“Mmm,” I forged a moan of pleasure, “this is so good.” I raised it slowly to my mouth, forced the hardness through my unwilling lips, then swallowed the spoonful of tomato sauce with deadened tastebuds. I was eating dinner with two of my friends, or more accurately, I was watching them eat a home cooked meal of spaghetti and meatballs while I was tasting bland tomato sauce from a bowl. I didn’t even have the slight luxury of putting parmesan cheese on my sauce.
It was the week before my friends and I were going to Vegas and I still couldn’t close the zipper to the little black dress I’d bought online for the occasion. I’d gotten confused making the conversion between European sizes and American sizes and as a result now had a dress that I couldn’t breathe in and couldn’t return to the manufacturer because I’d bought it for 20% off. The only thing going right for me was that I’d spent the majority of my grocery money for the month on the dress, so there was a slim chance that by the end of a very hungry week I might just fit into it. The dress had arrived a week ago and ever since it came into my life it had marked the end of all pleasure. I was only eating vegetables that rabbits are fed, and was spending an hour each day mindlessly running on the treadmill like a gerbil on a wheel. Worst of all, the only liquids I was consuming were water and coffee. To say I was miserable is an understatement; it’s not a coincidence that the first three letters in diet are “die.”
“Oh my God,” their moans were sincere, “wow, you really have to try this!”
The limp noodles slapped against their chins and sauce splattered onto their faces. It was erotic and revolting all at the same time.
“I can’t,” I swallowed a mouthful of saliva and envy, “I only have a week to lose like, three inches of flesh from my body.”
“Why don’t you just get a new dress?” my friend Natasha asked.
“Because I spent more money than I should have on this one and the store won’t take it back because it was marked down. And also it’s not even about this particular dress, we’re going to pool parties during the day and I want to feel good in my bikini.”
“Wow,” John said, “fucking sucks to be a girl.” He soaked a piece of bread in tomato sauce. In that moment I despised him and his fast male metabolism.
“Come on, just try a little” Natasha twirled a few strands of spaghetti onto her fork.
“No, really, I’m fine” my willpower was strong. I looked down at my plate of tomato sauce and visualized my Vegas dress.
“Seriously, Taylor,” John said, “just put it in your fucking mouth!”
“I said I’m fine!”
“John, hold her down!” Natasha jumped up with a fork fat from tangles of spaghetti. John got out of his seat and knocked me onto the ground. He pinned down my arms while Natasha straddled me.
“Get off of me!” I struggled to free myself from under their bodies, but I was too weak from not eating. The sauce from Natasha’s fork dripped onto my face as she dangled the strands over me. The more I writhed, the harder the two of them laughed.
“Open your mouth,” Natasha demanded.
I shook my head in refusal.
“Open your mouth or John will do it for you.”
My lips were squeezed shut. But John was too strong and forced my jaw open. Natasha forced the fork full of carbs into my mouth, pushing it further and further down my throat until my gagging caused tears to stream from my eyes. Sauce and saliva covered my chin in wetness. I tried to tell them no and beg them to stop but my words were muffled by all that was filling my mouth. My body went numb, I couldn’t taste or feel anything. All I could hear was the sound of their laughs.
Their laughs turned into sirens and my body regained feeling as I realized it was my alarm clock sounding. My pillow was damp and my right cheek was lubricated with salivation; it had been a wet dream, indeed. With my heart still pounding in my throat, I jumped out of bed to go wash the residue from my nightmare off of my face. As I walked towards the bathroom, I saw my Vegas dress hung over my desk chair. Upon the sight of my dress my stomach let out an audible growl, as if it was telling the dress to go fuck itself. “This is going to be the worst week of my life,” I said to my empty room. The intensity of my feeling of hunger was matched only by a feeling of pure, unadulterated hatred for online shopping sites with bad return policies.