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Old 06-06-2016, 03:01 PM   #226
StrugglingWriter
 
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Default Health food infusion

“Wow, you two. That was incredible. Are you sure this is healthy?”

Tuesday night, Kelly was leaning back in her chair, shocked that the grilled chicken salad Jenn and Crystal had prepared for her could taste that good. She’d been on enough diets to know this wasn’t the usual weight-loss chicken salad. But the girls insisted it was healthy, and she wasn’t exactly in any position to complain.

At the very least, it wasn’t a pizza.

Jenn and Crystal were the somehow that Kelly’s crisis had worked itself out.

Kelly had gone straight from her Snickers breakdown to her session with the House Mother, just prior to the chapter’s preparation for Bid Day, the festivities of which began at 4:00 that afternoon in one of the banquet halls at the university’s massive student center. The girls were all in their letters and prepared to shower the new pledges in sisterhood, gifts, and the traditional evening meal. Kelly’s own letters might as well have been painted on they were so tight across her bust. That wasn’t even the half of it: she’d had to borrow an old sweater of Gail’s even to manage that, and she was practically baking in the late afternoon wet Southern heat.

But quite clearly there was a general lack of enthusiasm regarding how well Phi Gamma, a small house already, had done in this year’s matching process: only 18 girls had matched on bids, and based on prior years’ projections and an unusual number of dropouts for one reason or another this year, there were an expected 25 openings. Moreover, there were whispers (generally along the lines of “Well, what do you expect?”) about the quality of pledges.

That assessment, predictably, extended to Jenn and Crystal.

“So,” Brittney Shore had told Kelly after pulling her over to the side, “it’s all taken care of. They’ll see their bids tonight. Just so you know, though, no one’s that wild about being their Bigs, so that’s gonna have to be you.”

Britney said it like it was some kind of punishment. For Kelly it was a novel surprise. With all of her travails throughout the summer, she’d never thought ahead to even the possibility that she might be somebody’s Big!

It only dawned on her she’d be dictating their pledgeships later that evening, at the Bid Day formal at The Statesman (a high-end restaurant in a replica plantation house), when she watched Isla Greene order a pledge to fetch her a glass of wine.

It was Kelly’s solution, just waiting for a problem. This one!

“Um, healthy,” Crystal hedged. She did that a lot. “I don’t know, I mean, you were there. That’s what Lennox said….”

Of course, Kelly’s statement had been a compliment, not an actual question, and she couldn’t remember anything about a chicken salad in Lennox’s class. And Lennox was a bit of a sour topic for Kelly right now.

“Well, anyway, feel free to make that one for me again!”

Usually it would have bothered Kelly a bit to take advantage of these girls the way she was, but after all, it was what they had signed up for. Kelly had not-so-fond memories of dropping off and picking up Sherry’s dry cleaning and groceries, cleaning up her hairbrush and clippers and other beauty tools (Ew!), emptying her trash cans, being her designated driver—really being her all-around chauffeur for about 8 weeks. Speaking of which…

“You two mind running me back to the House now? I have a really early day tomorrow at the lab.”

Gas costs money, too, you know!

*************

Kelly wasn’t sure if she grasped it all, but from what she gathered it sure seemed like an ingenious set-up.

The subject pool was largely—but not entirely—selected from the Intro to Psychology class, where class credit was awarded for participation in experiments. Kelly would download (after many repeated instructions from Caleb and, eventually, a sequence of instructions taped on the bottom of her steel desk’s pencil drawer) a list of volunteers and their phone numbers from the Intro to Psychology website/server. Kelly would call them to confirm their appointments and welcome them at their session times the next day (usually conveniently scheduled after one or more of the numerous Fall Intro classes would let out).

As Lierman had noted all along, the study was a math learning study, but nothing about that was readily obvious. Only brief snippets of math—with questions tailored at each subject’s prior level of achievement—were involved. The rest was a series of brain training games—think (or google) Lumosity—varying in nature and intensity, but all at increasing complexity.
Other than the inclusion of the math problems, however, nothing about the effects of the learning games was directly under study.

“What’s really at study is the role of blood glucose and a few other biochemical factors in learning rates,” Caleb had explained. Gone was his sardonic wit. He was part geek and all business when discussing his work. And what the other biochemical factors were, he didn’t elucidate.

Blood glucose?

“Blood sugar. That’s what food gets turned into for fuel. I thought you took Intro to Psych.”

Oh, yeah. Kelly remembered, although she’d learned a lot more about blood sugar from her personal trainer last year than she’d ever learned in class (either time).

Adjoining what Kelly had been thinking of the lab was the real lab: a small room with a line of four divided computer work stations, visible when the light was on through two large panes of glass. The computer stations presented the brain tasks and math problems and measured improvement in the tasks. But the ingenious—and, Kelly gathered, expensive—part of the study, was the measurement of the “biochemical factors:” a real-time, digital, non-invasive blood glucose monitor, linked to a fitbit, which was in turn linked to an iPad providing continuous real-time recording, which in turn relayed information to a computer and monitor on her desk and another monitor on Caleb’s desk. Attaining background information and survey data, and providing orientation to the study all was handled by computer. Kelly’s job was to assist each subject in the placement of the glucose monitor and the fitbit, as well as monitoring data collection in real-time, 30 minutes per session per subject, to make certain the equipment was picking up accurate readings.

And to stock the appropriate Inputs.

“So the snacks are supposed to affect the glucose levels?”

“Yes.”

“But what if they already ate and aren’t hungry?”

“Good question,” Caleb noted. “That doesn’t matter. That would be interesting data. Either way, we have the glucose data.”

“So,” Kelly mused, encouraged by Caleb’s praise, “what if they just eat anyway?” Because they’re bored? she didn’t say.

“You mean because they’re bored, like you, you mean?” Caleb smirked.

Jerk. Yes, because they’re bored!

“Then that would be interesting data.”

“So then shouldn’t we be keeping track of which snacks they’re eating?”

Caleb looked at her impatiently. “No, because we have the glucose data. Just make sure the right snacks are out during the right sessions.”

That part of it still confused her. She’d learned enough about research and such in class that all of this should be somehow controlled and compared to something or other. She said so.

“It seems like in a research study that should be somehow controlled and compared to something or other.”

Caleb sighed the sigh of the brilliant constantly surrounded by the ignorant.

“So you’re telling me that your two brilliant colleagues have it wrong and that you want to keep tight records on exactly where the snacks are going?”

Kelly hoped her face didn’t betray her “meal plan” for the semester—and that she’d already eaten a banana and a pack of granola bars that morning (and squirreled away another pack for later). That of course was behind all the questioning. She didn’t give two rips about the design of the study.
She said nothing.

“Exactly. I wouldn’t want to do that either.”

Good.

“Where’d you put the raisins, damn it!? You just made me hungry.”

Me, too!
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:35 AM   #227
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Default A Bone of Contention

The first big Phi Gamma function of the year was the All-Greek Pep Rally held Friday night before the first game of the season. Kelly had never been particularly into football, which may seem odd for a high school cheerleader (or maybe not, if you know many high school cheerleaders). For her, cheerleading had been about the costumes and the popularity—which to her was all about meeting new people, not status or clique-ishness. And football had been all about school spirit … and about supporting the guys she knew on the team.

So for Kelly, because of Wade Bodie, the weekend was kind of a high school homecoming. Of sorts.

The pep rally was actually a part of a larger school pep rally that took place in Simmons Stadium, but for the All-Greek Pep Rally the cheerleaders, the dance team, the band, and finally the football team strode down sorority and fraternity row while each house competed with the other to show the most team spirit. Houses showed their spirit by conducting cheers, putting on elaborate shows (one frat house had an extreme trampoline act one year), and elaborate props and decorations, which on some occasions might be more accurately described as set pieces. After the event, the football team captains voted on which house showed the most spirit along the way, and the winning house would collaborate with the team on a charity fundraiser the week of Homecoming.

Not surprisingly, a sorority won every time.

As with most official Greek events, members of all of the houses wore their letters, but due to long tradition, on this occasion there was a notable exception: some of the sorority girls wore football jerseys. Wore wasn’t exactly the right term; draped was more like it, since the only jerseys allowed actually had to belong to someone on the team.

Girls spent the week—sometimes a semester, or even a year—cozying up to football player just so they could wear a jersey at All-Greek Pep, even if they weren’t actually dating. Mostly a girl could achieve this just by being cute, but the underhanded joke, whether there was truth to it or not, was that she could also get one a few other ways.

The unofficial, if inglorious, winner of All-Greek Pep usually was the sorority sporting the most jerseys. It served as a sort of shorthand for the sorority had the hottest girls, which made it something the fraternities paid particular attention to. It, too, was selected by the football team captains, and with the dubious (if flattering) honor came an even more dubious prize, dreamed up at least a decade ago by one of the less reputable frat houses, in honor of the team mascot (the Mastiff, leading to the team nickname as the Houndz).
The Bone, four feet high, hand-delivered by a designated player from the team.

Neither award was anything Phi Gamma Psi coveted. The first to combat the image of feral females fawning over meal tickets in the form of football players. The second—well, for obvious reasons.

Kelly, of course, was wearing Wade’s jersey, which, since she was dating him, Phi Gamma regarded as perfectly fine. (His Greek-god appearance certainly helped in that department.)

But Kelly in her jersey didn’t look anything like the other girls did in theirs.
Like those worn by the other girls, it was of course far too long, and she’d had to cinch it all the way down her back with safety pins just to keep the thing from falling off her shoulders. But there the resemblance stopped. The only thing more clearly defined than her hips and thighs, which unlike those of everyone else, bent the hanging straight line into a loose bell, were her breasts, the shiny material of the jersey fluffing out from the high cotton V around the neck of the shirt like a bodice, the 5 and the 9 bent in the middle and stretched out to the side. Where all the other girls in jerseys looked like clothes hangers with arms, Kelly looked more like a Torrid mannequin in a red, gold and white sexy nightshirt.

The procession was led by the cheerleaders, and a pang of longing hit Kelly in the gut. God knew she was never athletic enough to cheer at the college level, but she loved leading the cheers, she loved to be in the middle of the excitement, and to be the focus of attention in a cute little cheerleading uniform.

Kelly was plenty self-confident in her appearance, but even she knew it would take a lot of courage to don anything like that in public at her current size. Current, she reminded herself, renewing her commitment once again to her fitness plans.

The twirlers and the band followed next. The football team was a long way down Millpond Avenue, but you could see their progress by the madcap Wave of sound and motion on both sides of the street as the team strolled in casual ranks past each house. Kelly stood with Monet and Marla on the wing of the front row on the far side of the procession but still stood on her tiptoes and strained her neck forward trying to see if she could spot Wade. She couldn’t, but her heart began pounding as the Wave moved steadily forward.

The team finally came into view from behind the sousaphones. The waifish Lindsey, towering Brittney Shore, and perky Kerrie Lipscomb (apparently the new Social Committee chair) stepped to the front and raised cut-outs of the Phi Gamma Psi letters, their cue to cheer. Just at that moment Kelly spotted Wade’s blonde hair and began bouncing and jumping with all the enthusiasm and technique her cheerleading training could provide, her massive breasts heaving up and down, her loose jersey flopping and flapping with it.

Immediately ripples of chaos and noise disturbed the loose ranks around Wade as guys reached forward to clap Wade on the shoulder or rustle his head, while Wade himself bowed his head sheepishly despite a huge smile. One loud call of “Romeo!” somehow rose over the din. Fifteen, maybe twenty guys were pointing and laughing and hooting, turning to each other and laughing again.

Except for one guy next to Wade, whom Kelly suddenly realized was Anthony Robertson, who was getting his own share of jostling and ribbing. She stopped her bouncing as their eye locked for just a moment, then started back up again after Monet gave her a quick elbow, this time much more subdued in her movements.

