The Adventures of Phatgurl
by Emily Suzanne
Adventures Of Phatgurl
is a serial collection of stories about the adventures of Jany, a
plus-sized young woman who, in desperation, places an ad on a
personals website. As she embarks on her dates, she meets many
different kinds of men who expect many different things from her.
Some of her adventures are wildly amusing and others are more
serious and even sad.
If you have any
ideas or experiences, funny or otherwise, that you would like to see
depicted in a future Phatgurl story, please e-mail me at
I will do my very best to incorporate all reader ideas into future
The Ad (Part 2)
seeks SM who will not rape her, emotionally or otherwise.
The ability to both speak and write in complete sentences is
a plus. Must not inadvertently throw her down stairs or
pretend that she is “Mama.” Intelligent conversation, a
little respect, and the lack of a current significant other
will get you far. And a well-developed sense of humor won’t
hurt, either. If you like smart chicks with jelly bellies
and thunder thighs, reply to
Candidate 2.8: The Older Man
Subject: See you?
I’d like to.
Send me some pictures, please, and I’ll see if I can
get them to come up on my computer.
I’m not too good at computers.
And I’d like to meet you in person, too.
Subject: Re: See you?
Here are a couple of my favorite pics.
Do you have any?
And what might you like to do if we met?
Subject: Re: Re: See you?
I have pictures, but I don’t know how
to get them on the computer, and I don’t have my own
I use the ones at the library.
But we should meet each other sometime and you can
see in person.
We could get together for coffee.
Subject: Re: Re: Re: See you?
Where and when?
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: See you?
Saturday would be great.
You name the place.
But before we meet, I should tell you something.
I’m probably a little older than you think.
I was born the same year that the Frisbee was
There. Now if
you care you can figure it out.
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: See you?
Um…I don’t really know what to say.
Didn’t think I really cared but I looked it up
Well, I will still meet you.
“Does he have a scrip for Viagra?”
You’re a pervert!
I don’t know.
I don’t wanna know.
I have no intention of finding out!”
“Then how come you’re going out with the poor old
His name’s Arnold.
And I’m not ‘going out’ with him, just meeting him
for coffee. As
friends. I told
“All women tell men that, and men never believe them.
Because it’s never true.
But tell yourself whatever you need to, baby cakes.
There’s no way it’s completely innocent.”
“Mala, come on.
I just feel sorry for him.
I mean, he might not get dates too often.
He’s an old guy.
I mean, not that old, but he’s older than Michael is.
And if he and I get along, I can tell Michael about
it and then maybe he’ll be willing to give me a try, too.”
knew it! You
don’t give two hoots about this guy, but you’re gonna bang
him anyway so you can convince Michael that you’re into old
sneaky thing, you.”
It’s not like that.
I mean, I’m not doing anything wrong.
I’m not going to bed with him.
I just wanna hang out.
And then I can sort of bring it up casually next time
I talk to Michael and he’ll see that I’m serious, that I
really don’t care about age.”
“You’re totally using this old dude.
You could just lie to Michael, you know.”
“I don’t lie.
You can tell every time I try.”
“But you can seduce an old man you never want to see
again, just so—”
“Stop saying that!
I’m not seducing him, and I don’t know if I’ll want
to see him again.
I have to actually meet him first, remember?
Maybe I’ll really like him.
I’m just saying that even if, even
if, we don’t get
along, there’ll still be an upside.
Have fun with Arnold.
And be careful.”
Mala disappeared into her office, leaving Jany alone
to try and puzzle it all out for herself.
She picked up the phone over and over again, tempted
to call and cancel her date with Arnold, just in case she really was a horrible
person who was going to go to hell for messing with an old
She didn’t cancel, though.
Instead, she just tried to force herself to believe
that this guy could be the one.
Saturday afternoon, Jany got to the restaurant where
she had agreed to meet Arnold and waited for him
She hadn’t been this nervous about meeting someone in
a long time.
