Chapter 1: "Old Girlfriends"

When I married Jeff, I thought that I had seen all of his artworks. He was an illustrator for children's books, and most of his art was watercolor paintings. There were a handful of books in which he had done the illustrations as line drawings, but no one seemed to want line drawings anymore.

I had met Jeff in junior high school, and had a few dates with him in high school. He went to one college and I went to another. We decided to get married about a year after we both came home from college. I'm not sure if it was really love. It takes two incomes to pay the mortgage on even the most modest of homes these days.

I was standing in his study – the other bedroom – with some line drawings in a folder that I had never noticed before. It was at the very bottom of the drawer, as if it were meant to be hidden.

The line drawings were glamour portraits of fat women. I had never thought such a thing was possible. The women in the portraits had round, pretty faces, and lush, voluptuous figures. Thick upper arms, big, round, soft-looking breasts, large perfectly round pot bellies plopped out onto their laps. They had big, heavy thighs, and expansive backsides. They all had curiously contented smiles on their faces, and most of them had a hand resting on the top of their pot bellies. No shame at all in their expressions. Blissful contentment. Their faces looked strangely familiar.

As I contemplated the faces, it gradually dawned on me that all of the line drawings were of girls that I had known in high school. They had all been such slim, slight-figured, little things with oval faces. The roundness of the drawn faces had thrown me off for just a moment, but there was no doubt. Here they were all plumped up in the line drawings. Part of me thought they looked better fat. They were goddesses. So much more feminine. I envied their large, heavy, prominent breasts in the drawings. Even their big, heavy bellies looked strangely sexy.

I confronted Jeff with his strange collection of line drawings after dinner. It was difficult to get him to talk, but I kept at him, and eventually I was able to get the truth out of him. Maybe he was afraid I'd destroy the line drawings.

"So these drawings are your fantasy ideal of these girls that you knew in high school." I glared directly at Jeff while he looked everywhere trying to avoid my gaze.

"Yes, those are my fantasy girls. I dated every one of those girls in high school at least once. I used to fantasize about them being much fuller-figured than they were." Jeff was still looking away.

"It seems that you had the misfortune of dating only skinny girls when you actually preferred the opposite." I was glaring directly at Jeff. I remembered back to high school, and it dawned on me, to my surprise, that none of the girls in our graduating class were the voluptuous, full-figured types that I had seen in the line drawings.

"I dated what was available," said Jeff, "and fantasized about the girls getting bigger." So the cat was finally loose from the bag.

"So why me?" I asked. "Surely there were girls of the type you preferred around."

"I was embarrassed about my preference. I didn't want people to know that I found fat women attractive."

"All you had to do was go to Walmart," I said.

"And marry a girl with only a high school diploma? Or worse, a high school drop-out? Have you ever taken a good look at the women you see in Walmart?"

"A bit of a snob, are we?" I teased. Jeff squirmed. I put the line drawings back in the folder and placed them back in the drawer in his study. I thought about looking up his old girlfriends just to see what they looked like. In high school, we had all been a bunch of skinny minnies. Me included. I might have been the skinniest of all. My big-girl-loving husband had married a skinny redhead. Awwwww... Poor guy!

"Have you ever fantasized about me getting fat?" I asked. Jeff looked away. I suspected at that moment that he had. I undid the waist sash on my dress and stuffed a throw pillow up my dress to simulate a big belly. "What do you think, Jeff?" I teased. "Would I make a fetching fat girl?" Jeff looked embarrassed.

I spent the next few months tracking down his old girlfriends and arranging meetings at a local coffee shop. One of those places where most of the people were hunched down over MacBook Airs as they sipped coffee from a cup two inches away from the keyboard. Idiots. Each and every meeting had the same result: each of his former girlfriends looked exactly as she appeared in the line drawings. Each had grown fat, lush, curvaceous, and sexy. I felt plain and undesirable sitting at the same table with them. Each of them was married and had obviously forgotten about Jeff. He obviously hadn't been meeting them. How had he known that they had all gotten big? He had said that the line drawings were fantasy.

Jeff, of course, knew nothing of my investigations. After I had met the last of his former girlfriends with the same result, I decided to tell him what I had discovered and to ask him how he had been so uncannily accurate in his depiction of them in his line drawings.

As I walked toward my bedroom, I sensed a tug in the hips of my dress, and a pull across the backside. I stepped in front of the mirror and was startled to see that I had stretched the fabric of my dress tight in every direction. I had been 115 pounds forever. I stripped and stepped on the scales. I was 126 pounds. Out of the blue. Just like that. I hadn't changed my eating habits the slightest little bit. I was mystified. I stepped in front of the mirror and turned this way and that to get a good look at my body. I realized that I liked the little bit of evenly distributed flesh that I had acquired. I looked a bit rounder, softer, more feminine. It was just barely noticeable. Definitely an improvement. Deep down inside, a taboo thought entered my head: I wanted to gain weight, didn't I? The only real question was how much. The line drawings of Jeff's former girlfriends was getting to me.

That evening I asked Jeff how he had been so accurate in his line drawings of his former girlfriends. I told him that each of his former girlfriends looked exactly like his line drawings. He swore he hadn't seen them since high school. I noticed that his gaze settled on me in my dress. My stretched so tight it looked like it was ready to burst dress.

"Go on," I said, "say it."

Jeff's eyes widened and he suddenly looked worried. Without a word he suddenly dashed to his study and came back carrying a folder. He opened it to reveal precisely one line drawing of yet another glamorous-looking fat woman. This one was bigger than all the others. Round face, fat arms, big, heavy, forward-thrusting breasts. She had a prominent, perfectly rounded pot belly resting on fattened thighs and extending half-way to her knees. Her hips sprawled out almost horizontally. I thought she looked fabulous. She had my face.