Job Hunter

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She set out to find a new job knowing that there was a whole ocean to cross before she got anywhere. However, she had braved this ocean before so, it wasn’t as scary but still she prepared her CV boat with a heavy heart. Later, she cast away and hoped that this time she could weather the storm again.

Nominated For The Real Neat Blog Award

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Hi everyone,

It’s been awhile since we last had a non-fiction post! But I just picked up a message about being given this award and I wanted to announce it. A big thank you to Amelia over at http://www.youcanalwaysstartnow.com for nominating me.

Rules;

1. Post the Award logo and answer the questions asked by the person who nominated you.
2. Thank the person who nominated you in your post and link to their blog.
3. Nominate and link to some bloggers you’d like to see respond.
4. Create 7 questions for your nominees to answer & let them know they are nominated in a comment on their blog.

The seven questions I have to answer are;

What are you currently reading?

The Beast by J .R. Ward. I’m going to finish it tonight though and then I’m going to start Prince Lestat and Atlantis by Anne Rice. So looking forward to that!

What book(s) or courses are on your 2017 list to take?

I’m going to do a first level degree in blogging and a level 2 teaching assistant course. I brought them off Groupon a few months ago and as of yet haven’t gotten around to taking them! I also want to look at doing a Youth Worker course again and now maybe an admin or business one too. I’ve a massive book list, but I want to read The True Blood series next year now.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be?

I want to go to Texas USA. I’ve no idea why I feel so drawn to Texas, but I just do.

What is one thing you would tell your younger self?

Don’t listen to the year 4 teacher who told you to give up writing stories because you weren’t good enough!

How/why did you get into blogging?

As a piece of homework at uni. It was to set up a blog and write a few posts, but I got addicted. Now, I’ve like 3 blogs!

What is your favorite decorating accessory?

Yankee Candles – you can’t go wrong with them really as they look nice even when they are not lit. If that doesn’t count then I’m going with fresh flowers.

What are your favorite Instagram accounts right now?

I’ve Instagram, I think, maybe…but I don’t use it much. So I don’t know.

 

The seven questions I’m going to ask are;

  1. What are you looking forward to most about 2017?
  2. Have you ever written a story about a pet you owed/owe?
  3. What’s your favorite thing to pin on Pinterest?
  4. Have you done all your Christmas present shopping yet?
  5. What book/s are you most looking forward to being published in 2017?
  6. Have you ever knitted something?
  7. What was the last thing you brought on Amazon?

 

I’m going to nominate;

https://scvincent.com/

https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

https://yzhengblog.wordpress.com/

https://rumpydog.com/

Done!

Here are some links to where you can also follow me if you want to;

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thestoryfiles

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ironmaidenfan9

Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/user?u=327832

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=208056472&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/hails9/

Blogger: http://hailscrazyblog.blogspot.co.uk/

WordPress: https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/ and

https://negativitybreakout.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7400715-hayley-hardman

Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/+HayleyHardman

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/thestoryfilesblog

Also, I know there something up with the display bar on the right side, but I can’t figure out how to fix that. Might have to take it all down and re-put it up when I have the time.

Thanks so much for reading my stories, liking them, leaving comments and following this blog. I’ve 363 followers and even though it’s a push I’d love to hit 400 by the end of the year. So please share my blog and spread the word.

Tomorrow sees the start of December and Christmas/winter themed short stories. I can’t believe another year is almost over! That means I’ve been writing this blog for three years now. I still have plans to put together short stories collections for kindle

Also, if you’d like to submit a short story please do. I’m looking to really get some for next year now. The guidelines are here; https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/submission-guidelines/

Once again thanks to Amelia for giving me this award, see you all tomorrow!

Hayley.

Walking Away

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She walked away from him and it was as simple as that to leave it all behind. She felt better, like a wild bird that been trapped in a cage but was now free. The control was all her own again and she could live as she wanted, not as he had made her believe she should. She told her friends it was better to be alone then in a relationship where you couldn’t be yourself and you fell into being a lie.