Every time a guy with graying hair walked in, she almost
stood up and bolted.
Somehow, though, she managed to stay seated, even
when a nice-looking man with hair that was barely streaked
with silvery gray came over.
Are you Jany?”
Jany’s nervousness today was different that her usual
Instead of being overly chatty and full of useless
information, she could barely talk.
She was far too worried that she might say something
to offend this guy.
Nice to meet you.”
Arnie excused himself to use the restroom and Jany
entertained herself while he was gone by imagining all the
faux pas she might make.
It’s a little
old—er, uh, cold—out today, isn’t it?
I’ll take the wrinkle cut-I mean, crinkle cut-fries.
Here, let me carry the gray.
Woops, the tray.
At least she had a smile on her face when he came
back, but she was also dangerously close to breaking into
giggles, which she was pretty sure would not impress Arnie.
“You’re looking beautiful today, Jany.”
You look nice, too.”
“Why, thank you.
Tell me more about what you do.”
“Oh, it’s nothing, really.
I just work in an art gallery.
I frame some of the prints and act as cashier and
just do whatever needs doing.”
“I like it.
And what do you do?”
I work—I worked as an appliance repairman.
struggled to think of something they could talk about that
wouldn’t bring attention to the differences in their ages.
“Are you into music at all?” she finally asked.
She liked a lot of older music; it might be something
they had in common.
“Not really ever been much for music.
Sure, I like to listen to it, but I don’t pay much
You’re very beautiful.”
Arnold’s abrupt change of topic made Jany look
directly at his face as she searched for a clue as to what
had brought it about.
He, in turn, was staring at her face.
For the first time, his eyes struck her as cold, more
like stones than eyes.
It was probably just their color that made them look
so stony. They
were so pale blue they were almost gray.
Whatever it was, it did not make Jany feel any more
His eyes looked almost vacant.
She tried to convince herself it was just the color,
or maybe cataracts.
Finally, she looked away from his eyes and forced
herself to acknowledge
Jany looked down into her cup, now purposely avoiding
the eerily pale eyes.
“You, uh—you are an attractive man.”
It wasn’t a lie.
His eyes were a little creepy, but they did look very
nice against his dark hair.
“No, I mean you are really beautiful.
Very, very beautiful.”
Jany giggled quietly as she wondered what she was
supposed to say next.
She wasn’t used to the uncertainty anymore.
The fear, the insecurity, the moments of panic when
she couldn’t come up with the right words, that had all gone
away for the most part.
Even the stupid giggle had disappeared.
And now it was all back.
Was it just because of this guy’s age, because Jany
didn’t know how to interact with an older man?
Or was there really something about him that made her
She seemed to get along fine with Michael, at least
over the phone.
Maybe in person, she wouldn’t.
She reminded herself that now was not the time to get
lost in thought; she at least owed Arnold the courtesy of paying attention to
“No, I don’t think you understand.
You are beautiful.”
Um, what do you want me to say?
Because all I could think of was thank you, and I
said that, and, well, it doesn’t like that’s—it seems like
you want me to say something else.”
“You are a beautiful woman.”
“I—okay, well, thank you again, I guess.”
Jany grinned nervously and fiddled with her phone,
trying to hide the fact that she was sending a text message
to Mala. A few
seconds later, her phone rang.
She glanced at the screen and pretended to be
“Oh, I have to take this.
It’s my boss.
What’s up with the ‘call me’ text?
And how’d the date go?”
You need me right now?”
“Well, I mean, I’m having coffee with someone, so I’d
rather not, but if you really need me to come in, I suppose
I can.” Jany
tried to make her voice sound urgent enough that Mala would
figure out why she was calling.
“You are not making any sense at all, Jany.
Are you okay?”
“Okay—oh, wait, are you still with him?”
“And you’re trying not to let him figure out what I’m
saying. Are you
trying to get out of the date?”
“Yep, you got it.
If it’s that important, I can be there in twenty
I’m down at the shop, if you need to come here.”
