I have a bit of free time today. I’ll take requests about:
My Mad Fat Diary.
I am now taking requests for two things:
My Mad Fat Diary
True Blood (books or TV show)
TITLE CHANGE: FORMERLY “EVERYTHING CHANGED”.
Kody calls on Sunday morning and because I have nothing else to do, I answer. “Hey, Kody.”
“Char! What’re you doing?”
“Nothing. I’m just sitting around in my new apartment!”
“No way, you got your own place?”
Despite the fact that Kody and I dated, and he had no interest in me before I lost over one-hundred pounds, I kind of enjoy him as a friend. He’s fun to talk to, supportive and always up for a good time. It isn’t that he was mean before I was thin, he was just less excited to see me and speak to me all the time. I suppose he is a little shallow; that’s why it didn’t work out. I realized I was only dating him because I was excited that a handsome man was paying attention to me and I jumped into the arms of the first guy that offered. But now, we maintain a sort of friendship.
“Yeah! It’s really nice. If you’re ever in the city, you can come see it.”
“Didn’t you get my text the other day?”
I remember seeing one from him, but I cannot at all remember what it said or what if I replied or not.
“Oh sorry, you know I’m bad at texting. What did it say?”
“I arrived today! I’m in the city on business. Can I come visit you? I go back tomorrow morning.”
“Shit, of course! Should we go out to lunch?”
“Yes, my treat.”
Kody struck gold with a job out of college because his dad has connections. He works in LA in the movie industry, and I know he has aspirations of being an actor. He’s handsome and charismatic enough, I think he could do it. I give him my address and he says he’ll be there in an hour.
I get off the couch and as I head into my room, Ariana pops her head out of hers. “Going somewhere?” she asks with a smile.
“Yeah! Old boyfriend from college is in town. We’re going to lunch. Want to go?”
“Oh, I don’t think I can bring myself to shower,” she says as she follows me into my room. She starts looking through my closet. “You have like fifty dresses.”
“They’re easy,” I shrug. “Pick one out.”
She reaches in and grabs a navy blue one and a white belt to go around it and I slip it on in front of her; we’ve reached a serious level of comfort in the past twenty-four hours. “Take your hair down, will you? It looks so nice.”
Because she’s asked so nicely and given me a compliment, I remove the band from around it and let it fall freely. It weighs so much, but I’m used do it. I sit down on my bed and Ariana sits behind me and begins playing with it.
“Tell me something I don’t know about you,” she requests.
This isn’t hard. “I used to be fat. Really fat. Bullied in highschool fat.”
She pauses. “Seriously?”
“Yeah. It took a couple years for me to get really fit.”
“You don’t… you just don’t look like that.”
I laugh. “Thanks, I guess.”
“You got bullied?”
I nod. “Yeah.”
“Really badly.” I bite my lip. I don’t really like to talk about this, but I feel so comfortable around Ariana and we do have to live together, so it would be nice to have someone to talk to about everything. “I graduated a semester early to get away from it and then everything got better at college.”
She wraps her arms around me. I think Ariana could be friends with anyone who crossed her path; she loves everyone instantly, as long as they’re even the smallest bit open to her. She has a gossiping problem, that’s for certain, but deep down she seems to be one of the nicest people I’ve ever met—so far.
She heads for a nap, though she just woke up, shortly after our talk and not long after that, Kody calls and says he’s on his way. I head down, forgetting he wanted to see my apartment, and watch as he pulls up in a sleek black car. I feel like I’m being picked up by a mob boss when Kody rolls down the back window and gives me his big, goofy grin.
“C’mon, babe!” he hollars, and I laugh as I jog a few feet across the sidewalk and slide in when he opens the door for me. He attacks me, wrapping his arms around me. I return the gesture with a little less vicor and a little laughter. “You look gorgeous!” He kisses my cheek; what a hollywood actor he’s become. He’s dressed in dark wash jeans that probably cost as much as my entire wardrobe and a crisp white v-neck with his expensive sunglasses hanging from the V. His blonde hair is touseled and looks like he just woke up, but I bet it took twenty minutes to do. As always, Kody looks handsome. Just plain handsome. I can remember now why I jumped at the chance to date him.
“You look like a move star,” I reply with a chuckle. He winks and leans forward.
“Taylor, that restaurant I pointed out on the way here,” he says, and I cannot help but be a little impressed that he is doing well enough for himself to have a personal driver named Taylor.
We pull up to a small restaurant that I haven’t been to since high school. In fact, I barely went at all in high school. It was the spot for the kids who were much higher up on the social latter than me and my very few (one or two only, really) friends; the cool kids. Finn and his friends.
