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."
"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."
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.
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