A shock of air slammed into Taliana as she stepped into a new world. The force knocked her breath out, flattening her against a wall. The rough stone behind her helped her to center, but she found her vision awash in strange colors. The threads that she could see were very fine, thing and pale, straining against the air around them.
A few breaths and blinks and she realized the issue. This was a world that didn’t recognize magic. Not truly. So it remained hidden, quiet and subtle under the surface of all, hiding in sight until the whole world was finely threaded with the magic. It infused itself into the very fiber of existence. So thinly and fully thread that it was invisible.
Getting her bearings Taliana stepped away from the wall looking around the crowd. Young people (and the occasional not-so-young) darted here and there carrying books and bags — the unmistakable signs of a university Taliana smiled, some thing were the same across worlds.
She walked around a little, hoping that she was able to blend in with the crowd. One girl caught her attention, hurrying through the crowd with her head down. Taliana followed for a while from a distance, watching the subtle threads that wove around her. The girl turned into one of the buildings, though, and Taliana knew that she wouldn’t be able to follow all the way. But she could tell that the girl was on the edge of a discovery and wished she could watch that discovery as it happened.
It seemed like the start of a bad joke.
What happens when you put two women in a room together, one so skinny even small-sized clothes billow around her, the other with enough weight to make up two people?
Except I, the fat one, didn’t see any humor in the situation. At least, not until the care package arrived.
For our first month living together, I simply wished the college housing authorities had assigned someone other than Cindy as my roommate. I toyed briefly with the idea of asking to swap, but what could I offer as a reason? That Cindy’s mere presence seemed like judgment, with her angular hips, elegant collarbones, and a silhouette so thin she sometimes seemed almost two-dimensional, as if she had stepped straight out of a fashion magazine? That when I stood next to her in my spherical body, I worried my mass would draw her in and crush her?