“Hey Emma!” said Monica, almost apologetically, peeked her head around the office door.
“Uh…yeah?” asked Emma, looking up from her work as she sat at her desk.
“Could you…haha, uh, help us with a little something?” asked Monica. “It’s the old coffeepot in the break room.”
“I…uh, I’m not really good with fixing stuff like that,” answered Emma, with a meek little smile as she brushed her short red hair out of her face.
“Haha, oh no, no, it’s nothing like that!” laughed Monica. “The new pot we got isn’t working, and Keith put the old one, like…way up on this shelf, and, uh…none of us can reach it.”
“Oh…ohhhhh!” said Emma, her face indicating her growing understanding as she blushed a little. “So you want me to try and reach it?”
“It’s just that…all the guys are out of the office right now, and…well, you’re the tallest girl here, so…yeah,” finished Monica, chuckling a little awkwardly.
“Sure…sure I’ll try and get it,” said Emma kindly, rising up from the desk and following Monica. It was definitely true, especially with the 2-inch platform heels she often wore to work, that she was the tallest woman in the office. At 5’8 in flats, Emma was certainly a taller-than-average woman. She wasn’t thrilled to be the “tall girl” at work, but that didn’t stop her wearing the heels. Anything less would have betrayed her insecurities, since it was so common for women to wear heels to work at Scheuster Marketing, the small business that Emma worked for.
A whoop came up from her female co-workers as Emma entered the break room. Stacy was there, along with Shelly and Lauren. None of them, including Monica, stood over 5’5.
“There she is!” laughed Stacy.
“Our amazon caffeine rescuer!” giggled Shelly.
“Haha, uh…ok, ok, guys,” said Emma good-naturedly, her cheeks coloring even further still. She really didn’t like being the center of attention in any situation, but when that attention involved her height, she was doubly embarrassed. It didn’t help that she was easily able to reach the coffeepot, and in less than five seconds she had brought it down to the countertop.
“Ooooo wow! Sooo tall! Haha, thanks Emma!” laughed Stacy.
“Hehe…anytime guys!” she replied, feeling like she couldn’t make her way out of the room quick enough.
Later on that day, she came home to her boyfriend Daniel, who worked from home for an IT tech company.
“Hi honey!” called Emma as she came in through the back door. There were a few moments of silence at first, and then Daniel finally answered.
“Uh, hi! Just a second, I’m finishing up this program real quick.”
Emma smiled to herself as she shed her purse, jacket, and heels, and walked up to Daniel’s work desk. As ever, he was intently focused on his computer screen, his eyes going back and forth through lines of data. Emma just stood there expectantly, enjoying the moment before their daily evening embrace. Now, more than usual, she wanted to feel her boyfriend envelop her.
“Haha, sorry about that, Emma,” said Daniel apologetically a minute later as he stood up from his chair. “Had to just get that taken care of.”
“No problem,” said Emma, smiling as she held out her arms to him. “Hold me.”
Daniel grinned as he walked over and embraced her. Emma leaned into the hug, closing her eyes in pleasure as she felt his larger, taller form wrap around her and squeeze her tightly. While Emma often felt larger than she wanted to in her 5’8, 135-pound frame (even though she was quite slender) whenever she was around Daniel, she felt wonderfully small. At 6’1, he was a full five inches taller than she was, and his medium-build 175-pound body was more than enough to compensate for her being taller than average.
“Had a nice day?” asked Daniel, pulling apart and smiling down at her.
“Eh…it was ok,” said Emma, shrugging her shoulders.
“Uh-oh…just ok?” said Daniel with a cock of his head. “What’s up?”
“It’s just…well, Monica asked for my help today…when the guys were out of the office and the other girls needed to get something off a tall shelf. They had to come to me.”
“So?” asked Daniel. “After all the guys, you’re the tallest one there, right?”
“Right,” said Emma. “But…it just made me feel…uh…”
“Helpful?” offered Daniel. “Come on, Emma. It sounds like you put your natural gifts to good use. No harm done!”
“I know, I know,” she said, feeling almost a little impatient with him for not understanding what she was trying to say. “It’s just that…well, sometimes I don’t like to be reminded how tall I am, is all.”
