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Sep 21, 2014
Hi guys, I've done some stuff before, but this is my first attempt at a longer piece.

August 6, 2009

Kelly nervously tried to figure out where to focus her eye contact while the older gentleman just stared at her and back at the paper on his desk. Feeling this unsure about herself was somewhat foreign to her, at least in recent memory. High school, college, law school; she had always carried herself with a certain confidence that served her well...but in this moment, she felt rather exposed, knowing that the person ahead of her controlled a lot of her future.

“Well,” he said with a pause, “it probably would have been nicer to let you know this before you came in, but the firm was wowed by your class rank and recommendations, how would you like to come join us at Jensen Taggart?”

“Really?!” Kelly said, losing her composure for a brief moment, “I’d love to!”

The shock momentarily stunned her. She found herself in this office after another long interview, the culmination of an extensive process that had taken weeks, and multiple rounds. When she came in today, she assumed she would be interviewing in front of another large group, but instead had been greeted by just one senior partner, something she originally assumed was bad news. Kelly’s instincts, fortunately, had been wrong.

“I didn’t think you’d be so surprised, given your credentials,” he said with a chuckle. “I just brought you in for an interview to make sure you’d be a good social fit.”

“Well thank you Mr. Warner, I don’t know what to say.”

“Please-- we’re going to be coworkers. Call me George.” He proceeded to get up and extend his hand with a friendly handshake while showing his new hire out. “Take the weekend and get rested, I’ve talked with the partners, we’re excited to have you.”

“I’m very excited to get started.”

With that, Kelly Daniels had just completed another feat in what her boyfriend joked was history’s longest winning streak. In the depths of the recession, she found herself at a top law firm, specializing in the field she wanted, compliance, and received this offer weeks after taking the bar. When she got to the bottom floor of the elevator, she walked outside of the granite covered lobby onto the streets of downtown Chicago and pulled out her phone to text the one person she wanted to know about this.

“Brad! I got the job!”

“Wow! That’s great!!”

“I knowwwwwww. I start Monday! I can’t wait.”

“Well, let’s celebrate when I get home….I can’t wait to see you! This is great!”

Chapter 2 -- Kelly came of age

As she rode the train back to Rogers Park and their studio, Kelly couldn’t help but think about how far she had come since she was an unnoticed, overweight 7th grader whose parents had just divorced after a nasty split. Feeling inadequate after seeing how meaningless she was to each of them during that time, she had funneled her efforts into the one thing that had made her happy at the time, basketball.

The passion for basketball started slightly before the final divorce, but was not separated from it. Every time she heard her parents fighting, Kelly went outside and started shooting baskets to get out of the house. Soon, she developed a good shot. If the constant fighting was a precursor to the divorce, it was also the reason that their daughter that always struggled with her weight found a new motivation to start eating better and working out. As their marriage deteriorated, her skills were built. After joining Winnekta’s team, she also grew a solid work ethic, and the coaches quickly noticed this chubby teen who nearly killed herself every practice, lacked speed, and had a half-decent shot.

The effort didn’t go unrewarded. As 7th grade turned into 8th, Kelly shed her weight, and grew into a lean, and athletic body. Shedding the weight made her a great athlete, and now a starter, but it also gained her the attention of her peers, and the formerly shy-girl climbed the social ladder. Yes, her parents had sold their house by this time, and she was only seeing her Dad every few months, but who needed to know that? As long as people thought she was happy, she may as well have been. What would have caused stress for some built a confidence in Kelly that had lasted to this day.

If basketball had built her physical figure in middle school and molded her confidence in high school, it served to create a work ethic that helped her breeze through college. On the social side of things, Kelly’s 5’6, 130 lbs figure and brunette hair didn’t hurt her, and she enjoyed the typical life of a sorority girl, but with a more rigorous study habit Sunday Morning through Friday afternoon. Graduating in three and a half years from Loyola and getting a full-ride to Northwestern Law surprised even her favorite professors. Now, after three years of grinding through statutes and legal philosophy, Kelly found herself on top of the world.

Chapter 3 -- Getting started
August 12, 2009

Over the weekend, Kelly rewarded herself with some new clothes for her job. Her selections were generally conservative, but nonetheless still flattered her slim frame. While she kept an exceptionally professional demeanour at work, a look onto her Facebook page would show years of fun weekends out; parties, tailgating, festivals, in most of which she was wearing short shorts and a thin tank, more than enough to show off her nearly flawless figure.

Kelly's job at the firm was in international business compliance. Besides the healthy salary, the main appeal of this particular position over the others that she could have pursued was the amount of travel she would be doing. Her job involved going to different businesses that contracted with Jensen Tagart and make sure that these companies were in line with various regulations. While some would find it boring, Kelly found it to be the most intriguing part of law school-- much more fun than the idea representing less than stellar people at a criminal defense firm.

