Demitasse by E. Stuart Lacey

Ellie looked hard at herself in the full length mirror that was the most accurate one in the house, that made her neither fatter nor thinner, that gave her the true measure of her charms, the extent of her woe, the breadth of her draw, where she landed on the 1-10 strata, that told her truly how much her tummy was pootching out, how bumpy her thighs and upper arms  were, how the nascent second chin was faring, and how much her expensive bosom was tipping the scale back in her favor.  And thank god for Spanks, her pootchy tummy  and bumpy thighs were all compressed into a smooth seal’s form topped by the opulent balloons of her breasts, now huge orbs, D cups since she’d gained weight, and lordy, had she gained weight. She couldn’t figure out how because she smoked like a smokestack, but she guessed she’d gotten into some bad habits when she was dating Turner, who wasn’t svelte, himself.  They went out to eat all the time to the very best fine dining establishments around town, and he always encouraged her to drink a whole bottle of wine with dinner, probably because he like how turned on she got when she drank an entire bottle of wine, and back when she weighed 98 pounds dripping wet a bottle of wine at supper got her so looped  she was climbing all over Turner on the drive home after and doing him right there in the driveway, not even bothering to wait until they got into the house, which was how she guessed she got pregnant since she couldn’t take the pill, which didn’t mean anything anyway; she was personally acquainted with three girls who got pregnant repeatedly on the pill.  She took to drinking even more wine during that particular fiasco. Turner’s soon to be ex-wife called her PARENTS and told them about the abortion, and then when Turner was in the process of dumping Ellie, wine was no more than water to her and that’ s when she discovered the soothing effects of vodka, which probably was mostly responsible for her current abundance.  And how, how had he dared, really, now that she thought about it, though it was almost all she did think about, how had he dared press her into getting the implants, when he wasn’t anything to look at, himself, out of shape and middle aged and there he went telling HER she didn’t have enough bosoms for him and so she went through with it, and then he had the nerve, after all of that, to tell her she was too fat and too loose and that he had no intention of ever marrying her, even after his divorce was settled.  Was that the kettle or what?

Ellie regarded her smooth hard curves, turning in front of the mirror. The drapey black jersey of her outfit was cut just right to reveal her little round bootie, showing off  the one asset that was all hers, undiminished by weight gain.  Somebody recently told her, trying to pick her up, that she looked like a teacup Mae West;  Ellie told him she was a demitasse, and nobody’s teacup.

She stepped into her six inch heels and bent to finish her face by the light of her makeup mirror.  She painted her mouth ruby, and shadowed her eyes to make them huge and staring, and put on false eyelashes, fluttering them to dry her mascara.  She hung a four foot strand of jet beads across her shoulders and let them cascade, glittering, over her ample cleavage before plunging down the front of her spandex tamed tummy, and made herself musical with 15 sterling bangles on her right arm and a clattering collection of chunky onyx bracelets on the other.  There was no way she was going to let Turner and that po’ white trash tramp go down the aisle without getting a complete eyeful of what he threw away with both hands. Ellie couldn’t believe it when she heard, that Turner was marrying HER — he wouldn’t marry Ellie when she got pregnant, but he was marrying HER? and they were having the baby?  And what was it, what was going on with all these babies — everyone was pregnant, even her gay ex-husband was adopting a baby with his partner — and here she was,  Ellie Elizabeth Philpot, without a beau, let alone a husband, much less a baby. Well, she wasn’t going to take it, not a bit of it, not lying down, not sitting out in her car with her binoculars, not locked in the psyche ward, not shuffled off to Knoxville to live with her brother, no she was not going to take it , period, and no grace could convince her that her cause was not just and sound.

Ellie seized her beaded clutch  and loaded it  with her monogrammed lighter  and  a lipstick and two packs of Lady Slim cigarettes.  She tossed back the rest of the pint of vodka sitting on the dresser, and then rummaged deep into the back of her lingerie drawer. She fished out the crowning article of her ensemble, a tiny ebony handled pistol. It was a parting gift from Turner, to keep her safe in her little bachelor apartment.

She wondered if he would remember it, when he saw it again.

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