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Emily Frankel. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1.
page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6

“STAND TALL, FAT LADY, TAKE A DEEP BREATH and head for your table,” Ivy told
ivy3bherself as she pushed open the glass doors of the restaurant and braced herself for the glances, the looks on the faces of people thanking their lucky stars they weren’t her size.

Ivy Grace Moore Morley had called herself Fat Lady so often, that it gave her no pain.It blurred and fuzzied away. Like her reflection in the double glass doors, smiling Fat Lady,
bigger-wider-larger than last year—like the noise of the honking cars, the snow tires and chains in the February slush which the restaurant doors closing behind her couldn’t completely keep out—like the giggles from the lovey-dovey twosome in the booth—all of it became part of the general buzz of the normal-sized customers at the other tables happily devouring their Sunday breakfasts. All of it blurred. None of it pained her any more than the names she called her smiling self as she followed the hostess—Bundle-of-Cheer! Piggy! Mz. Jack Sprat!

“This table alright?” The blonde girl with the menus indicated a small table near
the cash register.

Ivy scanned the room. Her waiter was there.

The place wasn’t busy, just a dozen or so customers but the restaurant did most of its Sunday business after 11:00 a.m., after church.

“How about over there?” Ivy pointed politely. Her usual table was between the two large tables next to the front window.

The blonde hostess, in her neat black skirt, white blouse and red apron, led the way.

Glancing back at Ivy’s summery pink and orange skirt and blouse, noticing Ivy’s bare legs
and sandals, the girl muttered, “Gee, aren’t you freezing cold?”

Ivy placed her straw carryall bag on the floor next to the chair and pulled off the white cardigan which was draped over her shoulders. As usual, she was sweating rather profusely.

“It’s really not that cold. It’s 34E this morning.” The girl was wearing a name tag.

“You’re new here, Eloise?”

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