On her first day of work, Kelly went up to the 26th floor of the glass office building and one of the HR people at the firm took her to the area that was to be her workspace. It was an extremely small office, but she knew that she would not be in there much, given the travel component. On the plus side, it did have a great view. After a few minutes of getting adjusted to her new space, George walked by with a folder. They had some small talk for a few minutes, but he quickly segwayed to her first assignment,

"Your first job is in Dallas, TX. Here's a briefing on the company, nothing huge, just general insurance regulation stuff. I've included the company manual on reimbursement procedure, and other travel guidelines. Have a good flight!"

"Wait, what?" Kelly said, caught off-guard.

"Yeah, I think your flight takes off at 8:00 AM tomorrow. You'll be back on Friday afternoon. It's a pretty set schedule most weeks."

While Kelly knew there would be many weeks away from home, she didn't expect to be thrown into the deep end so quickly. George sensed her hesitation, and reassured her, "You'll be fine, given some of your law school grades, you could probably lecture me on how to do this!"

That evening Kelly packed her suitcase with two of the 2 pantsuits she had, some dress shirts, and her workout gear. After basketball ended in college, Kelly had been a faithful runner, often going for around 4-5 miles and nearly every day. It kept any of her old weight off, and helped her clear her mind.

After an unexceptional flight, Kelly landed in Dallas, and quickly made it to the company that she would be auditing for the week. As she pulled her rental car to the suburban office park, she felt oddly confident about the job. "I'm hot. I'm smart, and I know these regulations better than the people who work here. This will be a breeze," she thought to herself. And she was largely right. At the company, she was greeted by a friendly in-house counsel, who gave her two stacks of large binders, and basically left her on her own while she poured through pages of company operations. The work was time consuming, and besides a quick sandwich ordered for lunch, Kelly was shocked how quickly she looked up and it was already 7 PM. Figuring it was probably time to leave, Kelly left the office park, got in her rental car, and drove to the hotel she was staying at. Although she had planned to work out when she got back, she found herself exhausted from the day of work, and ended up ordering chinese food.

Her week in Dallas was similar to Groundhog's Day. Wake up, go to the office park, get to the hotel exhausted and fall asleep to HGTV in the background. By the time Friday rolled around, Kelly hadn't jogged once. She had thought about it, but didn't even make it down to the workout room at the hotel before reconsidering it. She wasn't crazy about treadmills, and the hotel, located near the airport, was surrounded by miles and miles of commercial and industrial buildings-- not really prime running spots.

Kelly felt a bit bloated, which she chalked up to the constant take out food. "How is everyone in Texas not fat?" She wondered, given that even when she tried to eat healthy, there was nothing near her hotel that would be great for her. Thus, she ended up eating a lot of marginally decent food, lots of club sandwiches or larger than preferred servings of grilled chicken. While not a calorie bomb that a large burger would be, it also wasn't similar to the salads and healthy snacks she was used to at home.

Walking back to the airport and getting ready to fly back to Chicago, Kelly hadn't gained any weight, but she knew she would have to eat better on next week's trip.

Chapter 3 Throwing down roots
October 29, 2009

Kelly sat in the airport exhausted, snacking on a pretzel that was too expensive, too bland, and too fatty, but she didn't care. It was the rare trip gone awry, after a storm in Atlanta knocked down part of the operations in their hub, the ripples caused the connecting flight that Kelly was taking back to Chicago to get cancelled, leaving her stuck in Denver after an engaging, but busy week of work in Cheyenne.

This was Kelly's first nightmare travel situation, up until that point, she had been enjoying her weeks on the road. She was quickly racking up airline miles, something that she had previously been a bit oblivious to, but now counted down until her airline status would get triggered. Additionally, the mundaneness of this existence was addicting to her. She liked knowing the airport hotel in Louisville was going to be the same as Boston and the same as Fargo. If you looked at her instagram, you would see years of almost hipster-ish existence crossed with American Apparel style. A life of youthful casual enjoyment. However, this existence was now being morphed into her current life-- line by line review of company operations, rigid flight times and having her schedule at the whim of the airlines.

Kelly's flight got back to Chicago at 2:35 am. Seeing O'Hare this empty was a rarity, but Brad was nice enough to pick her up from the airport, given that her landing time coincided with horrific surge prices on Lyft.

When she got to his car, she threw her bag in the trunk, and then plopped down in the passenger seat, and let out a "fuckkkkkkkk that."

"Ouch, that bad?" he asked.

"Yes." Kelly, not complaining as much as venting went on, "My iPad died at 5:00 and every outlet in the terminal was packed with other people stranded. I've read every magazine you can think of this month, and I was surrounded by people who thought they were the only fucking people stranded by our flight. I just want to go to bed."

"Fair enough, want me to cancel the showing tomorrow?"

Brad was referring to their condo showing. They were still living in their apartment that they moved into when Kelly was in law school and Brad was in grad school. Now, with her doing legal work, and Brad settled in at one of the large banks in Chicago, their apartment was no longer quirky, it was becoming annoying. Things they put up with in college about their apartment, the iffy heating system, no closet space, a kitchen of mismatched cabinets that looked like it hadn't been touched since the 1920s, were no longer fun first-apartment things, they were suddenly drags on them. The time where they would get home from class on a Friday and drink cheap beer with friends in their living room at 3:00 PM had passed. These young professionals now wanted to flex their spending power, and the first thing that had to go was the cramped living space.

