I wake up at 4:45 Monday morning with a cramp in my leg. A tingle shoots up from my ankle. I’ve slept awkwardly again, which is what I get for not using a mattress. Even if I had twice the number of blankets and comforters under me, I’d still sleep like crap. I daydream about a pillow, a full-size mattress, a nightie, maybe even a teddy bear. I'm a little big for all that, I suppose.
I’m a little big for most things nowadays.
I kick my leg to shake feeling into it, and my toe strikes the edge of a bookshelf. My curses echo throughout the house. I’m sure Mom and Dad hear me across the hall—I’m still not used to how far my deep voice carries.
I sit up slowly. Through the mangled blinds, light filters in from the streetlight on the corner. The room is dark, save for the alarm clock. It takes less time for my eyes to adapt to the darkness than I’d expect. My eyesight has improved dramatically over the last couple weeks. A good thing, too. Finding larger glasses would have been nearly impossible, and I’d have torn this place apart by now if my vision had stayed as it was.
I shimmy to the door, doing my best to ignore the distracting sensations of my breasts dragging across the carpet, and flick the light switch in the corner. My body dwarfs everything in the room. I’m immense.
As I straighten up, something feels oddly familiar. Sitting on the floor, I’m exactly the height I used to be. For a moment, I feel at ease. Then, I reach up and run my fingers across the ceiling. The floorboards groan as I move around. Through this whole ordeal, I've refrained from weighing myself. Sure, I’m a little curious, but ultimately, I’d rather not know.
My stomach roars like a muffled garbage disposal. I haven’t had a decent meal in days. I could eat a horse or perhaps a horse-sized chicken? I’ve eaten less and less proportionally as I’ve grown. Not because I’m any less hungry—I’m starving, actually. It's just too expensive to buy as much food as I’m capable of eating. At least that's what Dad told me.
Dad didn't say a word about the dining chair I smashed. He didn’t mention the doorframe, the toilet or the banister, but it all bugs him, I can tell. I’d grown used to decoding his emotions, even before this whole mess started. He’s a proud, old-fashioned, man’s man. He never asks for directions, but always gives them. He tries to fix things himself so he doesn’t have to call a repairman (with mixed results). He’s the first to serve himself at dinner and the first to eat. No one leaves the table until he’s done.
This extends to my life as well. I'm twenty-four, and Dad still manages my finances, my diet, my career. I probably could have broken the cycle if I’d decided to live on campus in college rather than stay at home. Dad said we’d save money. I didn’t press the issue. He has the last word. Like my mother, I deliver my paycheck to him in a sealed envelope every week. He gives me an allowance to buy what I need. It’s a routine. Nothing short of an act of God could derail it.
God certainly works in mysterious ways.
Two weeks ago, I woke up feeling off. Getting dressed for work took longer than usual. I had to tug on the buttons of my slacks to fasten them. I eventually left them open, covering the unfastened button with a belt. The snaps on my blouse puckered around the bust and the short sleeves bunched under my armpits. I still managed to squeeze into my shoes, though it took effort. Unhappy with my ensemble, I covered the blouse with a long-sleeve sweater, which was also snug, but not uncomfortable.
In the mirror, I noticed the issues with my shirt and pants, but I knew no one at work would care. I was a mousy 5’1”, with a plain face, no curves, and thick glasses. Upon closer analysis, my face had changed slightly—my features a little softer, my hair a little longer. I’d have guessed I’d gained weight, but I rarely consume more than 1000 calories a day. I pushed worry aside and went downstairs to the kitchen.
Dad read the newspaper and Mom served breakfast. “Morning honey,” he said, without looking up. “You’re a little behind schedule.”
“I had some problems with my clothes.”
“Oh,” he said, though not really in response. He wasn’t paying attention. I wanted him to look at me. I figured if he saw me, he might say something. Tell me what to do. I waited a little longer. Mom, busy at the stove, didn’t look at me either.
“I don’t think my clothes fit right, but they did yesterday.” The words fell out of my mouth. Out of the corner of my eye, Mom gave me a double-take, though when I looked back at her, she’d returned to preparing breakfast. I caught her removing one of two slices of toast from one of the plates. Dad continued reading his paper.
