Unlike many girls, Ally never dreamed about her wedding. She didn’t picture the white dress, the father-daughter dance, the groom. Ally hated wearing dresses, her father had long since left, and she didn’t like boys. Or, they didn’t like her. Either way, she hated going to school because of how they teased her.
It started on her first day of first grade. Her grandmother had packed her a nice lunch of sausage biscuits with gravy. It seemed more like breakfast than lunch, but Gran liked mixing it up. Ally pulled the food out of her lunch box and her napkin fell to the floor. Just as she bent over to pick it up, one of the boys pointed. “Look at that biscuit butt,” he laughed. From that day on, Ally was more often called biscuit butt than Ally.
Ally had already been a plump girl, but with the incessant teasing she started eating more as if somehow that would show the boys she didn’t care. Soon, she ballooned up to being the biggest kid in her grade, then the entire school.
By the time she reached high school, Ally wore the same thing to school every day – an XXXL button-down shirt over a t-shirt and shorts. Ally would look at herself in the mirror and press her clothes, if necessary. But she did it for herself and no one else. Ally believed that there was no one out there who would love her for who she was, that her size prevented anyone from seeing the real Ally.
It wasn’t until college that Ally began to wonder if maybe she was wrong. Grace sat next to Ally in an American literature class. They had long discussions about their favorite authors and books. They both loved Harper Lee and regretted how her legacy seemed ruined with that unfortunate sequel. Then one day Grace asked Ally if she wanted to go to the Varsity Theater on Hamilton Street. They were having a special showing of To Kill A Mockingbird. Grace thought it would be fun to go together.
The day of the movie, Ally looked into her closest deciding what to wear. She still hated dresses, but wanted to look nice. Then it occurred to Ally – Grace had never seen her in a dress, so why should she expect her to wear one now. Ally wore what she always did and the smile Grace gave her confirmed that Ally had been right.
After the movie, they headed to the park. Grace pulled out a blanket and sat down with a book. She patted the blanket next to her and Ally joined her there. Ally suddenly realized it wasn’t her size that kept her from love, but how she had closed herself off because of the taunts and teasing. But Grace wasn’t like that, so Ally leaned in with her whole heart.