Chapter 1Ranjit popped his head in the door of David’s office on Thursday afternoon.
“David, man, I need a favour,” he said. “This Saturday is the company’s family Christmas party, you know?”
“Uh-huh,” said David, eying his co-worker warily.
“We’re looking for someone to play Santa and hand out the gifts to the kids. Pete from accounting used to do it every year, but he retired and moved to Florida. How do you reckon you’d look in red?”
David looked down at his new little belly.
“I guess I am getting the figure for it,” he said. “Sure, sign me up.”
“Great!” said Ranjit, with a smile. “The party’s at 3 on Saturday. I’ll bring you the suit tomorrow.”
He went out and shut the door behind him. David sat for a moment, frowning down at his belly. He poked it experimentally. He never been very muscular, just average, but he’d never had more than a hint of softness at the waist. This… was definitely a belly.
It was all Mallory’s fault. She was such a good cook. He knew it was old-fashioned, but they hadn’t lived together before the wedding. In the six months since she had moved in, he'd cleaned his plate plenty of times, and taken seconds. Anyway, it was normal to put on a few pounds after marriage, wasn't it? David put thoughts of his pudginess aside and went back to work.
On Thursdays he usually played a game of squash after work, facing off against his old friend Freddy. It was a close match and both men were panting with exertion by the time David scored the match point.
"I gotta run," said Freddy in the changing room after the game. "It's Lola's birthday today and I'm taking her out. Good game, big man. See you next week."
Big man? Where did that come from? David looked at himself in the full-length mirror. His sweaty t-shirt clung tightly to his abdomen. He sucked in, but there was still a roundness there. He'd gone beyond the point of being able to suck his belly in! He couldn't believe how wide he looked, how full. There was no one else in the dressing room. He pulled off his t-shirt and put a tentative hand on his stomach. He felt soft and doughy. He squeezed, poked and jiggled, fascinated by this change in his body.
There was a scale in the corner. He wondered how much weight he'd really gained in the past six months, since the wedding. He'd been around 160 for years now, an average weight for his 5' 10" frame. He went over and stepped on the scale. The dial spun and landed at 184. That was a 24 pound gain! No wonder his t-shirt was tight.
David stripped off his shorts and picked up his pants. Come to think of it, Mallory had bought these for him a couple of months ago, along with a bunch of others, saying his old worn pants needed replacing. He looked at the label to check the size, but there wasn't any. David shrugged and pulled on his clothes. The lowest button on his dress shirt tugged a little alarmingly, he noted. Maybe it was time to think about eating less.
That resolution went out the window as soon as he smelled Mallory's home-made fried chicken. His mouth started to water at once.
6 chapters, created 13 years , updated 53 years
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