Despite all the abuse, Wade still looked her in the eye and pointed at her as the team passed by, that huge toothy smile threatening to collide with each of his ears. Kelly’s cheeks burned in both delight and embarrassment as the ripple of chaos erupted again. Wade threw his hands up in the air and yelled something that was probably, “Sic ‘Em Houndz!” The procession ended with coaches and trainers and a dozen other ambiguous hangers on. The next two houses were infected by the Wave, and Anthony and Wade were now completely out of view.

“OK, Phi Gammas!” Lindsey shouted. “That’s a wrap! See you tonight in the Rafters!” That was the upper floor of a bar by the same name that had long been the go-to hangout after Phi Gamma functions.

Still flushed and breathing harder than she realized, Kelly stopped a second to comport herself, rearranging and straightening her Jersey. Then she looked up to see Lindsey looking at her, a disapproving look on her face.

“I see you found—“ she started to say, then shook her head before trailing after a gaggle of the new leadership team into the house.

“What was that about?” Marla whispered, drawing close. Crystal and Jenn began making their way from the other end of the lawn to join them.

“I have no idea,” Kelly lied. She’d encountered that look more than a few times since last May and knew exactly what it was.

“You mean you didn’t see?” Monet asked Marla, as if Marla not getting something at first was some unusual thing. “All those football players making fun of Kelly and her boyfriend?”

“Oh, that. Of course I saw that. How could you miss it? If I were them I’d have been pointing, too!” Marla still never missed a chance to talk about Kelly’s breasts.

“I thought that was the kind of response that we wanted,” Jenn interjected.

Monet shook her head curtly. “Events like this aren’t Phi Gamma.”
Jenn nodded, not understanding.

“She means it’s not the kind of attention that we strive for here at Phi Gamma,” Kelly explained, biting her lip.

“Well if Lindsey’s that upset at that kind of attention,” Marla said, “she’s gonna blow a gasket at this!”

Marla pointed to the street, and Kelly let out an audible groan. Anthony Robertson was loping down the sidewalk carrying a four-foot papier-mache bone.
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:50 AM   #228
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I'm especially loving this story, seeing as I'm going to start college in 56 days. Random question: How tall is Kelly? I'm up to page 5 of this most excellent novel now, and if she's a six-footer her weight there isn't so impressive, but if she's 5'1" like me then...
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Old 07-03-2016, 03:44 PM   #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeezablysoft View Post
I'm especially loving this story, seeing as I'm going to start college in 56 days. Random question: How tall is Kelly? I'm up to page 5 of this most excellent novel now, and if she's a six-footer her weight there isn't so impressive, but if she's 5'1" like me then...
Glad you're getting into it. It's been a while since I was in college. You'll have to tell me how close I'm getting to the current college experience.

Kelly is 5'5".
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:33 AM   #230
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Default Wade down by notoriety

Kelly already had zero reasons—as in zero cash—to attend the after-party at Rafters, and the evening’s events gave her even less. She sent Jenn and Crystal to spend the evening with her pledge class before going straight to Simmons stadium for the pep rally with Monet and Marla. This meant she couldn’t change out of her shirt before heading toward Simmons, and even with the kind of attention that usually enjoined her wherever she went, the glances and gazes from lettered young men that enjoined her were noticeably higher. It wasn’t something that usually bothered her, but this time it had her wondering if it was more than just her boobs. That maybe she’d turned herself into some kind of spectacle.

But in the relative anonymity of the massive pep really crowd she felt much more at home—and much more enthusiastic as she realized all of this was, essentially, was for her boyfriend.

For that matter, she felt the same about her weekends. She’d barely seen him all week!

All the more this weekend because the last place she wanted to be after tonight’s AGP fiasco was anywhere near Lindsey Huntington and a Phi Gamma function.

She left Jenn and Crystal in the care of her roomies and struck out down to the playing surface by herself, where Wade was in animated conversation with five or six other players. She cringed nervously when a couple of the guys spotted her before Wade did. A couple pointed and another pulled a punch on Wade’s arm—knocking fluid out of the can of Coke he was holding—clearly laughing and joking again at his expense, though much more subdued now that Kelly was right there. Kelly could feel her cheeks and ears getting hot as she stepped next to Wade.

“Hey, Kells,” he said with a wink.

Kelly felt a sinking feeling in her gut, realizing only then how much she was hoping for a hug. Or even a kiss.

“Kelly.” “Hello.” “Hi, Kelly.”

“The famous Miss Kelly,” a (relatively) wiry dark Black man with even darker dreads intoned. He introduced himself as Andre, although Kelly imagined he probably called himself Dre. “The legend! The girl that who did what no man could ever do—knock Wade Bodie flat on his ass!”

A couple of the guys echoed “Flat on his ass!” and sniggered a little more.

“Yeah, yeah, you rude-ass assholes,” Wade retorted. “Knock it off and mind your manners.”

“Sure, sure,” another guy jumped in, a White broad-shouldered muscle-bound type with a mullet. His neck was wider at the base than the top of his head. “Ma’am, time was we couldn’t pry this boy away from the team with a crowbar.”

“Now they can’t even locate Bodie with an all points bulletin,” the huge fat White guy (Al) finished.

Wade grinned and shook his head slowly. “Ah, fuck you!” was all he could think to say. “It’s not that bad.”

Mullet (that was really his nickname) clasped his hands to his chest and started making heartbeat sounds with his throat.

“So anyway,” Andre said, “we were telling him about this great party up on College we could hit before light out tomorrow, but apparently he’s going fishing instead. You ever heard of that? A red-blooded American boy skipping out on a party to go fishing?”

“Sounds fishy to me,” Kelly offered, and a circle of huge men started howling with laughter while wade rolled his eyes. Kelly’d been around groups of guys like this plenty of times. She knew how the game was played.

“You know, Kelly. You’re all right,” Andre smiled, flashing the most brilliant White teeth Kelly had ever seen. “I see what he likes in you. Come on, fellas. Let’s give these two lovebirds a chance to talk some before Bodie has to run off to his ‘fishing trip!’

“Very nice to meet you,” Andre added politely, and he seemed to mean it. The other guys echoed the same, usually with nods of the head before heading off and down the line of bushes that surrounded the field.

Kelly had just assumed that she and Wade would spend the evening together, and he didn’t seem to be acting like he wasn’t going to. She hadn’t heard anything about fishing.

“Sorry about that,” Wade offered, taking swigs of his Coke while they walked. “They actually took it kind of easy on you.”

“Yeah, I know,” Kelly replied, and she did. “Hey, are we really going fishing? Because if we are, I hope you brought a pole.”

Kelly caught Wade mid-swig. He snorted a laugh so hard Coke spewed from his nose.

“What? What’s so funny?”

**********
Wade eventually explained how “fishing” was a euphemism for a trip to the lake—which everyone assumed meant getting away for sex. He didn’t have to explain at that point what Wade found so funny about a “pole.”

“There’s got to be some better place we can go other than the back of this truck,” a sweaty Kelly mused as she snuggled up to an even sweatier Wade after. “What, there’s something wrong with my truck?”

“I wouldn’t mind going someplace with walls and air conditioning.”

“Maybe you should use your new celebrity and find us something.”

Kelly hadn’t the foggiest what he meant.

“What do you mean by that?” she asked.

“Well, you are the Boner of the year.”

“That’s gross! Don’t call me that!” Kelly said, making that uniquely girlish show of pushing him away before sliding back in close to him and putting her cheek on his chest.

“But it’s true.”

“It is not. They gave that to Phi Gamma.”

“No, we gave that to Phi Gamma. And that was all about you, Bubkins.”

“Well I don’t want you saying that about me. It’s disrespectful.” Not the Bubkins, the Boner.

“That’s not fair,” Wade countered. “Why can I do it but I can’t say it? Isn’t that disrespectful?”

“You’d better do it and you’d better not say it. To anyone.” She figured Wade could appreciate what that kind of label could do to her.

But she wasn’t absolutely certain.
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Old 07-24-2016, 12:19 AM   #231
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Kelly’s prior college football game experience involved sitting with a gaggle of Phi Gammas in the student-section bleachers next to the end zone, taking cues from the cheerleaders about what was going on while they talked about just about everything. And nothing.

Well, it turns out dating a football player brings some nice perks, not the least of which was access to box seats, first deck between the forties, in a section available generally for families and friends of what Wade had called “blue chip” prospects. All this “red shirts” and “blue chips” made an already opaque and arcane game that much harder to understand.

Wade, of course, was down on the field. Kelly was a little worried about not fitting in, and a little more worried, after her last night, that her new reputation had proceeded her. But there was no hint of that, and within minutes she was fast friends with three families who had come to see their sons play. She felt energetic, light and alive—if a little constrained at the hips in her outdated narrow box seat.

The spectacle that is big-time college football, and here she was right in the middle of it! For the first time, maybe because for the first time she could actually see what was happening, she was interested enough to focus some of her attention on watching and understanding the game.

“Wow!” Kelly exclaimed after the cheering died down after a particularly explosive catch and run by their team, dressed in their home whites. “That guy’s super-fast!”

“Yup!” the older Black man several seats down and behind her exclaimed. Kelly turned to see a handsome Black couple with smiles from ears to ears. “That’s our Anthony!”

“How exciting!” I wonder if they know who I am? “My name is Kelly. Anthony was my lab partner in Home Ec this summer.”

“Yes,” smiled the woman, slender and fit with an African weave and glistening dark skin. “It’s very nice to meet you. We know who you are.”

Kind of a growing trend.

“So you’re the young woman who’s going out with Wade Bodie.”

Wow. They really do know me. Kelly imagined Anthony had shared with her a good bit (well, for Anthony) about their brief relationship, maybe even had a hand in steering Anthony back to his longtime girlfriend—who, incidentally, didn’t seem to be present for today’s game.

“We’ve been spending a good bit of time together, yes.” But Kelly’ smile and the blush she felt from cheeks to ears betrayed her attempt to portray the relationship as casual.

“Well, he’s a fine young man.”

“If he can make the transition to end he may have a real future in the pros,” Anthony’s father interjected.

It was something everyone talked about as a certainty for Anthony, but for Wade it wasn’t something Kelly’d even thought about. But the mention provided the opportunity to ask a question she’d been wondering about since the game started.

“So Wade told me that in his old position he ran around behind where all the big guys are lined up. But now he plays right up in there on the line. Can you point him out to me? Everyone’s wearing white, but he told me he wears a red shirt now.”

***************

Anthony’s dad was actually quite gracious in explaining that a “red shirt” was someone who is still participates with the team but for any number of reasons may be designated to sit out from playing or a year. Armed with that knowledge she quickly spotted Wade on the sidelines in jeans and a university t-shirt, mostly just standing and watching. She kept hoping he would look up at her and wave, but he never did. Maybe she had missed it earlier.

The presence of parents in this section was a reminder to Kelly about something that crossed her mind from time-to-time: Wade had been unusually cryptic about anyone from his family—and absolutely mum about the possibility of her meeting his parents. Kelly sensed it was a topic she had to be sensitive about, so she refrained from bringing it up. But it wasn’t the kind of thing a girl could ignore for too long.

As for her family, not unexpectedly, Kelly had never heard back from her father. She and her mother had talked a bit about the issue over the past week.

“That’s really disappointing, Baby. I can’t believe your father would take this out on you. But then I guess there’s a lot of things I never thought I could have believed.”

Kelly had hated the reminder of what had led to this, hated even more that her mother felt the need to bring up that kind of thing against her father, hated that it brought up feelings of testiness and hate for her mother for causing this—as if it were actually her fault!

Elizabeth seemed absolutely oblivious to these undertones. “Don’t you worry. I saved up plenty of money—well, I hope so—for this, so if you need a few dollars here and there for drinks or for gas, I’m here for you.”

That just made her feel guilty—and really awkward to hear her mom actively supporting her under-age drinking.

“And don’t forget to stop by the house and see me, Baby! There’ll be more than enough for an extra meal or two over here.”

