I smell lemon meringue pie and brownies, dessert. Always my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Grandma Ruth slips me an extra piece of pie, and a brownie after everyone leaves. She's the only one who doesn't care. My mom caught her once, and yelled, but Grandma Ruth stood her ground.

"She's a young girl, Bette," Grandma Ruth argues with my mother this year, "She can have sweets!"

"Mother, have you taken one look at the girl? She's huge! She's almost as big as you were at that age-" My mother says. Grandma Ruth cuts her off.

"Please, dear," Grandma Ruth says, gently, and then I can't hear anymore. But Grandma Ruth will get her way. She usually does.

Going to any kind of even with my family is like going to some kind of weight convention, for lack of better words. We all get together and everybody talks about how fat they have gotten in the last year, and what diet they're on now. Then, they look me up and down, and expect me to say something. But I never do. The hushed whispers begin as they discuss how beautiful I would be if I lost weight. They say this every year, every year since I was four, and old enough to understand. At this time, I leave the family room, and head to one of the bedrooms to lie down, and wait for Grandma Ruth to bring me treats.

Tonight, it's cold and I'm under the covers, seeing how much my stomach flattens out as I face the ceiling, my back against the sheets. I run my fingers up and down my ribs, I barely know what they feel like through the layer of fat. It's almost comforting, always something to grab onto. My breasts flatten, too. I am afraid of them, of the way they protrude. Everybody else in the sixth grade still wear those pretty little bras that all the boys love, they look like bikinis. My bras are white and boring and stretch across my body, hiding me from the world. My mother is ashamed because her daughter looks like a young, overweight whore. That's what she says. I hear her on the phone with my dad, telling him I couldn't be hers. Maybe I wasn't and someday they would come and take me away. I will live with a fat woman and a fat man who tell me I'm beautiful and voluptuous, and they will make me cookies any time I want them.

Grandma Ruth knocks, and then she knocks again. Finally, she just walks in. I can't face her, so I shut my eyes tight, so tight that it hurts. Maybe if I keep them closed long enough, they will all think I'm dead, and I can live in peace. Grandma Ruth buys it, and leaves a tray beside the bed. I can hear her breathing for awhile, hovering over me. I want to thank her, but then she might make me come and talk to everyone. I stay where I am. As soon as Grandma Ruth leaves, I reach, hungrily, for the slice of lemon pie. I feel it hit my stomach, I feel the bulge enlarging, and I'm so full already. I take another bite of pie, and once I start, I can't stop.

"You know where food goes, Ida, right to that soft spot on your belly. And, I suppose, the rest goes to your breasts." My mother always mutters whenever I eat anything. I can hear her saying it now, like a curse. I could stop, but it tastes so good, and why deny myself? I reach for the brownie next, and I never want it to end. I can't believe it when everything is gone. I consider slipping out to get more when nobody is looking, and I hear my mother's voice.

"I can't walk in public with her anymore!" she is exclaiming, "Ida is so fat-how can you keep feeding her? No one will ever kiss those lips if you keep it up." Not that I expected a kiss.