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His body was a huge boulder, crushing him as he lay helplessly on his bed. An oxygen mask was strapped around Eric's face, cupping a multi-layer scarf of fat that was close to closing his windpipe entirely. As he shifted his weight slightly from left to right, he winced as a searing pain spread laterally from his middle to the edge of a huge lymphedema - there was no way to check, but he knew the skin had torn there. How badly he wanted to rip that lump off his body entirely - he would carve the rest of the endless rolls and aprons of fat off his body too if he could. If only it were that easy. For as long as he could remember, he had never wished for anything other than to be thin.

Exasperated, he exhaled and let his body flop back into the twisted position that had been killing his back. There was no point in trying anymore - his own weight had overpowered him. As he lay drowning in his own sweat, fat and misery, his gaze averted to a framed picture on the wall beside him.

A handsome young man was beaming with a wide smile, his arm around a blonde girl wearing glasses, who was around the same age. The woman seemed familiar, but it took him a long time to recognise the man. 

They met in high school - he was popular, and played football. She was shy and liked to read. Despite their differences, their fascination for each other brought them together against the odds. Two youths so beautiful - where did it go wrong?

There was no denying that he enjoyed eating - once he started work, the unsatiable appetite that kept him primed for sport started to work against him. All the energy consumed he didn't burn off was slapped onto his body - obesity crept on him like a stalker - always getting closer, always out of sight. From his deteriorating appearance, financial status and mental health, many started to turn him away - even his own family began to shun him out of shame, but she was the only one that stayed by his side. The one that called her those hurtful names that night wasn't him - it was a different man, who had taken over him. How he wished he could take those words back.

Sometimes in his nightmares, he would hear the sounds of her bones crunching as her feeble body was crushed underneath that lorry. 

No scream would come out of his mouth when he tried. He could only wish that the mound of flesh in the road was him instead of her. Eric tried to cough, but the muscles in his chest were too weak. All he could do was try to forget about the agony of the choking itch in his windpipe. 

The next few years after the accident were lonely. For thirty years, he had no job, no family left and little purpose. Every day, he woke up, ate to numb the pain of being awake, then fell asleep to repeat the cycle again the next. The stares and comments made him feel like an animal. The world is cruel, especially when you're big. The day he realised he had gotten to triple the size he was before, no diet could save him. Four hundred, then five hundred, then who knows how many pounds. It didn't feel like dozens of years had passed - it was as if he had woken up one day a different man. He was exhausted with living, but couldn't bring himself to end it - trapped in an existence of grief and boredom. The only salvation was the moment of joy when he ate a tasty, oily delivery - then the guilt and shame would return. He would only last so long until he couldn't take it anymore, and had to make it go away by eating again.

There was not a single limb, joint or patch of skin on his body that didn't hurt. Despite the searing pain in his side where the fluid had built up, all he wanted to do was eat. It distracted him from the pain. He gave his entire strength to try and reach the phone to call the delivery, but it wasn't enough, and he collapsed back down again, his limbs loose on the bed. He was tired of his addiction - so tired that the urge began to subside, to his disbelief.

The world started to spin, and he felt himself getting sleepy, but for some reason it was a different feeling to the usual drifting out of consciousness in bed. Even his pain started to fade, and he liked this feeling. In fact, as his world turned dark, he anticipated what would come next. He didn't want food anymore - he just wanted this.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eric opened his eyes slowly, and was almost blinded by the brightness around him. He felt like he was floating - his body felt very light - almost as if he could sit up. He tried, and to his surprise, it worked.

He lifted an arm and regarded it with curiosity. It was so small and thin - didn't feel like his own, but he was somehow controlling its movements. He realised he could move all the limbs in his body, and sprung to his feet. His skin was smooth and healthy, his hair dark and thick. Eric remembered feeling like this once.

Was that... a person in the distance? He rubbed his eyes, and the figure came into view. A beautiful blonde girl wearing glasses skipped towards him. Her face glowed, and she looked like an angel. He opened his mouth to apologize, but she put a finger to her mouth. Shhh

The girl leaned closer towards him. He touched her soft, silky hair and pulled her closer by the waist. Eric smiled as their lips met again. 

He liked this feeling, so very much.

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