Bella’s life is a soap opera: her skinny sister is marrying Bella’s ex-husband, who kicked her out when their youngest was only two weeks old; her pants split in front of her son’s grade school and he got into a fight over it and her dad’s cancer is back again. But things begin to look up when she makes a run to the grocery store in a wrinkled t-shirt and sweats.
I can’t believe I am here. Despite the opposition of the love of my life, despite the incident a few months ago which almost killed me, despite the misgivings of friends and family, here I sit along with several other women who look model-perfect.
A twinge of guilt nags at me, but I stubbornly push it aside. I want this. I need this. I can’t afford it, but I’m doing it anyway.
I look down at my hips, which fit snugly between the armrests of the chair. I have spent most of my life not fitting into chairs, taking up even two at a time. I have looked forward to sitting in a booth without a table cutting into my midsection and to grocery shopping without knocking cans off the shelf with a big butt with a mind of its own. I have borne the muttered insults and disdainful glances of strangers, who hate me because of my size, in silent misery. I lost the weight, but now I need something more. So here I am, waiting.
“What work are you getting done?” A voice interrupts my reverie. I look up at a bust bursting out of a tight, hot-pink tube dress. Only after that do I see the skinny blonde behind the boobs. She looked like she stepped from the pages of a Victoria’s Secret catalogue.
She shrugs. “They’re fake. My boyfriend gave me his credit card and said to get whatever work done that I want. He’s used to being with really beautiful girls. His ex-wives are all actresses and models. So I figure I need to get rid of my imperfections so that he’ll stay with me.”
“Pardon me for saying so,” I say, “but I think you’re beautiful and perfect as is. Maybe he needs glasses.”
She laughs at my jest. “Well, you know how rich, older men are. I don’t think there’s any harm in getting plastic surgery in order to keep a man, do you? Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Uh…,” I hesitate. “That’s a long story.”
“Are you here for him?”
“Definitely not.” I shake my head.
“Why are you here?” she asks.
Why am I here? I repeat the question to myself. There are lots of whys which led me here. “It all started nine months ago.”
Anyway, that’s when Bella meets her Prince Charming, Jae, in the produce section. The romance quickly progresses from oranges and avocadoes to four-wheelers and bungee jumping. Theirs is a spicy yet respectful courtship, the exact opposite of Bella’s ex, who plays both sisters to absolute madness and almost costs Bella her new love more than once.
But that’s not all that’s going on in this smoking hot read that will wrap you around its little finger. Somewhere amid all the confusion that is her life, Bella’s personal character grows in fits and starts and cycles back around before finding her inner peace at last. Five stars, no question, and definitely reading again.
BUY & FOLLOW LINKS
Buy The Lighter Side of Large at Amazon.
Belinda Y. Hughes is the author of Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover 2 and Living Proof. She recently submitted a paranormal scifi short story to HDWP Books for consideration in their New Myths Theme-Thology. Her current projects include LGBT erotica and poetry. Belinda enjoys beading, reading, writing, cooking and hiking in the woods with her old dog.