Dear, Mr. Ramsbottom,
Oh, how you loved to eat! Or, should I say, lived to eat.
I loved cooking and you loved eating. Grilled kidneys, bacon, hash browns, and fried tomatoes for breakfast. Tea and cake made up the elevenses.
Roast beef, peas, Brussels sprouts, Yorkshire pudding, and bread pudding for lunch on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Roast potatoes, parsnips, and lamb with mint sauce or turkey with cranberry sauce on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Teatime at 5 consisted of, tea with shortbread biscuits, crumpets, or teacakes. You were also particularly fond of scones with thick clotted cream, weren’t you Mr. Ramsbottom?
Dinner was usually a repetition of lunch followed by a liqueur.
In the initial years, I loved cooking for you. You were very active too at that time. You walked everywhere you could and tried your best to stay fit. As the years went by, you became complacent and the weight started piling up. You began eating more too. New clothes had to be tailored every 2 months, as the old ones wouldn’t fit anymore. Walking left you breathless and your face got all red and sweaty when you tried walking briskly.
As your weight increased, so did your appetite. Your love for food was in direct proportion to your increase in your weight. The more you weighed, the more you ate. Just looking at you eat made me feel full. I barely nibbled at my food and didn’t even realize I had lost weight till someone pointed it out.
People stared at us when we walked on the road. They looked not once or twice but again and again. Some even stopped dead in their tracks. Some passed rude comments while others sniggered.
As soon as we made an entrance at any social do, you would head straight for the buffet tables, not even bothered with greeting the hosts. You would devour endless amounts of food and drink as people looked on in wonder. I tried my best to look away and be courteous and mingle with the guests.
Traveling meant a lot of adjustment. You didn’t fit into the aircraft seats and when, with great difficulty, you finally settled in, they couldn’t get the seat belt around your considerable girth. An extra belt, one used to secure luggage, has to be requested so you could belt yourself up.
Holidays meant eating some more. We hardly explored the places we went to, as walking around was slow, tedious, and made you even more hungry. All we did was go from the room to the dining room and back if we weren’t ordering room service, that is.
Do you remember the time when you got breathless? We had to rush you to the hospital, with great difficulty. It took 8 people to carry you to put you on a stretcher. The doctor couldn’t find your pulse and then your vein. The worst part was when they had to take you to the storage room below to weigh you on the machine used to weigh heavy goods as you just couldn’t be weighed on a standard weighing scale anymore!
Your excess weight was causing you these frequent episodes of breathlessness but in spite of the doctor’s warning, you refused to control your diet.
You just grew and grew, along with your appetite. I sometimes wondered if you even tasted your food. If you even enjoyed it at all. Or was it just a mindless shoveling of morsels in your mouth?
The doctor had once again warned you that if you didn’t lose weight you would fracture your legs, as they couldn’t support your bourgeoning weight anymore. You ran your office from home, rather from your bed. Now that even getting out of bed had become such a chore.
Oh, Mr. Ramsbottom! You just grew and grew and refused to stop. It was like I was cooking for an army now. But you didn’t tire of eating.
Your weight increased even more, and along with that, health problems and the doctor’s warnings. I tried to talk to you. I tried to get you to talk. I failed.
It didn’t bother you at all though. Not a wee bit. I could see that.
After a night of particularly heavy feasting, you complained of ‘feeling funny’. You just doubled your dose of antacids and were off to sleep, but not before reminding me to make you a double batch of your favorite hash browns for breakfast.
When you didn’t wake up the next morning to devour them, I summoned the doctor home. The doctor, having warned us that this would be the result if we didn’t heed his warning, only pronounced what we already knew. You were dead.
What a trouble it was, getting your body out of bed! We couldn’t find a coffin your size, so a hastily made wooden box was what we had to make do with. Your grave took up a place meant for two people and lifting and lowering you was another chore. It was very mortifying.
The last of the mourners have left just a while ago. I sit here by the window, looking out at the buds in the garden that spring has helped sprout. A new beginning. Yes.
As I change out of my black widow’s attire I smile to myself, wondering why I never thought of arsenic before.
Rest in peace, Mr. Ramsbottom.
Your grieving widow,
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.
My theme for the same is Navras – The Nine Emotions of Life. I will be writing Fiction for this theme.
This story is written for Bhibatsa, which means Disgust or Self Pity/Dissatisfaction.
Read my story for Karuna here
Read my story for Hasya here