"Better," meaning thinner. Thinner than she had been three years ago, when her career had stalled after a promising start on a short-lived nighttime soap, when nights spent eating out with the proceeds from her first high-paying gig had added up to the Hollywood version of the freshman fifteen, complete with paparazzi shots and cruel nicknames in the tabloids. By the time Hamilton had approached her with the promise to reenergize her young career and rid her of "Katie the Cow" forever, she had been so grateful for the positive attention that she had quickly signed over the management of her career. Two months later, when the weight started to come off and the work offers began to come in, she'd happily signed over the management of the rest of her life when Hamilton surprised her with a proposal during her comeback appearance on Regis and Kelly. Three months later, in the wedding photos published in People magazine-not the cover, but a full two-page spread, nonetheless-Kate looked stunning in her (size 4!) Vera Wang gown, her curly brown hair streaked with copper highlights and painstakingly straightened as per Hamilton's detailed instructions. He wanted to model Kate's wedding-day look after Jennifer Aniston's ethereal beauty on the day she married Brad Pitt, even going so far as to hire Jennifer's hair and makeup team. The team had done their best, working their magic for four exhausting hours, but no amount of hair product or bronzer could change the freckled, fresh-faced, undeniably Irish Kate into a Greek goddess. Hamilton almost succeeded in covering his disappointment when she walked down the aisle, but Kate saw the flash of disillusionment in his eyes and silently vowed to do whatever it took to guarantee that Hamilton never again regretted his investment in what he lovingly referred to as his "chubby little has-been."
This morning, his tone made clear she had failed them both.
Kate hurried to wrap a towel around her traitorous body, feeling very small and hugely fat at the same time. "I know this looks bad," she stammered. "But, I mean, it's just five pounds. I mean, seriously, we're probably the only ones who will even notice . . . right?" She didn't believe the words as she said them, and she could tell by her husband's irritated sigh and the oh-so-subtle shake of his handsome head that he didn't believe them either.
"Sure, Katie," he said sarcastically. "I am sure no one will notice . . . just like they didn't notice before. I mean, who looks at actresses' bodies?" He turned to go but stopped at the door. When he spoke again, his voice was tinged with sadness. "I just don't understand, Katie. I really thought you understood how important this was . . . for both of us. But I guess all of the work I've put into rebuilding your career just doesn't mean that much to you." With that, he walked out of the room, leaving Kate alone with her shame.
She looked at the image in the bathroom mirror and watched dispassionately as a tear rolled down her cheek. She never looked quite real to herself. She often felt, when she saw her reflection, as if she were watching an actress in a movie. Today's movie was about a weak girl who couldn't control her appetite-a bad girl whose hunger was bigger than she was, bigger than the whole world.