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An extract from the novel “Bigdeal Tina”

July 23, 2010 by · No comments

Julia Spirirdonova


Life sucks. If someone tries to tell you otherwise, don’t buy it. One has to be a complete idiot to be an optimist.

I feel like dying when they tell me “Your life is yet to begin.” Couldn’t they come up with something better?

Hellooo, not my life is yet to begin; my problems are. Not that I lack problems even now.

“What kind of problems do you have?!” my parents often ask me. They don’t have the slightest idea how difficult it is to be me since they are feeling fine. Isn’t that right, what do they know after all? From time to time there is a little problem with their jobs, that’s all. Boring. But me… I’m in deep…

Uh, I’m not saying in what, it’s nasty.

First of all, my name is Tinka. Do I have to explain at all? Tell me, how could my own parents, who say they love me dearly and I’m precious, cause me such a thing? Not that I’m ignoring my grandma’s influence, of course. Don’t think her name is Tinka though. She has a very pretty name – Sofia. Still, it was her who insisted to name me after a great-grandma. The latter was among the first female poets and community leaders, I beg your pardon! So what? When I meet someone I’m supposed to tell my name – Tinka. I mean, can I start explaining how important the great-grandma was in the beginning of the last century right away?! Who cares about her? It’s only me with my stupid name.

The second is even worse than my name, honestly. After all, they rarely call me Tinka. Usually they call me Tina. Besides, there are some confused people who don’t realize what my real name is.

But two hundred pounds… There is simply no way to hide them. Otherwise, I’m a beauty, even stunning. And I’m not the only one who says so. I look like a model. My eyes are big and green, my nose is small and delicate, my lips are curvy and my smile is beautiful. And my hair is a dream came true. All girls are jealous about it. It’s almost waist-long, thick and blonde.

Did I mention I look like a model?

But from my neck down I can successfully play two models and not skinny ones… I’ve always been plump but the last two years… I don’t know what happened. I look like a hippo. I can’t stand myself. I’m wearing the loosest clothes I can find in an attempt to hide more fat.

The third reason for becoming a psycho is a complex one. I’m fourteen, I’ve never been on a date, I don’t even dare to think about kissing. My parents are treating me like a baby every time I wish to go out and like an adult during the rest of the time.

All this wouldn’t be that bad if I didn’t fall in love so easily. Frankly, I’m such a fool. I’m constantly in love. Thankfully, it doesn’t last long. Maybe because I have one, so to speak, love of all times.

Still, I’m getting tired – how is it possible that no boy has ever become interested in me?

Oh, but I know very well why it is so. Boys don’t fall for hippos like me. If a girl doesn’t look like a chick from a magazine cover, it’s better to go live in a cave somewhere.

Don’t think I haven’t tried to lose weight. Oh, I have – at least one thousand times. There is no diet I haven’t been on but I always fail. And afterwards I gain more weight – as a “bonus”. Ergie, my best friend, says my problem is my will. It’s easy for her to say it – she is skinny and resembles a stick. Still, if you ask her (and she agrees to answer), her problems are far worse than mine. Because, according to her, weight can be lost with lots of will but getting nice boobs through will is quite impossible.

If you’re wondering why I’m weeping over my difficult existence, it’s time to find out. Today is my first day in the new school. I’m in high school now. After my nightmare summer during which I had to take a few exams and I don’t know how many tests, I was enrolled in the most desirable (by my parents) high school. I was first on the list, if anyone cares. Well, parents care, of course. They don’t realize this makes me even a bigger loser in people’s eyes – a loser and a nerd. It’s important for my parents to brag around what a genius their daughter is. Imagine!

And here I am, in my full fatty loserish glory. Sitting alone, stuck in some miniature desk (aren’t they supposed to have furniture for regular people at high-school?) and secretly exploring. I don’t know a person. Skinny good looking chicks are walking around the room and a few males whom I wouldn’t reject. But none of them can compare to Rossen.

Ah, Rossen! Rossen is my neighbour with whom I’ve been madly in love for the last million years. I’m including a few of my past lives; that’s what makes the impressive number!

He has always been the boy with capital “B”, my ideal vision of a boyfriend. Not only because he looks like Robbie Williams, don’t even think about it! After all, not everyone is crazy about Robbie. Ergie, for example, thinks my favourite singer looks like a frog under pressure. Of course, she doesn’t know anything about boys, ha!

And I… I’m all for Rossen because he is such a cool guy no matter what he does!

Unfortunately, I’m far from being the only one who thinks so. Other girls are in love with Rossen too. I’ve seen him with killer beauties, much thinner and mature than I am. Most probably seniors like him. Or even students in the university! That’s what I thought until he started dating Pepa from my previous class. Then I nearly died. The comforting thought that he is not interested in younger girls didn’t exist anymore. I was attracting his attention as much as a bug on the street would. The best I would ever get from him was a murmured “Hi” but usually he didn’t notice me passing by.

And, as you already know, I’m not difficult to notice. I can safely pronounce myself the main reason for the city jams. When I walk the street, the traffic stops. Drivers are concerned about their bumpers. I can push a heavy loaded truck with my bottom, I swear. If I continue eating the same way, I will be required to carry signal lights, trust me.

Still, I’m transparent for Rossen. After he started dating Pepa, I realized my transparency was not caused by my yet-to-bloom youth (what a poet I am!) but by my weight.

Pepa is a stupid chick, there is no doubt about it. But if you ask any of the boys at school, they’ll tell you she is hot! And why not since she is wearing the tightest low-waist jeans ever existed? Not that anything stops me from wearing the same but when I imagine what will show over my belt… And Pepa has this dreamy belly, long legs and small butt. Still, what a jerk she is!

