Fat Love Martyr
Alan Ingleton was disgustingly obese yet somehow had the physical conditioning of an eighteen year-old cross country runner on steroids. He was world famous for this. He hit the gym every day and his cardio was unmatched by most. He ran marathons and half marathons and had even tried his hand in a few triathlons despite how difficult it was for him to ride a bike due to his massive size. He had completed the Boston marathon six times, and once in just under three hours. In fact, if it hadn’t been for his love of food, he would have been a formidable opponent for even the top Kenyan distance runners.
Alan just loved to eat, plain and simple, anything and everything. He would mix caramel and chocolate chips into pancake batter which he preferred uncooked with a poofy whipped topping. He ate peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches, and, on average, two bags of potato chips a day, which he often dipped into half-melted rocky road ice cream. Of course, these weren’t the only things he liked to eat. When it came to food, he wasn’t picky in the least. Because of his food addiction, he was fat; as round as monster truck tires and nearly as big. His weight, however, often fluctuated between three hundred fifty and four hundred pounds thanks to his rapid metabolism. Either way, though, he was unquestionably overweight for a thirty one year-old that stood only five nine and a half.
No one could understand how this gargantuan blimp of a man could have that kind of physical conditioning with such a horrible diet. Even Alan was clueless. Until one day when he went to see Dr. Glen Christenfeld, one of the leading cardiologists in the southeast region. After a few tests, he concluded that Alan was born with what could only be referred to as the world’s largest and strongest heart. In fact, Dr. Christenfeld was shocked that Alan had never had any cardiac complications before, with such an abnormally enlarged heart, and believed it was somewhat of a miracle he was even alive. His only explanation was that his heart’s superior strength likely overwhelmed any possible complications that would normally occur from having a heart of that size. Alan’s heart was near-perfect; a well-oiled machine that could continue pumping through almost any beating.
But that all changed not long after he met Caroline Carmichael at the market near the frozen pizzas. She had seen him on TV and, aware of his fame and endorsements, became money hungry. The villainous brunette with the slender waist and perky B-cups batted her eyelashes and tossed her hair back, and, after a nice spaghetti dinner and sex at her place, Alan Ingleton was smitten.
The two were inseparable for a while. They would go on runs and dinner dates, and would sleep together every night; sometimes at his place, sometimes hers. Alan even took Caroline on a romantic six day trip to Madrid. She deceived him as only a beautiful woman could. But for the first time in his life, he felt like he had found someone deserving of the love that only the world’s largest heart could produce. He asked Caroline to marry him just three months after they met. She, of course, said yes. But as the saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and Alan’s heart was no exception.
It wasn’t long after they married that she took half of everything. His friends had warned him, begged him to get a prenup, but he wouldn’t listen. He didn’t want to. And in truth, he didn’t care about the money or the house or the Mercedes. All he ever cared about was the love, but she took half of that too; the only half that had ever mattered.
He stopped running, quit going to the gym, and started eating more than ever. His once powerful heart was beaten and betrayed, and it simply gave up. Five weeks after Caroline filed for divorce, Alan Ingleton died of a heart attack while lying on his couch eating mayonnaise straight from the jar.
They buried him in his hometown of Raleigh beneath the outstretched arms of an old white pine with an eternal flame beside his headstone. Now, people travel to his gravesite from all over the world to be reminded of the dangers of love and to pay their respects to a man who was larger than life, and whose heart was even larger.
Author: Greg Kuehn
Greg Kuehn writes literary fiction and Southern literature. He is the author of short fiction to be published in An Honest Lie, Volume 3: Justifiable Hypocrisy. He is currently a senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he majors in secondary education with an emphasis on English. Upon completion of his degree he plans to pursue a career as a high school English teacher, a soccer coach, and a writer. Mr. Kuehn served eight years in the United States Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq twice before receiving an honorable discharge in April 2011.