Home > Size 14 Is Not Fat Either (Heather Wells #2)(2)

Size 14 Is Not Fat Either (Heather Wells #2)(2)
Meg Cabot

I’m not lying, though. A beer now and then is about as adventurous as I get.

Light beer, of course. Hey, a girl’s gotta watch her figure.

“How you feelin’ about all this white stuff that’s supposed to fall from the sky soon, Heather?” one of the drug dealers, an affable guy named Reggie, steps away from his compatriots to ask me, with courtly solicitude.

“Better’n the white stuff you and your scum posse are peddling, Reggie,” I am shocked to hear myself growl. God, what is wrong with me? Ordinarily, I’m super-polite to Reggie and his colleagues. It doesn’t pay to antagonize your local dealer.

But ordinarily, I have not just been called fat by my favorite Barista Boy.

“Hey, baby,” Reggie says, looking hurt. “There is no call to be offensive.”

He’s so right. It’s wrong to call Reggie and his friends scum, while referring to those middle-aged men who toil away for the tobacco industry as senators.

“I’m sorry, Reggie,” I say, meaning it. “You’re right. It’s just that for nine months now, you’ve been trying to hustle me right outside my front door, and for nine months now, I’ve been telling you no. What do you think is going to happen? I’m gonna turn into a raging cokehead overnight? Gimme a break.”

“Heather.” Reggie sighs, looking toward the thick gray clouds overhead. “I am a businessman. What kind of businessman would I be if I let a young woman like yourself, who is going through a very trying period in her life and could probably use a little pick-me-up, walk by without makin’ an attempt to engage her business?”

And, to illustrate his meaning, Reggie takes a copy of the New York Post he’s kept tucked under his arm, and opens it to the front page. There, in two-inch letters, screams the headline, It’s On Again, over a black-and-white photo of my ex-fiancé hand in hand with his on-again, off-again bride-to-be, pop princess Tania Trace.

“Reggie,” I say, after taking a restorative sip of my café mocha. But only because I’m so cold. I don’t actually want it anymore, because it’s covered with the taint of Barista Boy. Well, maybe I still want the whipped cream. Which is sort of good for you. I mean, it’s dairy. And dairy’s an important part of a well-balanced breakfast. “Do you really think I sit around all day fantasizing about getting back together with my ex? Because nothing could be further from the truth.”

The fact is, I sit around all day fantasizing about getting together with my ex’s brother, who continues to remain stubbornly immune to my charms.

But there’s no reason my local drug dealer needs to know this.

“My apologies, Heather,” Reggie says, refolding the paper. “I just thought you’d want to know. This morning on New York One, they said the wedding is still scheduled to go on in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, with the reception at the Plaza this Saturday.”

I goggle at him. “Reggie,” I say, stunned. “You watch New York One?”

Reggie looks mildly affronted. “I check the weather, like any New Yorker, before I leave for work.”

Wow. That is so cute. He watches the weather before leaving for work to deal drugs on my street corner!

“Reggie,” I say, impressed, “my apologies. I admire your dedication. Not only do you refuse to let the elements keep you from your work, but you’re up on your local gossip. Please go right ahead and keep on trying to sell me drugs.”

Reggie smiles, showing all of his teeth, many of which are capped—festively—in gold. “Thank you, baby,” he says, as if I have just bestowed on him some very great honor.

I smile back at him, then continue my slog to my office. I shouldn’t really call it a slog, though. I actually have a very short commute, which is good, since I have a problem getting up on time in the morning. If I lived in Park Slope or the Upper West Side or something, and had to take the subway to work every day, forget it (although, if I lived in Park Slope or the UWS, I’d be required by law to have a child, so it’s just as well). I guess I’m really lucky, in a way. I mean, sure, I can barely afford a café mocha, and thanks to all of the holiday parties I attended, I can’t fit into my size 12 stretch cords unless I’m wearing a pair of Spanx.

And okay, my ex is about to marry one of People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People, and I don’t even own my own car, let alone my own home.

But at least I get to live rent-free in a kick-ass apartment on the top floor of a brownstone two blocks from where I work in the coolest city in the entire world.

And okay, I only took my job, as the assistant director of a New York College dormitory, in order to get tuition remission benefits and actually attain the BA I lied about already having on my résumé.

And yeah, all right, so I’m having a little trouble getting into the School of Arts and Sciences due to my SAT score, which was so low that the dean won’t admit me until I take—and pass—a remedial math course, despite my explaining to her that, in lieu of paying rent, I do all the billing for a very cute private detective, and have never once made an accounting error, that I know of.

But it is useless to expect a coldhearted bureaucracy—even the one you work for—to treat you as an individual.

So here I am, at nearly twenty-nine, about to learn the FOIL method for the first time (and let me tell you, I’m having a pretty hard time imagining a situation in which I might actually have to employ it).

And yeah, I write songs until late into the night, even though I can’t, for the life of me, find the guts to actually sing them in front of anyone.

But still. My commute only takes two minutes, and I get to see my boss/landlord, on whom I have a major crush, wearing nothing but a towel from time to time as he darts from the bathroom to the laundry room to look for a clean pair of jeans.

So life’s not too bad. In spite of Barista Boy.

Still, living super-close to my place of work has its drawbacks, too. For instance, people seem to have no compunction about calling me at home about inconsequential matters, like backed-up toilets or noise complaints. Like just because I live two blocks away, I should be able to come over at any hour to rectify matters my boss, the live-in building director, is supposed to handle.

But all in all, I like my job. I even like my new boss, Tom Snelling.

Which is why when I walk into Fischer Hall that arctic morning and find that Tom isn’t there yet, I’m kinda bummed—and not just because that means there’s no one to appreciate the fact that I’d made it in to the office before nine-thirty. No one except Pete, the security guard, who’s on the phone, trying to get through to one of his many children’s principals to find out about a detention one of them has been assigned for.

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