"Oy, let me see your calorie card!" The skinny man at the hotdog stand demanded, holding my hotdog just out of reach.
I sighed and dug the plastic out of my pocket, handing it to him with a sour grimace on my face. I was sure I had already exceeded my allotted 1500 calories for today, but I was just so darn hungry. Seriously, what was one hotdog going to do to my figure anyway?
He shook his head as he swiped it through the scanner. "Sorry girlie. This hot dog is 242 calories. You only have 10 calories left for today." He shooed me away in preference of those with enough calories on their card to afford his food.
My stomach grumbled its complaints all the way home. If I had really wanted that hotdog I could have gone to the gym and earned more calories on my card, but I really wasn't in the mood for exercise.
It started in California, taking hold among the mothers who didn't want their kids to become fat and therefore miserable and hazardous to society. And it became clear to the government officials--though many of them were quite fat themselves--that if you didn't allow the people to eat, they wouldn't get fat. It was working. I had gone down from a size 4 to a size 0-stick thin and miserable.
"Hey, fatty, how come you didn't answer my text?" The voice came from the curb a few houses away from mine. Sammi sat there, wearing baggy jeans and an even baggier t-shirt. She was munching on a-
"Oh my gosh! Where did you get that?!" I rushed to her, mouth still agape.
Her smirk grew wider and she rustled the paper wrapping at me, sinking her teeth deeper into the hamburger. I saw the golden arches on the bag. McDonalds.
"There is no way under the sun you could have afforded that!!" I wanted to snatch it out of her hands.
"Nope!" She answered. "You remember Max? Well he stopped eating altogether."
I grimaced at the thought. Nobody wanted to be thin anymore. He must have been out of his mind. "And?" I prompted.
"And he went and spent every last calorie of his on this hamburger." She took another bite. "And he gave it to me."
"You lucky little
ugh, you don't even know how much I hate you right now." I plopped myself down but found myself staring at the juicy looking burger.
"Yeah. But I need to gain some poundage." She answered. She took a long breath, as if inhaling the aroma of the burger would increase her calorie count even more. I took a leaf from her book and breathed deeply as well. She continued talking. "It was weird going in. To Mcdonalds I mean. So many government officials
all dressed up in their suits and ties, as fat as can be. Max and I were in these oversized t-shirts." She laughed.
"What if they found out?" I had heard of people who stole calorie cards and were arrested. I had never heard about what happened to those who gave food away. It was just unheard of.
She shrugged. "What are they gonna do to me? What else is there left to take?" She sighed deeply, crumpling the wrappings and the bag into a tiny ball and holding it there in her fist, squeezing tighter even though it was crushed to its limit.
I stared at the ground, noticing a speck of dirt on my Converses. "Well-"
She was right. They had taken more than the right to eat. They had taken our families. Dinner time was obsolete. Parenting was obsolete. Spending time together was obsolete.
After a long, unbearable silence, Sammi finally stood, letting the crumpled ball drop to the pavement. "They're going to find out about Max." She said. "They're going to find out about him
" She swallowed. "And force him to eat enough to live. They're going to take away his right to die."