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Old 01-28-2013, 11:32 AM   #51
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May 2003


"How could you?" Sean demanded so angrily at her that it pained her to the core.

"I wanted to help," Allie started.

Sean cut her off. "Do you have so little confidence in me that you think I can't do anything without your connections?"

"No, I just wanted you to get it, I know how much it means to you," she reasoned.

"I don't know why I thought this could work," he shot back. "You think you can go around like a Princess, granting wishes, or something? Who do you think you are?"

"Sean, stop," tears ran down her cheeks as she pleaded with him. "I just knew those kids need someone like you to help them."

"No, you stop, Allie," Sean shouted over her, "Save the spin. You stuck your nose into something that was so not your business, and now it's embarrassed me. Do you know that it's all over school that I only got it because my rich girlfriend's mother is on the board at Children's?"

Allie closed her eyes, wishing she could disappear, go back in time and erase the conversation she had with her mother about helping Sean get rotations in the cardiac care unit of the hospital.

"I'm a joke, Allie, now I can't take the offer," he yelled louder. "You've destroyed that for me. Now I’ll never know if I could have gotten it on my own merits.”

“You know you would have, Sean. It's not that big of a deal, really," she pleaded with him to calm his reaction.

"Oh," he rolled his eyes, "Of course it isn’t; not to someone like you who's been given everything. Doesn’t it bother you that you’ve never been tested? That you don’t know what you are capable of without Daddy and Mommy paving your path?"

Allie turned pale. She could feel her chest aching. "You've never loved me for me, Sean, if you think that little of me."

"I don’t know anymore, Allie. I thought you were different, but this is unforgiveable."

"Don't do this Sean, please," she sobbed.

She sensed that his issues with her affluence had been becoming more of an issue, especially the second half of the last semester. Throughout the school year, things seemed mostly fine; Allie traveling down to the city, or Sean taking long bus rides up to Ithaca some weekends. After winter break though, his program seemed to become more demanding and he couldn’t get away as much, and they drifted a little bit.

The cost of travel back and forth became an issue for Sean as well. He was living pretty sparsely to get by. He would always bristle at her offers to buy his bus ticket. Then, there was the awful fight they’d had in the spring where she offered to pay for them both to go somewhere for spring break, so they could be together for more than a day or two at a time. Allie just wanted to be with him as much as she could, but he didn’t react well. He hung up on her and didn’t return her calls for a week. She was devastated and apologized many times over to get things back to where they had once been.

The tension ripped open again on her graduation day. Allie had always avoided talking about her trust so it wouldn’t accentuate the awkwardness between them over her money. Her trust had stipulations: one was that she would come into a small portion of her inheritance when she graduated from college; “small portion” being a relative term. She would have access to $300,000, which her father had directed her to use toward her graduate program, tuition, travel and living expenses. She wasn’t going to buy a private island or do anything extravagant with it. It wasn’t millions of dollars, at least at the moment; and wouldn’t be for years, so why make it another issue in their relationship?

But not talking about it came back to haunt her. After her graduation ceremony, Sean joined Allie and her parents for a celebratory brunch. During a toast, her Dad made a joke alluding to the trust money she had now earned. Sean later asked her about it, and when she explained the situation to him, he ripped into her for keeping it a secret. She tried to explain that it wasn’t a big deal, and that it was all earmarked so that she could further her education, but he felt it was deceitful not to share something that significant.

She was kicking herself for not thinking about all of these troubles piling up between them when she mentioned to her mother that Sean was trying to get an internship. Why did she let her mother intervene to help him? But how clear it was to her now that it was too late to take it back.

"I'm taking Dr. Rawson up on the Haiti offer," he stated coldly, snapping her back into this latest battle. And it was a battle she was losing badly.

Allie's throat was clenched so tightly that she couldn't protest, shout or even speak. Sean grabbed his backpack, turned around and walked out of her apartment. She had been in such denial during those months of tension that built up around them, that it felt very sudden and totally shocking. It had taken so long for them to get together, how could it now be over? just like that?

In the following days, her best efforts at reaching him to talk were in vain. After a week, she broke down, called his parents house and talked to his mother.

"He's gone, Allie, he left yesterday," Pam Casey sounded resigned.

"Mrs. Casey, why did he do this? Was I so wrong to try to help him? I mean I know I was wrong, but I just love him so much," Allie didn’t care anymore how much she was revealing to his mother about her feelings for Sean, she could only be honest in her desperation.

"Allie, you know we love you," she slowly started, "But Sean is very proud... probably too proud for his own good. I'm not happy he's leaving us either, but its good experience for him. He'll be a better man for having done it."

"I don't know Mrs. Casey," she choked up. She couldn’t believe this was how it was going to end.

"Allie, people like us learn to look at the bright side of things,” Pam seemed to twist the knife of socio-economic difference between them, reminding Allie of what helped to destroy her relationship with Sean. “I suggest you do the same. If it's meant to be, it will be, dear, but you need to live your life without him right now," Pam was blunt. She never minced words and Allie knew in the face of her brutal honesty, she had to stop trying.

Allie sunk into despondency and couldn't bear the thought of the looming heat of a lonely Philadelphia summer; a summer that would remind her every day of the blissful time she had spent with Sean the previous year. Despondency quickly became depression, unsure what to do with her days without Sean.

She should have been thrilled with what lay ahead for her. She had earned top grades, glowing recommendations from Professor Porter and had been admitted for the fall term to Columbia's masters program in urban architecture. It had always been her dream to enjoy transatlantic studies among the architecture of New York, London and Paris. The dream seemed tarnished now, but it was all she had left.

Adding insult to injury, she had been waiting for those three months of bliss with Sean before they would once again manage the distance between tehir studies, and now that was gone. Desperate to get through the miserable summer, she sublet her apartment and fled to her brother's place on the west coast to find refuge, helping his wife care for their 18 month old daughter, Ella. At least she wouldn’t be alone, reminded every day of what she lost when Sean left her.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:33 AM   #52
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"It was time we met," Allie kissed Ella's cheek and Ella nuzzled her neck.

"She likes you," smiled Monica, Holden's wife of three years. Allie's brother had met Monica at a Bay Area Skeptics meetup while he was a chemistry undergrad at UC-Berkeley. Monica had been pursuing her degree in nursing at San Jose State at the same time. His girlfriends had always been the preppy and pretentious Main Line girls they grew up with, so Allie was a bit surprised when she met Monica and found a mildly plump Latina beauty who was direct, down-to-earth and irreverently funny.

"You think?" Allie beamed as Ella played with the Roman glass pendant necklace around Allie's neck. Her father had given it to her during the Christmas break she spent with them up in Zurich, during the year she had studied in Rome.

"You're a natural," Monica assured her. "And she's such a Daddy's girl. You look so much like Holden, she just knows you are family." Allie kissed little Ella on top of her head, feeling reassured by her sweet smile and the gentle, faint smell of baby shampoo.

"What do you think, Allie?" Holden entered the room, looking like the same scruffy college kid she last saw at his wedding. He was still handsome too; tall, athletic and confident. He always had a ton of girls after him, all the way back to grade school. Life came easy for Holden, Allie thought; he was comfortable in his own skin. Allie had always felt like she had drawn the short straw, yearning to know what that kind of comfort must feel like. But he was so damn likable, she couldn’t be resentful toward him about it.

"Do you want to quit school all together and be our full-time Nanny for free?" He laughed. Holden was a professional student now, earning enough to get by as a teaching assistant while he pursued his doctorate in polymer electronics at Cal Poly. His post-college trust fund payout had been chewed up quickly by his lengthy graduate studies and the high cost of living near Morro Bay. Monica’s work as an RN was probably keeping them afloat at this point. He had always gladly accepted his parents' financial support, but when Jane became vocal in her opposition to his marriage to Monica, he cut off most communications with the family and stayed in touch only with Allie. The time after 9/11 was the only tepid contact he’d had with her mother. He spoke with his father slightly more frequently, but the warmth expected between a son and his parents was rarely seen these days.

Allie tended to side with Holden on the whole. She had her own issues with Jane's controlling behavior and naturally gravitated to defending her brother in that regard. She also had the chance to get to know Monica during the week she was there prior to the wedding and immediately loved her fun personality and bold fashion. In some ways, his wife reminded her of Maia, perpetuating her affinity for women who were rather opposite of her own reserved, introverted personality.

But Allie still understood why Jane had been so against a wedding. His announcement that he was marrying a girl he had known only for a few months was a bit shocking. It was Jane's expressed concern that, "We don't even know her family, her background," when Holden went ballistic, calling Jane an elitist and a hypocrite. Nonetheless, Jane attended the wedding, barely able to stifle her dismay over the secular ceremony, barefoot wedding party, hay bale seating and vegan buffet spread.

