#9: Settling In

Whitley sat in a large booth at the rear corner of John Hardy's, a local diner rated 4.3 stars on Yelp. Sold by their rating and their reputation for large portions she powered through a four-egg mushroom, spinach, feta omelet, a half-pound brick of hash browns, two pancakes, a side of bacon, a bowl of spiced oatmeal, and a fruit cup. The bustling diner had gone quiet when she entered, and conversations died away as the giant black girl eating enough food for three people captured everyone's attention for a spell. Whitley imagined they were preparing themselves for the possibility she would eventually turn her appetite on them like some ravenous ogre. 

Following her meal, Whitley checked her messages, seeing she had received a meeting confirmation from the NU volleyball coach—under whom she would serve as an assistant—and an email with the subject line "Writing Center" which she promptly opened.

Hello Whitley,

I cannot apologize enough for how things turned out with the Writing Center admin position. I have good reason to believe the position will be funded in the near future, but budget cuts have required us to keep it as a student worker job. I do hope you will consider serving as a writing tutor, where we can offer you a modest stipend for your time. It will also give you the opportunity to get a feel for the center where—fingers crossed—you will soon be a permanent part of our staff.

I understand you are meeting with Coach Richter tomorrow. Please consider stopping by the Writing Center when you're on campus. I would very much like to touch base with you. Perhaps we can do lunch?


Judy Phillips

Whitley sighed and gulped the last of her coffee as the server delivered her bill, which totaled $32.35. He picked up the pair of twenties Whitley had already placed on the table.

"I'll be right back with your—"

"No change," Whitley said with a smile. "Keep it."

He did some quick math in his head, and his face brightened. "Thanks a lot! Please come back again!"

"I certainly will, and thank you for not staring."

His eyes darted around their near vicinity before he leaned in towards her. "To be honest, there's only handful of black folks around here," he whispered. "I don't wanna make a bad impression if you're new." He extended his hand. "Reggie."

Whitley stood up, taking his hand as she did so. Reggie had not seen her enter. He expected her to be tall but was caught off-guard by exactly how tall. Regardless, he managed to suppress the full extent of his surprise. 

"I'm Whitley, and yes, I'm new to the area. You'll see me around again."

"I certainly hope so," he replied.

Whitley chuckled and headed out of the diner. Though Reggie likely represented the slim pickings of young black men in the area, she decided against leaving him any more information. I'm going to be in this town for a while, she thought. No need to get ahead of myself

Leaving the diner, she walked several blocks to the motel. She could have driven, but part of her felt the need to be as visible as possible to hurry along the process of the locals getting used to a seven-foot girl walking around. Returning to the Northshore Budget Inn, she packed her overnight bag, dropped off her keys, re-hitched her moving trailer, and happily left the tiny motel behind.

Whitley arrived at her new home to find Alicia and Krysta had already emptied out the guest room in preparation for her arrival, and they spent the afternoon helping Whitley get moved in. True to her word, Alicia took the lead in hauling the heaviest items, including a half-dozen boxes of books, a solid oak desk (Krysta helped guide it), and a queen-sized mattress, box-spring, and metal frame. Insisting it was a "nice enough" day for it, Alicia also prepared grilled turkey burgers with garlic aioli and sweet potato fries for dinner, which the girls ate on the front porch. Whitley stacked her burger with two 1/3 lb patties with and a full plate of fries by the side and watched as Krysta and Alicia tried their best to avoid a full-blown argument on Whitley's first day.

"...because I distinctly said no sex in the webcam room."

"A rule you made a week after."

"No! Do not say that, because I know you fucked in there least twice since then. Why not use your room?"

"It's too small!"

"Too small? You are not that big. What the hell were you doing?"


"Ok, fine. I do not want to know. At least tell me it was not you and—"

"Percy, and don't you even—"

"I am going to burn that mattress."

Whitley listened with far more interest than she expected, as if this information would somehow be useful later. She casually lit a joint she had rolled that morning, wanting to be as up-front as possible about her vice. Either they would stop arguing and admonish her, or she would get a free pass into establishing her routine. She took three long hits, and what had been a mildly uncomfortable situation with her new housemates melted into a pair of tits arguing with a pair of biceps. She was fascinated with the way Krysta's breasts jostled with each emphatic gesture, as well as the way Alicia had the mannerisms of a twelve-year-old in the body of an American Gladiator from the eighties. 

