Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

Fat girls and Bible Camp.

The following is true, names and situations slightly modified.

It was noon.  All the campers were back in their cabins for quiet time. It was about the only time of day that Annette was free to work on the accounts.  She had applied to be the camp registrar, having no idea that she would be the camp mom.  Every kid who got stung by a bee, or skinned their elbow, or (for the older kids) had their heart broken came to her window, sniffling pathetically and waiting for her to make it all better.

She sighed as she wondered about herself.  She was 26.  She’d finished her masters degree in child psych, and had a good job lined up with a private school.  This was her last summer, ever.  From this point forward summer would not be a break from studying, but a break from kids who should be studying.  For some reason, it seemed like the perfect thing to do before she began her long delayed adulthood was pull one last year at Bible camp.

She had worked there 8 years before as a “kitchen helper”, serving institutional glop by the ice cream scoop.  The first week was for families, next high schoolers, then eighth graders, and all the way down week by week to the a half week for the “Lil’ Cowpokes” which was the name for the third graders.

The same office she’d seen since she was a baby in her mother’s arms, only now she was on the opposite side of the window.  Parents came to family camp, then their kids went to kid camp, and then some would apply and get jobs, some for a single season, some for summers on end.  Her father had been friends with Jon, the camp director, since before she was born, and when Jon found out a 26 year old with a master’s degree wanted the job of registrar, she’d been a shoe in.  Of course, at the time, she didn’t realize what the job meant.  As if it weren’t bad enough that she had to mother 300 some campers, she also had to mother the whole eighteen to twenty something staff.

The nails of her fingers clicked furiously at ancient keyboard.  Bible camp did not pay well because it did not earn well.  Most of the expenses were supported by freewill donation.  She was considering the difficulty of transferring all the files on the antique IBM to her Dell when she had the feeling of someone staring at her.  She turned to the window.

“Hello, gorgeous!” said the lifeguard, a huge smile beaming out of a tanned brown face.  His name was Abraham, and he didn’t smile often.  In fact, for a eighteen year old, he was painfully serious, his brow in a constant furrow of concern with almost everything.  A lot of the kids and even some of the other staff thought he was jerk because he took everything so seriously, but he never had anything but smiles for her.  Before opening the pool for the kids every afternoon he would come and try to flirt with her for about 10 minutes.

It made her feel funny, not bad, but funny.   His was a Bible camp family, she was 8 when he was 2 and she remembered him very clearly.  He’d been a handful in nursery, where she was a helper.   When she started high school and worked as an assistant in children’s chapel, he’d been a handful there too.  He wasn’t a bad kid, but he had a way of looking through adults rather than at them that made them uncomfortable.  Her last year of high school, when she’d worked in the kitchen all summer, he’d been twelve.  He was goofy, goofy kid, but he’d had a huge crush on her.

Now he was eighteen.  He wore small expensive glasses instead of large cheap ones.  He was broad and brown and his hair was frosted blond from being in the sun all day.  She didn’t normally flirt back.  Normally there were people in the office, and it felt…untoward, as if she was flirting at a family reunion.  But today, she’d told everyone to leave her alone so she could work on the accounts.

He was still grinning like an idiot.  He was just so doggone happy when he talked to her, and that warm smile was infectious.  He was 18, just barely, she shouldn’t encourage him, but he just had no shame when it came to flirting with her.   He rarely called her Annette, it was always “gorgeous” or “beautiful” or “darling”.   From anyone else it would be so sleazy, but from this kid it was just adorable, with total sincerity and not a hint of irony.

“You gonna come swim today?” he asked.  He’d asked everyday.

She kept typing, but turned to him for moment, eyebrow raised

“Why do you want me to come swim so badly anyway?” she asked.

“Well, I like talking to you and because you make me look good!  I like people seeing me talking to this hot older woman.”  He teased her about being an “older” or “more experienced” woman all the time.

Annette turned away from the computer to stare at him, crossing her arms over her ample chest. He had just called her “hot”?   As always, with that total sincerity!  Was he flirting? Was he being funny? Did he really want to get with her?   She felt much more flushed then she felt the complement of a boy just done with high school should have made her, and then she had a dawning realization about Abe.