Elizabeth wasn’t exaggerating. Sunday afternoon Kelly stopped by for lunch: enough for an extra meal of two in itself. It was a long, lazy affair with vapid chat over stewing pots and baking bread, where talk about the divorce was verboten, and where thankfully the drinking started (comparatively) late. It ended for Kelly about the time she decided Elizabeth and Gail had drunk too much, though she imagined it continued well beyond the time she picked up and left. Wade was there that first Sunday and had learned his lesson about trying to keep up with them. Kelly was quite aware of the calories in a glass of wine and passed as much as was seemly. Besides, the idea of getting drunk with her mother was just too weird.

“So, Wade, let me understand this,” Gail had said. Her eyes were getting glassy. Elizabeth had already moved over to the couch, where she had just turned off the early NFL game and was already nodding. Kelly could tell it was getting close to time to go. “They’re sitting you down for the season just so you can gain weight?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“Don’t call me, Ma’am. I’m not that much older than you. Call me Gail.”

“OK. Gail.” He didn’t look comfortable saying it.

“So your whole thing is pretty much eating and gaining weight?”

Yes, Wade explained, in copious detail. It was more about putting on muscle in the weight room, but eating was certainly a big part of that.

“Well,” Gail sighed, leaning back on her chair with a sigh (which came out more like a zerbert), folding her hands across the top of her paunch. “I gotta tell you, you came to the right place.”

The take-home portions for Kelly’s little dorm fridge were enormous.
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:40 PM   #232
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I'm all caught up now! And gotta say I'm enjoying this latest twist, 'bout time we got some boy blubber up in this story!
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:01 AM   #233
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That element has certainly become a component in Kelly's saga, but I can absolutely say that I really have no clue what makes a male attractive in order to write at any length about it!
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:31 PM   #234
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Default Surprise!

Evidence of her new notoriety followed Kelly to work early the next week.

Monday morning brought Kelly mixed feelings. That was her first weigh-in since returning from California: 201.6 pounds. That had Kelly down about four pounds (on the Phi Gamma scale she had weighed in at a distressing 205.4), which was good as far as it went. But personal-trainer-high-protein-low-carbohydrate-just-graduated-from-high-school-Kelly had lost 12 pounds her first two weeks, and she had secretly hoped to see that kind of jumpstart this time around. She was experienced enough in weight-loss efforts to know that initial losses of that size were substantially water weight—especially for women. For women at higher weights like hers (it pained her to think of herself as one of those women, but she knew she was), fluctuations five pounds one way or the other was part of natural hormonal variation.

About which, Kelly’s predicted period from a week ago hadn’t materialized. Frankly with everything else going on she hadn’t paid much attention and couldn’t for the life of her remember if she was on schedule or not.

But for Kelly this was the first loss of any kind she could remember since she’d started gaining weight last May (that irrelevant blip from July was gone from her mind), and with the lower number had come a comforting sense of relief.

The mild loss wasn’t too much of a surprise given another reason: Kelly had hit the Phi Gamma gym every day in that period. The House Mother was another matter. Her ill-fitting sports bra (singular!) still provided less-than-adequate support and was already fraying by repeated hand washings. And when she did use the Mother, she still found herself sucking some ten minutes in, well below the steady 45-minutes she’d grown accustomed to.

So, OK. Sure, a year ago she’d started off a good forty pounds lighter. But she’d sort of thought she’d find it just as easy as she had the summer before.

Or maybe I’ve just forgotten how hard it really was.

So Kelly was gravitating more and more to the weight bench. After all, appearing bulky and un-feminine was about the last thing that was gonna happen, right? She felt stronger, especially in her legs, and more energetic overall. She reminded herself of the possibility the numbers weren’t changing as much because of the muscle she clearly had to be building.

Certainly something was changing: the few clothes she’d bought before all of her credit cards were cancelled were already feeling a bit too loose, and all of the six or seven summery Kiyonna pieces that she had bought before the cruise fit nicely again.

She was reviewing all of this in her mind just prior to opening the lab for the first appointments of the day, just after knocking off a couple of granola bars. She was sitting at her desk in her tulle skirt and sleeveless blouse, thankful her few wardrobe options were comfortable and light. The door was closed and the room was almost oppressively hot, the air conditioner struggling to cool down the lab after sitting idle all weekend.

However, everything in the hallway was clearly audible through the steel grate inset at the base of the thick oaken door.

Two guys waiting in the hall had moved closer to the door just as their conversation turned to the past weekend, and from the sound of it they were Alpha Tau (a mid-tier fraternity who had the house caddy corner from the Phi Gamma house). Kelly couldn’t help but overhear them, but it caught her attention when eventually one of them mentioned AGP.

“Crazy how that Bone went down.”

“You know, I never did hear how that turned out. Who won?”

“Phi Gamma.”

“Figures,” the other said in disappointment. Alpha Tau almost never shared a function with Phi Gamma. “Man, those girls are always hot.”

“You know, not so much this year.”

That lifted Kelly’s eyebrows. The same whispers had been making their way around Phi Gamma, and it wasn’t just about Jenn and Crystal, either. All of the girls were as attractive, outgoing, and smart (in that order) as Phi Gamma usually commanded, or they wouldn’t have been selected. But most of the girls were a bit bigger than typical Phi Gamma standards.

Given how they were recruited this time, that didn’t come as much of a surprise.

“But you said they got the Bone.”

“Dude, I meant the new ones. And get this, they got it because of one girl.”

“Shit you say.”

“No shit. It had to be. I was standing right up front on the corner, and she was the only Phi Gamma dressed in a jersey. I’ll bet you my left nut it was Anthony Robertson’s girlfriend, too. Remember how the guys were all laughing and pointing and clapping him on the back and shit?”

“Surrounded by sorority girls, cheerleaders, and twirlers and you were watching the football players?”

Only barely did Kelly keep herself from laughing out loud.

“Fuck you! I was looking where they were looking: at her. BEAUTIFUL girl. Hippy chick—real thick, but the cans on this girl were UN-fucking-be-LEE-vable. She started hopping around like a cheerleader, and those huge tits were fucking-EVERYwhere. Her jersey rode up her thighs while she jumped and it was UN-fucking-be-LEE-vable.”

That got Kelly’s attention. Up to now Kelly had regarded the whole thing as a big joke at her expense, a locker room prank the team was playing on Wade and Anthony for sharing the same girlfriend—and an expanding one at that. After all, her dress size was a long way’s away from what it had been the day she met Wade, the day she turned so many heads at the athletic dorm.

Kelly knew by now that plenty of guys privately were just fine—if not completely thrilled—with an overweight girlfriend (especially one who was stacked). But, guys—especially the popular ones—faced an awful lot of pressure from other guys when they did.

So it was quite the surprise to hear that she was “UN-fucking-be-LEE-vable,” especially out of the mouth of one frat boy and into the ear of another.

“It is unbelievable,” the doubtful frat boy was saying. “A fat girl. In Phi Gamma. Well, I guess they have to have one. But you’re saying she’s the only reason they got the Bone. So I guess you dig fat chicks.”

Here it comes…”Who, me?” he’ll say. “Oh, no, I mean that some guys—“

“No, I don’t.”

Yup.

“But, man,” the Believer continued, “It’s not just me. It’s the whole football team. Like, imagine a cheeseburger, perfect in every way, OK?”

“Why would I—“

“Just think of it. Now, just make it a double cheeseburger. You get it?”

Apparently he didn’t.

“Man, this chick won the Bone all by herself! I saw that girl jumping around and I swear I almost blew a load right there. I promise you, you ever meet this girl, you will, too. I promise.”

Kelly smiled to herself, flattered despite the crude references. It was time. She pushed herself up out of the chair and walked to the door with a wry grin.

Aren’t you gonna be surprised!
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:43 PM   #235
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Thank you again for posting more of this incredible story
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:41 PM   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramka92110 View Post
Thank you again for posting more of this incredible story
My pleasure. Always seems to take longer to get where I'm going than I think it will...
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Old 08-14-2016, 05:10 PM   #237
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Default A 20th century fox

As far as Kelly knew, no one blew his load. One of the guys did leave his number in the feedback box of the exit survey—the one that had made a few awkward efforts to strike up conversation with her while she was setting him up at the computer. She didn’t know if that was the Believer or the Skeptic. Either way, it made her smile.

“I don’t usually do this,” the note said, “but maybe we could text a bit and get to know each other.” All in all, a nice effort, especially for a guy who knew (erroneously) he was up against Anthony Robertson.

It was flattering, and Kelly met it with grace and charm, but not even Anthony Robertson could compare with Wade Bode. She might have deleted the message.

But she didn’t know how. Yet.

***************

Computer Science 1110 was one of Kelly’s classes at Buford Community College. “Computer Science” was probably more a misnomer: at the university it was called Personal Computing, better known around campus as “Electronic Basketweaving” for the jocks.

Each Tuesday and Thursday she had two full hours of it. On campus, in a lab, in front of a (very old) computer. A syllabus drizzled with smatterings of word processing, spreadsheets, online banking, password protection and encryption, basics of wireless networking, browsing organization strategies, photo manipulation, Power Point, eBaying, consumer webpage design, social media—anything the, oh, sedentary housewife might need to bring pleasure and productivity to her day.

Sedentary. Kelly’s dietary Achilles heel. A full bank of vending machines sat against the wall right outside the classroom. Kelly walked into her first class thanking her unlucky stars she was broke.

Then cursing those same stars every minute of the next two hours. It was slow and monotonous, and her pack (or two) of granola bars didn’t last the first half hour. Some things never change, she noted, hoping the mates to her left and right wouldn’t notice the rumbling of her stomach.

When it wasn’t computer lab, it was another three hours a week in the community college library. In front of another computer, this time for the required language learning lab time for second semester French. No food, no drinks there, unless you smuggled them past the angular librarian and her zealous staff of student interns yourself. Not that it mattered the first evening she went in: she’d already blown through her two packs of granola bars. By the end of 90 minutes she felt like a prisoner on hunger strike, learning another language just to distract herself from how frickin’ hungry she was!

On the way out she broke down at the vending machines, swiping away almost a quarter of what she had left on animal crackers and a Snickers.

It did not satisfy her.

And, of course, when she wasn’t in school, there was the 20 hours a week in front of the computer at the psych lab.

Well, not at first.

For a few fleeting minutes, several times each morning, Kelly was on her feet, welcoming students into the lab, offering them snacks, engaging in a bit of chit-chat, and connecting them to the equipment. Sure, Kelly made a long climb up the technology learning curve (with not a few calls to Caleb for help) for setting up equipment each morning and getting it to work with each subject, but even at her slow pace she was sliding down the other side of that curve by the end of the second week.

Rather, most of Kelly’s job was sitting at her desk keeping an eye on the real-time biological graphs on the monitor. Truth was, the equipment hardly ever failed, and even when it did, it was almost always a dropped connection that re-established itself before Kelly even made it to the back lab to check it out.

That meant a lot of time sitting at a desk with nothing to do except text people about how bored she was.

Boredom. Kelly’s dietary Achilles heel. Uh, the other one.

She might have spent her time, like a lot of people, browsing or even playing games online. But there was no way to do that and keep an honest eye on the data. Besides, Kelly had never really had much of an online life, anyway. She much preferred the real thing.

That included shopping. Before the Kingsleys had money, Kelly and her mother had spent hours trying on clothes at stores thinking, “Someday,” and even more hours flipping through, talking about, tearing through, making collages out of good old-fashioned hard-copy magazines. A neglected stack as high as Kelly’s widened waist--Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmo, Vogue, and her ever favorite, Vanity Fair—had awaited her upon her return to the Phi Gamma house, casualty of Kelly’s single-minded summer studying her ass on at Gail’s house.

Here was her chance to catch up to her heart’s content.

