The Adventures of Phatgurl
by Emily Suzanne
Adventures Of Phatgurl
is a serial collection of stories about the adventures of Jany, a
plus-sized young woman who, in desperation, places an ad on a
personals website. As she embarks on her dates, she meets many
different kinds of men who expect many different things from her.
Some of her adventures are wildly amusing and others are more
serious and even sad.
If you have any
ideas or experiences, funny or otherwise, that you would like to see
depicted in a future Phatgurl story, please e-mail me at
I will do my very best to incorporate all reader ideas into future
SWSSBBW seeks SM
who will not rape her, emotionally or otherwise. The ability to
both speak and write in complete sentences is a plus. Must not
inadvertently throw her down stairs or pretend that she is “Mama.”
Intelligent conversation, a little respect, and the lack of a
current significant other will get you far. And a well-developed
sense of humor won’t hurt, either. If you like smart chicks with
jelly bellies and thunder thighs, reply to
Looking Back ... Continued
Jany picked up her phone and watched as it slid
out of the other side of her hand.
She wiped her sweaty palm on her pants and tried again.
She dialed Haroon’s number but didn’t hit the call button.
What if he didn’t remember her?
They’d spent maybe a half hour together, and that had been
more than six months ago.
She had no idea how to describe herself to him—what was she
going to say, that she was the fat chick he saw sitting on the park
bench back in the middle of winter like a crazy lady, trying to draw
a bunch of people ice skating?
And even if he did remember her, he was probably seeing
someone by now. She
tried to list every possible thing that could go wrong when she
called him, just so she’d be prepared, so nothing could hurt, so she
could pretend she’d known what the outcome of her call was going to
Finally, she hit call, bit her bottom lip, and
waited for Haroon—or maybe his girlfriend, she reminded herself—to
answer. The phone rang
one time, two. Jany
relaxed a little, disappointed but also relieved, when the phone
finished ringing for the fourth time.
She was going to get his voicemail and not have to talk to
him at all. That would
put the ball in his court, although she didn’t know quite what she
was going to say in her message.
She hadn’t thought that far ahead.
“Hi, this is Jany.
I’m—I’m the girl—well, woman—that you met in the park while
you were watching the ice skaters back over the winter.
You took me to a coffee shop.
You probably don’t remember me.
Anyway, I just thought I’d see what you were up to.
I mean, what you’ve been doing since then, not what you’re
doing right now. I—wait
a minute, this isn’t your voicemail, is it?
Oh—oh, I—” Jany trailed
off and cringed, waiting for Haroon to hang up on her.
Instead, he laughed softly.
“No, it is not my voicemail.
I am sorry I took so long to answer.
And I do remember you.
You are the pretty girl who couldn’t draw anymore because
your fingers were freezing.
And you ordered a latte.
Vanilla, with skim.”
“I—I feel really stupid for thinking you were
your voicemail. I was
just nervous. I don’t
do this very often.
Make phone calls, I mean.
“Do not worry about it.
People do things sometimes that make them seem silly.
Don’t be nervous.”
“I’ll try not to.
I can’t believe you remember me.
I really thought you’d have forgotten me or be with someone
else by now—am I sounding dumb again?
Are you with
someone else by now?”
“No, I am single.”
Jany smiled at this information, but wished he had kept
talking. Now that he
had told her he was single, he was expecting her to have something
to say, and she didn’t.
She’d spent so much time planning for everything that could go wrong
that she’d forgotten to think about what she might say if things
went right. And the
silence was starting to get uncomfortable.
“Cool,” she started.
Um—so—what—how’ve you been?”
“I have been fine.
How have you been?”
Not bad. I’ve
been fine.” Jany wished
she could shut her mouth off when she should instead of going on
forever. She clenched
her tongue between her teeth to stop herself from rambling and
waited to see how Haroon would respond, if he would help her make
conversation or leave her to figure it out on her own.
“Is there a reason that you called me?” he
finally asked. A wave
of nervous nausea sloshed into Jany’s stomach.
She couldn’t pretend, in this situation, that it was just a
random call, and there didn’t seem to be a good way to trick him
into asking her out so she wouldn’t have to put her pride on the
line. She had no choice
but to admit that she was calling to ask for a date.
