Big Girl, Small Country

       Wendell Blue / Actions & Adventure / Romance & Love
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Sue, January 8th (2 PM)

“Damn! My feet are killing me,” Sue thought as she resentfully observed the Nicaraguans who had beaten her to the seats. “Yea, sit there on your hard plastic seats. Pretty soon you’ll be sweating in your tin-roofed shacks while I’m in my air-conditioned room.”
The thought of her approaching arrival in Granada appeased her a bit. She didn’t plan to be alone much longer.
The visit to Ometepe had been a disappointment, like so many other features of her experience in Nicaragua. The bed in the cheap hotel had been uncomfortable, and considering the red bite marks now covering her white flesh, she suspected that it was infested with bed bugs. There had been no air conditioning in her room, and she had nearly suffocated under the mosquito net. “Some paradise. Hot as hell and full of blood-sucking insects.”
That was all in the past now, and the immediate future was looking much brighter. Eagerly taking her mobile phone into her sweaty hand, she dialed Ramon’s number. “Get ready, my little man - it will only be a couple of hours now.”

“Hmmm…that’s odd. No answer. What the hell?”

Ramon, January 8th (2 PM)

Sitting in the back row of seats on the old chicken bus heading out of Granada, Ramon felt his phone vibrating in his front pocket. It wasn’t necessary to look at his phone to know who was calling.
The young woman seated next to him cast a quizzical glance his way as the phone rang repeatedly.
“She’s leaving in three weeks,” he thought. “I’ll just disappear for a while.”
Ramon wasn’t sure how he was going to explain (i.e. lie about) his absence from the office to the director, but his dread of reuniting with Sue was greater than his fear of losing his scholarship and job.
His tension gradually melted away as the city’s buildings gave way to the countryside.

Sue, January 8th (5 PM)

Standing outside Ramon’s door, the truth of the situation had begun to dawn on Sue. She had knocked on his door and attempted to call him multiple times to no avail.
Standing there alone, her thoughts drifted.
Life hadn’t been easy. Even as a young girl she had not been happy. Her classmates had picked on her because of her weight. She had often been excluded from birthday parties. But even worse was the time she was invited to a classmate’s party only to be told that she had to leave at 8 PM – while the other girls were staying for a sleepover.
And it hadn’t got any easier as she had grown older. As a great fan of all-you-can-eat buffets, she had often been presented with a big girl’s dilemma. If she took small helpings at the buffet, there were sure to be whispered comments, “I bet she’ll stuff her face when she gets home!”
But if she took the big helpings she desired, “Look at that! It’s no wonder that she’s so big.” She, like all big girls, just couldn’t win.
At home her parents had been critical rather than supportive. “You’ve got a pretty face, dear. It’s such a shame that you’ve gotten so heavy.”
“You’ll never find a husband if you don’t lose some weight.”
It had been a lonely life.
When she heard of the possibility to volunteer in Nicaragua, she jumped at the opportunity. She would help those in need while collaborating with like-minded volunteers her age.
But these “like-minded” people her age weren’t interested in her. They were fit and slim - and oblivious to her existence. She was just as “invisible” among the volunteers as she had been all her life.
Then she met Ramon, and everything seemed to change.
Now, standing in the hallway outside his door, she realized that she was alone once again.
Sue slowly turned and walked outside into the Central American heat and humidity.

“What a strange sight,” thought the young Nicaraguan woman as she carefully avoided the large sweat-soaked white woman who was sitting on the curb sobbing.
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