"No...." Kelly kind of trailed off with a sigh, "I was looking forward to it all week. Let's still do it."

The next day when she got up, Kelly slept in, cruising right through her usual Saturday morning jog. When she eventually woke up around 10, she made some coffee, and started checking Facebook, which had just let non-college students on. As she casually browsed what her friends were doing, she couldn't help but feel that her midsection was a bit bloated. This kind of alarmed her, since Kelly had assumed that the feeling was just the strain of the airport food she had eaten last night. However, this felt a bit different. She walked into the bathroom, and went to their digital scale.

-- 134.3 --

"Huh" Kelly thought, not really freaking out, but slightly surprised. She knew she wasn't treating her body as well as she could be. The take-out in hotel rooms, the sandwhiches ordered in at lunch, the drinks on the plane. But she had basically trashed it some weekends in college where her drinking was comically over the top at times, and it had persevered. She looked at the mirror and saw her stomach. She could still see the outline of her hard abs, but maybe they looked a bit softer? If someone who was obese saw this scene, they would laugh at the site of this still knockout 20something looking at her body with a bit of dread, but Kelly was concerned. "I guess I'll have to actually start jogging every day again," she thought to herself.

Her and Brad spent the afternoon looking at condos inside of the loop. Each of them had wanted to live downtown after being up by Loyola and Northwestern for so many years. Fall in Chicago was on full display, with leaves turning orange and Northface jackets being whipped out around the city. The condos that Brad and Kelly were looking at blew them away. They were not looking for a ton of space, but they did want something centrally located with a great view.

What was bad for the country was great for them. With the massive recession, prices were depressed. Kelly knew how bad it was, with the amount of termination related work she was auditing. By the end of the day, they decided to settle on a 900 square foot one bedroom with a new kitchen, rooftop pool in the heart of the city. It also had a workout facility-- something that Kelly was now suddenly focused on again.

February 15, 2010

"Why in the world does she live all the way out here?" Kelly thought as she navigated her BMW 328xi to the offramp in the far out exurb that her Mom now called home. The previous months had gone by in a blur for Kelly. Mostly because of her flying schedule, Kelly's weeks completely merged together, and her previous commitment to the increased workout regimen took a toll. As, "I'll start tomorrow" turned into next week, then next month, Kelly found herself getting deep into the new year with her habits relatively unchanged from before. Some jogging, but not the commitment she had told herself she would see. As such, Kelly had gradually floated up to 138 on the scale.

This increased weight was met with some cognitive dissonance from Kelly. She would often tell herself that she was never going to stay in her college shape forever, and being 140 on her frame wasn't a huge deal. However, as she tried to find her Mom's new townhome, the larger-picture issues of herself were not pressing...she was instead trying to figure out the bombshell that she received mid-flight about her Mom's new fiance.

Kelly's relationship with her parents was complicated, to say the least. She felt much more support from her mother, who had been her primary guardian after her parents split. While she would never mention it with anyone, even Brad, she felt genuinely harmed that she had only spoken with her Dad five or six times since college. Sure, she would see some money in her bank account to help with rent during college, and she knew he still took pride in her accomplishments, but that was just her Dad, aloof and somewhat distant. Kelly's Mom, on the other hand, was warm to her and a more present figure in her life. Because of this closeness, Kelly was thrown off completely when her Mom shot her an email about her new fiance, Carl. This surprised Kelly for more than a few reasons, the main one being that she didn't even know her Mom was seeing anyone. The other being that her Mom was, well, kind of boring, a fairly typical late 50s Chicagoan.

When her Mom opened the door to let her in, Kelly was greeted with the same presence that she was used to. At 58, Kelly's Mom, Cathy, still looked pretty good. Thin and medium height, her Mom had aged in a way that made Kelly hopeful for her future. After a hug, she invited Kelly in, and they got to talking,

"Thanks for getting off the road to see me!" her Mom joked.

"Well with the news you've dropped on me, it seemed necessary!"

"Yes! I've been dying to introduce you to Carl, he's in the kitchen," her Mom replied, escorting Kelly through their unit into the open concept kitchen, where Carl was getting the salmon he made out of the oven.

Kelly was surprised with how great this person looked. Obviously also in his 50s, Carl gave off the appearance of a fit gym freak. Kelly's Dad was more bookish, and small, so this departure from her Mom's previous tastes was noticeable. Furthermore, once they started talking, he was loud and gregarious, quite different than her more cerebral father. Why am I making these comparisons? Kelly wondered throughout the dinner. It had been nearly 10 years since their divorce, and her Mom was entitled to enter back into the dating world. But still, something seemed off to her.

When she got back to her condo that evening, she recounted the entire night with Brad while getting ready for bed.

"Am I a freak for feeling uneasy about seeing my Mom and Carl so happy?" she asked.

"I don't know, my parents are still together, but yeah, I would probably find it kind of weird to see either one of them with someone else," he responded while not so subtly checking Kelly out, who was in the process of undressing. He assumed that she had a healthy dinner, since her stomach looked a bit more paunchy than usual. Brad gave it no concern, however, since he knew Kelly would work it off.

