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Authors: Manuela Pigna

Training in Love

BOOK: Training in Love
6.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub



Manuela Pigna









Translated by
Carol J. Coller








This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents
are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any
resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events,
or locales is entirely coincidental.



Cover Picture: @Shutterstock,
Inc / copyright: Mohamed Mekhamer

Cover Art: Azzurra

Here are Azzurra’s
beautiful blogs:






To all
those who have or have had a tormented relationship with food.





When you
feel my heat

Look into my eyes

It’s where my demons

It’s where my demons


Don’t get too close

It’s dark inside

It’s where my demons

It’s where my demons






two in the morning, the rain is beating down on the window sill of my bedroom
and I’ve just made a momentous decision. I must, or better, I
lose weight.

that I haven’t ever tried. No, I’ve tried more than once over the course of my
life. “More than once” is perhaps a bit reductive. Let’s say I’ve tried several
times. Ok, at least a hundred, and without any real success but I’ve never before
had the revelation that I had this evening.

have lived my whole life, to date, overweight. I’ve tried everything to take
off these accursed extra kilos. It’s not that I have some top-model fantasy in
mind, no. I don’t even dream of reaching that. For me it would be enough to be
“normal”. Yes, normal. It would be enough to go out of the house wearing
something that didn’t resemble a Tuareg tent, or a garbage bag, with all due
respect to the Tuaregs. It would be enough to go into a clothing shop, choose
something I liked,  look over the sizes and find the one right for me, just
like that, immediately, without problems. Without asking the salesgirl –
obviously reed thin – if by any chance they had the next size up (actually,
even two sizes up) and hear her say that they only have sizes up to 12. It
would be enough to not shake with fear and terror when someone suggests going
“to the pool” or “to the seaside”, and not have to rack my brain to find some
new and credible excuse for not going. It would be enough to not feel
uncomfortable when people look at me. It would be enough to not, always and
everywhere, feel like the classic bull in the china shop.

this evening I discovered – or maybe just admitted to myself for the first time
– that there is something else that I’d like, beyond buying clothes and going
to the beach with relative ease. The famous above mentioned revelation.

happened at Marco and Nic’s house. Marco is my best friend Linda’s boyfriend
and Nic is his twin brother. Linda and I have been friends our whole lives.
We’re neighbors and we grew up together. She, however, is gorgeous. She’s blond
with blue eyes, has a practically perfect face and has never had weight
problems. It wasn’t any surprise she snagged Marco, one of the famous “twins” a
good six years ago. Nic, short for Nicola, on the other hand, isn’t remotely
interested in settling down. On the contrary, in the last few years I think
he’s busy racking up love affairs, enough for himself and his brother. The
twins went to different high-schools – Marco to the classics one like Linda and
I, while Nic attended the science high-school. Despite this, at both schools
they were known as “The Bona Twins” or just “The Bonas”, short for their last
name – Bonaventura – but understood by the girls as short for “hot”.

didn’t meet them until Linda paired up with Marco, who from that moment on has been
forced to put up with my continuous presence. As a frequent visitor of the Bona
twins’ home – something that, if someone had told me, I would never have
believed – I’ve gotten to know Nic a little better. Nic and I, over time, have
established a superficial friendship - let’s say a cordial relationship. I think
he thinks I’m nice, but he certainly doesn’t see me as a potential “thing”.
This doesn’t bother me at all, because even though Nic is beautiful, his face
really is too identical to that of my best friend’s boyfriend…

fact, my revelation was not inspired by him, even though it was caused by a boy
who is just as handsome. Yes, because this isn’t just about clothes or
vacations. “Normalness” is also having a boyfriend, a lover, a fiancé. If it’s
a temporary fling or a serious relationship it doesn’t matter. It’s enough to
have the semblance of a love and sex life. Not normal is your grandmother
having more going on at the community ballrooms in this respect than you - a
twenty-five year old woman, just out of college.