“See you there.
Jany hung up the phone and set it on the table.
“I—I’m really sorry.
That was my boss.
She has an emergency, so I have to go watch the shop.
Thanks for the coffee, though.
Sorry I have to run out on you so fast.”
I had a really great time.
The last part of Arnold’s sentence came out so fast, Jany
wasn’t sure she’d heard it right.
“What was that?”
“Oh, I just said I’d love to see you again, and bye.”
again, and I’ll see ya.”
Jany jumped from her seat and hurried outside.
She was pretty sure he had said he loved her, and
even more sure that she wouldn’t feel safe until she was in
the comfort of the gallery with Mala.
Mala would know how to handle something like this.
The restaurant Jany had met Arnold at was only six or
so blocks from the gallery, and the next bus wasn’t due for
fifteen minutes, so Jany walked as fast as her short, flabby
legs could carry her.
She couldn’t help thinking, as she began to gasp for
breath, that she better never get caught accidentally
witnessing a crime, because she’d never be able to run fast
enough to escape sure death at the hands of the criminals
thought the same thing every time she watched an action
movie with an on-foot chase scene, and thinking about it now
kept her from wondering just exactly how right her creepy
feeling about Arnold had been.
Finally, she flung the door of the gallery open and
Mala looked up from whatever she was painting with
only mild interest, but when she saw Jany, sweaty and
discombobulated, struggling to breathe, jittery, leaning
against the door, she put down her paintbrush.
“Hey, kiddo, you okay?
What’s goin’ on?”
Mala grabbed one of Jany’s elbows and dragged her to
the chair behind the cash register, then went back to her
Jany could talk, she told Mala about her meeting with
“I don’t know, he just seemed weird.
His eyes were weird and he wasn’t responding to me
the way people do.
It was like no matter what I said to him, he just
told me I was beautiful.”
“Well, that sounds like a problem.
I know I
always hate to be told I’m beautiful.”
“No, I mean in a weird way.
Like, I’d say, ‘Could you please pass the salt?’ and
his response would be, ‘You’re beautiful,’ and he wouldn’t
pass the salt.
He wouldn’t acknowledge anything I said.
I just kept thinking about his eyes.
They were too cold to read anything he was thinking.
And all the way here, I felt like he was following
“Mala, stop overreacting.
I told you it wasn’t a good idea to go out with this
guy. You were
doing it for Michael and not for him or for yourself and now
you feel guilty, that’s all.
I know exactly what you’re going through.
Felt that way myself a few times, back in the day.
I’ve grown up and gotten over it now, but you have to
be careful until you do, too.
That shit’ll tear you up.”
“Don’t you ever really
about anyone, Mala?
This isn’t just me feeling guilty, I know what that’s
beyond worrying about me.
This is a creepy situation.”
“Look, he didn’t follow you, he’s not that creepy,
you were just on two different wavelengths.
Let me close up and we’ll get out of here.
The state you’re in, you need to get home before
dark, and I have things to do.
Go home, take a nice hot bath, read a book or
whatever you intellectual types do in your free time, and
be fine.” Mala
put away her paints and went to turn the open sign off.
She paused for a second, peering through the glass
door, then shook her head and continued closing down.
Jany watched her carefully, hoping she’d take her
might not understand why, but Jany had no desire to be
Eventually, though, Mala picked up her tote bag and stood in
front of the door.
Reluctantly, Jany stood up.
“Hey, Jany, just wondering.
What did this guy look like, anyway?”
“I don’t know, a regular guy.
Dark hair with little streaks of gray, kinda on the
tall side, super pale blue eyes.”
“Did he have a little bit of a belly on him?
Black and gray coat?”
“Uh, yeah, I think so.
Okay, well, um—Jany?
I think he wants to talk to you.
‘Cause I’m pretty sure he’s waiting by the bus stop.
And staring at me right now.
He must have really been following you.”
Are you serious?
I told you!
What are we gonna do?”