“Actually, I—well, I had a good time with you
and I wanted—I’ve kinda wanted to call you for a long time, but I’m
scared to death to do things like that.
I never really call people.
Probably because I do dumb things like think I’m talking to
their voicemail when they answer.
And then I talk too much, like this.
Would you wanna go
out sometime?” The
abruptness of Jany’s question, after so much pointless yapping,
startled her and she almost dropped the phone as she waited for his
answer. Luckily, he
didn’t make her wait for long.
“I would like that.
When would you like to see each other?”
“Friday or Saturday would be good, but that’s
probably too soon. You
have plans, don’t you?
We can wait and do it next weekend.
Or even sometime during the week, if you want.
We can get together some day for lunch or some night for
coffee or something.
Whatever you want.”
“You talk very fast.
It makes my mind whirl in circles.”
Jany’s heart sank; he was going to turn her
down. Her terrible
phone skills were finally going to do her in.
Except, he hadn’t sounded upset; he sounded more like he was
laughing at her. In a
You make me really nervous.
You’re the first—well, never mind.
I was just super excited when you gave me your number, and
talking to you makes me all weird and jittery.
I’ll try to calm down.”
“I don’t mind.
I think you’re funny.
I would like to see you on Saturday.”
I didn’t think—okay.
How about if we meet in the coffee shop by the park, where we
went last time? Would
that be okay?”
Do you like music?
I think there is music in the park on Friday nights.
Maybe we could have coffee first and then go for a walk in
the park and listen to it for a while.”
“I’d like that.
“I will meet you there at six?”
And—thanks for—thanks for not thinking I’m weird.
Even though I am.”
“I will see you Saturday.”
Mala and Jany were eating lunch in Mala’s office and Jany was
in the middle of describing her awkward phone call with Haroon that
had somehow turned out okay when they heard the gallery door swing
open. Jany stood to
greet the customer but sat back down when Selena breezed into the
room. She kissed Jany
on the top of the head, which drew a smirk from Mala, grabbed a
handful of chips from Mala’s plate, and parked herself on Mala’s
“How’s it going today, girls?” she asked.
“Oh, it’s going.”
Mala pulled her plate closer and wrapped an arm protectively
around it. “Jany was
just telling me—”
“—that I’m really, really tired today for some reason.
I guess I didn’t sleep well.
How are you?”
“Jany was also telling me that she’s got a date on Saturday.”
Mala spoke faster this time, and louder, so that Jany’s
attempts to stop her didn’t work.
“Ah, that’s cool, Jane.
I’m in such a good mood, by the way, that nothin’ can touch
Jany looked up, surprised.
Not the reaction she had been expecting.
And Selena’s calm acceptance almost hurt.
Jany sort of liked having the power to hurt someone—not being
able to hurt someone, really, but knowing that someone cared enough
that she had the power to
hurt her. She didn’t
like that she felt that way; power trips and mind games weren’t her
thing. But it still
hurt that Selena didn’t seem upset that she was seeing Haroon.
Mala saved Jany from spending too much time wondering what
was responsible for Selena’s sudden upbeat attitude.
“What got ya so freakin’ cheerfull?”
“This girl I used to hang out with in high school?
We sorta dated a little?
Or something like that, saw each other anyway.
Anyway, she’s back in town.
Only for a few days, but we’re gonna get together Friday.
I am, like, so excited to see her again>”
“Great. I gotta
be done with that stupid mural I’m doing at the bank by Tuesday.
You’re both gonna get more action than I am this weekend, and
not even with each other.”
Jany and Selena giggled nervously without looking at each
other. Jany was
uncomfortable talking about her relationship with Selena when she
was so unsure of herself and didn’t want to make eye contact because
she didn’t want Selena to read the pain in her eyes.
She knew very well she had to right to be upset; she was the
one who had said she wasn’t ready to take the next step, the one who
wanted to see other people.
She felt betrayed, though, somehow.
She’d sort of assumed that Selena would be there waiting for
her to make a decision.
It hadn’t occurred to her, even after their ‘can’t wait forever’
conversation, that Selena might be the one to move on.
Jany felt stupid.
