look like a fat Elvis impersonator in a wedding dress. Still it isn’t about looks; I’m beautiful on the inside. Yeah, that’s what I think too; bullshit.
The receptionist gives me a CD as I get in.
“Here Laura,” she says. “I know you want to lose some weight before the weddingI lost five pounds using this. And it was easy. All I did was listen to the CD when I went to sleep.”
“Thanks,” I say. I’ll admit I’m sceptical, but I’m desperate. I’ve tried everything and it’s no use. I still looked like a fat Elvis impersonator in a wedding dress. Sam said it isn’t about my looks and that he’s marrying because I’m beautiful on the inside. Yeah, that’s what I think too; bullshit.
When I get in, Sam is sitting on the couch watching TV.
“What’s for dinner Babes,” he says. I go through to the kitchen and check the fridge.
“I thought you were getting the groceries,” I call.
I pull out a frozen pizza; diet food.
“Bring a beer through will you.”
Sure why not. Bring a beer through, make the dinner, get the groceries, arrange the wedding, lose weight; anything else on my list. Oh, I’m just tired. Dry your eyes, girl.
We snuggle in and eat pizza, I get Sam a few more beers and then we go to bed. Sam says he’s too tired for anything. He was up early that morning. Ok, that’s fine, I’m tired too. It’s not like we need to do it all the time. We’re not newlyweds. He’s snoring pretty quickly anyhow.
I get the CD and earphones and put them on. The CD sounds awful, it just this screeching. It must be some kind of a joke I think and then just like that I’m gone. It’s like I’m standing right in front of this guy. All I can see is his face.
“Hi Laura,” he says.
“Who are you?”
“Gerry Love, I’m a hypnotist, this is my CD you’re listening to. I’m here to help you. How can I help you?”
“I’m fat. I need to lose weight. I’m getting married to Sam and if I don’t lose weight then. . .”
“It’s all right. I’m here to help you. Tell me; what did you have to eat today?”
I feel ashamed but I still tell him. His eyes are so kind and his voice is so gentle.
“I skipped breakfast, I’m trying to lose weight but I got hungry about ten thirty and had a hot dog. At lunch, I wasn’t hungry so I was going to skip it, but the girls brought in Thai food. It just smelled so good. I took some. Noodles aren’t fattening, are they?”
Gerry smiles at me. “Go on. I’m still listening.”
“Well, then just pizza and beer when I got home. Too much,” I admit, “I ate too much.”
In the morning, I skip breakfast and head off to work.
The next night I put on the headphones and listen to the crackle and hiss of the CD. I fall asleep almost straight away. Gerry is waiting for me.
“I’m here to help,” he says.
“I know,” I reply. I feel warm and safe.
“So how did it go today?”
“A bit better; I had a salad. Sam wanted chilli so I made some and had a small bowl. And I got exercise carrying the groceries.”
“That’s good,” Gerry says.
“Is it? It doesn’t feel good.”
“How does it feel then?”
“I just feel like a loser, a big fat loser. Poor Sam; he’s getting married to me and he doesn’t want to. Not really.”
I want to cry. Can you cry in dreams?
“It’s ok,” says Gerry.
“It’s not ok. I love Sam. I really do. But I don’t deserve him. I really don’t, I’m so ugly.”
“You’re not ugly,” says Gerry, “you’re beautiful. Look.”
He’s holding a picture. It is a picture of a slim and attractive girl in a white wedding gown. She has nice hair, long soft hair. She is beautiful.
“That’s not me,” I say, but it is.
“It is you. Look, You’re beautiful.”
When I wake I feel better. I skip breakfast and head off to the office.
After that, things do go better. I lose weight. People don’t say anything, perhaps no one notices, but I notice. It’s all down to Gerry and the CD. Every night I’ve put the CD on, fallen asleep and then there he is ready to help, willing to help me.
“You don’t need to feel hungry, there’s no need to.” He tells me.
“I guess you’re right. Hunger is just a state of mind.”
Gerry smiles, “That’s good, but not what I meant.”
“Well, what then?”
I turn my head and look round. I’ve never really looked round. All this time I’ve been looking at his eyes and his smile but I look round and see. We’re together in a bar, a nice bar. It’s on the beach, looking out over the ocean. I’m sitting on a bar stool next to him.
“You want a drink?” says Gerry.
“A beer would be good, What are you having?” I ask.
“I’m working,” Gerry laughs.
“No, you’re not. This isn’t on the clock.”
“Ok, you got me, Whisky sour please barman. So, this is nice.”
I giggle, “Yes, it is nice. You look different to how I thought you’d look.”
“In what way?”
“Well, I thought you’d look. . .”
“More academic,” I suggest.
He sniggers again and chokes on his drink, but in a nice way. He’s not laughing at me. He’s laughing at himself.
“You still hungry?” he asks.
“Starving,” I reply. He throws me the keys to his car and, we cruise around the city and get the biggest, dirtiest burger from the drive-through. It’s heaven.
The next night I can’t wait. He’s there straight away and he’s dressed in a suit.
“Where are we going? Anywhere special?”
“Maybe, if you’d like to. I just thought I’d make an effort,” he said.
“You should have got a bigger suit,” I say, “that’s too tight around the shoulders and the. . .”
“I got something nice for you too,” he says.
We’re in the fanciest hotel room I’ve ever seen. There is a mirror to my left and I turn and look.
“That can’t be me. I can’t be.”
“Of course, it is,” he says as he stands behind me. “Not too revealing is it?”
The neckline just plunges straight from my shoulder down between my breasts almost to my waist.
“I told you, you were beautiful.” I don’t deny it; I am beautiful.
“You did this.”
He’s looking at me again with those eyes, and then his voice like honey; “I’m here to help you.” He puts my hand in his and squeezes it; gentle hands, gentle voice, gentle eyes.
“Let’s go out.” he says, “you drive.” We drive out to the coast. Somewhere out on the highway, we stop and have oysters and watch the sun set.
After that, the weight drops off. It’s so easy. I don’t eat; I don’t have to. I don’t want to spoil my appetite. We go to England and get fish and chips, pizza from Italy, Beijing for Chinese. Wherever we want, that’s where we go. Sometimes he wants to take me somewhere swell, you know, French and pretentious, but I prefer just hanging out. And I’m never hungry, never again, not for food, or love. He’s perfect.
Sam’s not always mean to me. I’m sure he doesn’t do it on purpose. It’s just he’s so stressed about not being able to finish his book. But, Sam doesn’t deserve me. I see that now. He just hitched on to me. I’m just his big fat mamma substitute. Wash his clothes, make his dinner, clean up after him, pay the bills. He can’t do anything for himself. And he doesn’t love me. Three years I’ve wasted with that loser.
I don’t want to marry him, but I’m trapped. What can I do? There’s only one thing for it.
“How about losing weight,” I ask him, “You’re not fat, well not like I was, but when we get married you want to look good don’t you.”
He’s a bit unsure, but nods. “I guess I could work out a bit. I used to before we met.”
“Great, but you know what really worked for me. This CD you should try it.”
“Yeah, course I’ll try it, Babes,” he said.
Sam listens to the CD that night. He listens to it every night. He loses weight, lots of weight; in fact, he looks pretty good. But I don’t wake him up at night, and he doesn’t wake me up. It’s perfect, every night I’m with Garry.
Sam finishes his novel. Apparently, it’s really good. He moves out and takes his novel and his dreams with him. I don’t even know what his dreams are and I don’t care. Just as long as he doesn’t take mine.