I’m so sorry this is late! I got a new game and let the world disappear. But here it is…late in the day. I didn’t want to make anyone wait another day…for those who actually enjoy reading my silly short stories.
This challenge is so not as easy as the last one. I seem to be a one track mind when it comes to this challenge. But I will make it work! But, don’t expect much from this one. It may be horrible…
It was late at night and Diane had just polished off the last cream puff in the box, wiped her face with a napkin and sighed. She was supposed to start her new diet that day, but one bad decision led to another and before long, she was sitting at her kitchen table eating an entire box of cream puffs. She would start her new diet tomorrow…always tomorrow.
Diane woke up early, just as she planned. It was the first day of her new diet. She was in a good mood this morning; she knew that today was the start of a brand new life. She was tired of being the fat girl with a pretty face, she wanted to be the fit and beautiful woman. She had every intention of being as healthy as possible. There was no more tomorrow, there was only today.
Her first task of the day was to jog a mile on her treadmill. It was brand new and she couldn’t wait to use it. Diane had considered running the track around the apartment complex, but she wasn’t confident enough for that yet. Diane pulled on her yoga pants, changed into her sports bra and tank top that had “Progress. Not Perfection” written in silver letters. She thought that if she liked her work out clothes, her work out would be easier. With her shoes tied snug and water bottle full, she hopped on to the treadmill and started out slow, bumping up the speed every few minutes.
Thirty minutes later, she was breathless, sweaty, and proud to have gone a mile in thrity minutes. She also felt like she deserved the breakfast she had prepared for herself. It was a smoothie made with orange juice, Greek yogurt, and frozen berries. All she had to do was throw it all into her brand new blender and then put it in her brand new water bottle she had reserved for her smoothies. But first, she reminded herself she needed a shower. She had read a study that said a shower right after work out helped burn more calories. She didn’t know if it was true, but there was no harm in trying.
After her shower she cleared the steam off the mirror and smiled at the glowing woman staring back at her. But her smile quickly faded away as she pointed out her chubby cheeks and her double chin. She studied the rest of her body in the mirror. She picked at her love handles, round jiggly belly, and the fat that hung off her arms, bat wings, she liked to call them. Tears streamed down her face, she hadn’t expected instant results but she didn’t want to hate what she saw in the mirror.
After putting on her work clothes she left the bathroom, eyes wiped clean of tears and covered in make-up. She had thrown her hair into a pony-tail and left her house, skipping the smoothie she prepared the night before, but grabbing her lunch. Skipping breakfast wasn’t a big deal, she couldn’t afford the calories any ways.
The work day was slow and her stomach was growling, but she managed to keep herself busy enough to not think about it too much. Working retail, there was always something to do, always something to clean, and always a customer to help. It had been the most productive day in her career. Lunch time finally rolled around and Diane was starving. She stepped into the restroom the wash her hands and check her make-up.
The mirror doesn’t lie. She looked horrible. Her eyeliner had smeared and faded and her skin glistened with oil. She quickly washed her face and frowned, noticing her chubby cheeks and double chin again. She decided she didn’t need lunch, she would just drink a lot of water and trick her stomach into thinking it was full of food. She walked around the parking lot for her break, drinking plenty of water and clocked back in to finish her day.
After work, some co-workers invited Diane to go out to eat with them. She declined the offer out of fear of eating something she knew she shouldn’t be eating. Instead she went straight to the gym; another new thing in her life. It was the first time she had been to the gym and she wasn’t sure what to do, but she would figure it out. She would start on the treadmill and watch others as they used the machines to get an idea of what to do.
Two hours later, Diane left the gym. She was so tired she couldn’t keep her eyes open. The drive home felt long and all she could think about was going to bed. She skipped yet another meal and went straight to bed when she got home, falling asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.
The next day, the alarm woke her up, another early day. She was shocked that she wasn’t hungry, having not anything the day before. She started the day off like the one before. Running on the treadmill, but it took her longer to run today. She was just so tired. After her run she prepared her shower, stripping off her sweaty clothes and stepping on the scale before she got into the warm shower. She clapped in joy when the scale told her she had already lost 5 pounds. She was so happy that she forgot to eat breakfast and didn’t grab anything for lunch. She went to work and worked all day, even through her lunch break. She didn’t want to give herself any reason to think about food.
