Ok. Long story short. I slept with Theo on Friday night.
In a hotel room.
In Kings Cross.
I'm not really sure how to continue with this story, but I suppose I must find a way to express it all and come to terms with it...
Theo works in the same department as Gareth and Cassio - in the same team as Cassio in fact. And I've said it before, I fancied him the first day I saw him, and even more so when I spent much of the evening chatting to him at the usual office drinks one Friday after work. In terms of character and background he is exactly the type I always go for - exactly the type of boy I hung out with at University, exactly the type of boy I eye up in their suits on the way to work, exactly the type of boy I click with and have banter with and laugh with...
plus it helped that he was easily one of the best looking guys in the office. 'Geek chic', Rhianna calls it, 'with those geeky glasses, but it totally works for him, he's cute.' I smiled at this remark - it's very rare for Rhianna to approve of a guy, her standards are very high.
So, look, I'll be completely blunt. I wanted him, I wanted him when I saw him, I wanted him when I chatted to him, I never stopped wanting him. The only problem was, how to get him... I needed to get him in a situation where it might be possible for something to happen between us. The usual after work drinks on a Friday was never any good - always too many people, standing around in a bar... but this Friday it was Rhianna and Millie's joint birthday celebrations - a few people from the office were coming out and then we were going to go on to a club. It was the perfect opportunity, I knew it, the perfect opportunity to get him out, get talking again, get drunk, dance...
Easy. On Thursday I sent him an email at work: You free tomorrow after work? Millie and Rhianna's birthday drinks... be awesome if you come! Let me know.
He replied: Sure - sounds good. I'm not in work tomorrow, drop me your number and I'll meet you guys there.
Oh God, finally. I cleaned out my bloated body with laxatives and didn't eat or drink a drop. Standard procedure.
On Thursday afternoon Cassio sent me a message telling me he had got me a present and asked me to go for a drink with him after work so he could give it to me.
I ignored his message guiltily.
I wanted to keep my body empty and go to bed early so that I was perfect for Friday night. He sent me another message asking for a reply. The guy had got me a present. Fuck. I couldn't say no.
I told him I would come for one drink and that it would have to be a simple fruit juice.
We chatted as we always did, it was nice as it always is. There is nothing between us though, at least not for me, I simply am not attracted to him, and it's purely a mis-match of personality and character - so there are no sparks, there is no lust. He had got me a Lawyers Latin Dictionary and he had written a little message in the front, in Latin. It was an incredibly sweet gesture, and served to only make me feel even more guilty. I finished up my drink and made my excuses to go. As soon as I walked away I forgot about him instantly. All I could think about was Theo and Friday night.
I spent Friday in agony. I wouldn't even allow myself water, I wanted to dry out and be as thin as possible. When 5:30 finally came we went to the bathroom to start getting ready. I slipped on a new dress I had bought earlier that week, my blowdried hair in tumbling curls over my shoulders. I'd sneaked off to have a massage at lunchtime to get me in the mood and open up my shoulders...
When I walked back out the reaction was amazing. I'd never been so complimented in my life. I walked through the office knowing all eyes were on me. And I loved it, loved it, loved it, loved it. This is what I lived for, this was what I was killing myself for, this was everything I had worked so hard for and been through so much blood, sweat and tears for. And you know I'm not going to lie, you know I'm not going to pretend to be modest. It is SO worth it. Being THAT girl.
"Seriously, Ophelia, fucking hell!"
"Oh my God... you look Stunning."
"Aw. Thanks hun, bless you."
I felt so strong, invincible almost, all I needed was a guy to play this out on. Where was he?
Being the girl with all eyes on me wasn't enough, I needed a guy to make me feel it inside too.
Where was he?
I chatted and laughed and drank with the usual crowd from work, Chris was there, flirting as we always did. We'd been out since 6:00pm... by 6:30, 7:00, still no word from Theo, I'd sent him my number but I didn't have his so I couldn't chase him up.
"He's not coming is he..."
Rhianna shook her head. "Probably not."
At 7:30, my phone, which I'd been holding in my hand in anticipation all evening, began to ring.
"Sorry, hun," I said to Chris mid-conversation, "I have to take this..."
It was Theo. He'd he told me he'd be there in 45 mins.
Beaming and full of adrenaline, I took my usual spot in front of the mirrors in the toilets. On rare occasions, I can look in the mirror and adore what I see; maybe it was the alcohol burning in my eyes, but this was one of those times. I loved what I saw, this was the best I'd ever looked, surely, and he was coming, he was coming, I could play my game out!