The problem she encountered didn’t dawn on her until that first outfit caught her eye: Oh! That’s cute! I could—

No, in fact she couldn’t.

And no amount of speculating, I wonder if they have that in a 14? (conservatively estimated) could fix it. Fashion just wasn’t quite as fun if you couldn’t wear it.

Kelly tried using that as motivation to stay out of the snacks—with a good bit of success, even. Under the circumstances she might have paid more attention than usual to the articles. But then that was the kind of thing she only paid attention to when she could chat about them casually with the girls in study group.

She usually managed about three paragraphs before her mind wandered again to the snacks. That meant maybe sending another text—or better, flipping to find another outfit so the whole motivational process could start again:

I wish I could look like that!

Patience, Kelly. One day soon. Just stick to the plan.

Oh, God, I’m bored!

When did I eat my last granola bar?

Kelly!!!

“You know,” Caleb noted a few days into the second week, looking up from where he had decided to work that morning on his laptop, sitting at the round table in the corner. The stack of magazines at idle on the bookshelves, and Kelly had spent fifteen interminable minutes straight staring blankly at the monitor with her elbows on the table and her cheeks in her hands. “There’s plenty of bandwidth for you to play around.”

“Hunh?”

“Bandwidth. You know, the wireless signal. You aren’t gonna mess up anything if you get online.”

Kelly sat up a bit. “I am online. But if I open the internet I won’t be able to watch the data.”

It was Caleb’s turn to stare blankly.

“I’m not lying, Caleb. Look.” Kelly hit “Esc” and clicked the “e” on the suddenly visible toolbar. The screen went briefly white before she closed it and maximized the data streams again.

“I mean on your laptop.” For some reason Caleb skipped the opportunity to make fun of her for something he didn’t know. “It’s not gonna hurt anything for you to jump online while you’re waiting.”

“I don’t have a laptop.”

“Well, then your tablet will work.”

“I don’t have a tablet.”

In fact, Kelly had never owned her own computer. She’d never even owned a cell phone until well into high school. Except for talk and text, she barely even used it—unless she needed navigation. Or the camera.
“Geez, Kelly. Join the 21st century.”

Kelly didn’t know she was well on her way.
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Old 08-22-2016, 11:36 PM   #238
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Default I get by with a little help...

“OhmiGod, Kelly! Your mom, rocks!”

Marla (talking, as she was wont to do, with her mouth full), Monet and Kelly were sitting on the floor of the Attic Sunday night, surrounded by leftovers from Kelly’s brunch with her mom, bathing in the wind of multiple oscillating fans to battle the oppressive heat. The exceptional heat wave had finally moderated into the usual August summer heat.

Not that in the Attic it ever mattered that much this time of year.

Like last week, the take was impossibly vast for their tiny dorm refrigerator. It was a problem Kelly had discovered last week after their weekly Sunday night chapter meeting, and Marla and Monet had been more than amenable to help whittle the stash down to size. This week the three had stolen upstairs after the meeting in wordless agreement to indulge in what could only be understood as a new weekly tradition.

A secret one, in fact, best conducted in the privacy of the Attic, no matter how hot it was. Better to escape the prying and judgmental eyes of Lindsey or any of a dozen other suspected unofficial Code enforcers in the House.
Kelly had found she was doing a lot of hiding. Kelly was ever conscious that she was now overweight. Never did she ever feel big until she stepped into the Phi Gamma house.

The contrast between her busty Rubenesque form and the host of skinny girls around her—ranging from firm and athletic to wiry thin, all the way down to downright waifish—was never so obvious as when they all squeezed into rows of folding chairs in the events hall, or when she passed a group of girls in those tight third-floor hallways. Practically everybody (except maybe Isla) engaged in some kind of minor body contortion to get by someone coming the other way. Kelly found herself dreading that she might rub a hip or a chubby arm against someone else and planned her trips across the house accordingly. Doubly so for anything that took her to the third floor bathroom.

The Attic didn’t have its own toilet, so that happened quite a lot.

Especially as few fitting bras as she had. Long hair, extra curves and folds, massive boobs, and southern summers meant a lot of sweaty bras—or better put, a few bras that got sweaty a lot. Almost every night she sneaked down to the bathroom with some Dreft for some late night handwash laundry.

And whether it was paranoia or not, since the Bone incident it seemed Lindsey Huntington had moved from aloof, or competitive—or even catty—to downright hostile. Not that she ever said anything, but her tight-lipped expression and her constantly-averted gaze all but shouted it for her. Kelly couldn’t understand why this seemed so personal to her, but it was a good thing you never found Lindsey on the third floor.

“Kelly, you’ve gotta get me this recipe,” Monet agreed. She was talking with her mouth full, too.

“But you don’t cook.” Monet was famous for proudly asserting that very thing.

“For this,” she said before swallowing, “I’ll learn.”

“You think if I keep eating this stuff I’ll start looking like you?”

That, of course, was Marla, likely not even dimly aware of her insensitivity. She was holding her hands out in front of her chest in reference Kelly’s boobs, which seemingly she had to comment about on a daily basis.
Kelly smiled as she usually did despite how much the comment stung.

Maybe, she thought wryly, but not up there. Kelly, like them, but for the second time today, had manifest the appetite of a horse. But where Marla was breast-obsessed, Kelly’s mind kept worrying about her hips and thighs and suspected Marla ought to be worrying about hers, too.

************

Monday morning for Kelly started with a couple of blueberry muffins her mom had sent with her. That was the best part of her early morning. It wasn’t much later after that that her period finally started. It wasn’t much later after that she had her most disappointing weigh-in for a while—so disappointing a weigh-in that it made her think about, er, giving them back. Like a good little sorority girl, wondering as she always did how someone could tolerate throwing up just to shed a few pounds. The scale had said 201.2. She’d been hoping to fall below 200. This didn’t even hit 200.

Any progress is good progress! You are you, not your weight! Don’t judge yourself by a number on a scale! Those were mantras her personal trainer always told shouted to her while seemingly trying to kill her. The idea, she’d supposed, was to convince her that she was working that hard because she liked it.

In truth, she’d always dropped weight so quickly she’d never had to try thinking them before.

And never had she thought she’d even sniff 200 pounds.

She hit the House Mother harder and longer than she had all summer before work. And she quickened her pace on her walk to the lab so that by the time she climbed the stairs, pushed past the line of students in the hall, and stuck her key in the door she was all-but out of breath.

A sense of dread and feeling trapped gripped her: she was already thinking ahead to an interminable morning sitting at her desk, cramping, struggling with a voracious hormonal appetite, and resisting the urge to snack—all while doing almost nothing. She went about booting up the lab (something she could do now knowledgeably and reliably) with a grumpy countenance, then took a few moments for attitude adjustment before welcoming the guys in.

And yes, it was guys. All four of them.

Kelly had brought some nail polish with her that day. She did her fingers. She did her toes. She fretted about how much more difficult it was to do than in the past, without all the bulk in the way. She wondered about the smell affecting the students. Today she didn’t care. She gazed every now and then at the monitor: flawless data, as always. At the end, all four guys smiled at her as they filled out the exit survey, the same one they filled out every time. One of them passed a note with an invitation and a Snapchat address before leaving the lab.

It was the third time a subject had asked Kelly out.

Kelly’s second round of subjects was similar: four full slots, four guys. She sent her time flipping through magazines she’d already perused, wishing she could look on the internet for some sort of plus size correlate—then wishing she’d have the money to pay for one.

Kelly’d grown used to having money. It really sucked breaking the habit.
So, she kept flipping and conscientiously monitored subject vitals—as if anyone would actually know and there was any reasonable chance of the equipment failing anyway—until the second round of guys left and a second one left her a note. She smiled and thanked him, which led to a few minutes of friendly conversation. He was a Kappa Alpha. She closed the conversation about the time Caleb slipped into the lab, letting her suitor know in almost as many words know with the tact born of long experience how much she appreciated the interest but that she had to refuse his request.

Caleb raised his eyebrows as he passed by, where he took his customary position at the table in the corner and booted up his laptop.

Kelly sighed and leaned back heavily (figuratively) into her chair. The chair, though not particularly narrow, wasn’t particularly wide either, especially with the armrests. Motions like these made her aware of how little room she actually had to move side-to-side in a chair these days, what with the feminine spread of her butt and thighs. It was, of course, a concern for all but the smallest of women, but on a day like today it was a cutting reminder of her failures, all of which for her were symbolized by her size.

It must have showed.

“You look chipper today,” he said, about 9:45, once the last subject had left the room. “You look like you could use a doughnut.”

Kelly ignored the dig. “That’s the last thing I could use.”

“Ahhhh. I see. Bad weigh-in.”

How does he know these things?

Caleb took Kelly’s silence as confirmation—which, of course, it was.
“Well, far be it from me to comment on your appearance…”

Kelly shot him a look that said, Oh, really? Why stop now?

“…but can I say that you look great? Maybe the scale didn’t say it today, but it’s clear as day you’ve dropped more than a few pounds.”

Yeah. As in, four.

“And it hasn’t even been that long. It takes time. You’ll do it! Just have some patience and lighten up.”

Kelly shot him another look.

“Sorry. Bad choice of words.”

What’s new? But not one person had said a word to her about her weight loss or about her efforts the past three weeks (not even her mother!), and even though it was Caleb—off all people—it did feel good to someone voice some kind words of support.

“Caleb, I know everything you’re saying is right. But every time I lost weight before it melted right off. And now, just when I need it to go fast, it’s taking forever!” Maybe, she thought, if she’d known it would take so much longer, she never would have let herself go the way she did on her West Coast trip.

And with that, dreams of flourless chocolate and orange dream cakes, sweet cordials, and expensive cheeses flitted before her eyes. Her mouth watered and her stomach rumbled.

Geez! What’s wrong with me?

Meanwhile Caleb was giving Kelly a confused look that might as well have been him scratching his head.

“Well I can’t imagine what’s got you in such a hurry. You talk about yourself like you’re some behemoth or something. Nobody sees you that way. Kelly, you’re an attractive girl. Really attractive.” By now Caleb was shaking his head like he was frustrated. “You’ve got guys here asking you out every day.

“I do not!” Not every day …

“And when you don’t,” Caleb was saying. “Trust me, it’s only because all the guys that do want to ask you out think you’re out of their league. Any time you have a problem, guys from freshmen like Chip to old farts like Lierman jump out of the woodwork with solutions. And, oh, you’re dating just about the most popular, good-looking guy on the football team.”

“So.”

“So, why care so much if you chub up? Apparently guys don’t.”

Kelly actually snorted. “It has nothing to do with guys.”

“Don’t tell me you’re obsessed with your health. You’re too young for that. You’re worried about what other girls think about you?”

“Yes!” Yes, you big dummy! she didn’t say.

Caleb’s eyes went wide and his jaw went slack for a second before speaking. “Well, Kelly, you surprised me. I had absolutely no idea you were into girls. I mean, it’s fantastic, but—“

Ewwwww!

“Ewwwww! I didn’t say I’m into girls. I’m totally into guys.” Especially guys like Wade Bodie! “But that’s just it. Guys are great. Guys are easy. I mean, sure, if you’re just a completely unattractive girl and you can’t get a decent date, then OK, you might not take getting a guy for granted.”

Kelly paused. Like Jenny. Everything Jenny had been trying to convince her of spilling out of her own mouth. And Kelly hadn’t thought of her once since she stepped on the plane back from California! But Kelly had the chance to school Caleb on something for once, and she pushed ahead.

“But guys will just take you for who you are. They might not want to date you, but they’ll accept you no matter what your size. But not girls. Girls can be downright harsh.”

“You mean the girls in Phi Gamma.”

“I mean all girls. It’s not like Phi Gamma’s special that way.”

“Um, OK. But right now the ones you’re worried about are the ones in Phi Gamma.”

Well, when you put it that way. “Um, yeah. OK.”

“Yeah. I don’t get that.”