So what if her road was now lonely? Wasn’t it better to be like that then to find that you had no life at all? Her purpose shouldn’t have to be to please others or to be the perfect girlfriend. The purpose should be what she wanted and why should she care if other people judged her? She was living how she wanted to now and was a lot more happier.

Love Don’t Bother (Part 4)

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Trying not to over think as the train whizzed me away and rain pelted the windows, I set my thoughts on my work and the week ahead. For some reason, though I couldn’t get the image of Darcy, Amelia, Alex and Luke sat on the sofa eating Chinese food. My cruel mind put words in their mouth and I hear Alex say, ‘good job she’s not here or she would have eaten all the food already!’

Darcy chines in with, ‘You know she’s addicted to prawn crackers. I saw her eat two whole bags once!’

‘Hey, there’ll be left overs for lunch tomorrow!’ Amelia points out.

Then maybe, Luke might tell them to stop being mean to me. Alex will laugh and say, ‘it’s fine, she’s not here, she won’t care!’

I shake my head and swallow a lump in my throat. I try to convince myself that they would never have that kind of conversation about me, but as the train pulls into the station it’s too deeply planted in my head.

I get off the train and hurry through the ticket gate, which I almost get stuck in. Without looking back, I go to the automatic doors and step outside in the rain. I wipe my face and sweep my hair back, enjoying the cold air on my skin. The crowd is crazy, but everyone gives me a wide berth and though no one is staring at me, I know they all see me. How can they miss me? The giant wearing blanket size clothes.

‘Marcy? Marcy?’

I turn at my name and see Ben coming through the doors. He looks smart in black trousers and a pale blue shirt. He’s unbuttoned the first few buttons and I can see a v shape of his chest. His large stomach hangs low, strapped in by a black belt. He’s dark brown hair is neatly cut short and his face looks tried and concerned.

‘Hi,’ I say softly.

‘Are you okay? Did you have a panic attack on the train again?’ he asks.

I shake my head. He reaches out and takes my hand. His fingers are warm and soft.

‘Let’s go and eat. You’ll feel better.’

I nod and let him led me off into the city.

The bad weather hasn’t stopped people – mostly the students, from a night out. The bars, pubs and clubs already seem busy. We weave through everyone and the streets, passing a Superlambanana statue on the way. They are a new icon of Liverpool; with the body of a sheep and tail of a lamb covered in brightly coloured paint. I feel drawn to stop and look, but Ben tugs me on.

We reach my favourite restaurant and Ben opens the door. The smell of burgers and fried onions hangs in the air. We take the second window booth in the small sixties America themed room. The long counter is directly to my left and it stretches all the way to the back where the toilets are. On the other side of it is a row of plastic red chairs and matching tables as well as two more read leather booths at the end.

The walls are covered with all sorts of memorabilia and Americana. Most of its sixties rock ‘n’ roll, with framed records and photos. A red electric guitar hangs a meter or so above my head. The sign claiming it belonged to some rock singer I’ve never heard of. It always reminds me of Back To The Future.

Feeling soaked, I take off my jacket and grab a menu. It feels slightly sticky in my hands, but I turn the pages anyway. I scan the words, but don’t really take them in, my thoughts have switch to wondering why I’m here. Of course, to have a date with Ben, but was it actually worth it? Maybe my time would have been better spent studying some more and stuffing my face full of Chinese food.

‘You look nice,’ Ben says suddenly.

I glance over and thank him.

A waiter appears and politely takes our drinks order, a strawberry milkshake for me and a vanilla one for Ben.

Then Ben reaches over and takes my hands in his. He rubs my knuckles and watches the movement.

‘Thank God you text me when you did,’ I speak out, ‘I sort of forgot we were meeting tonight. I was busy studying.’

‘Glad I did then and you study too much!’ Ben responses.

I shrug, ‘a PhD is a lot of work.’

‘And what will you do when it’s done next year?’

‘Stay at the uni, hopefully.’

I trail off and look outside at the rain and the city lights. I can just about hear people laughing and talking. Ben is staring at me, I can feel it, waiting for me to go on, but I don’t want to talk. My mood feels like the weather; depressed and gloomy. Ben is still stroking my hands.

