Saturday, 29 October 2011

The City Girl with no Class

Thursday 27th October

It has become a rule to binge - to eat myself to death - after a night out. Why. Why not. I am the queen of throwing up.
I'd had an intense few days at work - travelling abroad and then pushing myself to the limit in the office overtime. It was nearing the end of a long Thursday afternoon and I needed to smile, laugh, feel good, feel power, feel - feel something.
I knew where to get it.

I sent him an email. Dinner?
He said no.
Already had dinner plans.
But drinks was a yes.

I pranced over to his desk when I finished. Tony saw us, smiling knowingly at me. The good looking young kids always found each other.
It was lovely. I loved friendliness, I loved chatting, discussing, questioning. When the time came for him to go to dinner with his friend he asked me to join him and I beamed. Of course. We had dinner with two of his friends and one of their other colleagues - all Europeans. He told me I was the first English girl he'd made friends with. I smiled. That was me; I was always the exception to guys' rules.

It was fun, it was easy, I was so relaxed, so fun, so easy, as if he were an old friend. And then it started to come, the wandering of my eye, wandering over his face and body, wondering what it would be like to kiss him, hold him, thinking that it was what I wanted, thinking that it would feel so good.
Gareth was gone. I hope he doesn't try and talk to me again, it's gone, gone.

Cassio. It would never work, he'd never commit, it would never be the sound, stable, security I want, but it would feel good. He'd feel good, big brown eyes, thick dark hair, golden skin, beautiful features, softness, caressing...
And yet so free and fun and easy...

Shame that after dinner I stopped at the train station and ate my weight in junk food. Shame I had to go and throw up, make my face puffy, swallow a load of laxatives. Shame.
I will see him again tomorrow in a meeting and afterwork drinks. Shame.

Friday 30th October

No man is worth killing yourself for. And yet I will kill myself for anyone. A different guy a different week.

I left the party at 2:00am and wanted to do something stupid. Wanted to jump. Wanted to run in front of a car. Wanted to be beaten, bleeding. Here's what happened on another Friday night out with work colleagues...

All day in the office I kept holding out the underside of my arms in front of me, staring at the pure white and unmarked skin. I sat in the meeting, Cassio in front of me, wanting to draw lines across my forearm in red pen to pretend they were bleeding. All I could see were my fat legs sticking out in front of me, exposed where I sat. I caught Theo's eye and we shared a blushing smile. I'd pissed Cassio off last Friday night by spending the entire evening talking and flirting with Theo. Who was, in all honesty, the nearest to the type of guy I usually go for. I wanted him. I probably wanted him more than Cassio.

In the bar later on that evening though Theo left early with another girl - not someone from work - someone I didn't know. I was pissed off. I should have moved in earlier. When Cassio left a little while later I texted him to come back. And he came back. Only for me to keep talking to others, and he left again. Didn't come back when I asked the second time. Stupidity. Desperation. Crying out for attention. Fuck this, fuck this.

"I heard there was a bet going on as to whether you'd get with Cassio or Theo first," said Bill. I swore. I had to be careful now. I didn't want to be 'that girl' in the office. I was a mess. Talking about things I shouldn't, too liberal, too bad, too classless.
Classless - that's what I was. I dressed in a chic, sleek, black dress, new lowest weight, the lowest number I'd seen for years and years, perfect flowing hair, classic makeup, expensive shoes and bag, I was the perfect, archetypal London City Girl image.... except I was fucking classless, foul-mouthed, loud, flirtatious and dangerous.

I've lost a stone in weight since I started this job in July. Rob commented - "I don't know what you've done but you look fucking amazing. You must love walking around the office and having everyone staring at you. Have you been killing it in the gym? Because it's fucking paid off whatever you've done."
I smiled sadly. "Thank you."
Rob was a bastard. He believed no girl was good enough until she was model thin. However much I despised him, his words meant a lot.
Restriction, laxatives, vomiting, running, running and running. That's how I did it babe.