“First of all, you’re gonna stop panicking.
He’s staring at us, not pointing an AK-47 at us.
And then you’re gonna look out there and see if it’s even
stepped aside so Jany could see out through the door.
And there was
Arnold, leaning against the back of
the bus stop, staring intently at Mala Ning’s Dynasty.
Jany leapt back from the door.
It’s him, it’s him, it’s him!”
“Get a grip, Jany.
Come on, let’s go out the back.
I’ll drive you home.
There’s no way he can follow us, and by the time you
get back here Monday, he’ll have forgotten all about you.”
Jany barely slept all night, and on Sunday morning,
she was jittery and overtired and not able to concentrate on
finally sent an e-mail to Michael, just an ordinary
hi-how-are-you e-mail, in the hopes that it would inspire
him to call her.
She had gotten infinitely better at dealing with man
over the past couple of years, but she still couldn’t bring
herself to call Michael, the one man she really wanted to
A few hours later, when Jany was listlessly watching
TV, and getting up every half hour to make sure her door was
securely locked, the phone rang.
“How ya doing, Jane?
I got your message, and we hadn’t talked in a while,
so I thought I’d give you a call.
Sorry, I’ve been swamped.”
I was just missing talking to you.”
“So how’ve you been?”
I—I, um, had a date yesterday that kind of creeped me
hadn’t envisioned herself telling Michael about her date
with Arnold like this.
She had wanted to casually mention that she had seen
someone, and then tell Michael he had been a really
attractive man, with his graying hair.
And then she had envisioned Michael asking just
exactly how old this guy was, and she would tell him that
she guessed he was around Michael’s age, maybe a little
Michael would be duly impressed that she got along so well
with an older man and immediately know that they had to be
Instead, Jany found herself telling Michael how
scared she had been to see
at the bus stop outside of the gallery.
She didn’t mention his age.
“You’ll be fine.
Just watch out for him and trust your instincts.”
“Yeah, I suppose.”
They talked for a few more minutes and then Jany was
alone with her thoughts again, more depressed than ever that
her one attempt at making Michael do something about his
feelings for her had failed.
Most likely, he didn’t like her as much as he said he
did. He was
probably just trying to encourage her.
The intensity of Jany’s fear had waned by Monday
morning when she went to work.
The morning was quiet and, by lunchtime, she had
finally stopped snapping to attention every time the door
You around? I’m
gonna go next door for lunch now.”
Wanna bring me a turkey and cheddar on rye?
And some of those chips I like?
You can take money out of the till.”
Be right back.”
Jany took a ten from the till and breezed out the
door, then froze in her tracks.
I’ve been missing you.”
was leaning on a parking sign in front of the gallery door.
“When are we going to go out again?
When you left Saturday, you said ‘See you,’ so when?”
His voice was eerie, almost a monotone.
His posture wasn’t threatening, but Jany was very
Um, yeah. I
did. Hey, I’ll
be right back.
She dashed back into the gallery.
“Whatcha doing back already?” Mala asked, wandering
out of her studio with a bowl of dirty water in her hands.
“He’s out there!
He was waiting for me.
His voice is all weird now, and he said I said I
would see him again so he wants to know when.
He’s trying to stay in touch.
It’s sort of sweet.
Let’s have lunch delivered and by the time you go
home, he’ll be gone.”
Mala picked up the phone and ordered lunch.
A few minutes later, the bells on the door jangled
and Jany and Mala both looked up, expecting their lunch
Arnold was in
Jany hightailed it into Mala’s studio.
How are you?” she heard Mala say.
You have a bathroom I can use?”
Mala pointed it out to him and Jany shrank away from
the studio doorway as he passed.
She waited as she heard the delivery boy come in and
for a long while after, but
didn’t pass again.
Finally, she stuck her head out of the studio,
What the hell is he doing in there?” she whispered.
Oh, he must be gone by now.”
“I’ve been listening.
He did not
“You just missed it.
Or he went out the back.
