All her life she had the nickname ‘Billy Bunter’. On her fifth birthday her Mother had found her eating the last crumbs of the birthday cake. The angry admonishments of her Mother had echoed in her brain from that day on. They weren’t to be the last. Everytime she found herself enjoying some gastronomical delight, there was her Mother’s voice hurling insults at her.
‘You’re nothing but a fat, lazy, greedy little girl. No man will ever look at you’.
The fact that her Mother had a sylph like figure and lots of admirers didn’t help.
Jasmine’s Father had left when she was a baby. Her Mother had never told her why. The more Jasmine’s Mother ranted and raved, the more Jasmine’s craving for sweet things grew. Her chief passion was chocolate bars. She liked to tear off the wrapper and bite into the bar without breaking off the pieces. Cinnamon cake, thickly buttered, was her favourite afternoon tea. For weeks she saved up her pocket money to buy this, when her Mother was out.
When her Mother cooked for her she made boiled meat or fish and green salad. Salad was something that Jasmine abhorred. If she had been allowed to have mayonnaise on it, she could have tolerated it. Mayonnaise was something her Mother refused to buy. Jasmine’s Mother ate out mostly. Usually she dined and wined in exclusive restaurants with her friends. If Jasmine ever developed a slim figure, her Mother told her then this would be her reward.
Jasmine was sure she’d never be slim. Food was her only solace. It seemed that it was her only friend; and yet it was really her enemy. She knew that she’d like to wear the fitting jeans and the clinging dresses that other girls at her college wore. She would have adored it if one of the handsome students in her class would look at her. For so long she had accepted that it wasn’t to be so. Thus it was a vicious circle of eating and misery.
It wasn’t fair. Jasmine knew that underneath all her fat was a beautiful person. She longed to join in the fun and laughter that other girls enjoyed. How she hated the summer. She didn’t dare go to the beach and expose her quivering flesh. How she hated it when she saw pitiful eyes upon her. She wanted to say: ‘Look underneath is me Jasmine. I want to smile and laugh’. Instead she remained morose and took refuge in another slice of cinnamon cake.
Until one day Jasmine met Joel. He changed her life miraculously.Her weight was never again a problem.
Felicity says: this is a short story about a fat girl with a slim Mother who tried to make her diet obsessively, she was unhappy until she met Joel. That made her look forward to a rosier life.