"Ophelia is so fucking fit, why's she with that little Italian guy?"
"You look fucking gorgeous, you always do, what's the matter with you?"
"You can't get with him... you're way out of his league, seriously."
We left the bar at closing time and a group of us headed back to a house party. I found myself with Chris, undeniably, a man with a heart of gold. I should be grateful and thankful for the kindness he has shown me, even when I've been a bitch towards him. I spilled my guts out to him, I spilled it all out in great floods of blood red emotion, pouring over the pavement before us, holding out my forearms and watching the skin break open and bleed. What did I have to lie about. I needed to tell someone. I needed to talk, I needed a human being to put his hand against my heart and feel the pain beating inside. And he was able to do that, his eyes looked at me the closest thing I can remember to a father.

We got to the house party and I made a cup of tea. I'd stuffed myself with junk food en route and was almost completely sober now. Why was I here? I was here because Rihanna had begged me to come. I was here because I hadn't had the nerve to be a classy woman and leave with dignity to get the last train home. I wanted to go home but I didn't know where we were or where to go. Idiot.

Standing on the balcony chatting to another girl and guy from the office I explained why I was drinking tea.
"If I drink any more alcohol I'll be sick."
"So what?"
"I don't really want to make myself sick that way." I hadn't realised the error in my sentence there. I should have said "I don't want to make myself sick." But having just stuffed my face with food my only desire was to get away from people and find a quiet place to throw up.
"How else can you make yourself sick?"
I looked at him as if he were stupid.
"Err obviously there are other ways."
"No there's not!"
What the fuck, I thought, is he that ignorant? "You stick your fingers down your throat idiot."
"Ha yeah but who'd do that?"
I just continued glaring at him like he was a fool.
"Shit, you're supposed to be like hahaha no way John as if I'd do that."
"Fuck you."
The girl with us looked horrified. "John, oh my God, what the fuck!" she chased him back into the flat, "Fuck! Are you ok?" she looked at me in shock, "Fuck!"
I shrugged my shoulders, unmoved, "What. It's fine."
I turned round to Chris who had witnessed the whole scene play out and raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah... you're right," he said, "People really don't react well to it."

I talked to a few more people and then gathered my stuff up to go. I would find a way home somehow. I wasn't afraid being alone on dark streets. As I reached the gate I heard John's loud, brash American accent booming down over the silent night. I looked up and could see their shadows on the flat balcony above me. He was talking about me. I paused and stood facing the gate, holding the railings, silent and still, listening to catch what words I could ringing in my ears.
"... I said you're really thin... kidding... she said you stick your fingers down your throat..."
"no! I didn't say that... like, fuck... expected her to laugh or something"
"oh my God, John!..."
I turned around as they stopped speaking and looked right up at him, two dark shadows on the balcony. I glared at him through the darkness. I know they were looking right at me. I know they had seen me. I glared at him wanting him to know I had heard. He was motionless. I know they knew.

I pulled open the gate and walked to the nearest main road. I scrunched up my face and tried to cry but there was nothing. I didn't know where the fuck I was but I knew getting a taxi home would be outrageously expensive.
Luckily I found a bus stop where I could get a night bus to take me back to Trafalgar Square and then got my usual night bus from there. I bought a chicken burger and chips, more food, shoved it into my mouth like a monster, ketchup and mayonnaise smeared around my mouth and chin, not caring.
I had reached a new low weight today, wore the tightest dress to show off it off, what for?! what the fuck for?! for stupid fucking Cassio, for Theo, for Gareth, for the boys I didn't give a fuck about in Sales, the men I didn't look twice at in Research, I did this to myself for Him, for Them, for attention, for a kiss, for sex, for love. AND I WALK AWAY WITH NOTHING.

I can't lie now. I've pushed all the way. There's only one way out. Push till you break. No way back.
I saw my therapist on Monday for a 'follow-up session' since I officially left treatment back in June. She told me to leave The City because it will kill me.
I know. And I love it. I don't care that it will kill me.
I want it.
"It's up to you now. You have to make a choice about what you want. Do you want to be safe and happy or do you want to be in this environment full of chavanism, superficiality, greed, mirrors, lust, pressure..."

I stood firm and I know I broke her heart in doing so. I wanted to be the ultimate success story for her, I really did, but I wasn't going to lie about who I was. I could have stayed in the school, in floral dresses and comfy cardigans, away from men and alcohol and the bright lights. But I've never wanted that. I love killing myself to reach the top of The City, The Square Mile, the darkest side of Capitalism, work hard, play hard, money, alcohol, mirrors, friends on coke, men wanting to fuck you, knowing they want to fuck you, running my hands along my shrinking body, feeling my hip bones beneath my dress, stretching in the mirror to see a concave stomach like the pictures I look at online.

