That last week or so turned out to be three weeks and as the days swept from one to the next almost entirely filled with my various labours, a curious inversion started to occur.
There was a countdown inside me now; two countdowns; one toward returning to seeing Melissa and taking the first step to swap back; the other to race as fast as I could toward a total and final immersion in her body and life.
I knew these were the last few weeks and while that part of me was eager to begin the return to my old body and life, the other me wanted nothing more than to grasp onto this bizarre and dismal life while I still could; to relish the changes I was undergoing and push them even further.
And I did push them. I spent every cent I earned on snack food or fatty drinks. I spent it on cigarettes that I was starting to realise I could no longer live without. During the mealtimes in the hotel I had as many as five or six plates of food now for each meal, troughing on it like a pig; drawing it out long enough to fit more in; sometimes even having a break for an hour before going back to shovel in more. I secreted even further leftovers into a bag and snuck it up to my room, having feasts in the late evening and further snacks throughout the night.
I lay on my back in bed, breathing gutturally, picturing the fat cells growing and binding with my body; imagining the food I was eating being absorbed by my increasingly bloated flesh. I visualised it to encourage it. I willed the fat to enlarge me more and more, to expand my thighs and the rolls of my stomach, the seep into and swell my arms and my chest; to make my face rounder and less like my own; to make my head and neck become one round sagging melon of fat.
I lay there doing this, rubbing myself between my thighs, my vision blurry without the thick glasses on; my dowdy hair splayed on the pillow. I could feel my enormous weight pressing into the mattress; the mass of it like nothing I had ever felt in my life. I wasn’t myself at all anymore. Was I has fat as she had been? Was I almost there? Surely I had to be. Was I, heaven forbid, even fatter than she had been – than the original Melissa?
I didn’t know.
But I felt like I was a huge obese cow of a woman. I was huge. Every sensation and sound I made was affected by it. I was gargantuan.
And as always it filled me with such a tearing confliction of emotions because surely I knew how bad this all was. I knew the damage I was potentially doing – possibly permanently. I knew how crazy I was and how pathetic. But I wanted it still. I thrived on it. I was desperate to wallow deeper and deeper in this terrible life.
The cook continued to mistreat me. He only ever used me for sex now and I could see his increasing disgust and disinterest. It made me feel lonely and depressed but it also thrilled me, because his gradual loathing mirrored my own. It mirrored the way I felt about myself. The way I wanted to feel.
I wanted to be an object of pity and scorn. I wanted to be repulsive to others and myself. And by God I was achieving that goal. I was becoming the woman I had set out to be and no mistake.
During the day I worked diligently at my cleaning duties and in the dining room doing the serving. I knew exactly what I was doing now and had done for some time. It made the work easier, not having to question things or ask for assistance, and it allowed me to keep my head down and be the best worker I could be.
That was all my life was now: working and eating; working and eating. With the occasional dirty fuck thrown in when the cook could be bothered; when he wanted cleaning out.
I felt that any day now he would reject me finally and that that would be okay because it would mean I had finally sunk as low as I wanted. I was finally as pathetic and insignificant as I had set out to be.
The days went by though and that day didn’t come. I continued to eat and push further but I knew that time was running out. The final turning point had to come soon. Surely.
I hadn’t seen Melissa since before that night when Vasillis had made it clear that carnal pleasure was the only facet of our stunted relationship he was interested in. She hadn’t made contact and I had avoided her.
Part of me felt that should we meet again then that final stage would come. I would have to tell her it was time to swap back. Surely she would feel devastated by that. It must have been so nice for her to live my life; to get slim and enjoy my wealth; even just for the summer. I felt awful about taking that away from her. But also I didn’t want to take it all back. I was afraid to. I was terrified to take that step. I didn’t even know if I really wanted to.
Was I happy being so fat? Getting fatter by the day? What was this self-destructive and obsessive motive force that pushed me on?
It seemed like happiness, but it couldn’t have been.
It couldn’t have been.
Each day I blinked at myself through the pebble glasses, staring at my bloated limbs; my round face and flabby belly; the distorted silhouette I had now. Each day I dressed in my shabby, dowdy clothes and hurried downstairs to get on with the cleaning. Each day I asked myself if this was the day now; if the time had finally come when the reflection was complete; that I’d come to the end.
And then one day it did.
I looked at myself.
I was grossly obese. My face was like a distended moon with this great roll of sagging fat distorting my neck. My upper arms was huge and doughy and my forearms were a close match. My breasts were huge and pendulous, resting on the great round mass of my folds of stomach. My rear and thighs stretched out widely, coming down to rounded calves and my still relatively dainty feet.
Surely I was every bit as fat as Melissa had been when this started.
Surely I had reached my goal; had become her in almost every conceivable way.
But that brought on a fresh wave of horror that told me another goal had been reached; that this had to end now, surely. There was no other way.
I had to put a stop to it because where else could this go? What else could happen next now the obsession had brought me here? The answer to that, if I didn’t go back, staggered me with quivers of real fear. If the physical transformation was complete then what truly would come next if I didn’t flee back to my old life... or at least begin to?
I was conflicted. Of course I was conflicted. But something was certain to me suddenly that couldn’t be denied.
I had to go and see Melissa now. I couldn’t wait anymore.
I had to go to see her and see my reflection in her eyes.
I had to hear her reaction to the way I looked now; to hear her judgment on whether I had succeeded or not.
And surely I would tell her it was time to swap back. And reluctantly she would have to agree. We would have to start that process; even though ,for the life of me, I couldn’t conceive of finding a way back to my slenderness and beauty now. This new fat me felt too real. It felt inescapable.
And maybe it was. Maybe I never would find my way back; and that both thrilled and terrified me.
But rather way, I had to see her now. Of course I did. It was long past the time.
I had to go and see Melissa and bring this entire thing to the conclusion it had surely been edging toward from the beginning. There was a predictable intendity to it that was still riddled with questions. I was afraid to raise the swap back; afraid to see the disappointment and sad acceptance in her eyes.
But also I just didn’t know if I was ready. And I didn’t know if it was what I really wanted.
For the life of me I didn’t know what I wanted anymore. Maybe I never had.