplant parmesan appetizer and lasagna platter. After Stan ordered his spaghetti the server started to close her notepad but Franny spoke up, "And an order of garlic bread with cheese, too." Then after the server left she said to Stan, "I just can't say no to their garlic bread."

Stan tried his best to keep his cool, but he had to admit that Franny's willful denial of self control got him very excited. He tried to relax by focusing on a few strands of Franny's hair that stuck to her skin at the base of her neck, moist from a trickle of sweat.

Franny finished her roll and started buttering a second. "So, Stanley, when did you know you were attracted to big girls? Or did you just happen to seek out our big and beautiful barbecue thinking that 'big and beautiful' referred to a slab of ribs?"

He replied laughingly, "No, I knew what I was in for." He paused to reflect for a moment then continued, "I guess I've always known. I mean, I tried to be attracted to skinny girls, but that never worked out for me. What I do know is that a turning point came during seventh grade in Jimmy Giuffre's basement."

Franny wrinkled her brow as she polished off her third roll. "Um...Jimmy doesn't sound like the name of a hot fat babe to me."

"Definitely not," Stan agreed. "Jimmy hosted a big party, and I was part of a group playing seven minutes in heaven. I had to go to the closet with Sadie Sadler, and everyone felt sorry for me because she was the chubbiest girl in our grade, but I was thrilled."

"Wow!" Franny exclaimed. "And were you in heaven for seven minutes with Sadie?"

Smiling, Stan said, "I'll have you know I was a perfect gentleman that night."

"Too bad for Sadie," Franny teased.

"Alas, Sadie Sadler and I were never meant to be."

"Lucky for me," Franny said while looking Stan right in the eyes and flashing a heartfelt smile.

He felt his heart race as he said to himself, Maybe she actually likes me? At the barbecue Franny was friendly, but he figured it was something she had to do as an organizer. Sure, she accepted his dinner invitation, but he feared that she was just being polite.

Feeling warmth from Franny for the first time, Stan seized on the chance to get to know her a bit more. "So, now it's your turn. When did you know you could be both big and beautiful? I've know many fat women who would consider those categories mutually exclusive."

Franny took the last roll as the server swapped it out for a fresh basket. She seemed to either not notice or not care that Stan hadn't had a single one. She took her time buttering the roll, and finally, in a quieter voice, she spoke. "Well, I'm still learning that, to be honest. I have my good days and bad days with it like most gals."

Stan watched Franny munch on a roll. She looked like she was deep in thought, and he wasn't sure if she was going to continue. Then the server brought a large plate of eggplant parmesan and an even larger plate of cheese-laden garlic bread. Franny's eyes grew wide, and she filled her plate.

An awkward silence descended, and Stan cursed himself for asking Franny a question related to her size. I should know better, he said to himself. And just when he was about to speak up about something mundane to break the silence, Franny started talking again.

"I guess it all goes back to my mom and my sister Zoe."

Stan sat silently with one small piece of each appetizer barely touched on his plate while Franny continued.

"It feels kind of weird to admit this, but I was always the 'skinny' one in my family." Franny put up air quotes when she said the word "skinny." She went on to explain how her mom always hovered around 400 pounds and how her sister Zoe was very heavy from an early age.

"I starved myself as a kid because I saw how ashamed and unhappy my mom and sister were with their bodies." Franny looked down at her plate as if she were ashamed of her story. Nevertheless, she continued in between bites. "But the weird thing is, even though I ate next to nothing, I was still fat. Not as fat as the rest of my family, but still...to call me chubby would have been polite." Franny then scooped up the last of the appetizers and put them on her plate.

"So your sister is big like your mom, then?" asked Stan, eager to learn more.

Franny explained that for a while Zoe was even fatter than her mom, tipping the scales closer to 500 pounds. "But then Zoe had what she calls her 'reality check,'"

"What was her 'reality check?'" inquired Stan.

"Zoe claims to have faced some reality she was denying. Something that involves taking comfort in food. Honestly, her explanation changes every time." The server came to clear the empty appetizer plates and present the main course. The conversation paused while Franny focused all her attention on the lasagna, using leftover rolls to sop up the marinara that lined the giant platter.

After a while her eating slowed, and she resumed her story. "While I was in college Zoe went on a crash diet and lost a lot of weight, and now I think she's just a bit over 200 pounds. I think she has to eat next to nothing to maintain that weight, and she's always cranky these days."

"And what's that like for you?" Stan asked, feeling grateful that this stunning young woman would open up to him in this way.

Franny gently patted the top of her belly, taking a break from eating for the first time since the food came. "Well, for the past couple of years I've been heavier than Zoe for the first time, and I know she just loves it. Now she's the 'skinny' one, and mom and me are the fat ones. God, it makes me crazy! I can just tell she's dying to give me some speech about how I need a reality check, too, but fuck that!" She let out a sigh and then, as if talking to herself, she repeated in a half-whisper, "Fuck that."

Stan could tell that Franny was upset, and he worried that he had pushed things too far. Still visibly agitated, Franny used the last of the rolls to collect the last of the marinara, and when she was finished, her platter looked like she had licked it clean.

She leaned back in her chair, let out a big sigh, and finally seemed to relax. Stan, still amazed by Franny's eating display, waited to see if she was finished sharing her story.

"I'm not an idiot," she continued. "I know what you eat affects your weight, but I'm here to tell you that genes play a huge role, too. That's what my mom and sister don't get. When I was younger I ate like a bird, but I felt like a fat pig." Franny slowly rubbed her belly. "It was miserable."

She leaned forward, looked Stan right in the eyes, and said in a forceful tone, "Stanley, if we're going to be spending time together you should know right from the start that I'm through with starving myself."

He gave what he hoped was a reassuring smile. He even considered leaning over and kissing her right then and there, so thrilled he was to hear Franny be open with him, not to mention to hear her be so critical of dieting. But before Stan could act, Franny broke eye contact and started scanning the room.

"And speaking of starving..." Franny smiled and patted her belly as she gestured to the server to bring dessert menus.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:00 AM   #3
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Woot, glad to see a new story from you (Seeing your name crop up prompted me to go back and do a quick re-read of "Patronage and Pierogies" which is probably my all time favorite title in the library)

(buta quick formatting request -- can you set the text size to "3"? That is our standard in the library, and makes things easier to read on a variety of platforms. I re-formatted these first two chapters for you.)
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tad View Post
Woot, glad to see a new story from you (Seeing your name crop up prompted me to go back and do a quick re-read of "Patronage and Pierogies" which is probably my all time favorite title in the library)

(buta quick formatting request -- can you set the text size to "3"? That is our standard in the library, and makes things easier to read on a variety of platforms. I re-formatted these first two chapters for you.)
Welcome back - but I hate to have to correct our Library moderator-in-chief:
It's Font Size 4 for the text and size 5 for main titles...
Happy writing - 15 chapters is an ambitious project!
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Old 10-25-2016, 07:05 AM   #5
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*sigh* I have a terrible memory for precise numbers (an odd failing for an engineer, I admit). Sorry that I didn't double check the values.

For both of our sake, here is a link to the sticky which talks about all thing library related, including formatting: http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=114853
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:25 PM   #6
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Looking forward to more! Has an honest vibe (honest to the characters) to it I like.
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:16 PM   #7
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CHAPTER 3
Franny
July 6, 2002

"I take it Stan will be making another appearance?" said Susie with a devilish look.

Franny just smiled at her friend and kept on arranging the plates for the barbecue. She knew Stan was going to be there because he said so when she left his house less than an hour ago. Knowing that Susie was dying to hear details made Franny want to keep her friend in suspense.

"So," Susie began as she shucked corn for the grill, "how many dates have you guys had? Is it two or three?"

"Last night was our fourth, actually. And for each one we've tried a different restaurant. By his request I'm taking him on a tour of Iowa City's finest eateries." She remembered that it was his idea, but she also noticed that he wasn't a very big eater, nor did he really seem to take too much pleasure in the food. In fact, last night Franny ate more of his main course than he did.

As she set up for the picnic, Franny thought back to the evening before. For a first time it wasn't that bad, and he admitted to being out of practice. After the premature end to their lovemaking she was careful not to make him feel more embarrassed than he already was. Instead she just rested her head on a pillow and gently stroked his hair. But then Stan surprised and delighted her when he turned to her, smiled, and ducked his head under the covers and gave Franny some additional attention. When she finished they cuddled long into the night before falling asleep.

The sound of Stanley's Honda Civic snapped Franny's attention back to the present. She saw the bright red shirt before he even got out of the car. She smiled and shook her head in mild disbelief.

"Hey there, Froot Loops," she said while grabbing him by his belt and pulling him in for a kiss. "Now tell me you don't have a whole closet full of cereal t-shirts," she said smiling.

Stan explained that he bought the shirt online as a joke after she gave him a hard time for the Cheerios t-shirt he wore at the last barbecue.

He may be a dork, thought Franny, but at least he's my dork. And the more she considered it, the more she liked this Froot Loops joke shirt. It was more absurd than anything else, and that tickled Franny's quirky funny bone.

"Those look amazing!" Stan said as he watched Franny arrange plates full of gigantic muffins and mammoth cookies.