March 29, 2010

Kelly squirmed uncomfortably in the conference room chair. It was Monday morning, and Kelly was dealing with the aftereffects of a rowdy weekend in Vegas, where she had celebrated her one of her former sorority sisters' bachelorette party. Having arrived in Vegas on Wednesday and gotten back into Chicago late Sunday evening, Kelly still felt somewhat hungover from the weekend of overindulgence, and almost wanted to call in sick. However, her department had a meeting on Monday morning, and she had a flight to catch that afternoon-- so she would persevere.

For the 10 girls who had made the trip, Vegas went like one would expect. They got into every club with no wait, and had no shortage of people wanting to buy them drinks. Despite this, Kelly wasn't feeling quite as up to it as one would have expected. Her previous attempts to get back to 130 lbs had been unsuccessful over the past month, and before the trip she weighed herself and came in 142. Sure, her 'slut clothes' as she sarcastically called them, still looked okay, but she didn't feel like herself. Each night she went out and thought her skin crept out a bit, and she had the outline of a fleshy belly. For the guys that they ran into, this was immaterial. Maybe she had fallen from a 10 to a 9, maybe. But at the same time, most girls would kill to be a 9 and nearly all guys considered her to be a knockout.

But, as Kelly sat in this conference room trying to stay composed, she felt like she had paid a price. Beyond the hangover that she wasn't really able to shake, her skirt felt the most restrictive it had ever been.

Despite arriving at work in less than stellar condition, Kelly was still a model employee. The partners at the firm had been getting great reviews back from the clients, and in their interactions with her, they left impressed with their young employee's mastery and attention to detail. Sure, maybe some of it was that she was easy to look at for older partners from an era that had thankfully passed, but most of it was her work performance.

As the meeting got underway, George introduced everyone to their newest hire to those in the room. Most of the 9 or so people, Kelly had eventually got to know, despite her time spent on the road. "Everyone, I hope that you can all be friendly to Jeffrey, he's fresh from Yale, and, well, you all know how exclusive we are in hiring, so you can guess where his class rank was," which led to a slight chuckle from everyone in the room.

While George continued go on a bit about what George would be doing at the firm, Kelly stared at the newest member of their department. He was surprisingly small, maybe 5'5 or 5'6, and very wirey. Kelly wasn't the kind of person who would be a jerk to someone solely because of their physical appearance, but he wasn't exactly the type of guy she would have been dating in high school or college. That being said, she was kind of excited to have someone her age working at the firm, which was kind of a geriatric club, with most of the staff closer to retirement than they were to her age.

The rest of the meeting was a mundane overview of the new reimbursement policy, which Kelly told herself she would go over again while on a flight. All she could think about at the moment was getting something to eat or drink to help with this hangover--and getting out of the skirt that she was in.

As the meeting wrapped up, she walked out and happened to be exiting next to Jeffrey, "So the travel go to you as well?" she asked while walking back to her office.

He looked somewhat surprised that Kelly was talking to him, knowing she was so far out of his league and perhaps not used to the collegial atmosphere of coworkers, "umm, yeah haha, it seemed kind of fun."

"When do you go to your first compliance assignment?" Kelly asked.

"Tonight, actually, I'm flying out for Phoenix at 5:45"

"No way! I'm going to San Francisco at 6:15-- want to share a cab?" Kelly asked. Even though all the employees got a reimbursement for their cab or train fares, she figured the new guy may want a friend.

"Sure!" Jeffrey replied, "Are you going straight to O'Hare from here?"

"Yep!" Kelly replied, "Bag is packed and in my office, let's meet out here at 3:30."

"Sounds good," her new coworker replied.

Jeffrey could not be more excited. He had no idea that this gorgeous, seemingly nice coworker was being this friendly. Never the most popular person in school, he had outworked everyone from his rural Iowa farmtown to get into Yale, yet even surrounded by other intellectuals, he always felt awkwardly out of place. Now, for some reason or another, this extremely hot coworker was at least being outgoing to him. At the very least, he wanted to learn more about her.


Sep 21, 2014
June 25, 2010

It wasn't long after that Kelly friended Jeffrey on Facebook, which broke the news to him that not only was Kelly in a relationship, she was in one with a guy who looked like he would kicked his ass as recently as a few years back. While deflating to Jeffrey, it was still nice to have a friend at work.

On the topic of work, Kelly continued to get rave reviews from clients, and with this came more responsibility. Even though she was making more money than ever, Kelly also had less free time, frequently preparing for her audits ahead of trips. Weekends had previously been her reprieve, a time for her to read a bit in her favorite chair in her condo, or meet up with friends. Now, they took the air of a study period, with her pouring over files and state-specific statutes on WestLaw.

Somewhat predictably, she became a bit distant with Brad, who had now finished his graduate studies, and was working at the corporate office of one of the banks downtown, and suddenly had a wealth of freetime, in sharp contrast to his girlfriend. It slowly had grown to annoy him.
That Saturday afternoon, Brad walked into their apartment after a trip from the store, excited.

