Authors: Wendy Lynn Clark
Tags: #love story, #first kiss, #self acceptance, #falling in love, #homecoming, #love relationships, #body image, #high school reunion, #second chance at love, #love romance, #love after being apart, #weight problems
San Juan Island Stories #1
Wendy Lynn Clark
Published on Smashwords by:
Wendy Lynn Clark Publishing
PO Box 1993
Vancouver, WA 98668
San Juan Island Stories #1: Fatty
Copyright 2013 Wendy Lynn Clark
This estory is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This estory may not be used for any purpose other
than enjoyment. If you would like to share this estory with another
person like your mom or your book club or your psychic advisor (who
already knows), please preface it with your estimation of exactly
how much enjoyment you think they will receive from reading it.
(Somewhere above a 7 on a scale of 1-11 is fine). If you're reading
this estory and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for
your use only, I hope that you support your local library. With
your wallet. And not just to reach in and pull out your library
card. In fact, please buy this story for your local library. Buy
every story for your local library. Think of the children and the
elderly who might not enjoy the same advantages you do, you
successful, healthy, attractive-looking adult you. Thanks for
respecting the awesome.
Fatty Patty is a short [7,000-word] story
about: A woman attends her five-year high school reunion to prove
herself to the classmates who tortured her and to the boy who broke
Table of Contents
Pepper McKay lived fabulously.
It was the best revenge.
She was no longer the fat klutz who couldn't
walk a mile in PE. She was no longer the sad blob who overheard the
other girls whisper about body odor—which she
sweat stains, which were unavoidable in the humid coastal
classrooms. She was no longer the victim of the unknown bully who
kicked her wobbly seat at the start of assembly. The plastic had
given way with a sickening crack and everyone had watched her
Her four-inch Kate Spade Licorice heels,
size-five Ella Moss strapless mini, and Sixth Sense chocolate
Burberry satchel all proclaimed that refined adulthood had arrived.
Five years too late, maybe, but sophistication
in her life and at the sultry Bellingham, Washington
She was thin now.
Thin like a Thin Mint.
And tonight, everyone would finally know
Pepper waved her boarding pass before the
attentive, muscular dock hand, curved her lips in a confident smile
coated with Yves Saint Laurent iced plum Sheer Candy, and strutted
up the gangplank onto the
, a hundred-foot
cruise ship decorated in the purple and gold of Friday Harbor High
Welcome, class of the Millennium
, the sign at the
top step proclaimed. She mentally capitalized the "C" of "class" as
she continued onto the deck, to the table manned by the reunion
Time had not been universally fabulous. Allison
Payne, who had once lit up the stage as Rizzo of Grease and taken
the over-excited athletics department to the state championships in
Cross-Country, licked a swelled finger and squinted up at Pepper.
"Who are you with? I don't—" Her jowls flattened. "Oh my god.
The name hit her like a curse, burning a hot
flush onto her cheeks. She cleared her throat. "It's
Allison's lips dropped further and her neck
rolls gobbled up her silver "Mother" necklace. She grabbed Pepper's
nametag and a thick black Sharpie. "I wondered! When did you change
Pepper gripped her satchel and struggled to
maintain her iced smile.
In high school this woman had been one of
, the blade-slim girls who sprawled in patches across
the sunlit cafeteria, waving flirty fingers at the hottest boys,
pushing ugly people like Pepper to the cold retreat of study
She coughed. "Actually, it's always been
Allison uncapped the Sharpie. "Nobody will
recognize you unless I fix this."
Dread uncoiled in Pepper's stomach.
The Sharpie touched the laminate.
Pepper snatched her tag away, black ink drawing
a long, wobbly line across the top. She tried to wipe it off. The
line smeared like the grease of an old food stain.
Allison reached for her nametag. "But no one
"I want to be myself now. Thanks." Pepper
pinned the badge above her left breast. A smudge was still better
than what was about to be written. Her heart beat, hard and
regular, in her chest and she shifted her handbag higher on her
The waning sun seared her pale shoulders. Pale
She tucked her salon-relaxed walnut hair behind
her silver-pierced ears. "Is Julian here?"