"Those have gotta be from Mrs. Dalloway's," said Susie as she laid out napkins and plasticware.

"You know it..." Franny confirmed.

"Mrs. Dalloway's?" Stan asked.

Susie and Franny explained that Mrs. Dalloway's was a well known bakery downtown that's owned and operated by a friendly but eccentric woman for whom the shop is named.

"And guess what?" Asked Franny.

Susie and Stan shrugged.

"Mrs. Dalloway offered me a job!" Franny clapped her hands together excitedly.

"Hey, that's cool, Franny, but what about...what's her name? That big girl who sometimes works the register?"

"You mean Julie?" Franny explained. "I think she graduated and is moving away soon."

"Well, that would be a sweet job...literally, with easy access to all those tasty baked goods." Susie said while Stan nodded in agreement. "Much better than the prepackaged garbage they sell at Starbucks."

"Don't I know it," agreed Fanny while munching on an apple donut from Mrs. Dalloway's. "I'm headed back there this afternoon to talk details."

They finished the set up as the first wave of guests arrived. Franny was soon caught up in a whirlwind of greeting friends and helping newcomers. She finally had a free moment and was pleased to see that there were still more apple donuts. She was about to take a bite when Delilah came up and started bragging about some email she just received from an online dating suitor.

It was all Franny could do to keep from yawning while Delilah prattled on. But then Stan joined the conversation. Franny watched Delilah's face quickly change from hopeful exuberance at Stan's entrance to bitter resentment as she saw him casually put his hand on Franny's lower back and gently pull her hip toward him.

Franny felt a surge of pride, and tried hard not to grin.

---

Once the barbecue was over and cleanup was done, Franny made her way to Mrs. Dalloway's bakery. While driving she remembered the feeling of Stanley's hand on her back. She loved the tender pressure as he guided her close to him. She remembered feeling her soft curved hip slowly flatten out against his upper thigh, and in that moment his body felt safe and familiar to her. But there was one thing she remembered most. It made her feel strong. It made her feel like she had a right to take up space.

Franny entered Mrs. Dalloway's bakery and examined its cozy interior. The place was designed for takeout orders since there was only a register, a couple of display cases, and a kitchen in back. Seated behind the register was Julie, a buxom redhead.

As a regular at the bakery, Franny knew Julie well, and she had even got her to go to a few of the big and beautiful barbecues. Susie had described Julie as a "big girl," and she was definitely right about that. Julie was even larger than Franny, and she wore a loose flowing house dress that was so big it nearly covered the chair on which she sat. Franny knew what it felt like to be stared at for her size, and she made sure not to do that to Julie who sat with her heavy breasts resting on a bulging stomach that hung so low as to spread her legs far apart.

Franny sat carefully on a chair in the corner while she exchanged pleasantries with Julie. Meanwhile Franny took stock of the fact that she felt comfortable being back at the bakery, taking it as a good sign that she might like working there. She loved the food, and she always considered it a size-friendly place with someone as large as Julie working up front.

Franny waved as she saw Mrs. Dalloway emerge from the kitchen. She was a plump woman of about sixty with grannie glasses and a salt and pepper bouffant. Wiping her hands on a flour-streaked apron, she greeted Franny and gave her a big hug.

Mrs. Dalloway spoke of her passion for baking. Until recently she had no problem baking in the morning and handling some of the register duties later in the day. She was getting older, however, and she wanted to cut back on her hours and just focus on her craft. She hoped Franny would take over the register full-time after Julie moved away at the end of the month.

Mrs. Dalloway suddenly shrieked and shouted, "The taste test!" Waving her arms above her head, she rushed back to the kitchen and returned with two plates. Each plate contained two seemingly identical gigantic chocolate muffins. One plate she gave to Julie and the other to Franny.

"Double chocolate chip muffins!" Mrs Dalloway explained with delight. "One has semi-sweet chips and the other has milk chocolate." Then, looking expectantly at the two women, "Which do you prefer?"

They tasted each muffin just as a customer entered the shop thereby pausing the taste test. Franny watched as Julie took the customer's order. Evidently her chair was on coasters since she rolled over to the display cases, took out a few slices of what appeared to be banana bread and rolled back to the register.

Julie gracefully managed the entire transaction without having to stand up. Franny thought about the peak times at Starbucks that forced her to stand for prolonged periods that left her back stiff and her legs aching. This cushy bakery job is looking better and better, she thought to herself as she finished the first muffin.

Both Franny and Julie were well into their second muffins as they debated the merits of the two kinds of chips. They finished at almost the same time, popping the last bit of crumbs into their mouths. Franny slowly rubbed her belly. After all the treats she ate at the barbecue, she had to admit to herself that finishing those two giant muffins might not have been the best idea.

"But which do you think is best?" Mrs. Dalloway prodded.

After a pause, the two women grinned as they both said, "Semi-sweet!"

Mrs. Dalloway gave a big smile. "I knew it!" She then rushed back into the kitchen and returned with two more chocolate muffins with semi-sweet chips giving one to Julie and one to Franny.

Again rubbing her belly, Franny watched Julie bite into her third muffin with a wide smile on her face. Mrs. Dalloway watched with concern as Franny hesitated.

I don't want to be rude, thought Franny as she took a bite of the sizable treat.

"Oh, Franny," said Mrs. Dalloway as she took her hand and patted it gently. "I think you'll fit in here quite nicely."

---

That evening Franny was in a fantastic mood, feeling like everything was falling into place. She thought of Stan and their growing bond together. She remembered the fun times at the barbecue. And she thought of Mrs. Dalloway and what a nice change of pace it would be to work at the bakery.

Out of habit she reached for the remote control but stopped herself. You know what? she thought. I'm actually in the mood to work on my writing. Wanting to take advantage of this rare opportunity she got up as quickly as her ample frame would allow and headed to her computer.

Just then the phone rang. She looked to the caller ID and saw that it was her sister Zoe phoning from her home in South Florida. Franny's body immediately grew tense, and she froze right where she stood.

She made a quick decision to let it go to voicemail and proceeded to sit down at her computer and open the story she had been working on since she graduated last year.

Try as she might, Franny couldn't focus on her work. She kept thinking of Zoe and the silent judgment she carried everywhere she went. Franny tried to recover her happy mood by recalling the events of the day, but this time she saw it through Zoe's eyes.

Franny remembered her lovely morning at Stan's apartment, but she imagined Zoe judging him for finding Franny's fat body attractive. Franny felt the scorn she imagined Zoe would have for her fat friends at the big and beautiful barbecue, and she knew Zoe would consider Mrs. Dalloway's bakery as nothing more than a pathetic place for food addicts.

Franny let out a long sigh as she shut down her computer. She slowly rose from the chair and headed for the couch and for the remote control. On the way she passed through the kitchen where an unopened package of Oreos called her name.
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:31 PM   #8
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CHAPTER 4
Zoe
June 17, 2003


"American Airlines welcomes you to Iowa City where the local time is approximately 1:25."

Zoe adjusted the time on her watch. She patted her hair and smoothed her clothes, thinking that she couldn't remember the last time she had such a rough landing. She flipped open her cell phone, and saw that she had no messages. After pressing a few buttons she held it up to her ear.

"Hi Mom. I just landed. I'll call you later after I meet up with Franny. Just wanted to let you know I made it okay." Zoe closed her phone and put it back in her purse, exchanging it for a raw carrot.

As the plane pulled into the gate she crunched down hard on her snack, mashing her teeth together in a robotic motion. She hadn't seen Franny since her college graduation two years ago, and she wasn't sure what to expect. Their phone conversations often grew tense, and Zoe found Franny capable of being so defensive at the tiniest little comment.

She finished her carrot as she stepped off the plane. I wonder if he'll be with her to pick me up. What's his name again? Barney? No. Stanley! It's Stanley, she decided to herself. Zoe knew that Franny and Stan had been seeing each other for the past year. At first Zoe took it as a good sign that Franny might have dropped some of the weight she packed on during college. But in recent phone calls Franny had suggested otherwise. And besides, she works at a bakery. That's not the best place for a diet, Zoe thought. I just hope she hasn't gotten any bigger.

She spotted Franny right away. Zoe saw her sister's broad hips squeezed into a knee-length jeans skirt above thick calves that tapered to tiny feet. She watched as Franny's upper arms jiggled as she waved. Oh, dear, she said to herself. She's as big as a house!

Zoe put on her best smile and ran to her sister's outstretched arms. As the two embraced it was all Zoe could do to keep from crying as she noticed that her arms barely made it around the folds of fat on Franny's sides. Zoe guessed that her sister was at least fifty pounds heavier than she saw her last.

"Happy birthday, little sister!" Zoe managed to say as she did her best not to show surprise at Franny's size.

Franny took her sister's hand and gave it a little squeeze, and in a tender voice she said, "It's good to see you, Zoe."

"So what's up for tonight, birthday girl? Are we having a rager?"

"You know it," Franny replied. "My friend Susie is throwing a party for me at a restaurant downtown."

The two women headed toward the baggage claim, but Zoe saw immediately that her sister was struggling to keep up. Franny had to swing her arms in wide arcs to heave her fat-laden hips and legs forward. Witnessing this, Zoe felt a sudden surge of anxiety, and her thoughts wandered.

