Old Friends

"You're humongous!" Marie exclaimed, shocked at the sight of the towering Eileen looming above her at nearly twice her 5'10" height.

Eileen shrugged. "I also cut off my bangs."

"How tall even are you?"



Eileen smiled and pointed to a nearby table. "Do you want to sit down, will that make it easier?"

"Y-yeah, I think so." Marie sat down, her eyes remaining glued to Eileen. "Can you fit in a chair?"

Eileen patiently moved the chair aside, laid a mat down, and sat on the ground. More comfortable with their respective elevations, Marie now gawked at Eileen's large folded hands. Eileen waited a bit, before clearing her throat. "Marie?"

Marie jumped at the unexpected tone and volume of Eileen's voice in close quarters. "Your voice is so deep!"

"I've gotten pretty used to it, but I get that other people aren't. Had you really not heard I was still growing? Most people knew about it from my Facebook or Instagram, or that Today Show interview disaster."

Marie shook her head, dumb with disbelief. "I-I thought it was Photoshop, or a joke, or a kink or something. I unfollowed you because it was getting too...weird."

"Tell me about it."

"I still can't even believe it, and I'm staring right at you."

"Yes, you really are."

"Oh, definitely," Marie said, entirely unaware of the words slipping from her lips. "And how is it, all of it?"

Eileen chuckled softly. "Okay, I guess. Trying to find some normalcy in the midst of everything. Celebrating the small things, like this outfit I managed to put together. I made the top from a men's 5XL t-shirt. Remember my favorite green maxi skirt from high school? Now it's my favorite mini skirt." Eileen patted her bare knees. "I'm learning to enjoy things while they last."

Marie frowned. "While they last?"

"I ordered this shirt a week ago. It was supposed to be a size too big. Then I had a growth spurt on top of a growth spurt and grew six inches in six days."

"You grew half-a-foot in a week?" Marie croaked.

"By the time it arrived, I had to cut the sleeves and collar to fit my shoulders through without ripping it. It scares me sometimes knowing I'm still growing taller. I start worrying I'm going to just keep growing forever. As you can imagine, that can really only end a couple of ways, none of them good."

Marie's chair fell backward as she abruptly stood to her feet, her face pale. "I-I need to go...to the bathroom."

"Sure. Whatever you need to do."

"I'll be right...um, right back," Marie said, darting inside.

Eileen waited for thirty minutes before heading home.