I sat on the night bus, a guy several rows back throwing up over the floor. Whores in Halloween costumes, sitting in fountains, women bent double on the street while a friend holds their hair back, drunk kids groping at the bus stop, men passed out and snoring. I turned my nose up at them, but really I was no better.
I don't think this is fun, this stupid shit, this staying out late, this alcohol and getting drunk. I hate it. Been doing it for years. Hating it, every time I crawl home at 4am. I wanted to jump. I should be curled up on the sofa, fresh-faced and makeup-less, wrapped in a dressing-gown with the man I love and a box of chocolates.
What an image. I despise people who live in that picture. I'd despise myself. And yet I want it.

I ate about 4000 calories last night. 3000 calories today.

I fly to Dubai tomorrow for a week of business.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Diary entries from a City Girl - Power Struggle

Apologies for being away for so long and thank you to the 'lurkers'. I've been writing in my notebook meaning to post it up... :

Friday 23rd September

Playing games. I've been trying to stop myself all week. Every time I wanted to call Chris, email, message, accidentally bump into him in the kitchen... I kept having to keep myself in check, kept having to remind myself that I was only doing it for attention, only doing it for The Game. It wasn't fair on him or right to play with a person in that way.

I restricted all week and rounded it off with a triumphant binge.
Paraded around the office all day flirting and flitting from one guy to another, fake and bouncy, charming, pouting, batting my eyelids. Walked out the office door at the end of the day, scraped back my hair and walked the walk of shame to buy a weeks worth of food and shove it down my grotesque throat. Disgusting.
The little girl wants to call the 30 year old man, wants to feel his arms around her, wants to feel his love, any love, anyone. Love. Attention. Stopping herself because she knows she only wants to use him, doesn't really care, only wants to use him.
Sitting on the train, counting down the minutes until she can throw up.
I only ate because I know I can throw up.
Why could I just not starve.
Am running a race.
Must eat carbs. Can't eat carbs. Or rather can't keep carbs down.
Want to call him and tell him.

I spent all day flirting with all the other men in the office in front of Chris. I know he saw and I know he was pissed off and I know he knows what I was doing. But its his fault.
It must be, because it’s not my fault.

I want to put a new plan together.
Tony. One of the big swinging dicks. I sat in the front row of his presentation today and imagined undressing him.
He knows I'm attracted to him, I make it as obvious as I can. But that's not enough, the girlish giggling and blushing is not enough entertainment for me. I want to push for more, I want a real game here, I want a real challenge- and the second I know I can win, I'll back down I won't go all the way, I swear.
I have to play this one.
"I'm a banker - I like risk."

I love risk. I love putting myself in dangerous situations, playing Russian roulette with my body, pushing myself to the limit, reaching for extremes.

It makes winning so much sweeter.

Tony is the only man in the office that I do not feel more powerful than. He is the only one I cannot flirt and ooze confidence with. I want him because I want to overturn that. I want the power.

I will tell you I have an eating disorder, that's not a secret, but no one understands the extent to which that evilness inside me extends.
I am not thin enough. Don't tell me I am, because I'm not fucking deluded, I am a harsh critic, and most of the world is just too fucking soft.

I am obsessed with ambition and I do not understand anything else. I do not understand people who are not ambitious and driven by adrenaline.

If you are not getting up off your lazy arse and fighting to win, I do not understand you. The fight will almost certainly destroy me in the end - I will crash and burn in flames soon - but I understand destruction, I understand putting my mind and body through hell and pain. I have never just sat and been happy. Comfort makes me hurt more.

My eating disorder is part of that fight - because I believe that in order to win I must be beautiful. Getting up at the crack of dawn is part of that fight. Working late in the gym is part of that fight. Studying all weekend is part of that fight. Spending time networking and building a strong circle male city friends is part of that fight. Putting my body through late nights, overwork and under eating means I'll probably be dead by the time I'm 30 - but that's ok. Because I will have won - or died trying.

