Weight- Finale

THIS IS A WORK OF ORIGINAL FICTION

It will be serialized over the next several days…the ending will be marked in the classic styling…
THE END

-C- Hey! On your hot date? –

-D- Nope. Over now. And it was lukewarm at best. What’re YOU doing? Thought you’d be swept off your feet by now. –

-C- I have been. 😉 So you’re unoccupied right now? –

-D- ??? Yep. Just sitting around. –

-C- Wanna take a walk with me? –

-D- Sure! 🙂 You’re not gonna explain ‘swept off your feet?’ You’re so mean! 😉 –

-C- Meet you halfway. –

“So…things didn’t go well with Jim?” Dan offhandedly asked as they began their habitual walking route around their shared neighborhood.

“Nope. I’ve moved on. He thinks the wrapping paper’s the best part of the gift. Does that make sense?”

“It makes perfect sense.”

“I guess things didn’t go well with Emma either.”

“No. She seemed…I dunno…kinda shallow. I’m not sure what I saw in her before. I guess was shallow before. She’s still pretty on the outside, but…I’ve changed. And she only liked the exterior changes.” They took several steps in pulsating stillness, until Dan confronted the elephant in the room. “Your text surprised me. Planned on not getting to see you tonight.”

“I missed ya.”

“Used to having your Ol’ Buddy Dan around now, huh?”

“Not exactly…”

He smirked at her, faith growing with each sentence, but not powerful enough to completely overtake his apprehension. “I missed you too. You’ve made me a harsher judge of other people’s company.”

“I do have a way of spoiling people…”

“That, you do. I sat at a trendy restaurant with an outwardly beautiful woman, and all I could think about was how much better pizza and beer at home with you is.”

“Can I ask you something kinda strange but important?”

“Of course.”

“Would your opinion of me lower if I put some weight back on?”

“No. I kinda expect you’re gonna put some weight back on someday.”

“Harsh, Dan. Jesus. I mean, I guess I’m glad you’re so practical about it, but way to underestimate me.”

“That came out wrong. You’ll have to put on some weight eventually.”

“Do you think I’m too small now?!”

“No, you’re at Terminal Hotness right now. But you’ve been undeniably hot for about thirty pounds. And you were already adorable before you lost any weight at all. I just mean, right now…at Terminal Hotness…you’re at a place where it’s not healthy to get pregnant and not gain any weight. You’ll have to put on twenty, thirty, maybe forty pounds. Most of it will likely come back off after you have a baby, but…”

“You’ve thought about me having a baby?!”

“Do you not want kids?”

“I definitely want kids at some point in the future, I just…I’m surprised that’s something you’ve thought about.”

“Cori, I’ve thought about…” he trailed off, his fear shrinking, but still not obliterated. “What if I gain weight back? Would you think less of me?”

“Not at all! This shit is hard. I’d try to get you back on track, though. Not because of how you look now…I mean…you look bad ass and everything…but because, you know…you put in all that hard work.”

“What if I couldn’t get back on track? Would that disappoint you?”

“Maybe a little. It wouldn’t change anything between us…I mean…how I think of you, though. It’d just be me bein’ sad for you. ‘Cause I  know you’d be disappointed about it. What if I couldn’t get back on track after a weight gain?”

“I’d feel exactly like what you said. Plus, if yours was because of a baby…well, that doesn’t even count.” He took a deep breath, drumming up necessary valor. “Can I ask you a really serious, potentially soul crushing question?”

“I certainly hope neither of our souls get crushed, but you can ask me whatever you want.”

“You think we made a mistake when we met? You know…with ‘friends?’”

“No.”

Dammit. Not gonna lie. Soul’s a little crushed.”

“When we met, we both needed a friend. A real, true friend. Badly. At least I know I did…”

“I did too, but…”

“And Mer had such a track record…you know…she’s not the best matchmaker…”

“Well, that’s a point I can’t argue with…”

“Guys before you were just duds. And I was still hung up on Jim. I went into the dates after you ready to try, but they both ended up…”

“Being complete wastes of oxygen?”

“Ha! Yeah.”