Mom came to the table with my breakfast. “Here. This is all you need,” she said, spitting the words through her thick accent with a healthy dose of condescension. I looked at my plate: a half-slice of wheat toast without butter and a bowl of plain oatmeal. She set the dishes down as if she did not want to be near me. Whatever. I was not in the mood for snark about my weight, in English or Japanese.
I ate the toast and most of the oatmeal, careful not to eat too quickly. As I rose to leave, Mom moved in to pick up the plates and we nearly collided. She stared at me. Surprise, then confusion, then, ever so briefly, fear flashed on her face. She must have seen my reaction to her reaction because she mumbled something under her breath before shuffling out of the kitchen.
Somehow, I had looked my 5’3” mother straight in the eyes.
The newspaper still covered Dad's face. I stood in the middle of the kitchen, not knowing what to say.
“You’d better get to work, honey. You don’t want to be late.”
“I think I’m growing,” I blurted.
The newspaper lowered a smidgen. “Hm, I don’t think so.”
“I feel taller, I guess. Maybe it’s something else.”
“You know, height is funny that way. It actually fluctuates a little throughout the day.” He still did not look at me—not directly anyways. The newspaper inched back up. I tugged at my bra strap, which I’d loosened as much as I could. I wanted to say something else, but he'd settled the matter. I was no taller or bigger than yesterday.
I left the house. As I started my car, I glanced at the open window. Mom and Dad were discussing something in the kitchen. Mom didn’t look too happy.
I worked a standard office job Dad set up for me after high school. He encouraged me to stay on board after college, and he’d convinced my supervisor to take me on full-time after graduation. I’d taken culinary classes and I wanted to pursue an internship opportunity outside the city, but it didn’t pay as much. Dad said I shouldn’t sacrifice a good job for a gamble. I wasn’t ready to live on my own, he said. I said okay.
Tuesday morning, I ripped my gray blouse trying to fit it around my shoulders. I definitely had grown overnight. I dressed in sandals and a formerly floor-length skirt that ended at my calves. When I stepped into the kitchen, Dad said I looked too casual, and told me to change.
“My clothes are too small,” I said.
“Wear your slacks and business shoes to the office.”
I obeyed, changing into my slacks, which were tight and showed my ankles. After I changed, Dad said I looked nice and Mom agreed, though she kept staring at me. The shoes were painfully tight. I drove to work barefoot, and left my shoes off under my desk, standing up only when absolutely necessary. At dinner later, Mom gave me a smaller portion of lasagna and piled on the salad. No one said anything.
For the next few days, I did my best to ignore my changes. By the end of my work week, I was wearing my sports bra and a bathing suit bottom as underwear. I needed to put a hard figure to my suspicions, so I measured my height Friday morning. At 5’8,” I’d grown seven inches since the beginning of the week. Dad didn't say anything. I hadn't seen Mom much recently.
At work on Friday, my boss asked to speak with me. He asked if I was okay, and if everything was alright at home. I told him everything was fine, but I’d been feeling sick lately. He told me to take Monday off if I still didn't feel well, and I noncommittally thanked him, though I’d have to be bleeding from my eyes before Dad would ever let me take a sick day. As I left, I caught him staring at me in the reflective glass of his office door.
Saturday, I hit 5’10”, Dad’s height. I came downstairs and caught him near the coffee pot. He'd heard me approach and turned to meet me. We stopped, looking each other straight in the eyes. I saw something I hadn’t seen in years: an opportunity. It reminded me of when I’d graduated high school and considered going to college out of state. A subtle look in his eyes—one you’d only recognize if you saw him every day—told me, everything could change.
But I didn’t know what to say. I folded, retreating into a slouch. I fell back into the self-conscious, subservient girl in the undersized t-shirt and unbuttoned highwater pants. Dad straightened up. “We should get you some clothes,” he said.
"I'll give you some money. You can buy what you need for work.
"You can find what you need at Goodwill. No sense in paying too much for clothes."
"Good." Dad turned away, signaling the end of the conversation. There it was. The first admission that anything had changed. It was yet another way for him to maintain control. I stood next to him for a while.
"Is there something else?"
"Then you should go to the store now, so you can return before lunch."
"Good. I'll talk to you later."