It was as if she were walking the halls of her old high school. She remembered huffing and puffing to get to class, recalling the shame she felt at letting her body get so out of control. As if for the first time, she felt the deep pain of humiliation knowing that she outweighed everyone in her school by 100 pounds, and that included the teachers.

Zoe pushed all those memories deep down, out of her way as she focused on the present to retrieve her suitcase from the baggage claim. She turned to Franny and assumed what she hoped was a friendly, curious tone. "When will I get to meet this Stanley I keep hearing about?"

"Oh...he'll be there...tonight," Franny managed in-between breaths as they made their way to the car.

They passed a vending machine, and without realizing it, Zoe's eyes lingered on the candy bars and potato chips. Her mouth watered as she steeled herself against her relentless appetite. Her free hand went to her purse where she clutched an extra carrot. She squeezed it such that her knuckles turned white.

---

The so-called restaurant was more of a pub with a back room reserved for Franny's birthday party. Balloons and streamers framed two large tables overfilled with food and presents, but it was the cake that caught Zoe off guard. She asked herself, What normal person has a three-tiered birthday cake?

Just then Franny appeared alongside an older woman sporting a retro hairstyle and a patterned blouse that clashed with her striped skirt.

"Hey, Zoe, I want you to meet my boss, Mrs. Dalloway."

The older woman caught Zoe by surprise when she pulled her in for a big hug.

Mrs. Dalloway, noticing Zoe's rigid response to the embrace, flashed a bright smile and said, "Sorry, kid, but I come from a long line of huggers."

Franny, pretending not to notice Zoe's disdain, said "Mrs. Dalloway here is responsible for my beautiful birthday cake!" And then, turning to her boss, "Really, it's amazing. Thank you."

Mrs. Dalloway just patted Franny on the shoulder and launched into a detailed explanation about the importance of having the right butter to sugar ratio in the frosting. Meanwhile, Zoe noticed that many guests had arrived. Glancing back to her sister's boss, she noted that while Mrs. Dalloway might be a bit pudgy around the middle, she was much smaller than most of the other partygoers. Zoe found it ironic that the person who brought the biggest dessert was one of the few people there who wasn't morbidly obese.

Across the room, Zoe identified her sister's friend Susie, a tall, big-bellied woman with black hair whom she remembered meeting at Franny's graduation. Jesus Christ, thought Zoe, does that woman always wear skintight revealing clothes? Wondering what childhood trauma could have led to deluded behavior for such a fat woman, Zoe noticed that Susie was talking with a tall, skinny man and both were looking in her direction.

Zoe tried to look interested in Mrs. Dalloway's baking explanations as she saw the skinny man approach out of the corner of her eye.

"You must be Zoe," he said upon arrival. "I recognized you from Franny's photos. I'm Stan."

Zoe did her best to smile as she shook Stan's outstretched hand. So this is the guy, she thought. Zoe saw his big nose and long face, and she joked to herself that his tucked in t-shirt wasn't going to win any fashion awards.

She saw her sister reach up to tussle Stan's combed hair as Franny explained that she had been waiting "forever" to have Zoe and Stan meet.

"So, Stan, Franny tells me that you two met at a barbecue?"

"Well, yeah...I mean...that's where we met for the first time...in person, that is."

"Oh," Zoe, now looking confused, asked "You had met somehow before?"

Stan's face had an awkward expression as he searched for the right words.

"What Stan means," Franny interjected, "is that we exchanged a couple of emails to get directions to the barbecue where we met for the first time."

Zoe noticed Stan's face relax when Franny spoke for him. Wow, Zoe thought to herself, he's insecure. He must want such a fat girlfriend because he feels like he can't do any better.

Mrs. Dalloway gestured to the giant cake and asked, "Should we slice into this or what?"

"Definitely!" Franny replied.

Franny's mouth was practically watering, and Zoe could hardly believe it because she had been monitoring her sister's food intake ever since she arrived and decided that Franny couldn't possibly still be hungry. She had already eaten two hot dogs, a basket of French fries, a small bag of Funyons, several handfuls of peanuts, a granola bar, and she washed it all down with a 20 ounce bottle of regular Coke. Zoe, on the other hand, had only eaten the extra carrot she brought with her on the plane.

As Susie corralled the guests and led a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday to You," Mrs. Dalloway placed candles in the shape of "2" and "4" on the cake's top tier.

Franny made her wish and blew out the candles while Mrs. Dalloway moved towards the cake with a knife. But to Zoe's horror, she didn't even cut a piece for her sister. Instead, she placed the entire top tier on a large plate and presented it to Franny.

The crowd actually cheered, as if eating an entire small cake by yourself was something to be encouraged. Zoe felt herself start to tremble as she watched her sister dig in with a big smile on her face.

Mrs. Dalloway served giant slices of cake to each guest and looked disappointed when Zoe declined. Everyone seemed to be smiling and laughing while they ate. Zoe, however, was feeling lightheaded. She focused on the partygoers, and all she saw were their fleshy arms as they crammed forkfuls of cake into their fat faces. She saw some obese woman chortling with her mouth full of frosting, and Zoe felt her stomach turn.

Without a word of explanation she rushed out of the party, through the pub and out onto the street. The fresh air filled her lungs and Zoe's eyes focused on the busy sidewalk. She saw college kids walking arm in arm on the way to their Saturday night destinations. Across the street she saw a dimly lit diner. As rain began to fall she jaywalked toward the front door.

Zoe sat alone in a corner booth. She ordered a salad and a diet coke. When it came she ate quickly with the dressing on the side untouched.
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:21 PM   #9
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This story is awesome! Can't wait for the next chapters!!
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:49 PM   #10
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CHAPTER 5
Stan
November 23, 2005

He had never flown before with Franny. Sure, they talked about seeing New York or L.A., but they never made it past the planning stage. Now they were on their way to the airport to spend Thanksgiving in Florida with Zoe and their mom. But Stan had no way of knowing what would happen. They bought a seat for Franny, but they didn't buy an extra seat for her hips. He knew it would be a tight fit. He just wasn't sure how tight.

Franny loved to tell the story of her last flight to Florida to visit her family. How she proudly proclaimed her need for a seat belt extender as soon as she boarded the plane. How she squeezed into her seat, much to the shock of the woman next to her. How she framed it as a victory against a fat phobic world made for people whom she referred to as "skinny minnies."

Stan knew to tread lightly with these matters. Sometimes Franny was willing, even eager to talk about accommodations for her size. Other times, however, she grew sullen and withdrawn.

As a result, Stan didn't call attention to the fact that the famed flight was three years and more than a few pounds ago. In fact, Stan knew Franny had recently passed the 350 pound mark because she made a passing comment about it the other day. So he guessed that she had gained at least 70 pounds since her last flight, and a lot of that fat seemed to have found its way to Franny's hips.

The apartment they shared had a love seat in the living room, and Stan relished the opportunity to share it with Franny. Before sitting down next to her he'd push the side of her hip to make room for him to wedge himself next to her. He adored cuddling as her body spilled over his slender frame. But their love seat looked much wider than two airplane seats.

As they boarded the plane, Stan was bracing for the worst. He knew he could handle it, he just didn't want Franny to feel embarrassed. Just as she had done in her story, she asked for a seat belt extender as soon as she boarded the plane. They found their seats: a window and one in the middle.

Franny miraculously squeezed herself into the row and sat down on the window and middle seat. It immediately became clear that there was absolutely no room for Stan. In fact, he had to adjust the side of Franny's hip just to lower the armrest between the middle and aisle seats.

Just then a woman dressed in business attire appeared and started to sit down next to Franny. "Excuse me," Stan said, "but we need an extra seat. Would you mind waiting a minute while I speak to the flight attendant?"

As if on cue, the attendant appeared. She took one look at Franny and immediately assessed the situation. She guided the businesswoman to an empty seat, and Stan sat on the aisle.

After a moment the flight attendant returned, and, ignoring Franny she said to Stan, "Is West Palm Beach your home destination?"

"No, we live in Iowa," he replied.

Showing a polite smile she said, "We're very lucky to have had an empty seat, but I can't guarantee there will be one for your return trip." The attendant then waited a moment for Stan to acknowledge the meaning hidden behind her words, and when he nodded, she scurried off to tend to her duties.

Stan chanced a look at Franny who pretended to be engrossed in a Sky Mall catalog.

"I'll take care of it," he said quietly.

Franny gave a slight quick nod in response, and Stan made a mental note to get an extra seat for the return flight.

---

"I just can't believe it's been three years since I've seen my baby girl!" Franny's mom said for the third time during dinner.

Stan felt delighted to be accompanying Franny on a trip to see her family. When she announced her plan to fly to Florida for Thanksgiving, he hoped for an invitation, but he knew better than to ask. Whenever Stan tried to push the relationship to the next level, Franny would always put up a fight. Stan was learning that the best way to get closer to his girlfriend was to back off and let her set her own pace.

He listened as Zoe talked about her job as an assistant bank manager, and he couldn't help but notice that Franny's sister looked a few pounds heavier than when she visited Iowa summer before last. Stan guessed she was a little over two hundred pounds with her full breasts and roll of tummy fat that folded over her belt while sitting. But it's true what Franny once said: Zoe was the skinny one when compared to the rest of her family.

