I Gave You Stones for Your Pockets
Although Cathy steeled herself, disgust hit her as soon as she entered the pub.
Sat around a table, the girls from the unit turned to face her as she crossed the stale carpet.
“Oh my god,” said Polly. “It’s been seven years. You haven’t changed.”
You have, thought Cathy, fleshy hugs and chubby arms enveloping her.
Sipping water, she looked from Alison’s fatted bosom to Charlotte’s horse thigh, the way that Caroline’s stomach pushed out her dress like an awning.
In the unit, they’d sat in leggings and sweatshirts, carefully cutting out photographs of models with safety scissors. Pinched faces solemn, arms wrapping around flat bodies like ivy, they’d promised each other they’d never eat again.
As Caroline talked of her children, Cathy saw through layers of fat to them growing inside her, grotesque fullness deforming.
You crease your round faces with pity, she thought, but on weigh-in days, I gave you stones for your pockets. I filled my trainers with meat you spat out, my pillowcase with your food, stuck my fingers down your throats.
“You all look so healthy,” Cathy said through gritted teeth, knowing that no matter how superior they felt, only she had kept her promise.