"How's Jane these days," Holden leaned back, taking a sip from a dark beer. Holden brewed his own beer with organic, locally grown barley and hops. For an east coast trust fund kid, he was totally blending in with his west coast home.

"The usual," Allie instinctively wanted to revert to criticizing her mother whenever she was around her brother; it was a natural place for them to go, they had been doing that since childhood. But she knew that wouldn't help mend things for Ella's future, and she was tired of being the go between.

"I see she's making sure you stay skinny," Holden chided her, gulping more from his beer.

Allie's body froze. Holden knew that Allie wrestled emotionally with her mother's weight related commentary. And she knew she was probably too thin now, having eaten horribly little since Sean left her. She was reminded of the emptiness she had been living with for the past month, with no end in sight. She couldn't stop the sadness coming up through her throat, while she felt the heat of a large tear trickle down her cheek, promptly wiping it away, trying to hide her pain from her brother.

"I'm an asshole, Al, I'm sorry," Holden set down his glass and took Ella from her arms so she could wipe her tears. "She's a shit for what she does to you. You're perfect, no matter what, you have to know that. Don't let her screw you up like this."

"It's not the weight thing I'm upset about," she burst out. Her emotions wouldn't let her control her volume.

"What's going on with you, Allie," he prodded her.

The tears began to cascade as she tried to find words that didn't make her sound like a dumb girl, jilted by puppy love. "Sean broke up with me," she whispered.

"Oh, Al, that sucks. What kind of idiot is this guy? His loss," Holden tried to make her feel better.

"I'm in love with him and I can't get over it," she cried more. "It sucks."

"Like Heidi Metcalf," he sighed. "She destroyed me, remember?" Holden smiled sadly.

"Ugh, she was so mean to me too. I hated her," Allie wiped tears away, trying to smile and pull back from her pain a little.

"I was so blindly in love with her, I had no idea what a bitch she was," He shook his head. "You see, sometimes it's good that people dump us, we eventually end up the better for it."

"Easy for you to say," Allie muttered.

"It will get better, Al, I promise," he rubbed her shoulder. "Just hang out with Ella, she has natural toddler healing powers."

Allie brightened up, reminded of what a cuddly sweetheart Ella was, "You are really blessed. She's an awesome little girl."

"She makes me feel better about everything," he confirmed.

"Maybe Ella will help you mend things with Jane," Allie suggested, "I think it would be nice for her to know her grandmother."

"It's up to Jane," Holden shrugged.

"No, it's up to you. She can't very well invite herself," Allie reminded Holden of her mother's strict socially correct manners.

"I'll talk to Monica," he sighed. "If she comes, she should do it while you're here; so you can be the referee."

"Thanks a lot," Allie laughed, knowing it was true. She had always played the mediator role... somebody had to.

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Old 01-28-2013, 11:35 AM   #53
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Through Allie's gentle encouragement, working both sides of the conflict, within a few days, Jane freed her schedule and came to visit for a weekend; with the benefit of her daughter’s presence, of course. Allie was relieved to feel useful to her family. In the weeks following Sean's harsh rejection, she had felt an utter lack of self-worth and direction. Spending time with Ella and mending a family rift gave her back at least some sense of purpose.

One evening during her visit, Jane, Allie and Holden shared a bottle of wine out on the deck when the subject of Sean came up.

"He seemed like a nice boy," Jane gave Allie a sympathetic shrug.

"He was... he is," Allie grew pained in the way Jane sounded like she was giving up on him as a good person.

"Allie, you don't want to hear this from me, I know, but I can tell you with experience that some people just can't handle our... standing," she tried to be diplomatic.

"What are you trying to say about Sean?" Allie raised her voice.

"I'm not saying anything specifically about Sean, I'm just saying that people become unpredictable when faced with the kind of opportunity we enjoy. It's not always a comfortable place to have so much more than others. I would sometimes get the sense that Sean didn't like it."

Deep down, Allie knew Jane was right, but she couldn't bear to admit it, "Mom, not everyone cares about our money."

"Jane’s right, Al," Holden entered the conversation in Jane's defense, much to the surprise of both women. "Girls were always weird about our money. Monica was the first girl I dated who didn't care. Probably because she didn't see any evidence of it," he glanced at Jane in expectation that she would be provoked.

"Monica is a lovely woman," Jane submitted, "and a wonderful mother. It was just that you had only known her for a short time," Jane started.

“You could have been less condescending about the whole thing...” He shot back, re-escalating the deep freeze that had been thawing during her visit.

"Hey, this is about my problems," Allie inserted to lighten the conversation, still amazed by the somewhat adult conversation they were engaging in.

"What's so great about this Sean guy anyway?" Holden questioned Allie. "I mean he must not be that smart, really, to dump an heiress," he winked at Allie. "Is he like, a dumb Superman or something?"

Allie glanced at Jane to see what her reaction would be. Sean was not a man of steel in the strictest definition.

"I can see what she saw in him," Jane's complimentary words shocked Allie. "He's bright, has a great future, and very nice looking," she shared with Holden and turned to Allie, "And he looked at you with love in his eyes, Allie, I can say that."

It was bittersweet to hear those words from Jane, but her curiosity over Jane's "very nice looking" description got the best of her. "It’s weird that you never said a word about his weight," she challenged her mother.

"Why would I?" Jane answered dubiously.

"How many comments have you made to me about mine?" Allie felt her blood pressure rising.

"Allie, give it a rest," Jane sighed and pursed her lips, "I only said anything when you seemed unhappy about it. I was just trying to help you."

"A lot of help it did," Holden jumped in, "She's borderline anorexic again."

Allie shot Holden a nasty look, "My body is none of your businesses," her skin was crawling now. "And yours either," she glared at Jane.

"I didn't even bring It up," Jane shrugged her shoulders as she often did when confronted about her passively judgmental style.

An angry silence hung in the air for a few moments until Holden broke it, "So just how fat is this guy?"

Allie smiled and then laughed, finding an odd humor in his question.

"He wasn’t that big," Jane cocked her head.

"He was pushing 300, Mom," Allie responded, surprising herself that she would say something so privately arousing out loud. She just couldn't believe her ears that Jane felt he was not that big. He had gotten quite fat while they were together, after all. There was no doubt that his gain made Allie very satisfied, but she also knew that her standards were different than others. That's what made Jane's words so perplexing.

"No he wasn’t," Jane shook her head.

Allie nodded, "I guess he carried it well," feeling embarrassed as the words came out.

"Men do," Jane nodded. "They’re lucky that way." While hating the double standard, Allie recognized she shared a common frustration with her mother.

"Dad used to be fat, didn't he?" Holden jumped back in.

"Dad's a triathlete, Holden," Allie rolled her eyes.

"Dad was actually rather plump when we met," Jane smiled, with almost a reminiscing gleam in her eye.

"He told me he got pretty fat in college," Holden reinforced the information.

"Really?" Allie didn't know this. She only saw their wedding pictures with fit, trim and perfect looking 1970s preppies in love.

"He slimmed down for the wedding and stuck with it," Jane explained. "He felt like it was helping his career, I suppose."

Allie sensed a wistfulness in Jane’s words, as if she almost wished Kenneth were chubbier again. It was disconcerting and bizarre to share this moment of almost an affinity with her mother over such a deeply buried piece of her identity. So much so that Allie got up, grabbed the empty bottle of wine they had shared and announced, "I'm calling it a night."

Jane’s visit to California was healing for her family, but Allie wasn’t even close to healed when she returned back to the east coast after spending the summer in the mist of beautiful ocean views and mountainous landscapes. She got a place in New York, commenced her graduate program, trying to get through each day, as they all blended together in a haze into the cold months of winter. She had reverted inside herself, uninterested in meeting or knowing anyone. It wasn’t that she couldn’t be social on the surface, she did attend a few parties, spent time with other students on projects; but her connections stayed on the surface, mostly keeping to herself.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:36 AM   #54
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March 2004

Her spring semester in London was cheered by Maia’s company. The summer before, while Allie had been convalescing in California, Maia had begun to take extended stays with Julien in Brussels that were becoming rather permanent. She had missed her friend so much, but she was now just a train ride away. Allie relied on seeing Maia regularly throughout those months to keep sane. She had missed the regular intimacies of friendship with her best friend being overseas; and her lover long gone. Allie had never been one to manage a large circle of friends; being able to confide in Maia gave her a chance to do more healing.

“It’s been nearly a year, Allie,” Maia tilted her head with empathy and yet a tinge of reproach in her tone. The two girls sat on a comfortable white plush sectional sofa in Julien’s living room.