Stan thought back to earlier in the day when he saw Mrs. Steinfeld for the first time. She was seated on the couch from where she slowly rose in excitement as her daughters arrived. Franny's mom wore a large mumu that disguised the contours of her supersized body, but Stan could immediately tell where Franny got her hips.

The blue flower print garment flowed out and around the mother's lower half. When Franny and her mom hugged they were quite a sight with the two women's bountiful backsides pushed into the air, far from where their arms tried in vain to wrap around each other.

Franny once told Stan that her mom had always been close to 400 pounds, and he guessed that she now weighed at least that and probably a bit more.

Stan pretended to eat by pushing his macaroni and cheese around on his plate while Franny reached for her third helping. Zoe and her mom shared a knowing look in response. It was clear to Stan that Franny was determined to eat as much as possible to annoy her family. Zoe and her mom, on the other hand, seemed to be playing their part by silently judging.

Finally reaching for a second helping herself, Mrs. Steinfeld returned to the topic of how long it had been since she saw Franny.

"I know you graduated a few years ago, my dear, but...well, you know...plane travel is quite expensive for me...with my body type." Mrs. Steinfeld trailed off as if feeling ashamed. Stan immediately realized that she referred to her own need to buy two airplane seats, not knowing that her daughter just discovered she had grown to the point where she had a similar need.

Stan saw Franny's face flush, but he could tell that she would never talk about her embarrassing flight. Obviously these women were used to ignoring such feelings rather than sharing them.

"The important thing is that we're all together now," offered Zoe in an obvious ploy to change the topic.

"So Franny..." Mrs. Steinfeld began cautiously, "last time we talked you mentioned plans to return to your writing and apply for grad school?"

Stan felt his muscles tense. He knew this was a sore subject, and he immediately feared that Franny would get upset. Taking a sip of water, he glanced at his girlfriend who looked to be trying to calm herself before responding.

"That's right, mom," Franny finally said. Then she surprised Stan by reaching across the table and taking his hand. "I'm lucky to have Stanley here to help me focus on what's most important."

Stan didn't know what to say he was so flabbergasted. He had been trying to keep her focused on her writing, but she was always looking for reasons to avoid it. He always feared he was just bothering her but maybe that wasn't always the case.

"That's wonderful, dear," said Mrs. Steinfeld. "It's good to keep focused on your future."

Franny looked spiteful and said, "What does that even mean, mom?"

"What she means is that it's good to have goals," Zoe interjected. "I mean, you don't want to work at a bakery your whole life."

"And what's wrong with working at a bakery?" Franny said challengingly.

Stan tried his best to stay out of the fight, again pushing mac and cheese around on his plate. He listened as Franny complained about feeling judged while her mom and sister judged her for feeling angry. Needless to say Stan was more than a little uncomfortable.

Eventually a truce was declared and it was time for dessert. Mrs. Steinfeld brought out strawberries and whipped cream with pound cake. Franny wrinkled her nose when she noticed the pound cake was low fat. They all ate their fair share while Mrs. Steinfeld went on and on about how good it felt to be eating a "healthy" dessert. Meanwhile Stan saw that Franny and her mom ate spoonful after spoonful, each bite loaded with whipped cream.

---

Later that night, Stan saw Franny inspecting a wall of framed black and white photographs. He joined her and silently observed the images for a while before speaking. "These are your family members?"

"Yeah," she confirmed, "at least I think so. I only know who some of these people are."

Stan pointed to a chubby little girl in a 50s style frock smiling next to a slide. "Is that your mom?"

"You guessed it." Franny paused and scratched her chin. "She looks so happy in that picture that I barely recognize her."

Stan examined the wall further until a small square photo near the bottom caught his immediate attention. He leaned in for a closer look.

Sitting on a bed was an immense woman whose bare legs flowed with folds of fat. Either the bed was small or the woman was huge since her body spilled close to the edges. Stan saw that her large legs hugged a heavy belly distending onto the bed in front of her. She was smiling broadly, and Stan thought she looked quite beautiful.

Looking even closer he noticed that the woman cradled a small baby on her belly. The child looked impossibly small compared to the mammoth woman.

"I knew that one would grab your attention," said Franny through a smile.

Feeling a little sheepish, Stan asked, "Who's that?"

"It's my great grandma. And that little baby is my mom." Franny leaned in to inspect the photo with Stan. "My mom rarely talks about her grandma, but I know they were very close. They even lived in the same house while my mom was growing up."

Stan tried to see if the baby looked like Franny's mom, but the photo was too small to tell.

"When I was a kid, I used to look at that picture and feel sorry for her because she was so fat." Franny spoke in a hushed tone. Zoe and her mom and gone to sleep and the house was silent. "My sister and I would wonder about what she ate and how much she ate to get so big."

Stan took another look at the woman's body. At that size it's rather hard to guess a person's weight. But he figured she was at least 700 pounds and maybe even more like 800.

"You know what?" Franny asked as she turned to Stan. "We never ever talked about my great grandma like she was a human being. We never saw her as a person, we only saw her as fat."

Franny turned her attention back to the photo. "But I look at her now, and I see a happy, confidant woman who's proud as hell over her new granddaughter."

Not wanting to interrupt Franny's thoughts, Stan stood silently looking at the photo. After a few moments passed, he spoke, "You have your great grandmother's eyes."

Franny, without taking her eyes off the picture, replied, "That's exactly what my mother always used to say."
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:52 PM   #11
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CHAPTER 6
Franny
June 17, 2008

Franny laid on her bed looking up at the ceiling fan. She felt her legs dangle off the side of the bed. As she wiggled her toes she took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Not really wanting to get up, she just relaxed her muscles and enjoyed the feeling of her heavy body sinking into the mattress.

Her head turned slowly to the side to face an alarm clock. "4:32" it read. I don't meet Stanley for a couple of hours, she thought.

Franny took another big breath and swung her right arm and right leg over her body to get enough momentum to sit up.

Until today she hadn't weighed herself in over a year so it didn't come as a surprise that her weight passed the 400 pound mark, but she was a bit startled to see she was already at 415 pounds.

Throughout her childhood, her mom talked about how miserable it was to be 400 pounds. And when Zoe reached that weight, she also complained constantly. Growing up, Franny always felt a perverse pride at not being as fat as the rest of her family. And her pride was reinforced when Zoe and her mom praised her for having more self-control. At other times, however, her family told her she was lucky to avoid being so fat. Franny looked down at her flabby body and thought, I guess my luck finally ran out.

Franny brushed her bangs to the side. Is it really so terrible being this fat? With her fingers she gently traced the arcs of the two creases she had on each thigh. The folds showed up a couple of years ago, and she greeted them as old friends.

Her fingers moved just below the knee and pressed lightly along creases that had recently appeared on her upper calves. She didn't quite know what to think about them. On the one hand the new folds of fat made her feel more unique. No one has legs that look just like mine. The thought made her smile. On the other hand, to have a fold of fat below the knee seemed like a sign that she had grown beyond the bounds of everyday fatness.

Franny felt like her regular self, but she couldn't shake the thought that she was abnormally fat. The thought terrified and thrilled her at the same time. She feared gaining weight mostly because she grew up being told that fat was a fate worse than death. But her weight gain excited her, too.

At times, Franny enjoyed getting fatter as an act of rebellion, as if each extra pound raised a middle finger toward her fat shaming family and toward the fat hating world. Poking a finger into her belly, Franny smiled. Her weight gain felt rebellious, but it also felt natural. As if she was finally becoming the person she was meant to be.

She leaned back to gain enough momentum to heave herself up and stand. After pausing for a moment for balance she waddled to the foot of the bed so she could look at her naked body in the mirror. She stood as far back as she could with her protruding rear squished against the bed frame. Still, the full length mirror cut off the edges of her hips. I'm gonna need a bigger mirror, she thought.

---

The candlelit table in the Italian restaurant was set for two, and Franny took a sip of water as she waited for Stan to arrive. His boss must have held him up a little, she thought, since Stan would never keep Franny waiting if he could help it. And just then she saw him come through the front door of the restaurant. He was wearing the polo shirt Franny picked out for him that morning. She thought he looked pretty cute with his skinny long arms and awkward gait.

"Happy birthday, baby!" Stan said as he leaned across the table to give her a quick kiss. "How'd you spend the day?"

"Oh, I just worried about grad school as usual," she replied.

Franny recently found out that she was accepted to the Iowa writing program. It was what she had wanted ever since high school, but now that it was really happening, she was riddled with insecurity.

"They're gonna love you," Stan said for the tenth time since she learned of her acceptance. "Otherwise, why would they have let you in?"

Franny looked down at the table and said in a quiet voice, "I guess you're right."

Wanting to brighten the mood, Stan changed the topic. "So how does it feel to be 28?"

On top of her grad school fears, Franny was starting to feel afraid that she'd lost her youth, so she looked up at Stan with an expression that said, "Is that supposed to cheer me up?"

But the server brought a basket of bread, and Franny instinctively grabbed for a roll and peeled the top off a butter packet.