She was the one no
one really wanted, the one men didn’t seem interested in dating.
Selena be the one who would move on first?
Finally, Selena interrupted the pause in the conversation,
and Jany’s thoughts.
Always wantin’ to start some kind of drama.”
When that failed to get a reaction, she tried again.
“Anyway, not all of us get, like, that kind of action from
all our friends, Mala.
It is entirely possible that Jany will go on her little date
and I will see my friend again and neither of us will get any
‘action,’ weird as that might seem to you.”
This time, Jany snickered and Mala rolled her eyes.
And then Mala defended herself to Selena and Jany backed
Selena up and pretty soon they were all friends again.
Jany felt a little better.
Selena had, after all, called her date a ‘little date,’
almost with a sneer.
That meant she was feeling a little bitter, maybe.
That she did care, after all.
Jany missed having Selena to help her get dressed on
Saturday. She was
starting to get used to having someone else’s opinion to depend on
in her wardrobe choices.
And it was weird getting dressed to see Haroon.
It almost felt like things were the way they’d been back when
she’d first started dating, when she’d been so unsure of herself.
Haroon wasn’t like the other guys she’d met.
He didn’t want her just because she was fat.
Once again, Jany had to worry about choosing clothes that
would hide her bumps and bulges instead of showing them off, just in
case. He obviously
accepted her the way she was; he’d given her his number.
But what if he’d forgotten how fat she was, or what if he
hadn’t noticed? All the
magazines Jany read talking about how men don’t notice details.
Or what if he noticed, but he’d never touched anyone Jany’s
size before—what if he put an arm around and then pulled away,
disgusted by her rolls of fat?
Jany was all about fat chick equality, but that was
completely different from having the confidence to be the first fat
chick that a guy dated.
She did her best to shrug off her worries and hurried to get ready.
If she just got dressed and left, got to the coffee shop, it
would be too late to go back.
Jany was twenty minutes early, so she was surprised to see
Haroon waiting for her at the same table they’d chosen the first
time they’d met. That
threw a wrench into things; she didn’t have time to give herself a
pep talk and prepare.
On the other hand, it also assured that she didn’t have time to get
any more nervous.
“Hi,” she said as she approached the table, glancing
uncertainly at first the chair across from Haroon and then the one
next to him. Haroon
stood up and sort of hugged her hand with both of his.
Then he pushed back the chair next to him and waited for Jany
to sit down. She did,
but his politeness was weird to her.
It made her feel less comfortable instead of more.
She was used to seeing guys whose main goal was to touch her
inappropriately, so she wasn’t sure whether to respect Haroon’s
manners or feel rejected that he hadn’t pulled her close to try and
cop a feel as soon as he saw her.
Maybe he wasn’t attracted to her after all.
Jany realized that if she spent the whole date analyzing
everything and not paying the slightest bit of attention to Haroon,
the night was going to be a disaster and it would be her fault, not
his. She forced herself
to focus on the man sitting across the table from her and ignore the
barrage of insecurities zigzagging through her mind.
“I am glad you called me,” he was saying.
“I thought of you and wanted to call you, but I didn’t think
to get your telephone number.
After a while, when you had not called, I thought that maybe
you had a boyfriend or something.
I felt a little silly for not asking when we met.”
God, no. I mean, no
one’s ever wanted to—never mind.
No, I don’t have a boyfriend.
I just have this major anxiety when it comes to calling
people. I’m always
scared I’ll interrupt them from something and they’ll get so mad
they never want to talk to me again, or that they won’t want to hear
from me and they’ll say something mean.
It doesn’t make much sense, I guess, but it’s the way I’ve
“You shouldn’t worry about such things.
I think everyone would want to talk to you.”
Jany blushed and looked away, not sure what to say.
clenched her teeth to stop herself from arguing with him.
She didn’t want to make him think she didn’t respect his
opinion, and it seemed like a bad idea to try to change his mind if
he actually liked her.
“Shall we get some drinks to go and go over to the park?
We can walk around and talk, and I am not sure where the
music is, so that will give us time to find it.”
“Yeah, that sounds good.”
They wandered around the park for an hour or so, stopping
every so often to sit on a bench and watch the people around them.