‘I really like you, Marcy,’ he says.

I snap back to him, ‘what? We’ve only met twice now…’

‘So?’ he presses and smiles at me.

I press my lips together and smile back, I can’t help it. He’s cute with his baby chubby cheeks and long black eye lashes. There’s something infections about his orange slice smile and laughing eyes.

The waiter returns and we are forced to break hands as the drinks are placed down.

‘Ready to order food?’ he asks.

‘I’ll have a chicken burger, please’ I say.

Ben ponders, glances at the menu then, ‘can I have the bbq chicken pizza?’

‘Of course, thank you,’ the waiter speaks and turns away.

I watch him go and place the order in even though the chef is right behind him. Looking further up, I notice the last booth next to the toilets is occupied. Two young teenage looking boys are staring at me and I can make out a third too, but all I can see is his sticking up hair. The boys look away and carry on with what they are doing.

A wave of nerves wiggles in my stomach and I turn back to the window. I just know they are talking about me…

‘Marcy? Are you feeling okay?’ Ben asks, he’s been sipping his milkshake.

‘Sure,’ I mutter and take a drink of mine, though I wish it was alcohol.

‘Look, I know that was a bit sudden, but you said we had to be honest about everything with each other. So I was just being,’ Ben explains.

I stir the straw in the thick shake, wrestling with myself over what to say.

Ben leans back, his hands pressing down the table top, ‘it’s fine if you don’t like me…I really thought you did though…’

‘I do! It’s just that…’ I take a deep breath, ‘I’m worried you only want one thing…’

His lips twitch and form an O as he makes that sound.

I shrug, ‘why else would you want to date me? I’m not pretty and I have all these issues.’

‘You’re completely wrong. You are very pretty and your issues are not all of you,’ Ben cries.

‘Really?’ I look up through my eye lashes, trying to judge his words.

‘Yes. And of course that’s the ultimate goal, but I’m happy to wait and right now I’m just enjoying your company,’ Ben adds.

I smile, feeling the nerves being overtaking with tingles of delight.

‘A chicken burger and a pizza?’

We both look up and let go of each other’s hands. The waiter places the food down, tells us to enjoy and leaves.

‘Do you really mean that?’ I ask.

Ben nods and unfolds his napkin, ‘wouldn’t say it if I didn’t.’

‘Good.’

I pick up my cutlery and spear a chip. Putting it in my mouth, I watch Ben chopping on a slice of pizza and I just feel things are going to work out between us.

Love Don’t Bother (Part 3)

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I watch the high street from the kitchen window whilst I eat toast and drink a cup of chi tea. It’s raining steadily now and making a nice sound falling off the roof tops and guttering. Market stalls are being set up in two rows either side of the main walk way. The clattering and banging noise they are making is so loud it could wake the dead. Plastic sheets of clear, white and other colours drape over the tops of the stalls, creating another surface for the rain to make music on.

Nothing stirs in the house expect for me and my small noises which the living room clock seems to echo with. I wonder what the girls and the boyfriends are up to? Maybe some soft snuggling and kisses? Perhaps morning sex? I think though they are all in a drunk coma of sleep right now. The idea of sex lingers in my mind and before I can recall the last time I had morning sex, I shove the thought away.

I unlatch and open the window. Chilly, wet autumn air drifts lazy into the stuffy kitchen. The wind plays with the netting and the curtains, before I fix it all back and out of the way. I look clearly outside. I can hear people calling to each other and the grumbling of van engines. The rain bounces of umbrellas and coats as the first buyers appear and begin shopping.

I watch an old woman, who must be about ninety years old picking over fruit and veg. Her cloth shopping trolley resting up beside her and rain drops dripping off the bright yellow rain coat she has on. She hands over tomatoes and bananas alongside some money, then tucking the brown paper bags into her trolley, hobbles away.

The stall holder shouts, ‘get your fresh fruit and veg here!’

