Phat Love


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Phat Love

A Young Adult novella

1.

I’ve got two girlfriends...

No, that’s not true; I’ve got one girlfriend — Julie — and one...othergirl.

If you’re young, you know that “phat” means good, cool, nice,even excellent. Everybody I know would tell you my girlfriend Julie is this kind of phat. She’s popular, smart, nice, and she looks great. I mean, REALLY GREAT!!!

Long pretty hair that’s always perfect. Her body, tall and slender but not skinny: slim waist, fairly large breasts, and shapely legs. Her complexion is gorgeous; her teeth straight and blindingly white; her hands slender, fingernails perfect. She wears clothes that never look slutty, but always look sexy. Honestly, I can’t even tell you how she manages this but she does.

She walks tall and confident, striding into rooms or down a hallway at school like she owns the world. Her family is rich but not spoiled, lord it over you rich, just well off and comfortable. She has like a billion friends and zero enemies. She’s pure phat!

Julie and I have been together since the start of our ninth-grade year, and now we’re eleventh graders, almost at the end of our junior year. We started having sex last year. Careful, always protected sex.

We had been dating for all that time and it finally just happened. When I say it “just happened,” I don’t mean it was some passionate slip-up. Julie was totally in control; she had it all planned out like a military operation: time, place, conditions, condoms — I wouldn’t be surprised if she’d checked out our horoscopes and the seven-day weather forecast.

Even though we have sex, Julie is a good girl. I’m not saying that she’s Mother Theresa, or serves meals to the homeless, or trick-or-treats for UNICEF, or any of that other crap that “good” kids supposedly do. But Julie is kind, smart, and generous.

And let’s be honest, for some people — I think A LOT of people — if a girl has sex, she’s bad (slutty, whorish, filthy). If she doesn’t “put out,” she’s good (angelic, pure, all innocent and shit). Period. If you doubt this, think of all the kids who make a big deal out of saying they are into “waiting” to do it.

You know who I mean: goody two-shoes kids...Jesus-freaks...student body treasurers...school hall monitors, etc. Some kids sign abstinence promissory notes with their churches or parents, go to Bible camps, and put on a huge show about how celibate they are.

But believe me, a lot of kids, including some of them who claim to be so “good,” actually aren’t “waiting.” Most of the time you find out about one of these saintly kids “slipping up” by something bad happening to one of them: a girl suddenly moving far away halfway through her senior year; some little skinny fashion plate suddenly showing up trying to hide her growing belly under huge sweatshirts. And, of course, the ultimate rumor, “Did you hear so-and-so had an abortion?”

But here’s the thing with Julie. We don’t now, and I’m pretty sure never will have anything you could ever call “adventurous” sex. I’m not enough of a pig to go into details, but “adventurous” to me means imaginative and lively, and even the good kind of nasty. Sex with Julie ain’t that.

Being with her in bed is okay, but that’s it; it’s just okay. The bottom line is that for whatever reason, maybe because of how she was raised, or maybe because she just doesn’t have much of a sex drive (do girls even have sex drives?), or maybe because it’s me she’s with — but whatever the reason, Julie is repressed when it comes to sex.

That’s Julie, my girlfriend.

If I’d never had sex with anybody else maybe I wouldn’t even know that it’s not all it could be with Julie. . .

But then, along came Sam...

Sorry, I mean, Samantha.

2.

Sam is...well...fat. Not in the cool, good ph sense...I mean in the F sense, as in F-A-T. She’s overweight, a lot overweight. Back when we first hooked-up, Sam was really cute; not pretty like Julie, but cute. She didn’t have Julie’s perfect, gorgeous, h/w/p (height/weight/proportionality) but Sam had her own kind of attractiveness, curvy and softer than Julie, wide hips and big boobs. Those boobs, by the way, like the rest of her over this last six months or so, have grown to enormousproportions.

So, why keep sneaking around and hooking up with Samantha?

How did I become this lying, sleazy jerk?

It started about seven months ago. I was at a party with some of my guy friends, at the house of a kid from a different school where nobody knew us. I was drinking beer. A LOT of beer. I spotted Sam looking at me from across the room and she looked good — not Julie perfection good, but good. She walked over to where I was standing and said “Hi”

I said “Hi” back. Then, right away, I told Sam that I was involved with someone else and that we were “pretty serious.”

Sam laughed and said, “That’s your problem.” The next thing I knew, we kissed — a hot, long, wet kiss that I’ll never forget.

I asked, “You wanna find someplace a little more private?”

She nodded and we left the kitchen together, making our way back towards one of the bedrooms.

That was that.

Sam goes to Garland High, which is the poor kids/crap school in town. Julie and I go to Adams High, the cool kids’ school. There are five high schools in and around Les Fleurs, Idaho, where we live. But everybody knows that Adams is the coolest school and Garland is the un-coolest. Let’s be honest, Adams has a lot of rich kids (not me, but a lot of them, including Julie) and Garland has NO rich kids (including Sam), and that’s just what it is.