Allie sensed Maia’s disapproval with her continued melancholy and understood in her head it was pointless, but her heart wouldn’t budge. “I know Maia. My misery is only partly because I miss Sean. But it’s that I can’t seem to move on that makes it hurt even more. Sometimes I feel worse about the fact that I’m stuck in neutral, than I feel about not being with him.”

“Oh honey,” Maia rubbed Allie’s arm with empathy. “You are moving on, even if you don’t realize it. You’re still making your future, working on your career. Love will come again when you’re ready,” she reassured her depressed friend. “Stop feeling like you have to be completely happy, and just focus on learning, growing, you know? Just work on being fine in your own skin.”

Allie drew her eyes up to Maia’s with a knowing smile, “How many times did I say something like that to you?”

“Yeah, well, it paid off, you were right,” her friend smiled at her, and then pointed to Julien, who was sitting alone on the little terrace balcony of their apartment, reading a newspaper and drinking a glass of wine.

“He’s a great guy, Maia,” Allie smiled, “He’s so into you.” Allie had noticed Julien’s hands were always all over Maia’s body. His nonchalant brushes and caresses back when they were dating in Rome had become overt; it was more obvious to her than ever that he was an all out fat admirer. His hands regularly roamed her softest features; upper arms, hips and rear end. When cooking in the kitchen, he would come up behind her and blatantly caress her belly, and grab her side rolls. Maia would sometimes swat him away, but she didn’t seem upset or offended by his touch.

“He’s definitely into my body,” she giggled. “It was weird at first, I felt kind of self-conscious… and even more when I kept gaining weight. But he likes the curves, I guess,” she showed tones of red coming through her beautiful, olive skin.

“He’s got great taste,” Allie laughed. “Julien and I have a lot in common, I think,” Allie’s heart picked up speed as she felt herself losing more of her secret to the reality of their friendship.

“He said the same thing,” Maia’s eyes grew bigger than her smile.

“What?” Allie didn’t know Julien that well.

“I told him all about your relationship with Sean,” she admitted.

Allie frowned, “That’s a sad story to tell.”

“I know, it’s a little personal, but when he was talking about how turned on he is by my body, I remembered how you told me you liked that Sean was fat. Julien’s preference seemed more believable and normal because you had the same feelings for your man,” Maia tried to explain.

“So Julien knows about me then,” Allie said softly, feeling a little embarrassed. Julien’s extra kindness to Allie and his overt handling of Maia’s body in front of her made more sense now. He was probably feeling free in the company of a fellow FA.

“It’s great Allie, really,” Maia smiled and rubbed Allie’s shoulder. “Don’t feel weird about it, we love who you are,” Maia spoke for both her and Julien. “When I first came here, I felt like I was this big, fat, dark girl that stuck out like a sore thumb among all of these tall, thin, blonde European women. But knowing that there are actually people who find chubbiness attractive made it so much easier to adjust.”

“But I don’t want you to adjust, I want you to come back and be with me to New York,” Allie teased her with a dramatic sigh.

“I will visit you there soon, I promise, Cheri.”

***
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:29 PM   #55
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Thank you

(even if this section was melancholy....stories do need their ups and downs, and you've handled this 'down' very well! I'll go back to waiting patiently for the next update--for this sort of quality, take the time that you need!
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:47 PM   #56
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I am really like this story. The character development is well done and the plot is different enough from normal to keep things interesting. Keep it up! Will Allie continue to gain?
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:31 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softness View Post
Will Allie continue to gain?
I think we have a misunderstanding here - it's not out of the question that the story might include this element, but so far, we've had more reason to worry that Allie might starve.

Happy as always to read an update - I love stories in which the underlying stories and motives are slowly unraveled. More hopefully soon!
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:35 PM   #58
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More please? I absolutely love your stories ashblonde.


Allie kinda reminds me of a more serious version of myself Fat on me is disgusting, on others it is sexy
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:00 PM   #59
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August 2004

It was surreal to be looking into his eyes from across the table at a restaurant they used to visit as a happy couple, already two summers ago. She had to remind herself that she was actually looking at Sean and not some stranger. She knew he had been sick, but never expected to see him looking so thin.

The waitress came over to them, "Can I take your order?"

"Chicken soup," he handed the waitress back his menu.

Allie was shocked. A Reuben with extra dressing and thick-cut fries was all she had ever heard him order at the South Street Diner. "Caesar salad, dressing on the side," she self-consciously ordered. Spending another summer with her brother and his family in San Luis Obispo had been healing, but she was feeling every bit of the ten pounds she gained while there.

"You look happy," he offered an olive branch, "and healthy." He meant that as a compliment, but it stung. She knew that “healthy” was code for ‘you’re not as skinny these days.’ And she knew she couldn’t possibly look happy; she hadn’t been that for more than a year.

"It was nice to be with my brother and his family for a while," she offered in defense, trying hard not to be rattled by her diminishing confidence in his presence. Allie tried to focus her thoughts on her time bonding with Ella all summer long and how much that made her feel useful and needed, because being back in front of Sean only reminded her of how useless and unneeded he made her feel when they broke up.

“I never met them,” Sean noted.

“You didn’t stick around long enough,” Allie shot back, still bitter about his abrupt departure from their relationship.

"You're not going to say anything about the way I look?" He ignored her dig, obviously impatient for her to make a comment about his drastic weight loss.

"I don't know what to say, Sean. I mean, what am I supposed to say?" Of course she hated that he was thin. He was amazingly handsome, more grown up, and almost, kind of distinguished, she thought. But his drastic physical changes made him look a lot less like the boy she fell in love with.

"Everyone freaks out, and you act like nothing is different?" He seemed annoyed.

"Everything is different, obviously" she flatly acknowledged, finally glaring back at Sean. "I heard you were pretty sick," she admitted.

"How did you know?" He cocked his head.

"Your mom called my mom while I was in London… so I guess it had to have been pretty bad,” Allie looked down, remembering how the news made her crazy with worry. And angry that she still cared so deeply for him, and then massive relief in the news that he was already on the mend.

"It was pretty bad,” he acknowledged how ill he had been, “they had a Priest visit when I was at my worst. I mean, I'm still recovering. My whole system is not the same," he shook his head and patted his nearly flat middle.

“Jane told me when I got back from London, when you were getting better,” she continued to explain, as if she had to justify why she hadn’t gotten on a plane down to Haiti to personally nurse him back to health. “I guess Pam and Jane kept in touch a little,” Allie reminded him.

"My mom misses you," he acknowledged, admitting out loud how much his mother had liked Allie in Sean’s life.

"Glad someone does," she uttered bitterly.

"Allie, time has passed," he started.

"Water under the bridge?" Her bitter tone strengthened.

"It's been over a year," he reasoned.

"So I should get over it," she wanted so badly to make him squirm. It was the only reason she agreed to meet with him; to get closure. And that meant getting as many digs in as she could. Closure, yes, definitely. She didn’t want to entertain the possibility that she harbored some deep seated wish that he still loved her. She couldn’t let that creep into her thoughts and lose the anger that kept her protected from more heartache.

"I just want to let you know I'm sorry I was so hard on you," he tried to smooth things over.

"Sean, save me the apologies, I know what you think of me." The many months of depression had cemented into an unrequited bitterness. She had found happiness with him; true happiness. And then one mistake and he quit. It was a feeling of defeat that she hadn’t been able to shake.

"No, you don't, Allie, I still love you, you’re an amazing person, I always thought so," he began. Her heart jumped in her throat. Was he trying to work it out? The possibility was creeping into her conscious thoughts now. When he contacted her the week before to meet, she knew she felt all the old hopes come welling back up inside of her, filling the void of nothingness that had been in charge of her heart ever since he left her.

"I just need to tell you something," he continued, "And I want you to hear it from me."

"What?" Her heart was back on the floor, hopeful feelings emptying her body in a gush.

"I'm engaged..." the words came out in slow motion, like she didn’t hear them right away.

After that, she couldn't focus on another word that came out of his mouth. She could only feel the cracks in her heart that had been trying so hard to mend, break back open into even more pieces.

And then she heard him say a name she hadn’t thought about in a long time: Janeane. Then some words about the weight he lost while he was seriously ill in Haiti... Coming home, running into an old friend... one thing leading to another…

What she could bear to absorb sounded like some lame soap opera where high school sweethearts reunite and get married; but Janeane? The girl that Mike and Charlie made sound like the town tramp? How did she deserve to win? Allie was a good person, wasn’t she? She loved Sean, and was faithful and committed to him. She would have done anything for him and now this awful Janeane girl was back. And that was that, game over.

Allie couldn't take it anymore. Her brain involuntarily stopped working. Feeling like walls were closing in, she stood up as her salad was being delivered to the table and walked out of the restaurant on autopilot, certain that she would never set eyes on Sean again.