Sometimes Stan had the knack of saying exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time, and Franny would get so irritated with him. Nevertheless, she never doubted his love.

Over the past few years Franny agonized over her writing sample for grad school always looking for reasons to be distracted. She never would have finished if it weren't for the gentle reminders and words of encouragement from Stan. And without his support she wouldn't be able to go down to part-time at the bakery so she could focus on school for the next couple of years.

As much as she sometimes felt annoyed by her boyfriend, she knew she didn't really have too much cause for complaint.

She saw Stan smile as he watched her chew through another buttered roll. It makes him so happy to see me enjoy food, Franny thought. And with that in mind she grabbed another roll and perused the menu with a newfound hunger.
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:57 AM   #12
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Franny is 350 and we are not even halfway through? The next chapters are going to be gooood....
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:14 AM   #13
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I also cannot wait for more of this. Bravo! And if I'm not mistaking, she's already at 415 glorious pounds and with 8 chapters left, amazing!
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Old 10-29-2016, 02:08 PM   #14
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Awesome so far!!!
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Old 10-29-2016, 02:39 PM   #15
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MAN this is good, beautifully written! thanks
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:59 PM   #16
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CHAPTER 7
Stan
October 17, 2010

As Stan parked in front of Mrs. Dalloway's bakery he felt his heart racing. He paused for a moment to take a deep breath. This is really happening. I'm really going to do it, he thought.

He entered the shop and greeted the college girl at the register. Stan always forgot her name, but he noticed that she had packed on the pounds since taking over some of Franny's shifts a couple of years ago. Stan noticed her fuller double chin and deeper cleavage that plunged well beneath her v neck shirt.

"I just finished filling them!" Mrs. Dalloway shouted with excitement as she burst through the kitchen doors. She beckoned to Stan, "Now come on, come on, let's find a place to hide it."

The two stood before a pastry box filled with a dozen freshly made profiteroles. They were a new recipe for Mrs. Dalloway and a current Franny favorite. The two women worked hard to perfect the cream puffs. As with all of the baker's concoctions, Mrs. Dalloway baked and Franny did the taste tests.

"So let's see it," said Mrs. Dalloway with a frantic wave of her hands.

Stan cautiously reached into his shirt pocket and retrieved a modest diamond engagement ring.

"Oh, it's lovely!" Mrs. Dalloway exclaimed. "Now which one should we put it in?" Scanning the cream puffs she pointed to a large one in the corner, "That one's perfect! But we need to mark it so you know which one it is." She retrieved a tube of chocolate icing and marked a small "X" on the top. "There! We wouldn't want our Franny to swallow this gem, now would we?"

---

Stan returned to his car and carefully stowed the profiteroles. He fought down the urge to second guess his plan. No, no, the time is right. It's now or never , he thought to himself. He knew Franny was the girl for him. During seven happy years Stan never once doubted that they should be together, and now he was ready to gamble that Franny would agree.

Having graduated from the writing program last May, Franny got a part-time teaching job at a local community college. The job allowed her to stay part-time at the bakery and perhaps even have a little time to keep up her writing. Stan feared that Franny would once again fall prey to distractions now that she was done with grad school, but he hoped she would focus enough to get her book proposal out to publishers.

But Stan hoped even more that a start on her writing career would help Franny feel more ready to settle down. And he hoped most of all that he was the one she'd choose to settle down with.

His heart fluttered when he thought of Franny. She was smart and beautiful, but what he liked best is that he never knew what she would say or do next. With most people, Stan could predict their behavior, but Franny was different.

Stan expected Franny's weight gain to slow. He had even prepared himself that she might one day try to diet, and he was okay with that. He knew he loved Franny as a person first and foremost, so her size was more of a bonus than a necessity. Nevertheless, Franny kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger and Stan was thrilled by the arrival of each ounce.

When they met, Franny was a mid-sized young woman with round hips, thick thighs, and a hefty rear end. Yes, she was fat, but her dimensions weren't extraordinary. Now, after seven years of steady weight gain, she was a supersized knockout.

Franny's pear shape filled out such that her hips bulged from her high waist to make two soft pillows at her sides. Her big bottom became a protruding shelf that extended out from her lower back. Thick thighs grew thicker with several folds of fat and wide knees that started to blur the boundary between thigh and calf.

Stan didn't know her exact weight but he knew she was well beyond 400 pounds and almost certainly closer to 500. Stan saw Franny as his fantasy in the flesh, and most of the time he didn't dare to dream of more. But there were moments, usually at night, when he would gaze upon her billowing body and imagine her even bigger. He dreamed sometimes of her body filling the bed as it overflowed with folds upon folds of fat.

But now Stan turned his attention back to his plan for the day, and he felt his hands start to tremble. He was nervous because he had no idea if Franny would accept his proposal, but he was also nervous because he hadn't told Franny about the rumors.

People at work were talking that the company might shut down their Iowa City lab and move all operations to their main facilities outside of Fargo. Stan wasn't worried about losing his job, but he was a little afraid of losing Franny. Even after all this time he never shook the feeling that she was a little out of his league. And several times in the past month he asked himself, If I had to move to Fargo would Franny move, too? He was never sure of the answer.

Every time he brought up marriage, Franny either joked it off or said that she couldn't even think of it until she was done with grad school. Now she no longer had the grad school excuse so Stan wondered what he would do if she joked it off this time. He had been careful to avoid talk of marriage for the past couple of years, knowing that his chance would come. But now that his chance had arrived, he was scared stiff.

---

"What's with all the secrecy?"

Stan pulled into the parking space and turned to face Franny, "What do you mean?" On the outside he did his best to sound casual, but inside he was freaking out.

"Well for one, you won't tell me what you packed for picnic food," said Franny as she counted on her fingers. "And second, you wouldn't tell me where we're going."

"Isn't it nice to be surprised every once in a while?" Stan replied.

Franny eyed him suspiciously. "And third, you're acting weird."

Stan did his best to laugh it off as he got out of the car and walked to the passenger's side. He opened the car door for Franny and held out his hands to help pull her up out of the car and into a standing position. He started doing this years ago as a gesture of courtesy, but as Franny grew larger, he could tell that she appreciated the help. Stan had to lean back to offset the force of her hands pulling on him as she rose.

They made their way to the picnic spot that Stan spent most of a day trying to find. It had to be perfect. He wanted it to be secluded, but he had to think of Franny's needs. She didn't like to walk too far these days, and she sometimes had trouble with inclines and uneven ground. But he found what he was looking for, and when they arrived at the location he picked out, he smiled to Franny and said, "We're here!"

"Looks like a nice spot, Stanley, but...you want me to get down on the ground?"

Stan had anticipated this resistance. Recently Franny was finding certain types of activity difficult. "Don't worry, baby. I'll help you down."

"It's not going down I'm worried about," she replied. "It's getting back up." Nevertheless, she took hold of Stan's arm for support and gently lowered her bulky body onto the picnic blanket.

Stan prepared a vast feast, but the main course was a massive casserole dish of homemade macaroni and cheese. It was one of Franny's favorites, and it pleased Stan to make food she liked. He made the dish with loads of butter and several full fat cheeses. Stan felt a little bad for using such high calorie ingredients, but the way Franny enjoyed the meal assuaged his guilt.

The two ate and talked, and Stan managed to get through the meal without sweating through his shirt. But then the inevitable happened.

"This has been great, Stanley, but what's for dessert?"

He forced down his fright and retrieved the box from Mrs. Dalloway's.

"Ooooh, profiteroles!" Franny exclaimed, and reached immediately for the one marked with the chocolate "X."

"Save that one for last. Okay, baby?"

Franny gave him another suspicious look, but she complied and started popping cream puffs into her mouth. Stan had barely nibbled on his first before Franny had already finished her fourth. It wasn't long before the box contained one lone profiterole.

With her mouth full of cream puffs, Franny pointed to the last one and said, "Can I eat this now?"

Stan smiled meekly and said, "There's something inside...a...surprise." Intrigued, Franny pressed her finger into the sweet cream and pulled out the ring.

"Will you marry me, Franny?"

With tears in her eyes she said, "Yes," and popped the last profiterole into her mouth. The ring, made slippery by the cream filling, slid easily onto her finger.
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:02 PM   #17
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CHAPTER 8
Mrs. Steinfeld
May 29, 2011

The sound of raucous laughter filled the living room as Mrs. Steinfeld tried her best to smile and look happy. She saw her daughter Zoe pouting in the corner, and it pained her to know that whenever her two daughters got together one or both of them became upset.

Mrs. Steinfeld tried to remember what wedding showers were like back in her day. She remembered attending a few of them, but the details escaped her. One thing she knew for certain: those showers were nothing like this. She didn't know what she found more scandalous: all the sex-themed gifts or the gratuitous amounts of food being served.

I guess girls will be girls, she thought, as she saw Franny and her friends scream with laughter at the latest gift: edible underwear. And these underwear were quite a sight. They looked like they might actually fit Franny since they were made with yards of edible material.

Mrs. Steinfeld felt a pang of guilt as she thought about her daughter's size. She pitied Franny for getting so fat. Fatter even than she was herself. She wished her daughters could live normal lives in normal bodies. And while Zoe had lost weight, Franny seemed fated to continue in the family tradition of extreme fatness.