Bottom line, I’ve got two girls in my life: a perfect girl whom I like and love in a lot of ways, and a fat girl whom I like and love in mostly just one way.

That first night when Sam approached me, I thought the whole thing would be a one-night, more like a one hour, stand. But the one night/one hour turned into a whole bunch of one hours, more like a whole bunch of half-an-hours, and the next thing I knew, half a year has gone by and I’m still seeing her.

When I started sneaking around and hooking up with her, Sam was pleasingly plump. In that half year since then, she has gone from being a little bit on the plump side to pretty damned BIG! She weighs lots more than when I met her — I don’t know her exact weight gain, 35, 40, maybe even 50 pounds.

I’ve never asked her about it, and she’s never brought it up, but her belly got huge, and her arms, butt, legs, her whole body just got bigger and bigger. Why is this happening to her? If I had to venture a guess, it’d be that she likes eating as much as she likes sex — which is A LOT!

I don’t mean to be harsh, but I think a lot of guys feel the same way about their big girls that I feel about Sam’s looks — it’s kind of embarrassing that she’s so fat. And the truth is, I’m proud of Julie’s appearance. I like it when we go to the mall or a movie and she’s holding onto my arm, or punching me and laughing and leaning against me — I like the looks on other guys’ faces, the envy they feel. Julie is definitely my girlfriend.

If you could see Julie lying on my bed in the afternoon before my parents get home from work, when we’re all alone in my house, lights off, the sun pushing through in a yellow haze, the curtains closed, well, she would look pretty damned perfect.

If you saw Sam she’d look, honestly, not so hot. But if you could see the inside of my brain and heart, if you could see inside my passion, Sam would look a hundred times sexier than Julie. That’s just the way it is.

So why am I still with Sam, risking the thing I have with Julie, risking all kinds of weird social condemnation and bullshit? I’ll tell you why. Some things about Sam make her irresistible to me.

First off, she is happy most of the time, laughs a lot (like a stereotype of the jovial fat chick). She always seems so glad to see me. But the real killer is that Sam has always been totally adventurous in bed. She is imaginative and lively, and most of all, nasty — she makes me feel that she really loves me by the things she does with me and for me and to me.

If Julie could be a poster pin-up for repressed, non-adventurous sex (and she could be), Sam would be the total opposite. Sam encourages me to do whatever I want, whatever excites me — she’s wild.

I have no idea why Sam is the way she is, maybe the opposite of all the reasons Julie is her opposite: how she was raised? Her own sex drive? Or maybe she loves me more than Julie does or can? I don’t know and don’t really care why Sam is so passionate and into it. I’m just glad that she is.

Like I’ve already said, I’ve never thought of Sam as my girlfriend. But I don’t want to keep doing this cheating, sneaking-around thing — it’s got to stop. I just have to decide what I’m going to do. I know I sound like a dickhead, which is probably because Iama dickhead, but I really don’t want to keep having sex with two different girls. And as ridiculous as this might sound, I’m not sure which girl to cut loose.

If you took it just on looks, Julie wins hands down, but when Sam and I are together, the things we do make me feel like she must really, truly love me in ways that Julie will probably never loveanybody.

Is great sex true love?

Is true love possible without great sex?

Am I really a bad guy for doing what I’m doing?

Does anybody else ever wonder about this shit?

Should I feel like a perv for even asking these questions?

My dilemma is easy to see: I’ve got two girls...and that’s one too many. Too much love? Too much sex? Too much...everything! I’ve got to fix this. But the answer to the problem is a little harder to deal with. Something’s got to change.

3.

I don’t think anybody sets out to be a cheater. I know I didn’t. But I’m not going to say, “It just happened.” Cheating on your girlfriend doesn’t ‘just happen’ but it does come about in steps.

I’ve heard that when Bill Clinton was president he got in trouble for messing around with a girl named Monica. She wasn’t a girl really, she was in her twenties I think, but he was like 50 or something and the President of the United States, so you had to wonder, what the hell was he thinking? I’ll tell you what he wasn’t thinking, nothing beyond, “Hey, she’s a little on the pleasingly plump side but she’s cute and she’s not going to tell anybody and there’s just something about her that I can’t stop thinking about, something I can’t pass up.”

Of course, I don’t really know Bill Clinton, never met the guy, and maybe I’m totally full of shit. But I’ll bet I’m right about what I’m saying. It wasn’t that his wife had to be mean or terrible. I mean, for an older lady, I think Hillary Clinton is okay looking, right? But attraction, for a guy, isn’t always about “falling in love.”

Sometimes attraction is just a slamming together of feelings where lust, fantasy, and need get all mixed together. Truthfully, that’s Sam and me, a big fat mess of feelings — she is a fleshy girl and I’m a dickhead of a guy with no self-control!