He must be putting me on! “Why not?” she asked cautiously. “What’s not to get?”

“I don’t get why you’re worried about Phi Gamma. In fact, first thing you told me when we met, I never understood. ‘Eat. Gain weight. Gain weight, no Phi Gamma.’ You’re in, right? And you’re back in the house, right? I mean, OK, not legit. But you are as far as they know.”

“Um, OK.”

“So what, then? They’re gonna come to you and say, ‘We’ve got bad news, Kelly. I mean, congratulations on getting your grades up, but, sorry! You got too fat. So, you know, have a nice life. Best of luck in your new second class life.’ There’s no way they would do that. They’d get crucified if anyone found out.”

Kelly hadn’t really thought it through like that. She supposed she was kind of just stuck in pre-Rush mode, assuming she would be rejected. After all, she made Phi Gamma already.

But she still knew she wasn’t wrong.

“Of course they wouldn’t do it like that.”

“All right, how would they do it then?”

“Oh, I don’t know. It’s not they. It’s just some of the important ones.” Kelly tried to think about girls who had come and gone from the sorority scene. All that really came to mind was the smattering of girls close to leadership whom Kelly was just starting to realize seemed to be gone this year, and none of them got fat. Er, gained weight. In fact, quite the opposite. But it wasn’t hard to speculate how it would happen.

“They’d just do it. Stop letting you in on the inside stuff like trips out of town or after parties.” As she talked about it, Kelly began remembering some whispering about a couple of girls in Kappa Delta who’d wound up being hardcore lesbians. “And then things like committee openings and stuff. If they even did let you into one they’d just give you the crap assignments. Nothing that would ever look good on a resume or get you in close to leadership. And they might put you in embarrassing situations.” Like when one girl who was suspected of having money last Spring had lied about her parents having a beach house and was pressured into hosting a party there. “They just make it to where it’s really not worth your while.”

“Gee, Kelly. Sounds like a great group of people there.”

“No, you don’t understand,” although she wasn’t sure she understood herself after just listening to herself. “Sororities are about sisterhood. And they’re about bettering yourself—Phi Gamma more than most. So if you’re doing something that reflects poorly on your sisters—maybe you’re a liar. Or maybe you dress like a bum or you’re just out of control.”

“Yeah. But not, like, if you’re drunk or stoned out of your mind two or three or more times every week and sleeping around with everything that moves.”

“Just like that, in fact.”

“Because no one ever did that in a fraternity!”

This was more familiar territory for argument.

“Yes, you’re right, but that’s what a lot of college students want to do, Greek or not. And you say fraternity, but Phi Gamma is a sorority. If a sorority sister were losing control and sleeping around right in the open where the whole world knew it? You’d better believe the sorority would do something about it. If they didn’t everybody would be calling the whole sorority a bunch of sluts.” God, she hated how that word sounded coming out of her mouth! “There’s a major double standard out there, Caleb, and don’t pretend there isn’t.”

He didn’t try. Mostly.

“So you’re saying making someone miserable until they quit because she gained weight is to keep the sorority from being labeled sluts. Because of some double-standard.”

“That’s so not it! Forget it! You don’t understand.” Kelly realized she’d gotten worked up about this. Her heart was pounding. She told herself to slow down and took a deep breath. No one could get her worked up like Caleb.

“You’re right,” Caleb was saying. “I don’t understand. Tell me how ostracizing the chubby girl is for the greater good of humanity.”

She had an idea what ostracizing meant from the context. “It’s not good for humanity. It’s just reality. You never see chubby girls driving nice cars and wearing fine clothes and jewelry—I mean, you may see a chubby girl, but not one who’s actually fat.”

Her own mother came to mind.

“And even if you do, they never started off as fat, and then they pretty much get dumped.” Again, her own mother came to mind.

“Now you’re talking about fat girls and men, you see?”

“I’m not. This is about women who are successful on their own.” And that was true—according to what she’d learned in pledge orientation through Phi Gamma. “You don’t see them as heads of companies or leading the team or speaking in the public eye or any of a hundred things you see all kinds of men in every day. The women you see in those roles are thin, sharply dressed, well-manicured, and hard as nails in pretty much every way. Like it or not, if you’re fat, you’re seen as slow, and lazy and sloppy. You’re someone just begging for a chance who will take just about anything just to be accepted or praised.

“And then let’s just say you’re overweight, but you’ve got big boobs and wide hips and a fat bottom and all the things a ‘thick’ girl has to have to be accepted and you actually do have the courage to slip into the pencil skirts and soft blouses and high heels the slender girls wear. With the Spanx and the support hose and special bras and the whole nine yards. Because to look good, you have to, or you get judged for lumps and juggle and all kinds of things like that. Because if you’re big and you wear something baggy to cover up, you end up looking frumpy. Well, then you’re indiscreet. You’re inappropriate. You may be desirable, but desirable for all the wrong reasons. You’re a bimbo fishing for an M.R.S. degree or an easy promotion or a solitaire diamond meal ticket for the rest of your life. You just aren’t taken seriously. Phi Gamma didn’t create this. Phi Gamma just gets this.”

Phi Gamma speech over. But the she added this.

“Caleb, when you’re fat, all people see is that you’re fat.”

Jenny’s words from Kelly’s mouth.

Caleb just sat, pensively holding his mouth sideways and blinking. Finally he spoke.

“Except for the boys.” His head went right back down to his laptop.

Maddening.

Kelly said nothing and looked at the clock: just before 10:00.

Ugh!

She broke down and went to the back drawers for her first dive into the granola bars for the morning, then sat back at her desk to squeeze in a little wistful browsing through way-too-expensive plus-size blouses before the next batch of subjects came in at 10:15. She could already hear a few male voices from out in the hall that were probably them. She was just about to get up to let them in when Caleb spoke again.

“Still, it wouldn’t hurt if you thought about getting some new friends.”
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Old 08-29-2016, 07:34 AM   #239
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This last part had exactly the kind of stuff I love this story for, how everyone talks about a theory of what it means to be a fat girl. But what's up with all this weight loss?
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:49 AM   #240
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Default War and Buffet

Wednesday around 2:00 Kelly was sitting in the dining hall. Not the general dining hall, a massive barn of a structure that could hold thousands of people. The athletic dining hall, adjoined to the opposite side of the athletic dorm, which looked a lot more like those opulent buffets Kelly and Wade had visited so much in Vegas.

Wade himself didn’t look much different from then, either. He was leaning back on the back legs of his chair, his long legs stretched under the wide table holding himself up, one hand on his flat stomach, two empty plates and four empty miniature dining hall-sized drinks in front of him. Kelly was a stark contrast: glass of half-finished Crystal Lite (she never had enjoyed that much), a plate with a small puddle of oil and vinegar hinting at what was once a pile of greens, an empty cup for soup, and the remains of a small piece of (butter-free) cornbread.

“So this is what football is for you?” Wade was saying. “Because I could get used to this.”

There were three other guys at the table, all of them big lineman types: Al, Mullet, and some Polynesian guy named Ted Pana—uh, Ted Panipo—um, Ted.
There were stacks of plates in the center of the table, recently vanquished of mostly steaks and all the fixins.

Kelly regarded them all with the distinct but unfamiliar feeling of envy, tinged with a sense of desperate privation.

Walking in she’d felt a sense of freedom and privilege like she’d never felt before. For all her mother’s verbal largesse, she was either too cash-strapped or too self-absorbed to come through with her promises of pocket money. But Kelly didn’t care: Tomorrow was her first paycheck, and it felt better to her than all the generous drafts from her father had ever felt. In the meantime she had just enough in her account to cover her lunch tab before financial relief, and it felt like a long-awaited reward for hard work.

That changed to a kind of wondrous confusion as she instantly got her first taste of the local fame Wade had hinted at a couple of weeks ago.

Kelly hadn’t been aware just how popular a personality Wade was on the football team. They walked in together and every head turned his way, more than a few bobbing his way with that distinctly male gesture of friendship and respect. They stopped just past the cashier, as several people of all persuasions (but all of them athletically big or especially tall) stepped up to clasp his hand and shoot bull (as Wade called it) a few seconds. At each opportunity Wade politely introduced Kelly, and everyone made polite, friendly conversation back, but the smiles on their faces and the twinkle in their eyes all said what she’d overheard guys saying to each other time after time: “Ohhhh, yeahhhh. Way to go, man.”

It felt good, but briefly she wondered which Kelly had their approval: the Kelly they’d first seen on the other side of the dorm this summer or the uber-zaftig dining hall Kelly standing there now?

Greetings and politeness progressed quickly into friendly conversation. Their little group grew, and before she knew it, Wade was engrossed in one set of conversations while Kelly was in easy conversation with a number of guys—all of whom declared their association with Wade in one manner or another, none of which Kelly had any hope of remembering.

Only one hint from anyone about All Greek Pep or the Bone: Ted sat down saying, “So this is the girl from—“

But that was as far as it went. One brief motion from Wade—his hand slashing across his throat—and Ted cut it off mid-sentence. It felt good to Kelly that the man with his foot perpetually in the way of his tongue finally seemed to be getting it.

Until that moment Wade leaned back in his chair.

“So this is what football is for you? I could get used to this.” And he followed it up with this comment to Kelly. “Right, Kells?”

“Right, what?”

“You never were one to turn down a good meal. Imagine what you’d do if it were actually your job?”

Kelly greeted Wade’s comment with that look she’d seen a thousand girls make to their boyfriends and sworn she’d never make: Tight lips, downward glance, dead eyes—like, “Boy are you in trouble!” The guys picked it up, each looking at each other sideways while Kelly muttered some noncommittal response. She probably said no more than ten words the rest of lunch.

“What was that?” Kelly asked, not really asking, a few minutes later as they walked away from the athletic dining hall. Kelly was pulling ahead of him and walking angrily—not so much angry as hurt—ahead of him.

“What was what?”

She stopped and turned.

“’You were never one to turn down a good meal’” she aped in her best, deep, retard voice. “I mean, were you trying to embarrass me, or what?”

“Uhhh, no. So I guess it was what.”

“I don’t know. What?”

Pause. “No. I said I wasn’t trying to embarrass you, so I guess it was what.”

“Hunh?”

“You said, ‘Were you trying to embarrass me, or what?’ And I said it was the ‘what.’”

That and the impish grin on his wide features, and like that the hurt and anger were gone.

“I so should be punishing you right now!”

“Yeah, but you’re not like that, so.”

He was right. She wasn’t like that, but she had a point to make.

“So. You shouldn’t bring me around your friends and talk about how I am or how I am not eating. That’s rude!”

“OK. I see that. I mean, now I do,” he added. “It’s just, you never got all self-conscious about it before. But OK. You’re like other chicks after all. But, you know what isn’t rude?”

“I don’t know. What?” Kelly hadn’t intended for this to become open season for complaints and she didn’t like the sound of “like other chicks after all.”
“Taking you around my friends, period.”

“What?” she answered. But she knew exactly what he was getting at.

Wade knew it. Kelly knew Wade knew it. Wade didn’t know Kelly was putting off attending as long as possible. Better to shed a few (stubborn!) pounds first.

“As in, how I bring you to meet my friends, but you don’t take me around yours.”

She could have quibbled about Gail. Or her mom. But she knew what he meant: no Phi Gamma parties. Thursdays was the weekly fraternity-sorority mixer, a couple of times a semester a potentially legendary party at the house. Every other time a mild, usually enjoyable joint activity of the philanthropic or school-spirit sort—followed by a potentially legendary party off site later. She didn’t think now was the best time for her to say she thought she was too fat to be seen with them in public. It wasn’t her style, but she deflected.

“What, you think I’m ashamed of you or something?”

“Well, no. I mean, if you were, you’d be the first.”

Deflection successful. The idea wrenched her gut a little bit.

“Exactly. So what are you worried about?”

“What? Me worry? Hell. We’re still going fishing this weekend.”