I finish my toast then my tea and tidy up. Going back to the window after, I close it and decided that a walk around the market would make me feel better. I go back to my room and select some clothes; jeans and long sleeved top. I dig out my wellington boots and a red rain coat. Feeling ready to face the weather, I put my phone, keys and purse in my pockets before I leave. Lastly, I collect my umbrella from beside the wardrobe and check I have everything.

Going down all the stairs, I try to be as quiet as possible, but it’s so hard when the stairs are like hundred years old and I’m 26 stone or there abouts. I don’t really know, it’s been a few months since I last felt interested enough to find out how overweight I actually was. I make it to the front door and am just about to unlock it when I hear another door creak open.

‘That you, Marcy?’ Amelia’s bell of a voice calls softly.

‘Yes,’ I say, turning my head.

Her head is sticking out of her bedroom doorway. Her dark blonde hair with layers of black looks messy and her cheeks are really pink. Her fingers curl around the edge of the door, holding it in place. I suddenly wonder if she’s wearing any clothes.

‘Are you going out? Can you get some bacon, eggs and bread, please? I forgot yesterday,’ Amelia asks.

I nod, ‘sure.’

‘Also, can I send you the first draft of my essay to look over?’ she adds

‘I guess….’

‘Thanks. Give me a knock when you get back.’

She goes to close the door and I hear Luke’s muffled voice say something. She replies then turns back to me.

‘Anything else?’ I ask, just knowing there’s going to be more.

‘Sausages too,’ she answers.

I frown a little as I realise my walk has become a shopping trip.

‘I’ll give you some money later,’ Amelia says, ‘okay?’

‘Fine,’ I say and open the door.

Cold wind blows in, stronger than it did from the kitchen window before and splatters me with a few large water drops. Amelia’s door closes loudly. I head out, holding up my hood as I go down the cobblestone alleyway and out onto the street. Wandering around the stalls, I decided to get the food on the way back. Nothing peaks my interested though. It’s all the same stuff they sell every Saturday and due to the rain there’s a few stalls missing.

I get the food and go home. Dumping everything in the kitchen I knock on Amelia’s door. There’s no answer. Going back into the kitchen I take my wellies and coat off. I put away the food and make myself a lunch to take upstairs. Gathering everything, I go to my room and spend the rest of the day working.

At some point, I hear the shower going and people moving. The smell of cooking food creeps under my door and I hear happy sounding voices in the kitchen. I ignore it all and carry on reading my books, internet pages and making notes.

My phone pinging a message finally brings me out of my studying. Looking around, I get up and go to the bedside table. Picking my phone up, I see it is a text from Ben. We’d met for the first time last week and had tea together after talking on a dating website for most of summer. He’d been working in Scotland and so we hadn’t been able to meet up until then.  Opening the message, I read;

Hi, meant to talk to you earlier but work was mad! On my way to Liverpool now. Might be a bit late though, should get in for 5.30pm. See you at the train station.

We have a date tonight!

Looking at the clock I see it’s half past four, which means I have no time! I text back a quick line then rush over to my wardrobe. What am I going to wear? I pull out a black soft top with a dragon on it, realise I wore it last time and put it back again. After a few panicky minutes, I get a knee length blue skirt, a matching blue top with a butterflies on it and some black leggings.

Abandoning everything, I have a fast shower, throw the clothes on and sort out a shoulder bag to take with me. Is it still raining outside? I go to the darkening window and look out. The sky is a dull grey and though there are rain drops on the glass, it doesn’t look like its raining. I put my suede ankle boots on and grab a light hooded jacket.

Opening the bottom draw of the bedside table, I find my bag of makeup and go into the bathroom. Voices drift after me, but I don’t listen. Selecting blue eyeshade and liner, I put them on then a bit of strawberry lip balm. The mirror reflects my rushed face, I pause and wonder what I’m doing. How does Ben find me attractive? Maybe he’s just saying that to be nice? But then why a second date? Unless he just wants to sleep with me and was lying about that?

I growl, clutch the sink and will my over-thinking away. Pulling myself together, I brush my teeth and hair then go back into my bedroom. Collecting my bag and umbrella I turn off my computer and my light before going downstairs.

