BHM A Cry for Help

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Mar 20, 2017
In a salt fog
“I need help Agricola and Vine” is all that Jonathan’s text read, but that was enough to get me to put on my snow boots and my winter coat and head out to scrape off the car. There was just something off about those six words, sent to me at 11:24 pm on a quiet Tuesday night, that made me believe I had to go.

Also, he hadn’t answered any of my texts in response.

Big snowflakes were starting to fall as I pulled out of my building’s parking lot. Agricola was not too close, but with very little traffic on the roads at this hour, it didn’t take me long to reach it. I don’t know what I was expecting - a flat tire, a broken leg? - but a coatless and very drunk Jonathan leaning on the side of a brick building was not it.

“Mara,” he said. “You came for me. You’re here.”

“What happened? Are you okay?” I asked as I approached him. That last question was an obvious no. His dark hair was disheveled and his eyes were unfocused in a way I’d never seen before. You see, Jonathan doesn’t drink. Never touched a drop in the four years I’ve known him. He’s never said why and I’ve never asked. Lotta good reasons not to drink, but some of them aren’t something you’d want to share with just anybody.

Not that I’m just anybody. Jonathan and I worked together at a nonprofit for two years and became workplace buds. I might have been interested in more, but, well, he had a girlfriend. We kept in touch. I have to admit we’ve gotten closer in the past six months, which maybe not coincidentally is how long it’s been since his girlfriend dumped him for some dude she met at her crossfit box. But I didn’t think I’d reached distress call status.

“I lost my keys,” said Jonathan blearily. “And my car.” He looked down the empty street as if expecting his Nissan to materialize.

“What happened?” I ask again. But it’s no use.

“I don’t think I should be driving anyway,” Jonathan informed me. “I’ve had a few, several, a lot of whiskeys.”

“Okay,” I said, opening the passenger door of my Civic. “You can come back and find your car tomorrow. Your chariot awaits.

I end up having practically man-handle him into the seat. As I’m only 5’3 and he’s 6’2 and 200 and something pounds - I’m not sure exactly but the “and something” is definitely a higher number than it used to be - this is a feat. My arm sinks into his soft side but I am too worried to pay attention to that the way I normally would.

“Take me home, Lara. Lara Croft. My rescuer. Wait, take me to Burger King. I need to soak this up,” he babbles as I start the car.

Well, I’m not one to refuse when a handsome man tells me he needs to stuff his face full of fattening food. There’s a BK not far away and I pull into the drive thru lane.

“What do you want?” I ask.

“Isn’t that the question,” he says. “But a bacon and cheese whopper meal with a side of chicken nuggets, a coke, onion rings and a caramel sundae.”

What is happening. Am I dreaming?

I repeat his order to the tiny voice on the intercom. I pay and pass him the paper bag. He unwraps a burger and bites in as if he is starving. By the time I get home, every crumb is gone.

Jonathan rubs a greasy hand on his shirt. “Oof. That hit the spot.”

I let him lean on me as we make our way inside. The mirrored wall of the elevator shows our reflection- a small, dark-haired woman propping up a tall man with a thick frame and a distinctly rounded gut. We look good together, touching like this.

In my apartment, I decant him onto the couch while I rummage for spare sheets, blankets and pillows. Obviously I’m not going to get any sense out of him tonight. When I come back into the living room, he is a sight. His shirt is rucked up, revealing the flabby lower belly that laps over his belt, and his hand is massaging his firm, puffy upper belly, stuffed from his recent meal. I stop, staring.

He opens his eyes and looks at me. “Mara, my angel. You like this, don’t you.”

He squeezes a roll of belly to make his meaning clear. It’s not a question. I can feel my cheeks heating up. My tongue is caught between the reflexive lie of no and the long guarded truth of yes. I can’t squeak out an answer.

“Why haven’t you kissed me yet?” He asks, plaintively. “Don’t you want to?”
“Of course I want to!” I snap back. “But you’re drunk. I can’t.”

He rubs his belly sensually. “Please touch me,” he begs. Against my better judgment I step forward. Set down the pile of bedding in my arms. Place my hands on the beckoning globe of his gut.

He moans as I make contact with his soft skin. His belly is lightly dusted with hairs, a thicker trail of them running down from his bellybutton toward his pants. He lets out a burp as I massage his firm flesh. I’m not sure either of us are breathing for a moment. He reaches down and undoes his belt. I can see a red mark where it has been biting into his side. I keep my hand high, aware of the temptation to go lower. Behave, Mara.

Slowly he settles and his head slumps. He is asleep. I cover him in blankets. Then I sit awake a long time.