After dinner, Whitley headed upstairs and stood in the doorway of what was now her space. It was ideal for Whitley's queen-sized bed, as well as her three bookshelves, which she would soon adorn with books, DVDs, a half-dozen sports trophies, a bong, a vaporizer, and a full set of encyclopedias she had received as a middle-school graduation present from her grandmother. She had the largest of the three bedrooms, which was unexpected, though she assumed it was due to Alicia and Krysta having had such difficulty finding and keeping a roommate. In exchange for her having full use of the basement for weights and cosplay, Alicia's was the smallest by far. From what little Whitley had seen of Krysta's bedroom, it primarily consisted of piles of clothes, a bed, a desk, and walk-in closet.

Whitley connected her laptop to wireless (Network: ordinarygirls PW: T1ts&ndMu5cl3s) and pulled up her Stevie Wonder Pandora station, which her dad had instilled in her was excellent music for house cleaning. From a small shoebox holding her computer peripherals, she unpacked three picture frames and placed them on her desk next to her computer. The first was the state champion photo of her high school volleyball team, second was a college-aged photo of her mother from the mid-eighties, and the third depicted seven-year-old Whitley and Kiana at Disneyland, the fraternal twins still looking near-identical in height and appearance. Kiana pointed at her Mickey Mouse ears and grinned. Whitley smiled only slightly; her eyes still puffy from crying at the sight of a costumed Pluto that had snuck up on her. Their father's leg was partially visible in the background.

After a couple of hours Whitley had her fill of unpacking, so she settled into her desk chair, unpacked her bong, and sparked a bowl. Krysta and Alicia had let her know they would both be on cam that evening. In the quiet of her new room, Whitley could hear Krysta next door, doing her monthly topless web chat with her website subscribers. Whitley could not make out what Krysta said. Her voice sounded higher pitched than normal, and she even giggled occasionally. Through the large heating duct in the corner, Whitley could ever-so-slightly hear the whirring sewing machine in the basement, as well as Alicia's high-pitched squawking laugh as she participated in a live group video chat with other cosplayers. 

Whitley impulsively pulled up Alicia's Instagram, finding herself instantly captivated by the quality of Alicia's work, though she did not remotely recognize any of the characters. Most of the photos appeared to be professionally taken, and the finished costumes looked like something out of a movie or Broadway stage production. Through visual trickery with proportion, Alicia managed to balance her bulky arms and shoulders with oversized shoulder armor and prop weapons. In addition to an assortment cosplay pictures Alicia's page also included workout selfies, pictures of food, and the occasional inspirational quote. There was even a "throwback" photo of a grinning teenaged Alicia wearing a track & field uniform, pastel pink running shoes, and hoisting a trophy—her arms and particularly her quads displaying remarkable size and definition even then. 

Pulling up Krysta's Instagram page, the abundance of filters indicated she lacked Alicia's eye for artistry (and subtlety), but she knew her body well, to the point that even her casual shots oozed with sensuality. Krysta also had mastered the art of showing off her as much of her breasts as possible while still hiding her nipples. It struck Whitley as absurd the photos could be so overtly sexual while still falling within the rules of the site by merely omitting a few square inches of her skin. 

Additionally, in contrast to Alicia muscle-minimizing trickery, Krysta somehow managed to channel the "ten pounds" added by the camera directly to her chest. Through a variety of calculated angles and perspectives, Krysta's already sizable assets bordered on gargantuan. Her most recent photo depicted her from chin to waist, holding a narrow cardboard sign reading "Live chat in 15 minutes!" which just barely obscured the essentials.

Whitley's mind wandered, and she imagined what she would post on her Instagram—if she had one. Her audience would likely consist of college friends (most of which had Instagram accounts already), hardcore college volleyball fans, very extended family, and size fetishists. She also imagined what username she would possibly use. She took the time to brainstorm on the notepad near her computer.


NotWhitney (taken!)

Whittlemetimbers (sounded better in my head)

superhighwhitley (*snicker*)


Ladylong (taken!)


thatonetallblackgirl (bleh)

blackgiraffe (taken!)

Before she knew it, she found herself staring at the pink Instagram login screen on her phone. She had installed the app months ago but had yet to join. Opening the app, she stared at the login screen and let her thumb hover over the "Sign Up" link on the pink screen, before promptly minimizing the app and un-installing it from her device. She smiled with satisfaction, put on her headphones, and sprawled out on her bed.

I'm going to be here for a while. No need to get ahead of myself.