Josh Carmichael's fingers are just beneath my underwear. I catch a glimpse of myself in my long mirror across from my bed, and roll my eyes. My face looks fake orgasmic, my eyes full of forced excitement, with a hint of lust. You can tell that Josh is really into it, the way he keeps panting, although there's nothing to be particularly thrilled about. I never understood the appeal of what's under the pants. Above the waist, I can slightly comprehend, though when you really think about it, there's nothing to flip out over. There are these two huge balls of fat sticking out of what should be a lean chest, somehow they're sexually attractive. I just hope his face doesn't get stuck between them. I certainly wouldn't want to let my face get near my boobs. It sounds like a fate worse than death.
"Ofeliciads!" Josh's muffled voice could be heard a few inches down my body. What the hell was he talking about? I choose to just breathe heavily, and bat my eyes slightly, while attempting to convey ecstasy.
Worried that I haven't heard him, Josh shouts, at the top of his lungs, "OH FELICITY!" It doesn't have quite the desired sensual effect. He looks expectedly at me.
"Oh, Josh," I reply, trying my best to sound aroused, but my voice falls flat.
"Come on, you can do better than that!" Josh complains, "every girl loves this."
I roll over onto my side. This was getting ridiculous. I'd met Josh two weeks ago, on the bus back from school. The bus made a series of stops, beginning with Green Street, and moving down four blocks to Jefferson Street, going straight for about twenty minutes, to stop at Pineapple Street. I had ridden the same bus every day since the first day of first grade, to two weeks ago, the beginning of my freshman year in high school, and never had I seen a mildly attractive person of the opposite sex. The school went all the way from kindergarten through twelfth grade, and there were probably nine hundred people in all, leaving only about seventy-five kids per grade. My parents had originally sent me because they wanted me to have a "closed and safe" environment where I could easily make friends. It had been decided by my entire extended family when I was still at an early age that I would have immense difficulty making friends, and should therefore be forced into a situation where people would have to talk to me. The result was that I ended up wanting to kill myself and sat in my room until I was ten years old and realized that there was something to be said for having a certain amount of social skills. However, by then, I'd been branded a pariah, and couldn't seem to do anything to redeem myself. I spent recesses alone in the classroom, pretending to be deeply engrossed in a book, or completely obsessed with the muffin I was hovering over. As a result of this, I started to get fat.
Now, there's bone-thin, there's slender, there's medium, there's chubby, and there's fat. Bone-thin is generally the point when the bones are sticking out from underneath the skin, the collarbone slightly over exaggerated, and a lack of meat around the legs. Slender usually implies something more attractive; the type who can throw on any little shirt and too-tight jeans and look perfect, without even glancing at themselves in the mirror. When you move onto medium, there is usually a need to check in the mirror, just to make sure that a certain outfit could convey itself to someone as being unflattering. Usually though, most guys will say that they prefer you to someone of the bone-thin category, but not necessarily more than a slender person. Once you migrate to the chubby end, it's pretty much necessary to play up one of two things:
Huge, fantastic boobs that are about to take over the world, and display them prominently in order to cease drawing attention to the stomach.
A stunningly gorgeous face; preferably long, blonde, curly hair, for a Mae West look.
If you pull off both of these things, you'll be fine. If you only have one, well, you're screwed. Prepare to not be picky. However, those who classify as being bigger than what is considered chubby will tell you that you should be glad you aren't in the dreaded fifth category: fat. When you come to the point of being "fat," let's face it: there's basically no hope for you, and no future whatsoever. You will have to resign yourself to only being able to be catcalled at by truck drivers, and shop in the "hefty honey" department or some such thing. Don't be fooled by the endearing titles of these sections of the mall; you're definitely now domed to an eternity of pain and suffering; unless, of course, you find some way to lose the weight. This is much easier said than done, however, and the chances of the plan for looking like Kate Moss going through are slim to none. Slim…what a far off concept to someone in the fifth category. In conclusion, I assume that my participation in the middle ground between the fourth and fifth categories has contributed to my lack of a social life. You learn to love your puffy white rocking chair and trips to the refrigerator as a serious exercise procedure. It takes a great deal of emotional and physical strength to actually push yourself out of the chair, and begin the one minute walk to the fridge. Once you're up though, it's a fantastic feeling. There's a whole stash of microwaveable meals just waiting for you. This was to be my fate; this constant routine of sitting and eating, making up stories inside of my head to pass the time, the bus ride being my only opportunity to talk to people. I never did though: until two Thursdays ago.
School had started on a Thursday this year, and I didn't have the normal jitters like another high school freshman would because I had been going to school with the same people for forever. There was nothing new about me, except my age. A summer of eating ice cream sundaes in front of my computer had turned me into even more of a blimp than the year before, and so I paid no attention to my clothes. Obviously I didn't look particularly good that day; black jeans, black t-shirt, and a black sweater. I wasn't gothic by any means, but black was slimming, and so my mother always encouraged me to stick with that color. I spent the day with familiar faces and even more familiar quadratic equations. It seemed as though the lesson plans never changed; they were slightly altered each year to seem different, but I never ended up learning anything new. The faces never seem to differ either.
Janelle, Carissa, and Sarah; the six eyes of Bellmont High School. I have never seen any of the three look any more grown up than the year before. Carissa was my first and only friend, in kindergarten. On the first day of school, she asked me to sit with her at lunch, and I was elated. She was already beautiful; long, chestnut ringlets and very petite, even for a five-year old. We had matching lunches: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, plastic bags of potato chips, and apple juice in a tippy-cup. We had different cookies though; I had chocolate chip, and she had peanut butter. So, we did the natural thing; we traded cookies. It was probably the only bonding experience that I've ever experienced in my life. After school, she'd begged her mother to let her come over to my house, and she agreed. We played with our Barbies, and co-painted a picture of a tree. Then something awful happened.
Carissa and I were just putting the finishing touches on the leaves of the tree, when my mother walked in to admire our work.
"Great job girls!" She exclaimed, rubbing her hands together. She smelled like she'd been making a cake and her voice was shrill with excitement, most likely because she had never seen me with another human being my age. Her stomach rolled over the edge her pants, and she pulled them up higher to cover the lump. Strangely enough, I remember watching Carissa's eyes glance over it critically, even at such a young age. Then, she said it.
"Golly, Felicity, you and your mommy are both super fat!" A complete hush fell over the room. Carissa went back to the picture, finishing the final touch-ups and grinning. My mother looked as though she might faint. Her eyes appeared misty, and she walked right over to Carissa, and calmly told her to call her mother and have her come pick her up. At the time, I didn't think that Carissa had done anything wrong. I barely even knew that calling someone fat was an insult. Carissa looked up from the painting, confusion spreading across her face. She ran out of my room, without saying a word to me. My mother leaned over and gave me a hug, and I didn't understand.
A few days later, Carissa showed up at our front door, a boquet of flowers in hand. I heard her talking to my mother. "My mommy says I need to apologize," and she thrust the flowers into my mother's face.
My mother took the flowers from Carissa gently. "Thank you very much for the flowers, Carissa, but I just want you to know that you haven't actually apologized to me yet." Even at five, I could tell that my mother was starting to get irritating. Carissa had brought the flowers over, she was sorry-what was the problem? Carissa turned from my mother and stomped out the door, her chestnut curls bouncing behind her, as she shouted that she never wanted to be my friend again. Ever since then, Carissa has hated me, and strived to make my life as miserable as possible.