Think Nina in Black Swan. Except I am not a dancer, I am a City Girl with a deadly and evil ambitiousness out to destroy no one but herself.

And you know what the most frightening this is? - that girl should be so frightened - but she isn't. She is so consumed by ambition that she only sees the end goal and cares for nothing beyond that.

Friday 30th September 2011

“I hate that women derive so much power from their looks. But you know what I hate more? That I know that and I play to that anyway. I hate that I use my looks for power.”
He nodded. Another new boy in the office that I was flirting with as much as possible at Friday’s after work drinks – Henry – a poor Cambridge grad who had to listen to me going on about my ambition and desire to reach the top. And then there was Gareth, sweet, bumbling Gareth, finally talking to the girl he had seen around the office in the pretty dress with long brown hair.
I lapped it up. I loved it. I loved it so much. I loved the fucking power he was laying at my feet.
I stayed because I fucking loved it so much.

Chris was pissed off because I wasn’t flirting with him. But I didn’t care, he knew what I was, he knew that I’d been flirting my way round the office long before he’d arrived. He had no reason to be jealous because he’d always known he couldn’t have me – I wasn’t that type.
I am – I suppose – what we would call ‘a cock tease’. I flirt outrageously to give men the impression that I’m all over them- but I only flirt because I love their attention and being able to hold the power.
It’s just fun. This is the game I play – my hobby – my pastime. This is how I get my kicks. In the long-term, I’m waiting for my lawyer, my banker, I’m waiting for the man that challenges me, the man that I have to work for and fight for.

Rihanna and I have become firm friends with Mils in the last few weeks – and no – it isn’t a case of keeping your enemies closer – she is a genuinely nice girl who I get along with fantastically. She was as amused as Rihanna at my office antics and as a fellow single girl flirting her way though life, she has since become a close friend and great confidant.

The evening ended with more drinks, dancing, a walk through London, Rihanna and Mils doing crazy shit, trying to break into Rihanna’s house after we arrived and realised she had forgotten her keys, drinking a vintage bottle of wine Mils had swiped from somewhere, me passing out at Rihanna’s kitchen table and finally waking up at 7am with all three of us in bed together.

Thursday 6th October

This week I was abroad on business. It’s been a great experience for me, getting more business meetings under my belt and networking as much as possible.
Yesterday I received a random email from an Italian analyst called Cassio who I had met briefly in training – a friendly but formal email asking me for the contact details of someone I was connected to on LinkenIn.

Well, what can I say – he’s Italian – beautiful, glowing and utterly out of my league – I’d look like a fat, flaky, greasy pale slob of a human being next to him – not something I had had any interest in pursuing. But hey – part of my long-term strategy involves networking my way though every and any potentially valuable male in The City of London. At the end of the day, sure, I love flirting, but that’s not my only agenda – I want to know everyone and be known by everyone – popularity can open doors. And I’ve had doors shut to me my whole life because I didn’t know the right people.
So I responded to the email politely, leaving it open for a reply – and before you know it, a multitude of chatty emails have passed between us and we’re good friends attending a business conference together. Wait – ok – he mentioned the conference to me in one of his emails and added “join me”. So I seized the opportunity and ran with it, emailed the contact and got myself on the attendance list too...

I hate business travel. I hate that I need energy for meetings. I hate that we have hotel breakfast, that I have to go out for dinner, that I can’t eat what I want, that I can’t spend all evening in the gym, that I lose the strict and safe routine that I need to keep myself remotely sane. Every evening after dinner I came back, cleared out the mini bar of junk food and threw everything up.
I just wanted to be beautiful – and I couldn’t do that if I couldn’t be in control.

Back in the London office and the emails between Cassio and I continued so I decided to add Henry and Gareth to my emailing list. Although Henry dwindled off, Gareth was keen and I started to become drawn by his awkward sense of humour and sweetness. His emails made me smile.

Saturday 8th October 2011

I met up with an old friend from university who was passing through London and told him about my recent exploits. He encouraged me to think about Gareth
“That’s the type of guy you should be with,” he said, “a nice, geeky, genuine guy who will look after you.”
I nodded, “Well we’ll see. But you know the way I am, you know I play with men and you know why I do it. For all the times my heart was broken and I was made to feel worthless for not being good enough, pretty enough, thin enough – I was always the weak one, trodden on and used. This is my revenge now: I am the one they want, I am the one who breaks hearts and walks over those foolish enough to fall into my trap. I’m the one that makes them feel worthless for not being good enough to hold my interest after I’ve won the chase and played the game.”
He shook his head sadly and I just shrugged in reply. “I know I’m a bitch. At least I’m honest about it.”

