021. 100 Pounds of Ugly. Diane Arrelle

“Ya know,” Gilda said, studying herself in the rearview mirror. “Every New Year’s Day since I can remember, it’s been the same thing.”

She watched her cheeks dimple and her chin double as she smiled at her reflection. “Yep, I’ve decided that this is the year I’m taking this resolution thing seriously.”

She drove slowly, shifting her attention back to the icy mountain road. “Seriously, Jenny. You don’t know how hard it was being your sister. You were so petite, so pretty, so perfect. You were always the popular one, the one who dated the right guys. You were even crowned prom queen. Me, well, it was tough being me. I was always chubby, ok, ok, bordering on fat.”

Hearing the snort from the passenger seat, Gilda laughed. “All right, I was fat. Hell, Jenny, we both know that I had a difficult childhood, but you never helped. Always so perky, always such a rah, rah… the perpetual cheerleader.”

Gilda raised her voice to mimic her younger sister. “Come on Gilda,” she screeched. “Lose that weight, take some pride in yourself. Stop embarrassing us!”

She stopped, took a few deep breaths to get her sudden burst of anger under control and sneaked a glance at her sister. She let out a shaky breath and sighed.

The silence was deafening. Gilda talked faster to fill the still, cold air.

“You know, it took me a long time to find myself. Yeah, it wasn’t easy losing someone as big as I was, but in the end it was only a short term loss. Just like the weight I lost on all those diets. 

But today, when I look in the mirror, I see me and I’m proud. I’m plump, I’m rich and I’m happy! I did everything on my own. I am a damned successful artist.”

Gilda heard the snort again and laughed. “You can’t stand that I actually became the famous sister. It must have shattered your whole shallow perception of life that someone who never cared about looks would become renowned for photographing plus size people and letting them be happy to be themselves. I’m making it all right to be whoever we are.”

“That’s right, Jenny I’ve got purpose in life, and I didn’t need anyone to help me.”

Gilda finally stopped talking and let her suppressed fury bubble out. She looked at her sister and noted how small Jenny was, barely a hundred pounds dressed. She felt tears of anger and regret burn her eyes. 

“Gosh, Jen, I’d like to untape your mouth and hands, but I’d sure hate ruining the moment. You know, this is the nicest conversation we ever had. I’d stay and talk, but I’m finally going to keep a resolution. I’m finally losing a hundred pounds tonight.”

Without another word, Gilda got out of the car and using all her weight, pushed the vehicle and Jenny off the side of the snow covered mountain. 

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