“Yes, we are.” She laughed and inched closer, wishing she were tall enough to walk comfortably with her hand in his, reflecting in her mind how she’d had yet another conversation with Wade in which they’d each shared almost exactly nothing.
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:50 PM   #241
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Default A Space of My Own

“Caleb, what do you say we get her another monitor set up?” Lierman said.

It was Monday morning, a meeting in Lierman’s office with Caleb, and it was Kelly’s second morale-booster for the day. The first had been her weekly reading on the scale: 200.2—a full pound’s loss, and close enough to 200 to count as a moral victory. Especially after Friday night’s pre-lake country buffet. And another, this time larger-than-accustomed not altogether unplanned lapse at Gail’s on Sunday. And another substantial indulgence hours later after chapter meeting with the girls in the Attic.

Even better, the Snickers Lierman had offered her didn’t count until next week. Yeah, it was a cheater’s way to think. But Lierman was her boss, and no was a bad idea.

The meeting wasn’t simply routine, although there were plenty of these. Study enrollment was at capacity far sooner than expected, and schedules were being adjusted to capitalize on the flow while it lasted. That meant solid hours of monitor monitoring. “That kind of boredom I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy,” Lierman said.

“It’s funny how sampling works out,” Lierman had noted as an aside. “Even with all these subjects, the study is skewed almost all guys. You two aren’t out recruiting the athletic dorms or the fraternities are you?”

“Not me,” Kelly had answered.

“Not formally, no,” Caleb answered. Kelly tried to land a swift kick on Caleb’s leg. She missed and kicked the back of Lierman’s industrial metal desk, sending a low rattling boom through the room that caused them all to jump.

“I hate that!” exclaimed a wide-eyed Lierman, apparently knowing exactly the source of the sound. “Anyway, good for us. Everything has gone off with just the smallest of hitches, and we’re swimming with subjects. Shopping budget looks great, plenty of cushion there, and Kelly you’re doing a great job keeping up with the finances. Just incorporate those few changes we talked about. Caleb, get Kelly that monitor so she can get some schoolwork done. First paychecks this week. And Kelly, you won’t forget to change up the Inputs or phase two will be a complete wipeout.”

“Of course.” There was nothing about adding fresh fruit to the mix the next three weeks that brought anything but delight to Kelly’s days.

“Of course. You guys keep on doing a great job.”

Caleb and Kelly stood up at an implied dismissal, Kelly especially careful to push her chair back so she didn’t kick the desk again. There was a knock at the door.

“Ah, my next appointment! Morning, Jenny.”

Kelly made a quick start, expecting her Jenny—I’ve gotta call her!—as she turned around. But it was Lennox instead.

“Hello, Mrs. Lennox.”

“Why, hello, Kelly! So nice to see you,” she smiled. Despite the pleasantry, her gray, faded exterior looked a little more haggard than usual. “Class registration is coming up before you know it. I’d love to have you in my textiles class.”

What the heck is a ‘textiles’ class?

The invitation shocked Kelly a little bit, given her legendary problems in the kitchen and their most recent conversation. Lennox, it seemed, never fully appreciated that her “B” meant Kelly wouldn’t be registering for anything.

“I appreciate that, Mrs. Lennox. I’ll certainly take a look,” she said before she followed Caleb out the door. And she meant it, or at least she would have if she were even allowed to register: for all the ire she might have had toward Lennox, she didn’t blame her. Mostly she was surprised and pleased that she was wanted.

“So,” Kelly heard Lierman’s voice behind her, “have you come to any kind of decision?” And then the door clicked shut.

Kelly might have said a bit about Caleb’s little jab in front of Lierman, but she didn’t, and the two of them made the bare minimum of chitchat on the way over to the psychology building. “K,” Kelly said. “I’m off to the store. See you tomorrow.”

“See you tomorrow. Except, you’ll probably need your credit card.”

“Got it.” She didn’t tell him that she was carrying it around pretty much every day as a kind of food security blanket. She hadn’t had to use it—yet.
“Well, there’s the tax-exempt account verification form.”

“Got it. Besides, I know the number and they pretty much know me by now.”

“K, but you probably need the new list.”

This was odd. “Not really. I have to get—ummmm…well, crap. I totally don’t want to go upstairs.” Lazy! Get up those stairs, tubby! “What do I need to get?”

“I don’t know. It’s not my job. That’s why I made a list. Come on.”

As much as Kelly wanted to get on with her day, she was happy to get the last word with her internal self-condemnation with an extra four flights of stairs. Caleb keyed them in, and Kelly couldn’t miss what was waiting for them on the desk.

A second monitor.

Caleb had already done it! She almost teared up thinking about it. Sometimes Caleb could be soooooo sweet!

“Pretty much there’s nothing Lierman thinks that I didn’t think of first,” he said smugly.

“Really can’t argue at all with that,” she answered already easing her way into her chair to check out the functionality while Caleb assumed his usual position at the table in the corner. “Now all I have to do is figure out what your evil plan is.”

Caleb steepled his fingers and let out a maniacal, unnerving, all-too-convincing laugh before attending to his laptop.

****************

Whatever his plan, or Lierman’s thoughts, the second monitor freed Kelly to do her coursework. Not that there was too much work to do.

By the time she left the lab on Tuesday, Kelly had completed her work for the week in her French 2 class. It might as well have been a high school course the work was so simple—especially compared to the course she’d taken through the university last fall. And French was one of the courses she’d actually put some effort into in high school.

By Wednesday she’d accomplished the same in American History (Part 1). A couple hours skimming her online textbook, another hour zooming through the online quizzes, and academic freedom was staring at her for the rest of the week.

There was more to it than just that. A computer at work kept her out of the House computer lab—an old, dingy, outdated thing with yukky slow equipment associated with low status at Phi Gamma. It, the ground, and second floor rooms were wired with the high-speed internet, and Wi-fi stretched somewhat reliably to the second. The only internet on the third was personal hotspots (thanks to Personal Computing, something she’d come to understand).

Theoretically she could use her roommates’ equipment—Monet certainly didn’t mind. But Marla and her computer were almost always gone (with Sunday nights a notable exception), and the price of Monet’s metered connection (and spotty service) was apparently measured in ounces of gold. Kelly valued the reduction in the aggravation factor in just about the same metric.

But the biggest benefit was not being seen. Seen in the computer lab for certain: working on social media pages (one of her Personal Computing assignments) on a borrowed computer? Not a lot signaled “not Phi Gamma material” much more than that. Seen at all, even better. If Kelly’s Phi Gamma life were ever to return back to what it was, the girls were gonna have to start looking at her and thinking, “I guess she doesn’t look quite as fat as I thought, after all.”

She polished off her third banana Thursday morning (Hey, Weight Watchers says they’re free!) and flipped from the Kiyonna website, where a mesh wrap top was already sitting in her shopping cart (just waiting on that first check to hit), to her old MySpace page she needed to spruce up for Personal Computing. (In particular, navigating the new interface to update the old.) There wasn’t much there, just a still or two and a few pictures of the friends who had helped her upload them for kicks there during some weekend sleepover at the house. But a smile touched her lips as she converted some old music uploads—so important to her then—and personal pictures from—what? When was the last time she’d bothered with it? Right after sophomore year?

Her face looked so young!

It was one of her chubbier periods, really one of the first times she’d been concerned of her own right about how much she was gaining. And it was certainly noticeable—Kelly recalled she must have weighed, oh, 155? It struck her how that child’s face, it seemed to her, was coupled with her relatively massive, really outsize breasts, always the early beneficiary of extra curves when she was around that weight. But mostly she just saw a fairly normal-sized girl with big boobs.

Oh, God, I thought I was sooo fat, then!

She knew she wanted 123 again. 123 to her was Phi Gamma, and as close to those kinds of expectations as she was ever gonna get. And 123 was a milestone, a personal achievement, the first time she’d ever worked that hard to accomplish anything. But 155? Even that seemed a world away.

“I could be OK with that,” she said out loud, to no one. She looked over her shoulder toward the lab, but clearly no one had heard her.
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:54 PM   #242
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Love this story, it's one of my favorite long running tales in the genre. I'm curious if you have it planned out how long Kelly's recent weight loss trend will continue? I understand that a little fluctuation here and there can add some nice variations to the plot, but I'm just hopeful that her weight will begin to creep up again!
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:47 PM   #243
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Thanks for the encouragement. It's all planned: what has to happen first, when. How long will it actually take to write? ????
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:29 AM   #244
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Default Slim pickings

The arrival of Kelly’s first check that Thursday was even more sobering than she had expected: in addition to the taxes she had learned to expect, there was a small “Representation Remuneration” and a larger “TRF contribution.”

“Oh, yeah,” Lierman had told her after she had looked over her check. “That first one is the union fee, and the second one is retirement contributions.”

“I’m 19 years old! Why would I need those?”

“Yeah, I know. I told you you wouldn’t be making very much. Sorry about that. I think you can ask for that contribution money back later, but until then for young hourly employees like you, it’s pretty much a scam.”

No kidding! Her $320 gross wages had ended up being around $176, some $100 or less than she had even imagined. By the time Kelly put together two sets of Little Sis gift packages for Jenn and Crystal, that left precious little for in-room groceries—not to mention a few drinks out, or even more pressing needs.

Namely, a few more clothes that fit.

Each Thursday night was the weekly on campus mixer with the frats. The events ranged from ostensible planning sessions and socials with affiliated fraternities to the kinds of huge themed parties that sometimes make national news for their improprieties, the aptitude for which Kelly was already well-known for.

And from which her continued absence was likely to start being conspicuous.
By the end of computer lab and a torturous hour in the library she was famished, her granola bars and companion banana long gone. Three weeks in, and it was already routine to rush straight back to the house, grab some fuel (this week via the small but much-appreciated bag of groceries her mother had sent home with her over the weekend), and find somewhere else to be before the mixer started.

But this Thursday she skipped the workout for a detour the Goodwill for something—anything—different than the handful of Kiyonna blouses, dresses and skirts she’d been rotating day in and day out the first three weeks of school. An actual pair of jeans or khaki shorts would be a nice, welcome, and—for Phi Gamma in particular—a fashionably necessary change.

The pickings were devastatingly disappointing.

At a size small or medium or even large, Kelly had never failed to find something cute and unique that wouldn’t grab a compliment or a head turn or two. Before this year, at her largest, Kelly had occasionally required an XL for her top, and even then a little careful searching (usually followed by some resourceful modification at home) inevitably would led to treasure.

At 1X she found just one pair of out-of-style khakis she could barely squeeze over her hips. Of course success in that regard, no matter how difficult to attain, was all she had never needed. But then she found the waist gapped so bad they practically fell back down to the hips. Now she started to appreciate why so many girls with big hips stuck with leggings.

Who’d have thought not having a fat belly could be such a liability?

She turned her attention to the jeans and found several size 14 jeans available.

Just none she would ever be caught dead in, let alone the name brands expected of a Phi Gamma.

At 2X there wasn’t even that: just one pair of faded, elastic-waistband shorts and a size 20 pair of boxy Lane Bryant jeans that (thankfully) she could have filled with water and swam in.

The blouses (she didn’t even consider anything less than a 2X) were all casual, with the bright, bold prints so characteristic of plus-size wear and so completely at odds with the more professional prep look favored by Phi Gamma. Anything not so bright and bold was—well, even more completely at odds with the look favored by Phi Gamma.

It was a fashion wasteland devoid of redeeming value. Her eyes looked longingly at the XL rack where two pair of shorts and three fashion blouses instantly stood out to her.

In the end she settled on a few things for work and community college alone: a white, casual elastic-band skirt that went with some sandals she had and, more importantly, added some more roundness to her behind, and a couple of Dress Barn flower print blouses at least fashionable enough that her mother might have worn them. Well, a couple of years ago, before blowing up like a balloon.