"He's already inside." Allison leaned forward.
"You won't recognize him. He's changed so much. It's
No way. "He's fat?"
Allison's brows knit. "Huh? No, he's turned
into … well, you'll see." And then her brows lifted, as though she
had solved a problem. She heaved herself to her feet, crossed the
deck to the main cabin, and threw open the doors.
The other members of their class stood in
cliques—the same ones as in high school, it seemed—an odd mix of
optometrists, seafood vendors, and hair dressers milling around
under long swathes of purple and gold decorations. She knew from
their MySpace profiles, the ones who had let a few months go by and
then suddenly had the guts to friend her. She had friended them
back, sure, but never posted a self-portrait. Let them think she
was the same, let them settle into the routine of their lives, let
them post their own fattening photos as they gave up intramurals
and exercise to settle into grad school, marriage, and kids. Things
she didn't have. Things they probably thought she never
Her stomach twinged again. She tightened her
Pilates-toned abdominals. This was not Homecoming. She was no
longer the only one stepping into a dim music-filled room without a
friend or a date.
And even if she were, that wasn't why she was
here. She wasn't here for herself.
She was here for revenge.
Across the almost-familiar faces, across the
almost-filled buffet, across the almost-emptied wine bar, she
locked eyes on the one man she had come to see.
He chatted with a shorter man and a buff woman
in skin-tight bike shorts. Tanner and taller, fitter and
full-postured, Julian settled on his heels as though he had finally
discovered his true center. Why had Allison thought he looked
different? He was still a snowboarder without a mountain, a surfer
without a swell, an athlete without a field to dominate. Except for
his hair, and maybe his posture, he was exactly the
Without any reason, without any rhyme, he
turned in her direction and looked up. His gaze locked on
The intensity hit her with a hot force. A
pulse-beat in her belly, sure and strong, regular as the tremble of
her fingers curling around her purse straps, undeniable as the
awareness flushing through her body. His chin rose and his gaze
raked her figure once from tip to stern to tip again. His hands
tightened around his drink and his brows lowered.
He was going to be so sorry for what he had
done to her.
She would make sure of that.
Pepper smoothed her mini, tucked any stray
locks behind her ears, and started forward with a radiant
Allison stepped forward at the same time and
threw her arms wide. "Look who's here, everybody." Her hand swung
at Pepper's cheek.
She jerked back, too committed to
"It's Fatty Patty!"
Pepper's Kate Spade four-inch heels slipped out
from under her as though skidding across a seaweed-coated rock. In
front of everyone's shocked gaze, she tumbled like so many
scattered pebbles to the unforgiving deck.
Julian was smart. Smarter than she was, even
though she worked a thousand times harder to make it show in her
He was also brave, strong, and
She snuck glances at him in third-year French
class while he fended off the teacher's nagging in his
, and she bit the end of her
mechanical pencil while she pretended to study.
Julian was kinetic, tipped forward as though by
the weight of his hair fluffed out in a wedge from his head, a
brown sea sponge of strands that would not be tamed by ties nor
headbands nor Mia's borrowed blue barrettes. His dad was French
Canadian, but his mom had dragged them all around the world and
they finally washed up here, on the shores of San Juan Island,
where she dumped them and continued on to some exotic unreachable
His eyes were blue, she knew. It was general
knowledge; everyone knew. She conjugated the verb to know.
Savoir. Je sais, tu sais, il sait. Je sais qu'ils yeux sont
He slept through
Manon of the Spring
weekly 20-minute increments and stared hungrily out at the busy
soccer fields during the
Cyrano de Bergerac
Tu aimes football
?" she finally got up
the nerve to ask.
His gaze settled on her. Warm, lazy. He
," and slipped out a string of words
like an oyster spitting out pearls. He dropped to the desk and
tilted his head, smiling up. "That's not all I love."
The way he said it, and the knowingness in his
gaze, as though he could feel the waves of shy desire emanating
from her seat, made her unable to even ask what the other things
were that he loved. But she found out soon enough. He also loved
rugby and watersports and basketball and something called