Monday 10th October 2011

The effects of being abroad for work last week with a shit diet, bulimia, no exercise and almost no sleep had finally caught up with me. Over the weekend, my face had broken out into a plethora of spots which even my dedicated make-up routine could only partly disguise. As a result, I went to work with my self-esteem in shatters – I was unable to look anyone in the face and hid behind my computer screen in shame. Thank God all Cassio and Gareth saw of me was the words I sent them over work email.

It was days like this that I cried tears knowing that I would never be able to carry on much longer with this head on my shoulders. The only prevailing thought that I couldn’t break free of was that I was hideous and unlovable. Tears streamed down my face as I hid in the toilets and I walked past people with my long hair shrouding my face like a curtain, covering my ugliness. I was shaking and tense, pulling at my hair in anguish. At one point during the afternoon I crept into the kitchen to get a drink only to find Chris there doing the same.
“Hi Ophelia! How’s things?!”
“Fine thanks.” I kept my back to him and made my drink without another word before rushing out again as quickly as I could. I felt awful. I’d been a bitch to him because I couldn’t bear him looking at me. So I sent him an email apologising. He understood and was kind to me. I appreciated the kindness.

Meanwhile, every email I received from Gareth melted my heart a little bit more. My friend was right - he was exactly the kind of guy I should be with. So I made a decision: I was going to ask him out for a drink. I wasn’t sure if this was part of the game or not - all I knew was that I wanted to spend time with him.

So I asked. And he agreed. We were going for a drink after work on Thursday.

Thursday 13th October

I sat at my desk, my starving stomach doing somersaults.
My face and confidence were hardly back to their best by Thursday, but it had to be good enough.
At 6pm I stood in front of the mirror in the toilets knowing that he was sitting at his desk on the other side of the office waiting for me. I reapplied the makeup, redid the hair, checked my figure from every angle. Starving stomach doing somersaults.

He suggested a bar round the corner from where we work and so we went there. I was extremely drunk very quickly. Too much alcohol in an empty body. I can’t remember what we talked about too much, but I’m convinced it hadn’t gone well. He didn’t like my ambition; he didn’t need to be explicit about it. We were opposites. And yet I wanted him.
I took in the toned forearms showing under the rolled up sleeves of his pink shirt, the brown eyes, the awkward quirkiness, the humour, the smile. I started to feel the weakness seeping through my body. I was too drunk, shit, I was too drunk, it was too obvious. I was so tired, hadn’t slept properly for weeks, I was breaking, in front of his eyes. He didn’t know me, he knew the confident, fiery, strong girl that I performed. He didn’t know my beauty. And I couldn’t show it to him. I couldn’t drop the act, even though I knew he didn’t find it attractive. I texted a friend: “I wish someone like him could love me but he won’t and I can’t change who I’ve been for so long... He would never love me, they never do. I’m never enough, there are prettier, nicer girls.”

As I walked away from him at the tube station I felt the pain rise up from my heart. I cried and stuffed my face with food because I had lost the power. I liked him, so now he could destroy me.
I can’t even put down in words anymore... I can’t even drag this emotion out of me. It all went so wrong.

Friday 14th October
All day I had not heard not a word from Gareth. I expected something, I had a good time last night, or fancy going out again? Fuck, just something. I wasn’t going to speak to him first, it had to come from him. I’d initiated everything, the emailing, the drinks. He had to give me something back now, he had to prove that he liked me. I got nothing.