Turning to the side Mrs. Steinfeld saw the buffet table still overloaded with giant plates full of pigs in a blanket, crab cakes, mac and cheese bites, and a nearly endless parade of other rich foods. With everything the guests already ate, she couldn't believe how much food was still left.

Mrs. Steinfeld turned back to face the gift opening. Finally! She thought to herself as Franny opened one that didn't look like it was purchased at a sex shop. It was a snow globe of downtown Fargo.

"We're gonna see how this Florida-bred girl handles North Dakota winters!" said Susie, the person hosting the party.

Mrs. Steinfeld glanced at Susie and saw that she was several pounds fatter than she remembered her back when they met so many years ago at Franny's graduation. I guess that's what you do when you're fat and don't want to diet, thought Mrs. Steinfeld. You surround yourself with other fat people. She looked around the room filled with Franny's friends and noticed that they were all fat, but she also saw that her daughter was the biggest by far.

"This Florida-bred girl has been handling the Iowa winters just fine," Franny replied. "Plus, I now have a friend to keep me warm at night!" At that Franny reached for one of her gifts: a large vibrator. She turned it on and held it over her head as if it were Excaliber. The room exploded in cheers and laughter.

---

The clock read "10:30 PM," and Mrs. Steinfeld was still on Florida time and was feeling more than a little exhausted. She walked to the kitchen for a glass of water and saw Franny seated at the table eating her way through a large plate of leftovers from the wedding shower earlier in the day.

Franny's eating again? Her mother thought to herself. She couldn't believe the massive quantities of food Franny ate earlier in the day. She can't possibly be hungry.

Franny was absorbed in the act of eating, and she either didn't notice or didn't care to acknowledge her mother's presence. Mrs. Steinfeld saw her daughter from behind and noticed how most of her hips and bottom hung over the sides of her chair. She needs bigger furniture, the poor dear.

Mrs. Steinfeld drew a deep breath and realized that she needed to talk to her daughter about the weight gain. She felt like she might not get a chance like this for some time, and at the rate Franny was gaining, she couldn't afford to wait.

Sitting down next to her daughter, Mrs. Steinfeld struggled to find the right words to begin. Franny gave a curt nod of acknowledgment without taking a break from her meal.

"What a lovely shower today, don't you think?"

"Uh huh," Franny managed in between bites.

"Your friends seem like a lively bunch."

"Thanks," Franny replied as she popped a donut hole in her mouth.

Mrs. Steinfeld fiddled with a napkin on the table. This isn't going well at all, she thought to herself. But she didn't want to lose her chance, so she balled her hands into fists underneath the table and gathered the courage to continue.

"Honey?" She began hesitantly. "There's something I need to talk to you about."

"Yeah?" Franny muttered, still not taking her eyes away from her giant plate of food now nearly finished.

Mrs. Steinfeld didn't know quite how to begin, so she decided to just dive in and hope for the best.

"Our family has always had a problem with our weight...as you know." Franny now looked up at her mother while still chewing.

Mrs. Steinfeld paused for a moment. She thought of her grandmother, a woman so large she couldn't live a normal life. She remembered the way her grandma used to tear through every meal as if struck with a voracious hunger, and Franny ate the same way. Mrs. Steinfeld wanted to tell her daughter to be careful.

She remembered first hand what her grandmother went through. How she needed help to walk, and how she struggled to accomplish small tasks most people take for granted. She feared for her daughter and wanted to protect her from her grandmother's fate.

Franny waved her hands in front of her mother's face in an effort to get her attention. "Mom, you're spacing out."

"Sorry, dear," Mrs. Steinfeld replied. "I'm just tired is all."

"You were about to give me a hard time about my weight, weren't you?" Franny spoke in a challenging tone.

"Well," Mrs. Steinfeld began hesitantly, "you just keep getting bigger, my dear, and you were just the right size when you were younger."

"Geez, mom," Franny let out a big sigh. "When are you going to get used to it? I'm fat, alright?!"

Mrs. Steinfeld hated confrontation, and she wanted desperately to make her daughter calm down. But she persevered, feeling as though she had to say her peace. She just didn't know how to say it.

"Honey, it's just that I know what an overweight person goes through." She spoke quietly and calmly as if she were trying to defuse a bomb, and that was exactly the wrong tone to take if she wanted Franny to stop being angry.

"Well guess what, mom? Now I know, too. In fact, I think I know even better because if you haven't noticed I'm even fatter than you!"

Mrs. Steinfeld couldn't remember the last time she'd seen her daughter so angry. She looked down at her hands and felt a wave of sadness shudder through her chest.

Franny took two several quick breaths and continued. "You don't even ask how I feel about my body? You just assume that I'm as miserable as you. You probably assume I feel even worse since I'm bigger." Tears welled in Franny's eyes as she spoke. "But in case you haven't noticed, I'm not the same person as you. And in case you haven't noticed, I'm actually starting to see a glimmer of happiness for once in my life."

Tears were streaking down Franny's cheeks. The rage had left her eyes, replaced by sadness.

The two women sat in silence for a full minute until Franny spoke in a quiet voice. "Do you want to know how much I weigh?"

"Oh, honey, I was only trying to help," Mrs. Steinfeld replied.

Ignoring her mother, Franny continued. "As of this morning I weigh 490 pounds."

Franny's mom took a deep breath, not sure how to reply.

"And you know what? I expect to top 500 sometime soon. And nothing you can say or do can stop it." At that Franny pushed herself up from her chair and walked out of the room with a slow, heavy waddle.

Mrs. Steinfeld sat quietly and thought of how she could have said things differently. The only sound was the hum of the refrigerator.

After a minute Zoe sat down next to her mother and said, "I heard the whole thing, and you did the best you could. She just won't listen."

Mrs. Steinfeld just sighed quietly and did her best to smile.

"Franny's just gonna do what Franny wants to do," Zoe offered.

"That's what I'm afraid of," Mrs. Steinfeld replied.
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:35 PM   #18
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Just wonderful!


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Old 10-31-2016, 06:50 PM   #19
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A Halloween gift indeed...
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Old 11-03-2016, 04:18 PM   #20
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You are not finished yet?
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Old 11-03-2016, 06:27 PM   #21
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CHAPTER 9
Stan
July 29, 2012

Stan marveled at the thick green oak trees perfectly manicured along the suburban streets of West Fargo. Reaching for the air conditioner he realized it was already blasting as much cold air as possible. The long, humid summer days almost made him forget last winter. And to think that he thought Iowa winters were tough.

Franny took the car most days, driving Stan to and from work. Exactly what she did during the day he wasn't sure. She was always running errands, going to the grocery store, mostly. And she always seemed extremely busy. As if she tried to do whatever she could to avoid working on her writing.

On the days when Franny didn't have the car, he knew what he'd find when he got home. Franny would be on the couch with the TV tuned to some Food Network show or maybe Top Chef, but she wouldn't really be watching. Instead she would be scanning through Tumblrs or browsing through Tweets or doing some other mindless social media task.

Stan worried that she got just enough free time at home that she never got sufficiently bored to start back on her writing. He tried sometimes to make up excuses to take the car in the hope of motivating her to get back to work, but she always had an excuse of her own to drive. And honestly, Stan was never good at saying no to Franny anyway.

He was pretty sure Franny hadn't written anything longer than an Instagram caption since they moved to West Fargo last year. Every once in a while he'd ask about her writing and try to sound cheerful. He just knew how happy writing made her, and he hated to see his wife anything less than 100% happy. She was so good at the Iowa writing program. Everyone loved her stuff, and Stan expected she'd get a big book deal within a year of graduating.

But to get a book deal requires an author to send in a manuscript. And Franny never seemed to finish anything, at least never anything that lived up to her own outrageously high standards.

The windshield wipers wiped away the first drops of the rain shower everyone had been saying would come for the past few days. Maybe the rain will cut down on all this oppressive humidity, he thought to himself.

He thought again about Franny's writing, or lack thereof. She did some writing for the two classes she taught at the community college. Sure, she only wrote emails to students and brief explanations for the grades she gave. But at least it was something. Stan was glad that Franny had something in her life that related to writing, even if it didn't require her to do much of her own work.

When they first moved to Fargo, Franny talked a lot about getting a job in addition to her part-time teaching. But Stan talked her out of it for two reasons. First, he wanted her to have time to write, and second, because he got a big raise with the move so they didn't need the additional income. Franny was happy to comply, full of the best intentions of realizing her dream of becoming a professional writer.

Stan turned onto the street where they lived which looked pretty much the same as the dozen or so other streets in the subdivision. He didn't mind the new construction homes that all looked nearly identical. Each one was full of drywall between rooms with a wet bar in the basement.

Franny found the suburban homes lacking in character. Stan had to admit that suburban life took some getting used to. There was no sound at night other than the crickets, and the neighbors seemed nice but not friendly.

The door to the garage creaked as Stan entered the house, and as usual he headed straight to Franny. As predicted she was lounging on the couch with her laptop. Stan loved coming home to Franny every night. He never took for granted the heavenly body in his midst.

