You may be surprised to find out, but when I was a teenager, I had a severe weight problem. I'm talking huge. I know, I know, you're staring at me now thinking "But Nick, you're a hunky 265 pound, 6 foot 2 inch tall gorgeous sexy linebacker. Pure beefcake. How in the world is it possible that you had a weight problem?"

Well, you see, I liked creme horns and Little Debbie snacks- a lot. So much in fact that by the time I was 16 I weighed in at 416 pounds. I devoured McDonald's cheeseburgers and had the phone number of Domino's Pizza memorized. Diet Coke wasn't for me but Crystal Pepsi was. Tofu-smofu, health food-schmelf-food all I wanted back then was greasy, delicious, salty French fries. Hey, potatoes are vegetables- I could eat deep-fat-fried vegetables all day long and everybody won. I got my favorite and mom was satisfied that at least I was eating vegetables.

I went to a high school in a Texas town full of future football heros. All the jocks had bad-ass grid-iron nicknames like "Freight Train" or "Killer." I was nicknamed "Trash-Bag" after Hefty Trash bags. I didn't even play football on the field. I was an intimidation tool. Thanks Coach Winters! Mostly people around school were nice to my face but mean behind my back.

To say the least of it all, I wasn't really popular. The only reason I was invited to the one party I attended in high school is because I was on the football team. There was only one girl who took the time to get to know me and be my friend. Before her, my only friend had been the lunch lady.

Her name was Mary. She was one of those girls who didn't know she was beautiful. She was told from time to time from different guys, but the words never really caught her ears. Mary was teased a lot for spending her days in the library, divulged in V.C. Andrews books. Her nights were mostly spent at my house watching A-Team re-runs on tape and playing with Rubik's Cubes. Sometimes we would kick it to Michael Jackson or Madonna. She never introduced me to any other friends of hers and I'm not even sure she had anyone else besides me. I met her brother Charlie once, who spent his days playing Pac-Man and teased her for being a loner.

I always thought she was gorgeous and loved her. Not only for her looks but for her personality also. Mary told me she loved me one time too. Like a brother of course, but still she said it. It didn't matter to me back then how she loved me, as long as she did. I ate her love constantly like a nine-piece bucket of chicken and a super-sized Coke. And believe me, it was always scrumptious.

I don't know much about Mary these days. She's probably married to some computer geek who proposed to her in Perl code with children who swear by Harry Potter. Where ever she is, I hope she knows she changed my life.



This node is fictional and inspired by TheAlien's wish for someone to tell him a story. I hope you enjoyed it.

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