Today I’d arranged to go for lunch with Cassio. He was as good as his word, at 1:15pm, as Mils was perched on my desk chatting to me about my men, I saw him appear at the end of the floor, walking towards where I sat. I looked down covertly and whispered, “He’s coming.” Mils looked round and jumped off the desk with an elegant flick of her legs, “Have fun, tell me all about it when you get back!” I gave him a warm smile as he came over, “Ready to go?” I stood up and immediately cringed, I was wearing my highest set of heels and was noticeably taller than him. Although slightly thrown by his Italian accent (I’d never actually spoken to the guy except over email) the initial awkwardness quickly wore away thanks to my easy acting. To him I was like every other front office girl, confident and strong, so I played that part and everything was easy, I was chatty and fun and there was nothing to be awkward about. Despite his undeniable good looks I felt nothing for him. I found it impossible to connect with someone who I couldn’t fully communicate with. As English was his second language, I could never give him the depths of my emotions and fears and passions. I needed to be able to give that and feel that back, and I’d never be able to have that with him. Perhaps the situation would have been different if I had not started to fall for Gareth the night before. With my heart and mind so preoccupied it was impossible to find room for Cassio in my affections.

At the end of the day as people began to leave I was talked into going to the local Friday night drinking spot for one drink. I wasn’t really in the mood after the stress of the week and the last two days in particular, but found the temptation of being able to see Gareth and talk to him too hard to resist. He wasn’t there, he’d gone straight home. I couldn’t hide my disappointment. I hadn’t heard a word from him all day and I couldn’t let go of that. Cassio was there, talking to some others in his department but I wasn’t bothered, I ignored him. I began speaking to Bill, the guy who had introduced me to Gareth at the same Friday night drinking spot two weeks ago. I told Bill that I’d gone out with Gareth the night before and that I liked him. He gave me advice.
“He’s a really nice guy, but he’s shy - he’s not confident and outgoing like you. Plus he recently split up with his girlfriend so he’s probably been out of the game for a while and doesn’t really know what to do.”
Mils chirped up, “No, but a woman should be chased, she shouldn’t have to make the next move.”
I agreed, “At the end of the day, I’ve done all the work up till now. I intiated everything, I need to get something back from him, I need him to show me that he’s keen.”
Bill shook his head, “No, trust me, from what I know of him, you’re going to have to give him a push, he isn’t that sort of guy. You’re going to have to help him along, because he won’t make a move. If you want my opinion, you should just ask him and then you’ll know either way. Just say, I had a really good time yesterday, would you like to do it again? And then at least you’ll know and you can move on.”
It made sense. I was neither shy nor scared of asking him, I had just refused on principle. But at the end of the day, all I needed was to be able to break free of the sickly feeling inside my heart. I either fell for him and got the love I needed, or I found out that there was nothing there and no point caring about him and erased him from my memory.
I resolved to message him when I got home.

One drink turned into several and before I knew it I was one of the last people standing – again. As the numbers dwindled, it became impossible to ignore Cassio and we started to talk again. Soon we were in our own little conversation and one or two people had started to give us suggestive looks. I scowled back at them and shook my head, even though I knew deep down what we were doing. Eventually we were the last two left. I suggested we leave and he suggested we went to get something to eat. We walked to Leicester Square and found a Chinese restaurant that was open late. By the time we were finished it was half past two. I was exceptionally drunk from being bought drinks all evening and had probably been chatting shit to him the whole evening. However, he hadn’t seemed that phased by it and I was incredibly impressed that he seemed to like me enough to spend so much time with me and even take me for a meal. I was worried though. He was Italian, and he’d said it himself, he liked women. I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t going to try and pull him, but I couldn’t be untrue to my feelings. I didn’t want anything to happen between us. So before anything could even become suggested, I made it clear that I was getting a night bus home after the meal. He walked me to the bus stop in Trafalgar Square and waited with me giving me a hug and a peck on the cheek when my bus eventually came. “See you Monday, have a good weekend,” I said, just as I would have to any of my work colleagues on a Friday night.

By the time I got back home it was 4am. Remembering Bill’s words I logged on to facebook and sent Gareth a message. (We had not exchanged phone numbers and other than work email this was the only was I could contact him). "So I've just returned from drinks and dinner slightly worse for wear. Am going to sleep for two days straight! Anyway I enjoyed spending time with you yesterday and if you fancy doing it again soon let me know x"
That was his push. If I got no response asking me to go out with him then I was shutting the door on him and fixing the little wound that he had reopened. One chance, handed to him on a silver plate. If he doesn’t take it, that’s good - I will not spare another thought on him.

