He'd gone to a bakery in Eagle Rock, early on her birthday morning, to surprise her with her favorite flourless cake. A drunk driver had hit his car head-on in the middle of the Colorado Street Bridge. He wasn't wearing his seat belt because it was too tight. It wouldn't have mattered.

Two lean, healthy Pasadena Police officers had come to the door, hanging their heads and bearing his belongings, including the bag of pastries he’d bought. As soon as they left she had eaten it all, even the frosted long johns.

Belinda kicked aside empty cans, their gaping throats crusted and molding. She tore through a lower cabinet, shoving aside a sack of dry lentils. One last jumbo bag of barbecue flavored potato chips was hiding there. Belinda plopped to the floor, ripped open the bag of chips and stuffed a handful into her mouth. Then another. She couldn't eat them fast enough. Little bits broke off and tumbled down the front of her pajama top. She picked them up and ate them, too. She stuffed herself with handful after handful.

Finally she licked a finger and wiped it along the inside of the bottom of the bag. Red barbecue seasonings covered her pajama top and chin.

Her stomach roared. It wasn’t enough.

A long, low moan erupted from her, but not from her stomach.

Sobs hit like hunger pangs. She was insatiable. Between wails she gasped the fetid kitchen air. Air gave power to sobs of rage.

"I won't go out!"

"How could you get so fat?"

"How could I get so fat?"

"God damn drunk driver!"

Belinda grabbed the sack of lentils and threw it against the wall. For a few seconds, it rained lentils in the kitchen.

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