Kind of like me. It resonated through her head, even as she recognized the false comparison. She wasn’t going anywhere near as far, near as fast as her mother was going. Slow as it was, Kelly was going the other way.

Still, that was no comfort. She walked out of the Goodwill palpably feeling the loss from those items hanging on the XL rack, vowing to return soon to claim them, even as her stomach rumbled and her mouth watered and her thoughts zeroed in on the snacks from her mother awaiting her in the Attic.
And the text she would send to her father, hoping yet again for some kind of help for her situation.

Kelly’s return to Phi Gamma social life would have to wait for another Thursday. A duck up the stairs, a quick snack, a duck back down to the House Mother, and a long workout on a treadmill, where she would first jog, then walk, vigorously and relentlessly, toward the mental image of that clothes rack—which she placed just beyond the handle bars of the treadmill, out front in a place she could of course never quite reach.

************
And reach she did.

The extra time Kelly saved in the lab went straight to more time in the Phi Gamma gym—specifically, more of the House Mother. The loss of just a few pounds, or slow gains in stamina, or—most likely—the time she’d spent working (primarily) her legs at the weight machine had apparently begun to pay dividends.

Kelly also reached for the shiny red apples they introduced to the lab Friday morning and brushed aside the bananas and granola bars (in short supply anyway, given the change in Inputs). And the salad bar (the actual salad part) at the now-traditional buffet Friday night.

To Wade’s scorn. “We pay for a whole buffet and all you do is graze on leaves?” It’s not like a salad ever costs less--no matter where you go, she didn’t say. At least he said we.

She completely avoided the snacks at the football game Saturday. Sunday the bottles of wine broke out especially early, cutting that short, and she claimed a tummy ache Sunday night to avoid eating leftovers with Marla and Monet.

Monday all the effort finally showed with a 199.4. Kelly did a jiggly little happy dance. She redoubled her restraint at Jenn and Crystal’s Monday night and in the lab each morning By Thursday morning the scale blinked 197.8. That one was a fist pump—more so, because crossing 198, combined with the toning and slimming (relatively speaking) because of her efforts at exercise, put her where her tea length Kiyonna dress from the California trip fit like the day she bought it.

You know, before she’d wrecked that fit completely with a four-day cruise.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:58 AM   #245
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Default The Gilroy

It couldn’t have come a day too early. That night was the Kappa Alpha social: a prestigious event with a formal tinge that was one of the envies of the Greek community, if not the whole school. It was an absolute can’t-miss for a girl on the edge with her sorority, and a good impression in a slimming black dress could go a long way toward easing the pressure.

Officially, it worked like this.

Kappa Alpha and Phi Gamma Psi collaborated together on fundraising projects for the Children’s Miracle Network, one of the most envied charities around for its work supplying cutting-edge treatment for such romanticized problems such as neonatal intensive care units (preemies!) and children’s cancer wards. The official Thursday social was a planning meeting for this event.

It was only sparsely attended by the members most directly involved with the project—not in small because of the dark realities of such heartbreaking conditions involving neonatal intensive care units and children’s cancer wards.

But mostly because everyone was getting ready for the off-site event following the social.

The venue was the Speakeasy, an old swing dance in the (literal) depths of a downtown cellar that, as the swing dance craze had died down, had transformed into an exclusive, art deco dinner club with an exclusive reputation. Kelly had heard that this affair in the not-too recent past there had been an emphasis on Gilded Age dress, flapper couture, and bacchanal celebration. But that tradition had sometime been discarded for what she had been told was now considered a kids dress-up party.

And Kelly had a pretty good idea which fat-president-of-the-fattest-sorority-on-campus had likely discarded it, too.

It was one of the hottest invites on campus, one of the big perks of making Phi Gamma. Alcohol poured freely, but it was never the Dionysian roaring 20s affair of older.

That was reserved for the after-after party, perhaps the hottest and most exclusive invite of all.

Kelly and Wade carefully ducked out from under the low ceiling of the stairwell into the dim light of the ensconced Speakeasy basement. The club was surprisingly vast, with cushioned booths with wide tables covering the walls for the left side of the room, whereas on the right there was a tall brass bar surrounded by tall, sleek cocktail tables and streamlined bar stools with backs. The floor in between was a dance floor, but for the two massive red leather couches in a recessed conversation nook in the middle of the room. That was where the top leadership of the two Greek houses and their favorite sons and daughters would be staked out.

That was where Kelly had been seated next to Sherry last year.

The nook was empty, its occupants, sure of their positions, were out and about the room. Places to sit had already been staked out across the room, and Kelly could see the pecking order: upper classmen/leadership-types (and their dates) in all the corners, saving places for the late-comers, and then the rest of the more popular or influential players crowding around the remaining booths and cocktail tables. Everyone else stood in clusters while waistcoated waiters and skinny waitresses in slinky short dresses and feather bows circled the room with drinks and hors’douerves.

Kelly was determined to stand strong on the hors’douerves. But it had been a hard, disciplined month of restraint for seven pounds of reward. And tonight she absolutely needed to drink.

Kelly was wrapped in a black cinch dress that, yes, camouflaged every plus size curve—but like every Kiyonna dress, hugged them in the most form-revealing way. The look was stunning, and she knew it: anywhere else she’d have felt she could dazzle. And she dazzled here, too.

That was the problem.

Unlikely brands with a wider clientele, Kiyonna’s plus-size style accommodated the big-busted girl—but on Kelly even their dress was stretched to the max. The look was designed to cover cleavage. On Kelly it accentuated and revealed it. There was only so much a well-placed stitch could do to cover completely up. It was nothing compared to the out-in-front boobilicious look she’d taken to the River Boat those months ago, but there was no denying the sexual vibe that gave her the potential for being labeled bombshell bimbo.

But it was the only option she had. She figured on a few drinks and a relatively short mingle, then an escape from the scrutiny and the hors’douerves sometime before the Privileged Few left for the after-afters and left her behind.

A waitress in a sequined, feathered hat spotted them at the stairway and walked up to them with a tray of cosmos.

“All right!” Wade exclaimed, taking two. “Time to get my drink on!”
Amen to that!

The cocktail waitress pulled away and Wade made no move to hand one of the drinks to Kelly.

“Uh, Wade, I already told you: it’s not that kind of party. You need to behave.”

“I am behaving … badly!” He winked. It was the kind of witty response that occasionally reminded Kelly that Wade was actually intelligent. “Don’t worry. I’m not gonna embarrass you or anything.”

Wade already stuck out. His frame, of course. And his increasingly untamed mane of thick blond hair. Nor was he dressed to fit the part. Each of the team members had a suit he wore for road game travel and other functions, but the corporate look hadn’t fit the bill. Instead, he wore the jacket and his (best) pair of faded jeans, along with his cowboy boots. The gray jacket was massive, accommodating his massive shoulders. If it’d been striped, he might as well have worn a Zoot suit.

Certainly not the button-down prep look she saw on most of the guys in the room.

Not that it mattered any to the guys. They weren’t three steps toward the bar—where Kelly could see Monet and Marla congregating together with Crystal and Jenn and the main of this year’s pledge class—before a KA Kelly thought she should have recognized stepped up.

“Hey, aren’t you Wade Bodie?” He had that hint of North Carolina accent that Kelly just couldn’t place. “Played linebacker for us last year?”

And, as usually happened, it started from there: guys filtered up until they were surrounded by a choir of eager and inquisitive hangers on. Kelly had seen the football effect with Anthony Robertson last year, but she’d thought it was because he was Anthony Robertson. Kelly was surprised to discover both how many of the guys knew exactly who Wade was—and how many hadn’t the slightest idea why wasn’t playing this year.

She’d been standing patiently by Wade’s side, listening to Wade answer for the third time with another straggler to the gaggle.

“So what, did you get hurt or something?” It was a question Kelly was going to hear a lot, one that she would eventually learned would gall him, but one Wade graciously answered every time it was offered. She stood patiently and graciously by his side as one of the newcomers asked it again.

And then, “Hey, Kelly? How’ve you been?”

She glanced aside for a second, then realized it was the guy, the one that apparently she really was supposed to know.

“Great, great, doing great!” You know, fat. Getting fat. Last time you met me I was thin, but yup, now here I am. Fat! I guess you probably noticed. It was like a chorus inside of her, begging to state the obvious. She pressed on. “And you—oh, God! Your name has totally escaped me.”

He paused, taken aback for a second. “Scott. Scott Gilmore.”

Ohmigod. She and Scott had hooked up at this party last year! And by hooked up, she realized, she remembered they had hooked up.

“Ohmigod! How could I forget? That’s so incredibly embarrassing!” The details flooded in: a night of shots—her first—in the conversation pit. A humiliating turn hurling in the bathroom stall. A ride home, then another ride under Scott that ended pretty much as soon as it began, with another wee hours stint on her knees in front of the toilet and a bleary late breakfast with stilted conversation and the smell of vomit in her hair. There was a ride home in his C-Class that seemingly would never end.

“You look absolutely stunning tonight,” Scott continued.

You mean ‘fat.’ Stunning clearly was code for fat. That’s what jumped into her head, what continued to surprise her as it did—especially since she felt flattered all the same. Was this the kind of thinking fat girls were always talking about having to deal with?

“Thank you,” she managed. “You know, I—well, you know, I guess you’re just never sure.”

And then there was that pause, when it was clear each was thinking that each had seen the other naked, yet trying to talk about anything else.

“Well, you should be sure. You look great.”

Another awkward pause. She wondered if he was angling to hook up again, dismissed the idea in a flash.

“You know,” Kelly said, “I absolutely have to have a drink right now. You mind grabbing me one? Any drink. Don’t care what it is. Uh, my boyfriend seems to have taken mine.” She pointed at Wade being herded across the room from them, two large martini glasses dwarfed by the wide expanse of each hand.

Scott smiled and acquiesced, like any guy would when hearing the term “boyfriend.” He struck out toward another pill-hatted waitress, while Kelly struck out the opposite way to the cocktail bar, next to where Jenn and Crystal and four or five of the pledges were congregating next to one little cocktail table, which clearly wasn’t even theirs. She looked back toward Wade, his blond mane a half-handspan above the donut of guys who at that moment were pulling him the other direction.

She could tell that getting in and out tonight was going to be tricky.
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Old 10-28-2016, 11:24 AM   #246
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Hi, all. Looking for a little help with women's professional fashion, particularly as it relates to problems looking professional for fat girls. I think I need more regarding concerns about the actual look (ie., certain things look professional on thin women but not so much on fat women) than other concerns.
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Old 10-30-2016, 06:19 PM   #247
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How professional are we talking? If you're talking like a skirt suit, it's unlikely the jacket would close properly over a large bust. You'd have to go up several sizes, and then it would be too loose in the shoulders and waist.

Basically any over-clothing on top that is meant to button in front is going to be difficult and create a "spilling out the top" effect, or else be straining the top button(s).

It would also be difficult for her to avoid having visible cleavage, since the collar on womens shirts is often quite low. This would especially be the case if her boobs were being mashed together and upwards by trying to button a blazer under them in front.
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Old 11-17-2016, 05:27 PM   #248
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Default Compliments of Lindsey

Out on the edge of the dance floor she felt exposed. The girls greeted her and she them and while they were exchanging compliments on their appearance, she edged her way around to the other side of the group, the better to camouflage in the throng, and the better to keep an eye on Wade in hopes of an opening to get out of there quickly.

The moment called for compliments—but to Kelly they were all deserved. Sure, only two of them were really Phi Gamma: Jenn and Crystal, and them only because of the effort she’d put into outfitting them in her old clothes the night before.

But to Kelly, the rest of them proved you didn’t have to be Phi Gamma to be powerfully beautiful.