I haven’t even thought about it in years, but I feel a little nervous at just the sight of it. Seeing my face, Kody asks me if it’s okay. I wipe the look away and give him a smile. I’m an adult now, not the same girl anymore, and I can eat wherever I damn well please.
We take a table near the front by the window and a waitress brings us to waters. We both say that’s fine for drinks and she goes away to give us time to look over the menu.
“Ho-lee shiiiit!” I look up from the menu, where I’m contemplating getting a burger based on the fact that I only ever ordered salads in front of Kody when we were together, to see what all the fuss is about. A girl about my age with long blonde hair in a braid over her shoulder and big blue eyes lined with lots of blue liner is across the restaurant, gaping at me. “Is that you?”
I look over my shoulder, but only the window is behind me. She’s looking at me. When I look back, she’s rapidly approaching, her heels clicking at a good clip on the tile floor. “Charlotte?” she asks.
I squint and stand up, assessing her as she stands at our table. “Um, Claire, right?” I ask. I think that’s who she is, anyway. Finn’s girlfriend from high school. Or was she his girlfriend? Maybe dating one of his friends. Maybe they were just friends. I can’t rightly remember.
“Yes! Oh, my gosh!” She shocks me by wrapping her arms around me as if we were old friends. I freeze up, remembering the last time she touched me.
February 15th, 2008
I look downward at my feet, or rather my lunch tray, as I move across the vast cafeteria. I see a girl I can call my friend named Rayna sitting at a table in the corner. I like her because she doesn’t have any other friends, and she doesn’t mind when I sit by her. Sometimes she even asks how I am, and that’s really nice.
I look back down and continue walking, undisturbed, until a perfectly manicured hand comes swinging out of nowhere. My tray, containing only a peanut butter sandwich and carrots because I am terrified of what people will say if I eat what I really want to in public, goes flying to the ground. I look up to see her, Claire.
She doesn’t even say anything after her assault. Just flips her hair and walks away as everyone at the center table of the cafeteria howls with laughter—none louder than thin, who shouts profanities at me as I quickly shuffle out to cry alone in the bathroom.
“You look so great!” she squeals, and my eyes narrow. I’m not pretending to like her, I’m not going to return any compliments or even accept hers; I do not care what she thinks of me just because what she thinks of me is positive. I see that girl I used to be and I know that her problem wasn’t her weight. It wasn’t her stringy hair or her size 18 jeans—it was her attitude and it was the way she took shit from fucking everyone who dished it out. I cannot be that girl anymore.
“Claire, don’t pretend we were friends in high school. You bullied me along with the rest of your friends and just because I look different now doesn’t mean we can be friends, or even acquaintances. My life has been much better since I forgot you existed. Please, pretend the same about me.”
Her mouth falls open as I turn and sit back down across from Kody. He’s gaping at me as well as I smile sweetly and say, “I think I’ll have a burger!”
The best compliment you can give to someone who writes fanfiction is that they have the characters right. THANK YOU! :)
It’s nearly two in the morning and I’m staring at his phone number. I’ve read the letter ten times over and I don’t know what to do. It gives me gratification that he seems to be suffering over what he did. That, in and of itself, is more than I had ever let myself hope for on the numerous occasions where I allowed myself to think of Finn and his pack of wolves. Now he wants to make it up to me, to apologize? What could he say that would make what he did okay? I’m not sure. It seems inhumane of me not to even give him a chance, even though most people would probably insist that I owe him nothing short of the dust on my boots.
I don’t think about how late it is when I dial him—with the landline, because I don’t want him having my number. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I still worry this will all be a sick joke; he’s come back for round two over four years later.
“Hello?” the voice is groggy and deep; it’s him.
“Char!” He exclaims. “Oh fuck, I didn’t think you’d actually call. Why’re you up so late?”
Why is he chatting? “Uh, I, I dunno…”
“Never mind, fuck, forget that. You got my note then, did you?”
“Yes. I… I read it and all. Maybe…”
“How about coffee Saturday?”
My breath catches in my throat. “Uh, I’m moving Saturday.”
“Just downtown. But that’s the morning. I suppose… I could be done by four?”
“Yes! Sure! Any time. You have my number, name the time and the place.” This reassures me, as does his eagerness. If I name the time and the place, and not until Saturday, he cannot be setting up some elaborate prank.
“Okay, bye.” I hang up, breathing rapidly. I can hardly believe I’ve just held a phone conversation with the man who single-handedly ruined three and a half years of my life and destroyed my self-esteem so badly that it took years, a strict diet and picking up the habit of running five miles a day to fix.