“Oh Emma, you shouldn’t worry about all that,” said Daniel dismissively. “In fact, it’s more likely that the other girls wish that they were taller, like you, so they wouldn’t have to ask for help getting things off high shelves, you know?”
“I guess…” said Emma doubtfully.
“Well anyway, like I said, don’t worry about it,” said Daniel waving his hand. “I got us take-out from El Camino tonight.”
“El Camino!” cried Emma, her face immediately brightening. “Awww honeyyyy!”
“Haha, I know that’s one of your favorites,” chuckled Daniel. “I ordered what we usually get — two chicken tacos, beans and rice for you, and a big ol’ verde burrito, bean and rice for me.”
“Mmmm oh my god I can’t waiiitt,” moaned Emma, feeling her stomach rumble. She suddenly realized that she was hungry…hungrier than she had ever remembered being.
And when the food came a bit later, Emma was surprised at how quickly she gobbled up her portion, licking the hot tomato sauce off her fingers as she watched Daniel finish up.
“Good grief!” laughed Daniel. “You totally inhaled those tacos! Glad I ordered before you got home!”
“Haha yeah,” said Emma. It was a little odd to realize, but she wasn’t quite…full yet. Normally, her favorite dish from El Camino was more than enough to satiate her, and sometimes she even had to put half a taco in a tupperware container for later. But tonight…well, tonight she had eaten it all…and she was still hungry.
Later that night, as they were getting ready for bed, the gnawing hunger in her stomach became so pronounced that Emma actually had to sneak back out to the kitchen and help herself to a few slices of cold ham and a hunk of cheese from the fridge, finishing it off with a big swig of milk. It wasn’t like her, to have this kind of an appetite, but she simply had to do something to stave off the nagging pit in her stomach.
Over the next few days, Emma started noticing that everything seemed to feel a bit…off. Her clothes had begun to feel a bit strange…almost…Emma didn’t want to think it…almost tight. And her appetite, which had seemed noticeably pronounced on the El Camino night, didn’t go away. She found herself packing extra snacks into her purse, and eating larger portions at dinner. Still, it wasn’t anything too noticeable, and she brushed it all off, chalking it down to the fact that she was in the tail end of her period. Surely that explained it…surely.
But once her period was gone, things didn’t change — in fact, they became more pronounced. Her clothes continued to feel strange…yes, there was no denying it now. They were definitely tighter. She began to notice that it was becoming more and more difficult to put her shoes on every morning. In puzzled frustration, she checked the label inside…yep, still a 9 W…
“Having trouble, honey?” asked Daniel.
“Uhh…no, no, just…this shoe is smaller than I remember.”
“Hmmm, well you could always try on my 11 Men’s if your feet are still growing!”
“Oh my god, haha, would you stop it?”
The jokes aside, though, Emma was beginning to slowly realize that something was up. She noticed one day that Keith, her co-worker, was shorter than she remembered…and this was on a day that she had chosen to wear flats. She knew that Keith was an inch taller than her, but, as they stood next to each other in the break room, she couldn’t help but feel like he wasn’t any taller than her. She felt a wave of unpleasant anxiety, but she brushed it off, dismissing it as nothing more than some kind of weird irrational fear.
But there was nothing irrational about the shock she had when, one night, as Daniel was reading in bed, she stepped on the weight scale in their bathroom. The blue numbers garbled themselves up for a moment, and then settled on the empirical truth: 143.2.
‘What!?’ she thought to herself, and for a few moments she just stood there on the scale, panicking. But she closed her eyes, shook her head, and stepped off. She was not going to play this game that so many other women played…the inexorable tug-of-war with the scale…she just wasn’t going to do it. She had been eating a little more…she had been a little more stressed at work…things were feeling a bit off…and that was it! There wasn’t any more to it.
She slid into bed next to Daniel and he reached over and gently grabbed her butt, massaging it lovingly.
“Mmmm, babe, you’re feeling nice down there,” he said in a low voice.
“Haha thankssss,” she said, feeling warm pleasure wash over her. So what if she had gotten a little bigger? Daniel liked it.
“I can’t wait to go out together tomorrow,” he continued.
“Me too,” she whispered, kissing him softly on the cheek. “Four years is a long time.”
“The best four years of my life so far,” he replied tenderly. “And an anniversary dinner at the Ritz is the best way to celebrate, don’t you think?”
