I’m so sorry I didn’t do more. It’s unforgivable what he did to you, and unforgivable that I didn’t jump on the train, knock down his door and make him realise just how unacceptable his behaviour was, and how much he owes to you, and not by ‘trying’ to be good while you’re together again, not by accepting your forgiveness (which is, quite frankly, insulting yourself), but by staying well away. He needs to learn respect for women and for you and it makes me so angry that he thinks so primitively about how people should interact with one another. You deserve so much better, you are an amazing person, hell you’ve been my best friend for over ten years, that’s got to tell you something, you are loved and talented and valued and funny, and awesome to be around, and you’re the first person I think of to call when I’m down because I know you can just talk to me in the right manner, even if you can’t solve the problem. You mean too much to me and your other friends for such an arsehole to have control over you and degrade you to feeling unworthy and like this is all you need. You know you could get out of this, we’ve talked about it, and I get so frustrated that you decide to stay there and put up with him, I don’t CARE if he is “better now”, what he did should not be condoned by you forgiving and going back to him. You can forgive and forget but not teach him that that behaviour gets results. For your own sake and that of womankind, please teach that man a lesson. I love you and I don’t want to see you hurt or fall flaky with your principles and feel like you’re neither here nor there, and not really able to justify it, and always saying, ‘I know, I know… but… I can’t help it.’
Sometimes, when I compliment you, or tell you something I feel about you, I don’t need a ‘You too.’ I just want it to go in. I feel it’s important sometimes to just acknowledge these things, rather than respond automatically and immediately regain balance.
Rafferty opened his pencil tin with his hands and his hands only; the rest of his body remained still, his eyes and head still sinking into attention on Frankie’s pose. She was honey milky sickly, skin all round and in his eyes. On her thighs. An olive piano hand rested gently on her exposed hip.
“Just a quickie then folks, ‘cause she’s going for gold this time.”
Chuck crept under the easels like a child tiptoeing across a bouncy castle, trying to stay out of view. The spring in his step might have been from a hyperactive awkward energy owing to social mental blocks. It might have been because he was happy with life. Frankie smiled.
She did the middle-distance thing, but Raff knew better. She stared straight into him like no other cheeky, brash, uneducated-
“Ten minutes, folks.”
– heard-before-seen little degenerate with no manners. It’s not polite to stare at the best of times, but this took Raff’s nerve. It’s more than rude to send someone that insane, even if only for a few minutes. He figured she was the kind of girl who didn’t realise that earring multi-packs were meant for multi-pairs of ears, multi-occasions. The kind of girl who shouted friends’ sports nicknames from a foghorn-shaped mouth.
Frankie drifted into a chocolate sleep, heavy and warm, tasty. She went round town in her head, traced her shopping steps. She did the tourist circle. Art shops and cafés floated through her, museums and libraries loomed and disappeared. Colours danced and jerked. A tiny stream of saliva made its way to the left corner of her mouth.
She came to the dungeons. She floated up and in. A misty must smuggled her into a small room full of people; children with teasing fathers, couples clutching at each others’ sleeves. And there was a man. A boy. Sort of both and neither. He was blonde and adolescent, but he spoke assertively of the horrors of medieval surgery and waved a jar of leeches around in front of paralysed open mouths. He picked squeamish victims and latched eye contact, moving in on them like rabbits, staring into them and threatening, ‘Oh yes, there was nothing to take the pain away…’ Frankie felt a rush against her wet chin.
The grubby made up face turned her way, and it was her turn to feel special. She saw a half-baked figure among blurred easels as her eyes flitted open and shut, letting in light like flash fire specs on old movie reels. The boy moved in. Black eyes fixed on hers and stared, intimidating. He gave nothing away. He won over her silent, excited tears and her heart in one. It was scrumptious. He leaned in and bit. Blood slid warmly, heavily down her body. He backed away slowly, and she could see a patch of it on his costume. On his face. His expression didn’t even flicker as he slowly, heavily raised his dead hand and pointed to the corner of his mouth.
