Note: This site ain’t five by eight hundred (the amount of words in this particular story), so I’m stealing Five Chapters’ idea and posting this story in two parts. Here’s part I:
Bea had gained so much weight that her jeans no longer fit. She began to worry, which in turn made her eat more, order foods she knew were too large for her to finish and she’d finish them. She ate lunch out alone—performed her ritual while thinking about all of the beautiful women her fiancé would rather be with. Take the waitress for example—she was dining at Fresia’s down the street from her office. They boasted fresh ingredients, healthier options which, she felt, licensed her to order more, eat more. But anyway, her waitress, was this tight young thing—she’d come to describing her fiance’s potential lovers that way—with hair like silk that reached down to her impossible waist. She was beautiful: almond eyes and olive skin—a perfect exoticism. But she was kind, the way Bea wished only unfortunate looking women could be. Nevertheless, she was kind; she never judged when Bea ordered multiple meals and finished with dessert at one in the afternoon. She always remarked on something Bea was wearing—some ring or scarf or eye shadow—using words like “flattering” or “gorgeous,” words Bea would never use to describe herself. The worst part was Bea believed her. Some days Bea could only hope her fiancé would find a woman as beautiful and kind as her waitress. She’d make a good mother, an ideal wife.
She said this one day to Ben, her fiancé. He had just complimented her on her scarf or something, asked if it was new.
“You know, Ana likes it, too. I guess it was a good choice,” she said.
“Who’s Ana?” he asked.
“She’s this waitress,” Bea said. She was chopping onions in a race with the oil heating in the pan. “Works at Fresia’s.”
“Oh,” he said. Bea heard the newspaper crinkle as he turned the page; she hoped they’d do the crossword puzzle together later.
“Yeah, I go there for lunch sometimes. Ana’s beautiful,” Bea continued. “I think you’d really like her.”
Ben flipped pages again, giving up on an article halfway through the way he sometimes did.
“And she’s sweet, you know? Like a really warm heart. Probably the only reason I go to that place, now that I think about it. I think you’d really like her,” she said again. She began dicing in a haphazard pattern; the oil popped in the pan.
Ben laughed and folded the paper in his lap.
“You trying to set me up with her?” He stood and walked over to her, nuzzled his face in her neck.
“Well, if you were going to leave me for another woman,” Bea said, tossing the chunks and onion bits into the pan, “I would want it to be Ana.”
Ben stopped kissing her neck, pulled his head back.
“Jesus, Bea,” he whispered.
Check back next Wednesday for Part II. Please?