Rory stepped out from the hired car and into the bright sunlight. She could smell the see in the breeze and hear the sounds of distant waves. The driver politely shut the door behind her and then fetched her bags from the trunk. “Right this way miss” he said as he started off down the path toward one of the cabins.
The camp where Rory had disembarked was put on for the daughters of New England’s best families, who maybe needed to lose a few pounds. Rory fit that bill, though she wasn’t quite like the other girls there. Her grandparents were wealthy, sure, but she lived with her single mother in a small Connecticut town. Her grandparents did pay for her to go to one of the country’s finest private academies though, and Rory was her class’s best student. Unfortunately, over the last year she had put on a little weight.
It had always been a mystery how she and her mother managed to eat greasy sugary foods and down gallons of coffee every day without putting on so much as a single pound or staining their teeth but the stress of her senior year caught up with her. Between SATs, finals, entrance essays, and everything else that went into being the valedictorian, Rory had gained some weight.
Actually a lot. In just the last school year she had put on more than 40 pounds. As she was getting ready to head off to Yale in the fall, she wasn’t looking forward to adding a freshman fifteen on top of that. Neither, apparently was her grandmother.
During family dinner one night, her grandmother had rather tactlessly introduced Rory to the idea of sending her to a fat camp for the rich and famous. It was a shocking and offensive suggestion but on their way home, Rory and her mother agreed that it might be a good idea. So there she was at a seaside resort on Long Island with all the other wealthy teens and coeds.
It was an awkward situation for Rory. Though she was used to being around people of conspicuous means, she never really felt like one of them, and they occasionally reminded her of that. The situation was made all the more awkward when she looked around and realized that, at only 150 or so pounds, she was probably the fattest girl there. Half the girls she saw walking around looked like models. It was depressing to think that they saw themselves as fat; what did that make her in their eyes? Though she was a perfectly healthy young woman, Rory suddenly felt like a cow as she followed the chauffeur up to her room.
The cabins proved to really only be rustic from the stand point of people accustomed to extreme opulence. They were more accurately dorms with large, well furnished rooms. Two girls shared a bedroom, each with a plush queen-size mattress to sleep on. The bathrooms had marble tiles, there were large TVs in every shared living room, and Jacuzzis outside on every deck. It was nicer than any hotel Rory had ever been in, and her mother worked for an inn.
The chauffeur set down Rory’s things in her room and politely excused himself. A voice startled Rory.
“Hey Rory, thought I might find you here.”
It was Paris, Rory’s sort-of-friend and academic rival. Rory had only just beaten Paris out for Valedictorian. Paris was a no-nonsense girl with amazing focus and drive. She didn’t take losing very well.
“Hey Paris.” Replied Rory. “What are you doing here?”
“Me? I’m just here to get in shape before I head off to Yale next year” Paris explained.
“Oh, you’re going to Yale too? I hadn’t heard that.”
“Yep, just got the letter this week. Well I’m glad to see you’re here. Looks like we’re going to be roomies.”
That surprised Rory a little. “Oh really? Huh, what are the odds that we’d be together?” In truth Rory was not excited at all about seeing Paris. She could have done without her aggressive brand of competition for the six weeks she was supposed to be there.
“Yes well, they say God works in mysterious ways” Paris replied coldly. Then she seemed to soften a bit, as if she suddenly realized that she was coming on a bit too strong. “Hey, why don’t I show you around the camp? There’s quite a bit of time before they call us to the main hall.”
“Yeah that’d be nice” Rory replied.