I'm doing something today that I don't ever do. I am not sure why I'm posting this. But I am. For the first time ever, and possibly the only time, I'm giving you a snippet from something I'm writing.
I KNOW. I know. I promise I know.
I've been so pre-occupied and busy with life that I can not work on my WIP. So, I started playing with this short story. THIS short story. It's a rough, rough, rough draft. (I haven't even finished it yet! I haven't edited. My CPs haven't even read it! eek. I have done nothing. Nothing.) But, I hope it makes you laugh. Maybe? I don't do funny a lot. I don't do short stories a lot. I guess it is a day of firsts!! Anyway, enjoy....(Sorry for the spacing!)
Fat Girl in a Cupcake World
I know I’m the fat girl buying little chocolate cupcakes at the gas station. I saw myself in the mirror before I left. I struggled to breathe while walking down the sidewalk to get to this stupid gas station. I argued with myself the whole way here because this guy—the dark-haired-and-flannel-one at the register ringing out some old lady buying lottery tickets—is always here when I come in to buy these damn chocolate cupcakes.
“This all?” he asks.
I nod, because of course it. Golden crème cupcakes. Cookies. Doritos. A blue raspberry slush, which is for the boy I babysit and not for me.
He nods back. He’s seen it before. He’s always here. Always. And I have to face him, to watch him look me up down while he scans the little buggers and tells me a total. I read his face with those big eyes full of disgust and disappointment.
“$7.58,” he says.
I hand him the cash and he starts putting my junk in a bag. He gives me The Look when he hands it over. I smile, even though all I want to do now is shove these little cupcakes into his face. I hate The Look. I know it so well because everyone has it. That “why don’t you exercise instead of eat” look. Even my best friend has it in the corner of her eye when we go out somewhere. That shame of having to stand next to me.
And I get it. I really, really get it.
I stare at other fat people and my stomach churns because they disgust me. It’s laughable. There’s always this thought that I’m not that big. I tell myself I will never be that fat.
In reality, I am. I am that fat. I deserve The Look.
My phone sings Lady Gaga to me—Courtney’s ringtone—when I cross the sidewalk. I take a bite of one of the delicious, marvelous, disgust-myself cupcakes and mutter hello in my phone.
“Nina! Where are you? There’s a party tonight. We. Have. To. Be. There.”
I roll my eyes. “I’m babysitting.”
She whines in the phone. “But we have to go! Chance will be there.” I make a noise. “Chance Brennan!” Then, she squeals. A long, sharp, annoying sound. I pull the phone away too quick and nearly drop my cupcake.
“Go without me. I’m with Jake tonight. I told Mrs. H I’d be there until 10.”
Courtney squeals again. “Ten is perfect. I’ll pick you up then.”
“I’m so excited! He hasn’t been here in…forever. I don’t even know.”
I do. Eight months. I don’t say that though. I don’t want to encourage her. I also don’t want her to know that I’m well aware of how long Chance Brennan has been gone. It wasn’t long enough.
“Court, I don’t want to—”
“What are you eating?” she asks suddenly.
I swallow the last bite of my cupcake. “Nothing.”
“What were you eating?” I don’t answer. I shove the package and the other goodies deeper into my large bag. “Cupcake?”
“I have to go, Court. I’m here. I’ll talk to you later.”
“I’m picking you up at 10!” she yells before I hang up.
Great. An evening with children and a night with drunk children. It’s already a perfect Friday night. Maybe I’ll call her after bedtime and talk her out of it. The last thing I want to do is watch the entire junior class drink themselves stupid.
Mrs. H is chasing her youngest son—the three year old terror, Sonny—around the yard. He’s naked and running around like it’s being free is the best feeling in the world.
“Sonny Harrison you stop!” she yells. The boy laughs and ducks around the other side of their mini-cooper and toward me in the street. “James! I need help!” she yells to her husband.
She’s not far behind Sonny, but he’s already two houses down. I say his name and he smiles at me.
“Hey Sonny!” I say to him. I hold out the slushie toward him, thinking it will make him stop because who can resist a bit of sugary blue freeze? No one.
But Sonny’s smile is devious. I realize what’s about to happen just in time for it to happen. Instead of stopping, he runs faster. And straight toward me. I try to move out of the way, but I’m not fast enough. He bounces into me—and more importantly my hand—and the sugary blue awesome covers me from head to toe. It’s like a bad episode of Glee.
Sonny lands in the grass, laughing and playing with the plastic cup and straw. Me? I’m a sticky mess of blue. My arms, my hair, my white Doctor Who t-shirt are all covered.
“Oh Nina!” Mrs. H says. Her hand flies to her mouth in shock. Or laughter. I’m not really sure at the moment and my eyes are burning from the sugar.
Mr. H swoops up Sonny. “Look what you did to Nina, Sonny,” he says.
“I’m sure he didn’t mean to,” Mrs. H says.
“Nina a really big smurf!” Sonny claps. Everyone is mortifyingly quiet. No cars are even driving by. I blink away the blue and look at Sonny. He’s still smiling at me. Little brat. I better get a large tip for this. I’m talking bigger than my pants size large. Ginormous.
“Let’s get you cleaned up,” Mrs. H says. She leads me into the bathroom and offers to wash my clothes, even though there was nothing else for me to wear. I decline and end up drying my shirt with the hair dryer. I sent Courtney a text to bring me clothes from my house, and spent the evening smelling like raspberry. And the worst part? Now I have to go to that party.
I will never touch a slurpie again. Ever.