The second one would have to be better than the first, Adelaide thought as she sat in the corner table at Brouchard’s, tracing her finger down the glossy entrée menu. She had easily polished off the croque madame. Her mind swirled around that perfect 20-ounce ribeye, charred on the grill to a savory medium rare. And the pommes frites! Oh how she so wanted to rub the jagged slivers of fried potato in the pink juices pooling up on the plate. So she would. She paid no mind to the waiter’s widening eyes at her request for the follow-up meal. He probably likes skinny little cunts, that one, she thought as he scurried off to the kitchen. What a narrow ass he has.
When the steak arrived, she had to sit on her chubby fingers to keep from rubbing her palms together in excitement. She waited until the waiter turned on his heel to devour the unconventional dessert. Fuck them all, she whispered to no one in particular. She picked up the fresh fork and knife that had been placed before her and sawed off the corner with the most singed fat. She closed her eyes as she felt her molars grinding the meat to mush, releasing smoke and garlic.
The empty plate looked almost happy, glinting in the brioche glow of the restaurant’s overhanging chandeliers. She paid the tab and sighed heavily as she forced her tightly-wedged flesh free from the wooden chair like a popped can of biscuit dough.
She ignored the stares of the patrons on the walk out of the restaurant. Still, her eyes shifted over to the blonde woman in the black dress at the table nearest to the exit. It happened always. Some svelte 20-something saw her and then immediately placed a hand to her own stomach. As if to make sure it were still ironing board flat. As if she believed a sagging, shar-pei-wrinkled stomach were contagious.
She opened the door to her SUV and swung one leg in at a time, using her momentum to wedge herself into the beige seat. The car’s frame sagged further onto the tires. Sometimes she swore she heard the tires screaming beneath her. Or maybe they were laughing.
Fuck you, she said through clenched teeth as she stretched the seatbelt over her stomach, its outer edge cutting through the thick material of the polka dot dress, digging into her. As she exhaled slowly, she heard her phone buzz from the depths of her purse. She strained against the seatbelt, reaching for it. A notification from Chubby Lovers, the online dating site she had joined a month ago. With her Kielbasa finger, she scrolled over the envelope icon to read the message from DanzHot4Heft.
“Fuck me,” it said.
Jamie McFaden is a freelance writer in Birmingham, Alabama, who holds an M.A. in creative nonfiction from the University of Alabama Birmingham. A former Thomas H. Brown scholar, she has been published in Aura, Birmingham Home and Garden, Kaleidoscope, Alabama Seaport Magazine, and Mobile Bay Monthly. By day, she teaches ballet-based fitness classes at Pure Barre and by night, she pours over her weird and wonderful life via the written word while sipping the finest red wine the Piggly Wiggly has to offer.