“Oh yessss,” she breathed as she snuggled herself up to him. For the moment, it was easy to forget any weirdness that was going on with her body.
But the following night, there was no denying what had been chewing at her mind for the past week or so: she had chosen to wear her fancy 5-inch heels out to the Ritz, and it was plainly obvious to her that, in the heels, she was actually a little bit taller than her boyfriend. She had pointed it out to him as they waited for an Uber to come pick them up, but Daniel had brushed it all off.
“There you go, honey…worrying about your height again,” he said with a flippant smile. “Look, you’re wearing heels, and I’m wearing flats. Of course you’re gonna feel a little taller.”
“No, but…but you’re not getting it,” she said, trying to stay easy with him, “I’ve worn these heels before, and I’ve never been taller than you in them! Maybe the same height but not taller!”
“Emma,” said Daniel, smiling at her as he took her hands in his, “Maybe we were standing on different-level ground or something. There are all kinds of reasonable ways to explain this. But, like, what? Are you saying you’re getting taller?”
“I…I don’t know!” said Emma helplessly. “I mean, I’m getting heavier, aren’t I?”
“I’ve noticed a little extra weight,” grinned Daniel as he looked approvingly at her hips, “And I think it’s super hot…but growing height-wise? Come on, Emma — we both know that doesn’t happen at our ages. So just…relax and have a nice time tonight, ok?”
“O-ok,” she said, blushing as she forced a smile. She felt stupid for even making any kind of deal out of what was bothering her internally. And she did have a nice time at the restaurant, which was a lavish, almost over-the-top experience that had her and Daniel grinning at each other from across the white-clothed table, like they were almost embarrassed to be treated to such opulence. For all intents and purposes, it was a lovely anniversary dinner.
But even still, internally-speaking, Emma could not keep her anxiety under control. She smiled and laughed and joked and blushed, all genuinely, but inside, she was beginning to notice how things were “off” more and more. To begin with, her appetite just seemed to have kept increasing. She found herself forcing herself to eat the courses more slowly, so that Daniel wouldn’t notice how hungry she was. Her nice dress, which she had last worn at a Christmas party months before, was feeling uncomfortably tight. And her heels, well…as soon as they were sat at the restaurant, Emma had taken advantage of the floor-length white tablecloth and quietly kicked her heels off, feeling a rush of relief as she flexed her toes under the table. There was no doubt that the heels had become too small for her feet.
That night, after they got home, and after Daniel had fallen asleep (which he did every night within five minutes of his head hitting the pillow), Emma slid out of bed and crept into the bathroom. She stepped on the scale…148.7. She suddenly felt sick to her stomach. What was happening to her!? She had gained more than 10 pounds…verging on 15…in less than a week! Taking care to move quietly, she snuck out of the master bedroom area and into the pantry. She turned on the light and looked up at the top shelf, where Daniel kept his toolbox. Unsurprisingly at his point, Emma found that she was able to reach the toolbox by standing on her tiptoes — she didn’t even need the stepladder like she used to. She took out the long, metallic measuring tape, fumbling with it clumsily for a moment. It made a loud, silvery clanging sound, and Emma paused a moment, her heart beating madly, as she listened for signs of Daniel waking up. She certainly didn’t want him to find her in here like this, measuring herself in the middle of the night like a crazy person. Thankfully, he was a deep sleeper, and hadn’t seemed to have heard.
She stood up against the doorway, standing as straight as she could as she measured herself. She put her finger where she felt the top of her head was against the measuring tape, and stood back to look at it, with her heart hammering away in her chest.
69 inches…no…a little more…like 69.25 or so….that was…that was just over 5’9! Emma’s anxiety deepened, and her heart didn’t slow down. She was…growing!? She was actually getting taller!?! Emma hurriedly put the tape measure away and clutched her chest, as she felt the blood rushing through her ears. It felt like her throat was starting to close up. She backed into the pantry door, leaning heavily against it, as she closed her eyes and hummed to herself, silently willing her mind and body away from an impending panic attack. After a few minutes of quiet breathing exercises, she felt herself come away from the brink.