***
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:02 PM   #60
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It was only a couple of days after her ill-fated lunch with Sean that she took the train back to New York to met with Professor Porter, or David, as she called him now. They shared lattes and biscotti al fresco with an excellent view of the Flatiron Building. She felt a hint of unusually crisp air in the late August breeze, reminding her of the imminent frosty weather she would once again face alone. Alone in Paris, no less, it seemed like such a cruel joke to be living in the City of Love for the next four months.

He must have sensed something in Allie that was distracting their conversation, when he changed the conversation, “Allie, you seem… distressed, about something, what’s going on with you?”

“I saw Sean on Friday,” she whispered without hesitation. She wanted so much to be strong and confident around David, but at this point she was also desperate to share her misery with someone, anyone. She hadn’t been able to get a hold of Maia for days. Now that she was in Europe living with Julien, she seemed harder to track down than ever.

“The ex?” David sighed.

Allie nodded, “He’s engaged to his high school girlfriend now,” Allie said it out loud. As much as she tried to tune it out, she had heard his words and knew it was real.

“Aw, Al,” he sighed deeper, “that sucks.”

“He was skinny too, he got deathly ill while he was in Haiti and lost a ton of weight,” she looked up at David to measure his reaction, having suspected him to be a fat admirer.

“He had been pretty heavy, hadn’t he?” Her former professor admitted that he noticed. She had introduced Sean to David when he visited Cornell during her senior year, and they had met again at her graduation. She always wondered if David had noticed that her boyfriend was overweight and growing.

“Yeah, he apparently got a really horrible bug, some kind of parasitic infection,” she explained. “He came back about 100 pounds lighter.”

“So, what bothers you more? That he’s engaged or that he’s thin?” David asked the question very bluntly.

Allie’s eyes opened wide. It was a big question. “I’m more bothered that he’s engaged, obviously,” she knew that was the truth. She could have loved him at any size. Still, his change was symbolic; she had literally lost the man she once had loved more than anything.

“But you seem very disappointed he’s no longer fat,” he pressed her.

“I am,” she half smiled, feeling her cheeks flush. “I preferred his bigger size.”

“Yep,” David grinned and nodded knowingly. “I always thought you might have a thing for that.”

“I always thought you might too,” Allie grinned back.

“I do,” he acknowledged without hesitation.

“I’ve never really talked to anyone I know, like in person, about this,” she admitted to him. “Maia kind of knows, but doesn’t quite get it, you know?”

“It’s okay Allie,” he looked at her warmly, “but are you fine with it? I mean, you dated a big guy, out in the open, introduced him to your family, friends... you don’t seem ashamed of your preference.”

“I’m not ashamed to date fat guys,” she said, out loud, surprising herself and looking away. Saying the word fat was odd to her, she always avoided it. “It’s just weird to talk about what’s... well... beneath it.”

“What’s beneath it?” he asked.

“Like more than the preference; you know, the fetish part of it,” she whispered apprehensively.

David nodded, “Allie, you’re totally normal. Everyone has preferences, and if we’re lucky, those preferences will manifest themselves in who we choose to be with. But people don’t usually go around talking about their sexuality and what turns them on in bed, so it’s okay if that part is not out there in the open too, right?”

“Sure,” she shrugged her shoulders, never having really thought about it that way. The fetish side of her preference felt like such a horrible secret, but most people kept their private sexual thoughts to themselves, whatever they were. This realization made her feel at least a little more normal.

“So you can be okay with it if you’re into weight gain, or encouraging a partner to get fatter,” he stated matter-of-factly, causing Allie’s cheeks to flare up red again. “It’s just thoughts and ideas, and everyone gets to have those. As long as you’re not holding someone captive and force-feeding them against their will, you’re not wrong to have your own feelings,” he shared.

Allie was surprised he just started talking out loud about it like that, but she was relieved too. “What about you? Are you into those things?” She felt flutters in her stomach asking such a personal question of her former professor.

“To some extent,” he shared openly. “My wife has gained a fair amount of weight during our marriage and it’s kept me a happy man,” he winked. Allie was elated to hear another human being say something like that out loud. “She’s more content in her skin than she was when I first met her, but she still feels pressure to lose weight too, which isn’t easy for me to deal with when I just want her happy.”

“And fat,” Allie laughed.

“And fat,” he admitted with a big smile.

“I can relate to the pressure she feels though,” Allie admitted. “It’s weird, how much I’m open to fat acceptance for others, and how much I enjoy fat on other bodies, but cannot keep myself from falling into the ‘must be skinny’ mentality.”

“I’ve been concerned about you... you get... so thin, sometimes,” he admitted. “You look healthy now, but I’ve been worried before. I know I shouldn’t say anything, it’s your body, but I just care about you...” he trailed off uncomfortably.

Allie smiled and nodded. It was nice to have him care about her as a fellow human and not have it be about judgement or looks.

“Sean told me I looked healthy too but it just made me feel fat. I have issues... I know that. But it’s hard to know what’s normal, anymore, or what’s healthy, and what’s too thin. It’s like I’m skewed to always think I need to be thinner, and all the while I don’t think a 300 pound man is really all that fat.”

“They’re calling that body image dysmorphia these days,” David chuckled.

“Maia has always been on my case about it,” Allie was reminded by the admonishing from her best friend while Maia herself was always dieting.

“How is Maia, anyway?” David’s face brightened.

“Oh, she’s fabulous,” Allie grinned, glad for the topic change. “I saw her a lot while I was in London. She’s living in Belgium now with her very own FA,” Allie laughed anxiously.

“I’m happy for both of them then,” he winked.

“Is it hard, as a professor, to see all of those big beautiful girls in class? Girls like Maia? And not be distracted?” Allie blurted, realizing it was a little inappropriate to ask.

“Maia is very beautiful,” he smiled, “having her in class made me wish for my undergrad life back,” he admitted.

“How do you mean?” Allie probed further, now that he had opened up.

“Oh, not that I would ever cross that line,” he was quick to clarify his ethics, “I just didn’t make the most of it when I was younger. I was closeted...” he shared with a frown. “I dated the cute little sorority girls like I was supposed to. I would worry that I was gay because I didn’t really want to get them all in bed, like my friends all did. But then I’d see a gorgeous big girl and I’d realize, more and more over time, that I wasn’t gay, it was just another kind of girl that I wanted.”

He continued, “So one time, after a party, I ended up sleeping with a girl that I had a crush on for months. She was so pretty, and very heavy. Neither one of us were drunk, or anything like that. It was so intimate and comfortable, it finally felt right.”

Allie knew exactly what he was talking about, just like her first time with Sean, in the pool house. “So what happened with her?”

“One of my buddies was dating her roommate and found out. He told all the guys I had gone whale riding and they teased me for weeks about it, constantly making fat jokes. It was painful. I didn’t have the confidence to deal with it, and stand up to them. I was so ashamed, and I couldn’t get past it. I had always thought of myself as a leader, but in this case I was a coward. I still hate myself for what I did to her.”

“What did you do?” Allie was riveted.

“I pretended I didn’t know her; just flat out ignored her,” he said quietly.

Allie nodded, feeling badly for him as well as the girl. He was still paying penance, all these years later.

“So even though you were hurt by Sean,” he looked into her eyes, “you have nothing to be ashamed of, and that’s a gift, Allie, it really is. I’m just glad I met my wife after that part of my life was over. I learned my lesson and was grown up enough to not care what anyone thought about dating a girl her size. Of course, we met in grad school, so it was easier. Fat jokes are less acceptable in among academics; everyone is so damn politically correct,” he laughed.

Allie did take some comfort in those wise words. It didn’t make her any happier, but at least she was true to her heart.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:04 PM   #61
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January 2005

The weeks and months in her graduate semester Paris had passed in a blur, as Allie went through the motions of life, studying and writing her dissertation. She was not eating enough, as she seemed accustomed to during times of stress and sadness. The coldest month of winter brought her back to New York to start the Spring semester at Columbia. Encouraged by her mentor-friendship with David, she continued to develop intellectual and professional contacts, but her social and personal life was shut off like a dry faucet. She refused to let anyone into her life, learning to turn down dates with optimal skill and grace. She didn’t talk nearly enough with Maia anymore either, as Maia was making her life in Belgium with Julien.

During a very frozen mid-January weekend, she took the train to Philly to have lunch with Jane. Allie was getting very slight again. Being in France among the effortlessly thin and beautiful Parisian women was pressure enough, but her sadness in knowing Sean was planning his North Philly wedding with his trampy bride-to-be made her feel a nagging nausea that further removed the desire to eat.

"Allie, I'm worried about you," Jane took her hand as they walked into the tea shop where Jane always took Allie after they hadn’t seen each other in a while.

"Mom, I'm fine," Allie stopped her.