After work she returned to the gym for another two hour work out. Her tiredness had diminished some and she was running on a work out high. She was so pumped when she got home that she skipped dinner again to get on the treadmill for another hour of jogging.
The next day was the same routine all over again.
The fourth day she didn’t have to work. She used the day to clean out her cabinets, throwing out any and all food that had sugar. Then she decided to throw out anything that was processed, which left her cabinets bare. After an hour on the treadmill she went to the grocery store for fresh fruits. She didn’t want to starve herself, but she liked that she had already lost 10 pounds. She wasn’t very hungry either, but according to a little research, her body was breaking down everything, including muscle. She wanted to be skinny, but she wanted muscle too.
After her trip to the grocery story she went home, put everything up and decided to grab an apple and go to the gym. She left the apple in her car, promising she would eat it after her work out.
As usual she started out on the treadmill doing intervals of running for a minute and walking for a minute. She was getting better already. Another two hours later she was headed out the door of the gym, her mouth watering at the thought of the apple in her car. She passed a laughing group of girls, catching their conversation as she walked by. They had been talking about her, poking fun at her chubby cheeks and round stomach. One of the girls whispered “baby got back. Like an Elephant” as Diane walked by.
The drive home Diane cried, hating everything about her body. She wasn’t dedicated enough. At home, she sat the apple back in the bowl on the counter and went to bed.
A month went by and Diane had only eaten enough to keep herself from fainting. A few nuts and maybe an apple every few days. She spent hours in the gym and even more hours on her treadmill at home. She had lost 30 pounds in the month and she was finally seeing some results. But she also still saw her chubby cheeks and love handles. People started telling her how good she looked, though, and that was enough to keep her going. She wanted to work harder, longer, better. She was going to be skinny and she would do whatever it took.
Another month later the weight loss had slowed. She was eating a little more food and on good days she would eat an entire meal. She had even gone on a date with a guy from work. One morning she got on the scale and noticed she had gained a pound since the day before and it made her sick. She wouldn’t eat anything that day. She called out of work so she could spend the day at the gym, and it was the worst mistake she could ever make.
At the gym, all of her extreme dieting had caught up to her. She passed out while on the treadmill, falling and being flung into the floor. When she finally came to, she was in a hospital bed plugged into machines. A nurse came in and explained to her that she had broken her ankle and would have to be off of it for six weeks or better. Meaning, no more running or working out. It was devastating to Diane. She was sent home with orders to get plenty of rest.
She was put out of work because there was no light duty for her to do. She spent all day locked in her home, not able to work out, nothing to keep her busy and her mind off food. It was more than she could take. She could feel the pounds coming back. She could feel the laughter and the jokes. She could hear the girls calling her an elephant. She couldn’t go back to that, she wouldn’t go back to that.
Six weeks later a knock came from Diane’s door. No one had seen her since she broke her ankle and she missed her doctor’s appointment. Her co-workers were worried about her and had sent the manager to check on her. When no one came to the door, he knocked again while looking for somewhere a key may be hidden. In all honesty, Lucas had been excited to see Diane. He had been attracted to her since the day she started working for him. It wasn’t appropriate, him being her boss and all, but he decided he didn’t care. He had seen all the hard work Diane had put into her work and herself before she had been injured. He had planned on promoting her and asking her out all in one go. That was why he was there.
He finally found a spare key and unlocked the door. He knew she had to be home, her car was parked in front of her door. He shouted into the house, calling for Diane, but no one answered. A bad feeling came over him as he stepped into the house and smelled the rotting fruit. He called her name again, getting no response. He heard voices in the living room and followed them to find the TV was on. He saw the top of Diane’s head on the couch. He said her name again, walking over to touch her shoulder.
He recoiled in horror as he took in the woman that lay on the couch before him. She was swiveled up, wasting away. Or wasted away. No breath escaped her lungs and no life passed her eyes. Lucas covered his mouth and ran out of the apartment, puking in the bushes. He had been too late. Diane had died of starvation.
All she wanted was to be loved, to be cherished, to be skinny and healthy. The cruel world had pushed her to believe the only way to achieve that was to starve herself and she had quickly taken it too far.
I hope you enjoyed this. For other prompts and short stories check out THIS page.