It was stupid…of course she wasn’t getting taller. Sure, maybe she was gaining some weight, but that was only natural for women as they got a little older, right? All of this was natural, surely…and of course her height measurement had been off. Come on, a tape measure and a doorway? She suddenly got the idea to make an appointment with Dr. Hartman. Yes! Of course! That was it! That was the way to go…he could weigh and measure her officially, and do some tests, and just…make sure that everything was ok. It was for her peace of mind, more than anything. Emma felt reassured as she turned off the pantry light and crept back into bed, feeling almost proud of herself for not giving in to her anxiety.
The next morning, she made an appointment with Dr. Hartman, and a day and a half later, she was in his office. During the day and half that had elapsed, Emma had tried her best to ignore everything that she had been noticing before — her increased height and weight, her increased appetite, the tightness of her clothes and shoes…everything. Dr. Hartman would put all this right — he would tell her what was going on.
“Ok, so, it looks like you’re 153.1 pounds,” said Dr. Hartman, typing the number into his computer database.
“And that’s like…almost 20 pounds more than I weighed a week and a half ago,” said Emma, doing her best to keep her voice normal.
“Hmmm, and you’ve had unexplained increased appetite?” asked Dr. Hartman.
“Well, that clearly explains the weight gain…and your blood pressure was normal…you certainly don’t look like you’re accumulating fat. Let’s check your height.”
A few moments later, Dr. Hartman was clicking his tongue.
“What? What is it? What does it say?” asked Emma, knowing that she was giving her anxiety away.
“Now here’s what’s quite interesting,” said Dr. Hartman, looking at her from behind his glasses. “I’m measuring you right now at just a tad over 5’10, two inches taller than you were last year.”
“See!? See that’s what I’m talking about!” exclaimed Emma. “I’m 28 years old! Women don’t just…start getting taller randomly, do they??”
“Not generally, no they do not,” said Dr. Hartman, eying her curiously. He was looking at her face closely, and then, without speaking, he took her hands in his and examined them.
“What are you checking for?” asked Emma, trying and failing to sound easy and natural.
“Hmmm, it’s just…very curious…verrry curious indeed,” said Dr. Hartman, turning back to his computer and typing out some notes. “There’s a condition called “acromegaly,” which is a hormonal disorder that can develop if your pituitary gland starts producing excess growth hormone. It’s extremely rare, with less than 20,000 cases a year, but…those who have it do experience sudden and rapid growth. But I don’t think you have it, Emma.”
“Y-you don’t? Why not?”
“Well, acromegaly presents with abnormal enlargement of the face, hands, and feet.”
“Yes! Feet! My feet have been growing! My shoes have been too tight!” exclaimed Emma quickly.
“Yes, but you see…all of your growth looks proportional, Emma. Maybe your feet and hands have gotten bigger, but it’s not in disproportion to the rest of your body. That’s not how acromegaly presents.”
Emma was silent for a moment, and Dr. Hartman laughed a little.
“That’s good news, Emma!” he said, smiling. “It means you don’t have a serious hormonal disorder!”
“Yeah but…but what do I have?” asked Emma. She wasn’t at all satisfied not knowing.
“Well, I’m not sure — let’s run some blood tests and see what we find. Try not to worry too much, ok Emma? Despite your interesting new growth, everything else seems to be in order.”
Emma tried to heed her doctor’s advice for the next few days, since she knew that her anxiety could become debilitating if she allowed it to fester. It was hard to follow the advice, however, because almost everywhere she turned, she was noticing how different everything was becoming. To begin with, her clothes were becoming so tight and uncomfortable that she was seriously considering the prospect of going out to buy new ones. She hated even thinking about this, because it meant actually admitting that she was, in fact, growing, but what choice did she have? The waistband to her work pants had become unpleasantly tight, and was pressing deeply into her flesh. Her legs had gotten longer, to the point where there was actually a little bit of ankle showing when she stood up straight. Emma had unhappily noticed Stacy and Monica glancing down at her exposed ankles when they were standing together in the break room. Neither of them said anything, but Emma knew that they had noticed and were silently asking questions. And her feet…her poor feet…Emma knew that she was going to have to get new shoes, and sooner rather than later. She comforted herself briefly by wearing some one-inch heels from the back of her closet that had been a Christmas gift years ago, which she hadn’t wanted to return, but that she had never worn because they had been too big. This idea worked for a couple days, but even then, she felt her feet beginning to press uncomfortably up on the shoes’ sides. Her feet were outgrowing them too!