"Okay... maybe you just need to take a vacation, go somewhere warm," Jane smiled. “You seem so... pallid.”

"Mom, I have school starting, and ongoing projects. I can't just go off to Grand Cayman on a whim."

"I didn't go on a whim," Jane frowned.

"What are you talking about?" Allie was a little annoyed her mother had suddenly taken off by herself to the Caribbean for a couple of weeks after Christmas.

"Allie, I need to tell you something," she started.

"What?" Allie demanded. The last time she heard those words, Sean had stomped on her heart with news of his pending marriage to Janeane.

"I've been diagnosed with ovarian cancer," she spoke calmly. "So, since I was going to be forced on a sabbatical for surgery and chemo anyway, I decided to spend a little time somewhere nice... and Grand Cayman is really beautiful this time of year," Jane smiled confidently with a wink. “Daddy flew down for a few days too. We hadn’t done that in years,” she was really glowing in spite of her diagnosis.

Allie was startled, feeling horrible for begrudging her mother some time in the sun. But she remained composed, taking her cues from her mother’s unruffled demeanor, "You have a surgery planned? You'll be okay, right?"

"I'm going to be fine dear," her mother reassured her. Allie knew her mother was made of steel. She was a fighter, it was nothing to worry about. Jane would tell her if it couldn’t be treated, she was sure of it. Her mother was always brutally honest, if nothing else.

"I'll take you to all the treatments, or whatever you need, Mom," Allie took Jane's hand.

Her mother chuckled, "You didn’t call me Jane," she softened. "It took cancer for you to call me Mom?" she laughed more.

"Whatever, Jane," Allie smiled, squeezing her mother's hand back.

It was strange, but the horrible news did make Allie feel more connected to her mother. Being only a week into the spring semester, it was an easy decision to take some time off to care for her mother. Kenneth was constantly traveling, Holden was busy with his family and studies in California, and they didn't have much more family than that.

Allie threw herself into the caregiver role. Jane kept Allie busy with handling the business of the estate, running errands, and filling in at meetings for her numerous charities and causes. The weeks of spring passed like a blur and Allie hardly had a chance to think about the gravity of her mother’s illness while in plain sight of it. Jane had given her daughter the gift of purpose in the face of an unthinkable outcome.

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Old 04-26-2013, 12:06 PM   #62
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June 2005

Jimmy's eyes looked helplessly into her own. They now shared something that had absolutely nothing to do with their short string of dates four years earlier.

"Allie," he hugged her tightly as tears began to fall all over again and she collapsed into his body. He held her strongly and firmly, not letting go until she regained her composure.

"Sorry," she croaked out.

"You can't be," he smiled, tears welling up in his own eyes as he wiped hers off of her cheeks.

"I'm glad you're here," she smiled back at him, never thinking she’d feel such relief to be in Jimmy Oliver’s arms.

"You need to go for a walk? Get some air?" He offered.

"Sure," she exhaled, realizing that she had been receiving guests for almost two hours and was about to collapse.

They walked quietly along a path though the campus, when he spoke, "That's a mob scene back there."

"My mom was pretty popular, I guess," she joked through her pain.

"It shows that she made a difference to a lot of people. That's what matters. Not how long you live, but the people you change for the better; the people you mean something to," he showed a side of himself that Allie had never imagined he had back when they were dating four years before. She had barely looked at him until that moment. She paused and realized he wasn't Jimmy the player she had dated, but a thicker, broader, more grown up man. He was still gorgeous, but now those eyes were filled with honestly too.

"That kind of makes it hurt more," Allie sighed. "All those people are sad, but they will all go home and move on. I'll still be stuck with this horrible, numb feeling that won't go away," she felt tears rising up through her body again.

"I know," he hugged her again. She had become so delicately thin that his strong embraces made her feel like she momentarily disappeared. It was a feeling that gave her an unexpected comfort.

"I was surprised to get a card from you," he changed the subject to his own father's death a few months before.

"My mom found out about your dad while I was with her at the hospital during one of her chemo sessions," Allie explained. "Seeing her so changed, so reduced by her illness, it happened so fast. It kind of gave me get a sense of what you were going through... and I wanted to let you know... that you weren't alone in your pain, I guess, if that makes sense."

"It does," he half-smiled with understanding. "I didn’t open it for a couple of weeks after I received it. It was getting too hard to fight the urge to cry. My father never wanted me to cry," Jimmy self-consciously brushed an errant tear from his face, took a deep breath and sat down on a bench outside St. Thomas church. "When I finally read your words, I cried... really hard, Allie. It just all finally came out."

"I'm sorry," she started. She remembered what she wrote to him, about remembering the best things that have happened in your life; and the best things your parents did for you, even when sometimes they disappointed you. And then making room for more good things to come by letting go of the anger you had once felt, and more importantly, the guilt you feel over that anger. She wrote to him after having tea with her mother in the hospital, which had become a distracting ritual for them in the midst of her excruciating treatments. She had definitely felt her share of anger at her mother over the years, and had also felt a lot of guilt over it in the weeks before she died.

"No, it was what I finally needed to hear, and I want to thank you for it," he whispered. "It was just so unexpected from you. You really blew me off when we dated, I didn’t think you even remembered who I was."

She winced, regretting how immature she was in dealing with his interest in her. They hadn't been serious, but once she got caught up in her romance with Sean, Jimmy just faded away. "I was young and stupid," she tried to explain.

"I really liked you, you know," Jimmy smiled softly. "Was I too aggressive? You really shied away when I tried to get closer."

"Maybe?" she knew that was part of her discomfort at the time. "You had a reputation, you know, for dating a different girl each summer."

He nodded, acknowledging his past. "Yeah, I know it must have seemed that way."

"It wasn't? I mean, I know you didn't know I existed before that summer, but I remember you, summer after summer, always with a different gorgeous girl."

"Is that what you thought? That I didn't know you existed? Allie, we've known each other since we were kids."

"I was a chubby dork, Jimmy; you never gave me the time of day."

He shook his head in disbelief, "I always thought you were cute, Allie, but you were smart, and so cerebral, even as kids, it seemed like you didn't want anything to do with the rest of us. It wasn't until you started hanging around with Beth and Tara that I was able to approach you."

"So it was just a coincidence that I got skinny and that's when you asked me out?" She felt her lingering anger over the way he was nice to her after she lost weight.

"I got the impression that it just made you feel more outgoing and available," he told her frankly. "Either way you were pretty."

"Right," she rolled her eyes and shook her head. She had gotten a little better about her self-image issues, but she still didn't believe Jimmy Oliver, of all people, telling her that she was pretty before she lost weight.

"Allie, it's like this... Marilyn Monroe was a beautiful woman, and Audrey Hepburn was a beautiful woman too. There are all kinds of pretty."

"Jane would not have agreed with you," she laughed, recognizing the emotional dissonance she felt in resenting her mother's slenderlust, even on the day of her funeral.

"People like what they like, Allie," he shrugged his shoulders. "Anyway, it wasn't that I was trying to get every girl, I just kept finding out they were not bright, or not funny, or not interesting. I saw that in you. It was kind of a blow when I finally dated someone of substance, and she wasn't impressed."

"It wasn't you, Jimmy, you were a total catch, really. I was just not ready for anything serious at the time," she fibbed. There was no way she could even think about Sean right now, let alone talk about him with Jimmy.

"So what about now?" He asked, "Are you in a relationship?"

"No," she admitted.

"Yeah, you've had your hands full," he put his arm around her in sympathy.

"I better get back," Allie stood up, hitching up her size 4 skirt that had become too big, along with the rest of her clothes. She knew she had to start making time to eat again, now that she wouldn't be spending all her time at the hospital and running errands to care for her mother, while helping her father with the business of managing a maintenance-intense estate. This thought of being there now, without her mother made her break down and sob again.

Jimmy stood up and held her for a few minutes, letting her cry. She stopped and looked up at him with her tear streaked face. "Allie, it's okay, you need to cry," revealing some wisdom in his eyes that she hadn’t ever seen there before.

He kissed her cheek, took her arm and silently walked her back to the reception.

The following day, friends and family gathered at their home to be together. Maia had flown over from Europe as quickly as should could after Allie called her with the news.

“So that’s ‘The’ Jimmy,” Maia took her hand and walked her out towards the gardens to get some air.

“Yep,” Allie managed a smile while Jimmy looked over at her with concern in his eyes.

“You didn’t tell me he was that gorgeous,” she whispered with a giggle, obviously trying to distract Allie from the horribleness of the day with her favorite topic, men.

