I have a great sense of humor because my life is a joke.
Constance is fat. It’s just one of the facts of life; the sun rises in the east, it sets in the west, and Constance is fat. It’s – and there’s always a giggle at this – constant. It’s also so low effort, in Constance’s opinion. There are much better puns than that out there. And some of them are not even insulting. But she hardly hears it when they say it anymore.
Her childhood was a blur of baggy sweaters, roomy dresses and track bottoms, always in muted colors, always a size too small. It was also a blur of various snacks hidden in various pockets of said garments, to be eaten whenever no one was looking, and sometimes, in moments of true desperation, when everyone was looking. Reese’s, Doritos, M&Ms, Lays, Twizzlers, you name it. Because she would. Pringles, Oreos, Pop-Tarts, Tootsie Rolls, Hershey’s (although Constance didn’t really like Hershey’s – they tasted like vomit sometimes, but she was also very hungry sometimes); she would stuff it all, first into her pockets and then into her mouth. And each bite made her so happy and so miserable at the same time and she would vow, after every single chew, that this was the last time. And that tomorrow, she wouldn’t eat. At all. Or maybe just one Oreo, instead of oatmeal or whatever else normal people ate for breakfast. This promise was another constant thing in Constance’s life, and she found it comforting. She could always decide to do better. And she could always start her new life, right after she finished that packet of Skittles. And then that box of Pop-Tarts.
Tomorrow is a new day.
Rory walks home from school every day, because his parents can’t afford to buy him a bike, and the bus smells like old people. So Rory walks. He doesn’t always pick the same route, and the weather sometimes takes a dump on his plans. When that happens, he tries to air the eau de gériatrie out of his windbreaker, but it never works, so everyone at school asks him if he washes with sauerkraut instead of soap.
He always says ‘yes’ and that’s usually when the first stone hits him in the head.
But when the weather does comply, Rory likes crossing the river on foot, even though the concrete on the bridge is cracked and his shoes are kind of old and more than kind of threadbare, which does not help the situation at all. But it’s still nice. No one crosses that bridge anymore, anyway, because there’s a new one barely a mile away. So Rory likes to think of this bridge as his bridge, Rory’s domain, his private little piece of freedom and solitude.
Except today, it wasn’t, because she was there.
At first, he thought it was a bird or a rat or something, crunching and rustling in the trash under the bridge. But when he got close enough to see, it turned out to be that girl. Rory was not much loved, but she was wildly unpopular. No one talked to her at school, except to let her know that they noticed, yet again, that she was fat. And that they still hated her for it. Rory never saw her outside of school, though, and he wasn’t completely sure of her name, either. It was something old-fashioned, like Cornelia, or Colette or… or Corpulentina.
Rory sniggered. That was funny. He was sort of proud. But it still didn’t explain what she was doing under his bridge, with her bag of colorful bags filled with colorful sweets.