A voice from the living room calls out to me as soon as I reach the bottom. Darcy appears in the doorway wearing pjs which look like they’ve been shrunk in the wash. The shorts she has on barely cover her and the matching top only comes down to her waist. Her small high boobs can just be made out under her long straight blonde hair. I stare at her flat light brown stomach, wondering how she got that.

‘Marcy?’

‘Yes,’ I snap to.

‘We are getting Chinese takeout and watching movies. Want to join us?’ Darcy asks.

‘I can’t. I have a date,’ I gush.

‘What with? The library?’ Alex’s voice shouts from the sofa.

‘Alex!’ Darcy scolds as she glances over her shoulder at him.

‘No. A man,’ I reply coldly.

‘Oh okay….the same guy from last week?’ Darcy questions, dropping her voice.

I nod, ‘I should go. Bye.’

Turning, I go downstairs and to the door. I ignore Alex’s voice as he yells something, so he’s words are lost, whatever it was I don’t need to hear it. I open the door, step out into the drizzle and hurry to the train station.

 

To Be Continued…

Love Don’t Bother (Part 2)

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It was a bad dream, somehow I knew that, but I couldn’t wake myself up from it. I was at the bar we always go to at the end of our nights out and a handsome man was talking to me. I could hear Amelia, Darcy and their boyfriends in the background. The man was saying how pretty I am and how he couldn’t believe his luck meeting me in here.

I smile and sip my drink.  I try to say how lucky I feel back, but I can’t.  Loud music wraps around me, tugging me to the dance floor yet I don’t move. Bright lights are flashing and there are too many people. I want to leave and go somewhere else. I go to say this to the man, but he ignores me. I reach out for his hand, but my fingers seem to slip through his. The music and the shouting voices press painfully on my head so that I can only see blinding flashes of light.

I try to shake it away then I spot Darcy’s boyfriend, Alex, coming over. He starts whispering to the man. I can’t hear the words but I can see the effect as the man’s face falls. He gives me a look of disgust and leaves.

‘What did you say?’ my dream self-demands.

‘That you sleep with anyone who’ll have you. You’re old, fat and ugly, but always game for some action,’ Alex says with a laugh.

‘That’s not true!’

‘It so is. You’ve tried it on with me and everyone else in this bar.’

He waves his hand out and I look and see the fuzzy faces of men I half remember. Is that my high school history teacher? And the one against the wall looks like my old neighbour, who use to leer at me from behind his hedge.

I shake my head and back up into the bar stool.

‘It’s true!’ he says, ‘you’re a sex-crazed hippo, aren’t you? Here, you want some…’ he unzips his jeans, ‘I’ll give you some!’

Laughter fills my ears, I struggle to get away from him and then I awake up.

Breathing hard, I listen but hear nothing other than the old house settling, the wind rattling the window and the living room clock ticking. I push myself up and turn on the lamp. The light helps, even though I can now see the shadows fleeing to the corners of the room. Sweeping my hair back, I feel dampness against my skin. I get up and open the window. Cold air trials in, blowing the heat and sleep from my face. I can see a hint of light in the overcast grey sky. It’s going to rain soon.

I take deep breaths, which help clear the dream from my mind. However, it has once again disturbed the past memory that I’d put in lock down. Seeing Darcy’s room probably cracked the lid on it. Closing the window, I go into the bathroom and splash some water on my face. It helps a little, but I still feel my skin all sticking together.

I glance at the shower and deciding I’m awake now, take off my clothes and get in. I turn the temperature down and avoid trying to get my hair wet. Which is an impossible task, because the shower is dodgy and water just  goes everywhere. I wash and try hard to think of anything else other then the bits I’m scrubbing with the sponge.

Parts of the dream flash into mind, but I push them away, only they end up being replaced with the real events.

I get out, dry off and collect my clothes. Taking my towel wrapped body back into my bedroom, I find other PJs to wear. Going to the window, I open the curtains, but not enough light is coming in. I notice a few rain drops clinging to the glass. Making sure it’s locked, I leave the grey dawn and turn on the over head light.