“I told you he was good looking,” Allie whispered. She thought back to that summer, and the way she had harbored so much hope for a future with Sean instead. She glanced over at the pool house, remembering that there was a time she felt really optimistic about love. Then her eyes scanned to the pool... her beloved Apollo, Daphne, Aphrodite and Eros... and the fountain. Then she remembered those damn coins she threw at the Trevi... superstitions always seemed to backfire, didn’t they?

Sean’s mom had come to the funeral, which was comforting and disconcerting at the same time. She told Allie that Sean wanted to give his condolences but did not want his presence to upset her, and decided it was best if he wasn’t there. Allie nodded in agreement; he was right about that. In parting, Pam hugged Allie and whispered in her ear, “I’ll always wish it had been you.” The words should have stung, but oddly, they emboldened Allie. She was done hurting for Sean, she didn’t have room for it anymore.

“Allie, he looks like a Calvin Klein model, seriously,” Maia’s pulled her best friend back to the topic of Jimmy. Her eyes were wide looking at him. “And you dumped him? He clearly still likes you,” Maia observed. Allie looked over at him, catching his eyes on her.

“I want to hear about how things are going with you... and Julien,” Allie changed the subject, wishing to escape into Maia’s tales of life in Belgium. Julien was working in investor relations for a major shipping company in Bruges. Not long after Allie’s visits from London the spring before, Maia had gotten a position as a teaching assistant in architectural history at the University of Ghent. Allie couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous of Maia’s success and happiness, since Allie had put her own life on hold over the last several months. Still, she couldn’t be happier for her good friend; it was hard to feel anything but joy for someone so wonderful and considerate.

“We’re just having fun, Allie,” Maia shrugged her shoulders with a happy smile, holding back a little of her obvious bliss. Allie had observed that Maia had put on even more weight over the year since they had last seen each other. Normally Maia would have agonized about it right away, mentioning it several times during their reunion conversation, especially after spending so much time away from each other. But she now seemed okay with it, which gave Allie some comfort that her best friend was truly happy. She had always wanted that for Maia, almost more that she ever wanted it for herself. Or maybe it was that she didn’t think happiness was in the cards for her? True love was an obvious destiny for an outgoing, bright light of a person like Maia, but maybe it wasn’t meant for everyone.

Allie looked over by the garden, noticing her father walking with little Ella on his feet, showing her the various types of flora that grew on the estate. The scene momentarily made her happy, and pleased that her mother got to know Ella before she died. But these comforting thoughts quickly turned to a deep sadness when she realized that her mother would never know her own children, if she had any. She turned into Maia’s shoulder and sobbed. Maia rubbed her back, whispering, “Oh Cherie, I wish I could take it all away for you,” almost identical words that Jimmy had whispered in her ear the day before.


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Old 04-26-2013, 12:09 PM   #63
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Over the next weeks, Jimmy had become a friend; a refuge from the emotional pain she had been feeling for the last two years. Allie would have moments of feeling fine, and then remember things, like she wouldn't ever have a mother's day with her mother again; or be able to celebrate their birthdays with tea at the Rittenhouse. The never-really-ending ache of rejection and emptiness that Sean had left behind hadn't helped her ability to cope with this loss either. She had been at a minimal functioning level, going through the motions of dealing with family business and going back to grad school. Sometimes she slept a lot, and sometimes not at all.

But Jimmy's calm, patient presence in her life gave her some peace back. He took things slow, built trust with her and eventually they became an item. It was nice to be held in someone's arms, and be needed. At first it was awkward to be intimate with someone who wasn't Sean. He certainly didn't feel anything like Sean. But she grew to appreciate Jimmy’s comfortable presence with his slightly broad yet firm frame.

Jimmy was also good for her health. She began to eat normally again and regained enough weight to end all of the "you're too thin" comments she had been bombarded with in the days surrounding the funeral. She also took tennis back up with a vengeance, feeling the force of anger she had been sequestering in her body surge through her racket as she hit balls, match after match. She found joy in doing well in club tournaments again. She even learned to appreciate it when club members commented to her about how much she looked like her mother on the courts, and how proud Jane would be of her talented daughter.

At the annual Club Independence Party, Allie's father opened up in a way he hadn't been able to since the funeral. They had rarely seen each other in those weeks, much less talked about anything more than the weather. Both of them were obviously avoiding the pain of being around each other without Jane as their mutual foil.

"Your mother would be thrilled you're dating him," he smiled. "But is that what you're doing? Trying to make her happy?"

"Why do you say that?" She felt defensive.

"Don't get upset, Allie,” Kenneth knew he was on the defense with his fragile daughter. “You're doing what you need to do move on; I'm honestly glad you're doing better these days. I was really worried; your mother and I were both worried. I just don't know if this is you now," he glanced over at Jimmy who was talking to some old friends Allie didn’t like.

"What do you mean?" Her defensiveness grew.

"You're not a country club girl, Allie. This just seems like what you think your mother wanted for you."

"It is what she wanted," she rolled her eyes. "But what's wrong with me wanting it to?"

"I can't tell if it is what you really want," Kenneth pressed her in an unusually delicate conversation. He had rarely commented on her personal life, especially as it related to men. "I could see how happy you were when you were around Sean. You don't seem to have that same joy with Jimmy."

"Sean is not an option, Dad," Allie grew cold. "And, you're right, I'm not the same person, none of us are," she whispered while a tear ran down her cheek. "Since Mom died," she choked up.

"I'm sorry Al, I know, believe me. No one feels her loss more than me,” he choked up, making Allie feel instantly guilty for her own self-pity in the context of what her father lost, his soul mate. “I just hope you do realize that you have more than two options. There's a whole world out there. Jimmy is a good kid... I just want to see you with someone who brings out your best."

Allie hugged and smiled at her Dad. She wasn't going to convince him that she was happy. She knew that deep down he was right about one thing. She had felt a passion with Sean that Jimmy would probably never give her. But she was done with passion and wanted normalcy and stability so much more. It was certainly better to be safe and contented than continue feeling the revolving door of pain and numbness she had been enduring for more than two wretched years.

That autumn, she started back in her program in New York to finish her masters, traveling back to Philly on the weekends to see Jimmy, who had now been given a Vice-President title while he learned the ropes of the family’s dealership business, as the heir apparent. It was during a weekend visit to New York, in Central Park, Jimmy took Allie on a picnic. With autumn leaves falling around her, he brought out a ring box and asked her to marry him. She felt it must be right; such a beautiful setting and an even more beautiful ring. She agreed to be Mrs. James Naughton Oliver III.

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Old 04-28-2013, 09:20 AM   #64
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Merci for continuing this story that seems to be turning into a real family saga.
But as a Tolstoy fans I can never get enough of those, so I right after finishing this installment I'm impatient for more !
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:53 AM   #65
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Oh, this was not where I expected the story to go, at all! I thought we were in line for things to turn around to a happy ending soon, and instead these new chapters cover years of change, loss, and evolution, and seem to be setting things up for a very different overall story--thank you for this surprise! Also thank you for providing so many new chapters of update
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:19 PM   #66
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Esther has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Esther has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Esther has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Esther has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Esther has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Esther has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Esther has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Esther has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Esther has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Esther has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Esther has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!
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I'm so glad to see that this has been updated! <3
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:27 AM   #67
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March 2006

Allie needed Jimmy's opinion quickly to finalize the wording on their wedding invitations so she could get them printed and mailed out in just the right time before their wedding in June. With only three months left, there was so much to do. She couldn't bear the thought of making a single faux pas. Her wedding planner was a lot like her mother; every single detail could not be left to chance.

She ran up to his office, but his assistant, Becky, was gone again. She rarely seemed at her post. Allie had also been surprised that Jimmy had hired such a butterball of a girl; most of the women working in luxury car sales were lean and mean city girls. Becky was pretty, though, Allie could see that. Not gorgeous like Maia, but still lovely. She was always well made up and dressed in trendy plus-sized clothing, reminding her of those audacious big girls at the websites Allie visited when privately escaping into her fat fetish.

She grabbed a pen and post-it note from Becky’s desk and began to write a note, but stopped when she heard noise coming from inside of Jimmy’s office. It sounded like his voice, but muffled. Maybe he was in a meeting or on a conference call? She figured he could pause for a moment; she was in such a hurry, and it would only take a second.

She lightly turned the knob, but it was locked. Her ear now pressed to the door, she could hear a higher voice, giggling. There was definitely a woman inside. Angry and determined to know what was going on, Allie started looking though Becky’s office drawers and found a set of keys. She recognized the one for his office, same as on Jimmy’s set of keys. She quietly inserted the key, turning the knob to unlock and slowly opened the door.

What she saw shocked, surprised and gravely embarrassed her. There was Jimmy, shirtless, with his hands roaming around Becky’s soft belly, with her pants unbuttoned, exposing hanging flesh packed in lacy underwear, stretched thin by the round bulges of her love handles.

