She picked at the pastel frosting on the pastry in front of her.
How do people eat this shit?
Dana, her best friend of nearly 10 years, plopped down across from her in the school cafeteria, her lunch tray clattering on the table.
“Hey, Shelby! You will never, never guess who asked Cathy to Homecoming. Go ahead, guess! Brad. Crazy, right? Are you gonna eat that?” Dana chattered on at lightning speed as she reached for the donut. Shelby watched as she pulled it into two pieces and placed half of it back in its original location. Her gaze was drawn, almost magnetically, to the tiny shards of dried frosting that went skittering across the table as Dana shoved a piece into her mouth.
Dana was blessed with what seemed to be the metabolism of a fruit fly. The girl could eat obscene amounts of food and never think twice about it.
Me? Not so much. Shelby thought. All I have to do is think about food and I gain weight. So not fair.
She picked up her fork and pushed the small side salad around on her plate, ignoring the greasy french fries and the poor excuse for meat that was sitting cockeyed on a now soggy hamburger bun. Dana was still rambling about the latest school gossip, oblivious to the fact that no one was really paying her all that much attention.
105 this morning.
Shelby speared a piece of dressing-free lettuce and slid it into her mouth.
Just five more pounds. I know I said that five pounds ago, but this time? This time I mean it.
She chewed slowly, watching Dana’s frantic gestures as she voiced her disbelief at yet another perceived social atrocity occurring inside the walls of their school.
Fat, fat, fat. Five more and I’ll be happy. I can be happy. Once this fat is gone.
She picked up her water bottle, drowning the nagging voices as she poured the cold liquid into her mouth.
Dana was now in the process of dipping her french fries in mayonnaise.
Shelby noted the dimpling in the thick mayonnaise. Noted that that is exactly the way it would appear on her thighs if she ate it.
There. That pretty much took care of her appetite.
She set her fork down, avoiding Dana’s curious gaze as the girl stopped mid-chew and observed her full tray of food.
“You feeling ok?”
“Yea,” Shelby muttered, forcing a smile. “I’m fine. I ate a big breakfast, so I’m not really that hungry.” The lies came so naturally now.
Dana shrugged. “If you say so.” She popped the last of the donut into her mouth as the bell signaling the end of lunch resounded throughout the room.
The two girls stood with their trays and joined the herd of students jostling their way to the front of the cafeteria.
One tray empty, one tray full… polar opposites of their respective carriers in so many ways.
This post is a work of fiction written in response to a prompt by The Red Dress Club.