this evening, when Nic showed up with Giancarlo, I genuinely felt the strong
need for something romantic. Giancarlo is dark, with blue eyes so intense they
seem electric. Dark hair, blue eyes – my perfect combination. When he arrived
and we were introduced, despite him making the comment I detest the most in
this world, “Olivia? Like the lady in Popeye?” – and I hate it because the Olive
in Popeye is the opposite of me and because in elementary school they teased me
endlessly because of her size and my size – I forgave him because he said it
with a heart-stopping smile.  During the remainder of the night I discovered
that he’s doing mechanical engineering (with graduation still a ways off) that
he’s into snowboarding (which he does often) and that he has a small part-time
job in a call center Monday through Friday. Around suppertime Nic and
Giancarlo, nicknamed “Gianca”, went to pick up pizzas which we ate at home.
This weekend the twins’ parents aren’t around, in fact Linda stayed the night
at their house. We were seated beside each other and joked all evening, because
he isn’t just handsome, Gianca is nice too.

the revelation came after supper. After the pizza was finished, Marco and Linda
went into the living room to pick a movie to watch. I stayed alone with Nic and
Gianca in the kitchen, all three of us talking while I tidied up (I didn’t have
to, the twins always tell me not to do it, but I feel like it and at times do
it because I feel a little embarrassed to always be underfoot) until Nic’s
phone rang, and he, with a little smile said, “Excuse me a minute,” and went to
talk in the other room. It was undoubtedly one of his girlfriends. Gianca and I
exchanged knowing glances while Nic left the kitchen and, I mean, if exchanging
glances with a guy that you’ve met less than three hours before isn’t a good
sign… When I began to wash the plates in the sink with my back to him, a
strange silence fell over the room. I began to think, and to day dream. I imagined
him getting up from his chair and coming to me, circling my waist with his
arms, that he brushed my hair from my neck and left a line of soft kisses
there, creating an invisible necklace of sweetness. I pictured his hands moving
along my body, that he touched me, really. And it was at that moment that I had
my revelation, because I imagined it so well. So well it was as though it were
about to happen from one moment to the next, I almost felt shivers of
anticipation in my arms. It’s just that instead of feeling pleasure, I felt
fear and discomfort. And right there I understood that, in truth, I didn’t
really want him to get up from his chair and put his hands on me because he
would have felt all my rolls of fat. He would have felt the folds of flesh on
my back, the flab which spilled out of my too tight jeans, covered up by an
extra-large T-shirt, the thighs which touched each other with no space in
between. And I understood that I didn’t want his hands on me, even though I
liked him and would have wanted his hands on me. It seems like a contradiction,
a crazy line of reasoning, but it isn’t.

always thought I wanted a love story just like all the other girls in this
world, but the truth, the simplest and deepest truth, is that I don’t. I don’t
want it now, not like that. The truth is that I don’t want anyone to touch me,
and maybe this is one of the reasons why, in reality, no-one has ever touched
me. I’m certainly not the only overweight person in the world, I know, and I’ve
seen girls who are, let’s say ‘
’, who easily have relationships. And
even when I’ve seen these unknown couples in the street I’ve always thought to
myself, “Why not me? I want that too!”

was pretty shocking to me this evening to realize that I, in reality, did not
want that. How the hell is the human mind constructed? I mean, I
inside my head, how is it possible that I thought something without consciously
realizing that I thought it? In any case, leaving behind the
philosophical-scientific ponderings, after the plates and the revelation we
started watching the movie. If someone asked me what we watched I wouldn’t know
what to tell them because the only thing I did was reflect and ask myself
questions about myself and my life up to now. I asked myself, “What do I really
want? To be happy. What do you do to be happy? Have a full life. Do I want a
relationship?” Yes, I want a relationship. Happiness isn’t complete if it isn’t
shared, someone said. But I don’t want it now. I don’t want my guy, who shares
my happiness, to also share my rolls of fat. And that’s how I came to the
conclusion that, if I really want to change my life for the better, I have to
lose weight. It is imperative that I lose weight. And then I can seriously
begin my life. I’ll do everything that I haven’t done up to now and I’ll have
everything that I haven’t had.

I’ll go out with Gianca. So wait for me Gianca, don’t fall in love in the next
few months, please, wait for me, and then, fall in love with me.

BOOK: Training in Love
6.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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