Mar 20, 2017
In a salt fog

His mouth felt like it was stuffed full of cotton wool. His eyes opened on an unfamiliar ceiling. Where-

“Morning, sleepyhead,” sang Mara’s voice. “Lucky for you it’s a snow day. Ice storm came up last night.”

She loomed into view over him, looking cute in an oversized purple sweater and yoga pants. She handed him a glass of water.

“But the power’s still on. So first off, you’re going to take a shower, because you smell like a dumpster behind a distillery in Stornoway. I’ve put some towels and clothes in the bathroom for you. Then you’re going to have breakfast and tell me what the hell is going on.”

He grinned. He’d always liked it when she was bossy. Plus the water was restoring him to life.

The hot water was a blessing. Like most women, it seemed, Mara had a bewildering array of bottles, lotions and ointments in the shower. The one he’d picked smelled refreshingly of mint. He stepped out of the tub and wiped steam from the full length mirror. He looked at his body. If he was honest with himself-

If he was honest with himself, he liked what he saw. Wide shoulders and solid, meaty arms. A generous dad bod verging on full fatso. Thick love handles and a belly with a gentle upside heart shape at the bottom, with the hint of a hang. Thick thighs.

The clothes Mara had found for him consisted of comically short stretchy black leggings and a unisex size Large t-shirt with “Terry Fox Run Volunteer” printed on it. It clung precariously to his belly, which threatened to peek out at every moment. The fact was, his xl shirts were getting a bit snug, so a mere large would never do. But the clothes he’d worn last night did not pass the sniff test.

When he emerged, a new man, Mara was in the kitchen mixing up a batter in a bowl. He poured himself another glass of water and drained it.

“Making pancakes,” she said. “Sit. Talk.”

“How many pancakes do I get?”

She gave him the eyeball.


“Just one? But I’m a growing boy.”

She flushed at that, unmistakably. But- “Wait until you see the size of the pancake,” she growled. “Now. Tell me.”

He gathered his thoughts.

“I’m sorry about last night, Mara,” he said. “That wasn’t how I wanted things to go. I got some bad news yesterday. My ex, Angela, you remember her? She was badly injured in a car accident. Maybe paralyzed. And I remember thinking, could I have stopped it? If I hadn’t ended things? Would she have even been there? And I wanted to stop my thoughts for a little while, so I drove down to Vinnie’s pub - that’s where my car is - and I had a drink. And then a few more, and then suddenly I was fucking blitzed for the first time in seven years. And I started walking - lost my coat somewhere, but my phone must have been in the pocket of my jeans - and I felt so lost. And then at Agricola and Vine I had an epiphany. It felt like an epiphany at the time, anyway, that I needed to live my authentic, true self. And my authentic, true self really wanted to talk to you.”

Mara brought a plate containing one massive pancake, the size of the cast iron pan, to the table and set it in front of Jonathan.

“I’m so sorry,” she said quietly.

He poured maple syrup onto the thick pancake.

“It’s not even about me,” he said. “But she was important to me for five years and I just... it’s hard to believe... I was angry with her, but I didn’t want... this.”

He felt Mara’s hand squeeze his shoulder and then move away. She walked back to the stove and poured more batter into the pan.

“How much do you remember of last night?” She asked, studiously not looking at him.

He paused with the fork halfway to his mouth.

“Everything,” he said.

“Everything everything?” Asked Mara. “Are you sure? Because... some stuff happened.”

He licked a syrupy finger. “Let’s see... you picked me up, we went to Burger King, I ate a king’s feast, we came here, I asked if you wanted to kiss me, you said you did but I was drunk so you couldn’t, you gave me a belly rub because you like my fat belly, and I fell asleep. Is that everything everything?”

“You do remember,” she breathed.

“You still haven’t kissed me. Even though I’m not drunk now,” he pointed out.

Mara crossed the room. His brown eyes looked up at her. She leaned down and kissed him, and suddenly her hands were in his hair and she was straddling his legs. The universe itself seem to slow to a crawl as time dilated. It was A Kiss.

“My pancake!” Mara leapt up to save it from burning.

“Let it burn,” laughed Jonathan.

“No,” said Mara. “You’re going to eat every bite of that pancake, and then every bite of this pancake, because you’re right, I do like your fat belly and I’m going to make sure it stays nice and fat.”

“Or gets a bit fatter?”

“As fat as you want it to be,” she replied.

“That might be very fat,” he said. “Maybe even very, very fat.”

“Good,” she said.

It must be said that he did eventually eat both pancakes, although it may have taken rather a long time, what with all the kissing and fondling going on.

The End.​

Clandy Caine

Aug 22, 2016
I’ve read this story several times since you posted it just the other day. Short but sweet, and it really hits the spot. Looking forward to your next one!

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