“I think you just want to see me in a swimsuit.” She said coyly accusing.  For Bible camp, this was a pretty racy conversation.

His smile winked out like a light, but his eyes went from looking at her to looking straight into her eyes.

“Well, to be honest, yes I do” he said softly.

Anette blushed deep red and tuned away, toward the window.  “Abe! Why do you want to see me in a swimsuit?”  The words were an accusation, but the tone begged for a compliment.  Annette had butterflies in her stomach.

Abe struggled. He felt like he was terrible with social situations.  He’d really enjoyed talking to Annette because he felt he could just be himself with her.  Without seeing her face, he couldn’t even guess what the right thing to say was.

“Honestly?” he asked

“Honestly.”  She said.

“I see every girl here dressed and in a swim suit.  A woman’s suit fit’s like a second skin, so I know every curve of their bodies. Except you.  I only ever see you dressed.  Clothing hides a lot.  I just want to know what you really look like, how you’re really shaped.”

“Why?” She said.

Abe sighed, still talking to the back of her head.  “Because I wasn’t joking when I said that I wanted to be seen with you.  You’re incredibly hot.  I mean, I know your 26 and I’m 18 and there’s no way in hell I’d ever have a chance with you, but I can look, and I want to see every inch of you that I can because you’re beautiful.”

Annette swiveled her chair and got up for the door, she turned to the door.

“Abraham, come in for here for second.”  Abe obeyed, terrified and desperately hopeful.

Anette slid him a chair. “Sit.” She commanded, and he did.

She sat back down in her office chair, and rolled it up to him, her face close to his.  Her head was cocked to the side and one eyebrow was up.

“Abraham, do you like me?”

His brown eyes gazed deep into hers. “Yes.”

“Do you really think I’m beautiful?”


This one was bit harder to ask.  “Do you really think I am hot?  My body turns you on?”

He swallowed. “Yes.”

Satisfied he was telling her the truth, she scooted the chair away and turned three quarters to make it easier for him to see all of her.  “Ok, last one, and you’d better be totally honest with me.  You know I’m fat, right?”

Abraham’s eyes opened wide.  He knew he shouldn’t,  but he looked her over feet to head.  He realized for the first time that other men would call her supple legs “fat”, her lovely hips “fat”, her round butt “fat”, her padded biceps “fat”, her full bosom  “fat”.   He blinked.  Fat doesn’t just mean overweight to most people;  it means ugly.  He tried to make Annette ugly in his eyes.  He’d had a crush on her since he was 8 years old.  He tried to will her cute nose and smile dimples from cherubic to merely “fat”.  But he couldn’t.  She was beautiful to him, and had been since he was old enough to notice such things.  She was funny, and smart and had huge tits.  There was nothing to not like.

“Honestly, Annette, I just think you’re beautiful.  I know your bigger than most girls, but it never crossed my mind that you were fat.”

Annette began to giggle.

“Abe, do you like Gina or Angie?”

Confusion.  “Um, no, not especially.”

Annette considered one particularly popular cheerleader.  “What about Mary?”

Abraham, scrunched his nose.  “No, she’s totally fake.”

Her giggling turned to outright laughing.

“Do you like Beverley?”


“What about Laura?”


“And you think Jaycee is really hot, don’t you!’

Abe, ran his fingers through his hair.  He was really confused now.  “Yeah, I do.  Why?”

Annette smiled warmly at him.  “The girls you like?  They’re all fat. The ones you think are vapid? They’re all skinny.  Abe, honey, you like fat girls.  With other guys I’ve known it’s creepy, I don’t think it is with you, you just like big girls.”

Abe though for a moment.  He thought of ever girl he ever had a crush on.  It was waking up after a long confusing dream, as angels sang out for just a moment in heavenly harmony “You like fat girls.”  He felt like some small part of his future, his very life, had just come into focus.  Then he realized he was still in the office with Annette.

“I guess I do!  Does this mean you’re coming swimming today?”

“NO! You can ogle me some other day, I have work to do.  Now, shoo.”   Anette ran him out, still smiling.   She would be smiling for a while, as would Abraham.

February 6, 2009 Posted by | Christianity, Religion, Self discovery, Slice of life, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments