Chapter 1 - from ny with loveIt was a chilly November evening, and Katherine had just landed at Heathrow airport, on a flight from New York.
She had been one of the best students in her graduating class of journalism at London's Goldsmith's University, and had been lucky enough to get an internship at a prestigious New York publishing house. After a whirlwind six months, she was back in the UK: back to banality, boredom and family life. She sighed as she sat in the arrivals lounge, waiting for her mother to appear and drive her back to their suburban London home. There was one thing, however, that Katherine was looking forward to about being back: her girlfriend, Trish. The pair had been dating since the last year of university. In a perfect world, Trish would have accompanied her to New York, but of course it was not possible, as Trish was stuck working crazy hours in a rubbish job just to pay the rent in her tiny one-bedroom flat in Mile End. She was from Manchester, but had stayed in London after graduation to fulfill her dreams of becoming a writer. They were a cute couple, Katherine was feminine-looking, smart and fashionably-dressed, a complement to her girlfriend's more boyish, laid-back style.
Within a few minutes, Katherine's mother had arrived, and soon enough they were on the road for the short drive back to Harrow. After some chit-chat, her mother, who had never been one to mince her words, turned to her daughter as they stopped at some lights. Darling, you seem to have gained some weight, she said, half concerned, half chastising.
It was true. Of course she had been semi-aware of it all along; she had been working and playing hard, keen to sample all of the culinary delights that the US had to offer. Her job was low-paid, but the accommodation was free, which meant she had a decent amount of disposable income to spend on luxuries. She had been eating out several times a week, sometimes for lunch and dinner in the same day. With Wendy's, Taco Bell, Chick Fil A, Steak n Shake and so many more all in walking distance of her apartment and work, it was little wonder she had in fact gained 30 pounds in six months. Interning was hard, and some evenings she wanted nothing more than to relax in front of the TV with a nice, satisfying take-out. Besides, it hardly felt like she was wasting money when it tasted so good and she had no bills to pay. She seriously began to wonder how she had survived in the UK for so long with only McDonald's, Burger King and KFC to choose from. She could not forget those morning (and sometimes evening) donut stop-offs either; she had become kind of addicted to Krispy Kreme and especially Dunkin Donuts - those iced caramel lattes and maple frosted donuts were so hard to resist during the morning commute. She sat back in the passenger seat of her mum's car, becoming ever so slightly excited by the thought of that deliciousness, already wistful about the great life she had left behind. She was sleepy, jetlagged, and her mother's nagging was the last thing she needed right now. All she wanted was to get to Trish's place and collapse into bed with her. This thought coupled with the comforting memory of all those wonderful foods combined to make Katherine feel really quite turned on. But she checked herself, feeling slightly awkward over her mother's insensitive remark, although she was used to it, so it was mainly just water off a duck's back. Not to worry dear, continued her mother, always the optimist, your father and I have been doing this GI diet; it's worked wonders for us both. I got some recipe books and there are some meals in there that I'm sure you'll love. We'll have you back in shape in no time!
Uh, great, Katherine replied, distracted, struggling to contain her enthusiasm. Her mother had always been critical of her; Katherine was an only child, so all of her parents' attention was focused on her, for better and for worse. But she pushed it to the back of her mind, stared out of the window as the rain spattered down, and the grey familiarity of her old surroundings returned to her.
The extent of her weight gain had only truly dawned on Katherine towards the end of her sojourn, as she was packing her stuff away. There were clothes at the bottom of her suitcase that she had not even worn because it had been too hot most of the time, and by the time the fall had set in, she had bought enough new clothes that she had forgotten about her old things. The majority of the weight seemed to have gone to her hips and thighs. There were pairs of jeans that had once fitted her shapely figure so well, but now she didn't even dare to try on. She had gotten such joy from those department stores and exciting little thrift shops that, without realising it, she had more or less compiled an entire new wardrobe in the six months. Her style had changed and she had started wearing more skirts; they were more forgiving, it seemed, and certainly more flattering to her new shape. It was easy to get carried away buying cute clothes, and even easier to forget that, while she had once been a size 12 in the UK, a US size 12 was in fact two sizes bigger.
On arriving home, Katherine hurried up to her room and haphazardly unpacked a few things. She shoved some necessities into an overnight bag, showered, then went to choose an outfit. Truth be told, she was a little worried about how Trish would react to her growth. She was not shallow or anything like that, and Katherine knew that their relationship was solid, but she could not help but wonder. Trish was so fit and in shape, what if she was disgusted by the way Katherine had let herself go?
2 chapters, created 9 years
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