My room comes into full clarity. To my left is my messed up bed with a bedding box placed at the end then my TV on it’s stand with the DVD player sticking out underneath. There’s a few small racks holding DVDs and CDS along the wall in between. The wall above my bed as my collection of framed postcards, which looks impression but all the places are actually here in England. Though I’ve a few from Wales. On the right are three floor to ceiling bookcases, which contain whole arrays of fiction and non-fiction books. Then there’s my desk and computer followed by my wardrobe.

Moving, I go over to my bed and kneel down. Flipping the duvet and other trailing blankets back, I feel around and pull out a large fabric covered cardboard box. Taking the lid off, I see it’s the one I want, for inside is a collection of diaries. Last’s years sits on top. I pull it out and climb on to the bed. Flipping the pages, I look for May and June. Once there, I peer at my small neat handwriting and scan the words.

I find the part I’m looking for in the middle of May. I turn on the lamp, curl up against the pillows and began reading.

I met Darcy’s boyfriend, Alex today. I don’t like him and I don’t really see what Darcy sees in him. He’s a big jerk. When we were introduced I saw him sneering at me and thinking…Well, I guess the normal things that people think about large girls. He was polite enough, but I knew it was forced.

Then I over heard him talking to Amelia’s boyfriend, Luke, in her bedroom about me. I was going out to the library and just passing there when I heard voices. I wasn’t going to stop but then I heard my name. Alex was saying, ‘Marcelen has huge boobs. I’d love to see them. Shame about the rest of her though…did you think someone in her family was a cow?’ He laughed.  

Thankfully, Luke didn’t laugh, but he did reply with, ‘she’s not so bad.’

I left, but as I walked to uni, I pictured myself opening Amelia’s door and giving him a piece of my mind. Don’t judge people! You don’t know me. Apologise and in future keep you nasty thoughts to yourself. But I know I’d never have been able to have said it. 

The library was empty – not surprising for a Saturday…..

I stopped as my past self changed topic. I turn the pages and looked for the next entry about Alex. It was there almost a week later; a Friday night and we were going to Liverpool. I skipped the beginning and found a bit the middle.

Everything was going great until the last club. I was at the bar, getting a glass of water and I felt a hand on my bum. I turned and it was Alex! He was totally drunk. I whacked his hand away and yelled, ‘Darcy’s nipped to the loos!’  He shouted down my ear, ‘it’s you I want!’ Then he squeezed my bum. 

I think I told him to get off and then I got my water and walked around the edge of the dance floor. He followed me and then he grabbed my hand, pulling me close to him. I think he said something about dancing, but I wasn’t sure. I tried to shake him off, but he wouldn’t let go and he kept saying how much he wanted me and how he’d seen me staring at him. I think then, though of course with the deafening, booming music, I could have been wrong, he said, ‘a fat bird like you must be gagging for it!’

I threw my water at him and ran away. Of course, then it took forever to find Amelia and Darcy. Luckily, we were going to head home anyway, so when we meet up outside the club, it wasn’t that bad. I was so sure that Alex would say something because he was still wet, but he didn’t. Perhaps, he told Darcy in private as soon as we said goodnight and went into our bedrooms. Though I think there’s only one thing on his mind right now!  

Even now thinking about it worries me. I know Alex was drunk and that was probably to blame, but still…And there’s no way I can tell anyone, because they won’t remember. I don’t get why people enjoy making themselves so drunk like that. You can have a nice night out without all that illness in the morning. 

I can hear them having sex. They must have done it a few times before now, but I’ve never heard them before. I guess being drunk makes them loud. It makes me think about my ex. I still miss him, but it was still the right thing to do. Things would never have worked out between us and I see that now. There’ll be someone else out there for me, I know. Maybe I need to join that dating website again? But my PhD must come first.

I got some prep to do for supporting teaching the first years Monday. Mustn’t forget about that….

I stop reading and let that sink in. I had forgotten that had happened, but it had been the start of everything really. I look up and and out of the window, the sunlight had given up trying to defeat the heavy clouds and it was now raining. Leaving last year’s diary open, I slotted it under a pillow and went to get breakfast.