Dad gave me $100 for clothes. A pathetic amount. I had my suspicions I'd grown more than taller. While most of my clothes were too small at this point, I had outgrown my undergarments even faster. I’d gone from a 32A to a 36C, and my hips—well, I definitely had them. On Dad’s budget, I could only afford to purchase one half-decent bra. The rest of my wardrobe consisted of necessities: work slacks, blouses, some t-shirts, and a pair of size 11 shoes.
I woke up Sunday morning at 8:30 and measured myself. I'd grown to 6'1", my fastest gain yet. Having nowhere to be and no clothes that fit, I returned to bed. By noon, I hadn't heard a peep from Mom or Dad. Mom avoided me entirely. Dad saw me as a problem that would go away if he ignored it, or threw money at it, or just denied it. I stayed in bed until 2:30, when my hunger got the best of me. I headed downstairs wearing only my tight blue cotton underwear and a t-shirt so short the undersides of my breasts peeked out the bottom.
Mom sat in the living room reading a gossip magazine. As I reached the bottom of the stairs, her mouth gaped in horror. I offered her a blank expression and headed straight for the kitchen. I'm not sure I wanted Dad to be in there or not, but the kitchen was empty. I ate cereal out of a large Tupperware bowl, and then returned to my room with a bag of tortilla chips, a box of granola bars, a tray of cold leftover lasagna, and a gallon of water.
From then on, Mom left meals outside my door.
I didn't go to work Monday. Even if I wanted to go, there were no clothes to fit my seven-foot frame. I stayed at home wrapped in a bed sheet and tinkered on the internet. I took a selfie (neck up, obviously), looking as pathetic as possible, and posted it online. Sick at home. Bleh. A few friends from college posted their sympathies. I reread a few chapters of a book I'd finished the previous week, and binged on online tv. Work never called. I never called them.
Tuesday afternoon, Dad knocked.
"Sweetie. Could you close the blinds in your room, please? I don't want the neighbors looking in and making a fuss."
"Can they see me?"
"Their house is right across the way, and your window is open."
"Did they call?"
"Just close the window, sweetie. We don't need them seeing in."
From my desk, I reached across my bed and twisted the blinds shut. The late-summer sunshine faded away behind the thick wooden blinds. I turned on the desk lamp.
"Okay, Dad. They're closed."
I read for a few hours, and I'm not sure when I went to sleep. I slept anywhere from a few hours to half a day at a time. Sometimes, it would be dark when I woke up. Other times I awoke to slits of daylight, peeking through the edges of my window. When my legs grew too long for the bed, I separated the mattress and box spring to make a larger bed. I gave up showering somewhere around eight feet—that was Wednesday evening, I think, but I'm not sure.
I hadn't seen Mom or Dad in a couple days. Mom stopped knocking when she delivered my food. I'd hear her outside in the hallway with the clinking of dishes. By the time I answer the door she'd be gone. I wolfed the food—mostly rice, pasta, sandwiches, anything she could make in bulk. Most meals left me hungry. Nonetheless, I packed on the pounds, especially in my hips and chest. By Thursday, my ass had grown too wide for my desk chair. My boobs hung ponderously to my lower rib cage.
Dad would visit occasionally, asking the same question from behind the closed door.
"How you doin' in there?"
"Well, let us know if you need something."
On Friday, Dad knocked and told me he'd called work and arranged medical leave. He said they'd take me back as soon as I was well enough. I entertained myself by imagining all ten or so feet of me walking into the office, buck naked. I'd sit at the front desk and answer phones and file insurance forms. People no taller than my legs would gape at me as I navigated the small, crowded office space. I'd try not to smack people in the head with my dangling boobs, but I inevitably would. I'd have to wedge my way into the tiny copy room. The copy machine would jam, and I'd sit on the fucking thing, smashing it to a pile of eWaste. Then I'd–
"The blinds are open again."
"I rolled over last night and messed them up. I can't get them to close."
"What do you mean 'messed up'?"
"I backed into them in the dark. My hands are too big to untangle them. I just made it worse."
"Well, sweetie, do you have a blanket or something to cover the window?"
"It's too heavy. It won't stay up. Can you come in and fix them?"