"Heyyyyy they had a sale on our favorite beer, thought we could crack a few open and grill on the roof tonight!" he said.

Kelly looked up from her desk, taking the highlighter out of her mouth, "I really shouldn't Brad, you know how I'm trying to lose weight."

She was wearing a men's XL 'Loyola U' T shirt that obscured her stomach in its loseness, but he could see from the athletic shorts she was wearing that her thighs were bigger, and while he wanted her to lose weight, he also just wanted to hang out with his girlfriend.

"Yeah, I know Kells, but come on, it's Saturday, we can go for a jog along the lake tomorrow," he replied.

"Brad. You know I don't have time for that," she incredulously remarked with a little half laugh.

The remark stung a bit more than it was intended to, and it set Brad off a bit "hey you don't have to be an ass about it, I just thought it would be fun. It would be nice to hang out once in a while."

Kelly stayed calm, "Brad I don't have time to fight."

Her calmness made him even more irked, his speech got faster, which commonly happened when he was angry, "you know what? I'll just go out with my friends."

"Great! It would be nice if you just left me alone and let me finish this work."

Brad shook his head, threw the groceries on the counter and went into the bedroom to change. He had a great night with his friends, some of whom brought their girlfriends. When they asked where Kelly was, he just mentioned how busy she was with her job, not even mentioning their fight they had early. Why mention the fight? People fight all the time. But deep down, Brad was alarmed that they were spending less and less time together as Kelly worked more and more.

When Brad got home later that night, Kelly was already asleep. When he turned on the light, he scanned the room. He saw Kelly had put the groceries away, but he also saw enough to piece her night together. Her work was still scattered across their desk in the corner, but it was the counter that drew his attention. A newly opened, and now empty bottle of wine lay on the counter. A pizza box was open, with half the medium pizza consumed. A rom com DVD was open on their sectional ottoman, and she forgot to turn the DVD player off.

"Ugh, losing weight my ass," he muttered as he went to turn off the power to the DVD player, also noting that she apparently had an hour and a half to herself as well.

August 14, 2010

Kelly stood in the mall, trying to figure out which store to go to. She had finished up her work in suburban Virgina and left her post for the week, a nondescript office park, at around 8, just enough time to get some desperate reinforcements for her increasingly tight wardrobe.

As she looked at the map kiosk, she had a question to herself, how permanent were these clothes? Should she get some quick pieces from a cheaper store, knowing she would lose the weight, or stock up on Brooks Brothers skirts and hit up Saks to get herself businessware she would have for a while. More directly put, was she going to lose the weight?

Her weight had been of increasing concern. It had now crept up near 150. Prior to this point, she had been able to get by with spanx, and generally looser clothing. Now that she had passed 20 pounds, she knew no one would consider her thin.

Kelly decided to walk into a cheaper store, figuring that she would hit the gym and this would finally be the week that she dropped the weight, not dissimilar to a freshman 15 that she avoided, but a lot of her peers experienced and recovered from. As she picked up clothing she went with size 6, 8, and, regrettably 10. In the dressing room, Kelly stripped down and stared at herself in the mirror. Her formerly toned stomach was now clearly a tummy. It hadn't gone past her (now enlarged) boobs, but it was soft, and now had slight rolls when she sat down. Worse, there were lovehandles starting to form. Below that, she saw how her thighs had lost all their definition from her basketball days, instead of a reflection of her hours on the court, they were now a testament to her job-related neglect of her body. Her face looked a bit fuller, but she still had a knockout appearance up there. Perhaps, she had moved from hot to more cute, but she could tell by the way guys interacted with her that she could still sway a conversation based on her appearance.

As she tried on the clothes, she pulled the size six up to her knees and realized they were not going to fit. Sure, she could have kept pulling them up further, but the point at which she started to feel a bit of pressure was far sooner than she had ever remembered. Next, she grabbed the 8s, figuring that they would be her go to, if not just because of the looser sizing of officeware. To her dismay, these came up easily, but fasteninging them on the side was another issue. As she sucked in her pale belly-flesh, Kelly realized that these were probably not the wisest choice for a job in which she would be sitting down all day. Reluctantly, Kelly grabbed the 10s, put her clothes back on, and went to purchase the larger size.

That Friday, she was back in the corporate office working late, when a friendly face popped by her desk. Jeffrey poked his head around the door,
"Hey Kelly, my girlfriend and I were going to grab a drink, want to join?"

Kelly looked up at the clock, it was already 7:15 in the evening. "Shoot, we missed happy hour, should we do dinner?"

"Nah, let's just hit a place and get a round," Jeffrey replied.

Much like Kelly, his first few months at the firm had been going great. He was enjoying his opportunity to travel around the country, even if it was the same series of nondescript airport hotels and suburban offices. For someone from rural Iowa, this was a win. On top of it, he was making great pay, and was close to getting third-tier airline status (it was the little things, he told himself.)

As Kelly and Jeffrey went to the elevator, they chatted about things.