 

To Be Continued…

 

Love Don’t Bother (Part 1)

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Dropping the towel from my still wet body, I peer nervously into the full length mirror. All my life I’ve hated reflective glass of any kind. Not even the mirror mazes of my childhood made me laugh. I avoid mirrors like people avoid food they’re allergic too. Now though, I’ve decided to stare the cold hard truth about myself down.

Pressing my lips together, I see my face; the flush chubby cheeks, up turned small nose, large olive eyes, the wrinkling forehead and my fair brown hair. Is that actually me? I know it is, but why did my consciousness ended up in this body? Why couldn’t I have been someone else? Then I might not have been Marcelen Potts, but…Taylor Swift or someone else rich, famous and pretty.

I’m not pretty. My face might just been passable but the rest of me…. I drop my eyes and see my huge boobs. They are round and soft, but hang down too much. I slot my hands under them, rising them up to where they stood be. Now, if they stayed like that, things would be okay, but it wouldn’t make much of a difference, I’d still be a threat to chest high people, just without the aid of a bra…In fact, I’d probably still need one to keep my boobs stable.

Just below them is my non-existent waist. It’s just a round doughnut like roll of pink flesh. It actually reminds me of one of those inflatable swimming rings you put around children to keep them afloat.

I squish the front of it together, trying to imagine myself being flat and able to see my ribs. It’s a pointless task really. I’ve no idea what slim me would look like and the images come from seeing all those zero size walking stick girls.

Isn’t it true that most of the women you see in photos have been made to look that way by editing software? So, what everyone is seeing is actually unachievable anyway? And you hardly ever see fat women! They are all shunned into a corner and society finger points and says no one can look like that. Fat can’t be beautiful, only bones can be!

Dropping my hands, they brush against the sides of my stomach. I stare at my overhanging belly in the mirror, I jiggle it. The warm, damp skin ripples and keeps going like it would never end. I pick it up, pinching the areas either side of my bellybutton and stretching the flesh. I could easily hide a small child underneath me. Or someone could use me as a parasol and stay in the shade.

I try squeezing my stomach all together and seeing if I can get it flat. However, it acts like Flubber and just wobbles away, bulging at the sides. I drop the whole thing and let my hands rest of top of stomach. I will myself to imagine what it might look like flat, but I can’t picture it.

Moving on I do the last part of the inspection; arms and legs. My fingers, hands, feet and toes look good, they are long and thin. My wrists too are slender and my low arms are okay, but then I get to my upper arms, which look like tiny wings. My legs are the same, but are more like chunky tree trunks. And that’s it, staring at my body is complete until I dare to look again.

I turn away, picking up the towel and wrapping myself in it. Though it barely fits around me and I poke out down one side. I leave the hallway and the mirror which is attached to the wall close to the front door. The mirror was there when I moved in and I don’t know who is responsible for it. I should ask my two flatmates if they know and maybe get it removed.

I go up the narrow stairs, which my stomach and upper arms almost touches and arrive at the first floor. To my right is Amelia’s room and to the left is the bathroom, though it’s not the one I use –unless it’s an emergency. Moving past them, I come to the foot of another staircase, which twists back on itself before it reaches the second floor. Two more door sit on the other side of the stairs, leading into the kitchen on the left and the living room on the right. They are joined in the middle by another door.

Clutching my towel, I hurry up the stairs. My footsteps cushioned by the thick pattern carpet. At the top is a small landing and three doors. The middle door- the second bathroom is half open and mist is still hugging the walls. I go in and open the window. Cold autumn air rushes in and the hair on my arms rise. I dry off again and stick the towel on to the rack. I shut the door behind me and go over to the right door, my bedroom.

Opening the door, I hear a creaking behind me and glance over. The opposite door which leads to Darcy’s room, is slowly moving. Ignoring it, I go into my room, put on the flannel Pjs I left on the bed and try not to think any more about my body. Grabbing my hairbrush, I start brushing, but a loud squeaking pauses my hand.