I mean, it’s been like 20 minutes.
Come have lunch.”
Nervously, Jany joined Mala.
She ate her lunch quickly, propelled by her nerves.
She hadn’t even finished eating when a several
customers came in.
It was the busiest they had been in weeks and,
distracted by the flurry of activity, Jany managed to forget
It must have been an hour after he had come in that
Jany turned around after walking a customer to the door and
saw him nonchalantly leaning against a wall and staring at
her. She held
her breath for a few seconds to fight back a wave of nausea,
but ignored him and began to help another customer, and
eventually, he left.
Jany was so busy for the rest of the day that she
forgot to worry.
Until she walked out of the gallery and he was there,
waiting by the parking sign again.
“Hi, there, Jany.”
Jany swung around and went back inside.
“That’s it, Mala.
I’m not leaving until he’s gone, whatever it takes to
get rid of him.
He was in the bathroom for like an hour today doing God
knows what and now he’s waiting outside for me.
He scares me.
I have to do something.”
Mala went to the front of the door and looked out.
Then she swung the door open.
is that your name?
You need to get the hell outta here ‘cause you are
freaking Jany right the fuck out.
pulled the door shut and locked it.
We’ll see if it works, now.”
“Oh, it works.
He hightailed it as soon as I started yelling.
You just have to get touch with people, Jany.”
Despite her low opinion of Jany’s inability to fend
for herself, Mala agreed to give Jany a ride home again.
Exhausted, Jany climbed the stairs, let herself in,
carefully locked her apartment door, and collapsed on the
turned the TV up loud so maybe she wouldn’t hear herself
was only a few minutes before someone knocked on her door.
Jany stood up instantly, then spun around a few
times, trying to decide whether to run and hide or go to the
sense finally chimed in and she went to the door. It had to
be someone that lived in the building, otherwise they would
have buzzed from downstairs to be let in.
She stood on her tiptoes to look through the
peephole, then opened the door immediately.
It wasn’t anyone from inside the building; it was the
can—is there something I can do for you?”
Jany prattled nervously.
“Come on in.”
She sunk into the couch because her knees were too
weak to hold her up anymore.
“Did I—did I do something?”
I’m Officer Johnson and this is Officer Krane.
We’re investigating a complaint against an Arnold
Jacobsen and were told you might know something.”
“I knew it!
He killed someone, didn’t he?
He was stalking me at work all day today!”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Nothing like that, but we’ll certainly take some
notes down. No,
we just followed some tips and found a bunch of stolen
bicycles in his apartment.
His landlord let us in, said he hasn’t paid his rent
in a few months and had an eviction notice more than a month
Can’t find the guy anywhere, and a neighbor said he’d been
seeing someone named Jany that worked at some Dynasty
gallery, so we tracked down the owner of the place and she
gave us your number and address.
So I take it Mr. Jacobsen isn’t here, then.”
I’ve been trying to avoid him.
And he wasn’t ‘seeing’ me.
We met one time, Saturday.
Found each other on this personals website.
And he got all weird, so I left, and he’s been
hanging out at the gallery when I’m working ever since.
Today, he came in to use the bathroom, he said, and
he was in there for like an hour.
And he was waiting for me when I went to leave, so
Mala yelled at him and he went away.”
“So you’re not in a relationship with him, then?”
“On account of the neighbor, we thought you were and
maybe we’d find him if we found you.”
“No, not unless he followed he home too.
I hope not!
He scares the crap out of me, to be honest.”
“Well, why don’t you tell us everything you know,
anyway, in case something helps, and we’ll see if we can get
him out of your hair for a while.”
Jany described her date with Arnold and everything that
had happened since in great detail, glad that she’d been
frightened enough to remember every little detail.
She was so relieved and worn out by the time the
officers left that she fell asleep on the couch almost
But not before she’d decided that the next time she got
online, her first task would be to delete her ad from
All the people that worried about the safety of meeting
people online were right; it wasn’t safe at all.