The Fat Girl by Andre Dubus

6416 WordsApr 24, 201326 Pages
The Fat Girl Her name was Louise. Once when she was sixteen a boy kissed her at a barbacue; he was drunk and he jammed his tongue into her mouth and ran his hands up and down her hips. Her father kissed her often. He was thin and kind and she could see in his eyes when he looked at her the lights of love and pity. It started when Louise was nine. You must start watching what you eat, her mother would say. I can see you have my metabolism. Louise also had her mother’s pale blond hair. Her mother was slim and pretty, carried herself erectly, and ate very little. The two of them would eat bare lunches, while her older brother ate sandwiches and potato chips, and then her mother would sit smoking while Louise eyed the bread box,…show more content…
At other times, away from home, she thought of the waiting candy with near lust. One night driving home from a movie, Marjorie said: “You’re lucky you don’t smoke; it’s incredible what I go through to hide it from my parents.” Louise turned to her a smile which was elusive and mysterious; she yearned to be home in bed, eating chocolate in the dark. She did not need to smoke; she already had a vice that was insular and destructive. *** She brought it with her to college. She thought she would leave it behind. A move from one place to another, a new room without the haunted closet shelf, would do for her what she could not do for herself. She packed her large dresses and went. For two weeks she was busy with registration, with shyness, with classes; then she began to feel at home. Her room was no longer like a motel. Its walls had stopped watching her, she felt they were her friends, and she gave them her secret. Away from her mother, she did not have to be as elaborate; she kept the candy in her drawer now. The school was in Massachusetts, a girls’ school. When she chose it, when she and her father and mother talked about it in the evenings, everyone so carefully avoided the word boys that sometimes the coversations seemed to be about nothing but boys. There are no boys there, the neuter words said; you will not jave tp contend with that. In her father’s eyes were pity

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