Frankie woke, to see a new figure standing in front of the easels.
‘You’re not my favourite model.’ Celia. ‘She moves!’ Celia stomped out of the room, throwing her brush on the floor in front of Frankie’s midriff. Frankie watched from her day-bedas she left. Chuck had apparently gone on an errand somewhere. She pulled her olive hand from between her legs, slowly, heavily, and took her time.
Raff stood in silence as Frankie stood and ambled over, silkily, sleepily. His brush held paralysed on the upper thigh of his trousers, slowly pressing red into his leg with the determination of a missionary. Frankie smiled.
‘You’ve got red on you. May I?’ She peered round at the blotchy figure on his page, so delicately shaded up to a point on her abdomen where the brush trailed off through the bottom of the page to that point on his trousers.
‘Are you going to keep that?’ she hinted.
This is the healthiest crush I have ever had. I can tell you anything, and you can tell me anything, you’re a best friend and a soul mate. You excite me and make me laugh more than anything in the world, you make me feel happy and safe and completely comfortable. You don’t threaten me or my other relationships. You are supportive and caring. I have told you exactly how I feel about you and you haven’t run a mile. I am so grateful to have you in my life. You are sexy and affecting and I can still be friends with you, for the first time in my life. I feel like a grown up. I am able to enjoy your company without worrying about where this is going, or the fact that you may not be around forever. I can’t express how much you mean to me. I know you know really. Of course I imagine what it would be like to be together, like you do with everyone, but I am genuinely happy just being around each other. No stress. It’s nice.
It’s frustrating how you can be so childish and let your petty issues get in the way of things, like some mission of bitterness, especially on the one day of the year that I shouldn’t be made to cater to other people’s whims and preoccupations with vanity and social games in which nobody wins, and then how you can be so collected and articulately express what was earlier just a paddy.
Which bit should I take to best represent the you I should know, as your partner? Should I dismiss it as a moment of silliness later apologised for and dealt with appropriately, which is essentially all that good people are, or should I remember it in the warning signals of my mind and start limiting your allowances for outbursts of similar behaviour before putting you in a box and deciding no longer to know you as a friend and lover, a being with depth and hold over me, shut myself off from feeling for you?
You’re worth a lot more than that. And you’re a good man, I know you. I want to know you better.
I feel the need to rebel against my boyfriend, read things he would never, just to ignore how much faster than me he reads, feel like I am actually achieving something.
Two set breakfasts served daily between 7am-1pm. #1: Honey waffles, cup of tea, milk and one, GMTV. #2: Mercilon – desogestrel 150 micrograms & ethinylestradiol 20 micrograms, Fluoxetine 20g, Nurofen – sadly none, wealthy portion of developing agoraphobia.
Tired with everything. Bad sleep pattern this week and no exercise. This is the thirty-fifth diary-style entry I have written and I have nothing to say. I am struggling with trying to be a healthy, happy human and at the same time trying to alleviate feelings of jealousy and difficulties communicating in my relationship. I feel like I am doing everything I can and still failing to please anyone, least of all myself, though that comes last. I need some answers on how to be decent, what to say and when, to make everything okay. All I want is to relax and get the most out of all my relationships. This has always been important to me, but I feel like I am finally recognising it as a high priority.
I wonder what picture they’d choose to show on the news if I went missing.
Today I got hiccups again. I feel like I could hold my breath until I died.
Sometimes I feel like I’m going to explode from all the things I can’t express, to people I care about, or about life, about how I feel within myself. Life continues to be overwhelming. Still no more panic attacks, though vague hints of the same feeling arising at work occasionally. Breakdown two nights ago after arguing with my boyfriend. Felt like I was hitting a brick wall, and had brought to life all the fears I constantly bring up that he dismisses, such as putting him off me one way or another. Ok now. I know we’re strong really, but I am still such a mess, and he is so young. I don’t know what’s real right now. I take comfort in musical escape, guided by friends with kind suggestions.
- How to Handle Panic Attacks (everydayhealth.com)