Too wired to sleep, I realize I haven’t yet washed my dread locks this week, so I step into the shower for my long ritual of cleaning and maintaining tightness and health in my locks. I made the commitment to them after my first fifty pounds lost and as far as physical appearance goes, they’re my favorite part of me. Nearly to my waist now, I keep them in an enormous bun most of the time, only letting them down for special occasions. I get looks sometimes, and questions often, but I love them.
Once I’m fully clean and feel like I’ve washed away the weirdness of the past day, I drift into an uncomfortable sleep.
I survey my new bedroom, chalk full of boxes and furniture to be rearranged, and I smile. I have my own place, with a roommate I like, and I haven’t got to see my mother every day; she can hate me from afar. Speaking of the devil, she places her arm around my waist.
“My grown up girl,” she sighs. Once every few years, she gets sentimental. My high school graduation, the first time I brought a boy home, and today are all I can really think of.
I nod, unsure of how to return the gesture of affection. “Thanks for the help. I’m going to get to organizing now.”
She kisses my cheek and I furrow my brow. “All right, love. Call me if you need anything. Anything at all!” She exits quickly, I suspect happy to have me out of the house, and I do as I’ve said and begin unpacking with Ariana’s help. She chats to me about her family and her boyfriend—who she hadn’t mentioned before—but she promises he won’t be over all the time and invading our space. I become incresingly pleased with her, and I feel lucky to have found someone that I’m getting on so well with so early to live with. At 3:45, my room is almost finished with just a bit of decorating to finish.
“I’m meeting someone for coffee,” I say as I enter the kitchen. I’ve spent half an hour debating what to wear and ended up in a plain red strapless sundress; nothing special, but I have let my hair down. I feel braver with it all around me.
“All right, doll. See you later.”
I text Finn to meet me at the coffee shop on the corner of the block that I now live on. I don’t know if he’ll get it in time to meet me when I arrive, but that’s okay. There isn’t a long line, so ten minutes after I leave the apartment I’m seated at a small table by the window. I’m sweating profusely and the iced coffee is doing nothing to calm my nerves, but is instead making me jittery.
I hear the bell and I know it’s him. His eyes dart around and for a moment before he sees me, I stare at him. I can’t deny that, just physically without his personality influencing any of my opinion, he’s a stunningly handsome young man. But even just thinking that sends chills up my spine and before I begin to analyze that thought, he spots me and rushes over.
“Thank you for coming,” he says hurriedly as he pulls up a seat and leans forward towards me. “I won’t take up much of your time or anything. I just wanted to say…” He takes in a dee breath; I watch his shoulders go up and down under his cotton v-neck and I can smell him; he smells like pine trees. “I just wanted to say that everything I did to you was wrong, disgusting, horrible and unforgivable. You are a human being with feelings who deserves to be treated with respect and what I did to you is the worst thing one person can do to another. I know I can never repay you, and I don’t expect you to forgive me, but I need you to know that I’ve changed and I couldn’t be more sorry.”
It’s actually quite eloquent, which I wasn’t really expecting, and a little bit touching. He must have rehearsed it time and time again. I can see his sweaty palms twitching and the look that his brown eyes are giving me almost pulls at my heart strings.
I open my mouth and say what I’ve been wanting to tell him for so long. “I nearly killed myself over it.”
He closes his eyes and lets out a sharp breath. “Charlotte, shit.”
“I don’t tell you that to hurt you or anything. I just wanted you to know. For years I’ve wanted you to know because… I always imagined telling you would make you feel bad. But you already feel bad and so, I guess I shouldn’t have said it, but I did.”
He just stares at me for a while and I just stare back. I think of all the times he made me cry and all the times I considered hurting or killing myself as a way out. He doesn’t have that same look in his eyes, that look of malice and harm that I always saw whenever I caught a real glimpse of him; he looks like a real person now, but I don’t know if I’ll ever not hate him. What I do know is that as much as he isn’t who he was, I am not at all who I was. I’m stronger, I’m more mature, and I’m secure in myself. So the next words to come out of my mouth do not shock me.
“I forgive you, Finn. I really do.”
He couldn’t look more shocked if he tried. “Really?”
“You’re not who you were and neither am I. Wouldn’t be healthy for me to harbor anger at you forever, and if you can work up the guts to say all that you’ve said to me, I can forgive you.”
He’s utterly flabbergasted; so much that it puts a smile on my face and when he sees mine, he reflects it. “Wow. You’ve got a nice smile. I never noticed.”
I want to make a smart ass comment, but instead just not.
“Tell me… about what you studied in college. Where you went to school. What you’re doing now.”