Her relationship with Daniel was not unchanged by these new developments, and Emma felt guilty even admitting that to herself. Daniel hadn’t seemed at all affected by it, and he made it a point to calmly reassure her whenever she brought up her anxiety surrounding her new growth. But for Emma, things had changed. Approaching Daniel in height and weight had injected a whole flurry of new and disorienting feelings into her brain. When she went to work in the mornings, she noticed that, in her one-inch heels, she was only two inches shorter than her boyfriend. This man, who a couple weeks ago had seemed so much taller and larger than her, now seemed almost…ordinary compared to her.
‘No, no, not “ordinary”…that’s not the right word,’ thought Emma as she drove herself to work after kissing him goodbye. She had barely even had to avert her head up to kiss him. And, of course, she had been forced to pull the car seat back a little again as she got into her car.
‘Not “ordinary,” just…just…not as big as he seemed before….not as…big around me.’ She thought about them hugging, and about how he had used to just swallow her up in his arms. Now, their hugs almost seemed to be experienced on an even footing. And she didn’t like it…she didn’t like it at all.
‘He’s not as comforting when he’s not as big,’ thought Emma, but then she brutally chastised herself internally for even thinking such a thing.
‘Daniel isn’t the problem! There’s nothing wrong with him!’ she told herself viciously. ‘You’re the one who’s growing…you’re the one who’s turning into a freak!’
But she tried to calm herself down, reminding herself that self-loathing was not the path out of this mess. But even if Emma was doing an adequate job keeping her self-loathing to a minimum, it didn’t stop the unavoidable feelings of awkwardness as she continued to grow. Awkwardness at work was one thing — she was used to feeling awkward and shy at work. But awkwardness at home, around Daniel, well, that was something else entirely. Two days later, she came home from work, a little sullen at receiving her test results earlier in the day from Dr. Hartman.
“You ok?” asked Daniel, immediately sensing that something was wrong.
“Got the test results back today,” mumbled Emma irritatedly. “Inconclusive. I scheduled another appointment for tomorrow.”
“Well? That’s not really so bad, is it?” offered Daniel kindly. “At least you don’t have something that isn’t good!”
“What? No, Daniel, it is bad!” blurted out Emma in frustration, tossing her purse onto the counter as she walked up to him. “I wanna know what’s going on with me. this whole “not knowing” business is really…starting to…”
But Emma trailed off, because, as she got closer to Daniel, it was becoming clear that the height gap between them had become…very small. Emma stopped talking altogether and looked down. Daniel was in his usual white socks, and she was in her one-inch heels…but they looked…almost exactly the same height. Emma’s brow furrowed a little as she looked up and down her own body, and then at Daniel’s. She just couldn’t understand how all this could be happening. They were, like…almost exactly the same size. She had kept putting on the pounds as she had gotten taller, and her thighs had thickened, her hips had become wider, and
her ass, which had never really been small, was now more than noticeable. She had even developed an obvious cleavage which had not been there before.
For a split second, Emma felt a hot flash of something wash over her as she compared her body to her boyfriend’s…what was it? What was that feeling? It was something strange, something she had never felt before, a little spasm of something hot, something fiery. Emma didn’t realize it, but in that moment, she had felt a searing stab of sexiness — she had actually liked her new proportions in relation to Daniel. She had felt big…sexy…powerful.
But it all passed in a flash, and a moment later she was back to feeling her customary anxiety-bordering-on-misery that surrounded her increasing size.
“H-heyyy babe,” chuckled Daniel a little awkwardly as he caught her eye. He too was noticing their closeness in size, in a new way. He had been brushing it off for a while, but now, as Emma stood in front of him, it was very hard to ignore.
“Hey,” she returned, also awkwardly. “Uhh…y-yeah…”
“Ummmm,” replied Daniel, his eyes going over her body as he tried to think of something to say.
Emma suddenly sighed and put her hands on her hips. “Look at me, Daniel!” she complained miserably. “I’m…I’m huge! I’m almost as big as you! I mean…actually…I bet I weigh almost what you weigh right now!
“Haha, I, uh…I don’t think, uh…n-no you don’t!” he laughed nervously, trying to play it all off.
“Come on,” said Emma suddenly, taking him by the hand (in a hand that seemed almost as large as his) as she pulled him toward the bathroom. “Let’s see.”