Prose That Blows

Check, Please

First dates are no fun because they’re basically a list of don’ts. Don’t be too eager. Don’t be too cold. Don’t show a lot of skin. Don’t be too shy. Don’t laugh too hard. Don’t seem too desperate.

Wendy knew the rules, and she knew just how crucial it was that they be followed. And dressed in a high-buttoned blouse and a simple skirt, tonight’s dive into the waters of the dating pool was going well enough. Phil was sweet, he was clever, and he made her laugh. He was dangerous.

“Comedy’s just a hobby — a dream, really,” said the man on the other side of the candle and condiments. “By day, I’m an office drone. But most of the time I’m mining these terrible meetings for new material.”

“Are we talking ‘Office Space’ level?” asked Wendy.

“Oh yeah,” nodded Phil, dropping into a dead-on impression of Bill Lumburgh. “My boss has actually said, ‘Yeeeahh, I’m going to have to ask you to go ahead and come on in on Saturday. That’d be greeeeaaat.'”

Wendy tittered, but quickly stifled it. Remember the rules.

“What about you? What’s your career path look like?”

“Long — I’m pre-med, so most of my day is spent with books and sick people.”

“Sounds more like you work in accounting.”

She audibly giggled, which made her a little uncomfortable. Keep it together, she thought. First dates offered more social pressure than usual, but Wendy was determined to maintain her composure.

“That’s really cool, though,” said Phil. “That’s a noble profession — helping people when they need help the most.”

Wendy thought that was sweet, but the rules told her not to react too intensely, so she just smiled sweetly and let the conversation drop. The silence was awkward.

Phil deftly picked it up. “So how do you know Amy? She didn’t say — said she wanted to let us get to know each other ‘for real,’ whatever that means.”

“Yeah, that’s her. We met in yoga class, actually.”

“Yoga! You’re brave. I’ll never understand how people started twisting themselves into painful-looking poses and everyone else said ‘Here’s fifty bucks — make me a pretzel, too!'”

That mental image made Wendy laugh out loud. She immediately realized that was a big mistake — potentially a huge one, as she became acutely aware of her unique condition. The old familiar dull hiss which had been her secret shame for years returned, just below the surface, and she felt her brassiere stretch to accommodate her swelling breasts.

She was inflating. In public. On a first date. You know the rules, goddammit. Don’t laugh too hard. 

Wendy was determined not to reveal her distress, and if Phil was the gentleman he appeared to be, he would not comment even if he did suspect her measurements had changed. “Well, you know, healthy living and all that,” she replied with a nervous smile, desperately trying to play down the rising pressure she felt. “Comes with the job, I suppose. I try to keep active, stay hydrated, watch what I eat — lots of little things.”

“Me too,” agreed Phil. “I’ve actually gone mostly vegetarian lately, which has been easier than I thought.” Wendy saw a twinkle in Phil’s eye. Oh no. “But truth be told, I’m not a vegetarian because of the health benefits, or even because I love animals. I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants.”

“Ha!” Wendy laughed out loud. Her dark sense of humor couldn’t be contained — but now her condition couldn’t be denied, either. The hissing inside her increased, and the her blouse pushed forward, buttons straining against her increasingly round breasts filled it to capacity. A few stitches popped on the seam of her bra, and she felt her hips expand a bit for good measure.

Her smile quickly changed to a horrified expression, and she looked at Phil. He was silent, slack-jawed, and his eyes kept darting between her mortified face and her actively swelling chest.

Wendy was embarrassed beyond words, desperately wishing she could deny her condition, reverse time, or had simply gone to the ladies room when she felt the first twinge of inflation. A tear ran down her cheek. This was an unmitigated disaster.

No longer able to bear the force of her now spherical breasts, her blouse finally gave in to the pressure. A single button popped from her blouse, shooting across the table and landing directly in Phil’s gaping mouth.

Reflexively, he swallowed it.

The unreality and ridiculousness of the situation hit Wendy with full force. She did the only thing she could, what anybody does when their situation gets too unbelievable.

She giggled. Then she laughed. Hard.

Phil caught the contagious laughter too. The loop was complete.

Wendy should have been running away, fleeing the scene of what would have to rank as the worst first date of her entire young life. Instead, she and Phil just kept laughing louder, ignoring the stares of annoyed and confused diners as her bosom surged forward, popping more seams on both her blouse and brassiere, spherical cleavage rising from the cups.

She no longer cared. She was tired of being her own prisoner. It felt good to finally let herself laugh; it felt even better to laugh with someone else. She liked doing it, no matter the consequences.

Now several cup sizes larger than she had been when they were seated, Wendy’s cackles subsided to chuckles and vocal sighs. She rose slightly in her seat, feeling her hips and bottom round out; her breasts looked enormous in her now tiny, partially destroyed top, like overfilled party balloons ready to pop.

Phil saw multiple expressions on her face — humiliation, delight, panic, joy. All he wanted to do was let her know everything was going to be fine.

But he also realized the evening’s punchline was there for the taking, and he couldn’t resist.

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