I bang my clenched fist on his door one more time then the door flies open, hinges squeaking obnoxiously, and there in the doorway stands Tub.
“I’m ready, I’m ready, okay let’s go to dinner.” Tub mutters under his breath in a husky voice, rolling his eyes at my restlessness.
We walk together through the colorful fallen foliage on the street down past the library and up towards the dining hall. We walk in silence, save the crunch of leaves under foot and Tub’s heavy breathing, which soon becomes too irritating for me to bear and I try to strike up a conversation.
“So Tub, how’s the weight loss going?”
He sticks up his nose up to the sky and defensively states, “For your information, I am on a new diet.”
“Yeah...it’s great...” he says slowly and slightly apprehensively, his head now down and his eyes on his shoelaces. For some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on, his words sound forced.
We walk inside to meet the loud hustle and bustle of the packed dining hall. We jostle and squeeze our way over to grab our plates, still warm from the dish room, and then I make my way towards the smell of hamburgers. I am just about to pick up one of the meat patties and drop it on my plate when I realize that Tub is no longer standing next to me. I look around in the crowd of people and finally spot him at the salad bar. I am so proud of Tub, he really is trying to take care of the whole weight issue. I walk over to the salad bar.
“I’m just getting a salad tonight,” he tells me proudly, “just a salad.” He painstakingly picks up a few pieces of lettuce and a tomato and puts them on his plate. Trying to help, I offe...
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“This whole diet is a fake,” he blurts out. “I’m not really trying to get thin, the truth is I’m getting fatter than ever.”
“But what about dinner?” I ask, “You ate a salad with light dressing!”
“It’s just a part of the facade. I lead a double life, like a secret agent. I try pretend to be healthy and make a big deal out of just eating a salad for dinner and all that, but when I get back to the dorm I stuff as much candy and junk food into my mouth as possible! I haven’t told anyone my secret until now, not even my roommate knows about my secret stash of food I keep underneath my bed. My family doesn’t know either.”
“Tub, why all this secrecy? Why didn’t you tell me before? I hope you know I am always here for you. I know it takes a lot of courage to tell me your secret and I’m glad you are telling me. I accept you Tub, there’s no need to keep secrets.”