The relationship of “my” Rossen with the stupid Pepa caused me depression and deep sorrow but instead of melting my fat away, it made me even fatter. If I keep running into the happy couple every day at school, I will become the elephant woman – a desired addition to every circus which could afford to have me at this size. I don’t even dream about a TV show – there is no studio to fit my demanding body.

Sorry for the off topic. I was lucky enough that Rossen went to London, England for the summer. He studied English. There were rumours that the e-mails weren’t enough to keep the long-distance relationship alive. Pepa started dating another, even older, guy, and I lost two pounds out of pure joy.

Oops, I beg your pardon. When I’m talking about Rossen, I’m losing it. While I was dreaming here, a magazine cover entered the room. Not a sheet of paper with legs, don’t get me wrong. It was the most beautiful girl you could imagine. Very tall, thin, with short black hair, bob style. With bright blue eyes, super cool jeans and fancy velvet boots. I don’t want to even think how much these cost!

In few words, very hot chick. One of those who make me feel like smashed doggy… you know what. They make me feel extremely ugly and extreme loser.

She came straight towards my desk, halted for a second, shot me a disgusted glance and graciously sat on the last desk in the row – right behind me. I didn’t dare to sit on this one because we all know last desks in the rows are for the cool. And I’ve never been among them and very much doubt I will ever be. Still, I always try to sit a little bit to the back because at the front desks I have the feeling everyone is staring at me! Not that it’s not so and it’s not their fault – I’m everywhere.

Now everyone was gazing at the hot chick and I (willingly or not) was in the focus of attention again. I shrank as much as I could but it’s not easy to shrink two hundred pounds, you know.

The hot chick stretched her long legs and… they banged on my desk. Now, from this close distance, I could enjoy her expensive boots. Pretty ignorant of her, I thought.

“Huh,” I hesitated.”Would you remove your legs from my desk?”

“No,” the beauty said and burst her chewing gum balloon noisily.

What was I suppose to do now? Everyone was staring at us. I didn’t dare to look around the room but I could hear them giggle. I felt my face burning. I probably resembled a ripe tomato – round and red.

I was shrinking further and remained silent, dumbish silent. And I hated myself. Why can’t I think of even one clever thing to say? Something really offensive and cool. Or why don’t I just slap her? After all, I’m two times bigger!

I’m such, such a loser sometimes! I want to kill myself – with a machine gun!

You see? This is simply not natural. Instead of shooting myself with a gun, I should have aimed at this mean tooth-pick. I’m such a dumb loser sometimes that I prefer to destroy myself instead of stand against someone’s ignorance.

The giggling became louder. That’s what they were praying for – a show. I was so embarrassed that I started sweating. I tried to wipe my face which made them even happier. My eyes were teary of anger and helplessness. A great first day at the new school, no kidding!

The tooth-pick stretched further and pushed me with her leg.

“Why don’t you move there, on the other side? You’re blocking my view, Shombie,” she said with her clear bell-like voice.

Did she say Shombie? Shombie! Well, I was now furious. I reached to push her legs down. She lifted them quickly and laughed. The desk shook and squeaked sorrowfully under my butt. The class burst in laughter.

“Actually, I suggest the floor for your convenience,” the mean girl added in mocking voice.

Everyone was choking already and howling like coyotes.

Suddenly it all stopped. Everyone shut up and gazed at the door. I didn’t need to look. I knew that at the door was standing countess Báthory in her full glory.

Julia Spiridonova was first acknowledged as a writer in 1995 when her first short story “The Pacifier” won the annual UNESCO award. Her story was then included in English and French short story anthologies. In 1996 Julia Spiridonova was invited to take part in the screenplay jury of the Student Film Festival in Munich.

In 2005 Julia Spiridonova won the third prize in the competition “Europe in Fairytale”. In 2006 her first novel, “My Sweet Pathwalker”, won the biggest ever annual children book manuscript competition, held by the Bulgarian Writers Association. In 2007 she was invited by the Russian Presidency as an official guest of the International Bookfair “BibliObraz” in Moscow to represent Bulgaria. In 2008 Julia’s children tale “The scabby frog”, illustrated by the internationally acclaimed artist and illustrator Ivan Gantschev, was presented with a very positive acclaim at the International Bookfair in Hague.


“The Goo Goo Birdies” (1999) – children stories book, illustrated by the author, adapted and staged as a TV show

“Goo Goo Birdie Stories” (2000) – children stories book, illustrated by the author, adapted and staged as a TV show
“Adventures with Djigo” (2003) – children stories book

“Me, Tina” (2008) – a young adult novel, Top 10 bestseller in the national “Helikon” charts

“A Private Eye’s Adventures in the Underworld” (2009)
“My Sweet Pathwalker” (2009) – a fantasy children novel (the first of a trilogy)

“Countess Bathory” (2009) – a young adult novel, a sequel to “Me, Tina”, Top 10 bestseller in the national “Helikon” charts


1995 – The annual UNESCO award for “The Pacifier” short story

2005 – “Europe in Fairytale” competition 3rd prize winner

2006 – The children book manuscript competition, held by the Bulgarian Writers Association for the “My Sweet Pathwalker” novel

2010 – The annual “Hristo G. Danov” award nominee, “Book of the Year” category

2010 – The annual “Konstantin Konstantinov” award winner, “Author of the Year” category

2010 – The annual “P.R. Slaveykov” – Contribution to the Bulgarian Literature award winner

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