"Have you ever met Hailey?" Jeffrey asked.
"I haven't!" Kelly replied, "How did you guys meet?"

"We're both in the same book club."

"How in the world do you find time to read books right now?" Kelly asked, thinking about the point of the fiscal year that they were in.

"It's my crutch when were on the plane."

"Oh, duh." Kelly reflected on the wasted time she had spent piercing through US Weekly, her favorite tabloid weakness.

They walked into the bar, which was more empty than Kelly would have assumed. At this point i the summer, senior employees were at their lakehouses or off with their families on vacation,

leaving the business-rush crowd with a younger vibe. A woman in the back of the bar waved them over.

"Oh--there she is," Jeffrey pointed out.

Kelly looked over, and to be honest, it was kind of what she expected, given Jeffrey's appearance. Hailey wasn't what anyone would call a fox. Overweight, but not obnoxiously so, she had a cheapish looking haircut that didn't do much for her round face or 'meh blondish/brownish' hair. She was wearing glasses that were 2004 trendy, but it was 2010 now. She had odd proportions, with soft arms that were on display from the sleeveless blouse she was wearing on this warm, late summer, afternoon. Kelly would never intentionally treat her differently, but this was not a girl she would have hit the fraternity parties with in college.

As they grabbed drinks, they got to talking, and Kelly realized she actually liked this frumpy looking girl. They shared similar politics, outlooks, and interests. Hailey was a lower-level campaign worker in Chicago politics, shuffling around candidates, and in contrast to the conservative field her and Jeffrey worked in. After a few rounds and a few hours, everyone at the table was a bit looser.

"You got to go to the inaugurationnnn GET OUT!" Kelly leaned forward nearly spitting her drink at Hailey.


"Tell everything, what was it like!" Kelly said, grabbing the fleshy arm of her new friend, a Kelly-ism that she often did to show affection towards people, without realizing it.

Hailey didn't feel threatened by Kelly, because, in a weird way, she was too cute for Jeffrey. This girl, and she knew the type, "the got-into-the-best-sorority, Lacoste polo in the summer, Northface fleece in the winter" was. She was friendly with everyone, but her standards were far past the point that she'd have to worry about her boyfriend being stolen away.

Eventually, Kelly checked her blackberry, "**** guys, it's 9:30" she starred out the front of the bar, about 30 feet down, and realized it was dark out. "I have to get going!"

Kelly jumped onto the train, for her usual one stop to her condo. As she got on, she saw a hot guy, and in her buzzed state, flashed him a flirty but ultimately harmless smile. He arched his eyebrows, and looked away, as if Kelly was wasting her time.

Huh, thought Kelly, as she sat down, that's never happened before.


New Member
Jan 18, 2018
, Female
Nice story, curious to see where it's going. I like the slow(er) pace and realistic aspect of it, because gaining weight is not always fast, sometimes (especially if you've been fat before) fat creeps up on you so slowly that you fail to notice it (or be in denial about it).


Sep 21, 2014
September 18, 2010

Kelly knew that she should be on the treadmill instead of the hotel bar, but after another long day of work, Kelly needed to let off a bit, and she found herself at the bar, sipping a vodka cranberry. The lobby-adjacent bar was pretty empty, as one would expect at 8:30 on a Tuesday night. She had walked out of the Dearborn, MI office park that evening to the first cold breeze of the season, yet another sign that her ambitions to take up jogging outside that summer had slipped by without a renewed commitment to fitness.

Nonetheless, she knew she would start up again, because the status-quo was not acceptable. With her current weight at 154 pounds, she had put on nearly 25lbs, and no longer looked like the fashion model she could have been previously. She looked more normal now, the cute girl in the office, but not the knockout college bombshell he had been. These types of thoughts often drifted into her mind during her many evenings on the road, but she tried not to dwell on it. She had turned a corner in life during her teenage years by always looking forward. Setting goals. Positive energy that led to action. And, she assumed, she would be able to execute this again.

Her focus on this was interrupted by a guy sitting down next to her at the empty bar. She looked up, somewhat confused, "umm hi?"

"Hello, you here on business," he asked.

Kelly was fairly used to guys hitting on her like this, and while it became more mature than the catcalls she got in college, she still knew what this guy was doing, and, she almost respected the gaul of his decision to go for it. This wasn't some guy her age, it was someone in his early 40s. Yes, the man was in good shape, but this wasn't someone she would usually be sleeping with. She was getting ready to signal no-- but, for some reason she couldn't. Maybe it was that she hadn't really flirted with anyone in a while, maybe it was boredom with her relationship, but Kelly decided to just flirt a little at the bar, figuring no harm could come of it.

"What do you don't think I'd come to Michigan for pleasure?" she responded.

"I'm Trent."


And with that they talked for a bit. After a while Kelly lost track of how many drinks she had, was she on drink four, or was she on drink five? Regardless, she was loosened up with Trent put his hand on her newly soft leg. "Kelly, do you want to maybe continue talking upstairs in my room?"