I’m surprised he asks; I thought the conversation would end and we would amiably part ways after I accepted his apology.
“I studied History in Iowa. University of Iowa, actually. I… well, I’m working at the museum now, and I just moved into an apartment on this block today. That’s… that’s it.”
“Wow. Iowa is pretty far away. How were the winters?”
I smirk. “Cold. Freezing cold.”
“And when did you do this to your hair?”
“Um, about two years ago. My hair was always long, so it wasn’t hard. It’s a lot to maintain, though. But I love them.”
“They look nice, on you, anyway.”
I don’t know how to take compliments from him; I’m so used to absorbing insults. I cross my arms over myself and nod politely. He continues asking me questions, about Iowa and school there, and he’s so light, friendly and chatty—I don’t know how to handle it. He seems like he’s easy to talk to, it’s just me who’s having a hard time not being all clamped up. Once we’ve been sitting here nearly an hour, I can take it no longer. I’ve been laughing and talking, even asking my own questions, but it feels too weird.
“I should be going, I have a dinner date,” I lie, and he loses his smile. Did he want to sit and chat? Surely he was just being polite.
“Sure, but wait! I don’t have your number?”
I give him a look as if to say ‘so?’ but don’t feel like going through the awkward conversation of refusing to give it to him, so instead I take his phone when he offers and program my cell phone number inside of it.
Before he can say anything else nice or ask me another question, I give him a last nod and an uncomfortable smile and I rush out.
Here is a fic of Finn/Rae in the future. But I have a feeling you mean IMMEDIATELY after he says he loves her? So I can do something very short about that!
They walk hand in hand down the street following Finn’s miraculous confession on the smooth skin of Rae’s back, and Rae cannot keep the goofy grin off of her face. She can feel his fingers tracing it still as the cool night air licks across her exposed back, and she thinks the feeling of him holding her hand now is the nicest thing she’s ever felt. They’re going to walk around a little before heading back to the party, which Rae knows will be raging for hours — that’s just her mother’s style.
She realizes she hasn’t told Finn she loves him, too. She wonders if he knows, but when she looks over and smiles at him, she’s pretty sure he does.
But still, she wants to say it anyway, and someone should have the words actually cross their lips. “You know…” she says as they casually stroll, “you know I feel the same way, right? I don’t just like you. I actually do love you.”
Finn’s small grin spreads wide, covering his face. “I suspected,” he teases.
And just like that, they continue walking. No big emotional displays, no huge kiss; there will be time for things like that later.
Lots of time for lots of things like that, for a long time to come.
March 6th, 2009
I nervously tug at my shirt as I make my way down the crowded hall. My backpack is so heavy that my shoulders have begun to ache, but I’m only halfway through the day. I have to carry all these books, have to use all my free time to study, if I’m going to graduate a semester early. The idea of this being my last semester at this place gives me the first glimmer of hope I’ve had since freshman year.
“Hey!” I hear his voice and immediately cringe. There’s nowhere to hide. I’ve just passed the bathroom and my classroom is still fifteen feet away. I quicken my pace, but the halls are packed ahead of me and I can hear his feet approaching. There’s a yank and I’m almost caught off balance, but luckily just my bag falls to the floor and not me with it. I turn around and there he is, just in front of me. My lips purse and I try to keep the tears out of my eyes. He leans forward and whispers in my ear, “Why don’t ya just quit already, ya fat bitch?” Usually he yells it, but that’s outside of school where there aren’t teachers around. Here, his bullying must be more discreet. I reach down and pick up my bag and turn on my heel. I walk slowly and calmly to my classroom as he and his friends laugh. Don’t cry, I tell myself, just make it through these last couple months and everything will be better.
I lean my head on the window of the bus and wait for it to start and get me the hell out of here. I need to be alone, I need to shake these awful memories, and I need to do something to make sure Finn never enters the museum again. The bus starts rolling and as soon as it does, someone pounds on the doors. I pull out my phone and see a message from Kody Clauson. I sigh and roll my eyes; Kody and I dated during my senior year of college, though he’d known me since I was a freshman and had no interest when I was over weight. I broke up with him when I moved home, and yet he continues to text me and make conversation on a weekly basis.
“Seat taken?” I look up and see Finn. In a panic, I throw my bag onto the seat next to me. He raises his eyebrows, nods, and then takes the seat just behind me. I feel uncomfortable, like a veteran home from war having flashbacks, as I imagine all the things he launched at my back during senior year Chemistry. I’m so nervous, for probably no reason at all, and I try to calm down my breathing and stare out the window as the bus begins to roll.