Franny sat with a computer perched atop her bulging belly. Stan always loved his wife's wide hips and fat legs, but as she grew heavier, he appreciated the subtle changes to her shape. The belly, for example, was a relatively new development. It hung over the edge of the stretched out elastic waistband of her underwear.

The only other piece of clothing she wore was a triple XL t-shirt made of distressed cotton. Through the thin fabric Stan saw the curve of her breasts as they hung to the sides of the upper curve of her belly.

Stan felt the cold central air, and knew they had to blast the air conditioner to keep Franny from feeling overheated. Her natural insulation kept her warm in winter but overheated in the summer.

His eyes quickly traced the contours of her lovely legs that rested naked and fully extended out from beneath her stomach. Franny's hips spread out to her sides and formed lovely curves that blended to the flowing fat that clung to her heavy thighs.

Stan paid particular attention to a fold of fat that hung on the outside of Franny's lower thigh and rested on her upper calf. He had noticed it before, but it looked bigger than he remembered.

Stan knew Franny had gained almost exactly thirty pounds since they moved last year to the Fargo suburbs. He was now able to track his wife's weight thanks to a new scale they bought right before they moved.

The purchase made sense since the old scale maxed out at 500 pounds. Stan suggested the one they bought. He wasn't sure if Franny even knew the scale had a small memory card that stored the last few weights. Every once in a while he'd check the scale and keep tabs on Franny's growth. She weighed herself surprisingly often, so these days Stan always knew his wife's weight within a few pounds.

At 520 pounds Franny still got around pretty well, and given the large amounts she ate, he figured that her active lifestyle probably kept her from gaining even more.

Seeing his wife made him immediately excited, but he knew to bide his time. Their nightly ritual was always sensuous and fulfilling to both partners.

"How was your day, baby?" Stan kissed his wife on the top of her head.

Not taking her eyes off the laptop she replied, "Not too bad...uneventful."

Franny then closed the laptop and set it aside. She held out her hands, waiting for her husband to help pull her off the sofa. Instead Stan asked, "Can I get you anything, baby?"

Franny smiled and reached for her laptop. "Can I get some chips to tide me over until dinner?"

"You got it." Stan walked over to the open plan kitchen and retrieved a large bag of Ruffles. "We're having spaghetti tonight," he called out.

Stan opened the bag and handed it to his wife. "Spaghetti sounds good to me," she said while crunching on a potato chip.

The pasta was quick to cook, and the meatballs and marinara Stan had prepared the weekend before. In a short time Stan joined Franny on the couch, handing her a large bowl of food. He noticed that the bag of Ruffles was already empty yet Franny dug into the spaghetti with her customary vigor. Stan had barely eaten a few small bites before Franny asked for more, and he was happy to comply.
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Old 11-03-2016, 06:30 PM   #22
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CHAPTER 10
Franny
June 19, 2013

Franny moved the seat forward so she could touch the pedals and gently rubbed the top of her belly as it pressed lightly against the bottom of the steering wheel. Her breathing slowed as she got over the exertion of climbing into the car. It pleased her to feel how soft her belly had become.

She couldn't believe she'd already lived in Fargo for two years. Her Iowa license was about to expire, so she figured it was finally time to get one for North Dakota. She'd been putting it off, somehow hoping the move was temporary. A license seemed more permanent than she wanted North Dakota to be in her life.

Franny pulled out of the driveway and headed to the DMV. She thought about the email she recently received from someone at the college where she taught a couple of writing classes every semester. They wanted her to start teaching classes online instead of showing up in person.

On the one hand, the online classes paid the same amount and gave her more control over her work schedule. On the other hand, she couldn't shake the thought that the request for her to teach online was related to her weight gain.

Just a few weeks ago, one of the people in charge came to see her teach. She thought she did a fine job, and she got a positive review. However, it was clear to Franny that her size caught the person off guard. There was even a line in her review letter about how her teaching was "surprisingly energetic." What was so surprising about that? She had thought.

Franny hoped she was being paranoid, but she wondered if she was asked to teach online classes because they thought she was too fat to teach in a regular classroom. Franny knew the world was prejudiced against fat people and especially against people as big as her. But she didn't want to live her life assuming everything in her life had to do with her size.

Franny decided she would try to be positive and think about the online teaching as a challenge with added convenience.

As she pulled into the DMV parking lot and took note of all the other cars she thought, This place looks busy. It's gonna take forever. She let out a long sigh. Franny planned to get there right when it opened, but on the way she passed a Denny's and decided it was time for a grand slam breakfast, despite the fact she had already eaten a pretty sizable feast before leaving home.

Franny pushed her seat as far back as it could go to get out of the car. Half pulling half lifting she managed to get one leg out. She then wiggled her rear end to the edge of the seat. Again through a combination of pulling and lifting she got the other leg out. After pausing for a minute to catch her breath, she heaved herself into a standing position and began lumbering her way into the DMV.

The place was crowded, full of long lines and short tempers. Franny checked in at the front desk and prepared herself to wait a while before her number was called.

It wasn't more than a minute before her legs were pleading with her to sit. Franny noticed an unoccupied seat in the waiting room, but there was no way on earth she would fit into it. Luckily, a man seated next to the empty seat noticed Franny's situation and offered her his place.

Even with two seats it was a tight fit for Franny's hips. She squeezed into the space knowing that she was rubbing against the people on either side, but she had no choice. There was no way she was going to stand for as long as it took to have her number called.

At least I only have to do the eye test, she thought. When Stan did this last year he was randomly selected for a written test and a driving test, so as annoying as it was to be waiting at the DMV, she thought it could be worse.

Just when Franny was starting to wonder if she'd be at the DMV all day, her number came up. With nothing to support herself on either side, Franny had trouble getting out of her double seat, but she managed. She had now lived for many years as a supersized person, and she found ways to cope with environments not built for her.

Franny waddled to the counter wishing she would soon be finished with the whole ordeal. She tried to ignore the clerk's reaction as she approached. The skinny girl behind the counter looked astonished when she saw Franny. It was something she had grown used to. It's not everyday you see a 550 pound person. Franny just wished more people would hide their surprise.

The clerk finally pulled herself together enough to ask for her paperwork, and Franny handed it over with a smile. She may look at me like I'm a freak, Franny thought, but I'm gonna kill her with kindness.

The woman looked over the papers and then excused herself for a minute. Franny felt a bead of sweat trickle down the side of her face as she saw the clerk confer with a middle aged man dressed in a striped button down shirt and suspenders. Franny checked her phone for messages and tried not to think about the discomfort building in her knees as she continued to stand.

After a few minutes the clerk returned and started giving her directions on where to take her car for the driving test. Franny interrupted, "Hold on, what driving test?"

The woman pointed to her paperwork. Sure enough, next to where it read "eye exam required," someone had stamped in red "drivers test required."

Her face felt hot as Franny exclaimed, "That wasn't there before. What happened?"

"Ma'am," the clerk took on a slow condescending tone, "your paperwork requires you to pass a driving test."

Franny took a deep breath and stared straight into the skinny clerk's eyes. "Number one, don't talk to me like I'm a child. Number two, I demand to speak to your supervisor."

The clerk, looking sheepish, quickly turned around and disappeared into a back office. When she came back she was joined by the man in suspenders. "Can I help you, ma'am?" He said this with a fake smile plastered to his face.

"Why did my papers get stamped with this?!" Franny pointed to the stamp, smudging the fresh red ink.

The man in suspenders maintained his smile. "Well, ma'am, North Dakota state law gives us the right to require driving tests for any applicant who may appear unable to operate a moving vehicle."

Franny just looked at the man. She kept expecting him to continue, but she finally realized he was done speaking. Dumbfounded Franny managed to ask, "Are you saying that I appear unable to operate a moving vehicle?"

"Well, ma'am, it's just...your size..." The man didn't finish the sentence and just kept staring at Franny with that same dumb smile.

"How the hell do you think I got here? Of course I'm able to operate a moving vehicle."

The man and his smile just stared back in silence.

Franny quickly considered her options. She could raise hell, threaten a lawsuit, and name drop the ACLU. On the other hand, she could just suck it up, take the test, and consider this another micro aggression from the fat hating world. The pain in her knees helped her decide against the hell raising option.

"Fine!" She said. "What do I do?"

The man in suspenders directed Franny to pull her car around to the back of the building. Franny slowly backed away from the counter, and as she was turning toward the exit, out of the corner of her eye, she saw the man in suspenders talking with a man wearing a long beard and cowboy hat. Franny couldn't be sure, but she thought they were pointing in her direction.

For twenty minutes Franny sat in her car waiting. Thank goodness she had stashed a Snickers bar in her purse to tide her over. Finally she heard a knock on the passenger side. The man with the cowboy hat and beard motioned for her to unlock the door.

He sat down and without making eye contact delivered a rote monologue about the rules for the test. Franny thought it seemed pretty straight forward. It boiled down to staying left of the traffic cones and doing what the man said.

He stroked his beard a couple of times and then ordered her to start driving. Franny complied, but as soon as she inched the car forward he told her to stop.

Again without making eye contact he said, "Please make adjustments so the steering wheel is unobstructed."