He arrived and I told him to wait for me outside. He was having a cigarette. I handed him a drink. It wasn't long till other members of the crowd wandered outside for a cigarette too and another girl latched straight on to him. I made my excuses and went back to the mirrors in the toilets. I must have gone and stood in front of the mirrors about 10 times in the short time we were in that one location.
When I came back out he was at the bar chatting to another girl from work. I was pissed off, but I wasn't bothered, none of these other girls from work had anything on me. My only competition in that department was Millie and Rhianna, and they both had their own men and would never tread on my toes if I liked a guy. So I chatted with Chris again, and other guys from work that I got on with. It was all fun and easy, me and Rhianna were laughing, then suddenly, in came a group of guys. Guys from Theo's department, Gareth in the middle.
"Oh my God."
Rhianna laughed loudly, "Fuck!" She turned to explain to her friend, "Ophelia went out with him once" she pointed to Gareth, "and now shes trying to get with him" she pointed to Theo.
I played it cool, welcomed the group of guys and stood my ground cooly.
"Gareth! Hey! How are you? Long time no see!"
He bumbled and mumbled.
"Good! Cool!" I gushed confidently and passionately.
I had no idea what he was saying and I had no interest in what he was saying. The fact is, he was here now and it was slightly unfortunate - for him. He got to see how hot I was, and think about how he had missed his little chance of having me. I'd moved on.
People were starting to move on to the next bar, a City favourite. Theo was still holding the drink I'd given him when he first arrived.
"Oh my God - drink up!" I exclaimed to both him and Gareth in unison. "Come on, come on, we're moving on! I'm way more drunk than you!"
I left without him in tow. I couldn't be that obvious and that desperate. In the next bar I thought I'd lost him, and then I saw him through the crowd, standing at the bar with one of the other girls from work. I hesitated for a split second, before realising that actually, I didn't give a damn. I pushed my way through the throng and over to them.
"Ophelia!" said the girl as I reached them, "What's your star sign?"
"Excellent!! There you go, perfect match!" And she gave us both a knowing wink and sauntered off.
I looked at Theo awkwardly, "er well..."
Millie came over and gave Theo a dirty look. "I don't like him, he's an arrogant cock. And I'm not coming to Mayfair , I don't want to go and pay for expensive drinks in some pretentious place."
I defended Theo, particularly because she didn't even know him and was judging him on gossip. One of the guys from work, James, had got us a table at a club in Mayfair but was keeping it on the low as he could only get a small number of us in. Since Millie was refusing to go, it was just going to be James, his two mates, Rhianna and her friend, and me and Theo. I told James I wasn't going unless he got Theo in too.
As Theo slipped away to the toilet briefly, Rhianna came over. "Ophelia, we're moving on, James has got us the table at the club in Mayfair, but we have to go now, get Theo and come. We'll wait for you outside."
When he came back I told him to drink up. "We're moving on again." I didn't give him a choice, I didn't give him a chance to say no. "Rhianna and the others are waiting for us outside, come on."
I boldly took hold of his hand and led him across the bar to the exit. I didn't care who saw me leading him out. I loved the feel of his hand in mine and I loved letting the world know that he was with me.
Much of the night from here on was a blur. Inside the club, the atmosphere was perfect, I was with Theo, we drank, we danced, I didn't shy away from making it clear that we were together.
"I'm so glad you came! I didn't think you'd come." It was true, I didn't think he would come. Why would he come out with a girl he barely knew, why would he spend the evening dancing with me...
The music was loud, I could feel the beat pulsing through my body, my brain couldn't think about anything, it could only feel. I could feel Theo and I could feel the music and I could feel the alcohol numbing my inhibitions. I felt free as a wild bird in the wilderness.
"Why haven't you kissed him yet!" Rhianna exclaimed pushing us together.
We danced, his hands around my waist, feeling my body, the body I wanted him to feel, he loved it, I know he loved it. I wanted to believe that he'd never been with a girl with a body as good as mine, I wanted him to think that he would never have sex with anyone as good as me, I wanted him to believe that, I wanted him to know that.
I stopped against a pillar and smiled at him. I looked straight into his eyes and held his gaze. I wasn't going to make a move on him. He had to be the man, he had to do it.
I saw the same thought flash across his mind. She wants me to kiss her.
He put his hands on my waist and drew me in
and kissed me.
For the rest of the night we danced and kissed and smoked and kissed.
It was perfect.
"So where do you have to go home to?" he asked.
"Wow, bit of a trek."
I shrugged. "It's ok I do it all the time, besides I don't have a choice."
"Yes you do."
"Really? What?" I stared at him.
"We could get a hotel room."
I said nothing.
Theo was in the middle of moving out and was staying with his parents in the meantime. I couldn't take him back to mine and he couldn't take me back to his.