Kelly knew she was in a committed relationship, she knew this was wrong, and she wasn't exactly feeling sexy because of her weight gain, but...for those same reasons, it excited her. As they got up to his room, he began to unbutton her shirt, exposing her soft stomach, as she slid off her pants, love handles showed over her now tight panties. These imperfections she showed only made her want Trent more. Kelly wanted someone who was showing interest in her. Who made her feel like she did in college.

The following morning, Kelly woke up to a wakeup call, presumably set by Trent. She looked around the room. There was no sign of this person from the night before. She gathered her things and saw a note on the desk,

"Last night was fun. Had an early flight and had to go.

-Trent" his phone number listed bellow.

Kelly was horrified at what she had done. She had a full memory of last night, but now that the alcohol had worn off, she felt sick about it. As she put her clothes back on, she was getting ready to throw away the note...and...for some reason, decided to put Trent's number in her phone.

As Kelly drove her rental car to the office that Wednesday morning, she knew she should eat healthy, but was in screw it mode, and stopped by McDonald's on her way to breakfast. As she ate her food, she realized there was no need to tell Brad about this, since it would never happen again.

November 25, 2010

Kelly fiddled with sweater uncomfortably, sitting in the passenger seat while Brad drove.

"Brad, I swear this shrunk in the wash."

"Yeah, I guess that's happened to a sweater or two that I've had over the years. Who cares though, it's just your Mom's Thanksgiving dinner."

"I don't want to look like I'm bursting out of my clothes before we eat."

Brad wanted to point out that it wasn't just the sweater. Kelly looked like she was starting to outgrow everything she owned, and he knew she was in denial about it. Had he asked her about it, she probably would have admitted that she had weighed herself that morning and saw she was up to 166 pounds, a gain of 36 pounds since she started traveling. This distressed him. He liked dating the hot girl, the girl that made other guys jealous of him, and now, well, when he introduced him to knew friends, they just remarked how nice she was, and he didn't see anyone taking second looks at her anymore. Perhaps, it said more about his own insecurities that he wanted to be dating the knockout, but he was not thrilled with these new developments.

Kelly was not in the level of denial that Brad assumed she was in. She felt every inch of fat on her now-chubby body. When she put her sweater on, she saw how her belly was clearly visible pushing against the fabric, how her arms now looked somewhat soft under the fabric. How her face was even a bit softer. As she pulled up jeans, she could feel her love handles, which were working to push the fabric of the sweater and caused her to constantly push her top back down.

When they got to her Mom's suburban townhouse, they were greeted warmly by her Mom and Carl. After some friendly but not especially warm conversation, Kelly went back to the kitchen to retrieve a second bottle of wine. Carl follow her back to check on the turkey and they began to talk.

"So how is life on the road?" Carl asked.

"It's fun, liking seeing my frequent flyer numbers go up, and it's neat to see a ton of parts of the country."

"That's wonderful to hear," Carl replied, "looks like you've really been enjoying yourself."

Is he implying what I think he's implying? Kelly wondered to herself.

"Yeah, umm" she said, turning around to grab a bottle of wine of her Mom's wine rack, "I'm really happy I've had these opportunities."

She heard Carl walking closer to her and froze.

"You may want to be careful though," Carl said, poking an exposed lovehandle while Kelly was reaching for the wine. "Your Mom told me how much you struggled with your weight as a kid. You don't want to be little chubby Kelly again."

Kelly turned around stunned. Had that just happened? "Carl, what the ****?"

"Hey, I'm only telling you what everyone thinks. Are you going to go cry to your Mom?"

Kelly paused and thought about it. She was adverse to conflict, and prepared to talk about it with her Mom in private, rather than share this deeply bizarre moment in the company of her boyfriend and her Mom's boyfriend. She walked off without saying anything to Carl.

When she got back to the table, Carl's warning or tease, depending on how he framed it had the opposite effect. Kelly was stressed out, and had one of the larger dinners she could remember. A compulsive reflex had kicked in, and all she knew was that food tasted good at the moment. It didn't go unnoticed by Brad that his girlfriend, who supposedly was on a diet, had two full plates of food, and then two slices of pie. Nor did her fail to miss that on the ride home, Kelly had just given up, and let her lovehandles stay exposed, another small compromise to her increasingly large physique.


Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2007
I’m loving this story!! I can’t wait to see where it goes! Great, writing, I enjoy the care and realism.

Seems like if she’s not careful, Kelly could wake up with some really bad habits, given all that’s going on...


Sep 21, 2014
February 14, 2011

It was 6:45am, but Kelly continued to pound away on the treadmill, feeling every part of her body quiver. She felt like she was up to 300 pounds. Of course, she wasn't--but at 174, she may as well have been in her own mind. Every step felt like she was going to pass out. She had tried everything; listening to fast music, listening to slow music, trying to pay attention to the TV in the gym. About the only thing that could hold her attention was the wall length mirror in front of her, only showing her thighs' rhythmic jiggle and the current inability of her sports-bra to hold in her larger bust. In her basketball jays she would routinely run five miles as a daily workout, after giving up on her current run, she saw her treadmill read out come to 1.66 miles.