There was Ankita: a marginally East Indian girl who always seemed to present herself as anything but. Her brown skin was beautifully clear, her features well-proportioned but for an overly-wide mouth—which housed beautiful white, straight teeth usually hidden behind an unsuitably self-conscious close-lipped smile. Tonight she had her prodigious rack wrapped conservatively, like Kelly's, but Ankita had chosen a brightly-colored cubic-patterned, club length dress which mostly minimized—but not quite—her unfortunately mismatched small hips. She had a shape that could only look perfectly proportioned at the lowest of weights. And that wasn’t the case: Ankita had a few pounds of classic Indian softness to overcome if she was ever to become Phi Gamma toned.

There was also Natalie Timmons. Wide blue eyes, wide face, wide everything—there was no way she could ever lose weight enough to be considered slender, especially with that extra dose of booty straining the seams of the back pocket of last year’s fashion jeans. She hid her tall flat boxy figure under the type of draped blouse that girls usually chose to hide a little belly, though truth was she was as fit and firm as any of the Phi Gamma regulars. Her blond hair, Nordic features, and gumdrop breasts would curse her forever with a blush of youthfulness that would forever be interpreted as childishness. She was warm, sweet, and reserved—and cuter than the girl on the Swiss Miss package.

The study in contrast next to her was Elektra Boyd. Average weight, average height, average breast size, average everything. Nothing in her features was striking or off-putting. Her hair was jet black and dyed even darker—a step away from Goth with the wardrobe choices to match. She wore a translucent black print wrap over a black bodysuit over black tights that one imagined hid black and green tattoos, with a black skirt and black Mary Janes. Faint freckles mimicked piercing scars in all the right places—and some of them not—and one speculated that the illusion was once real. Assertive, confident, even boisterous at the right moment, there wasn’t a pub on the Continent she wouldn’t own. Just not clubs in the Phi Gamma South. It was a mystery that she ever chose to pledge at all.

There was Jennifer Morrison. Kelly imagined that when the whispers whisped about Phi Gamma’s subpar pledge class, she was the one first on their minds. At, oh, 160 pounds or so, she was the only one who was at all fat, not only in this little group but in the pledge class as a whole. Jennifer had almost all the features a pretty fat girl should: wide beautiful green eyes, with long, full brown locks, broad hips and shoulders with a cinched waist and a full, round behind, thick toned thighs with comparatively slender calves that tapered sharply at the ankles—a legitimate full-size hourglass. But there was the unfortunate hang of an ill-placed upper belly that forever lapped, however slightly, over the edge of her waistline, and she seemed to always be just one step away from full recovery from a recent bloom of patchy red acne—something no one had ever seen in full bloom but had never quite seen completely erased. And she always seemed to have just a touch too much make-up. Of the four not-Jenn-and-Crystals was the only one who'd gotten the message to wear the standard Phi Gamma pencil skirt and white silk blouse, and her shape seemed entirely ill-suited for it. Only the wide, shiny black belt, clearly pilfered from another outfit entirely, smoothed the bumps in her middle, and it didn’t take the knowledgeable eye too long to recognize what she was hiding. Jennifer was from the true sticks of Georgia, and there wasn’t a rural working man in America that wouldn’t happily jump at the chance to cohabitate on the sly, make healthy White babies, and collect welfare checks with her. But Jennifer was smart and bookish, and it was known she had high aptitude in math and the sciences. Her ambition outweighed even those talents. She had an outgoing, sometimes overbearing personality that dared you through killer kindness to keep her out of the club—whichever club it was—for her weight. That’s probably what had gotten her in.

Four striking girls (and Jen and Crystal), and if she could have seen it, Kelly would have seen how she shone in the midst of them. Wide, bright blue eyes sitting below the sandy blondness of her carefully curled bangs and atop the rounded heart shape of full, cherubic, sun-kissed, unblemished cheeks. Those cheeks tapered to the tip of her still sharp chin, with only the slightest blur of even a hint of a double. The effect created that appearance of teenaged youth too often long gone by the age of twenty, which Kelly was fast approaching. Kelly's chub had kept her neck was smooth and graceful, absent the stark sinews and deep cleft of the athletic thin. She had adorned it at the base with a lustrous strand of pearls and at its apex with a matching set of pearl earrings. Thick golden layered tresses, still enhanced by shimmering highlights from last month’s cruise (and a skillful application of drugstore hair color), cascaded in large curls both in front and behind each of her round shoulders, collar bones faded and soft and just visible beneath her before diving for cover under her black Kiyonna wrap. For all her efforts at professional modesty, Kelly's extensive cleavage had brushed aside the few stitches that had secured in place her wrap, which now clung desperately to the vast, full, round weight of her collossal breasts, now entirely dependent on the exhausting yeoman’s work of her only fitting underwire brasierre. The ruffles of her dress (and the Spanx underneath) provided the full illusion of a smooth midsection (real enough after her last month’s effort had melted those two slight mounds off her tummy) before stretching flat again to meet the wide, pleasant expanse of her smooth, shapely hips. It hugged the wide arc of her plump, Spanx-firm thighs in a cloak of black obscurity before falling off just above the knee. Black Chanel pumps and a small Michael Kors handbag completed the evening classy look, which could have been ripped straight from the Kiyonna website.

In a room filled with the Virginia Slims look, they could have been the Dove commercial with clothes on. And Kelly would have been the star.

And truly she felt that way, a beautiful lady enjoying conversation among a supporting cast of other beautiful ladies (except for Crystal and Jenn). Until she would glance sideways and glimpse the roundness of her shoulder and girth of her arm, or look down to her feet and see next to nothing, her massive boobs on the edge of freakish, or crane to the side of them and her plump arms to check those shoes out and again encounter obstruction, this time from a mound of hip and an outward curve of thigh. And dozens of judgmental eyes around ready to take it all in. Just in case the forty pounds she had on the next fattest girl in the room didn’t make her self-conscious enough. She was just at that moment recognizing the large expanse of cleavage exposed by the failure of her insufficient impromptu seam when—

“Kelly! You look so incredibly fabulous tonight! Why, you look like you could be headed straight to the opera!”

It was Lindsey, who had squeezed her way in on her right, so surprisingly—Kelly didn’t know why she should be so surprised now—surprisingly slight that Ankita barely had to step aside to make room.

Kelly made the appropriate exclaim of surprise, appropriately leaning forward to meet Lindsey’s appropriate hug, inwardly wincing as she felt Lindsey’s angular form squish into her inappropriately exposed bosom. As short as it lasted, Lindsey still seemed to shy away from the full embrace, as if uncomfortable. As for Kelly, she found that hypersensitive part of her brain again wondering if she’d just been compared to the opera’s singing fat lady.

It seemed with Lindsey, true or not, there wasn’t anything Kelly couldn’t put past her.

“I was beginning to wonder if we were ever gonna see you at a mixer again,” Lindsey continued. “So glad you’ve taken such an interest in breaking in our pledge class tonight,” Lindsey was of a height with Kelly, but her eyes flitted down momentarily to Kelly’s bust line, then flitted back up and around the circle of nervous pledges, who of course knew exactly who they were talking to. “You all look incredible, and …”—Lindsey looked around the circle—“ … I see you got the message to leave your pledge books behind.” Pledge books were the Rules and Regs of the sorority, and pledges were required to attain signatures of each of the vested girls in the sorority as an endorsement for entry into the sorority. “Good! And don’t let us catch you fulfilling any individual pledges, either! Tonight’s off limits for that, a night for you to relax and enjoy that the whole thing is just about half over.”

All true. What Lindsey didn’t say is that it was a chance to see just what kind of people these pledges were when they relaxed, and whether they were anything anyone wanted to party with the next few years of their lives.

“Hey, Kelly, mind if I talk to you for a moment?” Lindsey put her hand briefly on her shoulder and retracted it after pulling her of the circle. Lindsey’s eyes flitted downward again then back up as they leaned in together to screen out the growing noise in the room. It was all Kelly could do not to reach up and close the booby together with a fistful of cloth—and she might have, if there’d even been a loose scrap of fabric to grab.

“Lindsey, I’m soooo sorry. I just realized. Right in front of the pledges. I didn’t mean to be inappropriate. I had to stitch up my, uh, I placed—“

“Hunh?”

“I, my bodice,” Kelly continued, almost cursing at herself inwardly. Lindsey always made her so nervous! “I had it stitched up, but the stitches must have burst when I--. Just give me a minute and I’ll head to the ladies room and fix it right up.”

Lindsey paused a second with furrowed brow. “Yes. OK. I think you should definitely do that. But there was another thing I needed to ask you. A favor.”

Okaaaayyy.

“Um, Okaaayy.” Surely this could only be a good thing? Right? “Yeah. Sure! What is it?”

“Kerry,” Lindsey began. “Kerry, um, you know the one I mean…” (the one with the European name Kelly could never quite pronounce: Kelly knew exactly who she meant) “… she’s had to step away from school for a few weeks, and that leaves us without a Pledging Coordinator for the rest of pledge.”

Another girl leaving Phi Gamma! What’s going on around here?

“I was wondering if you could take over for her.”

Kelly was hit all at once with relief (It really is a favor! and not some backhanded task) to flattery (She thought of me!) to anxiety (Will I really be able to do it?) to dread: it was the Pledging Coordinator. No one wanted to be the Pledging Coordinator. Boring meetings leading the pledges through the manual, administering tests, coordinating with all of the Big Sisters about each pledge’s performance on her individual pledge. It was a thankless job, and usually one fulfilled only if there was some kind of payoff at the end. Kelly wondered if she was in good enough graces with Lindsey to arrange any kind of payoff at all.

“Thank you for thinking of me, Lindsey!” She wondered how sincere she actually came off. “I love the girls, and I appreciate you trust me enough with the responsibility, but it is an awful lot on short notice, and with my job and all this semester I have a lot on my plate—

Ugh! Phrases fat girls should NEVER say!

“Your job?” Fellowship, internship, co-op, even mentor opportunity—these were all acceptable, upwardly mobile positions for a Phi Gamma looking ahead to the corporate world. A job, just a job, was something that most Phi Gammas really wouldn’t need, and pretty typically eschewed. “Oh, you mean your work study. That lab with the associate dean.”

Kelly was surprised to learn Lindsey was aware of her “work study” at all. It made her even more nervous to think that Lindsey was that close to discovering the truth.

“Um, no. He’s not all that,” hoping somehow she was deflecting scrutiny. “He was just my math professor. They just made him the team leader or something is all.”

“Yeah. I know. Lyman. Or maybe Leeman. Something like that.”

“Lierman?”

“That’s the one!” Lindsey reacted with excitement, like she was the one who had remembered it. “Lierman! I’m pretty sure Brittney said they just made him an associate dean over at student affairs.”

“Huh.” If Brittney, Panhellenic Council rep said it, there was probably no denying it. Especially for an office so important to everyone as Student Affairs.

“You’re right,” Lindsey continued. “That’s a really important position, and whatever you do, don’t fuck it up.” Lindsey’s proclivity for foul language was but another reason Kelly and she had never really clicked. “But I don’t need you to be the Pledging Coordinator. I was just wondering if you could take over next week’s Rules and Regs meeting.”

“Then I’m in! It’ll be fun.” Kelly’s mixed feelings folded into a wave of relief.

“It’ll be important, Kelly. This group has a long way to go.”

What a negative Nancy! Why couldn’t Lindsey just lighten up on the judgment a little?

“And it’ll be good for you, too.” She paused a moment. “I mean, I find a refresher on our standards every now and then is good for all of us.”

What was that supposed to mean?
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:57 AM   #249
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OK. So, writers wanting feedback and all ... yada, yada, yada. I just want to know--not my last segment, the one I posted before that--did anyone notice what I did there? Focus on the title of the post....
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:04 PM   #250
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Nope, sorry, whatever it was slid past me (unless it was the details of the dress? If so, it just slid in so naturally to the story that I didn't think of it as something different).

I'm still reading and enjoying the story, and happy whenever I see another chapter posted -- but have kind of run out of new ways of saying all of that, so I probably don't comment as often as I could.
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