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The peloton truck beep beeps as it
backs down the drive. I text my neighbor.
She replies right away. I know she always has
her phone with her. Yes, she answers my question.
It’s trending, you know.
She invites me over, and her room is
enveloped in a mist of fragrance that pricks
my nose. Essential oils, she explains. Have you heard?
My God, they have superpowers. I nod okay,
but slowly feel myself fading.
At her swim club, I dip my toes into the frigid
water, sitting beside her. We both wear bikinis.
She reaches over and pinches my stomach.
Seriously, lay off the sweets, girl.
The pink flush that fills my cheeks is not from sunburn.
She asks me if I want to borrow her health
magazines. When I decline, she shames me
into a corner. I pretend I don’t feel like a kicked
puppy. I skim the headline—Lose Weight Fast!—as
she presses it to my chest. You need it, she says.
I take it up to my room and flip through,
one tear for each perfect body, and so on, and so on.
My shaking hands rip out page after page,
until all that’s left is an avocado toast recipe.
Quick! Easy! Delicious! With one last glance, I crumple it up.