I was both pleased and taken aback by his forwardness. He wasn't afraid to ask and put it out there.
I looked at him in anguish.
"It's up to you. If you want to go home, I'll see you on to your night bus," he said reassuringly.
I put my hands to my head in shame. "Good girls don't behave like I do. When I want something, I go after it. And good girls don't do that."
"It's fine, don't be silly. But I don't want you to do something you'll regret."
"I won't regret it... but... I don't know that I can have sex with you and then for nothing to happen after that."
I was honest. I didn't want a one night stand with Theo, I liked him way more than that.
We walked through London while I battled with myself, eventually conceding that I wanted to have sex with him more than I wanted or was able to think about the consequences. As much as I successfully played the confident, straight-talking girl who knew what she wanted, the truth was a lot different. I wasn't able to ask him outright if he wanted to sleep with me and then for nothing to ever happen between us again. I wasn't able to ask him because I was too afraid of the answer.
We got in a cab and went to a hotel in Kings Cross.
The room cost £140. We split the payment.
In the morning we cuddled and chatted, laughed and played. It was beautiful to lie in his arms, just like I did once with the boy I loved.
I wanted to stay in that bed with him forever.
I wanted what I had had with Alex back.
He wasn't Alex, but we still had it. Something different, but still something that made me feel good.
I wanted to speak to him about the situation but I couldn't. I couldn't bring myself to ask the questions that needed to be asked.
And I sit here writing this still not knowing.
We checked out of the hotel at noon and I called Rhianna as soon as I was on the train home.
"It's fine," I said, "we're totally cool, it's not going to be awkward at all."
"Well ok, if you're sure. I know you've wanted him for absolutely ages so good for you!"
So these are the questions I am faced with:
Do I really like Theo? Do I really want him? Is he just another guy, another game, or do I really like him more than that?
Do I want to pursue him? Do I want to face the risk of rejection and the inevitable awkwardness that will ensue at work?
After a week of restricting, exercise and laxatives to ensure I fitted into my tiny dress on Friday, I spent the whole weekend eating again. This trend is frustrating me. Starving during the week and then bingeing and purging all weekend after a drunken Friday night. It has to stop. It has to stop. I'm killing myself. I'm living fast and dying pretty.
I'm killing myself so I can live the life I always dreamed of.
At school I wasn't attractive, I wasn't confident and I wasn't popular. And all my life since then I have dremed of being one of the elite, a 'popular girl'.
That evening, one of the guys at work jokingly called me, Millie and Rhianna the 'Mean Girls' because we were the popular party girls, always out, everyone knew our names and everyone knew we ruled the roost. I beamed because I realised that I'd finally become the girl I'd spent my teenage years wishing I could be. I'd moulded myself to fit that character perfectly.
I'm finally sitting pretty at the top and I love it there.
The only problem is what comes with that. All the guys at work think I'm a fun-loving bitch, a party girl who loves being single, loves playing the game, loves going out and having a good time.
"You give out that impression Ophelia, and guys don't want that, sometimes being shy and vulnerable is good. Theo won't see you as girlfriend material - unless he thinks he can be the one to tame you," said Millie to me the morning after.
I hung my head sadly. I played that character in front of all the guys at work. I played that character in front of guys full stop.
"I play that girl because I'm so insecure. I want them to believe that I have the power and that I'm in control."
"But you don't - the truth is that you would love a boyfriend and to be treated well."
"I know... but I don't like showing guys that side of me. I don't want them to feel that I'm weaker than them and that they have the power to make me feel loved."
"I think you should show him who you really are. Text him and say that the girl you played on Friday isn't the real you and that you want him to know that. At least that way, if he rejects you, you'll know he's rejecting the real you, rather than some fake character you played."
Theo. Theo has brown hair, a cute face and personality that caused us to click the moment we first spoke. He's not perfect.
But I don't care. He doesn't have the perfect body, and we didn't have the most mind-blowing sex. And ironically, even though that's what I value myself by, I don't care about that with him.
I want him in a deeper way. He makes me crave the relationship I had with Alex, the time we spent laughing and cuddling in bed, the comfort, lying there under the sheets, blissfully cut off from the rest of the world.
The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, clifftops, seas
where we would dive for pearls.
I killed myself for him, yes, pushed my body to the physical limits over the week, for him, stuffed myself into the little perfect mould. I wanted to be the best for him, I wanted him to want me more than anything.
It was the first time that I had killed myself for a guy and felt his hands and eyes appreciate it.
So for him, I'll do it again.
(Also, for those of you who were wondering, Aiden bailed last Sunday. Had to have dinner with his sister.
Whatever. Not bothered. Moved on.)
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