chapter 1 - the betJUNE 2010
After a long day at his boring job at the bank, Adrian Jones was not thrilled to come home to his two roommates arguing in the front room. "It's not my fault you've got no sense of humor," Adrian's roommate Matt said smugly, one of those awful-tasting protein shakes he always drank in his hand. Adrian froze awkwardly in the doorway, putting down his briefcase.
"Fuck you," Adrian's other roommate Kate snapped at Matt. "It's not like I'm saying you have to date Lauren or anything! Just don't make fun of her weight. It's so rude!"
Lauren, Kate's cousin and good friend, had been supposed to stop by their place and go out to have coffee with Kate that evening. Clearly there had been an incident.
"All I did was tell her how many calories there are in most Starbucks drinks!" Matt protested. "That wasn't all," Kate snapped, looking over at Adrian and rolling her eyes in Matt's direction. "You told her to 'lay off' the whipped cream, and then once she was in the car you told me she'd better not order a donut or she'd have to get all her clothes at the 'fat girl store.'" Adrian brought his palm to his face in exasperation.
"Calories in, calories out!" Matt smirked. "Weight loss is mostly diet. There's no way Lauren's going to get off the couch enough to burn all the calories she takes in. You don't need to get all offended at the truth."
Kate's hands were on her hips indignantly. "Nobody asked you for diet advice, so you didn't need to say anything! And I lived with Lauren for two years! She rode her bike, like, every day."
Kate Choi was a small-framed Asian woman with equally small-framed Korean parents and had probably never carried an extra pound in her life. Her cousin Lauren was biracial, with an Italian mother who probably wore a size 20. She didn't have a small frame like Kate, and sure, she was overweight, but she'd never seemed out of shape to Adrian. She wasn't a gym rat or anything, but she kept up with him fine when they used to go on hikes and she'd go meet up with her high school friends sometimes and play tennis.
"Yeah, right," Matt scoffed. "She doesn't look like she got off the couch in two years."
"You're an idiot," Kate snapped, angry tears in her eyes. "You're talking about my cousin who I lived with. She exercised more than I did. Some people are just fat!"
"Did she eat a bucket of KFC every time she finished a bike ride?" Matt replied, smirking to himself. Kate stormed out of the front hall into the kitchen, too angry to keep talking.
Adrian didn't know what good apologizing to Lauren on Matt's behalf would do, but he was feeling like he should probably do it, once Kate had calmed down anyway. Kate and Adrian had been friends since their first year at university, and most of the time they actually liked each other. That was more than Adrian could say for his other roommate. Adrian had met Matt three or so years ago, when he'd started dating Adrian's sister Dominique. At some point, sharing a place with Matt must have seemed like a good idea to Adrian. It was getting harder to remember why, though. Matt and Dominique had broken up and got back together again more times than Adrian could count since then, but Adrian hadn't managed to clear Matt out of his life yet. Matt was loud, tried to get out of doing household chores, and was always bragging about his gym workouts (which sounded pretty average to Adrian) and making fun of people whose lifestyles and bodies didn't meet his standards. These sorts of comments weren't anything new for Matt- he usually just had the sense to save them for when he was around other guys, or at least not say them directly to the cousin of the overweight girl he was making fun of. He pays his rent money on time, Adrian repeated to himself as an internal mantra, not for the first time.
"Dude, you're being an asshole," Adrian told him. "You've never been overweight in your life. How would you know what it's like?"
"Stop being so PC," Matt smirked. "If I was fat, I could lose it in no time just by not eating like a pig. It's all about willpower."
"Oh my God," Adrian groaned. "People are different! They have things to do with their lives besides making sure they're thin enough to gain the respect of some dude named Matt who works at a Staples!" And some people gain weight a lot more easily than others."
"Stop listening to fat people's excuses," Matt replied. "Calories in, calories out. It's science."
"You don't even know what that means," Adrian said. "And even if you did, you still shouldn't insult people when you have no idea what they go through in life."
"I'm not gonna coddle some fat slob," Matt snapped. "Maybe if more people told them they're fat, then they'd quit stuffing their faces so much. But they all lie about their metabolisms. If I ate what they did, I'd blimp up in no time, and then I'd get fit again whenever I stopped being a pig."
"It's way more complicated than that, and you're a douche," said Adrian, thinking very hard about Matt's rent money, and trying not to think too hard about how he found the idea of Matt packing it on oddly appealing.
"You know what? Fuck both of you. I bet I can gain weight in no time just by eating like a fat person, and then I'll lose it no problem when I quit stuffing my face."
"Okay, I'll take your stupid bet," Adrian said, spotting Kate's head peeking around the corner. "Let's see how much Mr. Fitness God here weighs now." Matt unhesitatingly walked to the bathroom and got the scale.
"172 in February," Matt said, and then stepped on. "You're 178 now," Adrian noted. "Packing it on, huh?" Kate asked snidely. "Must have got in some good eating already this spring. Just wanted an excuse to pig out?"
Adrian had never heard Kate talk like that before. The thrill down his spine was probably just about hearing his douchebag roommate getting a taste of his own medicine.
"The Internet says you'll be officially obese if you weigh 215," Kate reported. She'd calmed right down, Adrian noticed. She didn't even sound mad at Matt anymore.
"I can use a good bulking season," Matt bragged. Kate rolled her eyes. "After I make a lazy fucking pig of myself for a while, I'll be in a good place with the extra mass. I'll look awesome in six months."
"Yeah, cause you're a fucking powerlifter now," Adrian said sarcastically. "We'll see how that turns out."
Adrian couldn't deal with any more of this bizarre evening. He turned to Kate. "I don't know about you, I want to get the hell out of here for dinner. Thai sounds good. Want to come with me?"
"God, yes," she sighed.
After they headed out to Thai Coconut Fantasy Kitchen and enjoyed tasty, healthy bowls of tom kha soup and vegetable pad thai, Adrian and Kate made their way back to the house, unprepared for the gluttonous scene that awaited them when they walked through the door.
There was an empty pizza box and about five Coke cans strewn messily on the table - and next to them was Matt, slowly but steadily eating chocolate ice cream out of the carton. There was no sign of the outline of his abs, just a bloated almost pregnant-looking stomach bulging out above his unbuttoned jeans.
"What the fuck?" Adrian blurted out.
Matt stretched and let out a loud, uninhibited burp. "I'm living the fat-ass life now. This is gonna be a normal dinner until I get to 215."
"You think fat people eat like that all the time?" Adrian asked incredulously. "Probably," Matt grunted with a smirk, hand resting on his belly.
"Oh my God," Adrian groaned.
"This is going to be interesting," Kate said to him, a slightly evil glint in her eye. "Nobody who'll eat that much junk food is going to magically get ripped again in a few months. Maybe he'll learn something from this."
"I doubt it," Adrian sighed. "It might be pretty funny to watch, though."
(To be continued! Comments/feedback/suggestions much appreciated. :))
9 chapters, created 7 years , updated 6 years
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