Franny noticed that the top of her belly pressed lightly on the steering wheel, mostly because her giant rear ended pushed her body forward in the seat.

Stopping the car, Franny moved her seat back a little, but it was almost impossible for her feet to reach the peddles. She pushed herself back against the seat, sucked in her stomach as much as possible, and inched the seat forward so she could again touch the pedals. She was feeling scared now, but she hoped that if she were careful she could keep her belly out of the way.

The car inched forward, and Franny thought her tummy wasn't rubbing the wheel, but it was difficult for her to tell and still concentrate on the test.

About halfway through she noticed her body had slouched down such that she was pretty sure her belly was again pressed into the steering wheel. She tried to make adjustments, but it was impossible to do it while driving. She briefly considered stopping again and seeing if she could slide back up the seat enough to keep her belly out of the way, but by that time the test was almost over, and it looked to Franny that she hadn't made any mistakes so she thought it didn't matter anyway.

She pulled the car to a stop behind the DMV, feeling relieved that she did so well. The man made notations on his clipboard and handed a form to Franny.

"You can retake the test up to three times per month with at least twenty four hours in between retakes." He then started to get out of the car.

"Wait!" Feeling frantic now, Franny almost grabbed the man's sleeve to keep him from leaving.

"Yes?" The man spoke while still not looking directly at Franny.

"Did I make mistakes?"

"The vehicle's operation was obstructed, ma'am." The man read his copy of the form as if that explained everything there was to say.

Speechless Franny just stared at the man until he again started to leave.

"So what do I do now?!"

He let out a sigh and repeated, "You can retake the test up to three times per month with at least twenty four hours in between retakes." And after adjusting the brim of his hat he added, "For now you can get a state ID inside."

The man made a third attempt to leave and this time Franny didn't try to stop him. She just sat there, stunned, not quite believing what just happened. She realized that she didn't even have her Iowa driver's license. It was still good for a few more weeks, but you had to turn in an old license to apply for a new one.

Franny cried softly as she reached for her phone and called her husband to get a ride home.
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:41 PM   #23
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*bated breath*
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Old 11-05-2016, 01:47 AM   #24
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Wow...what fun
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:28 PM   #25
Madeline Maple
 
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CHAPTER 11
Stan
November 21, 2013

The wind howled through the tree outside the bathroom window as Stan spread shaving cream across his chin. Already fall seemed like a distant memory. He remembered November in Iowa and how the month still seemed like autumn. But November in Fargo meant an early arrival of a brutal winter.

Five months had passed since Franny lost her driver's license. At first Stan couldn't believe her stubbornness. Time and time again he implored her to get a new car, a big one that would allow her to fit behind the wheel. They both knew money wasn't a problem. Still she said no. When Stan pressed her she said she would just have to lose a few pounds and take the test again.

Stan was in shock. For as long as he'd known Franny she spoke as if she'd rather die than diet. And yet there she was planning to lose weight. At first he was pretty upset, hating the thought of his lovely wife shrinking before his very eyes.

After a few weeks Stan calmed down. It wasn't that he got used to the idea of a diet. Rather, Franny just didn't seem to be eating less, so Stan started to think she wasn't really serious. Oh, there was a day or two when she stopped at one sandwich or she restrained herself to a handful of potato chips. But since then Franny had been eating more than ever.

There was no public transportation in West Fargo and nothing in walking distance for regular sized people let alone for someone like Franny. Maybe once or twice she called a taxi to run errands. But pretty much everyday, while Stan was at work, Franny stayed at home.

Feeling sad about Franny being at home all the time, Stan went out of his way to take her places. They would do date nights at local restaurants on weeknights and on weekends they would go to stores, coffee shops, parks or just about anywhere to get Franny out of the house.

One night, after a couple of months of these frequent outings, Stan suggested going to a local burger place for dinner. But Franny asked if they could do a date night at home instead. Stan was happy to comply. He got take out from the burger place, brought it back to Franny, and they had a cozy night at home together.

After that a new tradition of "date night at home" was born. Franny didn't want to go out, and Stan didn't mind staying in. In fact, he grew to appreciate it because it left his wife with more energy after they turned out the lights.

Stan knew groceries were delivered almost daily, and he would often notice the remnants of huge snack food binges when he took out the trash. It was clear that Franny was eating more and moving less, and this lifestyle change had an immediate impact on her weight.

Thanks to Franny's frequent weigh ins and the scale with a memory card, Stan knew she was up to 575. That was a twenty-five pound gain in five months. Stan was pretty sure Franny was now gaining faster than ever, and the mere thought of this made him undeniably excited.

The aftershave splashed on Stan's cheek as he heard Franny call his name. He entered the living room and saw his wife struggling to wedge her feet into a pair of shoes.

"Will you slip these on for me, Stanley?"

He bent on one knee and lifted one of Franny's feet. He felt the heft of her massive calf and marveled at her silky skin that bulged and then tapered to her tiny foot. Stan loved tracing the finely shaped arc from the base of her leg to the top of her foot.

Franny's legs amazed Stan. He often wondered how something could have such delicate features yet have such girth.

Stan noted the creases around Franny's knee and the large fat folds that had developed over her thighs. He felt himself getting too excited so he focused enough to finish putting on Franny's shoes.

Stan gave a little kiss to one of Franny's well-padded knees as he stood. "You still want to stock up for our Thanksgiving feast?"

"You bet!" Motioning to the front closet Franny said, "Could you grab my winter coat?"

He did as he was told and retrieved the long black wool garment from the far side of the rack. It didn't look like it had been worn since last season.

She held out her hands to Stan and the two went through the motions necessary to get Franny on her feet.

Stan helped Franny into the winter coat. He remembered it hanging a bit loose on her, but now it looked tight. There was no way she'd get it buttoned, and she didn't even bother to try and instead started shuffling toward the door to the garage.

Springing into action Stan rushed past Franny to open the door and and help her take the half step down to the garage floor. He then opened the passenger's side door and helped ease her down into the seat. He reached for Franny's left leg to help lift it inside, but she stopped him with a motion of her hand. Stan knew that meant she needed a minute to rest.

As they drove through their subdivision, Stan used the opportunity to learn about his wife's recent efforts. He knew she had been diving into several writing projects as of late. It seemed that her accelerated passion for eating mirrored her renewed interest in her own writing.

"I'm almost ready to send out the proposal!" She replied.

"The manuscript from your MFA thesis?"

"Yep."

"That's awesome, baby." Stan smiled. He knew Franny would get back to writing sooner or later, but he was starting to think it would be later (and later and later).

"And I'm working on something new."

"Oh?" Stan was intrigued.

"Well, I'm really getting into this online teaching." Franny spoke rapidly. It was obvious that she was excited by her idea. "But there just isn't that much out there in terms of resources."

"So you are writing about online teaching?"

"Yes and no," she replied. "It's taking the form of a blog so far." Franny tucked her hair behind her ears. "I write about my experience in online teaching and sometimes I share teaching tips."

"That sounds really promising," Stan encouraged.

"Me, too." They pulled into the grocery store parking lot as Franny continued. "And it's already getting tons of hits. It's pretty exciting!"

Stan and Franny slowly made their way from the car. Once inside the grocery store Stan helped Franny into one of the motorized scooters. She had been using them for years so she could shop without getting winded. They chose this particular store because their scooters were sturdy and large enough to accommodate Franny's hips. Stan loved to hold his wife's hand while she scooted alongside.

It had been a while since they shopped for groceries together. Franny seemed to point to everything on the shelves to go into their cart. They hadn't even shopped for the actual Thanksgiving meal before the first cart was full. Stan parked it by the registers and they started filling a second one.

Stan passed a rack of sunglasses and for fun he donned a pair of Rayban lookalikes. Franny burst out laughing at the sight of her dorky husband wearing such hip shades.

They took their own sweet time perusing the aisles. In fact they spent such a long time shopping that, on Franny's suggestion, Stan replaced the ice cream in the first cart in case it would melt before they got home.

After checkout they had two shopping carts piled high with groceries. Stan was glad they had splurged and bought a second freezer to keep in the garage.

"Sit tight, baby," he said. "I'll load these and be right back."

Franny smiled in response, but Stan could tell she was uncomfortable. He knew she had been sitting on that small scooter seat for a long time, and she was used to the heavy padding of their living room couch.

It wasn't easy getting all the groceries to fit, but he managed. By the time he returned, Franny looked impatient. Stan saw it in her knitted brow and lack of eye contact.

Standing next to his wife Stan put one hand under her arm and the other on her lower back, ready to help her stand. Franny leaned back and tried to propel herself up and out of the scooter. She made it only about an inch off the seat before flopping back down.

After several more attempts Franny was nowhere closer to standing up.

Stan was about ready to ask for help when he tried pulling her up from the front. That finally got her standing. He held her close as she carefully swung one of her thick legs over the base of the scooter.

Clearly the effort of getting out of the scooter exhausted her. She didn't even have to ask, but they both knew she needed to sit on the stone bench outside the store so Stan could pull the car around.

When they got home Franny collapsed onto the couch. She fell into a deep sleep but not before eating a box of cookies and two canisters of Pringles. She awoke several hours later ready for her first meal of the evening.
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