Cody slipped her top half through the doorway with relative ease, but her bottom half would take more effort. Crouched on all fours with her hips wedged in the narrow entryway, she frowned with consternation at her predicament. With a grunt, she twisted sideways to create enough clearance and dragged herself through. Clear of the frame, she dragged her long legs inside and kicked the door shut.
"Hello, dear," her mother said from the other side of the kitchen island. "You can still fit through the door. That's good."
"Barely," Cody muttered, glued to her phone.
"Did you find a job?"
Cody shook her head.
"Maybe you should consider returning to college."
Cody gave a noncommittal shrug as she shoved her phone in her pocket and opened the fridge. She retrieved a full carton of orange juice, chugged it, and tossed the empty carton in the general direction of the recycle bin.
"We're out of juice again."
"Okay," her mother said, retrieving the carton from the floor while her daughter polished off a box of leftover chicken tenders and chugged a two-liter soda.
"Honey, as you've gotten...bigger, food doesn't last as long as it used to. Perhaps you should eat slower. Have some water first"
Cody ignored her mother, letting loose a thunderous belch as she retrieved the tub of leftover beef stew. She shoveled the contents into her mouth and left the container on the counter. Her mother continued picking up after her.
"Have you seen a doctor yet?"
"Next opening is in two weeks," Cody said, pouring the remainder of a bag of chips into her mouth. Her phone vibrated in her pocket and she promptly tossed the bag aside and rose to her feet, remaining hunched over with the eight-foot ceiling pressed against the small of her back. She tapped the screen and scanned the notification.
"Later, Mom. I'll be down for dinner."
Her mother nodded and stepped aside as her daughter squeezed past her and into the living room. Crawling up the stairs, Cody's broad hips splintered several uprights in the wooden banister before she straightened her legs to provide clearance. With a heavy sigh, her mother retrieved the wood glue from a nearby cabinet, glancing over to monitor the industrial-sized pot of boiling pasta and two casseroles baking in the oven.
"I love you, sweetie."
Cody crawled up the narrow stairwell and down the hallway to her room. She squeezed herself inside and shut the door behind her. Laying on a bed barely as long as her legs, she set her elbow on her desk and propped her feet on a chair. She opened her messages.
Cody felt a fluttering in her chest and a chill run up her spine. She put away her phone, closed her eyes, and waited.