“Damn. If I’d been Guy Number Five or Six, would we have…?”

“No. In fact, I’d have turned you down flat out if Mer gave me Steakhouse Pete or Steven first. Going out with you…ch-changed my perspective on giving someone a real chance.”

“Why didn’t I get the real chance?”

“’Cause I went in closed off. Before I met you, I didn’t know someone could treat me…on the date, you were… You had to open me up. I didn’t wanna lose you, so I put you in the nice, safe Friend Box, because I didn’t know where you stood. I knew Mer only set us up because we were both…”

“Struggling with weight…”

“What a diplomatic way to put that,” she teased. “Seriously…you’re my best friend. I think we were meant to be friends first. So, no. I don’t think we made a mistake.”

“’Friends first?’”

“I kinda…don’t wanna be ‘just your friend’ anymore.”

“You want more than friends with me now?! Really?!

“Yeah. I don’t want that to ruin ‘friends.’ I like…I love ‘friends’ with you. I’d pick ‘friends’ with you over anything else with anybody else. I already did pick that tonight…but…I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about ‘more.’ Often. Daily.”

“Beat ya. I’m at ‘more than daily…’”

“Really?!”

“Yeah. For over a year now, actually.”

“Before we even started working out together!? When did you start…thinking about ‘more?’”

“Makes me look needy and sad…or like a domineering shithead…”

“I’ll tell you when I started thinking about it…makes me seem like a helpless Disney Princess.”

“You’ve thought about it more than a couple days!?”

“Yeah. Been over a year for me too.”

“It was when you left a big gap emailing me. I mean, you messaged me about other guys, which should’ve pissed me off, I guess, but then when you quit…I dunno. I tried to be cool about it for a couple weeks, but I guess I got greedy about talking to you every day. That either comes off lame or controlling. Ugh.”

“No. It comes off sweet.” She reached out to hold his hand, and flashed her radiant smile at him. He earnestly returned it, overwhelmed by magnetism at her innocent touch, and lauded at the term ‘sweet,’ for the first time since he was a child.

“When did you start thinking about it?”

“When you came to rescue me from Steven. Never had anybody show up for me…protect me like that before. It was real ‘knight slaying a dragon’ type stuff. Childish to admit that kinda selfless heroism turns me on…but it does. And you were so understanding about the whole situation. Even the touchy, mortifying parts. Nobody…understood me…took care of me like you did. I fell in love with you.”

“You fell in love with me when I was f-…n-not the best version of myself? Seriously?”

“Yeah. Did you really wanna be with me…before I…?” He cut off her thoughts and steps, securely pulled her close, and she tightly embraced him, eagerly gazing up at him. He leaned in for the best first kiss she’d ever shared. He marginally withdrew from her, hungry for her to look at him that way again, and got his wish. They stood motionless, breathless, speechless, and enveloped with passion.

“Sorry I interrupted you. You were saying…?” he murmured with barely recovered poise.

Wow.

Yeah, wow.”

“Elaborate on your ‘wow,’” she said.

“I never wanna let you go. Elaborate on yours.”

“Are we closer to my place or your place here?”

“My place. Damn, you’re so sexy.

“You’re pretty steamy yourself.”

“Not like you. You said something to me a little after we started working out together that literally took my breath away. It’s how I knew the exercise regime was working. I’d have had a legitimate heart attack if you said it before I started training.”

“Shit, really!? What’d I say? Maybe I’ll say it again.”

“Something like you had fun breathing heavy and becoming a sweaty mess at my place.”

“That sounds like a great idea for something to do tonight.”

“Mmm. Wanna race to my place?”

“Haha! You look serious!”

“I am. I really do wanna run home now.”

“Let’s walk. Anticipation heightens arousal.”

“Omigod, Cori, for real. Good thing you got me in better condition before you started talking to me like this…”

“That’s why we needed Friends First,” she teased, as they embarked arm in arm (with markedly more swiftness) toward Dan’s.

walk

“Us together like this creates a problem, though…” she kidded.

“What’s a problem? I’ll eliminate it.” He playfully squeezed her closer to him.

“Mer looks like a good Fix Up Artist now.”

THE END

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