Allie’s mortification turned into a jealous rage. Here was Jimmy, fondling this chubbette, while she had been agonizing over diet and exercise to fit into her custom designed Peter Langner bridal gown. It was a beautiful but unforgiving cascade of silk and satin that would reveal every a single curve of flesh, should any exist at all on the blushing bride. Jimmy had praised her for her dedicated fitness, and now she was witnessing him fondling another woman’s fat rolls. Her brain was ready to explode.

Jimmy and Becky both looked back into Allie’s eyes like two deer in headlights. Becky quickly grabbed her button down shirt and put it on, fumbling over the buttons, struggling to cover up. Allie felt a horrible surge of wickedness rise up in her, and before she could think, the words came tumbling out of her mouth, “You should choose clothing that easier to button up around you if you’re going to get caught in the act,” Allie spat out.

“Allie,” Jimmy implored her to hold her tongue.

“Save it,” she put her hand up to Jimmy, barely glancing at him while glaring at Becky in an attempt to make her more uncomfortable. Allie hadn’t ever felt so much vindictiveness, coursing through her veins like ice water, but it now overwhelmed her. She watched Becky’s reddened face fill with tears as she got her pants buttoned around her generous waist, zippered over her ample lower belly. The mortified girl tried to leave on the other side of the room, but Allie moved to stop her. Becky tried to maneuver around her, but Allie was too quick and stopped her again.

More awful words fell out of Allie’s mouth as she assessed her prey up and down, “You are a pretty girl, Becky, you should find a man who likes you out in the open, not one who will only screw the fat girl in private.” A tear fell out of Becky’s eye. Seeing that tear, Allie regained her humanity and suddenly felt very guilty for her cruel words. She stood aside to let Becky leave.

Allie then turned to Jimmy, “Really? Becky?” she was still angry and redirected her anger squarely at Jimmy. He was the real culprit. Most girls would have a hard time saying no to Jimmy, much less a naive, young girl like Becky. “I don’t know what’s worse, that you cheated on me, or that you did it with someone you knew would get hurt.”

“Me hurt her? You’re the one who just called her fat,” Jimmy started.

“She is fat,” Allie retorted, “But I had no idea you liked ‘em that way.”

“I didn’t either,” he honestly stated. Allie was at a loss for words. Was Jimmy coming out as an FA? The irony struck her to the core.

“So you decided all of a sudden you want that?” Allie couldn’t even say the word ‘fat’ anymore, she knew this was sailing too close to her own issues.

“I know you do, Allie. I see you looking at big guys, all the time; you don’t hide it well,” Jimmy retorted, making Allie feel a wash of anxiety rush over her. “I started to wonder about it, and then I checked your browser history,” he admitted.

Allie felt sick. Her private, secret fat world had been pricked and the air was flying out of it. She visited fat and gaining sites all the time. It was her only outlet within this artificial world she had built with Jimmy, after Sean broke her heart and her mother passed away.

Jimmy continued, “I was relieved, actually. You never enjoyed sex with me. I used to agonize over it, until I figured out it was because I wasn’t fat enough for your real tastes.”

Allie closed her eyes and began to cry. He was right. She had been lying to herself for convenience and security. For a long time it seemed like she could get away with it, but it didn’t work.

Jimmy continued, letting all honesty prevail. “You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I thought maybe there was something to the whole fat thing that I had been missing. I mean, if you liked it, maybe I would too, or something...” he trailed off, his hand brushing though his hair in frustration to explain. “Becky made herself available, and it,” he paused, “happened,” he admitted sheepishly.

Allie was blown away by his openness in the midst of being caught as a cheater. Yet she realized she had to take a lot of the blame for this state of affairs. Jimmy was a jerk for cheating on her, but she hadn’t been exactly honest with him either. She had never cheated on him by having actual sex with someone else, but she had thought about it a lot. Not to mention all of the flirting she did with big guys whenever she got the chance. And the countless times she pleasured herself with fantasies of obese men making love to her, while being sexually cold to Jimmy.

“I’m sorry, Jimmy,” Allie began to sob, “For everything. I’ve never really been fair to you. Ever. Not even when we first dated.”

Jimmy stood in front of her, rubbing her arms to comfort her. “Here you are apologizing when I was the one cheating.” She looked up at him with a surprising amount of empathy. He really wasn’t a bad guy; he was just confused and misled by perceptions, just like Allie had been deceived by her own judgment.

They talked through things civilly and parted as friends. Allie was relieved it was as amicable as it could be. But although they agreed to keep in touch, those were vain words meant to soothe each other at the end of a broken relationship. What was to be the Main Line wedding of the year became hushed society gossip that died off with Allie’s move back to New York.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:29 AM   #68
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November 2006

Allie straddled his thick leg, her body pressed firmly into his belly that spread across his lap while he reclined in his oversized office chair. Her eyes glazed over the white veneer walls of his office before she closed them and fully felt the way his fingers glazed between her legs, causing her to feel a magnificent excitement build up in her body.

“You can’t get enough, can you,” he whispered in her ear.

“Not really,” she murmured back, stroking her fingers along his paunch, and reaching underneath it to excite him more. She leaned over to get into his top desk drawer, fished out a Godiva bonbon, and traced his lips with it.

“Ugh, Allie, you already fed me such a huge lunch,” he grinned, playfully trying to feign some limitations.

“It’s just one more little treat,” she continued to brush it along his lips, her other hand gently jiggling his love handles.

He opened his mouth and moaned lightly, expressing a sort of pleasured acquiescence. Once he finished the chocolate and licked his lips in satisfaction, she reached for the drawer again.

He grabbed her hand and held it behind her back. “Oh no you don’t, my turn to tease you now.” He got up, holding her tight, and pushed her against his desk, lifting her on top of it. She watched with excitement as he worked his belt open, struggled with his pants button and quickly worked his way inside of her. With the rhythmic bounce of his flab onto her body, it didn’t take long for either of them to come. The tension had been building all morning, as it seemed to each day since this affair began a couple of months before.

It wasn’t ideal. Van was her boss; well, her boss’s boss. He was a named partner and firm co-founder. It was a daunting predicament. Having sex with a married man was questionable enough, even if he was separated; but it jeopardized her career if anyone found out. It just felt so good. She was finally carefree and sexually satisfied; something she hadn’t felt in a very long time. They had found a rare connection in each other: he was into being fat, helping her find the words for what she had kept locked away inside her mind for so long; and she was incredibly turned on by encouraging a man into well-rounded corpulence.

She had wondered why he took her under his wing in the first place. A new associate was hardly ready to work closely with a partner. “Dr. Porter told me you have a passion for preservation,” he had told her in their first meeting, a few days into her hiring at a small but up and coming architectural firm in SoHo.

“I do,” she smiled nervously. A handsome, successful man with a broad belly and deep rich voice intimidated her like nothing else.

“He gave you a glowing reference,” he smiled, cupping his hands beneath his belly. She tore her eyes away from it and back into his. He seemed almost amused.

“I’m glad to hear that,” she didn’t know what else to say.

“That’s why I’m asking you to be part of a special project I’ve been given by the Landmarks Conservancy; a French Gothic near Central Park. It’s been renovated too many times in too many different ways and now it needs real work to bring it back to the original beauty.”

Her eyes lit up, “It sounds like a fantastic opportunity!”

“Bill is the project manager,” Van was sure to place her manager between them, “He’s a nuts and bolts engineer. But I want you to do the research and be his visual and historical resource.”

Allie thankfully accepted his challenge and got to work quickly. Within a week of working day and night, she had amassed a thick binder full of research on the original architectural firm and the building ownership history. Van set a meeting for them to go to visit the site and discuss her notes.

As they traveled by cab up Sixth Avenue, Allie could feel her chest pounding. She wanted to impress Van with some semblance of grace and wits but simply felt speechless in his presence. He seemed comfortable, though, allowing himself to spread across a good part of the back seat.

When they reached the penthouse space, she could almost feel the years of history that the space had seen. Now showing slightly dilapidated post-modern style, she felt the walls screaming out to her to be restored to their gilded elegance.

She turned to study Van from the side, his masculine features gave way to softened cheeks and a thick neck. And the perfect shape of his belly, wide, soft and well fed. Her body felt a throbbing ache. It had been so long since she felt sexually satisfied.

Well, there was that one weekend back in June, while visiting her brother in California. She had driven down to Los Angeles to attend the AIA National Convention. On her return drive, she decided to stop over in Santa Barbara to check out a couple of wineries. It was the weekend she was supposed to have gotten married to Jimmy. It wasn’t that she was still heartbroken about it, but being somewhere else, where no one knew her, was a perfect way to get through it.