Haroon told Jany all about school—he was going to be a
chiropractor—and his job in the university book store.
He already had a degree in business, but he’d always wanted
to be a doctor and his brother was a chiropractor and loved it.
Jany told him about her dream of teaching art someday.
When Haroon took her hand as they walked, Jany waited for the
nervous chill to run through her body.
Instead, she just felt his hand, warm on hers.
It felt good.
Eventually, they found a band of Irish musicians set up on a
little stage in the corner of the park.
They settled on the grass to listen.
It was exciting to Jany, sitting there.
She was with a guy who didn’t seem embarrassed to be seen
with her. He didn’t
want to hide out in his house with her and rush her into sex and
then send her off home.
It didn’t seem like he had decided that he liked her or didn’t like
her immediately, based on her appearance
She felt just as comfortable with Selena, of course, except
that even with her there was an element of uncertainty.
Not because Jany didn’t know how Selena felt, but because she
wasn’t sure how she felt.
She wasn’t ever sure if she should encourage Selena or run
away from the whole situation before one of them got hurt.
The music ended and Jany and Haroon sat in the dark talking
about the music and the park and their plans for Sunday.
Jany made no move to get up.
As long as they were sitting there, not moving, she didn’t
have to worry about what might happen next.
She didn’t have to worry about whether she should pursue
Haroon if he didn’t pursue her, she didn’t have to worry about
unraveling her feelings toward Selena, and she didn’t have to make
any decisions about anything.
Unfortunately, it was getting late and they couldn’t stay
there all night. Haroon
stood up and Jany slowly joined him.
They approached the members of the band and talked to them
for a little while, Jany asking every question she could think of to
keep the night from ending.
And finally, they were walking back toward the coffee shop.
“I had a good night tonight,” Jany said softly.
“I had a good time, too.”
“I—well, I just want to say thank you.
This is hard to say, but I’m trying really hard not to be
afraid, and part of that is trying not to be afraid to say what’s on
my mind. I don’t get to
do this very often, have real dates, I mean.
I’ve seen a few other guys that I met from my ad—did I tell
you about my ad? I keep
forgetting that that’s not how we met.
I’ve seen a few guys, a bunch, actually, and none of them
have been as respectful and as well-intentioned as you seem.
I mean, some have been good guys and stuff, but you are just
really cool. And I’m really
glad I got to go out with you.
It felt good to see a guy out in public and stuff, without
any pressure. I had
“I’m confused. I
think you asked me some questions, but I can’t remember what they
were to answer them, and I’m not sure what you mean when you talk
about your ad. Are you
nervous again? Because
you do talk a lot when you are nervous.
That’s what you said, and I can see that it is true.”
“Sorry. Yes, I’m
nervous. A lot of guys
seem like they are embarrassed to be seen with me in public, because
I’m—because I don’t look the way most people think women are
supposed to look. So
I’m nervous because I’m afraid after we see goodbye, I won’t get to
see you again, and it felt good to be with you tonight.
That’s the important part of what I was trying to say.
And I’m nervous because I don’t usually say things like this
to people. You make me
“I’m glad, because I do want to see you again.
No one else will listen to folk music with me.”
I’m glad you like listening to music with me.”
“I can be silly too, you know.
Relax. It wasn’t
just the music. I like
talking to you, and I think you are a very pretty girl.
You have the prettiest eye brows I have ever seen.”
He stopped talking and reached a hand out to run his finger
over first one of Jany’s eye brows and then the other.
“That’s the best compliment anyone’s ever given me,” Jany
said, grinning. “Very
unique. Now, as much as
I hate to, I have to get going so I don’t miss
my train. The next one
isn’t for two more hours.”
“Okay. Good bye,
Jany.” Haroon lifted
Jany’s hand and kissed it, then held it between them for a minute
before he let it go. “I
will call you tomorrow.”
Jany walked to the train in a daze.
She was completely happy, for once, as she dropped into a
seat. Then her phone
rang. It was Selena.
Jany’s heart sank, partly because she didn’t want to go back
to reality and difficult decisions just yet.
Also, though, it sank because when she’d seen Selena’s face
light up her phone, her heart had raced for just a second.
She ignored the call, wondering if she’d ever figure out what
she really wanted.