"Just try to stay out of sight. We don't want to alarm the neighbors," he said. I heard him walk away, quickly, down the stairs.
I laid as flat as I could, feeling the tug of my enormous breasts flowing down my ribcage and resting at my sides. They were heavy enough to hinder my breathing if I kept them on top of me. After a while, I turned on my side. The loud creaks from the floorboards had started to worry me, but not enough to keep me from sleep, one of the few refuges I had left.
Sunday afternoon. Dad knocked and told me to lie more evenly on the ground. He said the living room ceiling had started to sag under my weight. I obliged, moving to the center of the room and stretching my legs toward the corners. He returned a few minutes later, asking me to move out of the center of the room. I scooted over, which put only my lower half on the mattresses, one of my legs up against the opposite wall, and my head under my desk. I asked if we could move the desk. He said we had nowhere to put it.
This brings us to today, Monday morning. My cramping leg has gone numb from how I'd slept on it, trying to distribute my weight around the room. My stomach tugs at my insides from hunger. Claustrophobia begins to unhinge my self-control, and I struggle to manage my tense limbs and cramping legs. I start to cry, but the sobs catch in my throat. Instead, a primal groan erupts from me, which unfolds into a growl of frustration. I kick my other leg out, demolishing the closet door. My body trembles, flush with rage. Gripping the sheets, I twist them until they rip. I sob until my stomach aches. When I can't sob anymore, I scream. Eventually I cry it out, and just lay here. When I finally pull myself together, I've grown another six inches.
It's time to leave.
I roll away from the center of the room towards the door, plowing through piles of accumulated trash. I press on the door with my hand, my spread fingers covering nearly half of its surface. The hinges give, and another push splits it down the middle. I push the pieces into the hall as far as I can. At around twenty feet tall, fitting through the doorway is a pain, but I can afford to be patient. My shoulders will not fit horizontally, so I turn onto my side and scoot forward, putting my arms through first. My breasts make me too wide on my side as well, but they have a little more give.
"What are you doing?" Dad's shouts from behind me.
"I'm leaving." I don't look at him as I say this. I want to say it is for dramatic effect, but the truth is, I’m too large to turn around in the doorway. This spares both of us the awkwardness of having my giant bare tits shoved in his face.
"You can't leave!" he says, though I'm not sure to whom.
Taking a diving position, I manage to shimmy into the hallway. Dad continues yelling behind me. I seethe with anger, instantly adding a few feet to my height and compressing my shoulders between the narrowing walls. A muscle spasm sends my foot blasting into the wall, taking out the entirety of the window as well as the pane around it. The neighbors have a glorious view of my tremendous legs and ass. Good for them.
I struggle to free myself from the door frame which constricts my chest as I go on expanding. I press on the wall from both sides and my body, as if in response, balloons in all directions, decimating the wall around me and pressing my face into the far end of the upstairs hallway. I hear Mom's muffled screams on the other side of the wall, which I find annoying. Dad had retreated to the end of the hall, doing his best to stay clear of his growing daughter. I guess I’m about thirty or forty feet tall, since my toes touch the lawn from the second floor. My annoyance dissipates, and I feel a goofy sort of euphoria at my immensity. At this point, I'm not as much in a house as wearing it.
With my shuffling and squirming, I have not considered the effect of my increasing mass on the structural integrity of the house. With a series of loud cracks and snaps, the floor gives way. I crash to the ground floor, flattening the sofa, recliner, and television, like dollhouse furniture. Gazing upward, I can still see the ceiling of my old room—the same ceiling I'd stared at for years, wishing things could be different. Dad stands at the edge of what remains of the second-floor hallway. In his face are traces of anger and fear. More than anything though, is a look of defeat. He’s lost his grip on me as well as a good thirty percent of his house, both of which I’d handily outgrown.
I sit up and feel the cool summer night air. I take a moment to untangle a chandelier from my hair, then I roll out of the rubble, onto my feet. I stand to my full height—a head taller than a two-story house. I don't look back at Mom, Dad, or the wreckage that was the house. I simply walk away from the broken pieces behind me. I suppose I’m ill-prepared for whatever lies ahead—I'm still naked for God's sake. Regardless, I set off on my own ready to confront the world on my terms.