She found herself lingering at a tasting event close to her hotel. She was drawn to the very cute and very tubby operations manager, chatting him up until the evening ended. Plenty tipsy and feeling reckless, she boldly invited him to her hotel room for a night cap. After a night of pure, raw sex and not much sleep, she slipped away the next morning leaving a simple note of appreciation, never having exchanged phone numbers or even last names. It was her chance to be someone else for just a few hours. She wasn’t proud of it, but it was what her body needed. And it certainly reminded her of why she liked what she liked.

Still, she was never comfortable with casual relations, and her sex life went back into dormancy while pursuing a budding career. But Van’s daily presence and confident charms had quickly torn down her resolve to wait for Mr. Right, when Mr. Right-Now was constantly lingering in her thoughts with his audacious display of fatness.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:30 AM   #69
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It wasn’t long into their affair that they understood each other’s predilections. Van had grown up as an athlete, surfing competitively, but dreamed of fatness. Allie fought childhood chubbiness, pushing herself hard to stay thin. They found a sexual bond that needed to be consummated, despite the utterly irresponsible nature of it.

Van had shared the extent of his complicated marriage with Allie. He had met his wife in England while working on his masters at University College. She was very different from the girls he had dated before: thin, wealthy, and detached. He told Allie that he was intrigued by Claire’s British indifference and reserve, despite the fact that she was devoid of curves and didn’t have any inclination to enjoy fatness.

When she turned 27, Claire had come into a large inheritance. Wanting to see her husband’s career flourish, they moved to New York and started the architectural firm with a big bankroll from her to set up a slick looking office and hire well-known talent that brought a consistent client base.

The turning point in their marriage came when Van, away from the beaches of California and the long walks of London, began to put on a few pounds. He told Allie that he hadn’t initially tried to get fat, but as he softened up, his wife noticed. At first she was playful, teasing him sternly about getting his fat ass to a gym. But those teasing insults spurned him to put on more intentional weight. He would secretly gorge in between meals, relishing the feeling of his straining shirts and tightening belt. Not finding it funny anymore, Claire insisted that Van go to a nutritionist or get on an eating plan. He told Allie that he had tried, but pretending to try was more exciting, hoping that his wife would continue to notice but come around to enjoying his new, thickening body.

She didn’t though. After finding candy wrappers in his jacket pockets, she told him she was leaving for London and wouldn’t return to him until he had lost weight. Van admitted to Allie he actually did try to diet, but once Allie walked into his office, eyeing his fat body, he stopped his efforts altogether. Claire had now been back in London for more than a year, only communicating with Van through business managers. They each had their reasons to stay married; Van needed her to keep her investment money in his firm, and Claire needed to keep her marriage intact to keep her father happy.

When Van told Allie all of this, she was shocked. How much, and yet how little she had in common with Claire. Part of Allie felt sorry for Claire, the poor little rich girl that Allie understood. And yet a woman who could not appreciate her gorgeously rotund husband was incomprehensible to Allie, who was living out an erotic fantasy with him.


"Have you always been into this?" Van nestled his chub into her body, as she fondled his belly after another late night tryst at her place.

"I don't know," she murmured. "There was enough anti-fat prejudice in my world growing up that I didn't even consider the idea. I really didn't even think about sex at all until I was in college."

"A late bloomer?" he tickled her along her arm.

"Something like that," she smiled through her words, realizing it.

"So what caused you to embrace the idea?" He probed more.

"I met a guy, who was on the chubby side," she admitted softly. "I knew I was into his size and when he gained weight I came to terms with the fact that I loved it."

"Did you feel ashamed?" He dug deeper.

"I did," she admitted, "I mean, I felt ashamed that I wanted him fat and to keep getting fatter, but I never felt ashamed of being with him. I fell in love with him, and then he managed to break my heart," she was honest.

"How on earth could someone do that to you?" He brushed her hair from her eyes.

"Long story," she offered. It was easier to talk to Van about fat lust than broken hearts.

"What about you?" It was Allie's turn, "How did you come to the realization that you wanted to be fat?"

"Always," he smiled. "I always wanted it, but I grew up in SoCal, you know. I was pretty serious about surfing, so anytime I'd deliberately gain a few pounds, it didn't stick. Either it would drag me down competitively, or I couldn't keep it on anyway."

"Did you ever admit to girls you wanted this?" She tapped his belly.

"No, not back then. I did decide for a while that I was an FA and went after fat girls," he smiled.

"Really?" Allie was now surprised since he had seemed to appreciate her thin physique. And Claire was runway model thin also, judging by the wedding picture she had seen of them at his office. She remembered the first time she saw it on his credenza, noticing how athletic and trim Van looked in the picture, and how much it turned her on to see how fat he had gotten since.

"Yep, I still am an FA. All of my girlfriends in college were bigger. I loved being with fat girls, especially when I was thinner. But now that I'm fat, I can really appreciate how this works when the tables are turned," he grinned, caressing Allie’s little waist.

"So how did it work for you with your wife? There wasn't any fat involved there," Allie giggled.

"Probably like you and your ex-fiancé," he teased back. Allie had told him about Jimmy and walking in the affair with his chubby Secretary. It was easy to talk about that, since she wasn't hurt nearly as badly as she had been by Sean. Van loved those details about her finding Becky with Jimmy in his office, practically getting off on the spiteful words that Allie shot at her tubby rival, even if Allie still felt a little guilty about it.

"Yeah, sex with a thin guy is like eating Wonder Bread. It holds the sandwich together, but doesn't taste like a damn thing," she laughed more, needing to see the humor in her tumultuous past. "Speaking of tasting..." Allie leaned over to her night stand where she kept the good Belgian chocolate she picked up during her last visit with Maia, grabbing a few pieces out to indulge her lover.

"You're a nasty little feeder," he mumbled jokingly as she shoved the treats in his mouth.

"You're a fat and greedy glutton" she teased him back, shaking his flabby gut and rubbing his hardened cock.

"You are not even real, are you?" he sighed, smiling, almost implying that what was happening existed in an alternate universe. Somehow that didn’t bother her at all; alternative universes were so much easier than real life. She gave him a sexy look and he heaved himself up on top of her for another round of lovemaking.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:31 AM   #70
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May 2007

Allie nestled into the wide wicker chair that gave her a perch to watch Manhattan awaken on a beautiful spring Saturday morning. She sipped her espresso, relishing the livening sounds of a new day. The sliding door opened and there was Van’s belly, robe opened to display his growing girth.

She smiled fondly as he stretched, watching his belly rise and fall in a jiggle. Nine months had passed since they began their affair and no one seemed the wiser. They had been able to hide it well at work, only sneaking in the occasional lovemaking session on his desk, and usually after hours. But these days they kept their trysts to his place or hers. They had certainly grown closer, sharing an enormously fat secret together, but had not exchanged the ‘I love you’s’ and commitments that came along as relationships developed. It was understood that he wasn’t divorcing his wife anytime soon, and Allie had no interest in marriage either.

"You’re phone rang a few times while I was in the shower, " he handed her the cell.

“You didn’t invite me in?” She pouted. “You know I love to get you clean,” she stood up and rubbed her hands around his body, slipping her fingers into the back rolls on either side of his blubbery body, as she did when soaping him off after a sweaty sex session.

“I have a lunch meeting,” he sighed.

“You work too many Saturdays,” she pouted more.

“Sorry, babe, that harder I work, the faster I can pay off Claire,” he had begun to talk seriously about releasing the agency from the debt he owed his wife.

“At least let me help you get dressed,” she pleaded with a grin. Allie loved to pull his shirt around his big belly and button him up, stuff his shirt into his large-waisted trousers, and help him tie his tie around his chubby neck. “Getting a fat boy dressed is almost as fun as stripping him down,” she winked.

After Van had left, she remembered her phone and looked at the missed calls. All of them were from her brother, which was odd, since she hadn’t talked to him in months. She sat down on Van’s bed and called him back.

“Allie, we need you,” he whispered softly.

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Old 08-16-2013, 07:34 AM   #71
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With this update, I have very little more down "on paper" but it's all in my head, so it is going somewhere, I promise.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:03 PM   #72
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Updates were great! I can't wait for more.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:04 PM   #73
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Oh wow, what a treat these latest sections were! I love the roller-coaster ride that this story is, I never know how it is going to twist next
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:27 PM   #74
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fat hiker has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!fat hiker has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!fat hiker has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!fat hiker has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!fat hiker has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!fat hiker has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!fat hiker has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!fat hiker has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!fat hiker has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!fat hiker has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!fat hiker has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!
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I love the twists and turns in this story too.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:43 PM   #75
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Twists and turns thirded, love those & can't wait for more.

But I understand your time constraints - right now I don't have the time and necessary peace of writing to finish my stories either ...
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