It was true, but with every part of her body aching, it felt worse than even some of the quarter marathons she had done during college. As Kelly walked from the gym, she felt more than tired, she felt disgusting. For what was now an abbreviated workout, her dry-fit items were soaked, and as a result, stuck her stomach and back boobs. She knew they were not ultra-prominent, but she was now seeing the outline of her stomach featured under her shirts in most of the photos that were posted on Facebook as well.

When Kelly got back to her hotel room, she thought about how her travel schedule began to blur all the days together. Every diet seemed dead on arrival when she was traveling nearly every week. For every day that she had a healthy option, she ran into a place in the middle of nowhere that only had fast food near the client's location. For every good week, there was a bad week where she went out with friends. Because of this, she felt even more helpless about her weight. Had she been bloating up quickly, maybe it would have been a jolt to her system, and kick her in gear, but the perpetual 1 or 2 pounds per month continued to confound her. As she pondered her options, she thought about asking to a transfer to a different division of their firm, but that was fraught with risk too. She was, admittedly, good at her job, and her attention to detail had pointed out a number of statutory compliance issues that had presented a number of legal issues before they were corrected. A transfer back to Chicago meant an uncertain career path, and with that, an uncertain salary. Leaving the firm completely meant no paycheck, and that was a nonstarter. Her car, her apartment, her nights out--she needed this cashflow.

And she had other things she was worrying about as well, since their bizarre encounter, Kelly had been unable to shake the feeling that something about Carl was off. However, it seemed to go beyond his rude statement toward her, he just didn't seem right in general. For starters, she still wasn't completely sure what he did. She knew that her Mom mentioned he had worked at a bank, but wasn't working anymore, which led Kelly to wonder what he did for money. While Kelly's mom was reasonably well off, she certainly wasn't the kind of person who would take well to a freeloader. For that reason, Kelly steered her next phone conversation with her Mom to that area, while never bringing up the kitchen incident, and took advantage of her Mom discussing travel plans.

"We finally booked our Nappa trip, I'm so excited, and it's just the perfect time with work to do this," she was saying.

"Mom," Kelly inquired, "is Carl going to have any issues getting time off?"

"Oh, Carl doesn't work anymore, he cashed out of Atlas Finance a few years ago."


"Yeah," she continued, "he had a falling out with his boss and he hasn't worked since then."

"Isn't he a bit young to be retired?"

"Money isn't an issue for him."

Kelly could hear her Mom getting more terse. But why? She couldn't quite put her finger on it, but it was clear her Mom didn't want to talk about it, and Kelly let the conversation roll back to more breezy topics.

Sitting in the conference room at the firm a few days later, Kelly was going over auditing schedules and immediately noticed Jeffrey's sheet had Atlas Financial on it, not only that, the topic area had caught her eye as well. "SXL HR CMPL" -- Sexual HR Compliance! After the meeting she walked over to Jeffery's desk.

For Jeffrey, he enjoyed anytime this happened. Even in her plumper state, Kelly was easy on his eyes. Today especially, her pants seemed tighter than usual, and her ass looked ready to burst out of the pants.

"Hey Jeffrey, mind if I pry a bit on one of your audits," she asked.

"Um, yeah, what's up?"

"Atlas Financial, the bank downtown, what's their sexual harassment issue?"

"Oh, they had an employee a few years back that made advances on some subordinates and they had to do a ton of paid settlements, they actually wanted to make it go away, so they did some early retirement for everyone involved."

"What?!" It was suddenly all making sense to Kelly, "Wait, what was the name of the person that did it?"

" know I can't tell you that, you're not on my case. Plus, they did non-disclosures, they whole point of these things is to keep the circle as small as possible."

Kelly leaned in, trying to use a bit of her charm--something she never did, but this felt urgent, "Jeffrey...I just really could use this favor," she said, leaning down to meet him at his desk eye level. In his cubicle, no one could see them, but she got closer, allowing him to see down her shirt.

All of this made Jeffrey uncomfortable, but also undeniably turned on. "Kelly...." He realized the irony that she was committing an HR violation while trying to get to the bottom of another one.

She continued, "maybe we just keep it between us?"

Before Jeffrey could speak, [[ZRRRRRRRRRRP]], a sound ripped through their conversation, and Kelly felt an immediate release, "ohhhhhmygod" Kelly involvuntarily uttered.

He pants had just burst a seam down the butt. Jeffrey stared at her stunned. He couldn't see her rear from that angle, but he knew as well as her what happened.

"Umm," Kelly awkwardly stammered, "This is probably a good time for me to exit," she said as she backed, not allowing her butt to face him. She could feel her butt exposed, and the seam was clearly open, showing her blue panties. As she walk/sprinted back to her desk to grab her overcoat to put on, she grew red faced. Sitting down, she felt the meshy fabric of the cold chair on her thin layer of fabric from her panties. She couldn't believe that had just happened, and was determined to do two things, get her weight under control, and get to the bottom of the situation at Atlas Financial.


Well-Known Member
May 12, 2007
Really enjoying this story, i like the realistic pace and her inability to stip the gain. very happy to see an update. Please continue.

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