Monday 16th October
After leaving me to feel shit all weekend, he finally responded to my message yesterday afternoon: “enjoyed myself too the other night so would certainly be up for doing it again.”

I was livid. Even though the response was positive, I couldn’t believe that he’d still left it up to me to arrange everything again. I needed him to ask me out, I needed  him to show me that he was interested in me. Once I was back in the office I sent him an email giving him my number and telling him to let me know when he was free. I gave him the benefit of the doubt for simply being a shy guy.

As painful as ever, the rubbish reply came flying back two hours later: “I’ll let you know then. Things  are still pretty frantic with house searching this week so could be a bit spontaneous.”

Rihanna was blunt: That is a shit response and he has no idea how to flirt – LAME”
I agreed. It was ridiculous. As if I had time for this, and as if I had time for someone who I had more balls than.

I emailed Cassio and told him I wasn’t going to the Conference with him on Wednesday – there was no point – I was not bothered or interested in spending time with him, especially if it meant taking time off work to go.

The excitement here has fizzled out. New target needed.
I’ve been invited to a Charity Ball on Saturday – if I don’t hear by then Gareth, you will have lost me.

Thursday 20th October

I went out for a long run in a tiny top in the freezing cold yesterday evening to calm my anger. This was my new method of ‘self harming for calming purposes”. I was angry at the world again, angry at my face, at my body, at work, at Gareth.

By the time I'd got back from my run, he had texted me. “Fancy hooking up after work tomorrow then?”
Perfect, I replied and immediately took three laxatives, worked out some more and glugged down as much water as I could manage. It was fine, I had today off work so I could take ages getting ready and cleaning my body out.

Thank God though, he finally asked me. I smiled for the first time in days.

Today it was the usual. Laxatives, coffee, water, a cheeky apple and some juice. My body looked good, I liked looking in the mirror and smiling at my body when it was so empty. I hit a new low on the scales – a number I haven’t seen since I was 16, no word of a lie. I was pleased, good work, Ophelia, you’re getting there...
I was glad that I’d already chosen to take today off work, it meant that I could pamper myself all day and make sure I looked perfect, just like I used to when I was a student.

I slept in, took a long bath, used all my special body scrubs, body butters, etc, went to the hairdressers, went to the beautician, looked perfect, sitting on the train, on my way to meet him at the office...
got a message...
“I’m really sorry but I think I might have to bail on you tonight. Just been called for a second viewing (I know, ridiculous!) on a house I saw a couple of days ago and am pretty keen to get this sorted as it’s been a massive pain in the ass. Hopefully things should be less manic next week if you are ok to ‘take a rain check’ until then?”

I barely reacted as I got off the train at the next stop and turned around to go back home. I was angry that I’d wasted my time. I had so much work for law school to do. I’d been so keen to waste my time on him, to waste my time trying to look good for him. Fuck him.

I sent him four words: “Of course, no problem.”

And those are the last four words he’ll ever hear from me, even if he is stupid enough to try and rearrange things for next week.

I am the one with the power. I am the one in control.

...Which is why I just ate my body weight in food and then threw up. And then ate my body weight in food and threw up. Every last bit.
Because I’m the one with power, the one with control. NOT.

He’s the one in control. Even though he doesn’t know it and doesn’t have a clue, he causes me pain that pains my body. My body won’t last it. I know I’ve been lucky so far, I know, more laxatives tomorrow. I hate myself for eating. Good girls don’t eat.
He’s the one in control. Because now I have to be so thin, so beautiful, so perfect that I can make him hurt more than I do, I want him to hurt because he can’t have me and I hope it kills him the way it will kill me.

He’s probably just some normal, nice, innocent guy. And look at what I’ve turned him in to here.

As for me,
I’ve turned into a monster, I can make guys want me, but can't make them love me.
I’m a monster, I’m a bitch, I’ve turned myself into a City Girl caricature, an unfeeling actress who can’t remember the girl she buried deep down inside.

At the end of the day, perhaps I just want to make a statement. I want to faint at work, I want to die young, I want to be tragic and painful, but I want everyone to know.

My hair was so beautiful today. My skin was so soft. My body was so empty.
Tomorrow I will be back to being a bloated ogre again.

No. I will not let that happen. I will do whatever it takes now. I will not be the one that feels the pain. I will be the one with power, the one with control.