I go out and see Darcy’s door has opened more now. Sighing, I go over and look inside. I’ve been in her room before, ages ago now, but it so didn’t look like this. There are clothes, shoes, soft toys, books and other things scattered over the floor so that not an inch of the carpet can be seen. Her bed and desk look just the same and things are spilling from her wardrobe as if it’s just been sick. I close the door on the chaos and go back to organised.

Everything in my room has a place and it always gets put back there. Sinking on to the bed, I pick up my diary and flick the pages. I stop on today’s date, grab a fountain pen and begin writing. My mind wonders faster than I can write though and soon I’m reflecting on why I decided not to go out tonight. The excuse about working on the research for my PhD was all because I didn’t want to see Amelia and Darcy with their boyfriends. If it had been a girl’s only night I’d have been fine, but playing the third wheel has never been for me.

I stop writing and look up, hearing something outside. There’s a window in the wall next to the head of my bed. I get up, leaving off mid-sentence. Sweeping back the netted curtain, I open the window and stick my head out with my hands pressed hard to the sill.

The late evening sky is dotted with stars and a perfectly thin crescent moon. Below me is the cobblestoned alleyway that leads to my flat and also the flat opposite. Bins nestle against the walls and I think I see the flickering of a shadow. Then laughter rises from somewhere and I hear voices. They wouldn’t come back so soon, but still…

I close the window and the curtain falls back into place. I cross my room, open the door and go downstairs with heavy thuds echoing behind me. I fast walk into the living room, not turning on the light and go to the window. I pull the net curtain slightly back and look down upon a Victorian styled high street.

Lights shine from the few pubs, bars and takeaways onto the large flagstone pavement. Small groups of people are slowly walking around or standing in doorways. I see the thin trails of cig smoke rising from two people at the entrance to The King’s pub. Laughter and voices drift through the thin glass and I can just about smell pizza.

I drop my head, scolding myself for my stupid panicking and the lingering memories of last year. Letting the curtain fall, I go back stairs and climb into bed. I spot the time as being a little past nine, perhaps too early for sleep, but it’s the only thing I want to do. I finish up writing in my diary, avoiding the parts about looking in the mirror before and my depression over being single.

Then placing it back inside the top draw of my bedside table, I turn out the lamp and fall into the darkness.

To Be Continued…

Postcard #25

st-petersburg-russia-1034319_1920

I sit here in this darkened hotel room and look out across the river. Lights reflect across the water, reminding me of the way you danced into my life and then out of it again. Why did you leave? The question has burned within me for so long now, I fear the fire may never go out. I know you are out there somewhere and perhaps one day you will read this. Till then though I’ll keep leaving these notes behind and hoping you’ll find them.

Returning

Landscape Photo of High Rise Buildings

Returning home had never felt so good which led her to questioning why she had left in the first place.

Dear Diary #25

And September is here! I can’t believe how fast summer has gone, it was over like all that flash flooding we’ve been having. I only saw like 20 odd days of pure sunshine out of the 92 days. How bad is that? And so not enough to get a tan, but luckily no one else really has either.

I’m strangely not looking forward to going back to uni now. It’s final year and that’s going to be so much hard work and so little time for partying! I’m glad things have got sorted and we can all stay in the same house. It was very touch and go for awhile back there. Dev said that me and him would find our own place, but getting a one or two bedroom flat wasn’t as easy as it would actually seem. It’s all good though and the four of us will be fine again.

My parents have been bugging me with questions about afterwards. I don’t know what I’m going to do! Maybe take a different course and return? Do a masters or go into teaching? I just don’t know and a part of me is wondering what kind of job I believed I was going to get doing a history degree. I should have gone with business or computing or something that leads straight into work. Perhaps, something will come up and right now I just got to try and pass this year.

At least I can get a few more days of freedom in! I’m off to the Lake District tomorrow, for a few romantic days away with Dev. So looking forward to that. We’ve not had much alone time or dates with him working as many hours as he can get at the pub. So it’ll be nice to spend sometime together. The weather isn’t looking great though, so we might not risk any long walks, but I’d be happy to just lounge by the indoor pool.

I should actually go and start packing!