You’ve just lost thirty pounds when you see him at the party. Sure, you’re still eighty-five pounds from your goal, but thirty is no joke and your hair and outfit are on point tonight; everything looking extra fly. It’s simply one of those days when your hair product cooperates and your curls fall tight, and your dress fits you curvier than you really are.
“I’m Elliot,” he says. “I’ve never seen you at a Delt party before.”
Your body is pressed against his, both of you waiting in line for your turn at the keg. The frat house is packed like cigarettes with white boys named things like Ashley, Theodore (Teddy), and Charles III.
The frat house is packed like cigarettes with white boys named things like Ashley, Theodore (Teddy), and Charles III.
“I’m Gloria,” you say.
“Are you Cuban? Like that singer?”
He reaches over and tugs on one of your curls. You pretend that you like it, smiling wide, but you don’t because when it springs back, you're sure it will frizz. Then you toast, both laughing and tapping your blue Solo cups. He leans in to kiss you.
A tap on your shoulder; it’s one of the other white boys. “You know, Elliot has a thing for fat girls when he’s drunk.”
You chuckle and pull away from Elliot and head toward the exit. He doesn’t follow. Next to the door there’s a mirror. Your hair’s still intact, curls still tight. But you don't feel so fly anymore.
Natalie Lima is a 2016 Pen Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow and VONA/Voices alum. She is a first-generation college graduate of Northwestern University and can be found on Twitter @NatalieLima09
Illustration by Caytlin Kuszewski