“Charlotte?” He’s leaned forward and he’s just behind me. He’s not going to give up on pestering me, but I’m not in the mood. I remind myself that I’m not that girl anymore; I’m a woman now and I can handle myself. I turn with what I hope is ice in my eyes. His eyes widen up and he leans away a little. “You look… different.”
So that’s his wonderful opening line. Nothing mean, nothing apologetic, just an obvious statement. I swallow and narrow my eyes. “Well I’m still the same person inside as I always was, except I’m not scared of you anymore. And I have no desire to speak to you, if it’s all the same.”
He looks shocked and hurt and I hope that, if I’ve cut him, I’ve cut him deeply. It won’t even begin to repay him for all the pain he’s caused. “Char…”
I shake my head. “No. Sorry. No.” I stand up and move a few rows forward, placing my headphones in my ears as I go. It’s incredibly awkward, knowing he’s back there wanting to speak to me more, but I hope I’ve made myself clear in that I do not ever want to see or speak to him again. It seems my point’s been made, as he gets off in two more stops and doesn’t so much as look at me. I can finally breathe once he’s gone, and I try to think of happier things once I’m safely inside.
The happiest thing I can think of is apartment hunting. Getting out of my mother’s house and into a place of my own is the best thing I can imagine, and I’m getting very close. My job pays excellently, plus tips, so I’m doing very well, even with student-loans to pay off which are minimal because of all the scholarships I got for good grades in high school and continuing on in college. So I log onto my computer and check my e-mail; I’ve been e-mailing people who are looking for roommates and asking if I can come look. I’m surprised and pleased to find two offers, one from a girl who lives downtown by herself in a nice apartment, and the other from a guy who lives with his sister just a few blocks away. The latter is asking if I can come this evening, and the former says they filled the position. I get out my phone and call.
I’m in luck, as she’s still around and willing to have me stop over. Full of excitement, my brain totally void of today’s bitter events, I jump into my car without so much as a hello to my mother and cross town to check it out.
I sigh in contentment as we stand in the gorgeous living room with the white furniture and the dark wooden floors. “This place is gorgeous. I just love it. And so close to the museum!”
Ariana, the young woman who’s just given me the tour, smiles at me. I like her already with her corkscrew blonde curls and permanent chipper smile. She’s interest in art, too, and works at a gallery just a few blocks over, where she one day hopes to have her own art displayed. “I’m so glad you like it!”
“And it’s right within my price range. On the high end, but I can definitely handle it. Do you have any other takers?”
“One other, but she came in with stains on her shirt and, I mean, I doubt she can maintain a clean living space.” She laughs and I laugh with her, though making fun of other people makes me uncomfortable; we don’t know what was going on in that girl’s life. “I might be jumping the gun, but you seem wonderful—and clean!—and I would love to have you move in as soon as possible.”
I can’t help but let out a squeal and stride across the room to her. “May I hug you?”
She laughs and engulfs me in a spine-crunching hug before I can say anything else. “This is great! This is so great! When can you move in?”
“This weekend? Is that too soon?” It’s Thursday, but I don’t want to waste any time.
“Not at all!”
I stay with her a while longer discussing things I need to bring; dishes and utensils, room furniture, a TV for my bedroom if I so wish, and a coffee table for the living room if I can, because her last roommate took hers. We chat about my job and hers a while, our time at college, and before I know it the sun has set and it’s nearly ten in the evening.
When I arrive home, completely uplifted and very optimistic about the future in a way I only get once in a great while, Mom is still up, watching TV in her robe with a bowl of ice cream propped on her stomach.
“A boy dropped a note for you.” She points back to the kitchen table. “Couple hours ago. Where you been?”
“I found an apartment.”
She makes a grunting, ‘herumph’ noise, and I walk by her and pick the note up. It’s just my name, first and last, on a piece of paper that has been folded three times.
I don’t really know what to say, I guess. I set out to tell you… When I saw you today, I thought you looked familiar. And when I realized who you were, I can’t tell you how much of a fucking jackass I felt like. You have to know that I’m not the same person I was in high school. I don’t even talk to any of those people I used to call my friends. I can’t stand thinking about who I was. Shit that’s not important.
I owe you an apology. I owe you more than that. I hope you still live at this same address. I’m gonna write my phone number at the bottom. Please, call me or just text me. Let me apologize to you, and then I’ll leave you alone. Forever. I promise. Please, call.
Please. I’m sorry.
If you’re curious.
Thank you so much! I will, I promise. :)
I’ll try anything once! I’m not going to do it tonight, because it’s late and it would probably be awful since I’m exhausted, but tomorrow night I’ll give it a go!