Best of Friends (9/2/2011)

My Journal, 3/1/2011

Today the weight loss contest started here at work.  I know what I weigh (and I don’t like it), but I’m going to lose.  Absolutely.  I decided I need some motivation, so I’ve hung up a picture of Jim from Facebook on my cubicle wall, along with a picture of myself as I am now.  It’s a reminder that I hope I’ll get to St. Louis by the end of the year and meet Jim face to face, but not looking like that. I expect it’ll help.  I hope so, anyway …

My Journal, 4/10/2011

Having trouble getting my eating under control. No surprise. But I’ve been working out so I know that will help. Still, every time I feel like eating something that’s really wrong, I look at the picture of Jim.  Since he owns a Gold’s Gym franchise, I know he understands the process of getting in shape and I can imagine him encouraging me not to give in to temptation. He even “liked” the status I posted the other day about having lost weight. What a great friend …

My Journal, 6/1/2011

Today was the weigh-in for the first half of the contest.  I was really disappointed to only have lost about 7 pounds.  In three months, I should have done better.  When I came back from the locker room where the weigh-in was, I was too ashamed to meet Jim’s eyes. How am I ever going to get to meet him, looking like this? He hasn’t been posting on FB either, lately.  I’ll bet he’d be so disgusted if he could see me right now …

My Journal, 7/14/2011

Here I am at the midpoint of the second half. I’ve hardly lost a thing. I can just see the sneer on Jim’s face, the contempt. “I see people all the time who are getting fit.  Why aren’t you?” I can just hear him now. Probably that blonde he friended the other day was one of them. I just know that’s his type, not someone like me. Not a frumpy, fat person like me …

My Journal, 8/31/2011

Final weigh-in. I lost a whole 15 pounds this summer.  Nothing I did was right. When I got back to my desk, I tore down the picture of him and threw it away.  I could hear him laughing at me, probably the way he laughs at me when he’s with all his hotshot gym buddies. I really thought he liked me, but he fooled me.  Well, no more.  I’ve had all I’m going to take …

St. Louis Dispatch
September 5, 2011


In what is surely a cautionary tale about befriending strangers on the Internet, James Sawyer, 37, the owner of a local gym, was shot down at his place of business by Berta Ingles, 42, of Harton, Ohio, a small town outside of Youngstown.  Sawyer had previously friended Ms. Ingles on Facebook.  “I think he did it out of kindness,” said Al Forman, Sawyer’s grieving business and life partner. “He wasn’t that into Facebook anyway — he used it mostly for business purposes. She apparently saw things differently, because she came in shouting that she wasn’t going to put up with him laughing at her any more. I have no idea what she was talking about. Jim wasn’t the kind of guy who laughed at anyone.” Ms. Ingles is presently being held in MPC for psychiatric evaluation…

15 thoughts on “Best of Friends (9/2/2011)

  1. I couldn’t tell if this was #fridayflash or proper bloggery for the first entry. That, I think, is the most commendable thing: you utterly fooled me. Not that I’d overlooked the obsession issues, either.

  2. @Lara – I hope I don’t “misinspire” anyone, but yes, I think it could happen
    @Tim – Good question; scary, but good
    @Catherine – LOL … you just never know who you’ll meet
    @John – I do talk about my efforts to lose weight, so I can see how that might have been confusing. That’s where the idea came from, actually, taking my weight-loss issues to the next level.

    Originally I meant to have her “hear” the photo talking to her, but I couldn’t make it work.

    Thanks for all the reads and comments, everyone!

  3. Very cool story! Excellent structure with the journal entries and then the newspaper story. Creepy, creepy, creepy, mostly because I can see this happening. I’m sure similar things really have happened.

  4. Wow I loved this! The ending was a great twist – I thought she’d go there and find out that jim was fat too – but know she was obsessed with him.

    Very cool story well done! Written in a way that really took one in and made them believe in the character.

  5. Thanks, Eric and Helen …

    @Helen – interesting … I didn’t think about that, that HE might not be all she thought he was.

    @Eric – appreciate the comment – This is one of those stories that was “all there” before I got so much as a word in the file. Nice when that happens, no?

  6. Terrific story. I too scrolled down to see if you had a flash. Fooled me. :p I also thought Jim was going to turn out to be a major disappointment, so you got me twice. And the lovely irony of him being gay was icing on the cake.

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