Penny was a slim girl. So slim that her figure might be described as “boyish.” She had sharp edges and points instead of soft curves. Other women at work looked at her sideways envying her ability to wear tiny pencil skirts and sit down in them comfortably. She couldn’t say if this was the reason she never received a lunch invitation, but she thought it may have something to do with it.
“Do you have any children?” Amelia asked her on her first day at Divergent Printing.
Penny smiled and shook her head.
“Oh, well that explains it then.” Amelia laughed and wiggled her ample rump back to her desk where she was surrounded by smiling pictures of her two toe-headed children.
Ever since that day Amelia made a point of giving Penny regular updates about her kids and the younger woman could do nothing but smile and nod pretending her interest. Amelia frequently huddled together with other women in the breakroom passing their cell phones around and cooing over the newest pictures of their children Penny realized none of them would be impressed by cute pics of her cat so didn’t join try to join the conversation.
Penny’s six month anniversary had come and gone earlier in the week and no one had said a word about it, not that she expected them too. She was now feeling somewhat secure in her position having survived her probationary period despite the sometimes hostile and always strained work environment. It was a slow Friday afternoon and she was watching the minutes change on her work computer as she’d finished all of her work by noon.
Out of boredom she googled some information about a sensitive procedure. Her cubicle was surrounded on all sides by a partition so no one walking by could see what she was looking at. It wasn’t anything that should be viewed on a work computer, but she intended to clear her browsing history.
The procedure wasn’t medical, it was purely cosmetic. Penny wasn’t a vain person, she accepted the fact that her elbows looked as if they could slice bread and her hip bones were sharp enough to open a bottled beer. She was thirty years old and still shaped like an awkward tween. She would never be shapely, she would never be soft and that was okay. But the way she looked down there, was not okay. The enormity of her lady parts seemed all the more pronounced since her thighs were so slim. There was just too much of everything.
Dr. Pettigrew had said it was perfectly normal and that women were different shapes. She did also mention the word labiaectomy and had given Penny a brochure on the subject. So this was how Penny found herself reading an article on cosmetic vaginal surgery at work. She wanted to take her time reading the article but didn’t want anyone to catch it up on her computer. At three o’clock on Friday most of the management team had already left for the day. Hell, some of them didn’t even work Friday. She quickly printed the six page document and closed out the tab.
Penny casually walked to the printer expecting to see her document halfway finished. Strange. It wasn’t there. Not only that but the printer didn’t even have a “job” pending. Fear gripped her as she soon realized her mistake. She started speed walking back to her desk to pull up her printing history. Her armpits and the bottoms of her feet were responding to the instant stress. She rounded the corner and nearly smacked head first into Amelia. The older woman smiled and her round cheeks reminded Penny of a hamster storing food pellets.
The six crisp pieces of paper she handed to Penny were still warm.