4.

School. Contemporary World Problems, like I don’t have enough problems of my own? Darfur...The Sudan. . . Global Warming...War and then more war...Blahblahblah...It would be one thing if studying all these problems could actually do anything about them. And I get it that I can’t fix every problem in the world. But this thing with Julie and Sam I CAN fix — so I’m going to...

Julie comes in and sits next to me.

She turns and starts to talk, “God, you wouldn’t believe what Davita just told me about Andrea Dosskey...”

I interrupt her, “We need to talk.”

She knows me well enough to read my tone and she shuts-up, staring at me. Finally, she asks, “About what?”

I sort of chicken-out, but not really. I wasn’t going to have this conversation right here in Contemporary World Problems, anyway. I say, “About a couple things.”

Julie, sensing something is wrong says softly, “Okay.”

We agree to meet at my locker right after class.

It’s now fifty-two minutes later, fifty minutes for the class to finish and two minutes for the rest. The deed is done.

It didn’t go well, but it didn’t go real bad either. It just went.

I had hoped to avoid a lot of drama, crying and screaming and all that. But Julie was, like they used to say on ESPN, “as cool as the other side of the pillow.”

I said, “I think we should be able to see other people.”

She stared at me for several seconds, and then, not smiling but certainly not crying or yelling or showing any big display of emotion, she just said, “You think so huh?”

I nodded.

She said, “You do that.”

I stared at the floor and didn’t say anything, then she added, “But I’m through.”

I looked up, “I...”

She interrupted, softly, not angry but firm, “Done.” Then she turned and walked away. I watched her walking all the way down the long hallway.

She never glanced back.

5.

I knock on the front door at Sam’s house. I’ve knocked on this door a hundred times.

She opens the door and smiles at me, “Hi,” she says, “Come on in.”

I can’t wait to tell her what I’ve done.

She leans over to kiss me, but before her lips reach mine, I blurt out, “I’ve broken-up with Julie.”

The smile disappears from her face, “really?”

I say, “Yeah, this afternoon, at school,” unable to keep the pride and enthusiasm from my tone.

Sam says, “That’s too bad.”

I’m surprised. “Why do you say that?”

Sam says, “I don’t know, you two have been together for a long time.”

I don’t know what to say back to her. After stumbling around in my head for what seems like an hour, I say, “I thought you’d be glad.”

She answers, “Why would you think that?”

I stutter, “Well...I don’t know, I just...I guess I thought...you’d be happy about it...that now maybe we can be together more...and I can...”

She interrupts, “Be together? You mean like a boyfriend/girlfriend thing?” her tone sounds almost amused.

I feel my ears and face burning, “What’s so funny about that?”

She smiles again, but not like any smile I’ve ever seen on her face before, “Why would I want a boyfriend who I know is a liar and a cheater?”

I just stare back, stunned. I try to answer. “I...you...” but I can’t finish my thought, because I don’t know what to say.

Sam leans forward and kisses my cheek. I try to grab her, putting my hands on her fat waist, trying to pull her huge boobs up against my chest, but she pushes me away.

She stares straight into my eyes and says, “I think you need to leave.”

“What do you mean?”

She doesn’t answer, but steps around me and reaches for the doorknob and pulls the door open.

I stand there just staring for a few seconds, thinking of a bunch of mean shit I want to say, stuff about her being overweight, about her leading me on, about how much I hate her fat guts, about...

“Goodbye,” Sam says. “Go call your girlfriend back; maybe she’ll give you a second chance.”

I almost say, as sarcastically as I am thinking it, “Yeah, right,” but I’m too stunned to say ANYTHING. I step out of the door. She closes it behind me. The click of the latch catching and of her turning the bolt lock behind me sounds horrible.

6.

I get back home and throw my backpack onto my bed. I lie here quietly for about five seconds before I grab my phone and dial.

It rings and I hear the familiar voice, “Hello”

I answer, “Hi Julie, it’s me. What I said before, I’m sorry, it was a mistake. A stupid, big mistake. I’m sorry. . .”

There’s a long pause on the other end of the line.

She hasn’t hung-up yet.

I can hear her breathing.

I say, “Really, I don’t know what the hell I was thinking; I didn’t mean it.”

She’s still silent, but hasn’t hung-up.

I say, “I’m sorry.”

“Okay,” Julie says, adding with a little laugh, “You should be.”

I can almost hear the wheels in Julie’s head turning — nobody wants to be dumped, ever, especially not a “winner” girl who’s always gotten everything she ever wanted. Julie is not narrowly spoiled, but maybe her prettiness has shielded her from ever being hurt by guys. She’s always been the dumper, never the dumpee, so why start now?

Do I deserve Julie? Probably not, but like I’ve always said, she’s phat — totally phat in the best sense.

Do I deserve this second chance?

Hell, no.

Will I take it?

Duh!

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash